Thursday, January 8, 2015

First ER visit of 2015

It’s already in the books.  Overall, an “A” experience.  We’ve been to the ER several times with a few different kids.  This was by far the best experience.  So thankful for that.  So, why were we there? Let me rewind a bit…

The last time we were in the ER with Lara was about 2.5 years ago – when she had her first real asthma attack.  Since then, we have had rescue inhalers everywhere and all the needed supplies for home breathing treatments on demand.  Yesterday when she woke up, she was struggling to breathe a little bit, so we did a treatment.  When I got home from work last night, she was feverish, coughing, sore throat, headache… very flu like, and it is going around like wildfire here.  We ventured down the street to the Urgent Care place, and promptly got diagnosed with the flu.  Filled the Tamiflu Rx, another breathing treatment, took the first pill and went to bed.

She got up about 6:45 this morning.  Struggling to breathe, unable to talk.  You could hear her lungs rattling, and a wheeze in her throat – very strange sound.  Told her to use the rescue inhaler, and do a breathing treatment.  Gave her the Tamiflu for this morning, and waited.  And watched her deteriorate some more.  It was quite obvious our home remedies were not working. Time for the ER.

Unfortunately, we are still down to one car for a few more days, so we have been carpooling and rearranging things on the fly to get people where they need to go.  I had already called in sick to my boss to stay home with her today, but now I needed the car to get her to the ER, but Britt still needed to go to work and Jake needed a ride to school (we only live 4 blocks from school, but it was 10 degrees outside.  TOO COLD!) Poor Lara had to wait while we all got dressed and ready – took Dad to work, dropped Jake at school, and were checking in to the ER at 7:35 (Nana the Wonder Sitter had Finn and Emma).

We were the only people in the waiting room – that was nice.  I hoped the wait wasn’t long. Soon after we got checked in, a handful of new patients started streaming in the front door.  Luckily, we had beat the rush!  We sat about 10 minutes in the lobby (Lara had to wear a mask because of her flu; she hated it) before getting called back to a room, but the charge nurse who brought us back recognized her severe distress and got a breathing treatment started immediately – so by 7:50 we were getting (more) albuterol and atrovent into her system.  They listened to her lungs and heard lots of cracking and rumbling.  Her oxygen saturations were good – staying at 99 and 100, but her heart rate was very high.  After some assessment questions and intake type stuff, we were seeing how the treatment worked and waiting to see the Doctor.  He came in about 20 minutes later, and he prescribed oral prednisone steroids, continued observation, and more breathing treatments. 

Soon, we got the 2nd breathing treatment – pure albuterol – started about 40 minutes after the first one.  It provided no relief what so ever. It was now about 8:45 am.  Her O2 was still good, heart rate was better but still high (possibly from meds, and stress…)  In fact, I thought this treatment made her worse (so did Lara).  She had this horrible grunting/wheezing sound coming from her throat.  I said it sounded like Darth Vadar was a 20 year smoker!  The doctor came in again and heard that same sound.  He listened to her lungs, and they sounded clear! YAY!  So, the steroids and previous breathing treatments had done their job.  But, he now decided her vocal cords were swollen, and that’s what was causing the noise and the difficult breathing.  New breathing treatment ordered, this time with racemic epinephrine (think Epi pen) to combat the swelling.  In the meantime, Lara was hungry, and shaky and not doing well at all.  It seemed pretty scary that she wasn’t getting any better.

The nurse came in with the new breathing treatment around 9:15.  3-4 minutes in, the noise had stopped! Lara’s color was better. Her eyes were brighter. She didn’t seem to be as distressed anymore!  SHE COULD TALK! This was huge – she hadn’t said a word all morning – just used some very bad sign language.  YIPPEE!  So, soon after the treatment was finished and the doctor assessed her again, we got the all clear.  They finished up our registration information, got our discharge paperwork ready, and we were out the door by 10:00! Kinda wish we could have gotten that one sooner!  But, all’s well that ends well.

After a quick trip through the McDonald’s driver thru (for her - she wanted pancakes), we got her home and back in bed.  Steroids and breathing treatments for the next few days.  And of course, she still had the flu!  So, we’re trying to fight that off as well!  The ER doctor said asthma and the flu DO NOT mix well.  That became painfully obvious to us today.  YUCK! Poor baby!  We know she won’t be back at school until at least Monday! 

That was a pretty scary ordeal.  I know some of you have done it, and I’ve seen it with 2 of my kids now, but it’s a harrowing feeling to look into your child’s face and see the panic and fear in their eyes when they feel like they can’t breathe and they are suffocating.  It was bad when Finn had RSV and was that way, but he’s a baby and his mind can’t really comprehend it all.  Lara, now – that’s totally different.  Scary.

Thank you for all the prayers, calls, texts, Facebook posts, etc.  She is sleeping soundly now.  I am trying to decompress.  And do some dishes.  And laundry. Oh – and I need to start dinner…. A mother’s work is never done…

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy Anniversary - 9 years

NINE years ago today, we stood before God and a handful of family and close friends and said I DO! We were ALL IN and ready to start our lives together. After being a confirmed bachelor for 40 years, God had finally revealed to me my #2. My soul-mate. My BEST friend. My LOVE!
Not only had I been lucky enough to find my beautiful bride, I became instant dad to my 2 incredible 3yo twin daughters. We then added our amazing son, Jake and our MIRACLE son, Finn! Our family was now complete and we have set off on some amazing adventures!!
The past nine years have been full of AWESOME HIGHS and TERRIFYING LOWS. We've said hello and goodbye to special lives. All the while, standing side by side and barreling through it all. Eight months ago found us a one of those low times …. we were both extremely overweight and struggling financially … with no real motivation to do anything about it.
******** found us at that point and we dove in head first …. not expecting any real results but figuring, at that point, we had nothing to lose. To say it was difficult is an understatement …. but no one said it was going to be EASY ….. but boy has it been WORTH IT!! To date we've lost a combined total of 120+ pounds and have more energy than we've had in years!!
So …. here we are today!! Once again we are standing in front of a group of family and friends … this time 90,000+ strong …. Reaffirming that we are ***-**. Our passion for helping others is greater than ever and we love representing this amazing, Christian-based company.
Betsey – you are my rock. I can’t imagine a single day without you. There is no one on this earth that I’d rather be on this journey with! Thanks for putting up with my quirky habits and loving me unconditionally.
Happy Anniversary … I LOVE YOU!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hope and a Future: 2015

Christmas is over.  All the presents have been played with and the decorations put away for another year.  The New Year countdown came and went.  The New Year is upon us and the “new” has already started to wear off.  The extended 2 week vacation from work, school and reality is coming to a screeching halt in just a few short hours.  So, now what?

For me, 2015 seems so very full of promise.  So much unlike last few years.  Of course still filled with TONS of unknowns, the things I do know are filling me with excited anticipation.  A giddy expectation.  My ONE WORD for this coming year is “joyful.”  I am looking to be joyful in whatever comes my way, and to look for the joy in all things. To be joyful in the journey, and to spread joy along the way. I am (FINALLY) old enough to appreciate that not everyone is going to like me, and I’m completely OK with that.  I can’t please all the people, and I don’t need to work so hard trying to!  And not everyone is going to like or even agree with everything I do or the way in which I do it.  And that’s just fine!  We all have our own path to follow. Haters gonna hate…  And I’m just gonna… Let It Go!

Britt and I just celebrated out 9th wedding anniversary last night (our actual anniversary is the 7th).  NINE years!  And this next one's going to be great as well! Here are just a few things I am excited about for 2015. 

·         We’re moving.  I know this is happening.  I have no idea what it’s going to look like, but I know it’s happening.  The lease is up on the home we’ve been renting, and we will not be renewing it.  We really (REALLY) want to buy a house here, but the details are all in God’s hands and in his timing.  For the first half of the year, this is my number one prayer.

·         Emma and Lara, my first born babies, will turn 13.  THIRTEEN!  I will be the mother of teenagers.  This boggles my mind, but truly thrills me!  I love watching them become the young women God intends them to be!  It’s a little sad as they “need” me less and less, but it’s so AWESOME to watch them take charge of their own lives and make decisions. Constantly praying for them to listen to the Spirit and make wise decisions.

·         Financial Margin.  We have been working the last 9 months to set the foundation for our business in order to create more wiggle room in our monthly budget.  And it is truly a blessing to watch this process unfold.  We put braces on Lara last fall, and we were just told a few weeks ago Emma needs to start the process soon as well.  And Jake has decided he is a 3 (or 4 or 5) sport athlete, and at the rate he’s growing we’ll need new shoes every 2 months!  Plus, out sweet, miracle baby Finn – always a medical bill or two floating in… We need this margin in our lives!  Praising God for the guidance we have received and the knowledge we are gaining.

·         Britt and I are back to leading a LifeGroup.  I specifically took action in saying “No” to many things last year for a variety of reasons.  I feel like it worked for me and my family.  Late this past fall, we were approached with the prospect of helping our current LifeGroup (that we’ve been members of for 4 years) multiply into 2 groups.  We will be leading a group that will start with 4-5 couples later this month.  I continued my “No” streak by choosing not to host the group in our home – we are meeting at another family’s home.  Praying to be effective leaders and wise stewards of our time in this area.

·         Junior High School.  Back to those red heads of mine.  I was TERRIFIED of them going to middle school.  Paralyzed with fear.  I had heard so many bad stories, seen so many wrong choices made by friends and acquaintances.  I failed miserably by worrying CONSTANTLY about middle school.  It turned out to all be for naught.  Seriously.  The girls have had an EXCELLENT middle school experience!  I know we have 5 more months there, but I trust that nothing much will change.  So, in the fall, it’s off to Junior High.  I’m not scared.  I’m optimistic.  Lord, you know my heart in this area… I pray for continued watchfulness.

·         Time Freedom.  Right now, and for the next few months, we are dedicated to living like no one else, so that later we can LIVE like no one else.  We are dedicating all of our free time to growing and nurturing our ******** business. So that later, within this next year, we can bring me home from my regular day job.  I want to do more, and have better, for my kids.  So for now, we are saying “No” to good things to be able to say “YES” to better things.  Working smart right now will allow me to come home to my babies soon. God help us to make discerning choices in this area and guide us as we work to change our life for the better.

·         ********.  This company and this business have changed our lives.  We started last spring so we could lose weight.  We jumped on as distributors so we could get a discount.  IN the process of the journey, we have learned so much, and our focus has completely changed.  We are loving the opportunity to HELP OTHERS!  Share the knowledge and lessons we have learned.  Show friends and family how they can have what we have.  Our lives have changed, for the BETTER!  We want everyone to have what we have!  To know what we know and to feel like we feel.  Our health is improved, our finances have improved, and our OUTLOOK has improved!  Lord, show us how to be effective with our passion and help others.

·         Health and Fitness.  It seems almost un-American to not include some sort of health and wellness goals in a New Year’s list! LOL!  Britt and I started our journey 9 months ago.  He has lost 72 pounds.  I have lost 42.  We are starting a ** *** ********* (with THOUSANDS of our friends) this week.  This journey is never “over,” it just evolves.  Britt wants to lose about 30 more pounds.  I am only ½ way to my goal, so we still have work to do! 
That’s quite a list!  But can’t you see it, too? This year is going to be so joyfully amazing!  So many promises that I know will be fulfilled.  So many plans unfolding for prosperity!  We serve an AWESOME God, and He will not fail.  This is our opportunity to shine.  Our passion is to help others with their outlook on life.  To help them with their dreams.  To weave the fabric of their lives with joy.  We want to take the things we are passionate about (Jesus, family, health), and successfully share them with others to help improve their futures as well.  We invite you to pray for these things with us in 2015. 

What’s your outlook for 2015?  How can the Six Dream Weavers pray for you?  Tomorrow we go back to the “grind.”  Work, school, lessons, practices, the “daily” things.  Let’s find JOY! 

AdvoKids! Even they are ALL IN!