Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Halloween Eve Rehydration at the ER

Lil'Bro wasn't able to hold down ANYthing yesterday. Not water, not Pedialyte. They called in a scrip of anti-nausea meds. It helped him drink sips of water all night. But then he threw up again early this morning.

After a call to his doctor's office, we took him into the ER for fluids. Two and a half hours of fluids later, he was a new kid. I have read the symptoms of dehydration but never saw them all before. The lethargy was pretty palpable. Very weird to see your usually energetic 6 1/2 year old not respond to anything. He didn't want TV. He didn't want his DS. He didn't want to move.

We got home from the ER and he immediately fell asleep on the couch. For THREE hours. I got an hour of sleep in.

Oh yah, my BigSis and her TallGuy hubby drove 30 minutes up here to get BigBro. They took BigBro to our church Fall Festival. Another church friend will bring him home.

Yesterday, I put out a "help" email to the women at my church asking them to get the food for church. Two women immediately took up the task for me. One of our lead pastors will sing in my stead. A couple of people have offered to come pick up BigBro for church tomorrow. My mom just dropped off a bunch of bananas and some frozen dinners. Tons of my local pals have sent offers over Facebook asking if they can do anything for us. And they mean it. My distant pals also sent prayers and love through Facebook, emails and texts.

I have to tell you, when you ask God to surround you with good loving people? He totally comes through. I cannot thank God enough for all of the awesome friends and family he has surrounded us with.

And Lil'Bro woke up about 30 minutes ago. He has held down water, half a banana and a little cup of applesauce. He keeps talking about the mini cheeseburgers at a local burger joint. I have to think he's on the mend.

Thanks to all my loving friends and family.

For reference, here are two pictures.
Just having arrived at the ER
and 2.5 hrs later.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Break in the Keck

Lil'Bro has the tummy bug that's going around. I probably do, too. But either it hasn't hit me fully or I'm tolerating it better.

So while Lil'Bro watches Scooby Doo on the couch with his bucket, I'll drop a note here.

BigBro is doing well. He's having anger issues. He has a lot of deep seeded anger toward his dad for leaving him for 3 years. The Ex has expected this. But it's still hard when it finally rears its head.

BigBro doesn't fully understand it. We're trying to get him to his therapist but money is very tight and a good therapist can be expensive. Ours is awesome. And he's reasonably priced for his skill but it's a stretch at the moment. Man I hate that.

Anyway, BigBro is overreacting to small things that make him angry. It's another volcano with a very thin cap.

I will retire to the couch with Lil'Bro now.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Growling And The Ex

BigBro has been making a strange noise a lot lately. I can't tell if it's a tic or he's just enjoying the sensation of it.

I can't describe it very well. The way I can do it is, if I close my mouth, breathe in through my nose and make my vocal chords vibrate on the intake. It's like an inhalation growl.

He does it now and then. I've noticed it every day for quite some time. Every now and then I'll say, "Hey, you're growling," or "Stop the growling." Not mean. Just kind of like you'd tell your kid to get their finger out of their nose in a matter-of-fact tone.

As we went to bed tonight, I followed him up the stairs and heard the growl. I said, "Hey, you're growling again." Lil'Bro asked why he does that. BigBro said he didn't know. I asked if it was tic-ish or if he just liked the feeling. He wasn't sure.

Lil'Bro asked what a tic was. I explained how Tourette's is a neurological disorder where the nerve signals get confused or crossed. Probably not exactly technical but it helps me to think of it this way. Lil'Bro wanted examples so I mentioned some. I tried not to list all of BigBro's manifestations - kind of hit all over the TS spectrum.

After a while, BigBro asked me to stop talking about the symptoms because it made him uncomfortable. He has told me in the past that he doesn't feel his TS until I mention it. Which I understand. But I also think it's important for his little brother to understand what TS is and how it might manifest. It's always good to have a built in advocate - even if he IS three and a half years younger than you!

So I told BigBro that I'm just explaining it to Lil'Bro and there's no need to feel like I was listing everything on HIS list of TS symptoms. He eventually joined in the explaining. Which was cool. I certainly don't want it to be a hush-hush taboo subject.

I understand how discussing TS can make BigBro suddenly very aware of lurking feelings. But I also know he can own those feelings, talk about it and be ok.

And The Ex
And on a totally separate subject, The Ex has been living nearby for just over a month now. I cannot tell you how spoiled I feel with the extra help he is giving with the boys.

But here is one weird little observation:

When I was doing this all alone - forced to do it - I did it. I mean, yah, I had days where I felt overwhelmed. Especially in the beginning. But by this third year? Our routine was in the can. I just did it. Not spectacularly, mind you. But we were all alive, relatively clean, fed and clothed.

On my own, if dishes needed doing? I did them. If laundry piled up, I tackled it (eventually). If errands backed up, I got 'em done. I could do all the shopping, unload the car and put it all away. Hey, who else is gonna do it, right?

Well, now I have a co-parent nearby. Within walking distance. He's been stepping up and helping. Suddenly, I can remember being one of a couple. Suddenly I remember how impossible it felt that I could have done the shopping and now I had to unload the WHOLE car all by myself! AND I had to put the stuff away, too?! Suddenly, one person couldn't possibly do any of the chores that needed doing - not alone!

Being part of a couple gave me this fragile-flower mentality. I see it all the time with couple friends of mine. The trash is overflowing but my friend won't touch it. That's his job. The dog can be scratching at the door, starving, but another friend won't get the food from the bag 5 feet away because that's her job. I mean, really?

But yah. Really. I was the same way. I remember thinking I would never be able to do it all by myself. And there are those that would look around my house and argue I am NOT doing it all by myself. (And I would agree.)

But let me tell you, my dainty-fragile-flower mentality? Feh! Because on my good days? (And lately, these outnumber my bad days by far) I can get up, get the school prep done, dress the kids, help Lil'Bro brush his teeth while hounding BigBro not to get distracted. I can get them to school and get to work and then kick ass to get back in time to pick them up from after-school-care. I can drag them home and whip them into homework-mode. I can make a dinner (and by "make", I don't mean Donna Reed's version of "make" - but they're alive and thriving so...), clean up the mess and put away the leftovers. I can do the grocery shopping, unload the whole car and put it all way - alone. I can run the errands. I can balance [air quotes] the budget and make all the payments. I can plan, pay for and execute all the parties. I can buy the clothes, shoes, school supplies. I can somehow squeeze 2 extra hours out of schedule for a birthday party for every kid my boys know. I can periodically dust (at least once a decade), vacuum (much more frequently), scrub, wipe, and scour the house. I can do ridiculous amounts of laundry. I can post meaningless jibber jabber on Facebook and blogs. I can make it to church on time with both boys in tow, contribute to the ministries there (including 'Comic Relief' and 'Official Wisecracker'), sing my brains out and get back home. I can do it. I don't need to half-ass it and whine that my partner should be doing such and such and if only he'd be doing THIS part, I'd be able to do THAT part better and all that horse hockey I used to think.

And this isn't judgment. These are all observations about my formerly whiny, selfish SELF.

When I became a single parent, I talked to God and said, "You're going to have to help me here. There is NO way I can do this on my own!" There really wasn't. It's not a one-person job.

Thankfully, my partner is the Creator of All Things. He still makes me unload the whole car and put the groceries away. But not alone.