Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Busy times

Well not sure we've been that busy - lots of TV watching going on. I feel like I'm in much better shape now, just watching the Olympics has done me good.

We are putzing along. I kept Gavin home from school today he wasn't up to par. I hope he'll be up and at'em in the morning. Mari manages to get into more mischief than one imagines might be possible. Bronwyn is doing well too.

In fact, Bronwyn doesn't always nap these days. Most times she manages OK, sometimes she conks out anyhow (like the shot above). I still make her have a nap if she seems like she needs one. Some days she just lays in bed and talks, and talks and talks...

No real news to share. Trying to come up with some exciting news but, I got nothing tonight!

Oh the kids made a fort in the basement this morning - they enjoyed it so much. That counts as news I suppose (not exciting news but news none the less).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nerves of steel

I don't have nerves of steel, in case you were wondering. But my nerves have been through the ringer lately.

Shortly after Bronwyn's last echo, in November, her cardiologist called and left a message. She explained they were concerned about her right ventricle function (right side of her heart). For those of you who can't keep up with her strangely jerry-rigged system, the right side is essentially all she has. So to hear that she was "mildly concerned" about the function of that muscle was a bit alarming.

She was quick to explain, in a later conversation, that it could well be from post-surgery trauma. But we would just watch it. We also put her back on one of the meds that she was on before her surgery.

So this has been weighing on my mind since November. I have tried, valiantly, to not get carried away or too worried. I have reminded myself it was not a crisis at this point, just a concern, that may end up being little more than a post-surgery glitch.

I was, as we left for the hospital this morning, very nervous. Scared in fact. I kept imagining in my mind what the outcome might be (always worst case scenario - why? You don't have to prepare yourself for good news!). It might mean a change in medicine, or a cath? I wasn't sure.

I watched as the tech did the echo. Straining to try makes sense of the grey and black blobs, trying to see and predict what the problems might be. I would bring myself back to reality as I stared in the face of my beautiful, pink cheeked, little girl.

When the doctor walked in I wondered if she'd keep me in suspense for long. She quickly said, "We looked at the echo and her right ventricle function is beautiful." I didn't kiss her, but I wanted too. I didn't started crying uncontrollably but I wanted too.

I drove home feeling 1000lbs lighter. The sun was shining brighter, the birds chirped louder (at least I imagine they were as I whizzed by in my van).

The moral of the story, is that when you have a child that has a serious underlying condition even a mild worry can drive you to distraction.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lazy weekend

We have been enjoying the laziest weekend on record. We've done nothing productive. The house is a disaster and we've loved it.

We started it off by allowing the kids to stay up late and watch most of the Olympic opening ceremonies. Which were super great by my estimation. Failing hydraulics aside I was truly impressed.

I got the kids to join me in my favourite sport - judging the outfits of all the nation's teams as they entered the stadium. My favourites were Slovenia (I think that was the name - who knows with all these emerging new nations) and it pains me to admit this but also the Germans. Nice job to both of those countries. The kids really got into it. We were doing thumbs up and thumbs down for the outfits. But every team got a great big cheer.

The kids were all sitting on their little chairs and they would cheer wildly and dance around shouting "Yeah, yeah." Mari was also very excited. She sat there and every now and again with little or no prompting would throw her arms in the air and yell "Yahhh." We'd all laugh and then join her. So fun.

Other than that there was some wrestling, reading, movie watching, trips out and about for life's little necessities. And finished with waffles for dinner this evening.

Nice weekend in all. We really can't afford to be this lazy every weekend. But it is super nice once and a while.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kiddie photo shoot

I figured it has been a while since I have made any serious attempts to get nice pictures of the kids. I usually just try to catch the moments - you know like Mari walking around with Gavin's underwear on her head. But now and again I figure I need to try get respectable pictures.

Here is some of our effort.

In the outdoor shot of the three together Mari is being held, against her will, by her brother. It may seem like she is gazing at the neighbors tree, but actually, she was working hard at head butting her brother. This caused her older siblings to dissolve into a great fit of laughter.

Enjoy our kids - we sure do!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Foggy drive

I went to Edmonton last night and stayed over with Tom & Pam and family. I was attending a conference for hospital staff on treatment of children with single ventricle function.

It was interesting, a bit over my head but interesting none the less.

I got to see Bronwyn's favourite (and mine too), Lois.

I left Edmonton with a LOT going on in my mind. It was a very thought provoking discussion/set of seminars. My mind was just rife with all the details and my personal opinions all jumbled up in one big mess.

After I stopped in Red Deer for a quick pit stop I headed on my way. Just south of Red Deer I drove into very thick fog. I kept expecting it to clear. It didn't lighten up until around Airdrie - it was still there but just much lighter.

The unusual thing is that for the stretch that was the worst there was no traffic in either lane. It is amazing how comforting red tail lights ahead of you through the fog can be. Or even the head lights from the traffic travelling north. Here and there a car would pass but for the most part I was driving in the grey dark fog, not really sure of how far I could see or what might surprise me.

I was almost home when I realized that this was really just a physical metaphor for my life. I spent the day desperately trying to learn more about my daughter's condition. Trying to arm myself for the unknown.

Here we are as a family, driving alone on the road. We don't know what is ahead, and yet we still travel on, unable to stop or turn back. We pursue our destination. The occasional passing car helps light our way for a bit.

I guess all we can really do it crank up the music and enjoy the ride!