Thursday, July 21, 2011

Drama Trauma

Chapter 1:  PRP, the future is now.
So in my attempt to avoid season ending shoulder surgery, I opted for Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy to repair my torn rotator cuff. Faster recovery, less pain, and just as good or better recovery rate, what's not to like. I found a place with the recommendation of friends and finally got in. Scheduling an overnight road trip with a 3 month old added complexity to the trip, but baby RC was a trouper and we made it across Missouri. The next day we woke up, had some breakfast and headed to the clinic bright and early. Filled out paperwork and was ushered into the room at 8am. Chat with the nurse and doctor, and they offered to inject my knee too. Awesome! It has been a 25 year problem for me with knee replacement as the only proven prognosis. So I have been waiting on the high tech treatments, like spray foam injection or something. If this works, I may not be able to run marathons, but hopefully I will be able to jog farther than across the street without paying for it. "Yes, please!" Blood was drawn from my arm, then rolled me over and jabbed me with railroad spikes to take marrow from my hip and some fat cells from my muffin top. The juices were filtered and sprinkled with magic grow dust in preparation for reinsertion. Then guided with a sonogram the parts were injected, 4 times in the shoulder and just once in the knee. With local anesthesia, pain was at most a moderate discomfort, most so in my shoulder, as the deeper and more intricate joint, I think. In and out in 2 hours, sent on my way with post care directions and a script for pain, which was filled with our first stop! Lunch and a 4 hour car ride as my shoulder starts stiffening up, half way home I take the hydrocodone/apap, but is didnt seem to have really any effect. Oh well, we made it home, with less whining from the baby than me.

Chapter 2:  to ER is human.
Upon getting home, I let Xan unload the car and I got the mail and cooled off. When I took my shirt off, I realized I had bled though one of the patches on my back and stained my nice new seersucker shirt. We sat down on the bench in the dining room to change the dressing on my back. Xan got the first one done and was cleaning up the mess on the second when I started to feel woozy. I tried to hold on while she finished the second then the next thing I know I am looking up at a concerned looking wife talking on the phone. First thing I said was, "I'm OK." Evidently I passed out, falling backwards against her hitting my head on the hardwood table before getting laid on the bench. Unable to detect breathing or pulse, she punched my chest a couple times, then grabber her phone and called 911. Firemen then EMT's showed up as I was still trying to regain my wits and hooked me up to various monitors and cuffs. I tried to sit up, but soon felt woozy and my extremities where tingling almost painfully and had to lay back down. The crew had to rearrange the living room to get the stretcher in, so when asked if I wanted to go to the hospital I agreed. With the medical bills already paid this year we have got to be close to our out of pocket max with insurance, and I have never ridden in an ambulance, and Xan wouldn't have let me not go, better safe than sorry... they loaded me up and away we went. Xan grabbed a shirt and, unsure if I had any pants on, a pair of shorts, as well as the baby and met me at the emergency room. It was a busy day in the ER, as I think they all are so it took a while. But a couple liters of saline, a blood draw and umpteen probes and feet of tape stuck to hair, a head CT, an EKG, 5 diaper changes and 6 hours I was declared healthy. Some vasovagal episode, not sure of the trigger, dehydration, stress, pain, sitting... well, hope it doesn't happen again, I don't think Xan liked it very much.
I am taking it easy today, this blog will be the most effort I will put out today. Hydration, medication and staying cool are my goals.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thank you Easter Bunny!

I don't know how to tell this story. I have been mulling it for a couple weeks now. Is it an Easter miracle or April Fools story? Maybe neither, I guess it depends on belief vs luck, good plan vs good fortune... OK here goes.
As previously blogged, I am the proud pappa of a happy healthy baby girl. But it wasnt always a fore gone conclusion, as we were on pins and needles for the first couple days. Especially the first night, when our precious was getting boxed up for a deep space mission and shipped off to OP NICU to try to solve the white cell count and SpOx problems. Thank fully Dr House was not working there, come to think of it I'm not sure who was working on that little girl.
I don't think anyone would think of me a religious guy. Yeah, I believe in a lot of things, the number sixty-nine... the small of a woman's back... high fiber... and most of Crash Davis's list. I also have strong evidence to help me believe in a god. A creator/helping hand with a typical hands off approach to the silly people on this planet. I also believe God is female, but that might be a future post.
So faith with an (un?)healthy does of cynicism. I am not one to ask for help usually. And when it comes to prayer, well, I have had my belief fortified. I have prayed for divine intervention twice in my life. The first time it was answered but taught me a valuable lesson, be careful what I wish for, as I asked god to make my parents stop arguing... they did and separated and divorced soon after. In the grand scheme of things it was a good thing but the kind of thing that can shape a teenager.
So as the minutes ticked towards the close of March, I lay on possibly the most uncomfortable sleeper sofa, physically and emotionally exhausted, I sent out a silent prayer. Something along the line of make my little girl be OK, as if nothing was ever wrong in the first place." Well, that was answered also, while she had a 7 day stay at the hotel NICU, baby RC showed fight, pulling her intubation out during the ride to OP and vast improvement as her white cell count was back into normal range the next morning. By the time mom got out of the hospital, our bundle of joy had a little jaundice and an IV to complete the antibiotic regiment, but was otherwise healthy! Amazing!! What ever it was or is, I am thankful.
Welcome to the world little Rowan!!!!!!
watch her grow...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby RC's first tramp stamp

I saw this on the news and reminded me of a book I read, Jennifer Goverment, so I started playing with it. I suppose there is some invasion of privacy or some evil historical events that make this a bad idea, but what if we tagged our children.
point your barcode reader at that!
and you could put a lot more info in it, address, phone number, allergies...
see... I know we all love our children and would do anything to protect them, but have I gone overboard? I suppose when we have to fear the minority of evildoer and protect our information as much as our babies maybe not as good an idea as I would like. And what if you move a lot, do make a whole belt line of tats? Temporary tats!! Oh wait, the kidnappers can rub that off. Is there such a thing as a shallow tat that only lasts a year? Or the GPS chip embedded in the neck, yeah! 
So I sit here with my little angel strapped across my chest thinking of how I can keep her safe. Feed, change, and swaddle her in love will be the first steps, chips, tats and leashes can come later.

Sweet Child...

She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories 
Where everything 
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky 
Now and then when I see her face 
She takes me away to that special place
And if I'd stare too long 
I'd probably break down and cry 

Sweet child o' mine 
Sweet love of mine 

She's got eyes of the bluest skies 
As if they thought of rain 
I hate to look into those eyes 
And see an ounce of pain 
Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place 
Where as a child I'd hide 
And pray for the thunder 
And the rain 
To quietly pass me by

Sweet child o' mine 
Sweet love of mine 

Where do we go 
Where do we go now 
Where do we go 
Sweet child o' mine 

thank you GNR...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

RC and the Baby Beer

Once upon a time there were 3 Beers that lived in the forest.  Papa Beer was a big Russian Imperial Stout, as thick and rich as any beer in the forest but with an abv and bitterness that kept all but the bravest away. Mama Beer was a Belgium Quadruple, sweet with the complexity of refined royalty.  Baby Beer was an English Bitters, that despite the name was balanced and smooth and always pretty to look at, way better than a tall glass of water any day. Baby Beer had an older brother, Lambic, who had moved to San Fransisco and was "working on the docks" for sailors with his roommate, an American Light Lager.
On a beautiful Spring day, along came a fair-skinned strawberry blonde princess with the voice of an angel, Rowan Calliope (who was strong willed and independent). She loved adventure, and her parents, and would spend hours wandering through the forest studying the flora, fauna and the wonders of nature. She stayed clear of the hollowed out tree full of dirty needles, she skirted around the clearing where the confused elves braided hemp, and avoided the temptation to skip through the poppy field and was on the path, "over the river and through the woods" until she came upon the house of the Beer family. There was a nice big swing on the porch and after knocking on the door and finding no one home she sat down on swing to rest her weary feet.  Next to the swing there were 3 stainless steel taps coming out of the wall labeled "Papa", "Mama" and "Baby". She loves her papa and she was awfully thirsty, so after discovering light herbal and chocolate notes when smelling the tap, she put her mouth to the tap and pulled the handle. She was quite surprised when the motor oil thick liquid poured into her mouth with texture she could almost chew and unsurpassed roast and bitterness. Knowing that her mama was sweet and beautiful, but hesitant from her Papa Beer experience, she poured out a handful Mama. Taking a big sniff she found it to be divinely complex with layers of dried fruit and winter spice aromas, begging her to take a sip.  Her first sip all she found was molasses like sweetness but that was followed by essence of cherry and fig flavors.  Now she was really thirsty and went on a quest to find some water.  She let herself into the house and wandered around, a little disoriented, until she found a sink, where she washed her hands, as learned from her mama, then drank from her cupped hands, as taught by her papa. Less thirsty now, she just wanted to rest.
Rowan awoke and noticed the shadows were getting long, and she was on the bathroom floor. Confused for a minutes as the cobwebs cleared, she remembered where she was, but not how she got to the bathroom floor, but the slate floor did feel good.  As she left the house, she saw a shelf labeled "Take some and Share" loaded up with the fanciest flip-top growlers she had ever seen. Taught from birth to recognize a bargain, she grabbed one and took it outside to fill it to take home for her papa. She hadn't noticed before, but the lid had a 3-way lever and as she moved it the magical growler filled with each of the Beers. Wow, she thought, wont my papa be so proud of me, as she headed back towards home.
She shared the Beers with anyone she came across knowing that sharing was the purpose of of good beer. There was the wolf in a red cape, with a grey wig, who really like the Papa Beer and ran off to howl at the sun.  Then she saw a bother and sister dropping bread crumbs. After sharing the liquid bread, they ate the rest of the bread, now seeing things from a new perspective, they headed home, too. A little later she found a rabbit sitting on a stump, and they got to talking, the rabbit bragging about how fast he was and "that danged old turtle didn't have a chance." After a couple drinks of Mama from the growler he curled up on the stump and promptly fell asleep, snoring loudly.  Countless others shared in the Beers, but it never seamed to get low, and as dusk approached she found herself coming to her home, and ran up the stairs into the arms of her loving parents. Showing her magical beericopia, as she had come to call it, as it never ran out, her papa was pleased and took out 3 glasses, 2 large and one taster glass. Unfamiliar with the lever system, papa poured into each glass and all were amazed as the brown liquid appeared change colors, one turned a reddish brown, one a light amber and the baby glass turned a sparkling golden color. And as each tasted from their glass, papa found the most delightful Flemish Sour, mama found a floral and citrusy bitter India Pale Ale, and little had Baby Beer, a light and well balance Bitters.
And they lived happily ever after...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Daddy Issues

As my wife packs her "going to the hospital to birth a baby" bag, I too am checking things off on my list. While hers is printed, my is mental...
  1. Baby Name. I have compromised, OK, given in. Rowan was the first choice of first names, and Jezebel was allowed for a middle name (it doesn't have to be on school paper work, she says).  But after much contemplation (and disparagement) I have come to really appreciate the other first choice, Calliope.  Rowen Calliope, RCW, just like her daddy. Check.
  2. Baby Bathing Sink.  New faucet installed that will allow the laundry sink to become a baby bathtub.  Check.
  3. Dining Room Ceiling.  The project that started, well really years ago when we torn down the beams, then last winter when we scrapped off the popcorn, then last spring when I ordered the tin, then this fall when first attempt to put them up failed, and finally this winter got it up and the crown moulding installed!  And it looks good!  Now the DR can be used again.  Check.
  4. Baby Seat.  The Subaru now had the seat base installed.  Not as easy on a vehicle without anchors built in, and these rear facing seats take up a lot of room, but it is secure.  Check.
Things not done yet include:
  1. Guest Bedroom.  aka Mother-in-law (or Au Pair) quarters. The spare bedroom downstairs which has been a bedroom, tool room, green house, office, and junk room in the few years we have lived here, now needs to be a livable space since the 2nd bedroom upstairs will be Rowan's.  The ceiling has been re-sheet rocked and needs to be taped, mudded and painted, and there is a 16" gap in the wall from when we replace the waterlines, that still needs to be patched. 
  2. Baby Seat.  A second baby seat base need to be installed in my car. With LATCH hooks, it should be a snap, even if it means the passenger seat needs to be pushed all the way up to make room.
  3. Daddy Bag. For the hospital, they have a list of things dad's should pack. Not as long as the things mom's need, but but I can pare down that list even more, like a shaving kit, wont be needed. Change for the vending machines, maybe.  I have it worked out, I need cell phone, cell phone charger, (that takes care of notifications, pictures and entertainment), sweatpants and slippers (for comfort) and a wallet. 
  4. FREAKING OUT!!  I suppose I will have this to look forward to for the next 18+ years. No amount of preparation and planning seems sufficient. "Don't worry, you be fine," or "You'll be a great dad," comments don't help to assuaged my apprehension(better make that plural)s over my impending daddihoodness.  Eek!  All I can be sure of is that if I can be half the dad mine was, then I will do alright and little RC will be fine.
Fingers crossed...7 more weeks...