Saturday, March 28, 2009

Outpatient Clinic

Yesterday, I spent from 10am to 1pm at the outpatient clinic run by Moses Cone. It is essentially a free clinic for people who cannot afford insurance and meet a certain financial criteria. The MD staffing is residents and one Attending so really, it is more a learning experience for the residents and free care for the patients that need it.
Part of this is also an Infectious Disease clinic that sees mostly HIV patients. Their care falls under the Ryan White Grant so their care is free as well. This clinic has over 1200 patients.
What I will be doing is what ever they need me to do. I can make phone calls to patients about test results, follow-up care, scheduling appointments. I can work out in the clinic and assist with patient care and I can assist with the pharmacy refills. Right now, a little confusing, but feels familiar because of working at Kaiser.
The staff are very happy I will be there because there is not funding for additional staffing and I will be paid through the ED. So basically, I am free help for the Outpatient clinic.
It is going to be a great learning experience and I plan to take some of the knowledge back to the ED. Because all we see in the ED are patients that are either discharged, admitted, sent to the OR or die, we don't have the awareness of how the outpatient clinic runs. So I plan on learning as much as I can and then presenting it to my fellow staff when I return to the ED.
It has been raining, raining, raining for the past few days. My front yard is a big puddle. But right after lunch, there was a period of time that there was no rain and both Nathan and Amilia went out and rode their bikes.
Nathan got a bike for Christmas (Jim picked it out) and it ended up being too big at that time. It is still a little big, but I started him out, showed him how the gears worked (running beside him) and he was able to quickly take off and start riding. He loves that he can down shift and get up the hill in our front yard. We also have quite a hill at the end of our street and he has never been able to ride up it. Today he did. Amilia has a bigger bike (then his old one) and she has been able to get up the hill without difficulty.
In the next three days, I am going to sort through more junk in the house and put together a good will pile. Every year, the school collects in a big tractor trailer all the good will stuff they can and the school gets school supplies per the number of pounds of stuff collected. I have Nathan's old bike, bags and bags of clothing, a sunroom to clean out and a shed to clean out. I wonder if they would take the swimming pool? It is in the garage and we have everything that goes with it. We will probably not use it this year (Grammy camp for the kids for the summer). More weight, more stuff!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Insane week

Both kids went back to school today. Nathan went back yesterday, he seems to have bounced back a lot better than Amilia.
Amilia finally slept through the night last night. The night before, she cried herself to sleep and then was up and down, "I want Blacky".
This morning, only heard that once and it was a statement rather than a pitiful cry.
Although it has been rough, we (Nathan, Amilia and I) have spent a lot of time talking. Not just about Blacky and dying, but appropriate behaviour, especially when someone else is having a difficult time.
So on Wednesday morning, we had a mission. We were going to find two stuffed solid black cats to bring home to remind the kids of Blacky. WE WENT TO ELEVEN (11) STORES! All the while, waiting for the health department to call because we were told that if Blacky did have rabies, we would find out immediately and need to get rabies shots ourselves. 11 stores! with two sad kids! Finally, at the last place we went, the staff pulled out a catalog and found one to order. We placed the order and will have it in a week. At every store, we would look, then ask, and usually staff would say it would be easier to find that around Halloween. We would then go into the story and the need for a sleeping companion. Only black would do for Amilia. And she would walk around the store, pitiful look on her face. At each place, the staff would send us to another store. I was very impressed at the outpouring of sympathy and assistance.
I was very tired by the end of the day! Then Amilia again couldn't sleep.
The kids have "Benchmark testing" all this week and I was not going to send Amilia in to take tests when she was having a hard time just with every day tasks. She will be making the rest of them up today. She understands that she will probably be testing all day, but it will be one on one and she tests so much better like that.
Yesterday, she stayed home again, was much quieter, not crying as much and we were able to find a stuffed panda that had fur that felt like blacky's. So we got that for her. In the midst of all of this, the cell phone wouldn't charge. I bought a car charger and it did not work. So yesterday we went to three sprint stores before getting it to work. The last one we went to (Just Amilia and I) and we waited about 30 minutes, then had to leave to get Nathan. They told me if I made an appointment, I would get seen sooner. So I made an appointment, left, got Nathan, stopped at Krispy Creme for a snack for Nathan and locked my keys and phones in the car....what a day! Thank God for AAA! and for friendly, helpful people. One of the ladies in line at Krispy Creme had a phone and another one had a AAA card so I was able to call and someone came about 30 minutes later, took him less then 30 seconds to pop open the car!
Next was the return to Sprint. They took me right away, the technician offered to upgrade (down grade actually) my phone for only $99 dollars...nope, just fix the phone, it was less than a year old. He plugged it in and it started charging! So I figure, I had a jinxed phone yesterday. Bought a new car charger (it worked!) and bought a new house charger...prior to opening the box for the new house charger, I unplugged the one I had, plugged it into another outlet and low and behold, the phone was charging.
If things were not so off, I would normally have done that. Now I think of the wasted time yesterday...but we did get a Panda for Amilia and I spent the day with Amilia.
Also ended up getting a call from the outpatient clinic at Moses Cone and they are going to put me to work while my knee gets better...YEAH!!! Daytime hours, Monday through Friday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Missing Blacky

Last night was a rough night for all of us. Amilia cried herself to sleep last night, I spent quite a bit of time lying with her. It is heart breaking watching your child so inconsolable...she just kept saying "I want Blacky". She finally went to sleep.
Nathan ended up lying down with us in bed for awhile. He didn't cry, but said "I'm very sad." Then he just laid there with us. Our child who talks non-stop was silent.
After he went to bed, Jim and I laid together and talked about Blacky. He was a "scrappy cat", always coming in with scrapes, cuts, limping. We don't know what he was doing out there in the wilds of Greensboro, but he found someone or something to fight with. He also blessed his family with meals...we have found mice, rats, birds, baby rabbits sitting right in front of the back door. He wanted to keep us well fed.
Most of the time, if we couldn't find him and we knew he was in the house, he would be on a high shelf or on top of the entertainment center. We would call him and he would peer over the edge, looking to see if he really wanted to come down or just stay out of reach.
The last time I saw him, before he got mean, he was at the back door, on his back feet, stretched all the way up to the door knob with both front feet on the door knob. I'm sure if he had the strength, he would have let himself out.
This morning, both kids are home. They have Benchmark testing today and I do not feel that they would do well today on any tests. They do have make up day on Friday.
Amilia is still asleep. I don't expect to see her for another couple of hours.
I looked into Nathan's room this morning to find his bed empty. I figured he had gotten up and was either eating or watching TV. Walked around the house and couldn't find him. So I went back to his room and quietly called him. Up pops his head from the other side of the bed. He had fallen off the bed this morning and just stayed there with all of his blankets and stuffed animals around him. So we talked some this morning. He, lying on the floor, and I, lying over the edge of his bed. He is handling this well. He says he is still sad. We talked about things that Blacky did and what we would miss about him, he cried a little, but he seems to be doing well. Blacky was his cat, or rather, he was Blacky's boy.
We still have Hiway, the cat we didn't really want (the kids did, I just saw him as another being to take care of at the time). Hiway seems to be affected as well. He has stayed close to the house, did not go out last night like usual and only went out this morning for a short period of time. He has never been without another cat. Maybe he will start spending more time with the kids.
So today, we are going to go to toys r us and get two stuffed black cats. Amilia really needs something to hold, Nathan will feel left out.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This morning while mowing, my neighbor called and left a message that Blacky was at her house and had attacked her. She did not get injured, but it scared her. Blacky is our all black cat that we have had for three years. He has always been very friendly and sweet, so I did not think that this was our cat.
When I got there, I discovered it was Blacky. He let me come and pick him up, but then started snarling and trying to bite me.
I immediately got him into a cat kennel and brought him to the vet.
They gave him anesthesia so they could check him out without getting injured themselves and found an old healing bite on his front leg.
I had made an appointment two months prior to get his rabies shot updated but I was not able to find him at the time and never followed up.
So this afternoon, we had to put Blacky to sleep. The vet thinks he has rabies because of the behavior and having missed his rabies shot (by a year:(. ).
The entire family is upset, but especially me and Amilia. Me because I should have brought him in to the vet and gotten his shots updated. Amilia because she was so attached to him.
We will miss him.

Spring cleaning

So, I am still home, working on cleaning and organizing.
This morning, after dropping off the kids, I got the lawnmower out and started mowing. Got about 3/4's done when I realized that I was going over the same spot over and over. The blades will no longer engage! Argg. Jim will be home this afternoon and if he is not able to fix, I will go the to guy down the street where we got the mower and ask if he will come and fix it for us.
Next thing on my list of things to do is finish cleaning the kitchen and dining room, then to the bedroom and living room. I want to get this done by noon because Jim will be home around then and I want the house to be looking good. I have been home, don't want it to look like pigs live here. Or lazy old woman with messy, disorganized children...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Great Morning

Lately, every morning has been a struggle. Amilia is not a morning person and she bugs Nathan on purpose.
Nathan is a morning person and is up as soon as he is told or before if he wakes up. He always wakes up starving!
Amilia does not want to eat when she gets up. We have to force her to eat because after the ADHD meds kick in, she just picks at lunch.
This morning, they both got up, got dressed and were ready for school without any bickering or arguing. YEAH. I think getting up to a clean room helps. We also have a new hanging container in the closet that is labeled Monday through Friday. Both kids got it ready last night so there were no searching for socks, etc.
After the kids got off to school, I returned one of the plastic bins we bought because it was cracked and was missing a handle. Then went food shopping for the week. Found some great bargains on the plastic clogs...they are lined with faux lambs wool and are very comfy, so I bought two for each of the kids in their size and the next size up and one for Jim and I.
One of the other things I started with the kids this morning was setting their alarm clocks. Unfortunately, Amilia's was on loud buzzer so as soon as it went off, she started crying. So while out, got her another alarm clock that has "nature sounds" so I can set it to go off 15 minutes before she needs to get up and she will hopefully wake up more slowly.
We also have a new chore list but I need to find a good place to put it and have good rewards for completing.
I admit, I am not the best with follow through and they are at the age where they need it. So that is another commitment. I will follow through when I say I will to the kids. We are going to finish their rooms this week and I am going to finish cleaning the house this week. I am not able to get into to see the MD to go back to work until later this week, so I have lots of time to clean and organize.
Then, I think I might hire someone to come in once or twice a week to clean. But until the house in not a complete wreck, I do not feel comfortable doing that. Maybe by the end of the week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

House Cleaning

This morning, Amilia's room finally got to me. It has been an ongoing battle to get her and Nathn to clean them up. Daisy sleeps with her or with Nathan so not only is there dirty and clean clothing scattered all around, toys, dolls, horses, stuffed animals, paper, trash and food, but it is all covered with hair. I took all of her stuff and tossed it on her bed while she was out playing in the beautiful sunny weather.
She was pissed when she came in. She could not find anything and she could not play in her room. So, I told her that once everything was off the floor, we would vacuum, then go and get something to put her stuff in. I also told Nathan that while Amilia and I were finishing her room, he was to put all of his stuff on his bed so we could vacuum.
So, the kids and I went to McDonald's for lunch, then spent a bit of money on plastic storage containers. Nathan said his first cuss word without thinking. Amilia was being a pill in the car and Nathan told her to stop being a smart ass. Told him I used to get a mouth full of Ivory soap for that. Told him that if he cusses again, he will get a mouth full of Irish Spring (only bar soap we have, it's Jim's) Called Jim while in the car to tell him and Jim wouldn't stop laughing. Hard to keep a straight face while driving and telling the story and needed Nathan to realize we were serious. Anyways, sounded funny coming out of his mouth, but he should not be saying it anymore.
I think I vacuumed up more hair than what is actually on Daisy right now. I found the source of the ant attraction and Amilia found a library book she has been missing for was under her bed.
She finally gave out about 5pm...I was pretty impressed because she stuck with it and continued to work with me the entire time (it was about 2 hours). What is left is three boxes (one very large!) full of her stuff and clear, clean places for her to put her stuff during the next week. We are going to work on each room every day until it is completely done.
So next we had to order Dominoes...too tired to cook!
Then I got to tackle Nathan's. Needless to say, he spent most of the time playing with stuff he discovered as he was putting stuff on his bed. I finally threatened to take everything left on the floor, put it in a bag and bring it to good will. He finished. But not without me being in there. So, in his room, I found candy rappers galore under his bed as well as lots and lots of Daisy hair. He also did great when I finally came in. He actually ended up with a green garbage bag full of toys to go to good will...YEAH Nathan! We had to stop at 8:30pm so Amilia could go to sleep. He also is left with three boxes of stuff to be sorted and put away.
So, tonight, for the first time since I hurt my knee, I am actually physically tired. I have been very lazy for the last three weeks. I have done my PT and that's about it.
I have been tired and depressed, but this certainly makes me feel much better.
I did have a couple of tweeks in my knee, so I will not work tomorrow. I am scheduled to go to the doctor on Friday, but I am going to try and get in sooner, was planning for tomorrow, but now will wait until Tuesday. I have been in a knee brace up until yesterday, took it off to see if I could manage without it because the ED will not let me come back until I have it off.
Did great yesterday, a couple of tweeks today but no really lasting pain. I am off to bed to ice the knee and sleep.
Tomorrow, I will tackle the rest of my room. I started on mine, but then got really involved with the kids. My room isn't that bad, just lots of clutter accumulated that needs to go in other rooms.
Good Night

New Season

It has been a year since I have posted. A year of ups and downs.
Today I sat and read mom's, Am's, Tee's, Shanna's blogs and wished I had taken the time to put more down in the last year.
So many things have happened.
It has been a difficult year.
Jim gone most of the time.
I'm raising my children alone, children that are wild, crazy, delightful, loving, smart, sassy, beautiful, and very difficult at times.
Spent much of the early part of last year trying to heal my back...hoping that someone would just do surgery and fix it.
Struggling with Amilia and her reading. She is so frustrated but then gives up. So smart, can repeat anything she has seen on TV or has had read to her but when she picks up a book, reads one word at a time. Gives up before she has really tried.
Trying to keep up with Nathan...talks, talks, talks---I realized recently that he has not stopped talking since shortly after birth. Now when he talks, he actually has to explain things to me...I have no idea what he is talking about. He has an amazing mind. Reads constantly (when not allowed on the computer). I must find other things for him to do on the computer other than rodblox.
Last summer was amazing. Spend 5 weeks doing what I loved...playing with kids outside but providing medical care when necessary. Gave my kids an experience that they will never forget. Meeting new kids every week, learning how to get along with new kids in a big group. Playing outside, swimming, learning how to shoot bb guns, horseback riding. They loved it, I loved it.
I am going to try and do it again this year.
Jim ruptured two disc's in his back at the beginning of last summer. Then his work turned down his worker's comp. claim. So no money coming in, no insurance for the month of August, Jim in severe pain for 3 weeks. The great thing was, by the end of 9 weeks, he was pain free and returned to work. Continues to be pain free most of the time. Has started working correctly, using a back brace and a hand cart.
On August 31st, I woke up in the middle of the night with severe pain. Ended up being a single kidney stone in my right ureter. Oh the agony. Worse then child birth...and I have done that twice! A week later, woke up again in the early morning hours with pain that was even worse. Ended up with a lodged kidney stone, hydronephrosis (enlarged kidney full of fluid), pylonephritis (kidney infection) and was in the OR by 10AM. Weeks to recover, again, no money coming in.
At the end of September, again, severe pain but on the right side. This time, turns out to be an Ovarian Cyst that had ruptured. Recovered quickly.
Next came the persistent palpitations. Pretty constant, very weak and fatigued when having them. So the next round of specialists. Cardiologist put me on lopressor which works wonders! Had an Echo Cardiogram of my heart after three abnormal EKG's and my heart is in great shape...could be early perimenopause...come to find out, Mom started early 40's, Thanks Ma! I have had the hot flashes and sweats as well so guess I just have to live through until it is over...can't wait until no period!
December turned out to be one of the worst months of our family's life.
Nathan and Amilia went to the dentist for their routine dental exams. They were both due for their every two year panoramic x-ray. Nathan's showed a tumor/cyst in his upper right jaw. One of his teeth was missing and the rest of the permanent teeth were pushed up or back and crooked. His canine tooth was all the way up into his maxillary sinus.
Jim was just about to leave town but I was able to get him before he left, he met me in town and we brought Nathan to Dr. Mohorn, one of the best oral surgeons in Greensboro.
We have a fantastic babysitter/nanny. I called her from the dentist office and she met with us in town and took Amilia home. WE LOVE LAUREN!
At the surgeons office, Nathan got a CT of his head. The surgeon was still unable to tell what type of tumor he had. But it had to come out as soon as possible.
So three days later, Nathan had it removed. Again, the surgeon could not give us a definite answer as to what was removed. However, it was worse than he thought. He thought he would find a fluid filled cyst with the tooth inside. Instead, it was a jelly like substance with the tooth inside. Much more ominous. We did not get the results until December 23rd. He had what is called and Amilioblatoma which is a form of cancer that usually is not malignant and when it is removed entirely, it will not return.
So we go back to the Dentist every 3 months for a Panoramic x-ray at least for a year, then I do not know how often. Thank-God he was ok.
He did end up getting a pretty bad sinus infection because the surgery included breaking the bone to the sinus cavity but with antibiotics, he is fine. He ended up having 4 baby teeth and 2 permanent teeth removed. At some point he will need braces, possibly a spacer until the permanent teeth come down.
And the latest fiasco is on the one day that there is ice in North Carolina, I, the New Englander, slipped on the ice, injuring my left shoulder and right knee. I have been out of work since the 3rd of March, I finally go back tomorrow (I hope!).
So today, I decided that I am tired of having all this crap happen.
My back is much better.
My knee is much better.
The kids have had a great weekend.
I paid all of my bills today.
I filed my taxes yesterday. And I get money back!
The weather is gorgeous.
The house will be cleaned today, all windows opened and aired out.
I go back to work tomorrow with a cheerful heart.
I will continue to try and get a daytime position, but while on nights, I will work on going to bed as soon as I get home in the morning and getting up when the kids get home.
I will have breakfast every morning.
I will walk at least three times a week.
I will continue with my PT exercises daily.
I will start taking the kids to the Y more often.
I will pray daily.
I will read my bible more often.
I will write in my blog more often.
I have decided that this is for me right now. I am writing for me but if anyone reads this, feel free to comment, call, write, etc.
For now, I have to do this for me.
This is my New Season.