Posts made in June, 2012

What Happened?

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in Blog | 1 comment

Me and Lex in the hospital

Getting ready to check how Lex is healing

“What happened?” That’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately.”How could I have let this happen?” is the question I’ve been asking myself.

On Father’s Day, Lex and I got up early as usual. We played around a bit, ate a little bit of food. Since it was Father’s Day and I hadn’t made anything particularly special for breakfast in a while, I decided to make some gluten free, dairy free pancakes for the Daddy Man. As always, Lex had to be in the middle of everything. For a while he was content to sit in his high chair, but eventually he got restless and I acquiesced to holding him. As we were cooking, he would say “hot, hot!” and gesture towards the pan. I agreed, “Yes, hot hot!” and showed him that we don’t touch. For this reason, I wasn’t really worried about him touching the pan or anything. I suppose I let my guard down a bit because in a split second, Lex reached too far toward a pancake in the pan and fell onto the hot griddle. He scrambled trying to get away and I was able to catch him before he fell and hurt himself even more, but the damage was done.

I felt the panic rise up in my stomach, and I immediately took him over to the sink to run his arm under cold water. He of course was screaming/crying hysterically and trying to wipe off the burns. I assessed the damage and saw that from his palm to his elbow on his right arm was burnt and already starting to blister. Vinnie woke up and came stumbling into the kitchen. I showed him and asked if I should take him to the ER since it was such a large burn. He said yes and I rushed Lex to the car.

I thanked my lucky stars that we lived so close to the hospital, and we got there within 5 minutes. I thought that as soon as I got him in the ER that I would be surrounded by a team of nurses who would give him some pain meds and help him calm down. I was very upset to find that the nurses’ priority was to get information like social security numbers and insurance policy numbers rather than to treat my son. Keep in mind that I am holding a screaming baby who has not stopped crying since he was burned and who was still squirming and panicking because he was in so much pain. After I talked to the triage nurse, she sent me to admissions and then he sent me to the waiting room. The waiting room!? This was early Sunday morning. No one else was there. I did not see one other person in that waiting room. By this time Vinnie had shown up and was thinking the same thing.

A couple minutes passed with us in the waiting room trying without success to calm Lex down and then–finally–a nurse came to call us back. They put us in a room, asked what happened, took a couple vital signs and left. Vinnie and I looked at each other. What the hell? We waited probably about 10 minutes, and then Vinnie went out to find someone. He found a group of nurses standing around talking and said “Hey! There’s a baby in here who’s just been burned. You need to find someone and get him some pain medicine.” They objected, “Well we have other patients.” “No,” he said, “this is a baby. He needs help NOW!” Shortly thereafter, the doctor came in and told us he was going to call Arkansas Children’s Hospital to see if Lex needed to be admitted to their burn center. After he left it was another 5 minutes before the nurses came in and tried to start an IV. And after 2 failed attempts, they decided to give him some pain medicine orally– finally! The doctor came in again and informed us that Lex would be transferred to ACH and that we were waiting on an ambulance. The nurses dressed his wounds with some ointment and gauze. Then they tried again to start an IV, decided that they had finally found a vein, hooked him up and introduced us to the paramedics.

By this time, mercifully, the pain medicine had kicked in and Lex had stopped crying. Poor baby just wanted to bury his head in my hair and snuggle. I climbed onto the gurney with Lex and they loaded us onto the ambulance.  The ride to Little Rock was pretty smooth. The paramedic was kind and reassuring. Lex slept the whole time, thank goodness. I just kept thinking about how I was the worst mom ever and how everyone would blame me for the accident. How could they not when I blamed myself? I even briefly thought about trying to keep the whole thing quiet because I was so worried about being judged. It turned out that I was worried for nothing. Everyone has been extremely supportive and understanding. They all know that kids are bound to do things like this. Still, I wish that I had been more cautious and anticipated Lex’s actions.

When we got the the ER at Children’s, the nurses found that the IV started at our local hospital had been done incorrectly and had “blown.” This meant that Lex’s elbow was swollen up to twice its normal size because all the IV fluid was going under his skin rather than into his bloodstream. The nurses were disgusted that the problem was not noticed immediately by the other nurses and worked quickly to fix it. At Children’s, we were immediately surrounded by a team of nurses and received treatment quickly. We saw a doctor quickly who examined Lex’s burns. About 10 minutes later, they told us that we were waiting on a room to be ready in the burn center and that Lex was going to be admitted.

Shortly after we were taken to our room in the burn center, Lex was taken into a treatment room to get his burns debrided. He was sedated for the procedure since it would very painful. After the procedure was finished, the doctor told us that Lex had 2nd degree burns on his right palm and forearm up to the elbow as well as on three fingers on his left hand. He was concerned about a small strip of skin along Lex’s forearm because the burn appeared to be a little deeper than the rest. He told us that we would have to wait and see if the burn would heal on its own or if Lex would need a skin graft. When he said that Lex may need a skin graft, I was shocked. I never imagined that the burn was that bad. After Lex woke up from the sedation, he mostly slept. They had decided to keep him overnight to make sure his pain was under control. He did pretty well that night, all things considered. We were sent home the next morning after being educated on how to change his bandages daily (eek!).

Of course, Lex could not go back to daycare because of the risk of infection, so I stayed home with him. We went back to the hospital on the following Thursday to get his bandages changed and see how he was healing. Unfortunately, the doctors found that part of the burn on his forearm was bad enough to need a skin graft. When the doctor gave us this news, my heart sank. It was my worst fear ever since I found out it was a possibility. I just hated the thought that my little baby would have to go through such a procedure. They admitted him to the burn center again and we were scheduled for surgery the next day.

Shortly after we were admitted again, we were visited by a volunteer who brought Lex a cute handmade dinosaur quilt to use in the hospital and take home after. Another staff member brought him some crayons and a coloring book and then later a whole bunch of toys. I was so touched by how they try to make the kids feel comfortable while they’re hospitalized. The people at Arkansas Children’s Hospital really are amazing.

After the skin graft surgery, Lex slept literally the whole day. He woke up maybe a total of 20 minutes within 8 hours. In the evening we could tell he was feeling better because he was playing and jumping around a bit. We stayed in the hospital again that night to make sure his pain was under control. I just have to say that the staff at Children’s Hospital is spectacular. The nurses are very patient-focused and have a keen understanding of what small children need when being treated. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. They all fawned over Lex and he just loved all the attention. In the future if Lex or any of the other kids have any other major medical issues, we’re going straight to Children’s.

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We were discharged on Saturday morning, and it felt good to be back at home. Lex’s siblings came over and he had a blast playing with them. It was good to see him laughing and running around without a care in the world. Lex couldn’t go back to daycare again, so I called Memaw to see if she wouldn’t mind staying with us for the week. She’s been eager to have him to herself ever since he was born so she happily agreed. So that’s where we are now. He’s happily playing at home with his Memaw and I’m back at work. We go back on Thursday to get his bandages changed see how he’s healing. He will have scars from the skin graft, but the doctor said there are procedures that can be done later to help the appearance. He’s so young that I’m optimistic it well heal well.

I want to say a huge thank you to all of our wonderful friends and family members. I am still amazed at how much love and concern was poured out to us from all directions. Our good friends at Kajun Krafts decided to donate any proceeds from selling their homemade soap to Lex’s medical bills. They’re also working on a fundraising concert to help us pay his medical bills, which will be substantial. I was so humbled that other people would want to help our baby out by donating their time and talents, and I hope that I have an opportunity to do the same in the future.

Sorry for the incredibly long post. It’s been a harrowing adventure to say the least, and we’re not quite out of the woods yet.

TL;DR Lex got seriously burned while we were cooking pancakes on Father’s Day. He suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns and had to be admitted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital for treatment. He received a skin graft last Friday and has been doing well since then. We will have more news on Thursday.

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Lazy Weekend

Posted by on Jun 11, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

The weekend before last was a nice lazy weekend. It was the first time in two weekends that we didn’t have the kids over and the hubs was presenting (woot) at a local conference, so Lex and I had the house to ourselves all day Saturday. And because I’ve been following my daily routine of cleaning as I go along and getting fully dressed every morning (even on weekends!), I actually got some stuff done. It also didn’t hurt that at daycare they have trained Lex to take a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon.

So I did a few things that I’d been procrastinating on for a while. I cleaned out the fridge (and by cleaned out, I mean CLEANED OUT–yuck!), took pictures of things I’d been wanting to blog about (i.e. bathroom counter) and used my food dehydrator for the second time ever.

I had some bananas that were getting close to the point of no return and some strawberries that I bought on sale with the express purpose of dehydrating. And–I’m so proud of myself–I actually did it! I dehydrated the fruit instead of letting it go to waste. Yay me!

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My handy dandy food dehydrator. It took 9 hours for the fruit to dry out completely, but it got Vinnie’s stamp of approval taste-wise. 

I totally meant to get a shot of the fruit once it was dried out, but other stuff happened and I got distracted. The strawberries looked and tasted like the ones that come in the Special K cereal. The bananas were not as tasty as banana chips, which are fried rather than dehydrated. Next time I’m going to do fruit leather which I anticipate will be much better. All the while I was busy in the kitchen, Lex was doing a whole bunch of this:

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Isn’t he precious when he’s sleeping!? And he slept for 3 straight hours. It was awesome.

Here’s to dried fruit, sleeping babies and hopes of many more lazy weekends to come!

 

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$6 Countertop Makeover

Posted by on Jun 5, 2012 in Feature, My Grown-up House | 1 comment

As a renter, I often look around at things in my house and long to be able to change them as I wish. I wish I could paint the rooms all kinds of different colors or cover the cabinets in chalkboard paint, but I can’t. Another thing I thought I couldn’t change was the ugly stained countertops in my bathroom.

Bathroom counter before

I guess it’s not that bad, but as you can see, it’s chipped and a little scratched and stains really easily. I thought it was something I had to live with until I found out that they make Con-tact paper that looks like granite! How freaking awesome is that!? And they carry it at my local Wal-Mart. So, the next time I went grocery shopping, I picked up a roll for less than $6.00.

I have always loved contact paper. I remember covering all sorts of things in it when I was a kid, but I was very worried that the contact paper would look really trashy on the countertop. But when I spread it out, I decided that it looks just as good as the faux granite formica countertops. So, I recruited my sticker-master husband to install it for me. And just look at what an awesome job he did!

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It really does look amazing, sooo much better than it did before.

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In this close-up, you can see the overlaps, but it’s hardly noticeable unless you’re really looking for it. The best part is that our new countertop is totally removable so when we move, we can just peel it off.

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I was also concerned with the Con-tact paper’s durability. So far, it’s held up great. I had to staple the bottom to keep it from peeling off the rough wood underneath, but we’ve been using the sink for 2 weeks now without any peeling. And if it does end up getting worn out, I still have plenty left over so we can cover it again.

I had so much left over, in fact, that I decided the countertop in Lex’s room could use a facelift, too.

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The color of it looks really great in there, too. I love that there’s finally a nicer contrast than white and off-white now.

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And I did this one all by myself! Ok, so there were a few more air bubbles, and maybe a wrinkle or two, but it still looks good.

And that’s it! New-looking countertops in two rooms for less than $6.

Now I can’t wait to get my hands on some chalkboard Con-tact paper

Update 9/20/12: It’s been over 3 months now, and the Con-tact paper is still going strong. The only issue is that someone got something on it that took the print off of the paper, leaving a white spot. I think it was acetone, so you’ll want to be careful with the type of cleaners you use. I’ve been using Clorox wipes or all-purpose spray. Other than that, it’s been great!

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Dukan Diet {Week 22}

Posted by on Jun 1, 2012 in Dukan Diet | 0 comments

I wish I had awesome news to report this week, but, alas, I succumbed to temptation. No excuses or anything; I was just tired of denying myself all those delicious foods that I love, namely fatty dairy, sugar and carbohydrates. We went out to eat last Thursday and after reading the menu over and over to find something I could eat, I finally decided to splurge and have a celebration meal. No, I’m not in the Consolidation Phase, but I decided that it wouldn’t hurt me all that bad. I had a starter, main course and dessert, and it was wonderful. I felt so satisfied afterwards. I had water to drink,  hadn’t gorged myself and eaten too much, and I tried to minimize the carbs in my main course by having a salad. It really hit the spot, and I didn’t feel guilty about it.

The next two days I compensated with Pure Protein days. And it worked– I didn’t gain any weight. Of course, I didn’t lose any either. On Sunday, I went to my Memaw’s house for dinner because my cousin was visiting from Utah. Since it was a special occasion, Memaw made her famous chicken spaghetti. Oh how I love chicken spaghetti, and I never get to eat it because Vinnie has a bad digestive memory of it. So, even though I’d had my celebration meal on Thursday, I indulged myself again and had some. Yummy! And since I was indulging, I had to have some cake for dessert, too.

Again, I compensated by adhering to a Pure Protein diet otherwise. At this point I was toying around with the idea of going on a break from my diet for a month or so since I was getting discouraged. So I started cheating a little here and there, having a meal cooked with lots of butter on Monday, eating a few bites of Vinnie’s pad thai on Tuesday. Then on Wednesdsay, we had our monthly birthday celebration here at the office, and they always have my favorite dessert–chocolate cheesecake. I’ve been pretty good at avoiding these gatherings but since my will power was somewhat lacking, I decided to have a slice–along with a slice of chocolate cake and a small root beer float. All that was a bit of an overload for me, and I got a little tummy ache. (I tend to see this as a good thing because maybe next time I’ll think twice before gorging on desserts.) Worth it? Meh, probably not. I should’ve just gotten the one slice of cheesecake since it was the most delicious thing anyway.

Yesterday I was quite proud of myself because I made it the whole day without any major cheats (just a bite of lasagna made by a coworker). Today will be a challenge because we are having our monthly gathering here at work, and they always have tasty food there. But I think after the dessert debacle on Wednesday I’ve got my second wind and am ready to keep trucking until I lose these last 15 pounds. *fingers crossed*

Starting Weight: 191 lbs

Goal Weight: 139 lbs

Current Weight: 154 lbs

 

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