Thursday, May 24, 2007


Denial. It's not just a river in Egypt. Denial is a state. It is a place I go to avoid the inevitable. It is the place I go to ignore the unthinkable. It is the place I go to evade the undesirable. AND, unfortunately, I am the Queen of some cases.

There a many things that I'm pretty blunt about. I can handle it. Just let me know what I'm facing, and I'll tackle it head-on. I'm one of those pushy moms. (And that is being nice about it.)

At my son's kinder graduation, I was right up front for the ENTIRE thing. I took about 80 pictures of my child in his mini-cap and gown. Did I need 80? No! But I'll be dadgummed if I'm going to let someone get in the way of me and a photo op.

Do you know Marie Barone? She is the nosey mom on "Everybody Loves Raymond." In one episode, she kisses Ray on the forehead and says, "This man should be in bed!" When asked if Ray had a fever she stated, "Not yet, but something's coming." I am that mom. When my 3rd son starts to get a fever, I'm on it. If the thermometer shows nothing, I keep my eye on him because I KNOW it's coming. In fact, by feel alone, I'm pretty accurate in telling the temp of my child.....accurate to about 1/2 a degree.

HOWEVER, when it comes to my child's asthma, maybe I've been a queen that has been allowed to reign too long.

Back around Thanksgiving of 2004, my 3rd son started having breathing problems. He had problems to the point of us rushing him to the emergency room because his lips began to turn blue. We found out that he had pneumonia. My baby, barely 18 months old, had to sit with a nebulizer attached to his face for a few hours. We were in Austin, but were scheduled to travel back to North Texas to come back home. We were told NOT to leave the interstate as it would be easier for us to get to a hospital or for an ambulance to get to us should he have more problems in the short 3 hours drive. It was scary, to say the least.

We took him to the pediatrician that following Monday. We were given antibiotics and nebulizer meds for a week. All cleared up, the episode was soon forgotten. We had no worries...for about 3 months. Sadly, it took EVERY MONTH for at least 6 months of everything happening all over again for me to start wondering. Denial? You betcha! Every time we went to the doctor I prayed, "Please don't say 'asthma.'"

I was told that every time I thought he was about to have trouble that I could give him the meds via the nebulizer. We soon learned that after about 2 days of treatments every 4 hours, that he would clear up, for another 3.5-4 weeks. As previously stated, after doing this at least 6 times, something finally clicked and told us to pursue bit more information.

Now, we LOVE our pediatrician, but I believe God arranged for our call to come when our doctor was out of town. We saw a different doctor in the same office. It took just a few minutes of examination, questions and reviewing the baby's chart before he said it...."This is classic asthma."

My heart dropped. I did NOT want to hear that. Asthmatics can't do anything outside. Asthmatics are allergic to EVERYTHING. Asthmatics can't play sports. They can't run. They can't play. Had I not been the reigning queen, I would have been a bit more optimistic.

I was quite upset. Suddenly, we had to put my baby on heavy oral steroids. He had to have breathing treatments everyday for an entire year. The good news is that he stopped having his monthly breathing attacks.

I slowly began to come out of my funk and start to look more into the situation.

The first thing was to make an appointment with an asthma/allergy specialist. I had read that most asthmatics have allergies. We went for testing. We were thrilled to find that my baby does not have allergies. That makes his prognosis VERY good. In fact, there is a chance he could outgrow his asthma.

My child still has to have nebulizer treatments daily. But the meds are a low-dose steroid that is strengthening his lungs. We are hoping that in about 6 months, he will no longer have to have the treatments. He runs and plays like a normal boy. We do not have to have rescue inhalers. He has not had to go to the hospital since that Thanksgiving. For that, we are so glad.

We do have to watch him. His colds involve a lot more than runny noses. His colds start with a little bit of snot and a little bit of coughing. Within hours of hearing the coughs, he starts to run a fever. His heart begins to race, he develops dark circles under his eyes and you can hear the gasps as he tries to fill his lungs to full capacity. It is a painful and frightening thing to hear. During that time, we know enough to increase his nebulizer treatments to include asthma medication.

As an advocate for my child, it is my job to step down from the throne. I need to delve into information and find out as much as I can about asthma. God forbid he ever has an attack that sends him to the hospital. I will begin to learn more...what causes it? What triggers his attacks? What can I do to help his breathing?

As I lay beside him last night, listening to his raspy breaths, I determined to do just that. I will become as much of an expert as a stay-at-home-mom of 4 can be.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Today is a big day in our home. Today, my 2nd son graduates....from kindergarten. (But is still REALLY important.)

In honor of his promotion (ha...I assume he will be promoted) to 1st grade, I thought I could tell his story. A story of his arriving into this world.

Our 2nd son was a surprise...not an accident. In fact, he was only surprising in that he arrived about the time we had planned on conceiving him. God must have grand plans for him, as I was nursing AND on the pill when we found out about our son's existence.

This was our first indication as to how fertile I was and how potent my hubby was. LOL!

I was in my last year of college and I was supposed to have my "monthly notification" that nobody would be coming to live with us in the next year. I was only a few days "concerned" when I took a test that revealed a of those Friday episodes of the soap operas type of know...."TUNE IN TOMORROW WHEN SHE SAYS, 'Honey, you're gonna be a daddy...again.' "

Anyway, I took the test in a restroom, at the college, just minutes before a math class. I immediately decided to skip the class as the pink line appeared before the final "shhhhh" of the flush. I went to my friends' house and showed her the stick. Her quote was, "OH MY GOODNESS! Now I have to give you back all of your maternity clothes." (that is not why I went, but it did take care of that)

She agreed to babysit my then 10 month old (you read right....TEN MONTHS OLD) while I broke the news to my hubby.

Hubby came to my friends' home and my buddy began playing with my TEN MONTH OLD son. I invited DH to come look at some books I had purchased at a book fair. (Now you need to know that at this time, we were PO......not poor, not even poo....we were PO! I had been given no more than $20 to spend on books.) As we looked at the books, I told DH, "There is something else I need to tell you." In his mind, he thought I had put some books on credit card...little did he know that that would have been the cheaper event. :D

I pulled out a stick. I showed it to him. The first words out of his mouth were, "Is that yours?" Funny, I know, but when you are totally blind-sided with a don't think too clearly.

I assured him that I had not just picked it up. He asked if I was sure. I pulled out the 2 others that I had taken in the 2 hour window from my finding out to his arrival.

He stood there for a minute (not to collect his thoughts, but to regain his balance as he very nearly passed out.) He then gave me a hug and said, "We're having another baby."


Telling family was interesting. We were asked by his grandfather if we knew that there was such a thing as recreational sex...that we didn't necessarily have to procreate. LOL! "THANKS, GRANDPA!"

Others were as surprised as we were...especially considering that we had waited 7 years before we even tried to have our first. But happiness abounded as we all prepared for another cute bundle of baby.

The pregnancy went well. I was induced because we wanted to be sure my hubby was home. (He just happened to be living in Puerto Rico at the time...he is a pilot, remember?)

The induction went well. Though after they broke my water, I asked for drugs.....I don't care what people say, you DO forget the pain. (I had delivered number 1 with no "good vibes" so I felt like Superwoman...thought I could do it again....whatEVER...I'm an idiot.)

Anyway, his arrival was not as smooth as my first. I didn't know, as it was happening, but I later found out that the cord was around his neck. For every push, he was pulled back. My doctor was TREMENDOUS. He never let on the gravity of the situation. He was able to work the cord so that baby was delivered and I didn't tear or need to be cut. (Very important...I assure you.)

When my sweet baby finally popped out, they did not put him on my tummy. They put him under the bright lights. My mother and my hubby immediately jumped into action. DH stayed with the baby and my mother distracted me...asked about names and how I felt. Shortly after the baby was out the staff had to call a "Code Blue" on him as he wasn't breathing like he should.

It was a very short, and extremely frightening situation to witness. Thankfully, he began to pink up very soon. He is now a cute boy of 6 that has finished kindergarten.

To my son,

I am SO glad you are my son. You are perfect and beautiful and I'm so very proud of you. You have a heart and an empathy that cannot be taught, nor can it be learned. I pray for your continued health. I know that God will use you one day. I only pray that I can be a positive part of that.


Saturday, May 05, 2007


The man across the street has gotta be bumping 60. I only assume that because his mother, my neighbor, just turned 80 not too long ago.

He lives with her.

I he happy?

He works on a pick-up truck that is often on blocks.

I wonder...does he know how to fix it?

He is a smoker. He is kicked outside when he does that. He stays out to get over his coughing fit.

I wonder...does he know he is dying?

His mother has told me that he is divorced and has children.

I his children know him?

I have never heard his voice, though I have lived across the street for almost 4 years. I never hear his voice, but I hear his music.

I wonder...does he know who I am?

He sits on the porch and plays a guitar. He is pretty good, strumming out the blues.

I he blue within himself?

His mother seems healthy. I've never witnessed her "nasty little habits" that can kill a person.

I wonder...will she bury her son?