My family is perfectly imperfect and not a day goes by without humour, tears or tantrums. Blogging is the modern version of keeping a diary so feel free to read along while I share the good the bad and the ugly aspects of being me!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Thirty Three Thoughts

With my birthday two days away I thought that I would pass along some of the insights and words of wisdom that I have learned in my (almost) 33 years on this earth.
Here goes...

1. Silly string is fun no matter how old you are but be sure to get it out of your hair as quickly as you can, its a real bitch to pick out once it dries.

2. Always tip well, especially if its a place you think you'll visit frequently. Nobody wants to be the regular that tips like shit.

3. Maintain your eyebrows, its hard to keep eye contact if there are distracting brows stealing the focus.

4. Don't be the weirdo that checks themselves out in the gym mirror..... seriously don't, its creepy.

5. Smile at strangers, pay a compliment. Your nice words could be the nicest thing they have heard in a long time. Take a minute and think about that..... for the rest of their lives the memory of you will make a stranger smile.

6. Practice random acts of kindness daily, small or big, every act is appreciated

7. No matter how much you appreciate your own grass, sometimes the grass just looks greener in someone else's yard. Its normal and ok but before you get to caught up in trying to make your lawn look like theirs think for a moment about how much shit they may use for fertiliser. 

8. Food trucks often have the yummiest items.

9. They say that marriage is 50/50 but it's a lie, marriage is 100/100 and only putting in 50% of the effort just isn't enough.

10. Tattoos are indeed addictive

11. Family doesn't have to be blood, it doesn't have to look like everyone else's. Families can fight and be angry with each other, what differentiates family from friends is that family gets over it.

12. Whenever waitstaff asks if you want cheese or bacon say yes..... why the hell not?!

13. Jealousy is like salt, a little bit can enhance the food but too much ruins the whole thing.

14. Not everyone is going to like you and that's ok. Don't try to impress them or persuade them.

15. Insecurity is an ugly trait. There is nothing that makes a person more appealing than confidence (but don't become a douche)

16. You can look great at any size if you dress for your body shape.

17. Not everyone will agree with your life choices, the people that matter will support you regardless.

18. Its normal to have quirks, kinks and things about yourself that are "weird" - that's what makes people interesting.

19. Don't be passive aggressive its just annoying. If you have something to say just say it.

20. Do your best. Your only competition is you.

21. If you don't like something change it, yep its that simple because what you allow is what will continue.

22. There is a freedom in being silly (I'm still working on this one)

23. Dancing when nobody is watching is a must, that's when the best moves are practiced

24. Everybody sings in the car.... everybody

25. Don't talk on your cell phone while waiting in line, its rude and nobody wants to hear your conversation

26. Don't be transparent, keep little pieces of yourself secret and be selective about who gets to see them.

27. Every now and then be brave, do something totally outside of your comfort zone. You may hate it but the experience will give you a rush

28. The scale is the devil, the body can look very different while weighing the same thing depending on body composition.

29. Its ok to throw yourself a pity party every now and again but don't linger there. Don't be the person who brings everyone else down. Besides, there are people in life who's problems are way worse than yours. One last tip on pity party attitudes... the FML status on social media creates an immediate eye roll for all those who read it.

30. Have special sayings with those you love, code words and inside jokes..... that's how you secure your relationship with your people.

31. Getting into a neat and tidy bed at the end of the day can sometimes feel like the most relaxing thing on the planet.

32. Failure is part of life, it sucks in the moment but it can serve as a life lesson.

33. Caffeine and orgasms are the best treatment for headaches.

There you have it, 33 of my most useful facts. Take them or leave them or better yet comment and share your insights.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cringle McJingle the elf on the shelf

I think that by now most people with children are familiar with the elf on the shelf which is quickly becoming a popular Christmas tradition, if you aren't familiar with this trend let me take a minute to give you a quick education.
The elf on the shelf is from the north pole and he is sent from Santa himself to help manage the nice & naughty list. When your elf arrives you must give him a name, its then that he receives his magic. As still as a statue he watches all day then once the kiddos are asleep he flies back to Santa's workshop to give the Big Guy a run down of the behaviours of the day. When the kids awake in the morning the elf has returned and is ready to watch them again. Each day he is in a different place often times doing an activity. He must NEVER be touched, his would be tragic, his magic will be lost and he will then return to the north pole forever.

This is our first year with an elf on the shelf, Cringle McJingle won the name debate (Sugar Cookiebottom was a close contender).
I gave much thought to whether to start this tradition, its a lot of work. I now must outlast the kids at bedtime and very stealth like move this elf around the house being ever so careful not to get caught, it also requires being creative and tapping into my silly side (which I tend to keep buried deep).
Its fun and its made getting up and ready for school go smoother because the kids cant go looking for Mr. McJingle until they are ready.
While the holidays are a fantastic time for most children, for the adults it can be a time of stress, frustration and sadness. Money gets tight, distance from family and friends is felt and the stress tends to lead to bickering and arguments with the ones we hold close. While Christmas is magical it can also be an emotionally draining season. I will gladly take every available opportunity to keep the month lighthearted, to be able to see my kids smile and laugh each morning and know that I secretly caused it, to see my husband watch my nightly missions and just shake his head at my unusually juvenile attitude... its worth it, its totally worth it. 

To learn more about the Elf On The Shelf click HERE

Monday, 17 November 2014

Well Hello There

Its been quite a while since I last blogged, months actually.
Its now a new season, I woke to the world being snow covered and sparkly and my life is good. I kept my promise to myself that I would keep the "new" me around and while my every morning may not be filled with inner peace and happiness it is filled with lots and lots of coffee perfectly brewed and handed to me by my loving husband.
Why is he home every morning you ask? well because part of me being happy is him being happy and that meant transferring to a new position at work. This position came with more difficult hours when raising a family and less money but it provided less anxiety and stress so the trade off seemed worth it. Now I have my own personal tattooed barista so I'm not complaining. 
We have also welcomed a seven year old boy into our family, whether his stay will be temporary or permanent only time will tell. What this means is that I now spend my days raising five young men - explains my love of coffee right?!
I make an effort to eat decently, exercise frequently and sleep whenever possible, I figured at the very least I owe myself that much. I needed a foundation to build from and the heart and mind wont be happy if the body is falling apart.
Well that's all for now but I promise that I wont be scarce - chat soon.

Stay Caffeinated; 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Not Your Typical Morning

I've been struggling with this post, whether to write it or not.... whether its over sharing or whether it may be helpful if someone is in a similar boat. I didn't have the words, I still don't know if I do but my therapist encourages writing as method of purging our thoughts and feelings so we have room for new ones (blah blah blah)
Realistically the last few posts have been about the inner workings of my lady parts so I guess in comparison this isn't really all that private.
Life can be messy and complicated and stressful and everyone has their own ways of coping. Most people find a way to deal with situations when they arise and when they are over life is back to normal but what happens when those stressful situations are the normal?
Welcome to my world, My coping method has always been to just pull up my big girl panties and carry on,  Do whats expected, meet and exceed everything, prove everyone wrong.... just do it, Don't ruffle feathers unless its absolutely required, keep your drama to yourself and don't burden others with your pesky expectations or emotions.
Parents ugly divorce, living low income, teenage pregnancy, raising a son while still raising myself, miscarriage, postpartum depression, infertility, marital strife, adoptions, cancer, autism, children with medical needs, death and than the day to day stresses that just come with life - I just coasted. I put one foot in front of the other and those situations became my world and I expected that to always be my method.
Then one morning a few weeks ago something happened, I woke up and realized that while things were the same they were different. That when life goes from constant chaos to semi calm its surreal and it comes with time to reflect. I was able to see that there are aspects of myself and my life that I simply don't like, I haven't liked them for a long time but I've never wanted to rock the boat and so I just sailed along despite my thoughts and feelings. That morning was different, I was different, somehow changed over night and determined not to go back to my old way of being in the world.
I said what needed to be said to people and I made my expectations clear, I wasn't happy with my body or my health and so I committed to change. I realized that I was burdening my children by coddling them and so I delivered responsibilities and consequences. That morning it was clear to me that the world I'd created for myself wasn't even one that I liked and what was worse was I really didn't (and still don't) know what my ideal world even looks like. What I do know is that I will never get to it if I continue to be the way that I was. Change is hard, while I am excited about the possibilities of my future I can see that those around me are uncomfortable. I can see that they would rather things go back to "normal" and while I love them, I just cant let that happen. Eventually with time the new me will be "normal" and they will adjust and maybe just maybe there wont be any more eye opening and life altering mornings, there will only be mornings filled with inner peace, happiness and coffee.... lots and lots of coffee. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

CBC News - The IVF vs BMI Debate

Today I got to participate in a radio interview about my thoughts on whether IVF should be denied to women based on their BMI.
I was nervous but I think that its a topic that needs some discussion and if I can be a part of that chat than I am going to put myself out there no matter the nerves that I may have felt and the opinions of others that I would hear and read that differed from my own.
IVF has been something that has consumed my entire adult life and so its a topic that has my attention and passion.
Infertility comes with its own weight challenges, medication causes weight gain, its hard to be motivated when you are sad and feeling like a failure and it just may be that you have a condition that causes some extra weight (such as PCOS). Regardless of the reason I think that weight is only a small portion of the whole conversation that needs to be had, the discussion needs to be about so much more.... Do you smoke, drink, make good lifestyle choices, how are your hormones and blood pressure and mental health, are you diabetic or do you have some other disease/disorder/ailment that would be problematic to pregnancy and parenting?  Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is always a good idea but denying the right to try and become a mother until an outdated math equation creates a "healthy" number despite all other aspects being favourable is not what I would consider putting the patient first.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Hope and Reality

Yesterday I was feeling pretty low, the feeling that your body is inexplicably broken is not a fun one.
This cycle I did everything right, I was healthier then I'd previously been, my hormones were all good, my lining was stellar, I had done some autoimmune treatments and my embryos were good quality. There is NO reason for them to implant yet by all accounts they hadn't.
I was feeling bitter and angry but checking the mail changed that. A few years ago my cousin was wanting to start her family and it didn't come as easy as it should. Understanding the initial hope and despair that comes with that new aspect of her life I wanted to do something. I sent her a crystal baby pacifier for good luck and thankfully she was able to go on and quickly have two beautiful girls.
I got that pacifier back yesterday along with a note saying that I should hold on to it for a while and hopefully it will bring me luck too.
The tears started and all my previous stoic ability was lost. It was then that I heard from a nurse friend, she asked me if I'd ever used an hpt with whole blood instead of urine.
I thought she was crazy but decided what the hell I'd give it a shot.
Once home I googled and apparently this is now commonly done in emergency rooms and medical studies support the claims that its accurate.... ok good to know.
Image my surprise when I poke my finger and get a positive result. Got to be a fluke..... two more tests both positive. I went to bed last night slightly hopeful but this mornings still negative urine test made me skeptical again. Whether this blood on hpt method works or not I don't know but I do that for the moment it raised my spirits with its possibility.
Unfortunately my blood work was negative.... beta hcg of 0.5
So now I start over, I start saving money again and I start collecting my optimism for the next round.
Whenever that may be. 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

9dp3dt - FRER Results

Pregnancy tests are a complicated thing, who would have guessed that a piece of plastic that you pee on could be so stressful.
Pregnancy tests measure a hormone called HCG and different tests measure different levels of that hormone.
With Maxwell I used cheap internet tests that pick up levels of 25. I got an almost invisible line at 8dpt, then at 9dpt it was super light but there then at 10dpt I got my blood work done to confirm the test and the level was 124 if memory serves me correctly.
This cycle am using a type of test called First Response Early Result (or FRER in the infertility world). This test is one of the most sensitive brands and has been known to detect the hormone at 6mlu or less.
Today I am 9 days past transfer and my test was negative, while I suppose there is the "late implanter" theory I am fairly certain that it just didn't work (again).
I wish I was surprised but I'm truthfully not. I tried very hard to be hopeful do the whole positive thinking thing but it wasn't helpful apparently.
Its not over until my beta test (blood work) on Tuesday but I wont hold my breath for a different outcome.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Lets Limbo!

Today I am 6dp3dt which is the equivalent of 9 days past ovulation and if we want to go by statistics then today is the most common date of implantation.
I don't know if that is true or not but I am certainly not feeling so hot today. I have cramps and a backache and in truth it feels like PMS. I cant really give too much thought to the symptoms though because the medication mimics both PMS and pregnancy.
Now is the time when I can realistically start testing although I may not see a positive result for days (if at all).
For me emotionally this is the time when I start to get a little emotionally out of sorts. One second I am hopeful and then next I am convinced that its a bust, one moment I am gushing over baby clothes in the store and the next I am thinking about how to quickly save money for the next cycle.
Google becomes a best friend and enemy at the same time and if someone checked the computer history then they would find lots of searches for implantation, hpt sensitivity and many more mind numbing yet time killing topics. 
Only five more days to go until the blood test.... once way or another this part of the limbo will be done then.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

PUPO - 2dp3dt

We did it. On Friday morning Dom and I went to the fertility clinic before dawn and transferred 3 embryos.
Two were good quality and one was so-so but the lab tech clarified that if it was good enough to freeze then it is good enough to have a reasonable expectation for it to continue to grow and develop.
I am now what those in the infertility world know as PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise), today I am 2dt3dt (2 days past a 3 day transfer).
Now that I have added an anticoagulant to my daily medication I am beginning to get the oh the lovely bruises, they are war wounds I guess but they make me sore and not so appealing to look at.
I typically start testing at home on day seven but this time around I think I want to see how long I can hold out. While its possible to get a positive test at seven days its not likely until around day 10+
So even if this cycle works I may see a few negative tests before I see a positive one and those stark white pee sticks can be really hard on the spirit and they make positive thinking pretty tricky.
I am hopeful, I am thinking about what I will do if it works, I am trying to be more optimistic then my usual realistic thinking self. I have a feeling that the two weeks will fly by because all I want to do is sleep, between the progesterone and the Benedryl I am exhausted and am taking full advantage of the ability to nap.
The bloating has kicked in and so my wardrobe is now yoga pants, dresses and skirts, who doesn't love comfortable attire though???

Fingers crossed for the next two weeks!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Let's Get This Party Started

The time has come, I called in my "Day 1" and went in for my appointment.
Bloodwork and ultrasound showed that I have an ovarian cyst (big surprise!) and my hormones are a little elevated so I have to hold off on starting the estrogen medication for the moment.
I counted out all my syringes to make sure that I had enough to cover two weeks and I got the prescriptions to fill. Next check up is in four days. If the cycle is successful then I will need to stay on the shots until the second trimester which is the 13th week. The blood thinner isn't a painful needle, its small and gets injected into the fatty spots on the stomach; the progesterone is another story, its a big intermuscular shot that I give myself in the thigh. After a few days it feels like I've been running for miles and I get these cramps from the muscles spasming. I need to apply heat and massage the spots so that I don't get tiny lumps from the medication pooling in the muscle. Its rather unpleasant but those shots help support a pregnancy so they are extremely important. 
Today I also donated my unused (and unneeded) stimulation medication to the clinic, it will be given for free to a woman who needs it. There's no sense in me holding on to it and letting it expire. That's a lot of money to just go to waste. Hopefully it will help a woman become a mom.
Now my project for the next few days is to cut back on the caffeine and increase my water intake, I really dislike good ol' h2o so its a bit of a struggle but I know that water is the best thing to help the body function properly so its a small price to pay for good health.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Embracing The Journey

Its no secret that I've always wanted a big family and I have come to accept that there are two options in life, accept what you are given or work your ass off for what you want. I have always been the type to do the latter. I love the movie Cheaper By The Dozen, there is a scene where they are having breakfast before school and its total chaos, there is food throwing and a loose frog and big giant mess but every time I see that part of the movie I smile. I want that.
Cheaper By The Dozen - Breakfast Scene
I could have let losing the baby ruin it, I could have allowed my life to be quiet, to make a different plan for the future and move on but screw that.... that's just not the type of girl that I am.
I worked hard to create my family and I make no apologies for it, I know that its not for everyone, that it looks a little crazy and difficult and I am ok with that. I don't judge those who only want a small family or those who decide to accept the cards they have been dealt and change their original path so if others judge me then that's their problem not mine. My happiness just looks differently then theirs.
I debated about whether to cycle privately, to keep it a secret and just pop up 3 months pregnant never speaking of the multiple appointments or daily injections or worries that come with assisted reproduction. I didn't want to hear the judgement or comments that I have heard in the past. Something changed my mind, I saw a quote on Pinterest that said The Journey Is Just As Important As The Destination. Its true, I cant just have a white girl wasted night and surprisingly miss a period two weeks later. It takes months of preparation and planning and artificial hormones and I don't feel like lying about the mood swings that accompany them. There's also a second part..... My failures are a part of me, they have molded me into the person and parent that I am. They have made me more compassionate in some areas and more bitter in others. They have taught me appreciation and they have removed my patience for bull shit. Keeping my failures a secret minimizes them. If by some miracle I get pregnant I know just as every infertile knows it can end in the blink of an eye, I want to be happy in every minute that I have it and I don't want to do that secretly.
It took me 3 IVF cycles and 11 frozen cycles to conceive Maxwell and I knew the moment he was born that we would try again. Over the past four years we have done another fresh cycle and two frozen transfers but they all failed. I was diagnosed as a recurrent loss patient and underwent a battery of tests and surgeries/procedures to try and help. We are now thinking outside the box where medication and preparation are concerned and we are taking the approach of "if it won't hurt lets try it"
There have been multiple set backs because of Maxwell's health but we are now in a good place and are ready to move forward. Medical consents have been signed and I spent international women's day getting a uterine biopsy to try and aid in implantation after the embryo transfer.
Now we wait, in about a week I will head back to the clinic and start the frozen embryo transfer cycle.
I know the odds are against me, I am not naive to the likely outcome but despite that I still have some hope, sometimes miracles happen....

Friday, 28 February 2014

Two Week Check Up

Maxwell has been given the all clear from cardiology and not only do we not have to see them for NINE months but Max got to return to school today - less than three weeks after surgery!
Physically he is doing fantastic, there are no leaks in the patch and no fluid build up around his heart and he has gained two pounds in two weeks which is a massive change from the year that it took to gain three pounds in preparation for surgery. Emotionally he is having a bit of trouble, he is clingy and quick to cry about things. He is a bit nervous about being away from Mommy and we (along with the Dr's) were concerned about how much worse this would get if he were home for the full 12 weeks (followed by summer break) so with a few precautions in place back to JK he went.
Max was very happy to go back to class today and he was so excited to see his friends. He is certainly tired after a full day away but its nice to be back to normal.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Grateful Hearts

 Today during the after school craziness a knock at the door brought some excitement. Maxwell's teacher dropped by with an amazing amount of gifts from his classmates.
Valentine's Day cards and treats in a mailbox created for him even though he wasn't there to celebrate, books and paint, craft supplies, a Walmart gift card (which he plans to use to buy MORE Toy Story Woody things because the thousand that he already has simply isn't enough) as well as balloons and lots and lots of get well & we miss you messages from his friends. The feeling is mutual, he certainly misses his friends in return!!!
Dominique and I try to raise our boys with some simple notions.... that karma is real and what goes around does indeed come back around, that people may forget what you said or did but they will never forget how you made them feel and that you should always be a little kinder then necessary simply because happiness makes life more enjoyable.  Moments like today reinforce that even though sometimes the circumstances aren't ideal there is always something wonderful happening around us. While Maxwell was going through the scariest few days of his short little life his friends (with the help of their generous parents) were working together to create something that would bring him happiness, aid with his boredom and reassure him that he is not being forgotten and that his friends miss him.
Max sat on his bed and went though everything that Mrs. R brought for him, he flipped pages and looked at pictures and emphatically corrected me when I suggested that he use the gift card to buy some new jogging pants (since he has now discovered that they are uber comfy). When he was finished looking at all the things his classmates gathered for him he said "I think I'm lucky"
- I couldn't agree more.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for going above and beyond, for doing something that wasn't expected but was so very much appreciated. The sense of comradery in the classroom this year is amazing and that couldn't be accomplished without special teachers and parents. 
We feel very lucky to be a part of such a great community!  

Friday, 14 February 2014

He's Baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!

Today is four days post surgery and Maxwell is recovering so well, I am honestly quite shocked.
He went for his follow up today and things are looking great, their only recommendation is that we encourage him to breath deeper because he seems to favor shallow breaths at the moment which don't allow the lungs to fully expand. Not expanding the lungs enough could cause an infection or pneumonia and that's something that we obviously want to avoid. We will go back for check ups bi weekly for the next little while to watch for something called Pericarditis (fluid around the heart) - this is a common concern for anyone who's had a cardiac procedure but autoimmune disorders also increase the risk so because of Maxwell's arthritis they are just being a bit more cautious.
Today Maxwell is very much like his regular self. He has needed reminders about not running in the house, he has climbed up on the toilet to reach the sink so that he could wash some hot wheels which I am fairly certain had poop on them (I didn't ask.... I didn't really want to know the answer) and at one point he was even jumping on the bed.
This boy is always full of surprises!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


 Seven hours post surgery

 Walking hurts but needs to be done

 Home and snuggled up on the couch less than 48 hours after surgery.

After what seemed like a long preparation Maxwell finally had his heart surgery on Monday.
We arrived at Sick Kids Hospital by 6am and Max quickly had an antibacterial bath and got into his pj's. After a short play in the playroom he was given a fast acting sedative flavored like chocolate. Within minutes he became "chocolate wasted" - I have never seen him behave like that before, he was like a drunk old man... I have to admit that I found it rather hilarious. Once he was so relaxed that he couldn't even hold his own head up he was given to the nurse and taken to the OR.
Dom didn't handle it so well and broke down in the hallway, he was surprised by his reaction but I wasn't. While Maxwell has been sedated many times this is the first time that the surgery seemed so serious. This wasn't tubes in his ears or a colonoscopy this was cutting open his chest and stopping his heart while they repaired it.
After grabbing a bite to eat we headed to the waiting room where I got good use out of my netflix membership. Four hours later we were able to go see him, this was the part that worried me. I had been told to expect lots of tubes and wires and likely for him to still be on a breathing machine so I was incredibly relieved to see him sleeping soundly with only an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose instead of being intubated.
Later that night we were moved to the CCU step-down room and Max continued to sleep. I was provided with the room next door and instructed to take a nap. The nurse told me that if he wakes up they will come get me. I grabbed two hours shut eye and then went back to his bedside a little before 1am, imagine my reaction when I saw him wide awake watching Treehouse on TV.
I guess I made some type of face because the nurse quickly said "hes been awake for a while, we debated about waking you but thought you needed some sleep so we just gave him some juice and turned on the TV"
Decision made, there would be no more sleeping that night, besides as I've said before sleep is for the weak.
The rest of the night was rough, there was lots of crying to be picked up and snuggled and then bargaining for me to climb into bed with him. Neither was an option but Maxwell is cleaver as a fox.
All his crying made him throw up EVERYWHERE and I ended up having to hold him while all the bedding was changed. He cried so much, shaking from the pain and setting off the alarm on his monitor.... same thing happened when he threw up the second time, after that some meds were given to keep the vomiting under control. He seemed comforted with me laying my head beside his while I sat in the chair next to the bed and we both were able to sleep for a while (although when I woke the kink in my neck and arm told me to never do that again). In the morning we were given the "goals" - sitting upright within 24 hours and taking some steps by the two day mark, we should be discharged by around day 5.
Max is clearly a go getter and he must have gotten my "suck it up buttercup" attitude because before the 24 hour mark he was walking to the toy room. He cried the entire way but he did it, the applause from the nursing desk gave his spirit a boost and he was motivated to do more walking. Because of his efforts he only required a couple doses of the diuretics and his lungs sounded clear quite quickly.
Less then 48 hours after surgery Maxwell is now home and resting! He wont be able to return to school for 12 weeks but if there are special things going on where there is minimal risk of him getting bumped or "stretching in an unsymmetrical way" we can make an appearance. This made Maxwell quite happy as he will not have to miss Baby V coming to the classroom for the Roots of Empathy Program (major concern for a four year old who loves babies).
Recovery wont be easy, he is far from happy at the moment but I am so glad that its over and (knock on wood) so far has been uneventful. 

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Pre-Op & Preparation

 Doctor Maxwell is on call today

 Maxwell is now collecting his own bravery beads!

This weekend is insane for me but I needed to take a minute to come here and write, to put everything into text because I know that weeks and months from now this will all just be a blur.
Earlier in the week we got the call from Sick Kids and Maxwell's surgery is scheduled for this coming Monday (in about 48 hours from now).
On Thursday we went for the pre-op appointment and cardiac teaching, the day was so long but we have a great patient coordinator who made the day flow smoothly. We met with the Physiotherapist, child life specialist, anesthesiologist, nurse, clinic coordinator, blood work team, hemoglobin specialist, surgeon, dentist and a resident.
They were all very straight forward with the risks involved and didn't sugar coat what we should expect to see.  
I didn't really learn any new information since I have been info hunting for months but it was nice to get the details about sleeping arrangements (for me) and the CCU procedures etc. We chatted about needing to supplement food from home since his diet may be hard to oversee but the nutrition staff are top in their fields. 
There will be bubble blowing done hourly in recovery and I need to get friendly with the "Three Little Pigs" story so that Max can help the big bad wolf blow the houses down. The Village Peoples "YMCA" will be acted out as well because raising his arms above his head will help re-inflate his lungs. Maxwell's trip to the dentist showed some beautiful cavity free teeth but his blood work showed that his anemia has returned so we are now in the process of trying to get high doses of iron into him before the surgery as low iron can be problematic. His little body is not tolerating the iron very well and last night consisted of five warm bubble baths, some Advil, lots of tears and a mom with vomit in her hair. Thankfully today is a much better day and we are going to try and give him the medication slowly through out the day instead of in two big doses. 
My goal for the rest of the weekend is to plan for being away next week, laundry washed and clothes laid out, groceries done, rooms cleaned, suitcase packed and lists made for how I typically run the house. My Aunt B is sending down some toss in the slow cooker meals that Dom will just have to put in before he leaves the house in the mornings. I'm sure that the next week will be exhausting and overwhelming but I am also sure that everything will work out fine.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Becoming A Skilled Sailor

On Tuesday Maxwell had a catheterization procedure to try and close the atrial septal defect in his heart. We arrived at Sick Kids Hospital before 7am and got checked in, our nurses were fantastic, we couldn't have asked for better.
I went into the OR with Maxwell until he was sedated and then I went to wait with my family. The room had been booked for 2 hours so when we saw the doctor come out after only one hour we were surprised. Once inside Maxwell's heart they realized that the hole was much larger then they expected... "gargantuan" was the term used and there was no way that it could be repaired without opening his chest. Maxwell also had some bleeding problems at the incision sites which caused them to have to give him extra sedation while they got it under control. The pressure that they had to apply has also caused some dandy bruising.... good thing Maxwell likes the smurfs because he looks like one from the waist down (where they accessed his arteries) .
I will be talking with the booking clerk on Tuesday after their surgical planning meeting and a date for the next surgery will be scheduled, they want it done soon given the new size findings so there shouldnt be much of a wait.
Originally Max was only supposed to be home recovering for 5 days however he will now be home much longer to avoid germ exposure as even a slight cold would delay his surgery. He will then be home 8-12 weeks post surgery. His teachers are fantastic and are sending home work and well wishes. Maxwell certainly has a lot of supporters cheering him on, he's a pretty lucky guy.   

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Stress Be Gone For 2014

Its the start of a new year and while I am not a big believer of resolutions I am going to make a strong effort to take better care of myself.
Last year I started taking better care of my body and I have discovered that taking better care of my mind and heart is just as important.
I often have a lot of needless stress, I overwhelm myself with things that I cannot change, that are out of my control. Too often I have given myself migraines, kidney stone attacks and cold sore outbreaks from worry.
A money mix up that results in a NSF charge causes my blood pressure to rise and and my whole body to tense up. I can literially become sick from something that isnt the end of the world. I have dealt with MUCH worse over the last few years so its insane that I allow myself to become so over whelmed and although I hate to admit it I often take out my stress on my husband. I can be snotty and short with him and while I don't think I ever try to be mean it wouldn't shock me if I was. While he has his own areas that need improvement, he doesn't need to be my venting system.
This Christmas we got a great surprise, my aunt B came to celebrate with us, sadly on the way here she was involved in an accident and totaled the SUV that shes had for only two months. She got some bruises but over all walked away unharmed..... unlike the accident in 2011 from which shes still not fully reovered from.
Naturally a bit hessitent about making an 8 hour drive it was decided that my mom and I would drive her back home. I've been saying for a very long time that I wanted to go home so I guess somebody got sick of hearing me talk and decided to make it happen.
Northern weather can be unpredictible and we ended up getting stuck an extra day. I normally would panic but there realistically was nothing I could do about it, try as I may I cant control the weather. I sat in my car and made arrangements for the boys since Dom had to return to work and then decided to let the stress go. There were moments that I found myself anxious about the weather especially when hearing that the only hwy in and out of town was closed due to accidents and road conditions (and remained that way for 12 hours) but I talked myself out of the worry and decided to focus on the unintentional awesomeness of the trip. I had an afternoon couch nap that I rarely do, I got outside in the bitter cold with my camera to take some pictures of a place that holds my heart and I got to sit with family around the table and have a fantastic meal. None of it was planned but all of it was great.
That night I laid in bed stressing about the next day, at 11pm the hwy was still closed. That night I had the most vivid dream about my grandpa and woke up feeling as though he had really been there. It renewed my intent to remain calm regardless of my surroundings which was good because the stress kept coming.
While the roads were better then the previous day they still were not good and what should have taken 1.5 hours to North Bay actually took 2.5 hours. My speed remained around 50km and I fishtailed frequently - I used muscles I didnt even know that I had to keep the car safely on the road. I knew that I just had to make it to North Bay and then we would be safe. After that I made up the time and got home without a hiccup only to discover that there had been a financial paperwork mix up and the ACSD payment for the boys hadnt been deposited in my account... awesome sauce *sigh* Who really needs money anyway right???
Typically I would freak out but I avoided it, I did wake up with a cold sore and some aching muscles from tensing up but I cant completely be over my stressful ways. Thankfully life gives me ample practice LOL