Friday, June 29, 2018

All screwed up..... Literally!

Do you remember when you brought home your new born baby?  I have recently experienced something similar.  Although, my new baby is my 14 year old daughter. 

If you know the saying; "Bent but not broken" then you will know what I'm talking about.

If not, then let me fill you in, scoliosis is what I'm referring to.  My daughter Emilie was diagnosed with "Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis" in 2016.  Her curve was already at 33 degrees when confirmed with her orthopedic.  So, from there she was fitted with a brace that she was supposed to wear 23 hours a day!  She cried, I cried, we fought, I pleaded for her to wear that blasted brace!  "Baby, please!  It will help you.  If you don't wear it you will have to have surgery!"  Guess what??  She didn't wear it like she should have worn it. 


Fast forward to May 2018, there was no sense putting off the inevitable we needed to go see a surgeon.
First, yet another xray of my "curvy girl."  The x ray shown, isn't that great. She has 2 major curves; thoracic was measured at 78 degrees, and her lumbar was measured at 45 degrees.  Mind you, when found 2 years ago, she only had one curve.  She grew and curved very quickly.  And, wasn't wearing her brace. 



So, we met with Dr. Lovejoy with Nemours Children's hospital and after a few more tests, she was scheduled for spinal fusion.  Surgery date: June 21, 2018.  I was a nervous wreck every single day! 

Of course I needed before and after pics!  These were taken only a couple days before surgery.

The hump on the right is her ribs, her spine was also twisted



The day of surgery arrived and off we went to Orlando (only an hour from where we live) fasting as well.   I fasted too, I felt it was unfair that the family could eat but she couldn't.  I made Chris and Andrew eat in private, because we didn't have to be there until 11:30 am.  I wasn't hungry anyway, I was a ball of nerves!!

Back we went, and found out surgery time was 1:47 pm.  They gave her an IV and filled it with happy meds a few minutes before they took her back to surgery.

Before the "happy meds"

Thank god for the meds they gave her, she was actually funny, when they wheeled her out.. giggling even.  If it weren't for that, I would have cried like a baby!  But, I held it together.. for now!

The hospital had this amazing app called: EASE.  Basically a nurse would sit at the computer in surgery and keep me up to date on her surgery.  The procedure would last between 3 to 5 hours. 

First message I received
I received a few more during the almost 4 hour procedure.  This really, helped me!  I was absolutely terrified!  

About 15 minutes after the surgery and she was brought back to recovery, the surgeon came out to tell me how it went.  He said, that it went really well and he was able to straighten her as much as he could.  I'm keeping in mind, that her spine will NEVER be perfectly straight. 

They had to fuse from T3 to L3.. below is a diagram to understand better..



I'm still doing good, keeping the tears at bay, but I really want to see my baby, and finally about 30 mins later Chris and I were able to go back!  
I tell you what, nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see!  As soon, as I laid eyes on my sweet girl, I lost it.  A nurse held my hand and told me that she did amazing and she will be just fine. 

I took this picture right after my breakdown in the recovery room.  I knew Emilie would want to see.  
Soon, we were moved to a private room.  And there my friends is where the funny parts happened.. At least until the drugs they gave her during surgery wore off.  Below are a couple videos she allowed me to share! 


This first video is when my sister and my niece came in to see Emilie right after recovery.  Thankfully they came to watch Andrew, as he couldn't go into Pre-Op or recovery.



This video is of Emilie trying to send a hello video to her really worried BFF.  But, she got sidetracked and remembered she missed her boyfriend Cameron

.



This video is of her explaining why Cameron's hugs are just so good!



And the last video is her talking to her BFF on speakerphone.





The next day some one from physical therapy came in and it was time to move!  Here's where the brand new baby feeling comes in.  I was horrified that she would slip, fall or twist!  
But, she did amazing, we had to learn how to do what they call a "log roll"  I really wished we practiced this at home before surgery!





I had planned to stay with Emilie while she was in the hospital.  Chris and Andrew would drive home and make sure the dog was okay.
But, because Chris is such a wonderful dad and would do anything to make his little girl happy, the next day he brought Cameron (the boyfriend) with him!  

She looks sad, because it was time for Daddy and Cameron to leave


Nighttime was horrible for her with pain, at one point she was crying that she wished she never had the surgery.  But I knew it was just the pain talking.  I felt horrible, there was really nothing I could do but to sit by her and remind her why she had the surgery and what her life would be like after.  I would have done anything to switch places with her so she would never had to feel that kind of pain!
It was the single most terrifying process I've ever had to witness and I know there are children out there with much more terrible diseases.  I can't even begin to imagine what their parents are going through. 

Emilie wanted to know what her back looked like. 


She was admitted on Thursday and released on Sunday evening..




I was so scared to bring her home, even though I was so exhausted from being in that hospital for 3 nights.  So off we went!

As of today, June 29th we are 8 days post op!  She took her first shower today and her pain is minimizing every day!  She is down to one 5mg of percocet a day. 

I've been sleeping in her room with her. I was planning on moving out tonight, but she asked if I could stay one more night.  Well, of course I can, how often does a 14 year old girl want their mom sleeping in her room?  Almost never!  So, I will be taking advantage of this bonding time with my baby!

Finally, an after picture of her back.  I took this today 8 days after surgery!  I'm so pleased with her posture, but she isn't!  She needs to re-learn how to hold hold her back, it will take some time, but she will be straighter!  




I wanted to share her journey with anyone who may be going through this.  If you're at the early stages when your curvy girl has to wear a brace, please show her this!  Emilie did finally admit that she should have worn her brace!

Getting a t-shirt made for her:

"I conquered spinal fusion and I'm all screwed up!"



P.S.
Emilie, I want you to know that you are the bravest young lady I ever met! 


Friday, July 17, 2015

I want to be my Tupperware cupboard!!

For as long as I can remember, I've been a planner.  I'm the person who is always early to where ever it is I need to be.  I was the strong one when both of my parents died.

One trait that I have, that my mom always boasted upon is that I'm dependable and independent.
I would always smile when she would say that to me.
Up until today...

I don't know if I want to be the dependable, organized and thoughtful person anymore.

This evening, I was unloading the dishwasher and as I was putting away my silverware (I always HAVE to do that first) I noticed that I was screwing with the forks so they would all lay on top of each other nice and neat.  Every tine had to line up perfectly.

I stopped and thought to myself, why the fuck do I care?  Why do I care if they all line up?  Who the shit hole cares if every fork isn't placed so very carefully into it's designated slot?

I decided right then, I don't care if they all line up.  Nope!  I don't care.

I slammed the drawer and then opened the cupboard where I keep my Tupperware.  I smiled when I noticed that the cupboard is a disgusting, un-organized mess!

For some crazy ass reason, I like that mess.  I like that it doesn't even bother me.

I wish I could be my Tupperware cupboard, but for some fucked up reason I know that I'm really the plastic thingy we all put in our drawers to keep our silverware organized.

I know this goes much deeper than my silverware and my tupperware, but I really don't give a shit right now.

I hope you enjoyed my delusional rant!  



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Momma Don't you worry

I've been asked a few times by authors to read their work and write a review about it.  I love to help people and if my little blog here can help someone just a little bit.  I'm more than happy to help with someone else's dream.
Hopefully, when I'm finished with my book someone will help me get the word out.

I was recently asked if I could read and review a children's book.
I read to my son all the time and he's currently learning how to read himself.



The book is about a little boy who is nearly six years old and he feels he's too old to hold his mother's hand when they are out and about.

Displaying Momma_Cover(1).jpg

He learns that he's not too cool to hold mom's hand.

I also, have a little lad who will be six soon and he's been expressing to me that's he may be getting too old hold my hand.

I read the story and then I read it to my son.

In the end Andrew agreed that maybe he should still hold my hand.  Then we talked about what he should do if he got lost.

I really enjoyed the lesson of the story and the rhyming was fun.

You can find this book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for $1.29.


            


OR.....



Thanks for reading,  I hope you enjoy the book.


                                     



Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Grapefruit Technique

A friend of mine, told me about this video.  She didn't tell me what it was about, she just demanded I should watch it.
I guess she knows that I'm a little freaky and thought I might like it.
So, I Googled it and holy son of a bitch!

What the shit!!!

If you haven't heard of this technique or watched the video, please DO NOT watch this with any children or prude people around you!!!!

I don't want to give anything away, here's the video...
I will tell you that at minute 2:52 made me almost pee myself laughing.


So, what did you think?
Am I the only one who doesn't make that much noise while I'm hobbing the nob??

Wow!!!

I really think I may try this.. I wonder what Chris will think.
Although, I'm not a fan of grapefruit, I'll probably try an orange instead.

Damn, now I have to back to Walmart. Ugh!

Thanks for reading.






Monday, March 9, 2015

If he fails.. I failed!

My 5 year old son started Kindergarten this year.  (2014)

He was so excited to go!  I was so excited for him to go!!

Two weeks after school started back in August, the school decided that the kindergarten classes were way too big.

They hired a new teacher and pulled a total of I think 18 or 20 students total from 4 different classes to make a 5th class.

My son was one of the students who was chosen to be moved to a new teacher.  I wasn't exactly thrilled, but I didn't say anything about it.  I thought, he has to learn how to deal with change.  So I let him join the new class.

I met the new teacher a week or so after she started.  She was so sweet and nice and she said she had been teacher for around 7 years.  I felt confident that he could deal with the change.

Maybe 2 months, could have been less the teacher quit and had to move back to where ever she came from. I wasn't happy that he was now going to have a 3rd teacher already.  But, what could I do?  The teacher had personal issues she had to deal with.

So, in the mean time his class was now being taught by a substitute teacher.  Luckily it was the same sub everyday.

The sub worked in the class for about a month or so before they finally hired another teacher.

Okay, are you keeping count here?  This will be teacher number 4 all before Christmas!!!

Andrew seemed to be adjusting well.  He loved his again new teacher.
I even loved the teacher.  She is the only teacher in all of the kindergarten classes at that school who assigns homework.  I'm a huge believer in homework.  She even gave every student a three ring binder and split it up into sections.  Behavior, reading log, homework and a communication sheet for her and the parent to stay in contact.
She is organized!! I love organization.

It's now March and I had a parent teacher conference with teacher number 2 about two weeks ago.

I sat down and was asked to sign a paper informing me that Andrew may be held back to repeat kindergarten.

I was freaking flabbergasted!!!
Huh?
What?
Why is the first I'm hearing this shit?!?

After she explained to me what is expected of every kindergartner to know before moving to the first grade.
I calmly explained to her, that I'm NOT happy that this is the first time I'm being told this!  Why didn't you send home a note on your "communication log" that Andrew was falling behind?

Also, that you're are his 4th teacher this year!
Don't you think that would cause some issues with these kids?
She agreed.  Well of course she did!
Then she proceeded to praise Andrew with this behavior!
What the hell ever!  Good behavior gets you out of jail early, but it won't move a kid to the first grade!!!

So, down to the nitty gritty.

He needs to know
  1. 55 sight words.
  2. How to count to 100 by ones, fives and tens.
  3. Various shapes (cones, hexagons, speheres) that I'm not even sure that I know.
  4.  How to read on level 2.  I have no freaking clue what that means and when I asked her she said she would send something home with Andrew explaining that. (never got it)
  5. How to write his numbers to at least 20.
  6. The sound of each letter
  7. Difference between upper case and lower case.  (She said he didn't know)
This is what he does know:

  •  27 sight words (she said he needs to be at 41 right now)
  • He does know how to write to 20 because I taught him!!!!
  • I quizzed him 2 different ways on his upper case and lower case and he only missed 2 letters.  

I have been working with Andrew every single day on the 55 sight words he needs to know.  He's getting better, but not as fast I would like him too.  But, I'm still working hard with him.

I realized tonight when I was listening to him sound out words that he really isn't hearing what he's saying. 
It's like when he sounds out the word by the time he gets to the last letter he forgets the first. 

Here's an example:

Hat

Andrew:
H - A - D
He says it over and over and then he blurts out "HARD"  Then he got the damn hiccups from almost hyperventilating sounding out H so many times. 

I Googled.. "How to teach a child how to sound out words."
I found something interesting, come to find out that he is sounding out words using the "choppy" method.
I read that some kids find it very difficult to figure out what word they are trying to sound out.
The site and multiple other sites suggested the child try sounding out the word by using the "blending" method.

I realized that when I was working with him, when I would sound it out I was doing the blending method.  

What the hell does all this mean?  Does it mean I have to start all over again?  I have to teach him how to blend?  I'm not even sure how to teach that?  

I emailed his teacher after I read a few of those sites and I asked her about it.  Hopefully, I will hear back from her tomorrow.


I really don't want him to fail kindergarten, but I don't want him to be behind in the first grade either.  He is one of the youngest in his class.  His birthday is in July.  

Until, the final report card comes out, I'm not giving up on him!  We will be working toward the goal everyday!!



Below is a video of Andrew trying to sound out "WORD." 
He had the hiccups from sounding out "HAD"


I know there are many home school mom's and teachers out there.

Can anyone please help me??   Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks for reading,

Ellen