Friday, July 16, 2010

Christy's blog

Christy is writing great blog material! Follow hers too!!!


I have a co-worker (that would be Kevin Rentel) who swears Facebook is the work of the devil. Being Catholic, I'm sure he has more knowledge of the Devil and his works than this life-long Methodist, so I've got to listen to his reasoning :)

Kevin thinks nothing good comes of using FB, and after he's had to rid my computers of the viruses encountered through my FB usage, I will contend that he could be correct.


(you had to know that was coming Kev...)

I have 372 FB friends. I used FB to communicate each day's progress while Jake was hospitalized in Springfield. Some of the people who followed it...

my other son
my family, including some family I only see once a year these days
my friends in El Do
my friends from elem/high school/college days
my co-workers/friends
my former students, some of whom I had not heard from in a long time

...and all these people followed the posts and sent well-wishes and most importantly, offered prayers in Jake's behalf.

They also conveyed prayer requests at their churches in El Do and Nevada and I know the power of all these combined prayers helped heal that horrible infection. We are so grateful.

A dear friend of mine also used FB to challenge all of HER FB friends to make their daily post a get-well message to Jake. I read over 40 posts to Jake that night from people of all ages. It certainly brightened Jake's night to hear what people were wishing for him!

So... Kevin might be right that FB is the work of the devil and where the viruses are concerned, I might agree. But I also think that God is at work on FB, providing a way for people to convey needs and having those needs spiral through our community :)

(just think of what FB did for Makenzie's Google Doodle!!! :) )

Here's to careful FB usage :)

Greetings From The Funny Farm

I rode a school bus for nine years and seven of those years, I was driven by a fantastic guy by the name of Mike Clark. Since I was one of the last kids to be let off the bus each afternoon, I got to know Mike well as we would move to the front and visit with him after the large group of kids got off in Harwood.

Our bus was outfitted in a stereo and speakers in the front, middle and back of the bus. I rode a lot of miles listening to WHB out of Kansas City. All of the kids knew each other well, but sometimes fights would begin and Mike would dole out his punishments to the offenders.

One year, I gave Mike a Garfield poster for Christmas. It was Garfield and Odie in a padded room with the phrase "Welcome to the Funny Farm" written on the bottom. Mike put that poster up in the front of the bus and it was still hanging there the last day he took me home on the bus before I transferred to Nevada for high school.

I've been thinking about that poster. I think I'm going to be placed in my own funny farm before school starts. With Jake feeling better, he's able to talk, talk, talk and complain about not being able to do everything he wishes to do... like play with his construction vehicles in his compost pile. My sanity might be iffy as it is and I'm not sure I'll survive until he's fully recovered. :O


From the hospital, we arrived home with a PICC line inserted in Jake's right arm.

It's my job once a day to infuse my son with two medications via the PICC line.

Day One was nightmarish. My training occurred 30 minutes after I arrived home from St. John's (and after 6 days there... and several days of a sick kid... and 12 days in Europe... and 18 hours of trans-Atlantic flight). It was a blur as our home health nurse ran thru the instructions. She left him hooked to the machine and I got to disconnect and cleanse.

Day Two and it's my turn to do this solo. I had several questions and no luck calling the support staff. Thankfully, I have the cell number of an RN in my phone and he was able to answer my questions and reassure me that I could get the job done. (He's always been one of my best cheerleaders! :) )

Day Three went smoothly as I felt more confident in what I was doing.

Day Four had the nurse visiting while Jake was doing his infusion. Jake's vitals were great, the PICC line looks great, and she told me I was doing a great job with the IVs. If only the patient were not feeling so spirited!!! It's getting hard to keep him slowed down!

Only four more days to go! It takes nearly 3 hours for the entire process from start to finish. The nurse gave me permission to speed up the IV a tad and we are going to start earlier each day so the patient won't be as restless as the time wears on...

I'm praying that his blood work will be terrific on the 21st... otherwise I have another week to look forward to of infusions. School is going to start soon and Jake hasn't even been in the water... pool, lake, White Water, anything!!! Poor kid!


Jake was so sick. After the appendectomy, an abcess grew in his lower pelvis. That 5 cm nightmare made our baby feverish - 103.5 degrees at one point - and I found myself growing frustrated as I tried to make him comfortable.

One shift of nurses promised pain relief. The next shift also promised. The third shift explained that a decision had been made not to medicate him so that the procedure to remove the abcess could be performed ASAP.

These women were only doing what they had been told to do. They didn't realize that I didn't know the doctor's decision. But, they worked hard to help me take care of him and they worked hard to keep me calm and patient.

I cannot believe the working conditions they endure. One of our nurses was there every day that we were so she worked 6 days in a row, either 8 or 12 hours per day. She was running back and forth between the pediatric floor and the PICU. The census (number of patients) was low, so the two floors were sharing nurses. (????!!!!!!????) At one point, they were caring for a 10-day old baby on the pediatric floor. He stopped breathing and they rushed him to the PICU, 3 floors down. His nurse had to go with him but she was still responsible for the other patients back on the 7th floor. (That baby was eventually intubated, still did poorly and was flown to St. Louis.)

Another of our nurses worked a 3-11 shift one afternoon/night. I wandered out to the nurses' station at 2 am and she was still there. She didn't have time to do reports on her shift, so she had to stay and complete them after her shift "ended".

I didn't hear a single nurse complain about anything. AND, every single time they came in our room, they not only asked Jake what they could do for him, they asked me and anyone who was visiting us, if they could help us or get us anything.

They let Jake scream and cry (without telling him he had to stop disturbing others), they encouraged him when he wasn't feeling well, and they thrilled in the fact he was feeling sooooo much better after the procedure was complete and the drain tube was doing it's job.

I was so impressed! I appreciate their dedication to their jobs and their love of the children for which they care each day.

Thank you to the St. John's Pediatric Staff!!