The last few weeks have been busy.

I took four final exams, a quiz, and did a barrel full of homework.

I had blood drawn, went to seven various other appointments, dyed my hair and didn’t spend nearly enough time with Alex.

I drove six hours to visit my bestest friend in the whole wide world.

I drove another six hours home, picked up Alex from daycare, and spent the evening marveling over the fact that he somehow grew an inch and learned approximately one thousand new words and phrases while I was gone for three days.

Today, I’ve spent the entire day playing with Alex and dealing with ridiculous amounts of paperwork. I’ve printed forms, registered to have my fingerprints taken by the FBI, finally got Pitt to give me my financial aid, and received instructions for my surgery tomorrow. No food, fluids, alcohol, cigarettes, nothing, after midnight. I can’t go to the bathroom in the morning because I will be getting a pregnancy test (no, there is no way) and I must shower not once, but twice with anti-bacterial soap.

This whirlwind has been stressful; it’s been horrendous (I get unnecessarily stressed about exams) and wonderful (spending time with Sarah and her family).

Tomorrow I get to forget about it all. I will be knocked out, cut open, and when I wake up I will get to spend time doing absolutely nothing but resting. And right now? That sounds pretty nice.

But then it will be back to the grindstone. Finishing up all of the things I have to do for nursing school: more clearances, some vaccines and tests, more paperwork, applying for more loans, buying books, and spending as much time as humanly possible with my son.

He won’t be this cute forever. And I need to breathe it all in while I still can.


Getting Our Money’s Worth

This has been an expensive two years for our household.

First, there was the whole pregnancy and labor thing. It’s expensive to have a baby. Especially when it’s a cesarean section. Then, Alex was in the NICU and the Pediatric ICU for days after his birth. Staying in a hospital is expensive.

Then? All of those early-babyhood appointments. Vaccines are expensive.

Next up came the horrifying news that Alex was going to have to have surgery for a hernia. Surgery is expensive.

Then I had the fun opportunity to visit the Emergency Room two months ago because of intense abdominal pain. ER visits and blood tests? Yup! Expensive.

Since then I’ve been back to my primary care physician twice, who last week told me that it probably was not my diagnosed problem of gastritis (finally someone listened to me!). I had an ultrasound, and the next day my doctor called to tell me I have gallstones. Adding up all of those appointments and the ultrasound? Phew! Expensive!

In two weeks I’ll meet with a surgeon and schedule a time to have my gallbladder removed. Yet another surgery will just add to our increasing cost of staying healthy in this family. (Lucky Zach is as healthy as a horse! Although he needs to schedule a physical! Hear that, Zach?)

Needless to say, I am so very, very, thankful that we have health insurance. If we had to pay for all of this out of pocket we would be drowning in debt. The cost of health care is absurd, and it’s no wonder people will refuse to get taken care of when they have no health insurance. It’s no wonder you don’t see people finally getting help until it’s too late. We are lucky. Hopefully one day we won’t just be lucky, we’ll be the norm.

It Was Not The Worst Day Of My Life

The night before Alex’s surgery I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, my mind unable to calm down. Even though I knew it would be okay, I was worried. I was worried that something would go wrong. I was worried that he would be a terror for days on end following the surgery.

The surgery center we went to was modern, clean, and the nursing staff that took care of him before he went into surgery was wonderful. There were some toys to play with, but most of all Alex wanted to play with the teeny tiny blood pressure cuff and push around the little cart that carried it.

He wore the cutest little hospital gown, covered in puppies holding balloons. He ran around, a bit out of control due to his hunger and thirst, and was generally very charming to everyone. He even made a 17-month old friend.

When the Doctor came to take him away, he didn’t cry. He waved and said “Bye Bye” to us as she carried him through the door to the back where he would have his surgery.

The second the door shut, I started crying. No matter how hard I tried to compose myself, I couldn’t hold it back. Once we were in the waiting room, I immediately took out my iPhone in attempts to distract myself. Fortunately, it worked. And before I knew it the Doctor came out and told us that Alex was sleeping, everything went well, and we could see him when he woke up.

He was crying when we were allowed into the recovery room, and the nurse holding him said that he was fine until he realized that she wasn’t anyone he knew. I held him while he slept for a long time. His little hand had an IV in it and his thumb had a blinking red pulse oximeter attached to it.

Most of the day following the surgery he spent sleeping. By the next day, he was basically back to normal. He ate a big dinner, ran around, played with his toys and made a mess. With the exception of his poor sleeping, he was typical Alex.

Alex eating after surgery

Kids really do recover fast.

You Want To Do WHAT To My Baby?

Alex is having surgery.

At his fifteen month check-up, the Doctor asked us if we had noticed this.

He has a hernia. It’s an inguinal hernia and will be fixed on Tuesday. The surgery is a very routine procedure, and really is not a big deal. But my heart still skips a beat whenever I think about my little Alex being knocked out and cut open.

It’s just horrifying and sad. How do you explain to a 16 month old that they are going to be in pain for a few days because of an incision that is necessary to make them healthy from something that never bothered them in the first place?

Ugh. Just. Ugh.

Alex in Florida