Thursday, July 6, 2017

What a Week

It's been a week since Josh was bitten by a snake. We have learned more about snake bites and anti-venom than I ever wanted to know. We have a long road ahead of us.

We left the hospital on Saturday afternoon. Josh was feeling better and after 18 vials of anti-venom, the critical care doctor and the pediatrician agreed that there was no reason for us to stay. In the multiple conversations held with doctors and Josh we learned what really happened and also that their initial suspicions of the snake being a copperhead were wrong. According to the critical care doctor, Josh was bitten by a cottonmouth. Apparently he can tell by the amount of swelling that occurred as well as the actual puncture wounds themselves.

Now to what really happened. Josh and Miles were playing in the yard when they saw a snake. They found an old lunchbox and Josh picked the snake up and placed it in the box. They were taking the box to the house when he started to drop it and as it opened the snake bit him.

I know that I said in my previous post that my children know the rules about snakes. They do. They can tell you all about them. Apparently boys will be boys according to the doctor and these boys didn't follow the rules. The other thing is that there is a possibility the snake would not have bit Josh if he had not put him in a box. Cottonmouths only bite when threatened. It was apparently not feeling threatened when they were just playing with him. We have also been told that if it was Miles who had been bit, he would have lost his finger and possibly more.

Josh is going to be okay with little to no long term problems. Right now we are watching the wounds to see how much tissue he is going to lose and starting therapy for his whole hand. He is lucky. He also is very hard headed and I am worry that he may not have learned to leave snakes alone.

I am documenting his finger everyday and for the first few days every few hours. I want him to be able to go back and see all of this at a later time. I am not posting them anywhere though. They are not the easiest pictures to stomach if you don't like looking at wounds.

In the last week, I have learned a whole new meaning to the word grateful. I wish that I had not had to learn it this way though. I am hoping that Josh has learned some things from all of this too.

Friday, June 30, 2017


So yesterday was just like any other day at work until about 9:30. That is when I got the scariest phone call I have ever received.

Long time readers know that I live in South Georgia on a small family farm. Our kids roam around and explore and can just be boys. Living where we live, we are used to snakes being around. Our kids know what to do if they see a snake and that a snake with a triangle head means its a bad one. We have educated them and I promise you, they know all the safety precautions and they know what to do if the worst happens. So back to the phone call.

I happened to be sitting down when I noticed that my mother-in-law was calling. She only calls me at work if it's an emergency. I walked out on the back porch of our office and answered the phone. Honestly, all I heard was Josh, snake bite, and what hospital they were at. I ran back in the door and grabbed my purse telling my co-workers (in an apparently very panicked voice) that I had to go because my son had been bitten by a snake. Y'all, for the life of me I could not put the code in to open the door. I was shaking so bad that I could not remember the code. The only guy in our department came up behind me and put in the code and asked me if I was sure I could drive because he would take me. I told him I was fine and just kept going. I called my husband to tell him what was going on and got in my van and started driving. While I don't recommend speeding and normally I am a speed limit on the dot person, I didn't care how fast I was going. All I knew was that I needed to get to my kid. I met my husband outside the local emergency room and they let us back to where Josh was. There was so much relief just seeing him and knowing that he was at least okay and then he told us what happened.

He and Miles were outside playing under the pecan trees in the yard. Josh reached down to pick up a stick when a copperhead bit him. He slung the snake off and he and Miles ran to the house. Miles was screaming and Josh was yelling we have to got the emergency room now and that he was bitten by a snake. She threw them in her truck and flew to the ER. They got him triaged and had each boy show them the snake on a picture board. They both described and picked out the copperhead. This is about the time we came in. They started the anti-venom and called to have him transferred to a larger hospital with the capabilities to handle a snake bite. Anti-venom runs for an hour per 4 vials. (And by the way- 1 vial apparently costs $15,000 according to the ER staff. Which is criminal! And a topic for later.) We were at the other hospital by the time the first 4 vials finished. The second ER started the next 4 vials and we now have a emergency room pediatrician and an orthopedic plus a critical care doctor following us. We are now in the ICU at a hospital in Dothan, AL while we get anti-venom until it works. We are currently at 14 vials with more scheduled because we cannot seem to get the swelling to stop. He was bitten on his middle finger on his left hand above the second knuckle. We have no idea how long we will be here and we have no idea what is actually going to happen with his hand. The hope is that the anti-venom kicks in and there is no tissue damage and we get to go home later today. The reality is that we are probably here a couple more days and there is probably at least some tissue damage.

We have no way of knowing how much venom was injected into his 11 year old body. We know that it was a young snake because of the size the boys described and the size of the bite (approxiamately 3/4 inch between puncture wounds) and young snakes tend to bite and don't let go until they are made too so they inject more venom. We are not 100% certain that it was a copperhead but we are pretty sure it was.

Y'all- my kids know all the snake rules. No touching, turn around and go the other direction slowly and calmly, and go find an adult. He was bitten anyway. The snake blended in with leaves and sticks on the ground. You never know. You can educate and you can be extra cautious but this stuff still can happen.

Josh did everything he could do when this happened. He remained calm, he told an adult and said we need to go to the emergency room, he got his little brother away from the snake as quickly as possible, and he paid enough attention to the snake to be able to describe it to the doctors. All of that came from education.

So for now, we have one child in an ICU bed and a 6 year old who had to FaceTime his brother because he is not allowed in the ICU to see him. Miles was brave and made sure his brother was okay and he knew enough about the snake to help ID it. He is scared now and worried about Josh but I am so thankful he was not bitten too. It could have been so much worse. I know that my boys will be a little more cautious when they are outside now. That is if we let them back outside after this.

It is definitely the time of year that snakes are crawling everywhere. Teach your children about snakes. At least enough to know what to do when they see one and what to do if they are bitten. I cannot tell you how important that is.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

When You Should Have Said No

Hi! Remember me? Yeah, I tend to let this poor blog take a back seat. Right now though, I feel like I just need to talk to y'all.

I am a little overwhelmed at the moment. Not only have I changed jobs in the last 2 months, I also kept a PRN job, joined a direct sales company, AND enrolled in college to get my masters. Add to that the regular family/home stuff, a kid in the state tennis play offs, and two in baseball 3 nights a week and I am stretched a little thin.

Ironically, I have more time in the afternoons than I did with my previous job. I just find myself coming home and taking a nap instead of doing school work or housework like I should. My house looks like I am losing a game of Jumanji (Remember that book? It has always been a favorite. Oh, and the original movie.) and when I think of paying someone to help with it, I feel like I am failing somehow.

I am realizing that somewhere along the line, I should have said no. My new job was exactly what we needed as a family and I needed for myself. I have amazing coworkers who make me laugh and have quickly become a second family. I feel like I am in the right place for me right now. My PRN job is another story though. I agreed to stay one weekend a month because the money was great. I couldn't see turning it down. Now on the other hand, I dread knowing I have to go. I love the people I work with there but I dislike the drive and the time it takes away from my family. I also should have only taken one class this semester. I haven't been in school in almost 14 years. This is a huge adjustment and the field is not one that I know. Business is a huge leap from healthcare.

I don't regret my direct sales business though. I work from my phone and on Facebook so it fits in with my day. Also, I get paid to use the products I love and even get great rewards for it. If you look in the side bar you can click on over and check Perfectly Posh out.

I should have said no. And while for the next couple of months I can't change my answer, it will be changing as soon as I can. I did this to myself. For some reason I just keep thinking I am Wonder Woman and I can do it all. I really hate to disappoint you guys, but I'm not. I keep thinking back to when I wrote this whole 31 day series about Balancing it All a few years ago and wondering why I don't listen to my own advice. Balls are going to drop when you get overwhelmed and you just have to pray that they aren't the important ones. So, if you see my in person or talk to me on a regular basis (or you are Mel) and I start talking about adding anything else onto my plate- slap some sense into me. (Figuratively not literally.)

*****I miss this blog. I'm sorry I keep letting it slide to the back burner. I promise I think about it and those who read it a lot.******

Sunday, February 26, 2017

You Are NOT a Bad Mom

I have this tendency to hide from my kids when I get overwhelmed. I don't think anything about it because I really need to walk away sometimes. (Hard lesson learned) So when a waitress at one of our favorite restaurants said she felt like a bad mom for locking herself in her bathroom to eat a bowl of cereal and have a few minutes to herself I told her to stop beating herself up.

You are not a bad mom if you hide from your kids every once in a while.

Stepping away to get a moment to yourself is necessary sometimes. I know all to well that if you don't take care of yourself, a nervous breakdown is a coming.

I am now a full believer in hiding, pampering, and making sure I take care of myself.

My kids are surviving just fine and your's will too. Hide, go to get your nails done, make sure you go to the doctor. You cannot take care of your family if you are running on empty.

And like I told the waitress, hiding every once in  while does not make you a bad mother.

Friday, January 6, 2017

2016 Round Up

To say that 2016 was a rough year is an understatement. There was so much personal loss and medical challenges that I almost wanted to just give up.

The year started off with trips to the beach and job changes for John. We actually went out of town a lot the first 6 months of the year with 4 trips to the beach, 2 trips to the mountains, and several day trip to Atlanta and other surrounding areas. Then came an ill fated trip to the doctor and all the bad test results that resulted in a very quiet last 6 months of the year

In the time surrounding all these test results, we had tickets to see Steve Miller. (Being the good wife I am, I got front row sets for John's birthday.) On our way to the concert came the worst phone call. My mom called and told me my aunt was rushed to the hospital and that she wasn't going to make it. It was awful. We went to the concert and then to the hospital. For the first time in 12 or 13 years, all the cousins were in one place. And while I wish the circumstances were different, we had the gift of 3 days together in a hospital room or waiting room to remember all the good times and to just be together as a family. In the end though we said good bye to one of the strongest women I have ever known and to the one who loved me as her own. It is hard. Watching my uncle now without here is a learning experience of a whole new strength and forging new paths.

The day after the concert, I had a biopsy done. And then the waiting began. Followed by a in office procedure and more waiting. A minor complication put me on bed rest for a couple of days in which time, Josh ruptured BOTH ear drums. Oh yes, both. He couldn't make it easy with just one.

So the week of Thanksgiving, he had surgery to remove his tubes from both ears and to patch the holes. I know that there was a purpose in that but y'all this kid went from being able to hear with no problems to being back in a fish bowl. I really see more tubes going in. We also had to change pediatricians this summer and his ADHD medication was changed. We were trialing him off the medicine just to see what would happen. Two weeks into school he came and asked me to please put him back on the medicine. It made his dyslexia and dysgraphia easier to manage. So a new perscription later and my "C" student went to making all "A"s and loving to read. Now if I could just get the cost off the medicine to come down that would be great.

In all of this, my test results have been looming over our heads until my follow up appointment the week before Christmas. Cue 3 weeks later and the best phone call ever with normal test results. For which we are incredibly grateful and blessed. It is a huge weight lifted. Although with that comes follow up visits every  6 months at least it isn't every 3 months.

We ended the year with a quiet evening at home and 2017 started with tornados and a trip out of town for the adults. We are glad for 2016 to be over and so far 2017 has been full of wonderful blessings. I hope that you have a wonderful 2017 filled with blessings and dreams coming true.

Happy 2017 Everyone!!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It's been longer than I planned

when I decided to take a writing break, I didn't think it would be this long. It was a much needed break but I have missed this space. This morning I am sitting in a surgery center with Josh waiting to have his tubes removed and ear drums patched. It's just Josh and me. And as much as I wish John was here and he didn't have to work, I have incredible support. My co-workers have checked on us and they are in the office under us if I need anything. That is incredibly reassuring for me.
This summer has been rough. I lost my aunt who treated me like one of her own and who I love dearly. I really thought I would lose my uncle too. They were just so much a part of each other. But he has surprised us all. I am so grateful for the 4 days we spent at her bedside with all of my cousins and the rest of our family. It's been years since we were all together. Losing her feels like the first of many adult losses. It made me remember that our parents are getting older just like we are. It also made me realize that we are older and we are the age they were when we thought they were really old.
We spent a lot of time as a family these past few months too. John having a job where he is off every weekend has made it so much better. We have gone to the beach, started kayaking, gone to the mountains, and visited Auburn for football games. We have replaced flooring, painted, and started new hobbies. This writing break was busy and beneficial.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I think that's why I felt the need to write again. I have so much to be grateful for. And this blog is one of those things. It has been a space for me to share from but also a place that forgives when breaks turn into such long periods of time. So I think the break is over. I have no plans to return to writing everyday or even every week. But definitely once a month.

So Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all of you.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Irish Cooking

This review was honestly due a couple of days ago. But a jam packed rough week leads to not writing it until now. I may or may not have mentioned before that I love to cook BUT I hate the clean up after. Which means I really don't cook often. BUT I received this amazing new cookbook from Ambassador International and I can't wait to try some of these recipes.

I don't have another Saturday off for a couple of weeks but the first one I have I am planning on cooking up a storm and doing something I have not done in a long while- cooking breakfast for my family. "Favorite Flavors of Ireland" is filled with great recipes for every season and every meal. One of my favorite so far is Blueberry- White Chocolate Muffins. This recipe combines two favorites at my house. And they are easy to make.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp Kerrygold Irish butter (or regular butter)
4 oz white chocolate
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups blueberries
12 tsp prepared lemon curd (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Grease a standard muffin pan and dust with flour, tap out excess
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside
3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and white chocolate. Microwave on medium-high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave an additional 10-15 second intervals, stirring just until melted. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Stir in the flour mixture and then stir in the melted chocolate, lemon zest, and blueberries.
5. Divide the batter into the prepared pan and place a tsp of the lemon curd on top of each one (if using). Bake for 23-25 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10-15 mins.
(Recipe found on page 59)

There are so many recipes in this book that I want to try! Nutty Brown Bread, Beef in Ale with Cheese Cobbler, and Bramley Apple Cake with Toffee Sauce are just a few. Also in the book are stories of Irish traditions and holidays. If you love all things Irish, I would buy this cookbook. If you are just wanting to cook for St. Patrick's Day (next year), I would buy this cookbook. Basically, I would just buy this cookbook as a staple for your kitchen.

**I received this cookbook from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.**