Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tell Me What You Think....

....my blog says about me. Or what you think if you know me IRL. The problem with this window, of course, is that it's not exhaustive and it only lets you pick 6 items. But hey, give it a go. I'm curious. My Johari Window

Oh, and I get another CT scan tomorrow. I'm hopeful that the clot is much smaller. I'm feeling much more like myself this week, and I'm tired in the I-have-two-kids-in-diapers kind of way, not the my-brain-is-damaged kind of way. So I'm hopeful.

Big Week

So it's been quite the week of firsts here at Chez Lunasea.

1. Ben is crawling and cruising. He finally figured it out, a week and a half short of his first birthday. He still goes backwards most of the time, getting stuck under furniture, and still does the crawling-furiously-but-staying-in-one-place thing, and he complains most of the time. But he can make it across the floor, and can cruise around the train table, much to A.'s dismay. And he claps. That's new. I'm going to find a patty-cake marathon to enter him in because he could go all day. He grabs my hands and forces me to patty-cake against my will all the time. Since I manhandle him against his will all day long, I figure it's fair.

2. I have a nice routine during bath time - get Ben out, dry him off, get him at least in a diaper, go get A. out, wrap a towel around him, let him parade naked through the house while I get Ben in jammies. Worked great. Tonight I'm drying Ben off and A. appears, with the bath mat wrapped around him, at my side. "I got myself out of the tub!"

"How did you do that?"

"Because I wanted to get out."

"Yeah, I know why, but how?"

"I don't know."

3. A. also got himself nekkid all by himself for the first time.

4. A.'s also gotten 3 stickers for peeing in the potty. He's tired of me asking him if he wants to poop in the potty, so if he's about to poop, he fixes me with a stare until I ask him, "What?" and then yells, "I don't want to use the potty!" That's how I know I'll have to change him in a few minutes.

5. Ben eats grown-up food now. Only grown-up food. He eschews baby food, leaving me with a pantry full of organic bananas and oatmeal. He only wants to eat something if he sees us eat it. That means he'll eat Life cereal but not Cheerios. I've told him over and over that babies are supposed to love Cheerios but he's not swayed.

I think A. might be spending too much time on the preschool computer programs. While he was picking out his four books for night-night time, he pulled one off the shelf, looked at it, mumbled to himself, "No, that's not right. Try again." Then he pulled another one off, looked at it and rejoiced, "That's the right choice! Good job!"

He told me before bed tonight that we needed to say prayers. I asked him what we should say and he said, "Ga-ba A."

"Ga-ba A.?"

"Yes. And Ben."

"Ga-ba? Ga- ba. Oh....God bless A. and Ben?"

"Yes. And Papa. And Uncle Barry."

Uncle Barry gave him 6 EXTREME STEAM train DVDs at Thanksgiving, which I think is why he gets top billing. Or maybe he thinks Uncle Barry needs the extra blessing.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

If you need to laugh...

..and you might, after contemplating the previous entry, watch this video. Make sure your sound is on. I promise you'll laugh too. Thanks to Busy Mom for the link.


Deep question: If there was a particular date on which you were going to die, but you have a choice of either knowing about it 4-5 months in advance, or just dying suddenly on that date without warning, which would you choose?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sorry, But I Gotta Record These Somehow...

...so I'm gonna share them with you. More conversations with A:

"Mama, did you have any dreams last night?"

"Yes, but I don't remember them. I think there was fruit involved."

"Fruit? Banana's a fruit. What fruit did you dream about?"

"I don't remember - maybe an orange."

"Oh, an orange. An orange is a juicy fruit. Can you think of other fruits that are juicy?"

"Um, grapes."

"Yes, yes! You're right! Those are juicy fruits! Now do you know one that's red?"

OK, look, dude, I went to almost 30 years of school. I don't need an oral exam first thing in the morning. He's not even in preschool and he's already the teacher.


He's been trying to stall bedtime lately. He goes in fine, but then comes up with all kinds of sudden needs.

"Mama! Mama!"

"WHAT??" (He'd already called me back to use the potty and get cough medicine, so my patience was wearing thin).

"What are you doing in the kitchen?"

"You don't need to know what I'm doing in the kitchen. It's night-night time."


"Remember the spoon you just used for the medicine? I was putting it in the dishwasher. Good night."

"But I have some things to talk to you!"

"After night-night is not the time to talk, though, it's the time to sleep." But last night I came home from work after he was in bed and we had a nice little snuggle and talk in the rocker, so I knew he wanted that again. It was also his second night sleeping without a pacifier, so I knew his anxiety level was a little bit high.

"OK, what do you need to tell me?"

"I thought you were watching the 'lympics!!"

"If I ever make it back to the family room, I will watch the olympics. Or I might turn 'Dancing with the Stars' on."

(heavy sigh) "I wish I could watch Dancing with the Stars."

"Yeah, well, you didn't take a nap today so there's no way you're staying up late."

"But, but...stars don't have feet!"

"True. Good night."

"Stars can't dance! That's silly."

"Yep, you're right. Good night."

"But sometimes stars can come down to the sidewalk."

"They fall out of the sky?"

"Yes. And then they have feet. And then they can dance!"

"OK, that works. Good night."

"But Mama, I can dance. I can do dancing tricks. Like upside down. That's a good trick." He was getting desperate.

"Yep. Maybe we'll dance some more tomorrow. Good night."

"But I don't know how to go to sleep all the way!"

"Yes you do. You're a very good sleeper. You can start by lying down."

"I want more lights on."

"No, because that will make it hard to sleep. And it's sleeping time."

"It's fine. I'll be FINE."

"No. You're three years old and it's your bedtime. Good night."

The one good thing is that at least he understands what I'm saying. Ben just plays dumb when I tell him 4:30am is not an appropriate time to wake up. It's like that Gary Larson cartoon where the human is talking to the dog and all the dog hears is "blah blah blah blah blah." Ben grins his big grin at me like he's hearing "Oh Ben, you're such a cute baby when you get up early!" even though that is most certainly not what I'm saying.

Speaking of Ben, he's going to be one year old in two weeks. How'd that happen? He's still not moving around of his own accord, and appears to expect us to carry him to high school.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Conversations with A.

This morning A. decided we needed to discuss the ottoman.  

“I think it has a screw wrong.”

“Oh, a screw is wrong, huh? What should we do about that?”

“Actually, I fink it needs to be zamined.”

“Um, what?”

“I fink it actually needs to be zamined.”

“You think it needs to be examined?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m going to move it into the kitchen and then we can cook on it.”

Good as his word, he pushed it onto the linoleum in the kitchen, and returned. He sat in Ben’s little chair, and said, “Now I will talk to you about it.”

“It’s in the kitchen now. We can use it to cook.”

“Um, I guess so.”

“Yeah, and the screw is still broken. But I don’t fink it’s really bad.”

“Do we need to fix it?”

“Yes, but maybe we’ll fix it a different day.”

I love these conversations because I never know what he’s going to come up with. I just wish I sometimes knew what the hell we were talking about.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Few Random Stories

A few stories from the hospital:

There was no traditional nurses' station - the nurses worked at built-in desks along the walls of the corridor. So walking down the corridor, I walked right between these desks. They had files, binders and supplies on the shelf above the desk, and one of the bins was labeled, in really big letters: CADAVER BAGS. I had vision problems and even I could read the label and see the bags as I walked by. Don't you think they could have put them in a cabinet somewhere? I mean, do they really need such quick access?


G and I ventured down to the vending machines one night and, hungry but trying to be healthy, I asked him to buy me some Kashi cereal. Upstairs, I found my nurse and asked if there was any leftover milk I could have. She brought in a carton, and was carrying a brownie that looked like it was leftover from a dinner tray. She said, "I wasn't sure if you wanted anything with it." But it was weird - she was holding it sort of to her side, like she didn't really want me to see it. She turned back to the door.

But I had a head trauma and figured I could be bold, so I pointed to it and said, "What's that?"

"Oh," she stared at it like, how'd that get in my hand? "It's a brownie."

Might as well go for broke. "Well. Can I have it?"

"Oh, yeah, sure."

I hope I didn't take her dessert, but hey, I had an epidural hematoma and they were waking me up every 3 hours to take my vitals. The least they could do was give me a damn brownie.


While A. and my niece were visiting, they found the buttons at the end of the bed and pushed them all. I didn't know they did anything until an aide came in to help me unplug the pump and wrestle the IV into the bathroom. When I got up, an alarm sounded. We didn't know what was going off until the aide figured out it was the bed alarm - they set it to alert them when a confused patient who is supposed to remain in bed gets up. When she realized it was the bed alarm, she grabbed my arm and said, "That's for disoriented patients! C'mon!" and grabbed my arm and started dragging me back into the bed.

"No! The kids were playing with the bed! That's not for me! I can go to the bathroom!" They were pumping me full of fluids so the situation turned dire rather quickly with her pulling on me and me trying to free myself.

Eventually she believed me, but I was afraid I was going to have to punch her like Jack Bauer in 24.


I asked the brownie nurse, whom I liked, what she thought of my doctor. She'd expressed some frustration with Dr. Ray of Sunshine for not allowing me any food when surgery wasn't imminent, so I figured she'd be honest. So I asked her what she thought of Dr. Clean and she said, "Well, he's been here forever." Okkkaay. I laughed. I mean, it was an unfair question.


More good news: Today was the first day I felt like myself. I think I might actually get better. Yeehaw.

Friday, February 17, 2006

TMI about TBI

It's been two weeks since I slammed my head into the asphalt in front of our house. I had no idea that recovering from a concussion was so hard. I don't think I've really known anyone with a concussion since grade school when a kid hit his head on the closet ceiling and was out for months. I guess I thought one might get some headaches, and slow down for a few days but basically I assumed everything goes back to normal pretty quickly. I had no idea.

I've never been so tired. Even when I was pregnant and anemic it wasn't this bad. And I don't know if my brain isn't working the way it used to because of the fatigue or because it's bruised. I'm really, really irritable and I feel bad because I'm so impatient with A. I snap at him easily now, and I never used to do that. I'm frustrated because I don't know what to do with myself. What were my routines? How did I entertain the kids? My big goals are to make sure the kids are dressed and fed each day. Bathed once in a while, too. I don't remember what I was working on before I hit my head - I think I wanted to clear out the office so Ben would eventually sleep in his own room. Now I think about working on it and I have no idea where to start. Maybe I'll just go lie down for a while.

I wake up with headaches every day. I'm lightheaded a lot, and it's bad enough that I don't drive unless I have to. I feel like I have chronic low blood sugar.

And the worst part is that according to what I can find, these symptoms can last for weeks to months. And some people never recover fully at all.

I'm trying to stay positive and remind myself that things could be much worse. I'm trying to look at this as an opportunity to revise how I take care of myself. This is my chance to be more mindful and conscious. So I'm trying to make the best of it. But really, it pretty much sucks.

There is good news: It's Cadbury Creme and Caramel Egg season.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Don't Forget St. Pat's Day

I made a card for G for V-day, and asked A. to dictate what to write inside. He came up with:

"Dear Papa,
Thank you for the Christmas presents. Happy Thanksgiving. After Valentine's Day, Easter."

Got most of the bases covered there.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Que Sera Sera

So I had another CT scan yesterday, and I must say I was rather disappointed with the results. I had hoped the clot would be quite a bit smaller, but it was about the same size. While I was in the machine and the pictures came up on the screen, my hsuband "Dr." G. analyzed them and told me that it looked less dense, which would hopefully indicate that it was reabsorbing.

So an hour later in the doctor's office, Dr. Clean said, "Well, it looks about the same size, maybe a little smaller, but you can see it's less dense."

"So is that what you would expect after a week?"

"Yeah, yeah." He looks at us.

"OK. So it'll just keep reabsorbing and we don't need to get it drained?"

"I don't think so. So I'll see you back in two weeks."


He said it could take a month before I feel normal again.

And that was that. My vision is just about back, though, and the biggest problems I'm having is that I'm lightheaded much of the time and get very tired very easily. It reminds me of being anemic and pregnant and just feeling like I barely had energy to breathe. But lying down feels wonderful and if I can lie down for a little bit each day, I do OK.

Things are different. I've slowed way down (and I wasn't all that fast before). I can only do one thing at a time and I have to be really intentional in my actions. I move more carefully and I'm slower. I sit a lot and rest. I watch A. play ("You watch me kick the ball, OK, Mama?") and we sit b y the sandbox in the sunshine. It's all really quite zen except when it's frustrating.

I saw three clients last night and had to remind myself, "You just have to sit here. You're not going to fall out of the chair. Just sit and listen." Damn, it's hard to slow down.

The in-laws leave today and we're on our own. I'm eager to get back to a small routine with the boys. It's actually been a really nice time for the grandparents and grandchildren to bond, and we learned that my MIL can wrestle A. into a half-nelson and what to do when hemorroids are a bother, according to FIL's physician.

And my MIL taught me to knit. I swore I would never knit - I don't need another hobby and it intuitively doesn't make sense to me how a skein of yarn can turn into a scarf. But I needed something to do that wasn't as taxing on my eyes, and she was here and knows how to knit, so what the hell? Look what I made: It's a thing.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

And Here's Your Brain on Film

This is not mine, but it's a very close approximation to what I remember mine looking like. That bubble in the bottom right hand corner isn't supposed to be there.

Friday, February 10, 2006

3-Year-Old Coping Skills

My sister came to pick up A. and Ben at the house while we were in route to the other hospital. The next day, she took them to her house and they had a big "sleepover" with their cousin, who's only 7 months older than A.

When we all got back home a few days later, A. commented, "I had a hard few days."

Being therapist-parents, we jumped all over this. "Oh, yeah, I'll bet it was hard. What was the hardest thing for you?"

(heavy sigh) "Making dinner."

"Really. You made dinner, huh? What did you make for dinner?"

"Salmon and rice. Yeah, it was a lot of work."

"Wow. A nice dinner, even."

Hhmnph. Kid's making his own pb&j sandwiches from now on.

Later that night, I was changing him into his jammies and we had a talk.

"Are you feeling better, Mama?"

"I'm feeling much better. Do you remember when Mama bonked her head? I'm sorry I had to be gone for a few days. I missed you a lot."

"Yeah. You had to go to the hospital."

"I did. But now I'm home. Do you remember what it was like when I bonked my head?"

"Yeah. Kinda sad and kinda scary."

"I know, it was."

"It was.....a little bit too much."

"I totally agree with you. It was definitely a little bit too much."


Yesterday I ventured outside to watch him "ride" his bike. I use quotation marks because he refuses to use the pedals and rides Flintstone-style. He's only about 1/2 a foot off the ground so it works.

As we went out the door, he commanded, "Now, there's no falling outside!" I agreed and told him I would just sit and watch.

I sat on the curb and watched him while my father-in-law held Ben, and A. seemed so delighted by my undivided attention. He waved at me a few times, and then pulled his bike up to me at the curb.

He got off the bike, and totally spontaneously, gave me a kiss on the cheek. He'll offer his cheek to be kissed by family at night-nights and bye-byes, and he will occassionally kiss Ben's head goodnight, but he's never just come up and kissed me. It was the sweetest thing in the world.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Me and My Blood Clot, part 2

Saturday night: So I can't eat or drink anything, which is a pain. I don't mind not eating because the food here is pretty bad, but my throat is dry and I would like to sip water.

My sister brings the boys to visit. Ben's a little thrown by it all, and A. asks the nurse filling out the wipe-off board in my room, "What are you going to do to Colleen?" I guess he thought he was more likely to get an answer if he used my first name. We tell him as much as we can about how I bonked my head and the doctors have to take care of me and make me better. He and my niece really like my mechanical bed.

I go up and down (nice transition - I mean in mood, not the bed). Tonight is a bit down. Most of the time I'm able to focus on how OK I feel and how everything's going to be fine. Tonight I'm annoyed. I was just playing soccer with a three-year-old, for heaven's sake! Part of me wants them to just go in and fix this.

G. climbs into bed with me and we notice that we haven't had this much time alone together in forever. I ask him if he thought I was overreacting when I said we needed to go to the ER, and he admitted he did. But he rallied and was glad we did. While I was in the ambulance on the way to the neuro center, he said that he decided he could deal with this one of two ways: he could get really anxious about everythihng, or he could turn it over to God. So he imagined me in the lotus position sitting in God's lap and that was calming. I thought so, too, so I closed my eyes and climbed up into God's lap.

Sunday a.m.: First doctor (let's call him Dr. Clean because he's bald and has an earring) returns. He says it's up to us if we want the craniotomy. It would take care of the pressure and relieve the pain faster, but it would be, you know, brain surgery.

Part of me thinks, "There's something in my brain that shouldn't be there - get it out." But most of me says "No, let's not go in there if we don't have to." And let's keep the hair. I'm finally getting it back after losing over half of it from childbirth.

We have to pry his recommendation out of him, but he finally says that he would recommend against surgery, and he would avoid it if it were his wife or daughter. So we agree. He also says I have to stay at least another day. G. arranges for his parents to arrive the next morning, and goes to get the house ready, do some grocery shopping and visit the boys at my sister's. I can eat and drink again, so G. brings me some coffee, Cheese Nips and pretzels. Perfect.

I’m on percocet, have a small blind spot just left of center in my vision, which is annoying when I try to read or type. It’s hard for me to see the whole word at once, so it’s hard to catch typos. I can’t access the internet here in the hospital, so I can’t do any compulsive Googling of epidural hematomas and craniotomies, which is probably good. But I also can’t blog or amuse myself with random surfing.

Sunday 4pm: The Super Bowl's on, but I'm having trouble concentrating. . It's still 0-0 so I guess I haven't missed much. I close my eyes and visualize lots of little scrubbing bubbles wiping away the clot, singing “Getting Spongy” from JoJo’s Circus. The nurse just walked by and said, “Oh, I have a terrible headache!” I said, “Tell me about it.”

I take a little walk down the hall, trying to think of words to my new song, to the tune of "Me and My Shadow:"

Me and my blood clot
Walking down the corridor
Just me and my blood clot
I don't want you anymore.

Most of the people on this floor are pretty old. But the old lady next door is reading a book and I envy her. I don’t think I could read a book right now. The blind spot is too distracting. My TV picture is all green, too. That’s annoying.

Sometimes I wonder if this will change my life in some way. Will my perceptions/priorities change? Will I remember this as a very scary time? Is this gonna turn out to be a spiritual experience? Or as a blip on the radar screen? I don’t really know how to put it in perspective yet. Everyone around me seems very concerned, and the doctors seem very surprised that I’m as clear as I am given the size of the clot. Well, hey, maybe I just don’t use that part of my brain very often.

I just want to be back for my kids. I want to play with them and take them places again. I can’t drive for a while (guess it would be good to get the vision thing working before I attempt that). I want to plan my one-year-old’s birthday party.

G. said last night that he got probably the best sleep he’s gotten in months. I went to roll over once, and he jumped up and yelled, “Hey hey hey! Be careful!” I guess he has some justification now. He didn’t remember it this morning, of course.

The Super Bowl's over and I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy . The guy just went to the OR with a “temporal epidural hematoma” – hey! I know what that is! I’ve got an occipital one! The ER dr. told me that if I was going to get one of these, the back of the head is the best place – you don’t want a temporal or frontal one.

Oh, and now there’s a bomb (unexploded ammunition) in another patient and they’re evacuating the hospital while my hematoma twin has a scalp flap open on the table (oh, and his wife’s in labor upstairs). This guy’s definitely worse off than I am.

Occassionally, very rarely actually, I have a minor hit of, “geez. This is serious.” I watched the woman across the hall from me get fed because she can’t control her arms. This guy in the show is getting the operation I decided not to get. ‘Course he was having some trouble speaking, and probably other things were wrong, too. Many people who have that operation are having tumors removed.

“I have a guy with his brain exposed on the operating table and he will die if I close him up in this condition.” Grey’s Anatomy is probably not the best show to watch while you’re in the hospital.

9pm: I’m watching Family Guy because laughter is the best medicine, right? This show was a lot funnier before I had a brain bleed.

I notice that I’m not as quick at catching typos, which is probably because of the vision thing. But I’m really scared that my cognitive abilities have changed. What if I’m sitting with a client and I’m at a loss for words (something that would be very unusual, I assure you)? It’s sort of like being terribly sleep deprived, except when I can’t remember something or seem slower at some decision than usual, I wonder if it’s the meds, my mother-of-little-kids flakiness, or a brain injury.

To be continued, again...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Play by Play

Friday evening 5pm:

I go to kick the soccer ball, my foot slides over the ball, my feet fly out from beneath me and I fall backwards on the asphalt. My head goes TWACK, hard (which I keep having flashbacks to, by the way). Ouch. I hold it for a second, and realize I can see and move, so I stumble over to our neighbor's house and ask them to come outside. They give me an ice pack, and sit with me until G. gets home. I rest, but the pain doesn't subside and I start throwing up.

7pm: to ER. Have to sit in the waiting room for over an hour. I feel like I have the flu. The boys are losing it, so they finally find a gurney for me and park me in the hall by the quiet room where the boys can sit. The Dr. says he thinks it's just a concussion but orders a CT scan just in case.

10:00 pm: Boys have had it. G takes them home and I go to get the CT scan. I think as I'm going in..."Well, if by chance I have an undiagnosed brain tumor, at least they'll catch it."

10:30 pm: Dr says to person on gurney in front of me: "Hey! Got half your blood tests back and they look great!"

Then he walks to me and his face gets more serious. He speaks slowly, and I know immediately it's not good news. I think, "Crap. I do have an undiagnosed brain tumor." But no, I have a skull fracture, but what's more concerning is that I'm bleeding into the lining under the skull - an epidural hematoma. He's talked to the neurosurgeon at the center 20 miles away, and he wants me transferred to the ICU there to evaluate me for surgery. "You're kidding," I say. I can't believe it.

The nurse is a genial fellow, and I'm joking with him. Then I think, "Don't do that! It's always the cheerful, coherent patient that ends up crashing suddenly and becomes a Sobering Reality for the staff! I've watched enough ER and Scrubs to know I was the patient marked for tragedy in the first 5 minutes of the show.

Greg gets a neighbor to look after the boys and asks my sister to come to the house to take over and returns to the ER. He goes to look at the CT scan. I asked if the bleeding looked big, and he stammered, "Well, you know, you can see it, but it's kind of...it's there but...it's not that big." I can tell he doesn't want to tell me how big it is.

12:00am: They send me in a ambulance to the other hospital. The paramedics are also genial, but they are watching me very closely. I get taken to the ICU, where everyone says I don't look sick. I pass the neuro test with flying colors, except for some blurriness in my vision. The doctor says he doesn't think I'll need surgery, but I will have to stay for a couple of days. The nurse wakes me up every couple of hours to ask me if I know where I am and what day it is. I take a wild guess that it's the 4th, and fortunately I'm right. Greg sleeps in a chair next to the bed. The doctor says that I can eat and drink since it's unlikely I'll need surgery.

7 am: Nothing's about my status has changed the next morning, so I'm transferred to the neurosurgery floor. I get another CT scan, and a new doctor comes in a few hours later to report the results. Let's call him Dr.Ray of Sunshine. He walks in and gapes at my food tray. "I wouldn't be eating that." He says the clot is measuring a little bigger, but it could be a measurement error between this scan and the first hospital's machine. He seems to think it's more likely that I'll need a craniotomy. He says that by eating, I've increased my risk of aspiration dramatically and if I need emergency surgery, G. "would have to make some tough choices." He says "You look really good and clear, I mean, it's amazing, but still..."

I say that I've been clear for a while now and isn't that kind of unlikely to change? He shrugs and says, "Well, you've heard of the lucid interval, right?" Yeah - that period right after a brain injury when the patient seems coherent and not badly hurt, then they end up falling into a coma or something. I say "I'm probably out of the danger zone for that though, aren't I?" He replies, "You could be an outlier." Oh, shut up. The other doctor said I was one of those disgustingly healthy people who just do remarkably well. Well, great, but I'd rather be normal than extraordinary. That would make me feel less like a walking time bomb.

Then Dr. Ray says that he has low blood sugar, so I offer him some juice from my tray, since I can't eat it anymore. He opens it and spills it all over his shirt. I ask when he'll be off duty, since my confidence in his surgery skills are slipping. He laughs. He leaves, and G and I are freaked out again.

To be continued....

So How Was YOUR Weekend?

A very quick version: Fell on Friday while playing soccer with A. - hit the back of my head very hard on the asphalt. Started throwing up and went to the ER - the CT scan showed a skull fracture and some bleeding into the lining of the brain. They transferred me to a hospital about 20 miles away with a better neuro unit, and I spent the night in the ICU. Besides a little blurred vision (which is making it hard to catch typos) and a headache, there are no other neuro symptoms. So I spent the rest of the weekend in the regular neurosurgery unit. Didn't need a craniotomy - thank god, I was having trouble imaging a hairstyle that would cover up a big swatch of shaved head.

Now I'm home with instructions to return if anything changes - the bleeding appears to have stopped, and the clot will reabsorb on its own, eventually. So I'm on percocet and steroids, which help a lot. I kept a diary in the hospital, so I'll be compiling the whole story over the next couple of days. Overall, I really think I'll be OK. All things considered, I'd rather not have a brain bleed, but you know, it could be a whole lot worse.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Random Friday Bits

1. A's new playground game: take off your clothes and throw them down the slide. Fortunately for everyone, it's chilly out, and a hat, scarf, jacket and shoes have been enough to throw so far. When it gets warmer, though, watch out for the streaking little redhead.

2. We went to the Garden Railroad train show last weekend, along with every other 2-7 year old boy in the region. We met Harlan and his trains, who said, "It's good you're getting them started early. I didn't start till I was four. Wasted three years. I'll never get those three years back." He actually wasted four years, but I wasn't going to argue. Aidan was in engine heaven.

3. Model trains are fine, and I appreciate the work it takes to put up a good set. But then you watch it go around and around and around, and that's where the hobby loses me. Next year I'm going to bring a book and park A. and Ben next to the tracks. I'll bet they could watch them for at least 3 hours.

4. Why do you have to ask for butter now at KFC? If I'm paying for a biscuit, the butter should be automatic.

5. Ben continues to get up at 4:30am rarin' to go. This is what I get for asking for a baby who sleeps more than 3 hours in a row. A. got up at least twice a night until he was 18 months. Ben sleeps straight from 7:30pm to 4:30am. But, A. loved to nurse and I could always get him back down easily. Ben is much harder to get back down when he wakes up, and actually rarely falls back to sleep. I didn't realize this was the trade-off and I'm not sure which is worse.

6. We're starting the potty-training "encouragement" with A. He's three and a half, and we've finally faced the fact that he is not going to show any signs of "readiness." He has never cared about being poopy or wet, and apparently, so the assertion that it's nice to have clean, dry pants is actually a matter of opinion.

We want to avoid a power struggle, so we just encourage him to use the potty, and when something lands in it, he gets a sticker. We don't force him and if he says "no," we say "fine." We searched all over town for special Thomas the Moody Tank Engine stickers to put on his special chart.

So far we've succeeded in getting him to pee twice this week. Last night he pushed, but no poop came out while on the potty chair. It came out just fine in the diaper, though, and I think he thought he should have gotten a sticker for effort. "Because I pooped really hard!" he complained. Well, yeah, but it *has* to land in the potty. I'm sorry I'm being so hard-nosed about this, buddy, but we've got to draw the line somewhere. I'll keep y'all posted because I know you'll want to know.

template by suckmylolly.com