Clean Bill of Health

Home from hospitalI took Eric back to the pediatrician today, and she said that he looks great!

She felt so badly about what happened to us while at the hospital
and was in shock when she got the phone call that we were being investigated.
She said that she and the doctor who had us admitted to the hospital
were both very worried about us.

Thankfully, all is well, and Eric is on the mend!

Thanks for all your support and prayers!

Back to our regularly scheduled blogging… soon…

With Thankfulness

So, you’ve read the story of Eric’s hospitalization and the one about his rare condition,
but you haven’t heard the details about all the wonderful people
who helped us through this very difficult time.

Home from hospital

First, and foremost, my husband:
Nathaniel stayed calm and collected throughout this ordeal.
When Eric was choking and turning blue, Nathaniel was able to keep his wits about him
and do everything he could think of to get that piece of watermelon
to move so that our boy could breathe.
That night, he took care of everyone so that I could tend to Eric.
The next day, he used his lunch break from work to watch the kids
so that I could take Eric to the doctor.
Then, on Wednesday, he raced to the ER to be with me and Eric.
He moved my car because I couldn’t find a place to park
and brought us dinner, even though I couldn’t eat it.
He stayed calm under the pressure of being questioned by social services
and even sought out lawyers in our area, just in case.
The following day, he got us breakfast and forced me to eat a little something,
picked up the kids to take them to another friend’s house
and went to our pediatrician to get Eric’s xrays,
which helped bring our baby home.

Daddy

He supported our family through this terrible situation
and was my rock throughout it all.
When we got home, he fed the kids dinner and put them all to bed,
while I passed out to sleep with Eric.
The following morning he went out and got us all donuts
(and even a special iced mocha for me).
Yesterday, he took all the kids our for a few hours,
picked me up lunch and went grocery shopping
(and brought home flowers).

Home from hospital

Seriously, I am tearing up even thinking about it,
I could not have gotten through this without him.
He is the most wonderful husband and father.
I am blessed beyond belief to have this man to walk beside me in life.

Our friends who watched the children while we were at the hospital: 

My dear friend, Megan, offered to watch the children all day Wednesday because she knew how little sleep I had been getting and that I just needed some rest.
I was able to take a morning nap with Eric and then take him to the doctor that afternoon. Little did we know at the time that she and her husband would be watching our children for a full 24 hours.

received_m_mid_1405533947643_2d5a046303f55ebf18_0

Since we were in the ER until midnight, Megan and Jeremiah put our four children and their two children to bed.  Six kids age eight and under!  What a job!

Then, while we were in the hospital, our friend, Mary, took the children for the rest of the day.  She had eight kids in her house that day!
They had such a great time with their friends that some of them didn’t even want to come home when I arrived to pick them up.

Thank you all for giving us peace regarding
our other children while we were away from them!

Sarah, who took care of our dogs when I realized that they had been left alone for hours.
Thank you!

Father Justin, our priest, and his wife who knew of the true situation going on and helped us to find lawyers in our area.  He also brought us pizza when we finally came home.
Thank you for your support and care!

Ruthann, who took over the field trip that I had arranged for our homeschool group.
Thanks!

The Greathouses for bringing us a homemade lasagna for dinner and for taking Grace and Gregory to their home for a sleepover, even though poor Gregs became ill while there.

For the nurses, doctors, residents and interns who kept Eric healthy.
And for one resident, in particular, who did everything he could to get our name cleared.
The hospital staff was always very kind to us and wiling to help.

Last but not least,
all of our dear family and friends
who carried us through this ordeal
with their prayers, kind words and offerings of help. 

Thank you!

Eric is still on the mend and at risk of infection,
so please continue to pray for him.

I praise Thee, O God of our Fathers, I hymn Thee, I bless Thee,
I give thanks unto thee for Thy great and tender mercy.
To Thee I flee, O merciful and mighty God.
Shine into my heart with the True Sun of Thy righteousness.
Enlighten my mind and keep all my senses,
that henceforth I may walk uprightly and keep Thy commandments,
and may finally attain unto eternal life,
even to Thee, Who art the source of life,
and be admitted to the glorious fruition of Thy inaccessible Light.
For Thou art my 

God, and unto Thee, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be ascribed glory, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. 

One in 35,000,000

While many of you were being updated about Eric’s hospital stay via fb, texts or phone calls, there was another story that was unfolding behind the scenes.
Hospital with Eric

After the radiologist viewed Eric’s primary xrays,
we were put under investigation.

We soon learned that Kentucky used to be number one for child abuse related fatalities, and whenever they see, what appeared to be, broken ribs on an xray, the parents are investigated by Social Services and cannot leave the hospital under the issue is resolved.

I was told at his two week check-up that he had broken his clavicle during birth, so I told them all they had to do was obtain the records from the hospital or pediatrician.
It appeared that trauma had occurred to his clavicle and first rib.

We had to tell our story over and over and over again, and poor, little Eric had to undergo more testing and a set of full body xrays that took forty-five minutes.
He was exhausted and drained by the end of it.

Hospital with Eric

We did everything we could to cooperate with the doctors in order to clear our names and keep our children.  We were warned that we wouldn’t leave the hospital unless this was resolved and we risked our son being taken away from us and our children being evaluated.  We were terrified.

My husband was able to get the names of some good local lawyers in case it came to that.
He also went to our pediatrician to obtain xrays from when Eric had RSV in the spring.
We hoped this would prove that our son was not abused.
In the pediatrician records, it claimed that, according to the xray from March,
Eric’s bones appeared “normal.”

Thankfully, Nathaniel had given the hospital the xray which showed
that Eric’s bones are not normal.
In fact, the bones in the area where they thought
he had been abused are actually malformed.

The head radiologist was excited to discover that Eric has Congenital Pseudoarthrosis, an incredibly rare malformation of the bone, of which there are only 200 documented cases.

He is 1/35,000,000!

Hospital with Eric

The doctors were so excited to see this rare case that they took photos of his xrays with their smartphones and researched about the condition on their computers.

We were no longer under investigation and, hours after we were cleared medically,
we were finally allowed to be discharged!

This was, without a doubt, the most stressful thing we’ve had to go through.

We were guilty until proven innocent
in a situation where the risk was losing our children.
Terrifying doesn’t even begin describe it.

Thank God that we were able to obtain that xray and
that the radiologist was skilled enough to recognize Eric’s condition.
They do not think he should have any complications as a result.

Hospital with Eric

In Eric’s case, his right clavicle is malformed and it fused to the first rib, which is also malformed and fused to the second rib.

He’s one special guy!

A Hospital Stay for Eric

Hospital with Eric

On Monday evening, while we were all sitting down to eat dinner, Eric choked on a piece of watermelon.  Immediately, I picked him up out of his seat and started whacking his back (in the correct manner) to get the piece to come up.  Then I did a finger sweep to see if anything was blocking his airway.

It didn’t work.
And soon he wasn’t breathing.

I handed him to Nathaniel, who also tried hitting his back.  As our baby boy was turning blue and no longer making sound, I started screaming.  I ran to get my phone to dial 911 and, simultaneously, opened the garage door so that I could yell for help.  As I was about to press send on my phone, we heard Eric let out a small cry.  Then he pinked up and cried for his mama.  I nursed him and he soon fell asleep.

Hospital with Eric

However, during the night, he developed a bad cough.  He seemed to be in a lot of pain, so I called the doctor first thing in the morning.  They had me go right in.  The doctor had xrays done, which came back normal, and did a full exam. She did not like the way his cough sounded, so much so that she called me later that day just to make sure he was doing ok.  When I told her that he had not improved, she made an appointment for me to see another doctor the following day.

At this appointment, the doctor had the nurses do deep lung suction on Eric to try to get anything out of his lungs. They were able to get a lot of mucous and some small amount of pink matter, that seemed to be watermelon. It was awful to hear my baby boy screaming down the hallway. After it was all over, they brought him back to me, but then took him away again for another xray.  This xray showed that his lungs looked worse.

Hospital with Eric

The doctor called the head pulmonologist at the Children’s Hospital.
We were then ordered to go to the ER to have a broncoscopy performed on Eric.
We arrived at the ER around 5pm, but didn’t get admitted until after midnight.
Little Eric was miserable after being xrayed, poked and prodded.
His viens weren’t cooperating either, so they had to place the IV in his head.

Hospital with Eric
We shared a room with another family, so Nathaniel went to sleep in the car around 1:30am. Every half hour or less, someone came in to check on Eric. At around 4am, the doctor came in and had me sign the papers for the procedure: larynxoscopy, broncoscopy and removal of foreign body. The document contained the hand-written words: risk of death. After that, this mama could sleep no longer.
Hospital with Eric
A little after 5am, I took him down to the pre-op area, where Nathaniel met us. Then they took our boy away and we didn’t see him for an hour and a half. First, we spoke with the ENT, who did the procedure, and he said that everything went well, but they only found a lot of “junk” but no watermelon. He said, that since Eric has been coughing all night, he may have coughed up the watermelon already. He then went on to say that Eric has bronchitis.

When we went to the post-op room, he was still out cold from the anethesia, but I was able to hold him and then eventually nurse him when he was awake enough to do so. Then we went back up to our room to wait to see what the pediatrician had to say.

Hospital with Eric

After a series of events and some breathing treatments, Eric was discharged.

BUT this is not the entire story…

There were a lot more, very serious, things that went on while we were at the hospital,
but we were not at liberty to share them at the time.
More to come soon…

Hospital with Eric

A big huge shout out to our friends who took care of the other four children
while Nathaniel and I were taking care of Eric.
We truly appreciate the huge sacrifices you made for us and our children.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And We’re Back… Again

It has happened again.  I went two weeks without blogging.
I actually have had a lot to share, so, here it goes:

Our littlest man is doing new and exciting things!  He can now pull up to stand and…
IMG_20140616_154157he will take steps if you let him hold on to your fingers.
He will be 8 months old in a few days!

We been doing our Library’s Summer Reading Program, which has been a lot of fun. The children are reading lots of great books, and Grace has even started her first official chapter book that she is reading on her own. We are only in the second week of the program, and David has already read many chapter books. He is a fast reader. The younger boys are participating, too, and a lot of the time, David reads to them. It is funny to see books like “Time to Use the Potty” on the list of books that David has read.
Library

On Pentecost Sunday, we found a turtle in the road in the middle of a busy neighborhood.
He only had three legs, so we brought him with us to church
and then kept him in a box during the service.

IMG_20140608_153312
So, after church, we went to the pet store to see what we could do for this little guy.
They told us to let him go free because he was old and would have been unhappy.
So, we went to a beautiful location and let him go.
IMG_20140608_153349

Grace has been taking private gymnastics lessons this month with her gymnastics teacher.
She is really improving.

IMG_20140519_162134
Both David and Grace went to a free Tennis Clinic and loved it so much that they asked me to sign them up. So, beginning in July, they will be learning how to play tennis.
Grace will continue to do gymnastics classes in the summer,
and then David and Gregory will begin soccer in the fall.
Fortunately, we live in an area where things types of things are very affordable.
We will be busy, but homeschooling gives us more free time for
the children to be able to do activities like this.

Many Saturdays, we have donuts for breakfast.
Donuts
Last weekend, we went to a place that has been around in Lexington since 1972.
Although, from an article I read recently, there are two places in Lexington that we haven’t been to who make excellent donuts. We will have to check these out one Saturday morning.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

25th Annual Great American Balloon Race

On Friday evening, we drove to the Great American Balloon Race.

25th Great American Balloon RaceIt was packed!
We tried to get a ride on the tethered hot air balloon,
but it was taking forever, so we opted to let
the kids jump in the bouncy house instead.
25th Annual Great Hot Air Balloon Race
Next year, we will plan better.
We will pack a picnic and
get there as soon as the gates open
so that we can ride in the tethered hot air balloon.
25th Annual Great Hot Air Balloon Race
Regardless, everyone had fun!
25th Annual Great Hot Air Balloon Race

Here is a VIDEO of the balloons taking off!
(you might want to lower your volume first)

25th Annual Great Hot Air Balloon Race
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Earlier that day, I taught the all children a lesson about hot air balloons.
Hot Air Balloon Lesson
We attempted to make one, according to directions I found online, but it failed miserably. I think the bag was too thin or something. We then tried with a paper bag, but that didn’t work either. Oh well!
Hot Air Balloon Lesson
We moved on to the classroom and made a hot air balloon craft.
Hot Air Balloon Lesson
Hot Air Balloon LessonIt was a fun day!

Parmesan Crusted Pork

Parm porkThis dish is a favorite in our family.  Although, some of the children think it is chicken rather than pork.  Let me tell you, this recipe would be just as good with chicken instead of pork.  Just make sure you cook it long enough for the chicken to be heated through.

This meal is quick and easy.

You don’t need any special ingredients on hand and young children can easily help you prepare this dish.

I made this for the Feast of Ascension last week with side of quinoa and sugar snap peas.

Parmesan Crusted Pork
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4-8
 
Ingredients
  • 6-8 Thinly Sliced Pork Cutlets
  • 2 cups Italian Breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Heat the Olive Oil over medium-high heat in a skillet.
  2. Combine the bread crumbs and cheese.
  3. Coat each pork cutlet with the crumb mixture and place into the skillet.
  4. Cook 4-6 minutes on each side, depending on thickness.
  5. When the cutlets are brown on both sides, put on dish with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  6. You will probably need to make this in batches, so put cooked cutlets into the oven to keep warm.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Parm pork

Coming Out About JOY

If you have read my posts from last week
(Coming Out About Fussy Babies, Isolation, Comparisions),
you may have misunderstood part of why I wrote those posts.

They were not written to complain or compare.
They were not written to make anyone think their life isn’t hard.
They were simply written because I began to see that others
are also dealing with the same things that I am.

Whatever may have been expressed in those posts,
the one thing that is more important that any
is that even if life is difficult and straining,
it does not mean there is no joy.

IMG_20140530_165951

Seriously.
Look at those faces.
How could there not be joy in a life filled with beautiful children.

Sometimes, good things in life come at a price.
But they are always worth it.

IMG_20140601_175613

Even when the baby is screaming and crying
for the tenth time in a day,
I can still snuggle with him and kiss his precious little head.

IMG_20140523_172517

There is joy,
sometimes you just need to look for it.
But there is always joy.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, he author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)