Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Staying home

After Ginger's official diagnosis of Valley Fever, and with her continuing to slip and fall, we decided we couldn't leave her alone at all until........well, we didn't know how long.  

I stopped at The Uprooted Kitchen on Thursday evening after picking up Ginger's medication from the vet.  You might remember that it is the restaurant owned by Elliott's former occupational therapist, Chad, and his wife. I was explaining to them what was going on with Ginger and how stressed I was and that I needed somebody to watch her for one hour on Friday so I could do to the dentist.  I had made several calls already and nobody could do it.  Then a friend of their's showed up to buy dinner and he overheard us talking. Out of nowhere he volunteered to come watch Ginger.  I looked at Chad with questioning eyes and he said that he had known both of us for about two years and he thought it was fine for both sides. 

So that is how it came to be that this guy Marc came to my house on Friday morning and dog-sat Ginger for an hour. I didn't even know his last name until he left his business card for me.  And then the business card led me to his Facebook page where I borrowed his picture.  
Ginger and Marc had a great time together.  He worked on his laptop and she napped.  

After he left she gave me some looks like, what the heck just happened around this place?

Saturday was a busy day.  In addition to keeping a watchful eye on Ginger, Michael and I cleaned the whole house (me) and the whole yard (him). 

At 3:00 my sisterhood friends came over for a poolside cocktail party. 

Garnishes for the drinks. 

Fruit kebab stir sticks for drinks.  

Plastic glasses with umbrellas and booze in the background. 


So, after 2.5 hours of sitting at the kitchen table and talking we went out by the pool to take a picture.  
The 2 minutes we were out there was the total amount of time we spent by the pool.  Oops.  The pool party that wasn't.  

Ginger enjoyed our company.  
Right after the sisterhood left I started making dinner because my friend and former supervisor, Marva, was in town from Dallas.  She had dinner with us and spent the night.  

Elliott made a welcome sign for her. 

This is the only picture I took, but it was taken after midnight, so we obviously had a good time.  

Sunday, August 20, 2017

An exhausting week

We were really hesitant to leave Ginger alone on Tuesday the 15th after her pneumonia diagnosis and knowing that she most likely had Valley Fever as well.  Luckily Michael had a meeting to attend that was close to home (and not at work, which is 26 miles away), so he ended up working just a half day and was home with Ginger all afternoon.  She did fine alone in the morning.  That would all change soon though. 

In the meantime, I was at work on Tuesday.  I started doing speech therapy sessions with all of my kids.  I always have the kids draw a picture of themselves during the first session.  I do one too.  Then we hang it on the wall for the entire year.  This year I actually have a huge bulletin board for them. 

My 2017-2018 picture.  The red shoes were a lie. 

See.  I was wearing yellow sandals. 

The print of the dress in my drawing was a stretch of the truth too. 
Spencer got to go on a field trip with student council on Tuesday.  They went to a skating place for a couple of hours in the morning and were recorded for a local news station to promote an event for their school.   They are trying to raise money for a technology lab.

Spencer's poster. 

These are his legs after a morning of skating/falling. 
I worked again on Wednesday the 16th.  Michael stayed home with Ginger all day, which was good because she got progressively worse all day long. Valley Fever can cause neurological symptoms and on Wednesday she started sliding on the floor and falling a lot. 

We took Elliott's 5 year 8 month pictures after dinner.  I haven't given any consideration as to which one is "official". 

I also remembered to take pictures of all of Elliott's wall light balloons.  He's using them as night lights. 

Spencer also picked Bridge to Terabithia as his next book. He's already almost done with it.   These are all of the books he'll be reading for pleasure in the coming weeks. 
Thursday was an AWFUL day.  I was up with Ginger multiple times during the night (Wednesday to Thursday) because she couldn't stand up on her own and kept sliding and falling on the floor.  Then Michael came in and woke me up at 5:00 am to say he had called in to work and was staying home with Ginger all day.  He had been on his way out the door to work when he found her crashed on the floor in the laundry room.  I had been up with her at 3:30, so sometime between 3:30 and 5:00 she left the bedroom, fell and couldn't get back up.  There was just no way we could leave her for 8 hours in that condition. 

I had a very busy day at work.  Therapy sessions and meetings.  I did make time to take a picture of all of the file folders I have been collecting.   I'm close to having a new pretty one for every one of my kids. 

I had a 3:00 meeting that day and after it I was talking to my friend Ellen in her office.  It was almost 5:00 when Michael called me to say the vet's office had just called and she did officially have Valley Fever.  They said if we wanted to we could come in to get a week's supply of the medication she needed otherwise we'd have to wait for the compounding pharmacy to get it ready.  Well, you had better believe I was in the car two minutes later driving to Mesa to pick up the pills.  It took three pills (Thursday night, Friday morning, Friday night) and we already saw a huge difference.  No more slipping and falling at all.  

I got to Mesa just before 6:00, then I drove to Gilbert to go to the bank and to pick up dinner for myself.  I got home after 7:00 that night. But it was worth it to get her started on the medication.  

Up next:  The time I hired a baby-sitter for Ginger so I could go to the dentist. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The new weekend

Since I started working my new Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday work schedule my weekends consist of Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  So, depending on what happens during those days (like, how busy we are), I will just start speaking of Friday through Monday as "the weekend".  As we get into the busy holiday season it will probably change, but for now we'll stick to the plan.

Last Friday, the 11th, were school pictures. 

Elliott showing his "school picture" smile. 

And what he hoped they would not make him do. 

Spencer said this was his school picture smile. 

I said absolutely not, but this is hardly better. 

While the kids were at school I got a delightful delivery.  I had "ordered" a free mug from Shutterfly. I say "ordered" because I just paid for the shipping.  Honestly, how does Shutterfly stay in business?

I decided to use our family Halloween pictures for the last four years.  I'll do another mug when we have four more years.....if the kids continue to tolerate such nonsense. 

Each picture shows a different picture/part on the mug.   




The kids got into a huge fight with each other before we even made it home from school on Friday so they got banished to their rooms.  With doors closed. 
On Saturday Spencer went to a play date at a trampoline place, Michael and Elliott did some stuff I don't even remember and I had lunch with some SLP friends.  I met all of them in 2004 when we all worked in the same district.  It was my first year as an SLP. 

There was a gorgeous sunset that night, but the pictures from our backyard did it no justice. 

Saturday night I did my first pedicure entirely with Jamberry wraps.  It was difficult and doesn't look great, but it's my toes so nobody can really tell. 
We got up on Sunday to an entirely crippled Ginger.  Her front left paw was totally swollen and she could put NO pressure on it.  She was alert the whole day but really immobilized.  We ended up carrying her outside to the grass every few hours to keep her from walking.  It was really sad. 
Michael and Spencer stayed home that day and watched Harry Potter 6, and Elliott and I went to IKEA for breakfast and some shopping.  We bought two new balloon wall lights for his room, but I haven't taken pictures yet.  Ginger has occupied too much of my time.  We also went to Target and Ross where I bought new curtains and curtain rods for the kitchen.  Again, no pictures, because Ginger. 

I did manage to get a picture of this nonsense though. I went with an early 2000's hairstyle on Sunday afternoon for my workout.  It was the first time in, really, ever, that I kept my hair from falling in my eyes during burpees and whatnot.  I think it's my go-to workout hairstyle now, even if it looks totally ridiculous. 
Michael hung up these little pictures that day.  It's taken almost five years for me to find the perfect thing to hang on this tiny wall in the dining room.  And yes, I realize the quality of this picture is awful.  Let's blame it on Ginger again.   Each pictures shows a recipe for a classic drink.  I'll take a better picture soon.  

I made grain free coconut breakfast porridge for dinner that night. Lots of fresh fruit and cinnamon on top. 

Elliott picked new jammies out at Target that day and he wanted his picture in them before bedtime. 

I called the vet's office at 7:30 am on Monday and made an 11:00 appointment for Ginger.  I was really concerned about her foot and walking ability.  She had gotten worse all day Sunday and I was up with her almost every hour during the night because she couldn't stand up on her own so she was panicking and just scratching at the floor.  Monday morning she couldn't even stand up without her back feet falling out from underneath her.  There were about five minutes yesterday morning that I thought she was going to die that day. She had also developed a little cough last week that I was going to call about anyway, but the walking was definitely the most pressing issue. 

They brought in a basket of snacks for me in the exam room.  I had nothing. 
\Her walking had improved in the last couple of hours, but she was still sliding on the floor and losing her balance.  She was not happy to be there. 

She also walked under this table and got stuck. Which was just sad. 
After much discussion with the vet, a panel of lab work, and a bunch of x-rays, Ginger was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia most likely caused by Valley Fever.  The pneumonia is for sure, but the test for Valley Fever takes five days.  The foot issue and balance seems to be the result of a spider bite or scorpion sting, given how quickly it came on, the severity of her symptoms and how quickly she is recovering.  We got more pain pills for her, a 10 day course of antibiotics and we'll come up with a new plan once we know the Valley Fever results. I really could not be more pleased with the results.  Valley Fever won't be a picnic, but compared to say, congestive heart failure or a lung tumor, we can deal with it. 

She was one tired girl last night.