Archive for the ‘Health…or Lack Thereof’ Category

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Makes Me Grumpy — Amy @ 10:15 am

Good: Doing a bunch of sit-ups

Bad: Contracting some kind of head-congesty coughing syndrome

Ugly: Having sore stomach muscles from too many sit-ups so that each time I descend into another coughing fit, it feels like someone is kicking me in the gut.

Make it stop…

Wee Hours

Over the course of yesterday, Jens improved about 800%.  I kept the kids out of the house all day and when we arrived home it was like meeting a different Jens.  Well, “different” meaning the “same” Jens that I knew BEFORE our happy home was plagued with the Disease – yes, Disease with a capital D, oh D that will never stand for dog or donut or daisy or dallas or anything else in this house but Disease and maybe Death and Destruction or possibly Diarrhea and once we get past this thing we are burying D and probably S in the back yard never to speak of them again because these letters?  They spell bad things.  Excuse me while I go rock myself in the corner.  Again.

He ate a banana.  While we were gone yesterday.  A whole banana.  Swallowed it and everything.  And then?  Then?  Then we had dinner and he ATE. 


Two, to be precise.

I just about fainted.

He’s even sleeping in our bed tonight.  Which, you may notice, I’m not.  I’m not sure if it’s the fact that Jens is sleeping in his own bed, or the fact that I was stupid and told my mom today that, “Koren has been sleeping pretty well the last several nights” (because I’m sure it’s one of those two things) but Koren has already been up several times.

A few minutes ago, I heard, “Mama, I’m cold.”  I went in to put a blanket on him and as he laid back down, he hit his head on the music box hanging on the side of his crib.  “Hey,” he said as he turned around to glare at it, as though the music box had intentionally reached out and hit him.

Also, there was the porcupine making a racket on our front porch.  Little turd. Although, I’d rather look out and see a porcupine on the front porch than another bear trying to get into the trash bins.

I have to say though, it’s weird to see it dark outside.  I think the sun will start coming up in about an hour and if I’m still awake to see it I’m going to be very depressed about that.

Tomorrow is a big day – kids go to school, I clean the house, then we have friends come to visit for a few days from Dallas.  So I guess I’ll go back downstairs and try to get some sleep so I don’t keel over in the middle of dinner tomorrow evening.


State of the Union

Filed under: Friends,Health...or Lack Thereof,Jens,Koren — Amy @ 7:50 pm

Jens is slightly better.  I watched him choke down three pills cut up into little tiny pieces, and only gag one of them back up again.  He also managed to eat some chicken broth tonight, which is the first thing he’s eaten since Thursday night.  He’s lost 11 pounds.  He has no energy.

Koren can open his eye today, with the help of Benadryl and antibiotics we were prescribed by the ER doctor yesterday.  I keep having people suggest to me that it’s a bug bite.  Apparently the mosquitoes around here are sadistic little bastards and are known to go for the eyes of small children.

He did get to go to school today, which was a blessing for me.  I got to go jogging, which seems to mean a lot to me these days.  And it was sunny, which also means a lot to me these days.

His eyes actually look about the same right now because as the one is getting better, the other is getting worse.  Tomorrow we head back to the Pharmacy to fill a prescription for allergy medicine.  For those keeping track at home, that will be a total of 8 trips to the pharmacy in 3 days.  Me and the pharmacy staff, we’re tight.

The doctor that we saw today strongly recommended going ahead and getting the x-rays done on Koren’s back, but doesn’t think we need to go see a specialist in Anchorage at this point.  The blood tests came back “almost normal.”  His white blood cell count is low, but apparently that can happen after a virus, which Koren was coming down with at the time he had blood drawn.  His red blood cell count is slightly low, but the doc said just to make sure he eats enough meat and other iron-containing foods.

Well, that’s about it.  Oh, and it looks like we’ll be getting Hastings back.  We’re not telling the kids yet, but I know they’ll be excited.  We just haven’t figured out exactly what we’re going to do with him, since his nature is to run off and there is no fence in our yard.

Also, we’re having company in a couple of days.  Valerie, Michael and their daughter Madelyn are coming for a few days from Dallas, and we’re very excited to see our friends again.  Though, I will probably spend a lot of the time apologizing for the state of our house, since I am coming to terms with the fact that certain chores are just not going to get done adequately until we get through this plague (hai, n-e-body wanna com cleen mah house???).

Regardless, Kaelin is SUPER excited to see her friend and has been counting down the days.  It was the last thing she said to me before bed: “Mama, tomorrow there’s only ONE MORE DAY until Madelyn comes, right?”

Swollen Shut

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Koren,Photos — Amy @ 11:37 am

Poor Little Guy

The Plague

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Jens,Koren — Amy @ 7:27 pm

Oh, and Koren has an infected eye.

A New Day

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Jens,Peaves — Amy @ 11:50 am

Jens appears to have strep throat.  I say “appears” because the tests came back negative, but he has all the symptoms.  The doctor told him that the test is only 85% accurate so she’s pretty sure it’s just a false negative and put him on antibiotics.  He spent most of the day in bed and then took Kaelin to Seldovia for the weekend.

If you read that last sentence and thought, “huh?” it’s because he had made plans to take Kaelin to Seldovia for the weekend and my husband?  HE IS STUBBORN.  It was a struggle to keep him home last weekend with the measly excuse of a SHATTERED ELBOW.  So this weekend I gave up and just drove him and his contagious illness to the boat.

Speaking of Jens and his shattered elbow, we are still waiting to hear back from the doctor in Anchorage on whether he thinks surgery would be necessary, based on the x-rays.

And now, it’s time for me to get off the computer and get back to all that cleaning I’m supposed to be doing while Koren is napping.

Can I Have Some Cheese With That?

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Jens,Koren,Peaves,Such is Life — Amy @ 9:20 am

I heard Kaelin coughing a few times last night.  If she gets sick too, I think I’m just going to throw myself off the balcony.

This week is wearing me down.  All the household chores are pretty much up to me now, which might give me a martyr complex if I was actually doing a good job at getting them done.  But I’m not, so it’s just making me frustrated and stabby.  It seems that no matter what I do, the laundry keeps piling up, the floor keeps getting cluttered and dirty, the dishes keep appearing OUT OF NOWHERE, and the trash…I don’t even want to think about the trash.  Though Jens and his mom did manage to do a dump run yesterday, so at least I have a place to PUT the trash.  For now.

Koren seems to be back to normal, except that he suddenly has the emotional consistency of a ping-pong ball.  Is that a 2-year-old thing?  I don’t remember Kaelin going through that stage.  He’s loving all his new toys, but he’s obsessed with the fact that they’re HIS.  As soon as he even THINKS Kaelin is going to touch one, he starts shrieking. 

He keeps telling us that he’s ready to use the potty.  I’m so not ready to go there.  We haven’t even weaned him off the pacifier yet.  I keep meaning to do it, but something’s always happening that makes it a bad time.  He’s sick, we have company, we’re traveling, etc. 

Also, I have a feeling that he’s going to be one of those kids who sleeps in a crib until he’s 3 and a half.  Kaelin got transitioned to a “big girl bed” shortly after she turned 2.  But just trying to keep Koren in his dinner seat is like trying to keep all the packing peanuts inside a box, so I can’t even imagine what trying to keep him in a bed in the middle of the night would be like.

I had plans to go jogging this morning (good stress relief) but after taking Jens to the doctor (they weren’t open yet) and going to the store to get throat spray I was finally headed out and then it started raining.  Since I can’t think of anything more miserable than running in the rain, it appears I’m not going jogging.

Maybe I’ll just take a nap instead.

Health and Wellness Update

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Jens,Koren — Amy @ 10:40 am

The ibuprofen did the trick and within an hour his fever was down to “low-grade” again and he was showing signs of life for the first time all day.  He even ate some pasta and pretended to be a dog as he lapped it off his plate.

Yesterday, he continued to improve though it was obvious he wasn’t 100% yet.  Poor Kaelin doesn’t know how to handle it when her playmate just isn’t interested in playing all her made-up games.  She got a lesson on the fact that you can’t MAKE someone want to play, no matter how persistently you pester them about it.

His fever subsided and this morning he’s back to school.  He doesn’t quite have all his energy back (his energetic spurts are more short-lived), but his personality is back and he doesn’t seem to have any other symptoms.

We haven’t gotten the results back on the blood tests.  I still haven’t taken him to get his back x-rayed.  I’m having a bit of an internal debate about that.  He hasn’t complained about it since, and it’s entirely possible that it was hurting so bad because he had been jumping up in the air and landing hard on his butt earlier in the day (I know.  Doesn’t sound like fun to me either).  So I don’t want to pump him full of radiation if it was just a fluke.

So I think I’ll wait to see if he continues to complain about his back.  Before this last time, it had been at least a week between complaints, so I was in hopes that the Mysterious Aching Body Syndrome was starting to subside.

I guess we’ll see.

In other news, check this out:


Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Jens,Koren,News,Photos,Such is Life — Amy @ 4:45 pm

Puke sessions so far: 3

Urine analysis came back normal, so it’s not a UTI.  While it would have been nice to have an actual diagnosis, we’re glad for the result because if the test had come back abnormal they would have stuck a catheter in him for further testing.  One more trauma avoided.

But let me tell you, he was none too pleased when it was time to remove the plastic baggy that was (excessively) taped all around his wee-wee to collect the urine sample.  Even armed with adhesive-remover, it was an experience I hope never to repeat.

Also, did you know that if you Google “toddler back pain” you come up with two things:

  1. A plethora of parents in forums inquiring about the same thing and not getting any answers
  2. A long list of possible diagnoses that have VERY SCARY NAMES.

In other health-related updates, Jens had his CAT scan today and the doctor doesn’t think he will need surgery (PRAISE!) but does want to refer him to another doctor in Anchorage (who is, coincidentally, one of Jens’ extended relatives) for a second opinion.


Filed under: Family,Health...or Lack Thereof,Koren,Such is Life — Amy @ 11:21 am

Amidst his tears, he explained that his “back. hurts.” and pointed to his lower back.  He was inconsolable for about half an hour, at which point he had cried himself into exhaustion and fell asleep again.

Then he woke up 2 hours later and it started all over again.  Another inconsolable crying jag about how much his back hurt, and nothing we did seemed to help at all.  He finally fell asleep in my arms out of pure exhaustion and slept until almost 8:00am.

This morning he is not himself.  He is very lethargic, sleepy, and hardly talking at all.  Anyone who has ever met him knows that this is highly abnormal.  He says his back is “good” now, and that he doesn’t have any owies anywhere.  He has a low-grade fever, but he’s acting like a child with a fever of 104°.

He’s passed out on my bed right now.  A very early nap that will hopefully do him some good.

We made a trip to the doctor this morning and came home with a plastic bag taped to his wee-wee.  That will be fun to remove.  But the alternative was a catheter.  The doctor wants a urine sample to rule out a UTI that may have spread to his kidneys, causing the back pain.  Beyond that, they took some blood (which was not pleasant) and want to x-ray his lower back.  He has been complaining off and on about back pain for several months, though it has never been this bad.  Usually I have him lie down on the couch for a minute and he’s back to his normal rambunctious self.

And finally, if they can’t figure out the cause, we’ll have to take him to Anchorage (4 hours away) to see a pediatrician, since there aren’t any in Homer.  We’re hoping it doesn’t come to that, but we may end up making a family trip to Anchorage – Jens may need surgery on his arm and I need to see a dermatologist about a spot on my arm that has me concerned.

Fun times at the Eckels hospital house!  Here’s hoping that Kaelin will remain her usual healthy self.

Owie, Daddo?

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Jens,News,Photos,Such is Life — Amy @ 9:59 pm

Then I rounded the corner of the stairs and saw my husband in an enormous full-length arm cast, suspended from his neck.

In short, Jens was playing basketball in his usual kamikaze style and collided with another player.  When he landed on his arm, he severely dislocated his elbow and chipped a piece off the joint.

After popping it back into place himself and a trip to the ER, he was home and bandaged and in a lot of pain – despite hydrocodone, Tylenol, and the ibuprofen shot they gave him in the butt.  I got a preview of 60 years from now when I had to give him a bath and dress him, as he was unable to do much of anything himself.

The next day he went to an orthopedic surgeon who took more x-rays and determined that he was unable to determine the actual prognosis.  So Jens has to go back tomorrow (Monday) for a CAT scan.  They need to find out whether the piece of bone floating around in his arm is one large chunk or several smaller pieces, and from there will make the decision on whether or not he needs surgery.

Three days post-incident, he’s very swollen and still in quite a bit of pain.  However, he has gained a lot of movement and is able to wear just a sling and ice pack most of the time.

The kids have been very supportive.  Kaelin likes to help with the bandages and Koren asks him every day “What happen, Daddo?”  He’s very empathetic.  Today Jens accidentally banged his arm and as he was nursing his pain, Koren rushed over to offer his condolences.  “What happen, Daddo?”  Upon being given the recap, he offered, “Hugs are nice.  Kisses nice.  Hug it?  Kiss it, Daddo?”

It appears that Daddo will be well taken care of as he recovers.

Two Weeks

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Koren,Parenting — Amy @ 2:33 pm

Well, the worst is over. We’ve hit the 2 week mark and I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I find it funny how everyone prepares you for pregnancy and delivery, but nobody really talks about what recovery will be like. Even if everything goes well with the delivery, the first week is hell.

The bruising. The bleeding. The hemorrhoids that bleed and hurt when you stand, and worse when you sit. The diapers and ice packs and tucks pads and creams that you have to stuff into hospital-issued mesh panties. The anesthetic spray that doesn’t do a damned thing. The squirt bottle you have to use instead of toilet paper every single time you pee. The extra bleeding and pain brought on every time you poop. The dreadfully sore nipples that scream every time a piece of fabric brushes up against them – not to mention when a little baby attacks them with a hungry mouth. The sitz baths, sitting there shivering in 2 inches of water that comes up just far enough to tickle your butt crack, knowing that the only thing you really want from life at that moment – to sink into a full bath of warm water – is off limits for 5 more weeks.

Yep. Postpartum Week One genuinely SUCKS.

Week Two is better, but still comes with trials of its own. The pain starts to give way to the sharp insatiable itching that comes with any healing wound – itching that can’t be scratched because it’s either in an inaccessible part of your body, or doing so would result in intense pain. The bruising begins to heal, meaning that you can walk without waddling. The more minor hemorrhoids start to disappear. The belly loses the remainder of its pregnancy weight, leaving you with the poundage that you’ll actually have to work to lose. Invariably, it’s more than you expected (ouch) and the bathroom scale becomes the enemy once again.

But once that two-week mark comes around, the sun begins to shine again. It also helps being able to take the baby out, because feeling like a prisoner trapped in your own house can make you crazy.

But in the end, you realize that the pain and agony are temporary and that you will be left with this:


Totally worth it.

About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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