Showing posts with label Health and Wealth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health and Wealth. Show all posts

Monday, January 22, 2018

How To Make Your Bedroom A Beautiful Haven of Rest...

Here's our bedroom before we started decluttering.... I never thought of us as being packrats or having a cluttered home until we started going through our house room by room and getting rid of stuff....

Here's some ideas to help you unclutter your bedroom and make it a beautiful, relaxing space.

Closets - clean them out! Get rid of all the clothes, shoes, purses, and anything else you don't use reguarly or items that you have more than enough.

Get rid of all the fake plants, they only collect dust.

Wall decor - less is more! For example: In our room we have four wall decor items. One is a picure fame with a wedding photo, an old window frame from my Grandpa that I decorated, an old windmill blade and my jewelry holder which I made. We do have a mirror hanging on the back of the of the bedroom door.

Decor items, shelves, display cabinets - get rid of at least 75% of the stuff in your room. If you get rid of the extra and just keep a few items you love, those few items will be much more meaningful to you. I love finding antique items to use in my decor.... this oil can came from my dad's shop when I was a kid.

Fresh flowers are a great way to add to your decor... And I got this little type 3/type 2 elephant at a yard sale a few years ago.... I love this little elephant because it reminds me of myself.... all crazy, unpredictable, adventurous, and unique!

Paint the walls, the doors, and the trim. Get new hardware for the doors. Painting is the cheapest way to update a room. Find a color that you like or that looks good in your home. For example: I'm not really a huge fan of purple but this purple hue goes perfectly with our interior gray walls throughout our house, and I find it cool and calming in our bedroom - especially compared to the previous pink coral/salmon colored walls.

Hubby painting.... 

Dressers - get rid of any extra dressers you have. You only need one dresser for two people.

Dresser before... the attached mirror makes it look dated and the items make it look cluttered.

Below is the same exact dresser with the same decor plus one extra piece.... notice how much cleaner and clutter free it looks?

Ps. My husband and I share this one dresser.

This is the true actual color of the walls in our bedroom.

Curtains - open them up! Take down the ugly, old, dusty ones and clean them or buy new, clean, fresh curtains. Place curtain rods 1/2 way between the ceiling and the window trim (usually 6-8" above the window) - it makes your room look more open and your windows larger.

Make sure you have a nice comfy place to sit, talk, and relax. (Chair from Ikea). 

While on the subject keep your room clean and your bed made. We keep our bedroom as a getaway for the hubby and I.

Get rid of all the stuffy pillows, dated bed skirts, and old blankets. I used to have 7 throw pillows in my bedroom - while I will always love throw pillows, 2 or 3 is now my max.

Under your bed is not for storage.... if you have storage under your bed - you have too much stuff!

It amazes me just how much junk we used to stuff into our bedroom. We had collectible cars, tractors, magazines, sewing stuff, old picture frames, too big clothes, too small clothes, childhood toys, old cell phones, fake plants, gift wrap, suitcases, etc.

Never again! I love having a calm, clean, relaxing bedroom!

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year Resolutions

Stop trying to be something your not!

This could be considered useful advise for just about anything.... but, today I'm talking about exercising.

This time of year you hear of people making New Year Resolutions and the top one for many people is to lose weight. Now I'm not saying weight loss or exercising is bad. What I'm saying is if you have to be something that's not true to who you are to achieve it.... it's simple not worth it!

I'm all for losing weight (You can see my getting healthy story here), exercising, eating healthy, becoming fit, being happy,and changing into the person who you want to be... just don't go about it the wrong way!

Let me explain what I mean....

I have always been short (5ft.). As a kid, I hated walking with my mom and sister, because they could walk circles around me... (short legs don't go fast). When I was 12, I was ran over with a produce wagon and have had many leg problems since. I have struggled with being overweight my whole life. I have owned and tried weight machines, treadmill, elliptical, swimming, and everything else. My doctor told me I should never do any exercising other than in water, as it is just too hard on my bad leg....

But here's the thing. I always let people talk me into trying to work out - outside of water, and it causes me to become something I'm not. I do NOT want to be a fitness guru.... working out makes me become angry, sore, tired, and an all around bad person to be with....

Now, if you genually enjoy having a workout routine and get a high from the burn, by all means go ahead and do so. Now through Jan 31, 2018 save $50 with a Shaklee 180 Starter Kit... it will put you on the fast track to becoming fit and healthy!

But for me - I get my high and enjoyment from taking walks, going on bike rides, and exploring with my family... that's how I'm getting in my exercise, and enjoying being me, and staying true to myself at the same time.

Here's to a happy, healthy, New Year and to having good new year resolutions!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Please Don't Gift Me Things....

If you wish to bless someones life in someway -give them an experience, a memory or a consumable item, but please don't be offended by someones lifestyle choice to not want things to add clutter to their lives.... 

Here are some ideas:
  • Take them out to eat
  • Gift cards to restaurants, a favorite store, a gas card, or music download
  • A membership to the zoo, gym, garden club, Shaklee, etc.
  • Buy them lessons/classes - florist class, music lesson, dance lessons, pottery or art class
  • Make them some yummy food - most people love homemade goodies
  • Put together a fruit basket
  • Box of chocolates - who doesn't love chocolate?!?!
  • Gift certificate to a massage therapist, hair appointment, or a nail salon 
  • Give them a Get Clean Kit to get chemicals out of their home and help them live better.
  • Lotion or bath salts (make sure the person you're gifting too actually likes and uses them)
  • Send some flowers - flowers are my love language and I truly enjoy them.
  • Airplane tickets to travel or a gift card to use to travely
  • Tickets to a musical, symphony, concert, or play
  • Movie tickets along with a few $$ to buy some popcorn
  • Give them a clean, natural Skincare Kit that they will love - it's like having a facial everyday!
  • Send a note - almost everyone appreciates a hand written note
  • Spend time with them - take a walk, lend a helping hand, or a listening ear
  • Hugs are one of the best gifts ever!
  • And finally, you can never go wrong with the gift of money.
Did you know that nearly 7 in 10 Americans (69%) said they would skip exchanging gifts this holiday season if their friends and family agreed to it and 43% of those who spend money on anything related to the holidays said they feel pressured to spend more than they can afford. This is crazy! 

 It's not that I'm being ungrateful, I just genuinely don't want!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hocking Hills Anniversary Getaway 2017

Little did I know, back in January, when I booked our anniversary getaway trip, just how much we would need the quiet, peaceful, relaxation that a getaway brings.

With our oldest daughter graduating this spring, me having 3 surgeries this year, my son having emergency brain surgery and a 5 week hospital stay, another surgery and around the clock infusions at home, and a trip to take our oldest to visit a college in Missouri... needless to say, I was more than ready for an overnight getaway date with my man.... I think the last time we had an actual date away from home was in March... that's over 7 months ago. I don't think we've ever went that long in between dates, but it feels good to know that when life had a turn for the worse, our marriage was strong, even without alone time.

We booked our getaway with Getaway Cabins in Hocking hills Ohio and rented Cabin 36....

'Ever After' was a beautiful, clean, private, and romantic cabin.... however it is 8 miles away from Hocking Hills. The bed - although huge, was very uncomfortable, the neighbors dogs were barking all night, and there was some road/car noise, so needless to say we got NO sleep for the two nights we were there! But, we did have a fabulous time and want to go back with the kids in the near future!


Hocking Hills State Park is one of the best places to hike in Ohio. The park’s extensive trail system showcases a variety of landmarks, including rock formations, waterfalls, cliffs, and caves. We visited every site and walked both the gorge trails and the rim trails. The weather was gorgeous and the landscape was absolutely beautiful!

Ash Cave - Ash Cave offers two of the southernmost trails in Hocking Hills State Park. Lower Ash Cave travels about a quarter-mile alongside the Ash Cave Gorge. The Upper Ash Cave Trail, often referred to as the Ash Cave Rim, offers a more rugged climb. Ash Cave is Ohio's largest recessed cave. Erosion to the 700-foot horseshoe-shaped rock face has created a 100-foot-deep recess and, when conditions are right, a slender 90-foot-high waterfall.

Cedar Falls - Cedar Falls is another fabulous hike in Hocking Hills State Park. Laden with hemlock trees, this primitive area is known for its steep rock walls, grottos, and waterfalls. The water tumbles 50 feet down a sandstone wall on Queer Creek into a pool. A grist mill once stood atop the falls.

Ash Cave Fire Tower - Located in the Hocking Hills State Forest, Ash Cave Fire Tower was constructed in 1934. We climbed the 80’ tower.

Old Mans Cave - Old Man's Cave, is an easy hike of 10 minutes from the visitor center in the heart of the park. There are seven trails in the area. Some include tunnels and stairways through the rock, various waterfalls, rapids, and the large recess cave. There are quite a few stairs, and some steep drop-offs in places.The cave itself is 200 feet long with the look and feel of a rocky amphitheater. It is 50 feet high and the overhang is 75 feet deep.

The cave gets its name from hermit Richard Rowe, who lived in it in the late 1860s with two dogs. It sits in a half-mile-long hemlock-lined gorge with three waterfalls up to 40 feet tall and picturesque pools. It is a very cool place to explore on a hot summer afternoon. Attractions include Devil's Bathtub, Eagle Rock, Whale in the Wall, and the Sphinx Head.

Lower Falls

Upper Falls

Whispering Cave - Whispering Cave is the Hocking Hill’s newest attraction opening in 2017. The cave is about 300 feet wide; a drizzly waterfall pours from its rim, falling 105 feet to the floor below. The hike to Whispering Cave was more strenuous then most of the others (except for Cantwell Cliffs), but it was our favorite. 

Cockles Hollow - Conkle’s Hollow is a rugged, rocky gorge that’s considered one of the deepest in Ohio. It’s Lower Trail offers a paved, mile-long journey that’s dotted with enormous hemlocks, rock formations, cliffs, and a meandering stream. The Upper Trail is about 2.5 miles long and leads to a spectacular waterfall. It is a stunning sandstone gorge with sheer cliffs that rise 200 feet. It is as narrow as 70 feet in places and is reportedly the deepest canyon in Ohio.The best views are from the east side of the Rim Trail. There is an imposing 96-foot-high waterfall at the northern end of the canyon that is only visible from the Rim Trail. The trail on the west side is farther away from the main canyon but offers views into side canyons. It is cooler, wetter, and more shaded.

Rock House - Nestled deep in the woods, the Rock House Trail is memorable for hikers of all ages. This scenic quarter-mile route resembles a South American jungle in the summertime! Once at the Rock House, feel free to explore the cave’s gothic-like windows and enjoy spectacular views of the green valley below. a rocky room that is 200 feet long, 25 feet high, and up to 30 feet deep inside a brightly colored cliff. There are 120 steps along the quarter-mile hike. Rock House includes seven windowlike openings with a Gothic feel. The openings in the rock are halfway up the face of the 150-foot-tall cliff.

Indians once lived in Rock House. A 16-room resort hotel was built near the Rock House in 1835. You will see graffiti from the 19th century on some rocks. The trail at Rock House is a relatively short loop trail, but some of the grades to the natural cave and back are very steep.

Cantwell Cliffs - Cantwell Cliffs is arguably the most isolated section of Hocking Hills State Park. It features 150-foot-high cliffs, massive rock outcroppings, large recess caves, deep woods, and narrow passages between downed boulders and the cliff along its trails. The Fat Woman's Squeeze is one such passage. It is the most rugged section of Hocking Hills and its trails are the steepest. It was largely carved by Buck Run. The trail at Cantwell Cliffs is a 1 mile loop trail that goes first along the cliff rim and then down to the cliff base around and back up again. The trail is strenuous with sharp drop-offs in places. I would definitely recommend Cantwell Cliffs - I'm disappointed that most of my pictures I took here somehow were deleted - but it is absolutely beautiful and a really adventurous hike!

Overall, we really enjoyed our anniversary getaway, the scenic nature, and each other in Hocking Hills!

Getting Healthy - Part 2

Continued from Getting Healthy - Part 1....

..... So, last year, hubby and I really started searching for options. We knew that to make a lifestyle change as big as I needed - I would need the best tools to help me succeed. In October 2016, I attended a health seminar and started meeting with a dietitian monthly.

Over the next few months, I continued meeting with my dietitian, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas we didn't do awholelotta changing. I did manage to lose 10 lb. through - the monthly visits with the dietitian helped to keep me accountable. We decided to start 2017 out fresh with a lifestyle change, not just for me but for our whole family!

Well, that was the plan.... life had other ideas. 

You see, I have multiple autoimmune disorders. The last couple months I had been seeing a different specialist for other ongoing health problems. That Doctor set a surgery date for March. The surgery, although it was out patient, set me back quite a bit.

During this time, I had lots of testing done regarding other health issues and another doctor set yet another surgery date for May. My plan was altered. I was still seeing my dietitian and during that time lost another 10 lbs. But was kinda in limbo waiting for the next surgery, which would be a big one.

The day before my scheduled surgery - it was cancelled - partly because of a paper work mix up and partly because of another auto immune disease that they found in my pre-opt testing blood work. They wanted me to see yet another specialist and more testing before they would go through with my scheduled surgery.....  this actually turned into a blessing, because 3 days later, my son was emitted to the hospital for emergency brain surgery.... He was in the hospital for 5 weeks.... and home with transfusions for another 3 weeks.

During that time, I saw a new specialist and another doctor who (although I do have yet another auto immune disease), she signed off on me going ahead with my original surgery....

My surgery was on August 2nd. I was in the hospital for 4 days - ended up having complications and a second emergency surgery 12 hours after the first one, on a liquid diet and didn't have strength to exercise, so I just mainly walked.

 The surgery was hard, both mentally and physically, and it did set my lifestyle change back by about 8 extra months, but it was actually a blessing. As a result, I lost another 20#'s and also started eating healthier! 

The best part about having the last major surgery was that it was a success and many of my health problems are no longer a problem!

So, in August, I really hit my lifestyle change hard! 

The main changes have been: 

  • Portion control - instead of eating 5 cookies, I eat and enjoy one and no more. 
  • Eating high protein foods first. I supplement with Shaklee protein when I need extra.
  • Eating low-carb. I still eat carbs - I just try to be aware of how many I eat.
  • Taking high quality whole food supplements - believe me, I've done the research, there is nothing better out there with the science to back it up! I've taken Shaklee supplements off and on for over 7 years. But I now am consistent with taking my food supplements and have noticed a big difference.
  •  I do regular activities with my hubby and kids - like riding bike, playing 4 square, and walks. 
  • And I continue seeing my dietitian...not as much as I did previously, but it helps keep me accountable, and she helps me find ways to change my negative eating habits into healthy ones.
Since I started seeing my dietitian and consistently taking my Shaklee, eating a high protein diet and exercising, I have lost a total of 54 lbs since October 2016. I started at 240 lb. and a size 22/24, and a BMI of 45.9. I am now 186 lbs. and wear a size 16/18.

I've still got a long way to go - but with Gods help, this is a lifestyle journey that I want to continue... not just for me but for my family as well. 
My goal is not to be skinny or to be a certain size. My goal is to be healthy, happy!

To be continued......

Read Getting Healthy - Part 1 here

Note: We have chosen NOT to discuss or to explain my surgeries with anyone, as in the past, discussing my health has caused unnecessary drama. I, Rhoda do suffer from multiple auto-immune disorders, cancer, and chronic stress. The doctor said without this surgery, I would only have a 3% chance at going on to live a healthier life style, so for me and my family's sake, this has been the right thing to do. We will not apologize for not explaining!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Taking Care of Me

Somehow life always pushes 'moms' needs into the closet..... the door gets shut, life gets busy, and then years later, mom realizes she doesn't know who she is anymore. Well, that is my story.

Looking back, I was just a baby when my first baby was born....and I became a mom. I was 17 when I got pregnant.... I had just finished high school and had not even thought about what I wanted to do with my life.... I was living on my own, in a one bedroom efficiency apartment. My goal in life was short term - pay the rent, keep gas in my car, and food in the fridge.

I never really wanted to be a mom - it just happened. And after marriage, step kids, divorce, and a second marriage, I went on to have two more kids......

Our oldest daughter had a lot of health problems requiring lots of tests, doctors appointments, lab work and children hospitals over a five year period (you can read more about it here).

Our second child is special needs and has many learning disabilities, some of which are PDD-NOS, dyslexia, dyscalculia, delayed speech and language, the inability to retain and recall info, along with multiple slow learning disabilities and disorders. He has had two surgeries when he was small, and had emergency brain surgery this year and has had lots of testing, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and special ed, which has meant lots of appointments. 

Our youngest (a Shaklee Baby) has been the perfect picture of health (so far) for which we are thankful!

But, with the stress of worrying, research, and all the running around I did for my kids- somewhere, I lost myself. I no longer took the time to paint my nails, dress up nice, spend time alone, or take care of myself. Somewhere along the way, I let myself go. I put on 100+ lbs. of excess weight, and became grumpy and miserable. I was always tired, unhappy, and hated who I had become.... I felt like my old self was gone.... shut in a closet, never to be seen again.....

Until, one day I had enough.... I decided to do something about it.... This year I am taking care of me. I have had three surgeries to fix/help medical issues. I'm losing weight, dressing up for the hubby, painting my nails, having me time, and becoming a better person. - I'm opening the closet door and finding the new and improved 'old' me!

Monday, August 7, 2017

  A Typical Day in My Post Surgery Life

Let me preface this by saying- my hubby and I are research geeks. We research a subject until there is nothing left of it.... dead. Never to rise again..... which sometimes can be a good thing, and other times, lets just say, not so much.

That's when after I had major surgery (that I had researched for over a year)..... I was completely taken by surprise. I mean, I knew that there would be pain and that I'd need someone to help me, but I honestly never expected it to be this hard, this painful, and this much fatigue.

With that said, I did have an emergency second surgery 12 hours later due to internal bleeding and I'm sure that is partly to blame for some of it. The Doctors said having the emergency surgery really set me back.

 I was supposed to come home with a pain pump, but they had to remove it during the second surgery.  Anytime, some one has as much internal bleeding as I did, it causes excruciating pain. I also lost so much blood, that I had to have multiple blood transfusions and that alone can cause severe fatigue. Lastly, having two major surgeries withing 12 hours of each other is hard on anyone and can cause extra pain along with other issues..... so while, I did the research, I was not prepared for the extra complications that came with my surgery.

So.... back to my typical day. (Please note: the following is real - if too much information grosses you out, you may not want to read the following)

*Wake up. Lay in bed, unable to move because of the pain, feeling like you need to pee.

*Wake up hubby and have him pull you up to a sitting position, while you cry from the pain.

*Sit on the side of the bed, sip on water and put on your glasses.

*Have hubby pull you to a standing position. Cry in his arms while saying 'ouch' for the hundredth time.

*Hubby helps you walk to the bathroom and sit on the toilet.  (This is not as easy as it sounds and takes a lot longer to go then normal.)

*After trying to wipe yourself for 5 min, crying from the pain and from the humiliation of having your hubby wipe and clean up your backside.

*Afterward, he pulls you to your feet, helps you wash up, and consoles you by saying that its okay and he loves you.

*He then helps you out to the kitchen where he gets you a drink, pain meds, and helps me walk. (The walking hurts, but it helps keep blood clots from forming.)

*Hubby helps me into the chair/sofa or bed... getting me a sheet, blanket, pillows, and alternating ice packs and the heating pad.
This same scene plays out over and over -12 times in the next 24 hrs.

And that my friend is what goes on in a typical day in my life right now.

Research is great in theory, but when it comes to individual pain or how each individual will react.... it's really not all its cracked up to be...

However, for all the research I did.... there was one thing that I overlooked.....

 That one thing is having an awesome, loving, and supporting hubby who will stay by your side, taking care of my every need and taking care of the kids and the house. You don't know how good of a man you have until he will wipe and clean up your backside and still love you just the same.

Having these surgeries has defiantly kicked my butt.... but with my hubby's help....I'm gonna kick right back! My health is far too important than for me to let it get to me.

Note: We have chosen NOT to discuss or to explain my surgeries with anyone, as in the past, discussing my health has caused unnecessary drama. I, Rhoda do suffer from multiple auto-immune disorders, cancer, and chronic stress. The doctor said without this surgery, I would only have a 3% chance at going on to live a healthier life style, so for me and my family's sake, this has been the right thing to do. We will not apologize for not explaining!

Update 08/16/17: I am 2 weeks out from my surgeries and am happy to say that I am slowly getting better.  Two days ago, I took my first shower by myself (with the help of a shower stool). I still need help occasionally and still cannot do anything around the house, but I am caring for myself now which feels good. The pain has also gotten better, I still regularly take prescription and over the counter pain meds, but I am starting to space them out... hopefully I can get off of them completely in another week or two.

If you have prayed, sent a card,  gave a gift, brought food, cared for our family, or supported our family business during this time, we want to say thank you! We appreciate you!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Emergency Brain Surgery

I knew my son, QW had not been feeling well.... he had been complaining of headaches that last week, but I didn't really think too much about them, figuring, it would pass. Then he started having a fever - not super high, but enough for me to worry. After a few days, he wasn't eating.... We knew something was wrong.

I took him to the med express center. They ran a throat culture, and tested him for the flu and strep - all came back negative, but they said that sometimes the strep test can be wrong, so they sent us home with antibiotics saying it was probably strep. 

The next two days, QW kept getting worse. I finally took him to the Emergency Room on Sunday, May 28th. They did blood tests and took a CT scan and said that he had acute sinusitis (a bad sinus infection that was deep in the air pockets of his face) and sent us home with a stronger antibiotic.

Memorial Day, May 29th, QW seemed better - he ate lunch and walked outside.... we thought he was feeling better. In the afternoon, he became non verbal for 10 min., so I had him lay down and rest, and when he got up - he seemed just fine. Later that night, I went back to his room to check on him and he was lying on his bed, his hands crossed over his chest, his eyes moving, but he was unable to respond on follow any commands. After 15 minutes of trying to get him to respond to me, I was so scared. I woke up the hubby and had him carry QW to the car, and I drove him to the emergency room.

It was a long night/morning. They ran lots of tests, blood work, and took another CT scan. Wyatt was nonverbal the entire time (for over 9 hours.) They finally discovered a spot on his brain and told us that they would transport him to the Children's Hospital in Indy for treatment.

We waited over 3 hours for the emergency ambulance to come get us for transport.

When we got to the ER at the children's hospital, there were doctors, and nurses everywhere. We knew it was much worse than what they told us back at the other hospital. They took QW back for an MRI and as soon as it was over, started prepping him for surgery. Stephen and I were in a daze. I remember the surgeon trying to explain to us the procedure, but all I remember thinking was how did my son go from a perfectly healthy boy to needing emergency brain surgery?!?! It seemed like a dream... a dream I was waiting to wake up from, but it never happened.

May 30th - They took QW back to surgery at 11:00 am. We were told it would be a 3-4 hr. surgery. It wasn't. He had two different teams of surgeons working on him. 

QW had a Subdural empyaema from bacterial or fungal infection that spread to the subdural space due to having chronic sinusitis. He had no symptoms of a sinus infection. 

The Brain Surgeon and her team had to do a Craniectomy. Which originally they were only planing on cutting out a forth of his skull, but since the brain was swollen so much (it was actually hard to the touch) and was under so much pressure, they removed almost one half of his skull. The surgeon removed as much as the infection she could and also had to repair (graph) the dura, as the swelling from the brain had ripped a hole in it. She also placed a EVD to drain off SPF and a JP drain. 

After that, a new team of doctors and surgeons did endoscopic sinus surgery.

We were told at 8 pm that surgery was over and they were moving him to ICU. The next 2 hours were pure torture for me! I kept calling to see why I couldn't go back to see my son. At 10 pm. we finally were able to see QW. 

He was on so many machines and tubes going everywhere. But I was so relieved to see him, feel him, and to know that he was alive, and that I could be with him. I didn't cry. The relief I felt was amazing! 


May 31st - Today's picture.... 

They tried waking QW up today, but he wasn't waking up, so they stopped all the sedation. He has a higher temp now, so they just put him on a cooling blanket, poor kid, he just shivers and shakes. I've been ok, as long as he doesn't start crying, then I start crying too. You can't hear him cry, but he shakes and tears just roll down his checks. I have never felt so helpless in my life.Stephen and I went for a walk and got a salad for lunch. It was hard leaving him, but good to get out of the room a bit. 

The breathing tube came out tonight. He is in ICU. He is fighting a fever, and having more pain, but he is following directions. He opens his eyes and follows commands alittle, but mostly is still asleep

June 1st - Things are about the same with QW. He had his first sip of water tonight. Right now, they just want to keep him resting. The surgeon said that with this surgery the mortality rate is high and most kids don't do nearly as good as he is doing, so we are very thankful for that. He is saying single words with some coaxing. His sisters came to visit today and he got a furry friend to have in bed....he looks so much better now that the breathing tube is out.... 

June 2nd. - QW had a relapse this morning and became nonverbal and unresponsive again for 4 hours. He is still in ICU and being monitored closely. The doctors say that the infection on the brain was so severe that him going backwards is to be expected.....

This morning was rough... but he's doing much better this afternoon. He got the bandage and a lot of wires off of his head today. I think he looks great! The doctors reminded us that his condition is still very serious. Tonight he's hanging out with Mom, watching a movie!

June 3rd. - Stephen went down to get supper and when he got back QW said "Dad, I miss you", (it's the only words he's said today) - so tonight he's hanging out with dad... he has had a good day today. Got a different room, still in ICU.

June 4th - QW had a good day today. He still isn't eating much, but he did really good with therapy and played thumb wrestling with his dad... I love his face in this picture!

June 8th - QW's doing ok... we have good hours and bad hours. His brain fluid is still not evening out, so not sure if he'll get a permanent drain/shunt or not.... we are kinda just playing a waiting game.... they did take him off of ICU status and put him on med-surg., but he's still in the ICU unit and still has a nurse sitting in the room with him 24/7. There hasn't been much change the last couple days....

June 10th - QW is about the same. Mornings are rough as his medications give him an upset stomach. Afternoons are usually much better when they get him up in the chair. The hospital brings Lego's and toys that he can put together and that helps. He gets physical, speech, and occupational therapy everyday, along with all his different teams of doctors making their rounds, so by evening he is tired. 

Tonight the girls and I got a hotel, while Stephen stays with Wyatt... it's my first time away from the hospital in 12 days. He still has a nurse in his room 24/7. They started raising Wyatt's EVD yesterday evening...1 centimeter every 6 hrs. The hope is maybe early next week to take head scans and send the brain fluid from the EVD to be tested and maybe take out both of his drains next week, but the one thing I've learned is that you can't plan on anything here....

PS. He was pretty excited with the candy bouquet he received today from a kind lady we've never met that works with his G'pa K.

June 12th - They put QW to sleep this afternoon for an MRI and then the neuro surgeons took out both the EVD and JP drains. They also drained more cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) off his brain. He had a rough time waking up from the anesthesia and was in a lot of pain - more than any other time since we've been here. The doctor said that the JP drain went the whole length of his incision, so it is quite painful. They put him back on morphine today along with his antibiotics, IV's, and reg pain meds. He also has a fever again tonight, so they are keeping an eye on that. 
We are still waiting to hear back from the infectious disease doctors on the MRI results and how much infection is still on the brain and when he can have the next surgery to get his left scalp (bone flap) put back in.

June 16 - This past week was a rough one. There was alot of pain, tests, and tears, but today was a great day! OT took him down to the kids zone to play air hockey. Then this evening I was allowed to put him in a wheel chair and go downstairs for supper and a stroll... today's the first time he's been out of the unit! He also got to wear his own shorts today!

June 18th - After 21 days.... I came home last night! Stephen stayed overnight with QW. There are weeds 2 ft high in my flowerbeds, but it felt great to be home for a night... even if it was short. QW has been tired the last couple days, but his pain is much better, so we are thankful for that.

June 22nd - QW has a lot of therapy through out the day, so he still gets tired easily, but he's been doing really good. His next surgery is scheduled for June 30th to put the bone flap in and if everything goes good, we hope to go home on July 3rd...... of course that all depends on the next MRI and the Infectious Disease Team signing off on the surgery and discharge. 

We were told today that he won't be able to ride his bike or ATV, or jump on the trampoline, etc., for 2-3 months after we get home, so it looks like it may be a long summer for him not being able to do much, but for now I will just be happy that hopefully in two more weeks we'll be home for the 4th of July!

June 23rd - Stephen and the girls come down to be with QW and I every Tuesday and Thursday evening and on the weekends. Playing in the Kids Zone as a family helps to pass some of the time.

June 25th - QW is worse today. He didn't go to sleep until after 5 am this morning. He has been using the incentive spirometer 10xs every hour and are having him walk more, but it seems to keep getting worse. So far, it's been alot of tears yesterday and today....

June 26th - QW has been about the same... he had a rough morning and evening with a lot of pain in his chest and side, so they did chest x-rays today. He has atelectasis which is the collapse/closure of his right lung - The RN says QW's atelectasis is just partial and it's because he's not very active or doing anything to use his lungs to their full capacity, like he would at home.

June 27th - Today is 4 weeks since we've been here at Riley Children's Hospital, but I found a place to take QW outside for a few minutes for the first time today.... shh... don't tell the nurses!!! I was a beautiful day in Indy! QW is still having a lot of pain with his collapsed lungs, but we are praying for good MRI results on Thurs., so that surgery can go as planned on Friday.

June 28th - QW's about the same. Still in pain. They started giving him more pain meds during the day, so he's been sleeping alot more. I think alot of it has to do with his attitude, as I think he's mentally just done with being in here and he doesn't even want to try anymore, that, and he's been scared about the next surgery - so we have to keep pushing him to get up, walk, and breath, which gets rather exhausting for me.

June 29th - We have been asked why QW has to go home on antibiotics after being on them for 4 weeks..... here is the short answer: The doctor says that we (not medically minded people)  really don't understand how bad his infection was and that if a drop remains attached to his brain and grows, he could have to have surgery all over again or he could die from it. She said we should be very thankful that he's doing so good and that he can go home this early, because most kids as bad off as he came in do not do as good as he's been doing. 

QW had another MRI this morning. His side is still in alot of pain. His legs have been to weak/shaky to walk yet, it took two nurses and me to get him out of bed. 

June 30th - Today is QW's second surgery. We went down to the 'green room' to help pass the time. The bean bag chairs vibrate to the sound of music. Everyone enjoyed relaxing for a bit. 

 They took QW back for surgery at 4:45 pm. The surgery took longer than they had originally told us. Wyatt just got out of surgery at 10 pm - it was a little over 5 hrs. There were a few minor complications, they had to drain extra fluid, and shave off a layer of his skull, and they are worried about his lungs and oxygen levels, but as of now the bone flap is in. 


He is getting breathing treatments every four hours and is still on oxygen. The Dr. said one in every ten surgeries they have to go back and take the bone flap back out due to new infection so we are hoping everything will be fine. 


July 1st - QW is doing good today. This afternoon he started breathing on his own. He is still getting breathing treatments and he is in a lot of pain. His left eye is almost completely swollen shut, but he's up walking with help and eating and talking good. 

We are waiting to hear from pulmonary about his lungs/chest pictures, but if they give the okay, the plan is to go home soon. He will go home with his PICC line and on antibiotic IV's, so they are suppose to come train Stephen and I how to give them, change the dressing, flush the IV's, etc. Of course all this is subject to change.... and we won't know for sure until we get the chest results from radiology and see if they can wean him off of the morphine.


QW got a picture with his surgeon Dr. Smith today. She is the best of the best! We are beyond blessed that she took such great care of QW. She would come by just about everyday to check on him and answer our many questions. How do you thank someone who saved your child's life?

July 2nd - Enjoying the beautiful weather.... and wearing normal clothes!

July 3rd - Today, I had to tell another little kid that I came to love on QW's unit goodbye.... but.... 

After 5 weeks at Riley - QW came home today! It feels so good to be home! Now we are just trying to adjust to a new normal that revolves around daily infusions, doctors appointments, and trips back and forth to Riley. QW came home with his PICC line and we have to administer IV's throughout the day and night. A home health nurse comes to the house weekly to do his dressing changes.

July 4th - Sitting here giving QW his 5 AM infusion..... it feels great to be home, but exhausting as well... I've gotten 3 hrs of sleep. Our life will revolve around infusions, tubing, syringes, pumps, flushes, and treatments for the next few months....

July 11th - QW is doing good! We've been home for a week now! He gets infusions every 6 hours. His G'pa F. brought him a pedal car to ride since he can't ride his bike or ATV. Wyatt loves being outside again! As great as it is to be home.... Stephen and I are exhausted and sleep deprived, but we are starting to adjust to a new normal.

July 13th - Daily (and nightly) life at our house...... 14 years ago I signed up to take CNA classes, but I didn't even make it through orientation.... nursing just wasn't my thing.... who knew years later, I'd be giving infusions every few hours, working with a PICC line and caring for my son who had brain surgery. - My hubby rigged up an IV pole by using bag clips and the lamp shade.... it's working like a charm!

July 25th - Spent all day in Indy at the hospital with QW today. His MRI came back good, so good that they took out his PICC line today (he's had it for 8 weeks.) which means we can stop doing infusions around the clock..... and he didn't have any trouble with the anesthesia this time. We are so thankful he's doing so good.... 

If you have said a prayer, sent a card, gave a gift, brought a meal, came to visit, supported our business, or blessed our life in some way over the last few months.... We want you to know that we appreciate you. Thank you!

NOTE: QW will go back for more testing in December to make sure the infection has not returned. He is currently on anti seizure medication. He is doing great and is getting back to normal!

The Best of 2016


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