Friday, October 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Of germs and anniversaries

I've been missing doing a link-up since there's no longer a weekly Answer Me This, and our Wednesdays are proving to be way to busy for Whirlwind Wednesday posts, so I'm going to try to start linking up with

So to anyone who may be visiting my little corner of the digital world for the first time, welcome!

Maybe not the best way to greet new readers, but anyone who doesn't want to hear about my heebie-jeebies, feel free to skip this one!

For those who have never had the displeasure of experiencing it, staph infections are miserable. And once you've had an infection, you're "colonized" with it and it can recur at any time. The first time I got it was back in either 2003 or 2004, just before Christmas. I just went through a really painful one in August, and had another one pop up at the beginning of last weekend. I've been pushing my body rather hard lately trying to keep up with all the demands of my life, and obviously pushed it a little too far. I had come down with a cold on Thursday (which was thankfully short lived) and then Saturday I noticed a spot on my leg looking a bit infected. Since this isn't my first trip around this block, I went into wound care mode right away: washing with hibiclens soap, keeping it topically medicated with bactroban, gently helping it drain once it opened up. By Monday it had grown but was still staying relatively in check; I might have considered going in to the doctor then but Papa Bear is working a big turnaround at one of the local refinery plants, and my mom had gone to Disney World with my sister and her two teenagers while the kids were on fall break. So I kept managing it at home until Wednesday evening, when all the sudden the hot redness and swelling really flared up; then I had a second spot appear on my wrist Thursday morning.  So off I went to the doctor yesterday (both kids in tow) for oral antibiotics. I got gently reprimanded from my doc that I shouldn't have let it go so long, and he said it was "a breath away" from needing IV meds. He put me on two oral antibiotics, instructed me to continue what I'm doing with wound care, and that at any sign of worsening or lack of improvement relatively soon, and I'm to go to the ER. Easier said than done with needing someone to watch both kids, someone to take me in, Fidget's ABA schedule, and Papa Bear working roughly 24 hours on two job sites today, but we always seem to have a team of people around us who rally and pitch in when we need it. I just hope that after an initial dose in the ER they'll set up any further doses through home health and not admit me; I can break away for a few hours but can't imagine being MIA from the house for several days!

It's truly only because of Papa Bear that I was able to get over my cold so fast. I've learned from experience that with my chronic fatigue and autoimmune issues, when I'm coming down with something I have to give my body more rest than an average person would need so my body can focus on healing. So thanks to Papa Bear stepping up, I was able to spend pretty much all of Thursday evening in bed, as well as Friday morning during Fidget's therapy and the afternoon while he napped. And Papa Bear always fixes me my favorite sick dinner: grilled cheese, tomato soup, and a cup of hot tea. Now if I can just remember to take better care of myself! As much as I want to tell myself that I'm living a normal life, I have to realize that being an active paraplegic does take a toll on my body, and I need to build more recovery time into my weekly routine.

Speaking of Papa Bear, yesterday was our 10th wedding anniversary. Statistically we probably shouldn't have achieved this milestone: we were together less than four months when we got engaged, only about 14 total months when we got married, we married before 25, I was disabled less than six months after we got married, we've been through debt struggles, unemployment, and now raising a child with special needs. I'm pretty sure all of those should raise our likelihood of divorce, but before we got married we both discussed the fact that we intended this to be a life long commitment. "Irreconcilable differences" just isn't an option for us. We even went so far as to choose a covenant marriage license when we got married to ensure that if there was damage to our marriage, we would have to do absolutely everything in our power to repair it. Now, I know that I have my share of personal faults, just as there are things that Papa Bear does that bug me. But it's kind of like with kids - you have to pick your battles. Some things might be annoying, esp if they are habitual, but not worth making an issue over. If something is worth making an issue of, we try to address it calmly; he's not my third child, so there's no reason to fuss at him as if I'm fussing at one of the kids. (Though also like with kids, there are definitely times that we lose our temper with one another.) And for myself, if I feel like a bunch of little issues are piling up and I'm really getting aggravated with him, I try to sit down and literally make a list of all of his good points so that I don't let it build up until I snap. When I sit and remember all the reasons I married him in the first place, and all the ways that he has proven himself to be a good husband, then the little things don't seem so bad. I also try to sit and think about my own behavior, and if I have possibly done or said anything to provoke him annoyances. And unless one of us says we need time to cool down and finish a discussion later, we try to never go to bed angry. It means we've sometimes stayed up well into the night to work things out, but our marriage is certainly worth it.

While we were certainly excited and proud to have achieved such a milestone, our celebration yesterday was much less exciting. I spent the morning at the doctor, Fidget had two therapies, Papa Bear worked a little late, and he had to get to bed early because of his early wake up and long hours today. So for now it was just Papa John's pizza and Pitt football on the tv for our "celebration". (Hey, at least Pitt won!) Papa Bear has to take his vacation time soon so he doesn't lose it, and we have some gift cards to go out to eat, so hopefully we can actually enjoy a date night in the relatively near future.

The one exciting thing we did do for our anniversary was to get new wedding bands. Neither of us can actually fit in our wedding rings at the moment, not to mention that mine was getting a bit banged up from constant contact with my wheelchair rims, and Papa Bear isn't allowed to wear his gold one to work. So for our anniversary we got silicone wedding bands from Qalo, which will be both more forgiving of size fluctuations, as well as more suited for our lifestyle at this time. It was only recently that I had to quit wearing my original wedding band, but it's been quite awhile since Papa Bear wore his; it was nice to look over during dinner last night and see a ring on his finger again.

With me not feeling well and so much to juggle, school for Sunshine has been rather minimal this week. We did take an afternoon Tuesday to work on the basics, but mostly we're working in more of the fun things right now. (She's expressed to me some feelings of me never having enough time to do fun things with her anymore.) Last week in my bed we did 3-D illusion pictures of our hands, we've been reading books about cave men and germs, and working on some skill challenges for her DIY membership. Yesterday she drew what she thought a swimming skill badge might look like and made a list of potential requirements to earn it, as one of the challenges for the Maker badge. Another challenge is to make something that is your avatar picture, so we started making some lady bug rocks which we hope to finish today.

As for Fidget, we seem to have gotten past a reappearance of his fecal smearing. I think he was cutting a molar, and also HE IS NOW PACI FREE!! We are seeing an uptick in the pica as a result of no paci, which we knew would happen, but are working with the therapists to address that in an appropriate way. And he's been doing a lot of pretend play recently which is a big change for him: just this morning he and Sunshine were trotting (or at least he tried) back and forth across the living room pretending they were riding horses. Another funny thing he's doing is if he's on his way to find you in another room, he'll say "Coming! Coming! Coming!    What?" as if you had called for him (even if you didn't). So stinkin' cute.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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