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Showing posts from October, 2017

Halloween and Hearts

Happy Halloween and you know what that means...we were stuck in a hospital.  More years than not, Halloween has been spent in the hospital and this year was no exception.

Let's take a minute to remember last year...Last year Shelbie was in the hospital following a significant stroke.  She was in Huntsman's Cancer Hospital for 10 days.  Needless to say, Sam was at home holding down the fort and when the night of Halloween came, he left this note, stapled to a moldy pumpkin on the front step.  I didn't find it until several days into November.


I love that he wrote it on hospital stationary too!  I still laugh about that.  This year, I was prepared!  But...no one was home to hand out candy.  I was in Salt Lake at the hospital and the other two were working. 
Monday night, we had the cousins over for pumpkin carving.  I am still wickedly sick so I didn't participate but I did manage a picture.  These kids love hanging out.  They all look so happy and for the evening they w…

The Thing About Trials

The thing about trials is that they are trying.  And surprisingly enough, each trial is harder than the one before...as opposed to easier.  I guess if they were easier they wouldn't be called trials, they would be nothing more than a nuisance.

So, whatever is coming next worries me because for the first time, I can sit here and say, that God finally found the right combination of problems to crack my tough shell and leave me feeling broken down and done. I usually bounce right back and find our groove again but it's becoming more and more difficult to do that.  I guess it is in the impossible where you discover what you're made of. (I'm still trying to discover that...)

This weekend I have been sick.  It started on Thursday night and Friday but I have had to spend those two days in Pocatello painting and finishing up the Orthodontist office for them to move in on Tuesday.  Saturday, was more work and putting the house back together after being gone for the week but by…

Recovery

Spencer is slowly improving.  It was the hardest thing in the world to leave him at his apartment and come home last night.  The HARDEST THING!   I filled up their fridge and pantry with easy to prepare foods he could make with one arm.  Got his meds organized, took out their garbage and tried to find a million other things to do so I wouldn't have to say goodbye but I did say goodbye and cried all the way home. 

A lot of people have asked me if the second time was easier.  No.  It was not.  Different kid, different circumstances. I've learned even more about pacemakers this time around.  Spencer's was so unexpected really and he is already in more dire circumstances health wise than Sam.  I know his heart has been struggling but I never thought it would ever stop after the episode last year.  I really thought that was just a fluke thing.

This was harder because I had to hear him relive that moment in the early morning hours of Saturday in a remote area of Zion's Natio…

Pacemaker Round 2

It's been a whirlwind of drama around here.  On Monday, I spent the morning trying to get in touch with our Cardiology team.  I started with a call to the nurse who works for both Sam's doc and Spencer's doc.  I explained to her what happened on Saturday and she said she would look at the loop recorder information and talk to the docs and call me back. 

She did call me back and said, "The doctor is in a procedure but I'm pretty sure he's going to want you to come down.  We have an opening on Thursday."

We have been planning a trip to Canada on Thursday so I said, "No, we can't make that but the following week we can."  Here's the problem...Horrific events like this are becoming so commonplace that I'm really not processing things well anymore.

She responded, "Kathy! Your son died on Saturday.  You aren't going to Canada."

"But we haven't seen my family in so long and the kids have been..."

She cut me off, …

Blow by blow

The bad news keeps coming for Spencer...

Late last night, I checked my email, like I do every night and our Gastroenterologist had emailed with the results of Spencer's blood work and stool studies.  Thankfully, he was negative for C-diff, E-Coli, Salmonella and any other parasites and stuff. 

Sadly, he had some major abnormalities flagged as markers for one of the Intestinal diseases such as Colitis or Crohn's and flagged as a possible Colorectal Cancer.  I can't even!!  His numbers were 3 times above the normal limits.

Seriously. 

I read that last night and had a sinking feeling.  Today, I'm just so spent.  I'm absolutely throwing my hands in the air.  I don't even know... Surely Spencer's purpose in life isn't to just fight cancer now...is it?

I had to leave church early.  In fact, it was the primary program and the children were taking care of the closing song so I left as fast as I could right after the sacrament.  I didn't want one person talk…

Heart Stopping Moments

At 4:45 this morning, the phone rang. 

I rolled over and saw that it was Spencer.  I actually thought nothing of it.  There was no sinking feeling.  No wondering what he wanted at 4:45 AM.  This is especially strange since I knew he and his best friend/roommate were spending the night in hammocks in Zion's National Park.  They had no cell service.  The last time I spoke to Spencer was at 6:30 pm Friday night as they left Provo. 

"Hey Mom, how's it going?"
"Fine, it's early.  How are you?"
"Well, I don't feel very good, can I go to the ER?  I'm having problems.  My heart stopped.  I was gone for 30 seconds Mom.  Can I go to the hospital?"
"It did? Ya.  What hospital?  Where are you?"
"Well, we are almost there.  St. George."
"Okay.  Yes.  What happened?"
"I don't know.  K. found me.  He checked my pulse and there wasn't one.  He was trying to figure out what to do, shaking me, trying to wake me…

Staying engaged

One thing that has always bothered me, as we have journeyed through chronic illness, is the way we connect with others; or don't connect with others.  It's always been challenging and frustrating and irritating.

What I often hear is, "Well, I know I can't complain because you have it so much worse!"

Or, they ask how we are doing and after I wrestle in my head about what version to deliver, the sugar coated one or the closer to reality one, they say, "You know what happened to us?" and they proceed to tell me all about their latest battle with whatever.  I seriously listened to over three hours of someone else's health crisis this past week. We didn't connect on any level!  It was the most depressing conversation I've ever had...probably much like this blog has become!! Depressing!  Anyhow...

I never really know how to reconcile either of these scenarios.  I try to listen to them but leave feeling more lonely than when the conversation starte…

Welcome Back Winter

Today, Shelbie had to go up to the Teton Valley to find the perfect spot for a location photo shoot on Monday.  I took the day off from work and drove her up there and her friend came along too.  It was such a beautiful drive. 

The farther we got from home, the more I could breathe.  I love that within an hour from my house, you can escape into a world where pine trees and aspens kiss your forehead with the reaching rays of the sun; even on a snowy day.  It was so beautiful near the top of the Tetons.



We shared our view with these guys...


I have been working at a break neck pace throughout the summer and even though I am still so far behind, it was nice to spend some time with Shelbie and her friend.  I miss being with her.  We see each other every day but we never just 'see' each other.  I didn't realize how much I miss just being with my kids so today was a healing kind of day. 



We got home around dinner time and took Little Miss swimming.  Shelbie adores her sister.  Th…

Lost and Found

From September 29th, 2016, I wrote this on my Instagram page with the following picture....
"There is something so intriguing about the lost and forgotten.  The dying but not yet dead.   To watch something come alive again is a fascinating, albeit overwhelming process but therein lies the purpose. "

This was a lost and forgotten house I was asked to design in the Teton Valley.  It is a small home that has been in a family for several generations, I believe it was built in the early 1900's.  Two winters ago, a pipe burst and water filled up that home throughout the winter and spring.  It seemed that no one had noticed.  The entire house fell apart, mold took over, it seemed a total waste to the family.

I'm sure many discussions were had if the house was even worth salvaging.

So, the process began last fall.  I worked with a great contractor and together we made this house come to life.  The left side pictures were where we stripped the walls down to the studs to revea…