Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Why Should Anyone Work Out?

It's a valid question, right? There's only so many hours in a day. We're busy people. Gyms cost money. Fitness DVD programs cost money. It's hard. You get sweaty.

I didn't grow up loving being active. I was the fat kid (from age 7ish on) and I wasn't allowed to play sports so I felt incompetent compared to my sports playing friends and relatives. I never had Nikes or actual athletic shoes and I got made fun of often for my Keds. Any kind of running made me feel awful....like a "I can't breathe and I'm dying!" type of awful. We didn't know back then that I have asthma. We didn't know back then that I have severe PCOS and playing on a sports team would've helped me a lot. We didn't know back then that every carb laden meal was making things worse for me. All I knew was I felt out of place doing sports and active stuff. I felt inadequate and silly and I couldn't breathe. Pretty good reasons to avoid it, right? And so I did, for most of my life. Singing and acting came naturally to me. I excelled in school, earning A's with minimal effort. My gifts seemed to be musical and I excelled in reading and writing and all the things that kept me indoors and chubby ;)

In my early twenties I was finally diagnosed with PolyCysticOvarianSyndrome. It's a weird and long name for an endocrine (hormonal) disorder that afflicts each person a bit differently but primarily wreaks havoc on the metabolic system, the body's ability to manage insulin response, and also numerous other issues like anxiety, hair growth in places you don't want it, progesterone and testosterone inbalance, infertility, acne, and I could go on. Super fun, right? I finally knew why I had only ever been thin when I starved myself. It required 800 calories a day or less for me to be what everyone else would consider normal. It was supremely unfair. I'm also 5'11", so I have spent most of my life already feeling BIG. I always took up more space than I wished I did.

Even after the diagnosis, I still didn't really have a clue what it meant for me in terms of what it would take to be healthy. I knew I'd always struggle to lose weight and getting pregnant would likely always be hard, if even possible. I cut down on carbs a ton and lost 17lbs over several months of serious restriction. I ended up needing a series of meds to conceive our first child, Eliana. When Eliana was nearing a year old, I got awfully sick of being fat. I hated how unhealthy I was and I wanted something different for myself. I started walking 6 miles 5x a week. I pushed her in the stroller and she napped. I fast walked her entire nap. It was hilly and it was a good workout. I started eating on salad plates and actually following the serving size guidelines on everything we ate. Months went by, I lost not even 10lbs. It was discouraging and I felt hopeless about losing weight. It seemed unfair that so many could be thin while never working out and still eating regular foods.

I again needed a series of meds to conceive our 2nd daughter, Evie. I reached my heaviest weight ever with Evie. I gained about 40lbs in 41 1/2 weeks, not exactly horrid, but I was already overweight to begin with. I never worked out. All the miles I put in previously seemed useless so I felt no motivation to work out again. A couple years passed and we wanted another baby. I started the series of meds yet again. I conceived but miscarried around 5 weeks along. I went to the dr and the ultrasound showed my left ovary had an 11cm+ tumor, and my right ovary was filled with multiple 8cm+ cysts. A normal ovary is 3-4 cm TOTAL. The cysts were because of my disorder. The miscarriage and tumor were "just because" and I was deeply hurt that my body had done that. I felt betrayed. As if PCOS wasn't bad enough....now also a miscarriage and massive tumor. I was scared I'd never be able to get pregnant again. I got home from the Dr heartbroken but also ready and extremely motivated to make big changes. I started a protocol of vitamins, cut out all bread, pasta, rice, and sugar. I ate meat, dairy, veggies, and fruit. I lost weight pretty quickly. A month into it I had almost lost 20lbs and had the tumor surgically removed. I kept on the new diet and lost another 10+lbs. Then BAM, I got pregnant with our 3rd child with zero medication. My Dr had warned me that I'd be fertile for a short time after the surgery, but I didn't believe her! At this point I still never worked out. I was very strict about what I ate and never allowed cheat days. I stayed fairly strict in pregnancy, afraid to gain weight. In 41 1/2 weeks I gained not even 30lbs despite starting this pregnancy at my lowest adult weight. Then Solomon came. After not even a week he became a baby that spent most of his daytime and nighttime crying. It went on month after month. He only slept if physically touching me and even then was up most of the night. He ended up with delays in speech and motor development. He ended up having asthma. He ended up needing an ear surgery at 14 months old. It was always something and it was exhausting. I was surviving. I didn't work out and I could barely function so I ate like everyone else. Which meant pasta, hamburger buns, tortillas, etc. My weight climbed back up a bit. I ended up needing another surgery because of PCOS, this time losing my right ovary which is the ovary my babies had all come from (or their eggs, rather). My body was feeling pretty miserable. I didn't mentally or physically feel great after that surgery. A few months later, in Jan 2015, I was ready for change again. I went Paleo hoping to see big changes like before. Almost nothing happened. It took me a month and lots of reading to realize that Paleo was still too many carbs for my body. So I lowered my carbs more trying to keep it to less than 100grams a day. For a frame of reference, a banana has 27g. An apple has 25g. 100g of carbs goes quickly. This is a typical zero carb meal:

I ordered a PiYo DVD on eBay and started the 60 day program. This was new territory for me. It was very hard at first. I was so sore and not sure how many days I'd actually do it for. But every week that I stuck with it, I felt stronger. The weight started to slowly come off. My confidence grew. I learned I could do all sorts of things I didn't know I could- Pushups, Burpees, Hop Lunges, etc. Every day that I got up and got sweaty, I left behind a little of the me that felt incapable and unathletic. I woke up and squeezed workouts in before I even got my daughter to school.

I finished the 60 day program and added in walking with the double stroller. I ran when I could but it still felt SO hard to breathe. I lost 35lbs doing PiYo and eating low carb. I'd already lost 35lbs from my highest pregnant weight, so man I was making some headway!
<100g day.="" p="">
I saw a Dr, figured out I have asthma, and got meds. That made a big difference. I kept working out, I kept running. I ended up running 3-5x a week, usually with the 125lb double stroller. I ran my heart out. I ran despite aching muscles, unfriendly weather, and everything inside me telling me to stop. When I finished a run and discovered I could in fact do it, it reaffirmed in my brain that I am strong, I am capable, I am a runner! I AM actually athletic! Overcoming each mental setback grew my self esteem. It rewrote all the mental mess from a lifetime of feeling like I was never the fit person.....that it could never be me. Now it WAS me. Working out gave me measurable results. I knew the first time I did a real pushup it was crazy hard. Eventually I was doing 25+ in a workout and it was just peachy. I knew when I first tried running, I could barely make it 1/4 mile without needing to stop and catch my breath. Then, out of nowhere came this beast mom who could run 8 miles of hills with a stroller. Who was she? Where did she come from? Here's the crazy part, she was in me all along.  All those years of struggling. I thought I was ready for change. I tried here and there. But I gave up. Something that worked for other people wouldn't work for me with PCOS and I'd get frustrated and give up. This time, for month after month, I didn't give up. At first it was about weight loss. Giving up carbs, working out everyday, I simply wanted to lose weight. Over many months it became about being strong, about being the version of me I was when I worked out. It made me happier. It helped me handle life better. It encouraged me to eat healthier when I had worked out that morning. It gave me more energy throughout the day. It helped balance my crazy PCOS hormones. It gave me countless victories that simply starving myself and losing weight could never do. Over the months I tweaked my diet, adjusting my macros (carbs/protein/fat) to see what worked. I was eating a ketogenic diet starting January 2016. Ketogenic is usually less than 20g carbs a day, or 5% of your calories from carbs, 20%ish from protein, and the rest healthy fat sources. Keto is recommended for several health issues, including PCOS.

Being a mom to little kids is often thankless. Some days I literally felt like Cinderella. All the cleaning and cooking and repeating myself over and over....it can make you question your worth in the "real world". It's not glamorous work. No one gives you a bonus for laundering the sick day sheets. No one puts you in Top Seller category with a prize luncheon for being up all night with kids. The glory goes unseen and untouted. Working out gave me that. I felt the prize on the inside. I could watch my run distance and/or pace improve. I could watch my calorie burn increase (simply a measure of effort and energy expenditure). I could literally watch myself getting stronger!  I could feel a major difference in my mood between days I worked out and days I didn't. It was a big deal. I craved working out because it helped me handle life.

In July 2016, I joined a mom's fitness group in Poulsbo called Stroller Strides. It was SO hot that running with the kids was hard and it gave me something else to do. I loved having someone else tell me what to do for a change. I was along for the ride and pushed myself as hard as I always do. I'm usually an all or nothing kind of gal and when it comes to fitness, this works in my favor (as long as it's All and not Nothing).

Now I am 31 weeks pregnant with baby 4, who was also conceived completely naturally and quite surprisingly since I only have my left ovary- the ovary that was a dud for the last 15 years. I am still working out with Stroller Strides, 3-5x a week. I quit running at 14 weeks for various reasons, but am so looking forward to getting back to it eventually. This will be my first labor and birth after being so physically fit during pregnancy. My hope is that if labor is hard at all, I'll use this newfound strength about how tough I am to push me through. I have learned a lot about how capable I am. I never felt like I measured up to my friends or family members as a kid. They were athletic. Their parents coached their teams. Then there was me, chubby, trying to fit in, afraid to try anything physical for fear I'd look stupid. I had no idea how strong I actually was because I never had opportunities to figure it out. Now I know. Or I at least sort of know. I think there's more in there that I have yet to discover, but I'll keep digging for it. I'd love to run a marathon someday.

To me, this is definitely one of the biggest reasons to push yourself physically in new and uncomfortable ways- the self discovery it allows. You'll probably lose weight, improve your blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc, but the mental change and how you see yourself, THAT is priceless. That's why you should work out.


The Kind Of Grandma I Want To Be

In just a couple months I will have birthed 4 children. I imagine someday I'll have at least a few grandchildren. I think often about the kind of grandma I want to be. How I want to be in my kids lives and what supporting them might look like. I tell Craig to hold me to it.....if someday I'm not being this kind of grandma, please, gently remind me! Or send me this post ;)
Ps. This isn't a reflection or judgement on the many grandmothers I know, it's about ME and what I think mothers of young children need.

To my 4 children:

I want to be the kind of grandma that randomly calls and asks if I can watch your children that day at my house or yours- whichever is easier for you. I want to give you time to breathe. I don't care what you do; nap, clean your house, watch tv, browse TJ Maxx, drink a mimosa with a friend, etc. I just want you to be YOU for a few hours and hang the hat of motherhood so your soul can rest and you can remember that you do like being a mom.

I want to be the kind of grandma that listens to you and validates how HARD parenting is. I want to hold my tongue from telling you that what you're experiencing is exactly like I did with such and such child. I don't want to give a pat answer of Pray About It. I want to tell you, this is the most exhausting thing in the world. Honey, it's so freaking hard. You ARE doing a good job.

I want to encourage your spouses to plan date nights. I want to call them and tell them, "hey, can I help you surprise your husband/wife with a date night or weekend? I will watch the kids, you tell me the dates that work!" Or you want to catch a breakfast together Saturday morning? Sure, go ahead and call me....drop the kids off.

I want to take your kids for weekends or weeknights or whatever helps you. I want you to have time with your spouse on a regular rotation. Your kids never sleep? That's ok, I can handle it for a few days!

I want a relationship with your children where they feel safe to call me and tell me when they are sad or something happened at school. I don't want to replace you, I want to be your backup. Another safe person for your kids.

I want you to feel like you have a village because your parents are there. Parenting feels a bit impossible when there is so much pressure from all around. Add to that having kids 24/7 and never a break- it can be suffocating. I don't want you drowning in motherhood/fatherhood and feeling like you have nowhere to turn. I hope on a day that everything is crashing down on you, I'll randomly call, like I always do, and say, "honey, I'm taking your kids. Do whatever you want. We'll see you in a few hours!" And then you might just take a long shower and cry a little. Maybe you'll blast some music and put on mascara and see a glimpse of you in the mirror and remember why you do everything you do. Perspective. I hope I can give you enough breaths that you gain perspective.

I hope I remember how horrible you kids behaved some days. How I didn't even have energy to try various parenting methods because I was overworked and alone. I don't want to roll my eyes or give a look when your adorable kid behaves like a devil. I don't want you to feel judged and less-than because of me or because you aren't parenting the way I would.

I hope I remember how much WORK everything is with kids. Even a quick trip to the library can feel exhausting. I hope I remember how BUSY life is with kids. I hope I remember how BROKE you feel when there's little money and many mouths to feed. I hope I am a good listener and truly hear you.  I hope I am a reprieve for you and your children. That my home and my heart would feel safe and AVAILABLE for you and your kids.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mama, You Are So Strong

...This is what I wish I could magically import into every mother's brain. The mental and self esteem benefits of fitness. More than being a certain weight or fitting in a certain size, the value gained from working out surpasses it all. Last summer we 'accidentally' took our 3 young kids on an 11+mile steep hike. The mountain had logging detours and we were clueless where we were going. I had my almost 3 year old on my back for all but a mile. My 5 year old ended up on my front in my arms for about 8 miles. I was literally carrying two children for 8 miles. I remember thinking, "holy crap. There's no way I could have done this a year or two ago." I was physically so strong! I could handle that crazy situation and get us off that darn mountain. I felt so proud of myself.

I see other mothers, just like me. Up too much at night with kids, drinking coffee on the couch in the morning before the craziness of the day ramps up. Feeling blah about themselves, fighting to have any energy, comparing themselves to what they see online. It wasn't overnight, but over time, consistency, and work, I learned so much about myself. Sweating so much it dripped in my eyes and burned, wanting to quit, telling myself, "this is too hard", but not letting myself quit- it taught me so much. I learned I am a badass. I can do anything I set my mind to. Slowly the glass ceiling in my life, which had been placed there by me, was being lifted. It's more than just endorphins. It's more than losing weight. It's telling yourself over and over, you can do this. One more push up. One more mile. One more squat. Then the workout is done, you're covered in sweat, the endorphins have created a high, and you know for certain, "dang girl, you did it, you really did it!"

 We all have to start somewhere. I started from 0, having never actually "worked out". I was overweight, super out of shape, and had to learn each move as I did it. I didn't even know the proper way to do a push up. But learn it, I did. Oh girl, how I learned.

Dear sweet mama, raising your littles. Wondering where you fit in, where time for you fits in? Here's where: right in the middle of your beautiful and messy life. Kids will climb on you while you Plank, they will stare up at you from the floor while you Downward Dog, they will come alongside you and Squat and Lunge. You will break up toddler fights while you Scissor Jack. They will see mama getting stronger and doing hard things. As you are learning you can do the tough stuff, you're teaching them that lesson, too. Working out isn't about getting smaller, although that may happen, it's about finding the strong woman that already lives in you. I promise you she's in there. She's a badass, too.

Plenty of us need a little motivation to get something going. Honestly, just knowing where to start can feel supremely overwhelming. Maybe that feels scary or too hard or you're afraid you'll quit after 5 days. Maybe you just really need someone to do the journey with you. I think we all do. If you live in Kitsap County, I'd love you to come workout with me. Your first class is free and you won't regret coming. Your kids under 5 stay in the stroller....hold on, before you say they won't do that, let them try it. You'll be surprised ;) Kids love habit and structure and this is a great habit to start!

You can bring your kid/s and your stroller and come check out a class with me, for FREE. I would truly love to see you. We workout indoors in the winter.
You can leave your name and email HERE and receive our daily schedule. No obligation, no pressure, just information.
The local website for Fit4Mom is HERE.
Also, working mama's and those who refuse to workout with their kiddos (haha, no shame, it's alright!), there's a FREE Preview Class for the evening Body Back series coming up. Details HERE. Ok, have I hyper-linked you to death? 

Shush the voice of fear inside your head, telling you the many reasons why it won't work, why it can't happen. Give yourself a chance, mama. 


Long overdo update

Hello again. Somehow blogging felt so much easier when I had two kids...adding that 3rd and very busy little one eliminated that chunk of time or gusto I had left for blogging. I think blogging is like most things, the more we do it, the more we find time for it. I mean, I never miss a cup of morning coffee, right? Priorities ;)

We're now expecting our 4th baby in May, 2017. Life will likely be as busy as ever. I know everyone says once you get past 2 kids it doesn't get much harder, but here's the deal: each kid is more laundry (Ohhhh, the laundry), another child to bathe, another set of teeth to brush, another child to feed, another child to take to activities, another child to help with homework, etc. So yeah, maybe not harder per se, depending how we define hard, but it's more time and more work. It creates a feeling of busyness, even if we never leave the house. There is never NOT something to do. Ya know?

I am 19 weeks today and feeling mostly good. Tired. Quite tired. But I haven't been nauseous and so far the baby is doing well. Our genetic screening came back today with everything looking good. I have our 20 week ultrasound in about a week. We will not be finding out gender this time. I've had two ultrasounds already, so for those wondering about twins, nope, just one.

I kept running til about 12 weeks and then it just got too hard. I had to pee every 1/2 mile, my feet felt 'weird', and it just didn't feel good anymore. My asthma has also gotten worse, which is fairly common in pregnancy. I have continued HIIT workouts, both at home and with my local Stroller Strides group. The only thing I really can't do right now is situps (my ab muscles are too separated and it hurts). I plan to keep working out and pushing myself as long as I can. I rest more when needed and don't push to the same level as before.  But in pregnancy, if you are having a hard time breathing, that means oxygen is restricted to the baby as well. So, I'm listening to my body more. Talk about opposite of the running mindset pre-pregnancy! Running before was all about "mind over matter", "your body will do what your mind tells it to". I pushed and pushed and forced my body into submission. It was awesome! I was running 8 miles of hills, in 75-80 degree weather, with 130lbs of double stroller in May of this year. I was a lean, mean, tell my body to do anything machine!
Woohoo! I started some new meds in early June to help better manage my PCOS (things that working out and weight loss still hadn't fixed) and the meds made me gain weight right away. I was just trying to deal with that and sort it out and then I found out in September I was pregnant. Hmmmm.....took me a bit to adjust to this. I had worked so stinking hard to lose weight and become super fit. I knew this would all change to some degree. I had to adjust expectations. Especially about my weight. I do feel a bit like I'll be starting all over once this baby comes and it will be even harder with 4 children needing me. But, now I know how strong and capable I am (really, we all are ;)), so I hope I can remember that and find that inner beast again. I gained weight slowly during Solomon's pregnancy, this one I feel like I'm getting big all over, not just my belly. I'm not a fan of that, but there's only so much I can do. Each pregnancy is different. This one is already almost half over. Wow.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Craig's Crazy Leg Infection, Part 2

During his second hospital admittance a huge amount of tests were run as well as another ultrasound of his leg. His leg had gotten huge. Literally huge, and bright red with purple toes. It was also warm to the touch. We were told his skin was reaching max elasticity and the next step would be fluid oozing out. So gross and scary, too. He was on several iv antibiotics as well as iv fluid. The ER Dr was knowledgeable about this type of infection. He said anyone at the hospital would know this isn't Staph.  He explained that because the Urgent Care misdiagnosed, this infection was able to get out of hand. The med they gave him (Bactrim) does not treat Strep Cellulitis. The shot they gave in the glute at Urgent Care however, does treat Strep Cellulitis. This is why when he went home from Urgent Care the first time his temp dropped to about 100 but within 24 hours spiked to 104. The glute shot wore off and his body had nothing fighting the infection anymore. A proper diagnosis would have prevented this entirely. Craig was admitted this 2nd time and once stable was moved up from the ER to an actual room for several days. It was a relief to be there. It had been so scary being at home and seeing him get worse and worse. The first time the ER sent him home I literally knew we would be back.

For the next day or so it was a waiting game to see what his leg would do. His fever was under control, he was coherent again, and he could eat. He could not walk and his leg was very painful. I dropped the kids at my moms every morning and spent most of the day with him. It was a 40 min drive each way to the hospital. At dinner time I picked up the kids and brought them home for bed.

 I knew at this point we were about $20k deep and he was missing a week or more of work. It was a mess, but what could I do? I thought a lot about trying to look for work. In the 11 years we've been together, it has been a pretty constant stream of medical expenses. His employer-provided insurance has high deductibles and high out of pocket limits. If one of us gets sick or needs an ER or hospital, we don't stand a chance financially. It flatlines us for years. We have not been able to recover financially from one medical issue before another one happens. It is a constant stress and frustration for me. We also end up not going to the dr when we need to because we simply can't afford it.  

Anyway, on Sunday, he was finally discharged. A week after he got sick and 4 1/2 days in the hospital. Once home, he needed a couple more days off to be able to walk again. His leg was BAD. It is now almost 6 months after his hospital stay and his leg is still quite swollen. He needs a surgery to prevent the infection from happening again, but until his leg is healthy, the surgery will only make things worse. He wears a very tight compression sock on that leg every day. 

Looking back on the whole thing, I feel very frustrated abut the Urgent Care Dr misdiagnosing Craig. I tried to talk to another Dr at the clinic about it and they wouldn't say a word. I tried to talk to the billing department and asked to be given grace so we wouldn't have to pay $400 for a visit that actually made him worse and at death's door. I was in tears on the phone, explaining we have one income, 6 people we provide for, and owe $20k now. Zero grace was given, not even a discount. What a way to care for people, huh? This was The Doctor's Clinic in Poulsbo, Wa.

We still owe the hospital several thousand dollars and another $4k on our credit card for all the other people I had to pay that wouldn't take payments. Pretty insane. 

^This was at the Urgent Care the day the Dr said we needed to get to the hospital asap.
^Craig in the ER. His leg was scary and painful.
^Once his fever was gone and he could interact, we killed time
by watching Netflix.
^Us breaking out of the hospital!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year, I am here!

Hello? Heeellloooo? It's an echo here in the world of my blog. A dark cave I have sadly forgotten about. Here we are welcoming in 2016 and I'd like to be present here again. As I look back on past blogs I sometimes chuckle at the things my kids did, sometimes I'm embarrassed at my attitude or behavior or logic, yet I appreciate the snapshot of that moment in time. I appreciate that there is always room to learn and improve.

Also, ermagerd my blog is ridiculously busy and outdated and un user friendly. I need to charge up the ol' laptop and try to make this thing a little simpler. It's almost midnight, so I'll save that for another day. I wish I had a programmer bestie who could just whip it into shape in trade for some clean laundry or somethin'!

Maybe just some updates tonight.
Me-I have been working out and eating low carb for almost a year! I am honestly surprised that I've been so consistent and I'm proud of that. My weight ebbs and flows between 25-36lbs down (that's a story for another day). I am currently 30lbs from my ultimate goal! I did two 60-day rounds of PiYo, 2 rounds of 21 Day Fix, took up running, and have stayed active. I just started another round of PiYo today. Eating is tough, I love carbs and eating low carb is a buzzkill. I track everything in MyFitnessPal (FrazierMama) and work on eating between 50-100g of complex carbs a day. I avoid sugar, pasta, rice, bread, high sugar fruits like bananas, Etc.
I started a supplement, called Ovasitol, last February and after 3 months on it I got a cycle and have had one every month since. Working on getting them predictable. No one likes a surprise shark attack, amirite?
I have become a runner. That is crazy. I can run 5 miles currently! I found out a couple months ago I for sure have asthma so I got an inhaler and that has helped a ton. I find running to be a challenge and extremely therapeutic for me. It continually shows me I am more capable than I ever realized. Exercise is a big portion of mental health support for me. It has become a necessity.

Craig- He is still Mr Handy and fixes all-the-things. He had a major leg infection last August that put him in the hospital. It was scary and got touch and go for a couple days. I have a drafted blog from that week and haven't been able to post yet.....it was a terrible time. Anywho, he survived and still deals with chronic issues caused by that leg infection. Hopefully this year more healing will occur and if it does he will need a surgery to prevent it's recurrence. Surgery now would just cause more harm. Anywho....he works for the same company, 2015 marked 10 years, which I think is awesome for a guy who is only 37.  He is an amazing dad. Just today Evie told me how bummed she is that I married him first {before she had a chance}. Haha

Eliana- She is 7 and in 1st grade. Man, she is a smart little thing. Reading 4th grade level and constantly excited about learning new things (oh no, not a braggy braggerson!Sorry, not sorry, hehe). Information is exciting and a thrill for Eliana. I absolutely love that about her. Hmmm...maybe soon she can proofread my blog??? Yes, let's put a pin in that. Kidding....sort of. Elly is well spoken, sensitive, and she feels deeply. She is very aware and so encouraging. She is a special human. I am excited to see how God uses her life.

Evangeline- She is 5 and still has gorgeous big brown eyes. She recently donated a foot of hair because, "mom, there are kids with NO hair, I don't need all of this hair!" Evie is shy unless it's family or good friends. She is cautious and doesn't like the spotlight. She is super excited for Kindergarten this fall and currently she is the best playmate to her little brother. Evie has an amazing voice and a natural rhythm that boggles my mind. She can really sing, that one! Maybe she'll love the spotlight someday.

Solomon- He is 2 and such a little man. He adores Captain America  or "Erica" as he calls him. He likes to live most days in his Captain or Iron Man costume. We keep telling him, "they're the good guys, stop using the shield to hurt your sisters!" Lol. He is chatty and engaged and busy all of the time. Sol started sleeping in his own crib in July. Thank you, Jesus. He still wakes multiple times a night and that just sucks, but progress is progress. Sol has blonde hair and blue eyes and is
stubborn.....no idea where he gets that from. *why is everyone looking at me?*

There are a million things I could say after having basically not blogged in a year....but I will tackle it one bit at a time. Thanks for being here, in this disco era cave of a blog. I'll spruce it up soon. Promise!


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Craig's Crazy Leg Infection, Part 1

The following post was written 8/6/15. I saved it in drafts and am just now reading it. I've decided to post it as I wrote it and will work to followup with a second blog with what happened after this post was written.

I read a gazillion blog posts the other day by www.livinginyellow.com and her blog reminded me what I loved about blogging in the first place. Her unique voice and opinion, the humor and way she sees her world- so refreshing. Check her blog out, she is funny and fashionable!

Anyway, I used to just sit and let my fingers start typing and eventually the thoughts would roll and my heart would end up on the screen and I'd hit 'post'. Then somewhere along the years I figured my thoughts didn't matter and my life was too busy already. But I forgot the reason I first started blogging: for me! Putting my thoughts down helped me. I processed life and parenting and marriage through the keyboard and the freedom of blogging. I liked developing my unique written voice and figuring out what I had to say. 

Today is Thursday, August 6th. I am currently sitting at Harrison Medical Center at my husband's bedside. We went camping over the weekend with my cousin and her family. It was really fun and the kids had a blast. We were sort of "glamping" because we had showers, chlorinated pool, dish washing station, and other amenities. We did sleep in our tent and make s'mores, though! We got home Sunday and unpacked. I did tons of laundry, gave all the kids a bath, Craig put away all the camping gear, and we took the kids to DQ for blizzards before bed. That evening Craig and I both felt a little weird. My body was really sore and Craig felt out of it. I figured camping wore us out and we were a little over exposed to the hot sun while camping. We watched some tv and went to bed. 

Monday morning I woke up and our bed was empty so I thought Craig went to work. I walked out to the kitchen and he was quietly moaning on the couch. "Oh crap", I thought. He said he'd been up since 3am and felt miserable. I took his temp, it was 102. We thought he had the flu. I had a 10:30am appointment with the kids so I took a shower and left with the kids, giving him a quiet home to rest in. When I got back his left leg was a bit swollen and red and he said he thought he had Staph again. He has had an infection in that leg a few times (we don't know why), but always minor and treated easily with antibiotics. Never high fevers or missing work. This was different. 

Craig became incoherent and cranky. He was unable to answer questions about how he felt or what he wanted to do. His leg slowly got worse. I gathered up the kids and Craig and we headed to drop the kids at my mom's house and I took Craig to the Urgent Care. They diagnosed it as Staph and gave him a shot of antibiotics in the glute and sent us home with a script for Bactrim, which they said would kill staph, strep, and mrsa. We went home and he promptly fell asleep. I went to Safeway to fill scripts and gas up the car. I went home and woke him up to take meds, and then went to my moms the rest of the day to give him quiet to sleep until his next dose of meds. I brought the kids home for bed and then watched some tv and went to sleep. Craig did nothing but sleep. His temp never went below 102.  Tuesday came and things were honestly looking worse. Midday his temp spiked to 104. He was really out of it and still not able to eat. I couldn't force more than an ounce of protein shake or water down him. Tuesday the "shit got real" for me. This wasn't acting or responding at all like the staph infections he had previously had. The meds seemed to do nothing. I was having flashbacks to his accident 9 years ago. Emotions welled up and I held back tears. I felt like I should take him to the ER but questioned my intuition (women- trust your intuition!). The Urgent Care Dr said to give it 36 hours.....I didn't want to overreact. I kept monitoring his temp and leg and debating over and over what to do. I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about the financial aspect of it all. We are still paying off my surgery from last September and here we are again. Our deductible is $12.5k and Craig also doesn't have sick leave. Loss of pay AND medical bills? Yup, it really sucks. I didn't want to overreact and have it cost us $5k. Without medical training, it is sometimes hard to know what warrants a hospital visit. 

Tuesday night Craig decided he felt a little better. His temp was down to 102 and he wanted to stay home for the night. Our kids were snug in their beds so I said ok. I went to lay down in bed and checked out the interweb for signs of sepsis and felt very concerned that we were heading that direction. It was hard to sleep. I was worried. Wednesday morning came and he had not improved at all. It had been 36 hours so we headed back to the Urgent Care. I dropped the kids at my mom's house on the way. I hoped somehow the Urgent Care could help and we could avoid the hospital. I can see now that I knew in my gut he was beyond that. The Urgent Care Dr (not the same one we first saw) said, "uh wow, I'm going to be honest here....this is bad. He needs to be in the hospital." He wrote up a letter explaining everything for the ER and we headed to Bremerton Harrison, about 40min away. 

We arrived at the ER and waited a short time for a bed. Craig was super duper dehydrated and finding a vein was tricky. Took 3 nurses working hard to get one. They did an ultrasound to check for blood clots, checked his lactic acid level, various blood tests, etc. He got 2L of fluid and iv antibiotics. He started to seem more "with it" and didn't look so awful. The ER Dr said this is for sure NOT staph but is strep cellulitis and it is resistant to the medicine Urgent Care gave him. *face palm*. They decided to send Craig home on a 24 hour trial. He was instructed to get up every 3-4 hours to pee and avoid blood clots and to eat and drink as much as he could. We got scripts for pain meds and a different antibiotic. I wanted to feel hopeful. His fever was gone when we left the ER. 

We went home and I got him settled with water so I could go back to Safeway for the new meds.  He was awake and watching tv while I was gone. When I got home I tried to make him a eat a sandwich, drink water, and even tried to bribe him with his favorite snacks. He could barely eat. He took meds and quickly passed out. I left to go to my mom's to help give my kids a bath and bring them home for bed. 

Craig slept on the couch again. When I went to bed around midnight his leg had not improved at all and his temp was up around 100. I had a feeling we'd be back at the hospital sooner than later. Craig woke me at 6am feeling awful. His head hurt, ears hurt, legs hurt, and he couldn't sleep. I got him all his meds again and went to lay down some more since our kids were still asleep. 

Our sweet 2 year old, having missed his nap for 6 days, slept til 9:40am. So I did, too. When I got up I realized we needed to pack up and head back to the hospital. I called my mom and asked if she could take the kids again, then hopped in the shower and packed up stuff for the kids for the day. We dropped the kids at my mom's house and did the 40min drive to the hospital yet again. The ER decided to admit him. They ran more tests, gave more iv fluid....to be continued.