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This message was originally posted the beginning of this past week (Oct 20 -

Here is a very long update as to what has been going on with our family this
past while.  Anyone just interested in Jon's allergy update, skip to the
last paragraph.  Warning - this got long...


Just a week ago I  spent 8 days in the hospital with a very bad/invasive
staph infection of the throat.  There were some pretty scary moments where
my white cell count was so high that everyone was sitting on pins and
needles (so I've heard).  I was admitted on Sat., Oct. 5 with acute swelling
of the throat and major pain/dehydration.  Everything I swallowed came up
through my nose.  My throat had basically closed (breathing was surprisingly
not affected, just swallowing) and allowed nothing to pass.  I was put on IV
antibiotics and steroids to get the swelling down.  By Tuesday, the swelling
had come down some but nothing had touched the infection that had built up
and my white cell count had doubled everyday since admission.  They were now
calling this infection a "Quincy Cyst".  Wednesday they contacted the
surgeon and Thursday I was sent by ambulance (the drama!) to Winnipeg to
have the thing lanced and drained.  That was horrible.  The matter of fact
ENT (ear, nose, throat) doc was going to just slit this thing open and drain
it.  No pain meds, nothing.  Um, no.  Sorry.  So, he gave me a shot of
morphine, a shot of xylocaine in my throat and went for it.  Unfortunately,
he slit an area where the cyst (surprisingly) wasn't and then went in with a
large gauge syringe, located and drained it from another angle.  Of course,
there was no anaesthetic at that point but by the time he was done and I
went to complain, the morphine had kicked in and I didn't care anymore.  La,
la, la...... ; )

The healing went rather quickly after it was drained.  The contents of the
cyst is off to pathology for testing but I'm sure it was just infection.  I
was left feeling very weak and slow to recover.  By Saturday I was feeling
little throat pain but I was so weak I could barely walk 10 feet.  Last
Sunday, I begged to go home to be with my family.  The healing energy of a
busy family is just what I needed.  Besides being utterly exhausted, I am
doing ok.  The two lances and two puncture wounds in my throat are healing
nicely, almost painlessly really.  I had a very stiff neck from laying
around and wobbly knees from lethargy but really think I'm doing ok now.  I
had this past week off of work and I'm going to try to do a 1/2 day
tomorrow.  I am slightly depressed about the whole thing.  I don't do
"nothing" very well.  I really needed the rest though.

I am saddened to know that despite a year of planning and two (expired)
plane tickets sitting on my desk, I will not be attending my cousins wedding
in Sanfrancisco today.  I try not to be too depressed about the whole thing.
I did buy cancellation insurance thinking that Jon could always take a turn
for the worse, never thinking it would be me.  I go through bouts of crying
over it and bouts of "it could have been worse, thank God it wasn't", and of
course, many joyous moments just being home again.  What an ordeal!  Jeeeze,
how can a healthy 36 year old woman get so sick so quick?  It simply baffles
me.  I was totally and utterly exhausted but seem to be doing better now.
I'm a bit less drained and have been doing normal things this whole weekend
for the first time in a while.

This past few weeks had us reeling and really in crisis.  Not just with me
being in the hospital but with Alan gone so much this past year (his job has
him travel several times a month) and Jon's whole pump/allergy issue....
Julianna handled it the best and that girl really deserves a medal.  She is
a rock.  Alan doesn't do well under pressure.  Especially medical stuff.  I
am sure that there are just too many raw memories (his first wife died in a
hospital, complications from lupis).  Same with Danny.  He did ok but you
can tell that he is very worried still about me.  He asks many times a day
(to the point of it being annoying) "Mommy is ok?"  "Mommy is happy"....
Jon and Nick did ok too, Nicholas worrying the most, really glad I'm home,
not letting me out of his sight for too long these days.  Also asking many
times a day "Mommy is better?", Mommy is home....  Katrina regressed a bit.
She sort of took the opportunity of me not being here to take a vacation
from responsibility and everyone let her get away with it.  I don't go for
stuff like that at all.  I am the kind of person who thinks, "When the chips
are down, you buckle under, suck it up and work twice as hard", so she has
heard a thing or two from me, but not the whole smozzle.  I'll have a talk
with her this coming week.  We're actually going to have a family meeting.
Things here at home have been on the edge of crisis for some time now.  No
one is really happy, just surviving.  I can't accept that and won't.  Alan
and I had a long talk on Wednesday.  He finally took a day off work (hadn't
taken even one day off work throughout my entire hospital stay or recovery)
because I had a specialist appointment with the ENT doc and Nicholas had a
specialist dental appoint.  I couldn't drive yet (too weak) and I basically
told him that he was taking the day off.  (I'm not thrilled with this whole
"telling" him thing but you gotta do what you gotta do...).  We tried not to
get angry with each other, knowing that none of this has really been
anyone's fault but it wasn't easy.  We both agreed that the most difficult
part of our relationship/family is our location on a few levels.  One, we
are very far from any conveniences, stores, doctors appointments (and we
have many) therapists, activities for the kids, school, work etc... and two,
we are, and always have been, very controlled by Alan's parents.  I am not
one to be controlled, rather, if anything I am a controller who has tried
very hard to deal with these issues.  That said, controlling people make me
absolutely crazy.  I have zero tolerance for it and have had to sit by and
watch Alan let his parents control him from the day I married him.  It was
much better when his parents left for 1/2 the year to live in Arizona, but
that stopped two years ago and I'm about gone mad with them and their damn
watchful eyes.  Even though they are very, very helpful, I would give up the
help in a heartbeat for some privacy.  eg:  Tuesday, I am recovering slowly
from this whole ordeal and have hired someone to come and take the boys to
their home so I can have peace and quite for the first time in years, time
alone in the house to rest.  After 1/2 hour alone, I hear "clunk, clunk",
outside my window.  My helpful in-laws decided to unload wood just outside
of  our bedroom window.  Now, how can I say anything without sounding like
an ungrateful bitch?  They really are just helping - but - not only did they
not ask if we wanted this help, they're on our property, walk right into the
house to get the truck keys and this happens all the time.  No privacy.

So, we've made some decisions.  We're going to rent the farm land and try to
sell the house and of course, Alan's parents need to decide if they want to
sell their home as well.  The problem, and it is a big one, is that we own a
lot of what is actually on Alan's parents property.  The grain bins (worth a
few thous. each) and the buildings, and then there is the machinery that is
partially dually owned but mostly it is ours.  The thing is, if we sell the
machinery we should have enough money to built a new house (sick, isn't it?)
and we have a "dream home" in mind.  Not a fantasy home, but a dream home.
It will be large, a bedroom for everyone, a large kitchen, large family room
and another bedroom like we have now.  (I will post some photos, I have some
now....).  Main level laundry, sitting room for quiet time, large bathrooms,
storage etc....  It will be a spread out farm type home with a wrap around
porch and spacious yard.  In the country yet close to town (5 mile max).  We
know that it is the only way to have privacy.  As Alan pointed out, even if
his parents moved, they'd feel like they had the right to just show up
whenever and do whatever they wanted.  That's just the way it always has
been and because Alan has allowed it for so long, it always will be.  We'll
go and talk to the bank or our finance guy in November and make some serious
decisions.  We'll have to decide what to keep and what to sell and see if
our house even *will* sell.  I mean, location is everything.  Because land
is always a good investment, unless we're offered a ridiculous amount of
money for it, we'll keep it for supplementary income.  We can make some cash
by renting it out, income we'll need for sure with Julianna in University.

Everything else will come slowly.  The move will be good for us all I think,
even though the kids will miss it here, they'll have to accept change and
will eventually see that if Mom and Dad are happier, everyone will be
happier.  (in theory, right?)

Nicholas did very well at his dentist appointment.  He needs two fillings.
His far back bottom molars.  The dentist is a specialist who deals with sp.
needs all the time, although Nicholas, who never ceases to amaze us, did
better than most kids his age at the dentist.  He was so good.  He did
everything he was asked and I think it was mainly because they allowed him
to explore, on his own, the entire office first.  He was allowed to make the
chair go up and down and make the water and air guns work etc....  He liked
that.  Being in control. (oh no, he takes after his grandparents!  Dan and
Nick aren't autistic, they're just controlling! lol!!)

My appointment went ok.  I do not need my tonsils out (yet).  One more flare
up and I'm in, so I'm hoping for none.  The surgery would be invasive due to
scarring.  yuck.  I have a slight sore throat this morning though.  gulp.
Nothing is back from pathology.

Jon's allergy appointment was awful.  He was/is allergic to everything.  The
infusion sets, the canula, the adhesives, the friar's balsam left such a
reaction it looked like he was burned with a cigarette, and still now, more
than two weeks later, it looks like that.  He is allergic to the Emla
(Novocain, lidocaine) and likely all the "caines" so we'll have to be
careful with him and anaesthetics.  He was allergic to most of the barriers.
He's still off the pump and now that I'm better I'm back to investigating
what materials we can use on him.  I've heard of a Teflon infusion set that
I have our pharmacist looking into right now.  Minimed is slow to hand over
information so any pump companies reading this, the first one to come up
with a solution to this problem, we'll start using your products.  I mean
it.  I'm getting a little sick of this whole thing and the lack of help
we're getting.  I am afraid that these special items will not be covered by
our insurance and will likely cost twice what the normal ones do.   I'm a
fighter so we'll get this figured out I'm sure.  Until then, Jon's sugars
are crazy.  All over the place.  He was 30.2 at school the other morning (in
US terms, that is like 550).  He then drops quickly and goes low by lunch.
Poor kid. It must be so hard to focus with sugars so crazy.  He never did
react well to the zinc in the insulin that makes it last long.  That was one
of the reasons we put him on the pump to begin with.  We're plugging away on
needles and still have yet to get the lantus.  When I had time to think
about getting some, I got so sick.  Hopefully we'll be back to pumping soon.
Any suggestions would be great.  We need to get these materials and take
them to the allergist for testing.  We're afraid that this may be a long
process.  Aaaaaaahhhhh, no breaks, huh?  None.  We'll all survive this, I'm

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