Monday, May 29, 2017

Medical Monday - The Tests

Thursday was the last day of school. It was also my birthday. It was also the day I both dreaded and looked forward to. Thursday was the day we went to do labs. Thursday is the day we’d finally find out how much damage the medicine debacle caused Jaydon’s kidney. Thursday was the day we’d find out if we were shopping for a new kidney, starting dialysis, stopping the growth hormone, or remaining status quo.

So many things went wrong that morning. So many hurdles… Many of his teachers wouldn’t sign him out early. I can only assume they didn’t want the kids roaming the streets like wild Indians. I get it. I do. Once the delaying issue was identified, I escorted him to each of his classrooms and waited at the door for the teacher to sign him out. I don’t think the one teacher expected me to bite back when I was told I interrupted an important meeting. “Tell me how your important meeting is more important than me trying to get my child to his appointments in Salt Lake. Ones we should have left 45 minutes ago to get to.”

I really should thank this teacher because this incident gave me something to think about besides the impending tests. It gave me something to dwell on while I drove. Something besides worrying about the unknown. Something to do besides what I should have been doing - praying.

We arrived at PCMC and Jaydon was almost immediately escorted back for labs. It took somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 minutes. The doctor told us, “We’ll call you with the results this afternoon.”

I celebrated the completion of the tests with Flan and Tres Leches Cake from Cafe Rio while the kids had their choice of meals from McDonalds. I also had tamales and enchiladas, but the cakes were the best!

By Friday morning, all I knew was that the test was complete but the nurses couldn’t/wouldn’t release the results without the doctor reviewing them first. I played with their online system for a while until I finally figured out what my password was. I was reviewing the results - many of them marked with red - when I got the call. The creatnine levels had once again stabilized. The other labs “weren’t clinically significant” enough to do any meddling. So, we are Status Quo. Nothing is changing yet. Our summer is still intact.

Fear and dread have been banished. I am constantly in awe of God’s goodness. His grace. His love. I’ve felt the prayers envelope me as I’ve driven, waited, stewed, and cried. We are all in his arms and He is in our lives. He knows each and every one of us and loves us through our faults and trials.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Writing Wednesday - StoryMakers Conference

My amazing sister helped me get to Storymakers this year. It was a wonderful experience - like always.

Thursday started with Plot Chat. Annette Lyon gave me some great pointers and insight. I can’t wait to start revising! Next up came the First Pages Clinic. I was a little bummed because it seemed like I had been put in the wrong group. There were some really off-the-wall comments, BUT I did receive some feedback I can implement and use to make my work better. I guess I should put on my alligator skin jacket for these because this isn’t the first time I’ve come away feeling like the proverbial whipping boy. Ironically, I took the same book to these… Go figure!

Friday was nothing less than amazing! I met with Sara Crowe for a manuscript consult. She made very few changes to the 10 pages she read from Wish Upon A Warrior. I was so excited! She suggested I flesh it out a bit to add about 15k words, making it a full-length novel instead of a novella. My favorite classes were by Marc Cameron and Mike Perry. And then the keynote speaker! Oh the keynote!

Ally Condie knocked it out of the ballpark! It was such a good speech.

My most awesome roomies took me out for desserts at a French bakery. Oh, such wonderful goodness! Wowie!

Saturday came early, much too early. It took quite a bit to pull myself out of bed & to get dressed. I braided my hair and went to classes. My all time favorite class was Ally Condie’s intensive. She got us writing - actually writing in class. It was wonderful. I wished I’d have brought my laptop. It was so fun!

Then Jennifer Nielsen’s keynote address during lunch was spectacular! Oh. My. Gosh! WOWIE!!! It was hard to top.

Eschler Editing managed to squeeze me in for an editing spot. They were so sweet! I got so much good feedback! I have so much to fix. Again… Sara Crowe and Eschler Editing looked at the same piece.

And then… the Whitney Awards! My good friend, Jenni James, and her daughters came to help me get ready. They did my hair and makeup.

It was magical - such a transformation! I literally felt like a princess once I stepped into my dress. I got so many compliments. It was great!

I have so many things rushing through my head as I returned to my normal life. I have so many new story ideas, so many thoughts on how to improve my writing, so many THINGS!

It’s been said the main reason we go to conference isn’t the classes (although they help), it’s the PEOPLE! The networking! The feeling of family! The wonderfulness of it all! It’s like entering a magical universe that not everyone “gets.” This writer family that I’ve chosen is so much fun. We’re all living this solitary lifestyle and then, once a year, we’re thrown together in this big building to learn, laugh, chat, and hone our craft. I’m so glad I have these writer friends of mine. They are so supportive, so wonderful, so unique. I’m honored that I can mingle with them, if only for brief snippets of time. These fellow Storymakers, they are my friends!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Medical Monday - A couple days early...

We’ve been going to the doctor every 2-3 months because Jaydon is finally on a growth hormone that’s working! He’s responding beautifully! He’s over 5 feet tall and has crossed the 100 pound threshold! He’s so proud of himself.

A wonderful moment happened today when I pulled out a pair of pants that have been kicking around for quite some time. “Hey, these were Chazz’s pants but they’re 4 inches too short for him. Try them on. If they don’t fit, I’ll send them to the DI.”

He and Dakota tried them on. And, with a belt, they fit! Good grief! We’ve gone from the size 10s to the 12s to the 14s to men’s sizes in pants in ONE year with these two!

At the last appointment, we changed up Jaydon’s blood pressure medication. If we can keep his blood pressure lower, we can keep the kidney functioning longer. “Here’s the RX and the lab order. Get the labs done in 7-10 days.”

It was closer to 10 days when we got it done. Still within the timeframe we had been given. I didn’t give it another thought.

UNTIL, I was at the Storymakers Conference. I was riding the escalator. My phone was on silent so I wouldn’t disturb the wonderful presenters. I felt the vibration of a new message and listened in shock.

“Stephanie, you need to stop that new med immediately! I don’t know what happened and why there was a delay. But the results from TWO WEEKS AGO indicate that his kidney is failing! I don’t know why there was a delay, but we need immediate action. I’ll call again on Monday.”

I made a frantic phone call to my sister who had my kids. “Take that little green pill out of the baggie RIGHT NOW! It’s literally killing him!”

Heads turned in the lobby. I’m sure they thought I was crazy or part of a plot or part of some class.

It’s crazy to know that you’re 100+ miles away from your kid and there’s nothing you could do even if you were there. Combine that with the flooding that was happening and the cow insanely close to her due date and it’s a recipe for stress.

Luckily, I had the best roomies who took me to a French Bakery for desserts - yes, plural. I’m not sure they knew what was going on… but I’m so thankful!

Monday, I had a great discussion with our doctor. We’ll go back to the previous BP med with labs in 7-10 days. If this fails, we’ll need to stop/delay the growth hormones. We may even need to look at dialysis.”

My heart is lurching in my chest. But, already I can see a bit of improvement. His coloring is better, he’s more active, he’s not sleeping as much. He still sleeps a lot. BUT! Things are looking better.

The flooding has receded a bit. The cow still hasn’t calved. We still don’t have the answers we want or need. BUT, it will all work out. We are praying and everything is in God’s hands.