Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hospitals, Party Buses, and Book Sales...

It has been an interesting week at el rancho Engle.  A week that included the self-publishing of my 2nd e-book on Kindle at, my niece's 21st birthday, and two days spent in the hospital with my youngest son.

When sales on my first e-book hitting the whopping total of 5, I decided it was time to go ahead and upload the next installation in that series.  So Guardian of Dreams was edited and uploaded and in the intervening days I have sold another copy of Saving Alexandria as well as one copy of the new book.  Definitely not an overwhelming success, but still it gives me a sense of pride that someone out there actually paid for something I wrote.  It's scarey as hell because there is that tiny I was a 300 lb teenager voice in the back of my head that still screams "They're going to hate it and laugh at you," but it's pretty much drowned out now by the big girl voice that shrugs and says "so fuckin what if they do?"
Also this week was my niece's 21st birthday for which her sister (also my niece obviously) arranged for a party bus.  A party bus I learned during the course of these events, is a bus... sometimes a limo and sometimes and actual bus... that drives you around from club to club and then delivers you home safely and without anyone driving after they've been drinking.  The actual bus type have a nightclub complete with dance floor actually inside the bus with coolers for ice and drinks, big screen tv, and a million other ammenities.  You can rent the buses for anything, doesn't have to be club hopping, and while they're pricey if you've got a group thing going and everyone pitches in then the price would be super reasonable.  I personally did not get to go on the party bus because my baby boy wasn't feeling well and I decided to stay home with him instead, but I have now decided that festivities surrounding my 44th birthday in July will most definitely include the rental of a party bus... the big one with the pole so I can take hysterically funny pictures of my wonderful family and friends on the dance pole... we'll play a Shemar Moore marathon on the big screen and dance like maniacs to a wild variety of music... everyone reading this is hereby invited to my birthday on the party and feel free to blog about it afterward because I'm pretty sure I will :)

The final chapter of my week actually started several weeks ago when my youngest son started getting signs of one of the many pesky viruses that plague primary school children.  Low grade fever, headache, stomachache; just overall feeling of yuck.  The symptoms came and left and then returned again over the space of several weeks and after a trip to the Dr and another to the ER I was pretty much given the word that there was really not much to be done about viruses.  Don't give Motrin or Tylenol unless the temp is over 101, and you don't need to have him seen by the Dr unless there is vomiting, diarrhea, or temp over 102.  I followed that advice for weeks, sending him to school when there was no temp and allowing him to continue his regular activities as long as he felt well enough to do so. 

Then last Sunday he had a wrestling tournament and that night the low grade temp, headache and stomachache returned.  I kept him home on Monday and the fever was gone by Monday night.  He was fine on Tuesday and went to school but woke up Wednesday morning complaining of pain in his calf muscles on both legs.  I sort of shrugged it off figuring he was having growing pains (he's 7 so the right age for a growth spurt) combined with wrestling and perhaps muscle ache from the virus he was still recovering from.  He went to school on Wednesday, wrestling practice Wednesday night without problem but by the time we arrived home for the evening he was having so much pain in his calves that he could barely walk.  I asked some friends in the medical field and there was concern that he could have blood clots in his legs.

Although the lack of any visible symptoms of a clot and the fact that it was affecting both calves made it seem unlikely, I took him in to see the Dr on Thursday morning.  She started him on antibiotic for a sinus infection and decided to draw some blood work just because he had been have the signs of viral infection for so long.  One of the blood tests she ran is called a CK which checks the level of muscle enzymes in the blood.  Friday morning she called me at work to say that the enzyme levels in my son's blood were extremely elevated and that he needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately so that they could flush his system with IV fluids.

Normal muscle enzyme levels are 50-173... Karl's enzyme level from the test they took at the Dr office on Thursday morning was 3600.  The condition is called Viral Myositis and reading the information about it now after the fact it seems cut and dried... in the midst of it with only a phone call saying he needed to be admitted immediately to flush away whatever is being released by the elevated enzyme levels it was frightening. 

This is where I have to say that the staff at Dayton's Children's is unbelievable. Admissions took less than twenty minutes, we were in our room with the IV started within forty minutes, and the admitting resident is required to see the child within two hours of their presence on the floor.  Our admitting resident, who I am ashamed to say I cannot remember her name; my mind was on other things I'm afraid. was phenomenal.  She was fabulous with my son, reassuring to my 85 year old mother who was nearly apoplectic in her concern, and very straightforward with me.  Her personality and bedside manner were perfectly suited to working with ill children and frightened parents.  The nurses and staff assistants were all wonderful and kept an excellent balance between closely watching my son's condition and irritating him with procedures and check ups. 

All in all it was an exhausting week topped off by a nice Saturday evening spent playing video games and dancing with my kids in our living room. Life is never easy but it's usually worth the struggle.

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