Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Post About Me & Sinuses and Teeth.

I vaguely remember a time that I didn’t have sinus issues. It was before that time I flew to Oklahoma when I was in my early-20’s with a bad head cold. Things were never the same for me after that. Chronic ear crackling; crackling every time I swallow and any sort of elevation change, and when we go up the mountain to Big Bear, my ears squeal at me as they try to adjust. It’s awful. Yet, I saw an ENT in my late 20’s and was told everything looked normal, probably just allergies.

So, I pursued allergy treatment and after feeling like a pin cushion for a couple months, I decided it was easier just to deal with it.

About 6 months ago, I had some pain in my upper right gums. Enough that I went and saw the dentist. He performed an x-ray and didn’t see anything amiss as far as my teeth went. He did notice that a crown wasn’t fitted properly and there was a small decay in the tooth next to it, but he said he was fine with watching it until next year when I suspect our dental insurance will change to better coverage, as long as I kept it really clean.

In August, I went and saw another ENT. His office performed a hearing test and then the ENT peered briefly in my ears with an otoscope and said I had some minor hearing loss, but since I wasn’t a judge and didn’t really need to hear every word someone said, I should just deal with it. He also recommended my son come in for a hearing test, because he felt he might be deaf, as well. Since I figured out he was a douchebag, just for fun, I asked him about preventative hearing protection for when I drive my convertible with the top down. He told me there was no need to do something like that, it wouldn’t impact my hearing at all. Oh really? Good thing I started wearing earplugs 10 years ago or so when I drive somewhere.

Three weeks ago, I had major pain in my upper right gums again. I waited a week and then went into the dentist’s office and instructed him to just do what needed to be done to the molars. He drilled the improperly fitted crown off, cleaned up in there (there was some decay under the crown), and fixed the cavity in the tooth next to it. I asked him about the swelling in my gums and he told me that looked like a maxillary sinus infection and that I needed to see an ENT.

So I pursued a referral to get a second opinion through my GP. Meanwhile, my gums were swelling larger, my face was swollen in response and I was in a ton of pain. When I got to see the 2nd ENT, I couldn’t even touch my face it hurt so bad — despite the Advil I was taking. After an actual exam (he looked in my nose and ears and checked my tonsils!!), he prescribed antibiotics and authorized a CT Scan.

Surprisingly, the diagnostic imaging place called me that night and fit me in the next day (last Friday). By the time I went in to see them, I had taken 3 antibiotic pills, and as I climbed into their scanning machine, my gums burst from the pressure. The relief was instant and the taste was utterly gross.

On Monday, the ENT’s office called and left me a voicemail telling me the authorization had come through and to be sure and schedule the CT Scan. I listened to the voice mail and rolled my eyes. Clearly, they had no idea how on top of things the diagnostic place was.

Yesterday, I went back to my dentist and while he was fitting my permanent crown, I told him my gross story about my gums blowing out from the infection. He took a look, went back and looked at his x-ray, and suggested that perhaps I go see an endodontist, just to be sure the roots were OK. Said if there is a problem, it’d be easier to get to now rather than down the road, because the crown is not on permanently and it would not be wise to put a brand new crown on just to potentially drill it off again in a month if there’s a problem. He further said that maxillary sinuses are the only sinuses that drain upwards, and he told me that blowing out the gums is an odd place for them to drain, they don’t usually have enough pressure to do that. He secured the crown with tempbond and sent me over right away.

The endodontist did x-rays and told me the tooth was dead. He tested it three times with liquid nitrogen (super fun!!). He showed me on the x-ray where an infection was still present and recommended doing a root canal immediately so that it didn’t infect the surrounding molars. I wish I could have had him take a picture of how he prepared my mouth for surgery; it was kind of amazing. He put sunglasses on my eyes and then he clamped something on the infected tooth and then spread a plastic cape to surround it so nothing landed in my mouth. The image I had in my mind as he worked was of a solitary tooth sitting on a picnic blanket. HA!

Turns out, one of the roots in the “dead” tooth was still half alive which made for an interesting drilling experience and many apologies on his behalf for causing me pain. It was my first root canal and I cried — such a bummer and all because of an ill-fitted crown. I cannot believe I’ve spent this much time chasing this problem and 4 1/2 hours in various dentist chairs yesterday.

On the upside, though, I finally got a CT scan, so I can’t wait to see what that shows as far as the sinus problems (probably nothing, but still). AND, one of the best discoveries of yesterday? Bite blocks. The endodontist used one while he performed the surgery and I didn’t want to give it up. I will be asking for bite blocks at all my future dentist appointments!

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Filed under Health/Endo, I feel Sad, I Stimulate the Economy, I Worry A lot

Letter to our 3 Year 10 Month Old

Dear William,

On October 8, 2015 you turned 46 months old. You had a growth spurt this past month and grew an inch! You are now 44 1/2″ tall. You slimmed down a bit as you stretched taller and you weighed in at 45 pounds 10 ounces. Your clothes sizing is all over the place — 5T or boys 6 in shirts. You are in Boys size 6 pajamas. You are in 5T pants and shorts. Your shoes are size 12/13 Wide. This past month I’ve gone through your closet and removed all the 4T sizes that were still lingering… they are too small now.

FIRSTS:
Awana club!!

THINGS WE DID/HIGHLIGHTS:
9/16 – Awanas started (weekly)
9/20 – Zoomars
9/27 – Ryan’s house
10/2 – Mountain Cabin
10/9 – Giddy Up Cowboy Craft day
10/10 – Zoomars Halloween visit w/ Grandma & Grandpa H.
10/11 – Irvine Park & Daddy’s basketball

Grandma D. ensures that you get lots of park & playground time.
Grandma D. also takes you to the library to read books.

LANGUAGE/THINGS YOU SAY:

As we start homeschooling you, the curriculum I’ve chosen includes a lot of books from the library. I go online and reserve them, then you and Grandma D. go to the library and pick them up. Grandma D. finds a shady spot in the parking lot, and then you two read these books together. She says she finds that confining you in your car seat minimizes distractions! One day, you had read a Peter Rabbit book, I’m guessing a full story version, not a condensed version. It apparently differed greatly from what you had been reading and seeing on the DVD, because you informed me that, “Mr. ____ put something in the bag and that’s not how the story goes so we just need to erase that part.”

Last night we went swimming at our community pool. About 45 minutes into the swim, William crawled out of the pool using the ladder in the deep end. I thought he was going to walk back over the stairs, or maybe jump in from the side. instead, he pulled his swim shorts off and said, “I’m done.” Uh, yeah, hey buddy. How about a little warning before you drop trow?And… post-pool, trow dropping, Weinerschnitzel-poolside picnic flop over.

You put your Cars tracks together and then said, “This is cabbage, really long cabbage. Do you want to eat it?”

You love the cup we bought you at the Circus and you take it upon yourself to refill it with water from the refrigerator spout every chance you get, even if it’s not empty. Then you explain to us that it’s not water, it’s just tea.

The tractor tipping imaginary running continues in the car when we play that song, and recently with Grandma D. along, you encouraged her to “Run with your legs too, grandma!”

At lunch for your Grandma H.’s birthday, we were talking and you said, “Don’t look up, don’t look up, just keep looking at your dinner.” When I asked what you were going to do, you replied, “Because I’m going to stand up on my chair and reach to the top of the picture and see what’s up there! So just keep looking at your dinner!”

One evening, a siren went blasting by us. You immediately perked up and said, “Uh oh mommy! I heard a woowooeooo!”

Ordering dinner one night, you told the waitress, “I want a hamburger and I want an egg on my hamburger. Between the buns, on my burger.” When she left, you asked, “Will she put my egg on my burger like I asked?” I assured you she would, and she did, and that was exactly what you wanted and you ate it.

Your father and I were talking about gas prices and mentioned how diesel prices were going down after several years of diesel prices being high. From the back seat, you said, “What about Thomas? Is Thomas too expensive?”

How one day you were adamant about wanting to paint, “Please, mommy, please?” I said, “OK, well you go potty and I will get the paints out while you go pee.” You hopped up and with a happy smile on your face said, “Oh, I love to go potty!”

We had been pretending to eat various things. You picked up Froggy and said, “No, no, no, no! You can’t eat him that’s my son!”

Reading a book one day, you pointed at a bird in the book and told me, “I will give food to this bird so he’s not hungry!”

One day, heading to the pool, you were unusually quiet as I towed you in your wagon. You laid your head down on your kickboard. Curious, I asked you what you were thinking about. You quietly said, “I was thinking about Nebraska…”

At the park, with Grandma D., you stood on a big rock like it was a podium and made a speech, waving a stick in the air for emphasis. After a few minutes, Grandma D. whispered to you to say, “Thanks for your attention!” So you repeated it, three adults all turned around and smiled at you.

At Awana one night, they let you manipulate Playdoh. The assignment was to make something God made. You started with a footprint, then turned it into a burrito, then a taco, then an egg, and finally a potato. After awhile you exclaimed, “This is hard work!”

With Grandma D. on a short hike, you walked down the path ahead of Grandma D. with a long stick in each hand. “Where are you going?” Grandma asked. “I’m looking for a badger,” you replied very matter of factly.

Grandma D. shared that one of the days at the library, you got to pull the rope that hoisted the flags up!

I had been using GPS to help me find some place, and when we arrived, you said, “We’re done, lady!”

Driving home with a pumpkin you had picked from Grandpa and Grandma’s house, you were holding them and told me, “The pumpkin is knocking me out of my seat!”

STORIES YOU TOLD:
“Once upon a time there was a lion in the jungle, and the oil was very slippery! I’ll throw a shoe at the lion and he’ll fall and fall.”

Another story you told me one morning, “I found the bird up in the sky. I fixed the bird, but don’t get in the truck, that’s what you have to be careful of. And…. I don’t want snakes and lizards in heaven.”

Another story you told me one night, “Grandma hurt her hand with the bird today. The bird bit her and made her bleed!”

One morning, your father had gone downstairs and when he came back up, he locked the gate at the top of the stairs. You woke and wanted to go downstairs to pet Tug. When you discovered the gate was locked, you were very upset and went into the bathroom and opened the shower door and said to your father, “Now, Daddy that’s not nice, you locked the gate. So what you do, is you don’t lock the gate!”

You really dislike it when we have to leave for work in the morning and various stories erupt out of you. One morning you told me, “I’m going to cut down your work.” I replied and told you, “but my work pays for our home and our food!” You replied and said, “I don’t want a bed. I don’t want a bedroom. I don’t want food. I just want you.”

Another day, you told me, “I’m going to knock down your work and take all the people away and then you’ll stay home with me all day.” You paused and said to yourself,” But then we won’t have a home to live in, food to eat or a place to sleep… I guess I just have to go to work with you!”

You have started talking as if you’re writing a book these days. You’ll finish a sentence and then say, “he said.” So, it sounds like, “I would like my vitamin now, he said.”

One morning, you woke up terribly upset and when I asked if you were OK, you told me, “I don’t like that animal. They were a baby animal, and I couldn’t stop him.” Ahhh, dreams.

Another morning, you told me, “Call me a parrot dinosaur because I’m all different colors!”

When we went to Big Bear this month, we experienced a rain storm! Driving around in it, you said, “This is a Big Bear car wash.” Also, we drove through the town of Deer Lick and you said, “This is Deer Lick!”

You told us, “Movies on weekend nights are OK, but not on school nights!”

I called my mom one day and overheard you in the background saying, “Don’t drop your phone in the toilet, grandma, you’ll have to get a new one.” I quickly got off the phone!

One day you were negotiating for play time and said, “I can play for this much, see my fingers?”

In the bathtub, you had a bucket with water in it and your paint brush. You told me, “I’m painting with water, and now I’m tired. I will take a break.”

SLEEP:
We have had an uncommonly hot summer, combined with my refusal to run the A/C has resulted in regular night wakings or an early morning. At least that’s what I’m attributing it to. Most of the time, I can nurse you back to sleep and then I just stay in your bed and snuggle you.

One night you were so tired, you told me you didn’t even want me to sing to you. All you wanted was nah-nahs. Another night, you told me you didn’t even want to take a bath, you just wanted to nurse and go to bed. It sounds like you’re finally recognizing and vocalizing when you know you’re tired. This is progress!

One morning you went back to sleep, I had asked you if you were ready to start the day and you told me no. Another day you told me you were ready to start the day and then you started snoring.

FOOD & NOURISHMENT:
You are still eating enormous amounts of food and then claiming you’re still hungry. In fact, many mornings when you wake up you will drink an entire cup of water and then beg to go downstairs and eat. I think I’m going to start keeping bananas upstairs for you, because one morning you woke at 4:30 AM and were insistent you were hungry… and I don’t know, but if you had eaten something, might have been able to go back to sleep.

You have changed your preference for sundaes at Weinerschnitzel from hot fudge to caramel.

NURSING:
We continue our nursing relationship. I consider it a blessing, as do you. A couple of times you have told me you don’t want to nurse to sleep, and I tell you that’s OK, we can snuggle or you can go to sleep by yourself. You tell me you want to go to sleep by yourself, so I kiss you goodnight and leave the room. The moment I cross the threshold you cry out and I return and ask you what’s wrong, you tell me you want to nurse. I say, “OK, that’s fine… can I ask what you meant when you said you didn’t want to nurse?” You tell me, “I just wanted to see if you would leave.” I tell you that you can nurse or not nurse, it is entirely your choice.

Often times, at night, you will nurse the left side for a very short period of time and request to switch sides. I asked you one night why that is. You replied, pointing, “This side is the sleepy nah-nah, so I nurse it when I’m ready to go to sleep.”

When we went up to the mountains this past month, one of the waitresses was showing us videos of her two daughters. She explained that her oldest had been in her belly when you had been in mine. You asked her, “Do you still give her nah-nahs or are you all dried out?” She leaned over and asked me what nah-nahs are, and you replied, “Milk, mommy’s milk. So, do you still give her milk or are you dried out?” She replied that she was all dry. You then replied, “MY mommy gives me milk. She’s not dried out.” Several other customers laughed and one lady even said, “Good for you, I love it!”

One morning, you told me you just wanted to keep switching sides, all day long.

 FAVORITES THIS MONTH:

Color: “Red”
Song: “Jesus on the cross”
Movie: “Wall.E.”
Food: “Beef”
Snack: “Honey sandwiches”
Dessert: “Cinnamon roll bars”
Fruit: “Apples”
Vegetable: “Carrots”
Class: “The Work MyGym class at Cal Elite, the one where I climb the curtains”
Teacher: “The lady who teaches the Work MyGym class at Cal Elite”
Store: “Sprouts”
Restaurant: “Rubios”
Vacation spot: “Nebraska” (pronounced Mabraska)
Toy: “Buzz and Woody”
Favorite park: “Awesome Park” (Baker Ranch park)
Favorite theme park: “Uhhh, Disneyland”

THINGS I WANT TO REMEMBER:
How when I get home at the end of the day, we sit on the couch together. You say, “Let’s talk about what we did today!” And then I say, “What did YOU do today?” You say, “I went to work, typed on the computer and then came home to see you!” And then you say, “What did YOU do today, mommy?” I’m supposed to reply with what you did, like “I went to the library and made a hat and then went to the park and read books with grandma and then came home to see you.” If I deviate from this script, I get corrected by you.

How when a movie is finished and credits start rolling, you kind of freak out, “IT’S DONE!! TURN IT OFF!”

How you got in your cozy coupe one evening (a toy I thought you had forgotten about) and said, “I’m sorry, I can’t stay. I’m going to work because I’m starving!”

At Walmart one day, we were leaving the bakery section and all of a sudden you shouted, “We need pumpkin muffins!!”  Your father said, “Oh, they don’t have pumpkin muffins…” We both turned around and sure enough, there were the mini pumpkin muffins.  You remembered the packaging from last year, you remembered what they were and that you liked them.  You had the biggest smile on your face when we put a box in the cart!

SWIMMING:
You love swimming with us in our community pool and are so brave and confident! You love to jump in from the side of the pool, and love it even more if either me or your father jump with you! We have done a lot of swimming this past month.

DANCING:
You are still struggling with this class. In an effort to coerce your participation this past month, I let you pick which teacher you want… and that worked for a couple times. Then it was back to the “regular” attitude of you laying on the floor or standing in the corner (your choice) and watching the class, and participating in the “fun” segments. So, I have decided to discontinue this class for now and enrolled you in an aerial acrobatic class. You have been fascinated by aerial acrobatics for a long while now, and when I asked you whether you wanted to take this class, you responded with a big “YES!!” You were a bit overwhelmed with the first class and definitely were not bored. The teacher said you did well overall.

GYMNASTICS:
You are still in a break from gymnastics. I had them put our account on hold until mid-November. We participated in their Open House event this past month and you were THRILLED to be back there, but still resistant to the red circle time.

OTHER ACTIVITIES:
I have recently found a place that offers basketball lessons to children your age, I will call them to find out if they offer a trial class.

BATH TIME PLAY:
Bath time one night, you said, “OK, so we need to play a game called bird poop.” You grabbed the foaming bath soap and pumped it in your bath tub and said, “That’s the bird poop game.”

You told me you’re done with the Ghostlight story and now just want to play the yellow engine falling into the sea and getting cleaned up at the Steamworks.

~~~
I’ve been looking at pictures of you when you were less than a year old, and I cannot believe that the little baby I held then is no more. You are all boy now. I never say anything to you about my mother’s heart mourning that loss, but maybe you sense it, I don’t know. You started crying one day and when I asked what was wrong, you told me that you were crying because you no longer a baby and weren’t cute anymore.

One of my favorite things in the whole world, and it’s what gets me through the days of working during the week, is lying down with you in the morning while we nurse. You are boneless and warm and so very cuddly. I never know how the cuddling and nursing will go, it’s new every day. Sometimes you ask if you can start the day. One morning you asked if I could open your shutters so we could watch the sunrise together. Sometimes you nurse your fill and fall back to sleep. I lay there and hold you and feel the tiny movements of your body as you sleep and dream and it takes me back to those last months that I was pregnant with you and I could feel you move the same, except you were inside my belly. It’s those memories I hold on to when I head out the door, sit in traffic all to go to work. Time goes so fast, and I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything in the world.

46 months old

Love,

Mommy and Daddy

More pictures from this month can be found here: LINK

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Story of Two Mountains.

Last night, Tony was excited. We had scheduled a day off this weekend to decorate for Halloween. Blow ups! Fog machines! Big scary spiders and webs! Yard stakes (made from election stakes they stuck in our yard a few years ago ha)! He even made the grave error of saying, “Tomorrow we can sleep in!” I gave him the side eye, because with an almost 4 year old in the house, there is no such thing as sleeping in. Sure, the child would love to sleep in on weekdays, but weekends? Nope. He is up at the butt crack of dawn.

As would happen, 5:33 AM I wake up. The house is silent. I have no idea what woke me up. So I rearrange my pillow, lay back down and pretend to myself that I’m sleeping. Tony’s wisdom from years ago echoes in my mind, “Even if you’re awake, if you’re resting it’s kind of like sleeping.” So, I laid there.

6:42 AM, “Mommy? Mommy?” I get up and go to William. “Mommy? Can you lie down with me?” I do.

He’s quiet for a few minutes, I listen to him breathing and feel his heart beating. It’s a peaceful moment, but my mind has been awake for over an hour by now, and the thoughts of a mother run through my head. Remembering how when I was pregnant with him, toward the end of the pregnancy he used to practice breathing and I’d watch my belly move up and down where his lungs were, and how I would listen to his heart with a doppler every day just to make sure he was OK. And I feel inordinately blessed that he loves to snuggle, and I wonder how long he will want me to snuggle him.

His mind was apparently working, too, because he says, “I’m going to tell you the story of two mountains now.”

“OK. I’m listening,” I encouraged him.

“Once upon a time there were two mountains. The first mountain is called Big Bear Mountain and at the top of it is a cabin,” he continues.

“That sounds nice.” I observed.

“In the cabin is movies that you watch.” He pauses, collecting his thoughts, then says, “The other mountain is a SCARY mountain. At the top of that mountain is a scary magician!”

“A scary magician? That sounds frightening!” I grasp William tightly.

“Hey! it’s OK, it’s OK! The scary magician put dried corn in the oven and he made popcorn! He’s not scary anymore! And that’s it. Let’s go see what daddy’s doing.”

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