Monday, September 30, 2013

A bonus day with Mommy

Our caregiver was sick today so I had a bonus day with the boys. The weather sucked so we had to find indoor things to do.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Swimming Update

For those of you who followed along, the start of this will be a repeat, re-posting my FB posts updates after swimming eac week. This is for the benefit of those I'm not FB friends with. The most recent data is at the end, so you can either review or skip ahead.

Swimming classes with infants/toddlers required 1 adult per child. I didn't have that so we didn't take lessons. Nathan loves water. Corwyn loves the beach but only up to his waist. If I even tried to swim past that point, he was known to stomp off the beach in the direction of home! After a very short time we got to the top of the waiting list at the Y for the independent lessons.

July 16 - 5:10pm
First five minutes of swimming lessons. About what I expected, Corwyn still not in water. I consider feet a good first step.

We're not allowed to take pictures in the pool so this is probably the only one for a while

July 16 - Evening
Nathan had a blast. Was crying when we had to go home because he wanted to stay. Corwyn had his own instructor the entire time, she played games with him, ball, with some floating toys etc. By the end, he was at the edge of the pool with just the edge of his butt hanging on. I considered it progress. Not bad for their first ever lesson.

July 23
Week 2 of swimming went well. Nathan enjoyed it as much as week 1, hopping right in the pool and doing all the bubble blowing, kicking and floating exercises. Corwyn started the same as last week, on the edge, only his feet in the water. He almost was willing to go in with his arms wrapped around the second instructor, but nope. Then the other little water resister agreed to go in the 'boat'. Corwyn joined her and they spent 20 minutes being dragged around the pool in a closed in boat. It was a huge step for Corwyn since last week, he wouldn't even do that. The staff were great, since when class was over, they let Nathan go in a quick tour in the 'boat' too. Thanks Y! His progress is slow, but Corwyn will eventually go in.

July 30
I am totally stoked! Week 3 of swimming was fabulous! Nathan was totally Nathan and practiced floating on tummy and back, he kicked against the wall, jumped in and blew bubbles. Corwyn made huge progress. He let the instructor get him in the water (for less than a second but it was in). Then when they were all holding the wall blowing bubbles, he lay on his chest with his lower half in the water. We suggested this last week, but no go, this week he went and did it all on his own. I almost cried. Sure he still has not put his feet on the bottom of the pool but even the instructor was amazed. Even if he slips back next week, it's progress.

Aug 6
It's Tuesday, that means some of you are expecting a swimming update. After last weeks success I was guardedly optimistic. On Wednesday, when we woke, up Corwyn started telling me about a dragon he wanted, a dragon and a horse. I asked why and he said if he went the whole way in the pool he should get a dragon and a horse. Um, okay. So I found a Playmobil dragon that had a saddle and hid it.Today there was no hesitation or fear on the way to swimming, it took no coaxing at all on my part. He was all ready. Right away, I noticed something different at the pool. They had the middle down and the floor was lowered, the kids would not be able to touch bottom. See our local Y has a pool with a raise/lower floor to change depth and it was stuck. Crap. So kids in groups like mine where they were not competent floaters had to wear life jackets. Then their regular instructor was sick. Even better. Nathan initially resisted the jacket but went along with the crowd and in the end, of course loved it. Corwyn does not like life jackets. He had to be coaxed into it with the promise of a boat ride. He kept protesting the jacket but loves his special 1-on-1 volunteer and so it was fine. Then he got out of the boat, took his jacket off and lay down and kicked again (still impressive) and then the best, the boat had floated to the middle and he was willing to let the woman hold him, in the pool while they walked over to get the pool. This is huge, he would not do that before and freaked at even the attempt. When they brought the boat back he had the biggest smile on his face ever. He was very happy to get his dragon (Nathan got a spy gear set with a regular and a black light flashlight on a head band). Again, slow progress, but again, progress.

Aug 13 - Gibsons
Ha! You probably thought being at camp meant no Tuesday swim update. But there is a pool here. Nathan put on a set if water wings and those gave him the confidence to swim everywhere, even the deep end. He practiced his floating too. And Corwyn. Wow. He went to the bottom step, which is actually as deep as the y pool. He played around a lot, even going as deep as his neck. He let me carry him, not just across the pool, but all the way around the inside including the deep end. He put some of his face in the water. Yup, more progress. We will probably swim tomorrow too.

Aug 20 5pm
Corwyn is in the water. Holy crap!

Aug 20 Evening
So those who saw my sudden status update from while at the Y will know that Corwyn went all the way in today. Once he accepted that the pool was no deeper than where he stood at the pool in camp, he was okay. He did not float or hold onto the 'rafts' but he did walk from one end of the pool to the other and sit on the side and kick. If he got water in his face, he typically came screaming over to me so he could wipe his face, but otherwise it was great. Nathan was going under the water (full head, not just face) several times. It was pretty much my two and another boy, with a fill in instructor, as the two girls would only go in with their parents. When it was time to leave, I had to coax (bribe) Corwyn into leaving. He found his groove and wanted to stay. Then of course, timing being everything, the pool is closed for repairs the next two week. Following that, Corwyn has to take a break from swimming for recovery from minor surgery (more on that another time) so it will be weeks before his next lesson. So now I need to find time until Sept 5 to get him into a pool where the water is no higher than his underarms as many times as I can. I guess that means second beach pool. Who wants to come with us after work any (every) day? How about on weekends? I think if he can keep the momentum up, missing class for 4 weeks wont be so bad (I'll also need help the weeks that Nathan can go and Corwyn cant go swimming).

Aug 21
Is Kits pool as young kid friendly as second beach pool? Does it have a ramp entry or is it ladders and stairs etc? It opens 3 hours earlier than second beach pool but is further away so I'm torn as to which to try tomorrow morning with Nathan (he needs to have lunch and be back at WECC by 1:30). I will probably be taking Corwyn Friday afternoon so same question still applies. (I did take Nathan swimming but Corwyn had other plans for his day with me)

Sept 10
While he thinks he's fine from the surgery, Corwyn still has an open wound and couldn't go in the pool this week. Nathan could. It took two people. Originally, we offered to let Corwyn go with E (our caregiver) and he could play in this pond he likes that comes up to his knees. But no go. He wanted me. So E went with Nathan. Corwyn and I watched from the lounge. He kept wanting to go in. I told him I didn't have his bathing suit. He said, he just wanted to put his feet in, or sit on the edge. I was a rough 30 minutes keeping his mind off swimming, and he would not leave the area. Nathan has a new instructor, it looks like they changed a few around after break. His instructor is the one who spent so much 1 on 1 time with Corwyn.

Sept 17
How would Corwyn do after so many weeks away? Both were happy to get there and get changed. The first small hiccup happened when they were put into their groups. It turns out Nathan had gotten his last badge, passed the level and was in the next level up (that's his new instructor). Corwyn needless to say didn't move up. Neither seemed to mind though, so this was good, although they kept an eye on each other. Last night, it was just Corwyn and another little girl in his group. This made for less splashing and fewer complaints. He was happy to get in the water (would only put feet in the shower). But he didn't really want to practice floating. He got a bit of half floats in but panicked when his feet left the bottom. The same thing with holding the wall and kicking on his stomach; he kinda just kicked one leg out behind while the other stayed on the bottom and switched. Still, for him this is progress. He had no problem initially with sitting on the side and kicking until he got water in his face, then he was less enthusiastic. He put his lower jaw in to blow some bubbles (another first) and walked back and forth across the pool. He almost forgot his fears and came close to getting his hair wet a couple of times during ring-around-the-rosy. Overall it was a success for him. Nathan is totally in his element. His group kicked up a massive storm of water, they practiced floating moving themselves forward in the water. Then they put on life jackets and went to the deep side, where they 'swam' through tunnels and kicked to move themselves forward instead of walking. He talked about it non stop the whole way home.

I think for us, the setup at the Y is the best one. They have 6 levels for the 3-5 year olds in the same time slot. Kids move ahead (or not) at their own pace. There is no fixed 8 week schedule where you either pass into a new level or fail (even by one thing) and have to repeat it all. So they can stay in this same time slot until they turn 6, even as they move at different speeds. No one is forced to do anything they are not ready for, and they are very patient. They build water safety into the lessons without it being preachy. And there are lots of games and fun to keep them involved. It's included in our Y membership too. For now, I sit and watch them during the lesson as time goes on, I might venture into the hot tub and watch them from there instead. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A rough day

I know, I know, I'm really behind on posts. Almost an entire summers worth. They will come. But for now, you get to listen while I unwind and decompress.

Corwyn had day surgery today. Surprised? Yeah me too, and I had almost 2 weeks notice. After a different problem (sore boy bit) took us a to walk in clinic we ended up at a pediatric urologist. See, Corwyn had one testicle that was massive compared to the other. This can happen, or it can be a problem. In his case, it was a problem, an inguinal hernia. He needed surgery as soon as possible.

All surgery comes with risks. But this time, even Google offered hope with no doom and gloom for the surgery type.

Fast forward to today. We had a 12:30 surgery time and were asked to be there at 11am. Not the end of the world, but no food after midnight and no liquids after 9:30 am. Um yeah. So the second my caregiver arrived to watch Nathan, Corwyn and I left.

First stop was my office. Good place to waste a bit of time. He played Foosball, some Lego, games on my phone and Ipad. He drank almost none of the apple juice he was allowed. Then off to the hospital.

We were a bit early, so we played a bit then off to the gift shop. He picked out the biggest stuffed snake every. Like I was going to say no!

Registration went fast and we went into room 1. We met our nurse. I wish I remembered her name. She was AMAZING. She did the vitals, answered his questions (let him play with the levers on the bed). She put the cream on his hands to numb them for the IV. They had a first Then in only undies and shoes (he refused the gowns) it was out to the play area.

She brought me some Tylenol to help him relax. I had already explained the struggles to get him to take anything. So she saw first hand. He didn't just spit it out, he kept his mouth open and drooled any in his mouth out. They decided to give him some Tylenol rectally when under and Advil via IV.

By now we had only an hour to wait. Or did we.

Corwyn was actually amazing. He had no food, was in a strange place, had used odd equipment (blood pressure cuff, etc) and he was taking it in stride. He played with every toy, several times. He watched the TV (it was on mute). He sat on my lap, he sat on the floor. He cuddled his monkey and his giant snake. He was getting bored. But he wasn't noticing what I was. Everyone else who was there when we arrived were still waiting too. Sigh.

One family was sent home. Their surgeon (different from hours) had a complicated 1st surgery of the day, putting them almost 2 hours behind. Then another family went in, and I heard that they were the same Dr as ours. Since it was already past time for us, I asked what time they had. 11:15. It was 12:45. Sigh. So we waited some more.

Around 2, he had enough. He wanted to go home. I had to carry him (standing up). That worked for a bit. Then he was struggling to leave. They tried bubbles. Nope. Stickers. Nope. Computer. Nope. Wiggles. Nope. Nothing but lots of crying "I want to go home now!" Nothing worked. I got hit more than once. I felt so bad. They understood, along with the fasting the extra almost 2 hours wait had did him in.

Finally, it was our turn at 2:20. Given his struggles and refusal to be distracted they opted to put him under via mask instead of the IV. I had to help get him and hold him on the table. But it worked fast. Almost as fast as I got out of there, tears in my eyes.

While waiting, I ate. At least I think I did. I don't remember eating. I remember getting the food and coming back to wait, and then throwing the garbage, but not sure what I ate or if I liked it. (I hadn't eaten either, since I wouldn't eat in front of him).

Finally, it felt forever, but was around 30-40 minutes they came to get me. He woke up, exactly how he went under, crying and fussing. Along with Tylenol and Advil, he had morphine. He was still crying and anxious. In there, rubbing his back through the bars, listening to the beep of the monitor, singing softly to him, I couldn't help but be transported back to seeing him in the NICU all wired up, unable to help him then either.

Eventually, they moved him back to day surgery recovery area. Here was our favorite nurse again. He even fell asleep for a while.

 He seemed a bit better when he got up. He took a sip of apple juice and had 1/8 of a Popsicle, but was sitting up and wanting to get dressed and go. He got all excited at the wheelchair that we could use to leave. He got dressed. He picked out a sticker for him and one for Nathan. They removed his IV with no issues. Then he puked all over himself and the wheelchair.

Back in the bed. With the IV out, no gravol. We tried this other one that just melts under the tongue but he clamped his mouth shut. Then he got sick again.

Eventually we left. Being the enigma he is, he insisted on wheeling his own wheelchair. They didn't think he'd have the strength, but he did.

He got sick again in the cab on the way home. Luckily,  he told me, and I had the bowl and towel ready.

Once home, he sat a bit then wanted more food. Apple juice and apple sauce. 20 minutes later, in the bowl and all over him.

Finally, he wanted a yogurt. He was 'allowed' dairy by now based on his surgery time, but only if he could keep clear fluids down. He was insistent, and got his own. He had a drinkable one, that I let him sip and wait and sip and wait. Then he ate 2 baby mum-mums. Then 2 bowls of dry Cheerios. So far so good.

8:30 was Tylenol time (11:30 will be Advil). Into the apple juice. Guess it ruined the flavor too much. He gave it back. Tylenol in liquid yogurt was a hit though.

The next hurdle was when they peed before bed. Both saw the incision area. Both freaked a bit. Corwyn started crying, saying it hurt. But got his undies back on and I got him into bed. They wanted extra stories, so I made some new ones up. Eventually, both dozed off.

He is due for Advil at 11:30. Not sure if I will wake him or not. I'll hide some in a yogurt, just in case, or the morning, whatever comes first.

We have some healing to do, different stages to return to activity. But I'm so glad this day is over!