Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wake-Up Call

Daddy and I love spending time with you and your brother. Besides each other, you two are our favorite people. Still, we would rather not spend as much time with you on Saturday mornings and sleep in a bit. And by sleeping in I mean…7:30. 8:00.

We never know what to expect with you and Liam on these mornings. Generally, you both are excellent sleepers. Sometimes you will sleep absurdly late…say 9:00 or 9:30. Other mornings you are up long before the sun. I have never allowed anyone to get out of bed until 7:00 or later, and you both have learned to be content talking to yourselves until I come for you. (Recently we have discovered the merit of Saturday morning cartoons. We lock Liam up in a pack n’ play in front of a video. Barney has never sounded as sweet as he does in that 7:00 to 8:00 time slot.)

This morning we started hearing y’all jabber about 7:30. Not too early at all. But, true to our Saturday sleep-in policy, we ignored you both as long as possible. Liam kept banging on the wall that separates your rooms, calling “Mommy! Daddy! Be-Bo!” (really just anyone he thought might rescue him). At one point he got particularly passionate and yelled, “Maaaaa!” Immediately after this not so subtle demand, I heard you repeat “Maaaaa!”over the monitor. You copied his tone exactly, but it was definitely your voice. I excitedly punched Daddy to wake him up from his half state of sleeping wondering if he heard you also. He said he did and that he couldn’t tell the difference between your voices. As he rolled over and instantly fell back asleep, I realized he probably wasn’t conscious. But Audrey, I was and I heard you loud and clear. That was a sure way to get me out of bed; Ma is coming to get you!

PS - We got more of your cholesterol meds today. I will have to fight the payment battle another time, but at least you won't miss a dose.

PPS - We took Daddy's car to get an oil change and ran errands in it while out. Your legs got sunburned. Should have kept the window sun shade. :-/

Friday, April 29, 2011

And the saga continues…

After the whole ordeal with Walgreens, I took out your cholesterol to pull meds for the next few days and discovered that we will be out of cholesterol by Saturday. A half month early. So now I have to get Walgreens to provide enough for the rest of the month, since it is too early to reorder for insurance and three days isn’t enough time to find a new pharm. (And even if it was, they need to dispense the prescribed amount of medication!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kidney Check

Today you and I went to TCH for a couple quick appointments. First we did some blood work. Last week was the first time we saw renal in almost 18 months. Time got away from us on that one. The blood taken today is to check kidney function. I am expecting good results. And I just have to tell you that you are amazing. Not a single fuss for any part of the IV blood draw. In fact, you laughed most of the way through it. TROOPER.

Next we ran upstairs for a quick kidney ultrasound. When you were born and we ran every imaginable test (twice), it was discovered that your kidneys were small—about 80% of the expected size. We knew then that the growth of your kidneys would need to be monitored. If your kidneys grew along with you, no big deal. People can survive on a surprisingly low amount of kidney function, and 80% in two kidneys is plenty. But if they stay small, we will have a problem. We thought the initial follow-up ultrasound would take place around 1 year old…you are almost three and still have barely doubled your birth weight. At this point so much time has passed that we need to go ahead and check. Kids are TAKS testing today so the hospital was pretty much empty. We got in before our scheduled time, took some measurements and were out the door. I should hear the results back from renal shortly.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Resurrection Sunday Treats

We've got a "His/Hers" thing going on here. Boys on the left, girls on the right. The baskets are for Daddy and me, the pool o' fun is for you guys.

Checking out the pinwheel...I think you like it!

Snuggle time.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to shop for you. I want to buy you things that you can enjoy, but truthfully there isn’t a ton you can appreciate. I wandered the stores quite a while before finding enough to fill up your "Passover Pool" (for explanation of pool instead of basket, see link to Liam's blog that I will later put HERE). I settled on a huge pinwheel, which I am pretty pleased with. The red and white are good for vision and you like the sound it makes. I also bought an Infantino toy steering wheel. I like that brand for you because the activation buttons are usually very sensitive and you can operate them yourself (or with only a little help). You thought the toy made funny sounds also, so another hit. I bought an inflatable pool float with a sun shade that I think you will be able to lie in like an inner tube. My hope is that it will make swimming more pleasant for you—I can just imagine you giggling uncontrollably while we spin you in it. You and brother each got a bottle of bubbles, that way Daddy and I can make them at the same time for a Bubblepalooza. The other two things I bought for you are pajamas and a sun shade for the window in Daddy’s car (it has zero tint). I am going to take those back. You just don’t really need the PJ’s at this point and only rarely ride in Daddy’s car.

I need to start thinking now for your birthday which is coming up in about 6 weeks. SIX WEEKS! Three years old blows my mind.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is risen indeed!

Our church has a sweet Easter tradition called "Flowering the Cross". The children are asked to bring a flower, either real or artificial, to their Sunday school class that morning. They take time to go outside where a plain cross covered in chicken wire is constructed. They place their flowers on the cross to symbolize Jesus has risen, He is alive! We did ours as a family in between services, and look how beautiful it already was, just halfway through. Liam had a masculine orange flower, but you had a pretty pink Audrey flower.

We took a few photos outside. Clearly it was too bright for you, but you are still super cute!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pharmacy Update

After telling you about our latest pharmacy drama, I filled out an online complaint to be sent to corporate. To save myself time I just copy/pasted as much of my post that it would allow me, and added an introduction, conclusion and the link to your blog so they could finish reading the story.

I received a prompt reply from the store manager about your cholesterol misfill, and felt he truly understood the gravity of the matter. His first concern was whether or not I had given you any of the meds, in case another med was mistakenly added. When I confirmed that I had not, his next series of questions focused on the lack of quality control. He wanted to know all the details so that he could further investigate. And lastly he agreed that the pharmacist’s (who is apparently the pharmacy manager) attitude was unacceptable and that he would address that as well. A follow-up call came from corporate making sure the store manager had contacted me and resolved the issue.

So was the issue actually resolved? I don’t know. We have the correct meds, I was issued an apology from the store. I don’t know what sort of reprimand the pharmacist will receive, if one at all. All I want is for him to be held accountable for his actions and words—too many people trust him with their very lives. But as I was encouraged, all I can really do is report our situation so that there is documentation. If another customer has a similar experience, a pattern might be established.

We surely will not be using their services any longer. I am simply unwilling to deal with the pharm manager after his apathetic response to your well being. You are much too precious—we are going to find a pharmacist to fall in love with you and give 110% while compounding your meds. You will do your part easily—you naturally win everyone over. My part is trickier, but I am determined to make it happen!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ego Check, Pharmacy Dept

I just have to tell you this story. I debated, because I don’t want this to be a place to vent frustrations, rather I want it to be a documentation of your life and our memories together. But this is a prime example of the type of people we often have to deal with, and it makes me crazy.

I picked up your cholesterol medication from a Walgreens on Dairy Ashford and Memorial this afternoon. Not super far, but could definitely be closer. Especially during traffic when I have to cross I10. When I arrived home, I unloaded you kids, got everyone situated, and then took the bottle out of the bag to place in the fridge. I didn’t even lay my eyes on it before I knew that it wasn’t right—the feel was completely wrong. So I examined it more closely, poured some into a med cup and it was immediately obvious to me that the actual medication wasn’t added to the cherry aqueous solution. They basically just gave me syrup.

Irritated (at them and myself—I know better than to leave the pharmacy without checking) I called Walgreens, was placed on hold, and then explained the situation. I was transferred to the compound pharmacist who, without listening to what I had to say, insisted it was fine. Because he did it himself. As if that should convince me my senses are wrong, and it does in fact look, feel, and smell correct. Round and round we go. I tell him what I have: very pink, thin, clear fluid; how it should look: white, thick, opaque. He says he remembered measuring it out. I tell him that after almost 3 years of giving you cholesterol, I am very familiar with its characteristics and this is not right. He tells me that he just ground it so thin I can’t see it. I tell him I won’t give it to you, it might as well be sugar water. Finally he agrees, “if it makes me feel more comfortable” I can come up there and watch him measure it out as he does it again. I am on my way.

So I pack you two back up and leave during 5 o’clock traffic. You vomit on a huge stretch of road with no shoulder to pull off onto. Jesus protected your airway during that time, but I am getting crankier by the minute. This guy better fly right when I get there.

I stand in line for several minutes before speaking with anyone behind the counter. I am asked to step aside to the consultation window, where I wait for another 5 minutes or so to speak with the pharmacist. I again tell him I am certain there is no medication, or if there is it is the wrong medication. I (from experience) never throw out a bottle of meds until I get a new one. So I brought last month’s bottle with me so that he could see from the remnants the difference in appearance. I hand the bottles over and he just holds them. He explains the process (of which I am fully aware) and tries to convince me that he did it so well that I can’t see the med. That he somehow managed to take the stick and the grit out of CHOLESTEROL. I am totally not buying. Why then wasn’t able to accomplish that feat last month? He agrees to remake it but has yet to crack open the bottles I brought him. So I reach over taking the bottles back and start opening the lids and ask him for cups to pour them into. He just sort of stands there and I ask him point blank, “Are you going to look at these or do you not even care?” His response?

“No. Not really.”

Are you kidding me? Seriously? I have no words. Literally, my brain went into shock and I don’t even know what I said. He scooped up my bottles and walked off so fast that so I might not have even had a chance to say anything. Which was wise, because any longer to process, I might have leaped over that counter and clobbered him.

I sit in the waiting area, stewing. Griping to Aunt Paula and Daddy via text. And in that time I decide that I am never coming back to this Walgreens…or any other for that matter. I have always hated the one by our house. The customer service is abhorrent. I also resolve to speak with the manager (but at a later date because I hate confrontation and don’t want him to call over the pharmacist while I’m there). And that this guy needs a new career. There are certain jobs that you have to be 100% right every single time. Mixing prescriptions is one of those jobs. Your cholesterol doesn’t mean life or death in the short term. But other people’s scripts do. If he wasn’t sure the medication was added, the action seems obvious to me. Throw it out and start over.

But if a pharmacist does make a mistake, they HAVE to be humble enough to realize it, apologize, and make it right. I can’t let someone mix your medication who thinks that a mistake is beneath them. How will he learn? If he had just taken the time to compare the two bottles, he would not have been able to deny something was amiss. I don’t expect him to know what cholesterol should look like. He has only done this 3 times. But I do expect him to trust that I know how it should look. Or at least see it for himself. He was much too busy to extend me a moment’s courtesy for even that.

After about 15 minutes he brings out the components so I can watch him measure them. Really, this is unnecessary. I just need him to remake it, and include the cholesterol. He tells me he just won’t grind it as fine this time, so that it looks more like what I am used to. I tell him, “No. Please. Try to make it look the same. I would love that.” He understands this is a test. If it looks like it did before, I will know I was wrong. If it doesn’t, we will know he sold me a bottle of cherry aqueous solution with a cholesterol label. He warns me it will take 45 minutes, and I tell him I’ll wait.

And wait. And wait some more apparently. Liam has missed dinner, bedtime has come and gone, and he is quickly losing patience. You are overdue to eat also, but I suppose that will have to be postponed as well. I let Liam cause a little mayhem in the toy aisle. Just a little. I buy him passies and snacks and that gives us a couple moments of peace. We are settling in because I figure this guy eventually has to admit he was wrong, and I am determined to out-wait him.

After two hours of trying to grind the cholesterol into oblivion, the pharmacist shows me the finished product. I tell him that is exactly right, just what I initially expected. He says, “Well, I still have a little more of the syrup, if I pour it in, it will be more pink”. So I ask him to pour the syrup in a clear cup by itself so I can see it. And when he does, it looks exactly like what I was sent home with originally. I pull out my iPhone to show him the picture I had taken—and then watch as the realization dawns on him. He throws his head back a bit, almost as if slapped and mouths the word, “oh”. Still, his ego stays intact and he doesn’t deem an apology necessary. All he did was repeat, “If I put this in it will be pinker.” I told him to go ahead. I don’t care what color it is as long as the is cholesterol included.

All that man had to do from the start was say, “I’m sorry, I’ll remake it, come pick it up in a few hours.” Instead I had to take three hours out of my already busy evening to babysit him. At this point, I have your medication and a lot of the fight has drained from me. But I am still resolute to start looking for another pharmacy that is willing and able to make your cholesterol—even if only for principle. It will be another time consuming and near impossible task. Still, I can’t trust this pharmacy, so I have no choice. And I still feel like I should speak to the manager because a pharmacist with that attitude is dangerous. I will add it to my never ending to-do list.

Audrey, I wish I could say this is the first run in of this sort we have had with pharmacies. Of the five we have used, four make it clear they don’t care for their customers’ health or well being at all. We have had to wait ridiculous amounts of time to be told “come back later”, meds made wrong, in wrong quantities, and been given other customers’ meds altogether. There is the same lack of respect for customers or co-workers and zero pride in their work. Our neighborhood HEB is the only one that does a great job in both the medication they hand out and their customer service. Way to go HEB. I am going to beg them to make your cholesterol.

And pray that Mr. Ego takes a big dose humility.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

To go, or not to go?

You, my love, did not enjoy our trip to the zoo. I don’t even have pictures because your face was red and puffy from crying. From the moment we took you out of the car and put you in the stroller, you began to fuss. We ended up carrying you through most of the morning. That wouldn’t have been so bad except it means (a) more sun exposure for you and (b) the person holding you had to juggle pushing the double stroller also, since Liam was out running around. We are getting to a point where we will have to make a decision I never thought would need to be made.

From very early on, I decided we would try to live our lives and treat you as normally as possible. I have seen a lot of families with special needs kids that stay at home because it is easier. They don’t take their kid to the usual kid places because the child doesn’t know any different. I would never judge those people because I know firsthand it is TOUGH. There are a lot of times that I know an event will be more exhausting than rewarding, but I pack you up and go anyway. There is no way for me to really know what you get out of outings like that, but I just feel like being around different people in different places is good for you, so we go. I never want you to be left out of family time and memories. Especially not just to make things easier or more convenient for us. And up until recently, your laidback attitude has made you the easier child to go places with, aside from the packing and planning and potentially awkward sick moments involved.

But these days you really don’t seem to be enjoying yourself. In fact, I would say you are definitely NOT enjoying yourself and act quite miserable. When I consider leaving you behind I feel terrible. But if you would truly be happier at home with a grandma, should I force you to go in order to ease my conscience? Is this just something we have to push through and then my easy-going girl will be back, or is this your new attitude toward being out of your comfort zone?

Clearly there is no right or easy answer. It doesn’t help that your disposition isn’t exactly predictable. While you hated the zoo, you loved Central Market. Both were outside, crowded and loud. This is just one of those things we will just have to ask God for guidance on, trust our gut and decide case by case. For now we are going to keep plugging away doing things as a family. And pray you get happy.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Finger Painting

Mema is over today while I catch up from being sick all last week. She participated in your VI session. And here is the pretty springtime art you made! A bunny and a butterfly. Beautiful!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The family that gets sick together...

Sticks together.

That is seriously the phrase I dreamt last night during my restless sleep, though the circumstances surrounding it fled the moment I awoke. If it's true, we are golden.

You, Daddy and I all got the same stomach bug (which apparently infected even my dreams). Being sick is hard enough. But being sick while having to take care of a sick someone else is nearly impossible. Each time you threw up I told you to “hurry, hurry” because I was fighting it off myself.

Today we are all over the worst of it, but feel horrible. Thankfully Bubby is still in his TV trance mode from while he was sick, so he has been happy to play in his room and watch videos most of the day. Daddy and I take turns sitting up with him while the other naps the day away with you.