Kingly News

News and views from a strange, continuing journey

Archive for November, 2005

Caty update

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Caty has been having a lot of her own health issues. She had her gall bladder removed in September, and was briefly in the hospital for dehydration in October because she hadn’t been able to keep anything down for a week or so. Today she went to the gastroenterologist, and they want to do some “scope” stuff to make sure she doesn’t have Crohn’s Disease. She is scheduled for that procedure on Dec. 14. She has missed a lot of school as a result of all this, about which we are concerned on several levels.

Written by Donnell

November 29th, 2005 at 10:18 pm

Posted in Caty,Health

Amanda’s job

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Amanda has started on her regular call schedule now, working for U.S. Cellular. We’re very pleased for a number of reasons, not least of which being that U.S. Cellular was picked by voters as the “Best Place to Work” in Knoxville, according to an informal survey announced in the Knoxville News-Sentinel Oct. 17. We know that she has had nothing but good things to say of her training, and she is impressed with the people with whom she works. It’s good for her to be happy with her work.

Her boyfriend seems to be doing well at the Cedar Bluff Applebee’s also, and they like their new apartment complex. So that situation is all very good, for which we are thankful.

Written by Donnell

November 26th, 2005 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Amanda,Job news

What’s been happening with Hannah

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The most recent thing with Hannah: we had been unable to get the Scopolamine patches for Hannah because of a manufacturer’s backorder. Our Kroger Pharmacy (where the folks know Hannah very well, and work hard on our behalf) had called all over to try to find some of the patches. The pulmonologists switched her to hyoscyamine, which didn’t work nearly as well and required twice daily doses (the Scopoamine patch had to be changed every 48 hours).

But it looks like we’re in luck. They just called to tell us, in their words, “Hannah’s Scopolamine patches are finally in.” We’ll head out there in awhile to get them for her, and maybe she will be less snotty. She has been producing snot faster than Washington produces stupid regulations.

In other news….

Hannah set a record for hospital stay in late August. I have to look back at records to verify this (one of the consequences of not keeping the blog up at the time), but I have it recorded that she went in the hospital on Aug. 19 and was there until Sept. 3. She went in with respiratory symptoms, and it was another one of those times when it turned out to be another urinary tract infection. When she has problems, her whole body starts producing mucus—not pretty, I know, but the truth.

Although we got the UTI cleared up fairly quickly, the respiratory problems hung around, and we had to try lots of different things to get her well so she could go home. They had to do another brochoscopy (when they look down in her lungs and also clean them out), and that didn’t clear things up the way it has before. They even did another pH probe to see if she was having acid reflux again and perhaps aspirating the result, which would have kept her lungs irritated. Ultimately a combination of Pulmicort and Flovent reduced the inflammation in her lungs enough for us to go home.

Here’s another place where failure to keep up the blog tells on us now: we know Hannah made another trip to the emergency room sometime between that hospitalization and now. We think it was in late September or early October. We know it was a Friday night, for reasons that will become clear in a moment. But we can’t remember for sure when it was.

At this point, we can’t even remember what led us to take her to the ER. It’s heck getting old. In any case, we took her to the ER after she started having lots of snot again. It seems like the rest of us had had flu earlier in the week, so when the snot started we just took her on over to ER. In any case, they checked her for flu and found nothing; X-rayed her lungs to check for pneumonia and found little or nothing; found no indication of an infection through blood work; and pretty much scratched their heads. I remember the doc was competent as usual (East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has good doctors), but a bit stereotypical in that we perceived him as thinking “I’m the expert, I’ll ask the questions and give you the answers.”

He was stumped, as I said, and was getting ready to proffer a diagnosis of croup when the shift changed. It was getting very late at that point, and I had already headed home. (Side note: when we’re in the hospital, we quickly go to a shift system to get Janet’s job covered and my job covered with a minimum of sleeplessness. The timing was such that Janet would have been on Friday night, I would have been on Saturday night, etc.)

I hate to sound stereotypical, but this really is what happened. The new doc, a woman, seemed a little more likely to listen to the parents for possible clues. Janet mentioned that the last time Hannah had what appeared to be a mysterious respiratory ailment, it turned out to be a UTI. The doc said, “Well, it’s worth a try,” and ordered a urinalysis. She came back a little later and said, “You are a smart woman!” Yep. Another UTI.

The weird thing is that as many as she has had (it’s like a dozen or so), it turns out to be a different organism each time.

Anyway, the doc said, “It’s too bad this is Friday night, because we could send you home if you could go to your own doctor tomorrow.” So Janet told her our pediatrician keeps Saturday morning office hours, and the doc said, “Oh! Great! You can go home!” It was nearly midnight by this point, but they came on home, and we took Hannah to Dr. Fox the next morning.

The medicine seemed to work.

Then a couple of weeks ago it all started again. Another trip to the pediatrician this time, and no trip to the ER because at least her oxygen was staying up. But blood tests showed no problems, although for the first time one of her ears showed signs of infection—the first time for that (Dr. Fox has always commented on that being the one thing Hannah didn’t have). She started her on antibiotics for an ear infection and gave us some ear drops.

But Hannah didn’t seem to be getting any better. After about three days, it occurred to me that another time she was like this (not respiratory, but lots of nose snot, elevated pulse rate but no fever, and lots of whining), it had turned out that she was constipated. Without getting into too much detail, we hadn’t thought about this because we’d been getting dirty diapers (actually, antibiotic-induced diarrhea dirty diapers), but as we had learned before, it is quite possible to be constipated and have diarrhea at the same time.

So we got the glycerin suppositories out and gave Hannah a treatment. Got a really strange mess out, Hannah went right to sleep, and the next morning her snot was completely back to normal. Go figure.

So that’s the poop on Hannah, so to speak. We’re going to try to post here every day, at least, and that will help us to be accurate in letting interested parties know what is happening with Hannah as well as the rest of us.

Written by Donnell

November 25th, 2005 at 6:25 pm

Posted in Hannah,Health

An abundance of kids

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Our clan has gathered back “home,” so to speak. This is one of the things that has led us not to post much— as you’ll see, we’ve been busy.

It all started back in the summer. Jon (who now goes by Barry, but that’s a different story) decided that it was about time to take the step he had been thinking about for awhile: move to Knoxville from Asheville to go to school and get out on his own. About the same time, his grandparents (my ex-wife’s dad and his wife) decided to move here for her job needs.

My ex-wife thus decided she also needed to move here with Caty, our 13-year-old, because her “support system” was moving here.

Our oldest daughter, Amanda, who had been thinking of moving here from Columbia, S.C., to go to college and get into a better job market, decided this would be a good time to do so (on a different timeline—Barry wanted to start school fall of 2005, and Amanda aimed for spring of 2006), since everyone else was coming.

Then my mom decided she would also move here, since the whole clan suddenly was in one place.

To sum up, then: Barry moved in with us in late summer (he will stay with us for a few more months while he gets in solid financial shape). We still have him here with us, along with Zach and Hannah. My ex-wife moved here with Caty in, I think, September, after her parents moved. They live across Maryville from us, about a half-hour drive away. Amanda and her boyfriend moved in with us for three weeks in October, and have now moved into their own place in West Knoxville, also about a half-hour drive away. Mom is still waiting for an apartment to become available in her chosen retirement residence, but when she gets here (we hope within a couple of months) she will be about (that’s right) a half-hour drive away.

We’re very glad for all this, but it has kept us very busy. And that’s basically why we haven’t been online much.

More posts later with updates on each of them.

Written by Donnell

November 25th, 2005 at 2:13 pm

Posted in Kids

New Kingly News

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Dear Friends,

Although much has happened with our family, we haven’t updated the original Kinglynews blog since March. Things have been rather busy. Since there has been such a break, we’ve decided to take care of a couple of things at once. We want to get caught up, and we want to move our blog onto our own site and start using “better” blog software. It’s not that Blogger was unkind to us, or hard to use, or anything, but rather that WordPress (which powers our blog now) is so much easier to use, and is less prone to blog spam, etc.

Over the next few days we’ll put up several posts to try to catch things up, and then blog more regularly. We have also added a link so that those of you who use RSS reader software can subscribe, and then not have to worry about whether there has been an update on the blog or not—you’ll get the update automatically.

Written by Donnell

November 24th, 2005 at 9:39 pm

Posted in General