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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oh My ACHING Back!!!....

This is the time when I like to sit back and relish "the accomplishment!" That accomplishment being - cleaning thegrandsons TOY ROOM...
Thegrandson spends a great deal of time in this room, playing PS2 games, watching TV, coloring, whatever. He has his mothers genes though when it comes to cleaning. I finally started throwing things the other night when I could not get into my storage closet (hidden on left). Thegrandson is great at taking things out yet never putting them back. Thedaughter is constantly yelling at him to get it cleaned, and "grounding" him when that isn't done. When she left for work today, she said to make sure HE cleans the room - and that she would be able to tell if I did the job. BIG WHOOP! I can't get her to understand that he is seven and he will not entirely clean anything on his own, YOU have to have him help. He helped sort through all the colored bins, and amazingly threw out a lot of stuff, while I sorted them. Then we tackled all his books, and he discarded all the ones that were too young for him. While he "took a break" I managed to discard quite a bit of other junk - when he can't find it later, well, my answer will be "haven't got a clue!"

The downside to all this is my back is now KILLING me! I am not a stupid person and know I have a bad back - but the job needed to be done. Now, if I can only get him to find the missing DVD's and PS2 games. I've got the cases - no contents.

Theson referenced my trip to Egypt on his blog, yet got the dates way wrong. I think he has been in the desert sun too long maybe. He commented that "with my sternum" problems, camel riding may be precarious. I must explain, when I had my triple bypass 5 years ago, my breastbone never knitted together. Apparently I am allergic to the wire they used and my skin/tissue pulled away instead of together. I can move my shoulders or take deep breaths and I can feel the bones overlapping and rubbing. I "hear" a clicking sound, which I know is not audible but I don't know how to explain it otherwise. Theson and others have said to have it fixed - now I have had my chest cracked open once and boobs flopping off a table - I can't see me going through all that again - I will just deal with it. Beside I have a beautiful, almost un-noticeable scar - I'd hate to get a butcher a second time.

I have to feed the little urchin, so I better attempt to move - OUCH! I will take some Tylenol and a hot bath also!

Still looking at different cameras - not sure I need the Canon Rebel XT - but may end up there - having lots of fun looking though.

Take care all and be back later...TTFN!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

WOOHOO - Travel plans made for Egypt!

I have the best son in the entire world. He is flying me to Cairo, Egypt for a visit/vacation! We talked online this morning (if you can call his shite internet connection "talking") and he was making the flight reservations at the same time. He was shocked at the Business class rates ($4000-$8000), so I am flying economy. I have visions of sitting next to a grossly obese, hairy, smelly guy with a chicken in his lap - but hey, nothing lasts forever.

I am leaving Pittsburgh Airport May 6th to Washington, DC, to Frankfurt, Germany and on to Cairo. This is going to be so great. My friends can't believe I travel alone, but doing things (dining, shopping, travelling) alone has never bothered me. Theson was trying to send me through Amsterdam, but was worried about his mother getting stoned and missing the plane...DUH!! Took all the fun out of that! Did I mention how liberal we are??? I will be returning home on May 17th. Considering travel time of a day each way - this is super.

I started my tanning last week (late for me) so I won't burn to a crisp. Now I have to get on the stick and buy my new camera. I may go the way of ETW, and purchase the Canon digital camera. I don't know that I need the additional lens at this time, but we will see. Amazingly, my fellow bloggers and I have trudged along with our Sony Cyber-shots, but now we want quicker shutter speed for better pictures for our blogs and posterity. We are such an eclectic group.

Now, the big question...do I get on a camel or not? I think that would be so cool also, just to say "I have been on a camel", but do I want a saddle sore like the son? Oh, the decisions I have to make. Thesons'college roomate and his wife will be visiting at the same time, so I know we will have fun. I always got along well with theJay! When my husband died, thesons college friends were right here for him - which was a terrific act of thoughfulness.

I am so excited right now, I could jump out of my skin. I have been telling everyone I am going to Egypt, but no plans were actually made - NOW THEY ARE CARVED IN STONE!!! Hell, pull me off the ceiling now!

Gotta clean this house (always falls down around my ears during Tax Season), work on returns (have to pay for new camera), and maybe throw in some laundry. Thank heavens, thegrandson can entertain himself - or I would go completely bonkers. The sun is shining, travel plans made and I am happy - what more could this old bag wish for?!!?!?!?!


***Just an aside...thegrandson has always called me NINA - and now he is in to this "GRANDMA" thing...we can't have this. I may duct tape him to the wall later.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

...and I am NOT too old!! No matter what they say!

I took a break from tax returns, clients, sick grandson and did something for ME! Check this out - who cares that "60" is around the corner - I'm cool! I have wanted some colored "chunks" in my hair for awhile, but last year the stylist rather inferred I was "too old" for the look, and I went with her decision. Oh hell, I decided to do it my way this time and I love it, actually I would be happier had she put the chunks of color all over - she only did the top of my hair. No problem, I will have her rectify that in about 6 weeks. But I do love the look. My daughters are pretty happy with it also.

Thegrandson is still rashy and scaly. Our family doctor is now sending us to a dermatologist - and thedaughters health coverage does not cover this doctor - so I will be paying for these trips. Thegrandson has been having increasing pain in his legs and arms and this is just being brushed off. HEALTH CARE IN THIS COUNTRY SUCKS!! BIG TIME!! Doctors do not care about individuals...just payments. I am really fed up with the whole situation.

This is just a quickie (such is my life), heading for bed - tons of work tomorrow. Everyone take care and TTFN.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New "Medical" Conclusion.......?!?!?!?

To say that this situation has gotten to be ridiculous, is an understatement. Thegrandson has been taking his "gasoline" tasting antibiotic as prescribed (2 different ones) and instead of the rash getting better - it has manifested in a NEW way! The daughter and I were so upset we called the doctor (through his answering service) late last night. He said he wanted to see the little fart today after school. This is what we had to show the doctor:

The little guys fingers and hands are literally raw, and the rash is so red and painful. Consider that he is "peeling" from the first infected skin, the doctor now says he may go through another series of peeling skin. But I digress...apparently, it is the consensus that this is not from the strep infection but a reaction to his medications. I'm beginning to wonder which is worse the disease or the cure!

We will now wait till Friday morning and see how the appearance of this rash seems - if it is unchanged (not fading) we will be going back to the doctors again. He is off all the strong antibiotics as of this moment and can take Benadryl for any itching. I think thegrandson left a pound of dead skin in the doctors office during our visit - GOOD - let them clean up the mess for a change...bwahhahaha!

His attitude has even turned sour - he has become mean and nasty - just like his mother - and I want to kick them both! Grrrr... someday this whole mess will be a memory, if I last that long.

That's my update for now - maybe more after next doctor visit.


Creative imaginations...luv it!

Is this not appropriate on the 5th anniversary of Dubya's War Orders!! And the retard - insisted today in his speech that we "have to stay in Iraq!' What a dick!

*** I am taking thegrandson to the doctor again this afternoon - he is not getting better. There is a new redder rash (and painful) creeping all over his body. We are not happy campers here!

More later....TTFN

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This was toooo cute to pass up!

My voting PHILOSOPHY - heed this warning.

Monday, March 17, 2008

HELP! I want a new digital camera...

I truly love my little Sony Cyber-shot 3.2 mega pixel camera, but I would really like something a little better. The screen on this camera is only 1 1/4" and with my old eyes - I can't always tell if I took a good shot or not. The pictures on my "flickr" site are all taken with this camera - so not to bad I guess, but after 4 years - I think it's time to upgrade a little. Any suggestions would be gratefully welcomed. I have checked out the CNet site and am so confused - do you go by the ratings or what you plain old LIKE? I figure I should be looking in the $200-$250 range to meet my needs, but alas, confusion abounds.

Since I will be heading to Egypt in the near future I want to be able to take terrific pictures of my once in a lifetime trip. So many friends have already told me to bring back plenty of pictures for their viewing - wow, my job is never done!

Today is the first day back at school for thegrandson. He has to wear gloves if he is going to be outside playing to avoid any secondary infections through the open sores on his fingers and hands. Poor liitle guy, he has done remarkable at taking his "gasoline" tasting medicine and meticulously washing his hands. I am still suffering with the "cold from hell" and didn't get a picture as he left this morning wearing his leprechaun hat! Bad Nina!!

I spent most of yesterday in bed then out of bed...went through a box of tissues...and being a general grump ass! Now I am at the stage of "not tasting" anything...GRRRR! Today is not faring much better.

More later...ttfn

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Borrowed this from Juddy!! Eliot Spitzer - the prick!

I have to say this is not my own, but I was impressed by the presentation on wikipedia (excuse me DIKIPEDIA) - of Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Makes for hilarious reading.

That's all folks! Enough said.

Thanks to all for your concern and prayers!

Thegrandson is home now, on very strong antibiotics (so powerful no pharmacy had it in inventory), and hopefully on the recuperative road. I had to take him back to the doctor Thursday and the first thing the doctor said to me was "Do you realize how sick the little guy is?" Ask me another dumb question - because I was beginning to wonder if anyone in the medical profession truly knew how sick he was. I waffle between is/was, because he is still losing skin and his hands are like raw meat actually. He is still "molting" on feet, legs, arms, hands and fingers. we are going to have to bandage his hands in such a way as to be able to hold a pencil in school and protect the exposed skin from secondary infections. I think the meds are zonking him to a degree as he is taking naps (3 hrs) daily. He just shuts off the TV, rolls over and he is out like a light. This little guy hasn't taken a nap in over 3 years.

I received so many emails hoping for his quick recovery and for that I am so grateful. His Uncle has called a couple of times (from Egypt) and this perks him up immensely. We are trying to catch up on missed homework, but for the most part it is just "busy" work. We cover the basics, spelling and math, and we are good to go. He is very bright and will catch up quickly I believe.

To top everything off, I have either the flu or a very bad cold and all I want to do is crawl in bed and sleep - but I will put that off till I get caught up on all the work I have missed. There truly is no rest for the wicked.

More later guys....TTFN

Monday, March 10, 2008

Finally have a DIAGNOSIS!!

The past few days have been hell! After we got the call from the doctor on Friday that his blood tests were back and he wanted to see thegrandson Saturday morning at 9:20am, we thought we were going to get a definitive diagnosis and treatment...NOT! We were slightly late for the appointment, as we had to travel 20 mph, in an ice storm. But we were definitely going to get to the hospital. As soon as we got in the office, the doctor told us he was admitting thegrandson for IV treatment of this malady...which was not specific by a longshot. They were "leaning" towards Kawasaki's disease, and thereby treating it as a bacterial infection with strong antibiotics. He was admitted to a private room, with sterile procedures, and masks and gown required (although we never wore them). Poor little guy was so miserable upon getting the IV hookup and all the hustle and bustle of the hospital staff as seen here:

The hospital experience was initially quite overwhelming to the little guy. Since Saturday, the skin on his little fingers has virtually peeled off in clumps and we have been cutting the fingers out of latex gloves and taping them around his fingers because they hurt so bad. Whatever this is, it is very ugly.

Since the doctors were not giving a definitive diagnosis and saying it could be staph or it could be strep...we were worried that if it was Kawasaki's, there is a 10 day window to administer the immuno globulins. I kept saying if they are unsure, why not administer these anti-bodies, as a safe course of action. I hadn't thought about the rejection factor at all, just worried about the effects on this little guys heart.

FINALLY, this afternoon, the nurse came in and said his test results had been returned from Pittsburgh (no one told us there were "pending" test results anywhere), and his titers were "thru the roof!" He has a strep infection of the blood. The skin peeling is a form of necrotizing fascitis (skin-eating disease.) The antibiotics have been upped and all the skin peeling should stop and start healing.

Doctors like to treat us like we are morons, when nothing could be further from the truth, and questions I had, and have no problem making them known! I am sighing with relief now, and maybe we can all start to get some rest. If thegrandson can take this medicine orally, he should be coming home soon. The first oral dose today did not go well...the taste is disgusting. He also has to start eating and drinking, which has not improved at all, so we are keeping our fingers crossed he will be home tomorrow or the next day.

I am going to try and get some sleep tonight, the daughter is finding out the really hard part of being a mother (and this grandmother is suffering for the little snot too!)

Check out his hospital pics on flickr (on the right.)

Stay well guys...and TTFN.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Medical Update on thegrandson

Well, I may end up going into my tirade about the medical profession after all. Our family physician saw thegrandson today and was immediately alarmed. His colleagues viewed the rash, redness and swelling and were equally baffled. He has "some" symptoms of scarlatina, but then again other signs lead in another direction. The were thinking Kawasaki's disease. I had a lunch date with a friend, and thedaughter called my cell almost crying, when the doctors mentioned this possible new diagnosis and were sending her to a pediatric specialist. My fatass immediately headed over to the hospital.

I was quite impressed with this pediatrician and I already knew his partner and his qualifications. He has serious doubts about the Kawasaki's, but feels it is either a serious strep or staph infection (but NOT MRSA.)

As a prelude, when he was initially taken to the ER, the only test done was a throat culture for strep - NEGATIVE. Tuedays visit to the ER involved a blood test for Mono and a urinalysis for proteins. No full screen labs at all. This pediatrician was visibly pissed - not to mention myself and thedaughter. (I am not done with the ER staff and their methods yet - letters of complaint will be written.) Now we have been to the lab and a full screening is being done on the urine and every blood test imaginable will be run. We won't know anything really till 9 am tomorrow. Thegrandson has been taken off the penicillin and is now taking Omnicef a very strong antibiotic which works against bacterial as opposed to viral. I pray this gives the little stinker some relief. I can't even take pictures of how horrible his little butt looks - his skin is peeling as if he had a serious sunburn.

I know you all could care less, I just need to vent somehow or I would go postal on those at the hospital and their blase attitudes. This little guy has been suffering and rather than admit "they might not know" what the problem is and consider referrals, they just say "take this" he'll be fine. If we didn't take the initiative of threatening to go to Children's Hospital, (and they start worrying about their liability premiums) I don't know how far they would go in treating the little guy.

Tomorrow, hopefully we will find out if we are on the right meds and hopefully exactly what we are dealing with. I'm pooped, I think I will take some Tylenol PM and head to bed.

Everyone stay well PLEASE!! TTFN

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Winter flooding...

Normally, this is a football practice field, but with all the thawing snow and torrential rains, it is now home to these Canadian geese, who flock here all year long. The funny thing to me is the "No Trespassing" sign sticking out in the background. Damn geese must not read English. Oh no, does that give them free medical, education and voting rights? They are illegal aliens of a sort. Probably didn't even show their passports crossing the border, imagine that!!

This is normally a "creek bed" with no more than a trickle of water in normal weather. I honestly think I have had enough snow and flooding for this winter. Now our illustrious "weather person" is saying that if the next cold front hits us "just right" on Friday, we could get a foot of snow - surely he jests!

Grandson report for today...no better, just a lot redder. He didn't even budge off the couch, just a couple of times to go pee. He drank plenty of fluids today, but wouldn't eat a thing. I managed to get him to eat 1/2 grilled cheese sandwich this evening. He sees our family physician tomorrow and if we are not happy with that appointment, we have decided we may head to Columbus Children's Hospital. Again, if I were to start ranting about the medical services locally, you would never return to my blog!

Enough for now, more updates later. Stay healthy and TTFN.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

POOR BABY - Not getting better!

The poor baby hasn't improved - actually he has gotten worse. This picture does not show how severe the rash actually is, but to know thegrandson - he is a tiny little thing. He is 7 years old and only weighs 41 pounds - skinny as hell, but fine according to all the doctors testings relating to his size. Normally, he has the skinniest, longest fingers, but this morning he woke up crying because he couldn't "make a fist or bend my toes!" He was so swollen it just made me want to cry.

I had gone to vote, before thedaughter left for work, and when I returned (after picking up donut holes for the grandson), thedaughter met me on the porch crying, and in a panic because of the swelling. She said she had called the doctor and they asked why she hadn't taken him back to the ER - DUH! - There's a no-brainer. Without arguing, I just said bundle him up and lets get the hell out of here.

I will not make a nasty diatribe on the medical profession at this time - but I ought to. We spent 3 1/2 hours at the ER again, only to be sent home to take the same meds and maybe let him soak in an oatmeal bath. Oh, they did take blood and also a urinalysis, which revealed no major virus or protein. I think we heard more complaints from the ER doctor, that he needed to be 3 people today to take care of everyone - LIKE THIS IS MY PROBLEM!

I was IM'ing with theson yesterday (he's in Egypt) and thegrandson asked me if theson would call him on the phone. How could I say no. And theson obliged, and called thegrandson within 2 minutes. That phone call made the little fart's day. It is unbelievable the love he has for his Uncle. The call had a slight healing effect also.

It took 4 people to hold the stinker down so blood could be drawn - and a promise from me "the Nina" to buy him 2 games for his PSP or PS2 - and I think he has reminded me every hour on the hour. Bless his heart. ME AND MY BIG MOUTH!

Oh well, gonna try and get some meds down the stinker, maybe some food too!

More updates later...take care and stay healthy -- TTFN!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Emergency Room run...

We have been doing quite well on avoiding the Emergency Room lately...until yesterday. Thegrandson came home from the babysitters, and immediately tells me he is itching all over, and upon further examination - he has a "rash", like sandpaper ALL over his body. Thedaughter was working at her new job (she also has flu-like symptoms), and doesn't want to jeopardize her 90 probationary period by calling off. I made the call to her, and explained I was taking thegrandson to the ER for evaluation - she starts into a panic - now my job gets hairier. Thedaughter has a penchant for over-reacting anyway!

Her supervisor was sending her home anyway and told her to go ahead and leave, so she met me at the ER. I always carry a copy of their medical cards, but have failed to get a written permission for treatment from thedaughter (this will now be taken care of.)

I had a feeling of what may be the problem, as thedaughter also had this same rash many moons ago. The grandson has SCARLATINA!

SCARLET FEVER (scarlatina)
Scarlet fever is simply strep throat with a rash. The throat infection is caused by a streptococcal bacteria. It is most commonly seen in school-aged children in the winter and early spring, but it can occur in individuals of any age and in any season. It is very contagious, and the risk of transmission can be decreased with good hand washing.

The rash is not serious, but serious complications can occur from the underlying infection, strep throat. The most worrisome of these is rheumatic fever, a serious disease that can damage the heart valves and cause long-term heart disease.

The child's symptoms begin with sore throat (which can be mild), fever, headache, abdominal pain, and swollen glands in the neck.
After 1-2 days of these symptoms, the child develops a rash on the body that is red and has a sandpaper texture. After 7-14 days, the rash sloughs off.
The face may look very flushed, but the skin around the mouth appears normal.
Streptococcal bacteria can be treated with antibiotics.
Have your child seen by your doctor immediately if you suspect he or she has strep throat or scarlet fever.
Your child will require a full course of antibiotics, which should be finished even if your child is better before completion.
Your child may return to school in 24 hours if the fever has resolved and he or she is feeling better.

There is really no pain with this other than the itching, and where the rash has spread in the back of the knee is more irritating to him at the moment. Thank heavens for Benadryl...it helped him sleep through the night. He will probably be going back to school on Wednesday (per ER doctor's instructions), but I am sure the rash will be around a few more days.

I really tried to get a gory picture, but damn...this rash does not photograph well at all. I'm such a mahvelous grandmother.

His mom will go to work today and I will indulge the little fart unbelievably - AND GET NO WORK DONE AT ALL!

I need to vacuum, dust, laundry and much more, and try to squeeze in completing some tax returns - and thedaughter thinks I don't work!

Everyone else stay well (even pseudo heart attack man) and TTFN!