Hola! My New Year’s Update

I meant to have a new post together for the beginning of the year but I was distracted by so many things… bowl games, snow,  Mallory, travel for my ‘new’ job, and a million other little details.  Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s going on with us in the new year:

Mallory finally found her words and is a little chatterbox.  When asked where anything is (the dogs, the car, her toys) her standard response is “I dunno!”  while she puts her hands palm up and shrugs her shoulders.  She’s so stinking smart when it comes to playing match up stuff and listening to directions.  Such an amazing little girl; I’ll have to post new pictures soon.

My small little company was acquired by a division of Cardinal Health in July of last year.  While this didn’t mean much to us then we are much farther along in the integration process now and our roles are changing to include more travel.  I love it because it allows me to see the country and meet my clients.  I also had the opportunity to meet one of my online friends in Oklahoma earlier this month – we sat and chatted for hours.  While they’re not the most exotic of locales (Tulsa, OK; Wheeling, WV; and Springfield, IL) it’s still fun to me.  

Probably the biggest change in the new year is that Ben and I have made the decision to go our separate ways.  I will be keeping the house with Mallory and he has moved out into an apartment. Our goal is to make this as amicable a split as possible and keep the needs of Mallory ahead of our own.   Thank you to everyone who has offered support or assistance during this time.  I’m trying to let the dust settle in the next few months and get used to this new reality.  It’s challenging, but I have a fantastic support system in my family and friends and we’re doing just fine :)

So that’s what’s new with us… oh yeah!  I’m going to the AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh on Sunday night.  I’m pretty psyched about it.  Look for me on TV!  They’re also taking a pretty cool 360 degree panoramic picture on Sunday night at the game so I will make sure to tag myself and share it with all of you.

What’s new with you?

Mallory has MRSA and I’m not freaked out. Seriously.

Miss Mallory has contracted a staph infection that tested positive for MRSA, yet I’m not freaked out.  Well, ok, I’m a little disturbed but I’m not ‘The sky is falling!’ kinda freaking out.  This is just your run of the mill, ‘My baby has something wrong with her’ garden variety unease. 

It all started last Friday night when I noticed a hard red lump just to the north and west of her buttcrack.  For those of you that are directionally challenged, that’s the upper left buttcheek.  At first I thought that it was an irritation or bite of some kind but realized I needed to call in backup.  Bless my mom’s heart, she stopped by our house close to 9 o’clock on her way home from her 12 hour shift at the hospital to take a look at MJ’s tushie to tell us that we needed to call our doc to get an appointment in the AM. 

Got in to see the doc around 10AM Saturday; she took a look at it and let us know that we would be going straight to Children’s Hospital’s Urgent Care because it would need to be drained and treated as an abcess.  At that point she mentioned MRSA, but cautioned us not to get too wrapped up or worried about it.  Had to wait a bit for the Urgent Care to open but were the first inside.  Long story shot, the tech got all gowned up and then we had to help hold her down as she was given 6 shots of Lidocaine surrounding the lump.  The worst part was when they sliced into it with the scalpel – she screamed the whole time :(  They packed it with gauze, told us not to let it get wet for two days,  and to follow up on Monday to get it unpacked and examined.  We also left with a prescription for Bactrim.

My babysitter had notified us weeks in advance that she would need November 1st off so Mallory was supposed to go to a substitute day care that day.  Unfortunately, with an infectious open wound (even one that was covered), we couldn’t exactly take her to the day care.  I stayed home on Monday and took her to Children’s Hospital downtown to get her wound examined and unpacked as well as find out where her treatment would go from there. 

We waited in the Urgent Care waiting room for almost 2 hours (yes, the majority of the parents waiting were using the urgent care as a doctor’s office during office hours.  This made everyone’s wait miserable.  My restaurant-style pager finally started lighting up so I turned it in at the desk; they told me that it was dying and they would call my name when they were ready to take her back.  When I asked when she would be seen, they took a look at why she was there and told me that their department didn’t handle abcess rechecks; those were handled in the Emergency Room.  I kept my cool, but let them know that I was not pleased about having to keep my daughter waiting for close to 2 hours in the wrong area when I could have been directed to the appropriate area when I checked in.  They sent us to the ER, with the REALLY sick kids, to wait some more.

Luckily, it was only about an hour wait there before we were in and out; the tech who performed Mallory’s initial procedure saw us waiting in the room and when he heard what happened he grabbed the attending doctor and had MJ seen right away.  They removed her packing, examined everything, and placed a big gauze pad with tape on it.  Now we were instructed to soak it a few times a day to encourage all of the stuff that might be left inside to work its way out.  I broke down on the way out of the hospital to get Mallory some Cheetos as a special treat for being such a great patient kid while we waited.  Of course, it was almost 2 hours past her naptime so she passed out in her seat on the way home; she didn’t even make it out of the parking garage before she was fast asleep with orange drool on her chin.  Poor kid… she turned 18 months old that day.

On Monday night I started feeling crappy; it felt like a sinus infection hit me like a ton of bricks.  MJ’s dupa (that’s Polish for ‘butt’) started looking much better with the swelling receding and the redness abating throughout the week.  We didn’t relish giving her the Bactrim every night but saw it as a necessary evil.  On Thursday I was diagnosed with bronchitis and the beginning of pneumonia so I was off work Thursday and Friday.  Friday morning I noticed that the spot felt a little more hard than it had been earlier in the week.  I called our doc and she arranged for us to come in on Friday evening to evaluate things and let us know if we were going to have to go through this all over again. 

Rolled through the door on Friday and she confirmed what I thought – it was getting hard again :(  She was hesitant to put Mallory through that again and instead, asked us to come back first thing this morning.  At this appointment she also let us know that the test results came back positive for MRSA.    I went up to my parents’ place about 40 minutes away after that and put a compress in her diaper, followed by a bath while we were up there.  We took her there today dressed in her jammies and our doc was surprised that the swelling went down.   Today she took 2 baths and we soaked her site; it seems to be making a difference.

From here, we’re going to keep soaking her at least twice a day to encourage all of the infection to drain.  Her antibiotic runs out on Monday so the doc wants to see her again on Wednesday evening to monitor what the infection’s done since the medicine ended.  Our goal is that it will be scabbed over and normal looking.  If not, we’ll reexamine options including having it redrained and/or a new course of antibiotics.

I have to admit, I was freaked out when our doc started mentioning MRSA because I wasn’t really sure what it was except that the media was freaking out about it calling it a worse menace than SARS and bird flu.   I’ve been doing a lot of research and talking with medical professionals and found out that Mallory having just one bout of infection isn’t a lot to worry about.  Everyone (yes, this means you too) has opportunistic staph bacteria including MRSA strains, lurking on their skin; it just takes a single microbreak in the skin for those germs to start setting up shop.   Sure, it’s scary now but in the scheme of things, it’s not quite as scary as cancer.  I will begin to worry if she gets another infection like this because that means that she’s more likely to be a MRSA carrier.  If that’s the case then the treatment is a little different and includes crazy baths and nose swabbing.  I’m not going to get worked up about that… yet.

In the meantime, we’re going to do just what we’ve always been doing – universal precautions.  This includes washing our hands after using the restroom, changin MJ’s diaper, or working with her wound site.  I’m also going throughout the house on a germicidal spree killing everything in my path so that we don’t infect anyone else in our house with either MRSA or bronchitis.  This goes way beyond dust bunnies.

This week hasn’t been easy but that’s okay.  Mallory hates when anyone takes her pants off because she assumes we’ll be taking off the band-aid, but that’s ok too; she doesn’t complain about multiple baths in one day.  I’ll try to update on how she’s doing in the next week or so.

Best Birthday Gift EVER!

My mom got me the best birthday gift ever… a full housecleaning. We’re talking surface stuff, dust bunnies, and *windows*! At first I was hesitant, but it’s truly been a blessing. It seemed like I was constantly having to start at one place and make my way back around, but doing it like this I had a clean house in one day. It’s easier when someone else cleans your house (and faster!) because they don’t get sidetracked by your stuff or derailed with another project. Needless to say, I’m going to find the money in our budget to have her come in bi-weekly to keep things looking good. I can’t BELIEVE how much mental stress having my house removed… especially since so many other big things are in the works.

What big things, you ask?

* Mallory is full-fledged walking now. In fact, I expect her to be running by the end of the month.

* My company was acquired by Cardinal Health at the end of July, which makes me a Cardinal Health employee. Benefits rock, pay is comparable, but it’s the unknown that’s driving me batty. The division that took us over has 50 employees; we have 80. My gut feeling tells me that not everyone is going to make it, but we’re all riding out the transition period (30 – 90 days) together. This is adding a ton of mental stress as well, but I figure I should know by vacation who is staying and who is going.

* My nose is doing much better, thank you, but I’m still supposed to stay away from wearing glasses & sunglasses because it’s not quite completely healed. I’m also supposed to keep Little Miss M below chin level, but how can I give her hugs that way?

* Mallory is acquiring more and more words with every passing day. So far we have: yes, no, yep, nope, wow, whoa, good girl, nana, mama, dada, jj, what is, why, bear, let’s go.

Ok, I’m off to bed… and a nice clean relaxing bedroom :)

Ah, Milestones.

Mallory has hit an impressive amount of milestones in her short life…

Roll over?  Check.

Sit up on her own?  Check.

Crawl like the devil himself is behind her?  Check.

Pull herself up on furniture, my leg, the dogs, et al?  Check.

Feed herself from a spoon and eat more than she wears?  Check.

Take her very first unassisted steps this weekend?  Check.

Tell me, where in that list of notable accomplishments is the one that says, ‘Break Momma’s Nose?’  Maybe she’s going for the more advanced milestones now that she has the easy ones out of the way.

So yeah, she broke my nose.  We were playing on the bed, she had Ben’s cell phone, he took it away, she got mad and flung herself backwards.  I was laying down and unfortunately, my nose broke her fall.  Or her fall broke my nose…

I went to get x-rays at an urgent care and they told me it looked fractured but that I needed to follow up with an ear, nose, and throat doctor.  Outwardly, it didn’t look like anything was wrong with me.  My face was a little swollen but it wasn’t like I had black eyes or anything. Luckily, my mom has the hookup when it comes to doctor referrals and I saw the ENT on Thursday.  He took a look, pressed a bit on my nose, and told me that the treatment was to knock me out, reset the fractured bone, and put a cast on my face that I would have to wear for 6 days.

When I was done laughing I believe I asked him, “No, really.  Do I just wait for this to get better or what?”  Imagine my surprise when he repeated himself – knock me out, reset the fractured bone, and put a cast on my face for 6 days.  I almost cried at this point.  Here I thought my mom was just jerking me around when she told me I might need to have surgery.

I asked the doc what my options were and the surgery was preferable.  Alternative A was to do nothing and risk permanent damage, especially since the bone is pressing on a nerve.  I can push on one section of my nose right now and it makes my left nostril go numb.  Kinda cool but nothing I want on a long-term basis.   Alternative B is to wait about 6-8 weeks to see if my nose heals on its own.  If the bone doesn’t reset itself then I would need the same surgery only they would probably have to cut the bone because it would have fused.  Count me out!

Think of me this Friday; that’s when I’m having this whole mess straightened out.  (No pun intended).  I plan to have pictures taken and saved for when Mallory is old enough to appreciate it.  If I get adventurous I might even post one here for you guys to see.

Sorry, Sorry, Sorry!

I apologize for being MIA the last few months.  Took a baby step last night by updating the blog with pictures and the majority of the comments were along the lines of ‘I sent you an email, never heard back from you…’

I took a look at my inbox and it was overflowing with 419 unread emails in addition to the ones I had glanced at briefly but didn’t delete.  It never occurred to me just how much I used my PDA / phone to keep in touch on Twitter, update my blog, lurk on Facebook, reply to email, and text while driving (ok, not anymore… it’s illegal in Columbus now).  While I don’t miss being tethered to it all the time, I *do* miss being able to be technologically connected to the rest of the world in the here and now, not three weeks, a month, 2 months later.

So please, please, PLEASE forgive me if you didn’t get a response – it was nothing personal, honest!  I’m digging myself out of this hole and will hopefully get back to you shortly :)

Little Miss Personality

Every day brings something new with Mallory – good or bad.  Whether it’s taking those first hesitant steps while holding on to my hands or emphatically telling me nononononono, it’s all still new and exciting.  She’s almost 14 months old now and just a little firecracker.

She has a few standard words like Mama (finally!), Dada, dogdog, wooooo (Ben taught her that one – think Rick Flair.  Yes, I’m serious), good, and of course the ever present no.

She’s not walking on her own yet, but toddles along pretty well behind her little push car toy that Jamie got her for Easter.  We took a walk this evening as a family down the street – she was pushing her cart while Ben and I trailed behind.  She’s also pulling herself to a standing position on everything – the couch, the dishwasher, the fridge, the coffee table, my legs; I’m just waiting for her to use one of the dogs.  This week she’s been raising up on her knees more frequently and getting a better sense of her balance.  I figure she’s about 2 weeks away from taking her first solo steps.

I figured I’d share with you some of her moods and my interpretations…

Curious – “Oooooohhhh, whatcha doin’?”

Impish – “Lookit what I have!”

Devilish – “You no talka me, Mama!”

Sorry I haven’t been around much… busy busy busy!  I’m headed to WV tomorrow morning bright and early to visit a client; I love my new job! :) I will try to post updates and/or pictures on a more regular basis.  You can see more pictures of Mallory, including some of her at Mom and Dad’s new house at http://malloryjaynerogers.shutterfly.com.

~k

Time flies!

A year ago I was massively uncomfortable and waiting for Mallory to make her grand entrance into the world.  Boy, was I unprepared.  She turns one on Saturday and as I look back, I can’t believe how miraculous a baby’s first year is.  From completely dependent on us and helpless to asserting her independence through crawling and hooting at us.

Yes, I said hooting… she loves to just make noises as well as say dadada over and over again.  On the rare occasion she will eek out a ‘mama,’ but her newest favorite sounds are wub wub wub and bub bub bub.  She has all four of her upper front teeth and the four lower ones as well as a full lower molar with another one breaking through.  Her toothy grin just cracks me up.  Her eyes have stayed blue – surprising since mine are green and Ben’s are hazel.

We’re working on transitioning her from a bottle to a sippy cup, but it’s been a difficult struggle.  She has absolutely no interest in it.  None.  There is a small glimmer of hope – our babysitter got her to drink 2 oz out of it today.  Hallelujah!  We’ve gotten lucky in the fact that Mallory doesn’t want a binkie or suck her thumb.  That’s one less habit to break.

Oh yeah!  I started my new job and I love it!  No more sales… more supporting existing accounts.  The bulk of the resources of this company are geared to the support of their account base, which is rare in this day and age.  It’s interesting that the org chart of this company has the CEO at the top, but he’s not at the pinnacle.  The customer is above even him and it’s trickled down throughout the entire organization.

Soooooo, what’s new with you?

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