Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve, 2016!

Last Day of 2016! Dan took Nick up skiing with Brent, Ethan and Isaac.

Way to go, Nick!
Chris's first night at home went okay. We worked out a system that he would text me and I would keep my phone on so I could go help him if he needed it. He needed some Oxycodone at 1:00 a.m. and asked me to rub his feet so he could get comfortable again and go back to sleep. He said he didn't sleep great but the Oxy helped.

I was so nervous about botching the shot from the day before, Michelle and I looked up a YouTube video and figured out how to administer it better. It went much better this morning.

I've made a chart so I can keep track of his meds and when he takes them. He's got Oxycodone every four hours or as needed for pain, Tylenol instead of Oxy if that works for him, the Lovenox shot twice a day and Senna, a laxative twice a day. He also has meds for nausea if he needs them. He had another prescription for another pain med but we didn't think Chris needed it.

He's doing pretty good on Oxy twice a day and Tylenol in between. I know if I don't write it down I'll get confused, so a chart will help me keep him on track.

Chris has had lots of friends drop off treats and want to wish him a speedy recovery.

Takis and Mountain Dew -- his friends know what he loves.
(Making him wait a while though before he starts in on the chemicals!)
Dan and Nick came home after lunch so they could spend the afternoon with Dan's Dad, Marty, and watch the University of Washington bowl game against Alabama. (Have I mentioned that Courtney and her friend, Carinne, were in Georgia for the game? Merry Christmas, Courtney!)

While Dan was home to be with Chris, I ran to the bakery and Costco to get Marty's farewell food (I ordered as soon as Chris had his accident. Simplify!). Also stopped by the party stores to get plates and looked for a Japanese flag, but they didn't have one. In the evening Dan ran to Itto's to pick up sushi trays for the next day.

By dinnertime, we were exhausted and couldn't (nor did we want to) leave Christopher so were happy to celebrate the New Year at home. Brent and Michelle were tired out too so they stayed home with us and we all hung out. Michelle and I tried to get everyone excited about Scattergories but they weren't really.

My favorite comment of the evening was Morgan saying, "Mom and Angela are just sitting there laughing, cracking each other up." That made me cackle even more (which Courtney has always given me a hard time -- my witches laugh)! Michelle and I spent our entire lives entertaining each other (back in the old days before there were video games, TV and iPhones)! So it wasn't surprising that it's what comes naturally!

We headed outside at 10:00 p.m. to light off a few fireworks and do poppers. Earlier I told Nick I had poppers and he looked at me incredulously. "Um, Mom, we need real fireworks." So Brent and Dan ran to the store and bought a few. Chris didn't want to risk coming outside so he watched from the living room window. And then we took him up to bed with the whole medication and shot routine. He was tired and ready to go to sleep. And sad that he was missing out on New Year's plans he'd previously made with friends and his cousin, Isaac. By the end of the day he is worn out. Really, any time he goes down for a nap he is exhausted. And then he needs to cry. He was apologizing for crying, saying he wasn't crying because of the pain. But he was so sad he was missing out on stuff. He hadn't cried yet and I told him he needed to. His heart hurt and he'd been through a lot emotionally and it was good to be able to cry.

By the time I came back down, Dan was ready for bed! He almost left by 11:30, but we made him stay up until it was New Year's. We all counted down and shouted Happy New Year and then went to bed. It was fun to have the Paul's over so we could have some celebration to the end of 2016!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Home and Weaver Party

We've looked forward to going home all day today. The doctor said the physical therapist would be in first thing in the morning. By the time I got to the hospital, it was 9:30 and he had just arrived.

Dan left to go home and shower and I took my shift being with Chris. The therapist gave us good information saying that his leg was completely strong. He could put weight on it whenever he was ready and it wouldn't hurt it. Well, it wouldn't hurt the healing, but it sounds like from Chris, weight on it makes it hurt. The therapist helped him out of the bed and showed him how to use the crutches properly. They also practiced getting up a few stairs. Chris was excited to work hard and go home.
Out of bed learning how to use crutches.
After moving around, he was exhausted and slept the rest of the day. We started the "going home" process, but that of course takes forever. He did get out of bed to go to the bathroom a couple of times which was a good feeling for him rather than use the bedpan urinal. Helpful to have the hospital bed that lowers. He can't really move his leg on his own, so I needed to lift it up for him to get it back in the bed. And then straighten it out.

He actually just slept all day. People came in and out and he did eat some lunch. I played on my phone in the dark and answered texts as everyone was wondering how Chris was doing.

By 2:00 we finally got discharged. We stopped at the hospital pharmacy on the way out and part of his meds are for  me to give him a blood thinner shot twice a day to help avoid blood clots. Seriously?! Yikes! So wish Rachel was still in town!!!
Out of here!
I left Chris and the guy who rolled his wheelchair at the waiting room and ran to get the car, turning on all the seat heaters to get it warmed up for him. When I got back, the wheelchair guy was gone (told Chris it was the end of his shift and took off). So it was up to me and Chris to get him in. It was a little tricky and my big car made it difficult for him to get up into it. We had him in the backseat so his leg could stretch out. It took us a few tries, but we finally figured it out. Christopher was a champ through the pain.
Headed home!
When we got home, Dan and Marty had purchased crutches and got the driveway cleared of snow so Chris could safely get in the house. Right as we were getting in, Sean, Jake's dad, arrived with a burrito from Chris' favorite place. Such a great way to arrive home. But after the exertion of the the drive and getting in the house and crutching up the stairs, Chris made a very slow but direct beeline to his room so he could lay down again. He was exhausted.

We'd gotten a little behind on his meds in the whole check-out of the hospital at 11:00 but don't really get out until 2:00. Hope it doesn't hurt us going forward.

The whole day went pretty smoothly, which was nice because that night we were hosting the Weaver cousins for a holiday party! We had Nana & Lenoard,  Rob & Ann and John & Ann Weaver; The Torontos -- Carrie, Cindy, Will and Chase and their spouses; Marty & EC and Jo Ellen and Kelly all together for a potluck dinner. What a great time we had! It was so fun to all be together -- everyone enjoyed each other's company. We really need to get together more often! I was so glad it was at our home because if it was somewhere else, I wouldn't have been able to go. So sad we didn't take a picture!!

After everyone had gone home, I had to give Chris his shot of Lovenox. I totally botched it. Why do they allow regular people to do this with no instruction except a boxed insert! I'm not safe, people! I read the instructions really well ahead of time a few times. I understood I needed to pinch his stomach fat (he has none, but the nurse at the hospital assured me it was enough). (Is skin fat?) I tried to take off the needle cap and instead pulled out the plunger and the medicine dumped out (just a few drops, but still). Into the garbage. Chris was already nervous, but seeing me completely incompetent kind of freaked him out.

I got another one and started again. This time I got the cap off the needle, but made the mistake of hovering above his pinched skin. It was totally freaking me out to do this! Which in turn was freaking him out. He shouted, "Just do it, Mom! Don't wait!" Which made me more nervous and so I jabbed it into him -- similar to how I think an Epi-Pen would be done. He gasped an, "Arrrgh!" and then without thinking, I let go of the pinch, needle still in him. Realizing that was wrong, I then tried to pinch again but there was a little pucker now and still had to push the plunger down in spite of it looking really, really wrong. And then released the plunger which popped the needle out and away into the shot container and I let go of the pinch all at the same time and it was over. Chris started shouting, "You stabbed me! Why did you stab me?! Geez! That hurts so much! You totally stabbed me!" Which was not untrue, it was like a stab. Seriously, I am so bad at this!! There has got to be a better way.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Surgery, Karaoke Party, and Mom's 70th Bday Celebration

Chris got to be first for surgery. So glad to get it started! He might have starved to death if he had to wait any longer (at least he thought he would). Dan called me at 7:30 and then ran home to shower. We zipped back to the hospital to be there by 8:45 because they thought they'd be done by then.

Snapchatting all the way to the surgery room.
Inserting the titanium rod is apparently not a difficult surgery. The femur break is very serious, but the repair is not hard (for the surgeons, that is). And he won't even have a cast. Not even a brace! Unbelieveable! And his leg is weight bearing! He will be on crutches for 4-6 weeks, most likely, but when he's up to it, he can start walking on it.

NOTE from the future: 10 days later he is just starting to put his foot down as he walks. It's hurt so much until now that he's afraid to use it. And when he does, it still hurts pretty darn bad. So even though he could put weight on it, he can't because it hurts too much.

We checked in with the waiting room desk and found that they hadn't called us yet. 45 minutes later, the surgeon called my cell and said he actually did look for us but we weren't there (or hidden behind a tree). He was already of to another surgery at another hospital, so the resident came and found us. He said surgery went great. Yay! Chris will stay in the hospital another day or two. Physical therapy will meet with him to help him know what he needs to do for future recovery.

An hour later, we still hadn't been called to say Chris was headed to his room. I went and checked with the desk and sure enough, he was already in his room. (There are some serious communication issues at this hospital. Glad the surgeons are excellent, though.)

We were sad that we weren't in his room to be with him when he got back from surgery, but he was fast asleep when we got there, so hoped he wouldn't remember. (He did.) When he woke up he was GRUMPY! Rightly so, after surgery and so much pain, I guess. The worst was trying to pee in this funky bedpan-urinal thing which was super awkward -- especially with your mom in the room and a different hospital staff person coming in every second.  I went to guard the door for a while but he was just getting incredibly frustrated.

When he fell asleep, I ran home to work on getting ready for my family party which we were still having and had postponed from the night before.

I ran back to the hospital a bit later when Dan had to leave for a business meeting. While I was there, a large group of his friends came to visit. They made him so happy while they were there and distracted him from the pain and discomfort. When I came in the room they all went quiet and I said, "I think I'm killing the friend mojo." Chris wasn't shy to say, "Yes, you are." So I waited down the hall in the family room. Soon after they left, another group came by. And then while they were there Courtney brought up Nick, Ethan, Isaac, Morgan, Sam and Max. So great to have friends and family love you!!

Then he came back and switched me when he was done. Still GRUMPY. Dan was taking over while I was at the party and I thought I might go up before Chris went to sleep. But as it turned out, he fell asleep at 6:00 and was out the rest of the night.

Meanwhile, the Adair Family Party was a blast. I wasn't entirely in a party mood -- especially not a Karaoke mood. But we had my mom's video that I was super excited about (a recap of photos from her life that we'd put together for her early birthday present).  And by the time everyone arrived, I was feeling really happy and good and it didn't take long for everyone to get in the mood for karaoke!

We had a delicious dinner and then after surprised my mom with her video. She loved it, of course. We also gave her a book of the photos. And then Karaoke was a blast. Missed Rebekah and Matt! Not sure why I don't have more photos of Karaoke night, but my sisters and Katie all sang a tribute to George Michael, "Wake me up, before you go-go!" And later we sang, "Nobody" (How I love that song from our childhood!) And finally we sang "Unchained Melody" with my mom.

My mom saying, "I live a very blessed life. And I'm being watched over. I know that."
What a blast! We even got the Herrera's kids to sing. (My dad's friends who have escaped to the US from Venezuela.) I love that everyone participates!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Back Flip that Wasn't

Just as Michelle and I were finishing up the funeral potatoes and rolls for our family Karaoke party tonight, I got a call from Dan (about 2:00 p.m.). He had just got a call from the paramedics at Park City and said Chris had injured his leg and Life Flight was going to take him to the University of Utah hospital.

Life Flight.

I couldn't quite comprehend what he was saying. What happened? Life Flight?

Dan assured me that his injury wasn't life threatening. His leg was either broken or dislocated at the hip. It was his femur that was injured. They didn't know if he would be going by helicopter or ambulance but would call Dan when they decided. Dan was on his way home to pick me up.

Life Flight. Not life threatening.

For a moment I felt like I couldn't breathe. Courtney and Michelle were in the other room. I went in to tell them what was happening and started to cry.  Chris has broken his leg. He's going to be fine, Ii said. I'm not sure why I'm crying. I think it's because I'm relieved. Relieved that it's not life threatening Life Flight. Because at first Dan said, "Life Flight."

Michelle said lets gather the kids and say a prayer. So we knelt around the Family Room ottoman -- Me, Michelle, Courtney, Marty, Nick, Ethan. I can't say it, I said. I'll just cry. I'm not sure who said it.

And Dan came home in the middle and they called him to say we they were taking him by helicopter to the U. Marty and Courtney got some things together for Chris in a bag and Marty followed behind us so that he and Dan could give Chris a blessing.

We called Matt on the way. Should we hope it's dislocated? He said, no. That means torn acl and mcl and several surgeries instead of just one. A fracture is better.

We arrived just as the Helicopter did. We watched it land on the parking garage but couldn't see anything after that. In the Emergency waiting room, they had us wait. During that time we got a text from Michelle that she'd sent out to everyone in a grouping "#prayforChris" explaining what had happened. We got a text from Courtney that she'd received a screenshot from Taylor who had seen it from her brother who had gotten a Snapchat of Chris lying on the mountain with his foot up by his ear. It was unbelievable to see, really.

Then she sent a video that was from the same friend that had been Snapchatted of Chris skiing down expertly to a huge kicker and going for a backflip but it shot him up so high and so far out that he flailed in the air on his back, turned at the last second and landed hard. Both were very difficult to look at.

When we finally got to see him, he was in unbelievably good spirits. It hurt a ton, but he had an IV access to pain meds that helped immediately. The helicopter pilot couldn't believe how brave and tough he'd been. In the video of the Ski Patrol "putting his leg in the correct anatomical position," they said they couldn't believe he wasn't screaming in pain. The hospital residents also couldn't believe he was smiling. He's a pretty tough kid, we already knew that. But this was a new level. I suspected shock or adrenaline.
How is he smiling?
Marty and Dan gave him a blessing. It's pretty neat to have Marty hold the Priesthood now.  And I'm proud of him for being willing when asked -- I think Chris was really glad to see Marty there. Marty blessed him that he would recover well and that his schoolwork wouldn't be affected.

And then we had a really long wait for the rest of the evening to determine what happened next.  Marty and Courtney had put lotion in a bag of things for Chris because everyone knows Chris can't survive without lotion. He had me rub his feet a bunch to help him feel relaxed and comfortable.  The residents and nurses were really great. And we knew this kind of thing takes a long time, so we weren't expecting to go anywhere fast.

Chris started to feel hungry -- he'd only had a couple of pieces of bacon at 10:00 a.m. before he headed up skiing. They were going to get a late lunch on the way home. So they didn't want him to eat anything else in case he had surgery that night. But by about 8:00 they decided to put him in traction and surgery would be in the morning.

Getting ready to go into surgery for traction.

After, with a 15 pound weight hanging off his leg. (I actually can't remember how heavy the weight was!)

We ran out to Cafe Rio to grab us some dinner and Chris a quesadilla. We had just sat down when they said they were done. It went really fast and well. And should help with Chris' pain.
Of course now that he could eat, he took a few bites of quesadilla and shake and didn't feel hungry at all.  Soon we got to his room and helped him get settled in for the night.  Dan was going to stay the night with him so he could help him with bathroom and privacy issues.  We headed home around 10:00.
Chris' room for a couple of days
When we got home of course everyone was dying for details and information. It was so good to have so many people to talk to with experience. Rachel's nursing, Brent's own broken hip experience, Michelle's caretaking of Brent. Matt, of course, by phone.

Of course we postponed the party until tomorrow. I still want to have it. These are the times when it's good to be surrounded by family. #prayforchris

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas and Cousins

So fun to have cousins here!  Yesterday Miles spent the night so all three cousins could be together.  Ethan went skiing with his family on Monday, but Jacob came over and played Anki overdrive with Miles & Nick. Jacob got it too so they hooked the two sets together and had 4 cars. So much fun! We have gotten a bunch of snow as well so they all went out to sled and build forts.

Anki Overdrive fun!

Dan took the older kids to Alta to ski in the morning. Chris, Marty and Courtney were in competition to determine who the best skier is. And who is better than Dad. This is something Dan has dreamed of -- being able to ski with his kids and having them all keep up with each other and go wherever they want -- chutes, moguls, black diamonds -- whatever any of them want. It was a gorgeous day in the mountains and they had a blast.

Chris on a bluebird day!

My morning walk down to the new house.

New house in the snow. Can't believe this will be where we celebrate Christmas next year!
In the afternoon, we went down to Jo Ellen's for the 1st annual Boxing Day party. Kelly's family are fun to be with and Gram and Papa were there too, along with Ryan and Kory. We love every second we get to spend with those two (and everyone else!)! They're so much fun to be with and always make us laugh!

Dan and his parents
We were home by early evening when the Paul's got home from skiing and Rachel, Jeremy and Dylan arrived from California!

Rachel, Michelle and I were up until 2:30 talking and laughing. We didn't mean for it to get so late! Michelle looked at her watch and in alarm said, "It's 2:38!" We all popped up and headed straight to our rooms!

Today while everyone was skiing, Courtney and I went to lunch at Root's cafe. She told me all about the Iceland trip she and Taylor are planning. Sounds so fun! Glad they're getting their trip figured out so they actually do it! Proud of these girls graduating from college and going on adventures!

There's an antique shop next door so we shopped around just for fun and now that we have a record player, I looked for some classic vinyl. Found a Boston and Journey record. Also found our favorite records to sing and dance to while we were kids. Not Boston and Journey because we weren't cool kids. We were the nerds who spent all day listening to Saturday's Warrior and My Turn On Earth. Memorizing the words, making up choreography, acting out the parts, creating new parts. Nonstop nerd entertainment.

For dinner we all went to Sushi and met the Wingers there as well. Kids on their own table, adults on our own table. I love this season with no homework, school activities or extra curriculars, lots of family in town, cousins who love to be together and time with my sisters and brothers-in-law. That's my dream-come-true.

Nick, Marty and Miles looking at some video game.
And check out the little blondie also checking out with the big kids!
Dylan hanging with Marty and the big kids!
The guys were talking about a movie, but there was no way I could stay awake till late. Sooo tired! So I came home. Soon Dan, Nick and Marty were home because their show was sold out. Michelle and Morgan too.

And in Entertainment news, Princess Leia died today. RIP Carrie Fisher. When she, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford made an appearance in last year's Star Wars movie, it was like the return of old friends.  Mentors from a 70's childhood. I seriously got teary.

Marty's college glasses we found at a flea market in Brooklyn last summer.
Dimitrios took this picture down at Sheree's house. Think I could have a painting made? So BeUTAHful!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas! 2016

Happy Christmas, Harry! 

With Christmas coming on a Sunday, we've all had ideas about how to celebrate. Church is at 10:00 a.m. -- children have an opening song so need to be there at 9:45. We weren't sure that we'd be able to get all our presents opened before then without being rushed. Nick was the only one who wanted to wake up extra early. With a little convincing from Courtney and Marty, Nick agreed to the following plan:

Wake up at 8:00 and go downstairs for stockings and see if Santa came ;-)
Breakfast at 8:45 and then go upstairs to get ready for church about 9:00. (9:15 at the latest).

 Leave to church at 9:40. Be home by 10:15 to change and then open presents.

All went according to plan. Marge slept over the night before so she didn't have to drive in the impending snow early Christmas morning.

Santa left a little present by each stocking so we all had one thing to open before church. Stockings were fun and not rushed. I made an overnight egg casserole that I didn't burn this year (Yay!).

At church, having the children sing a few Primary Christmas Hymns was a really nice way to start the program and bring the spirit into our hearts. So glad they did it.

And after, home through the fresh snow for presents! (So fun to have a ton of snow on Christmas!)

Some favorite presents:
The kids got Dan a record player and records. They know him so well! They were so excited to give him it and he LOVED it! Such a fun surprise!

They got me a Chatbook of all my Instagram posts since the beginning 5 years ago! It was such a thoughtful gift, it just made me cry! And all the kids cried too (which was an extra special Christmas bonus)! Marty had the idea and Courtney executed the plan and I was thrilled -- couldn't have been more surprised and delighted!

Dan had the idea to give Courtney a trip to Georgia to see UW play Alabama in the Peach Bowl. She knew ahead of time, but she loved it!
Courtney's new tool kit for her apartment. Candid photo face! (At least it's not you eating a gyro!)
Marty just wanted money so he could save all Christmas and birthday presents on his mission for Sky Diving gear. Love that he loved his experience so much! Kids got him money too -- but also his favorite candy bars.
Awkward Christmas Hugs! (And awkward Courtney face -- what is that face?!)
Chris didn't have a whole lot on his list. We got him a stereo that he and Dan could install when he turned 16 and got his car. And then at the end of Christmas presents, he was surprised with keys to his new car!! It was exactly the one he wanted (a Subaru stick-shift they found from a dealer in Florida) and Chris said, "You said it was already sold." Dan replied, "Yea, it was!"

Nick was thrilled with his presents of Stance Underwear, new running shoes and a Chillo pillow. Seriously, he was. He also got Anki overdrive and LOVES it. But it just cracks me up that his Christmas list items were things the other kids would just let me know they "needed" on a regular shopping trip. He's ever so practical -- Love it! (Of course, he also got the promise of a new dog, so maybe everything else seemed like a bonus!)

 While Nick, Courtney and I were shopping one day, I decided to run into Bath & Body Works for lotion for everyone. What smell do you like, Nick? "I just care about having one that works." Ok. Melaleuca Renew for you.
Anki Overdrive
Marge was thrilled with her pre-Christmas gifts (lets call them Christmas season gifts) -- a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book of Christmas stories and an Amaryllis. She's the best plant care-taker I know. She can make anything grow and rebloom! And she really appreciates them!  But she was thrilled to also get a new iPad from the Adair kids. "Oooooh! Just what I wanted!"
Christmas family selfie!

Learning about record players from Dad.
And to make Christmas even better, The Paul's arrived from Chicago! Their plane was delayed so they didn't make it until after Christmas dinner, but that worked out well because The Wingers were starving later that night so we had food to share!
Matching was a total coincidence! Michelle actually said she calls this her "Angela outfit!"
Right after they arrived, we went to Dad's house because he had a plan for us to give Christmas (kitchen gifts, mainly) to a friend of his whose family had just arrived from Venezuela. They are applying for asylum status because the dad used to work in the government and everything is terrible there and his life is at risk. We all spent an hour at their home getting to know them. What a delightful family! So amazing to think what they had just been through -- on top of everything else, not having any food because the country is not importing enough. The father had lost 50 lbs in the last few months because he, his wife and oldest daughter only eat one meal a day so the two youngest sons can have two. They are coming to our family Karaoke party on Wednesday for dinner and having fun. Even though they only speak Spanish, they were very outgoing and were so fun to get to know.

Afterwards, we all gathered back at our house for dessert and being together. A perfect end to the day and so fun to have so much family and parties to look forward to for the Christmas vacation!! I'm tired, but I love it! I wouldn't have it any other way!