Another Day, Another Trip to Children’s Hospital…

So when Adam had his 4 month appointment and his jabs, the health visitor flagged up that she thought he might have Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip – DDH.

From the GP’s reaction when she checked him, I could tell she didn’t agree, but since the HV had said so, she had to write the referral letter.  She also told me it was not at all urgent and when I suggested we wait until he had to be at Children’s Hospital anyway for his Paediatric Surgery consult for his lump, she said that was a fine idea.

Well that appointment was Monday.

So our gallant heroes, Mummy, Daddy and Adam, got a taxi about 930.  The surgical appointment wasn’t until 2pm, but since last time he needed XRays it took 4 hours we figured we’d do that, have lunch at the hospital and then go to his appointment and come home.

It was absolutely bucketing down out.  And, since it never rains in Belfast (someone really needs to come up with a sarcasm font, BTW), traffic was one big snarl.  It took us about 20 minutes to do a trip that normally takes about 5 minutes.  6 if you don’t hit the lights right.

We arrived at A&E and I handed over the GP’s letter.  The very nice receptionist said she didn’t think we needed triage, checked with the triage nurse who agreed, and sent us straight up to XRay.  We checked in there and sat down to wait.  There were about 5 children there with their parents, so we figured it would be a long wait.

10 minutes later we are called.  They weren’t doing an XRay, they were doing an ultrasound.  They do the ultrasound and sent us on our way.  It was about 11 so we headed home!

Got home, had lunch, fed the boy.  Headed back to the hospital at 130, since it was still bucketing down and we figured it would take another 20 minutes to get across town.  Of course this time it took 5 and we were early for our appointment.

Actually saw the consultant at exactly 2pm.  Turned out 2pm is his first appointment in the afternoon.  Lucky us!

He felt The Lump, listened to it with his stethoscope (which no one had ever done before) and agreed that there was nothing he could tell us until after the MRI.  Simon did ask what next steps might be, but the consultant really didn’t want to say until he saw the MRI.

I confirmed with him that there should be no problem taking Adam to the States for Christmas just a few days after the MRI and he couldn’t think of any reason why there would be.  Even with his MRI appointment being at 2pm, he shouldn’t need to stay overnight.  He said he’d see us in 2 months and sent us on our way.

So, once again, we wait.  MRI on 16th December.  Next surgical consult on 18th January.  And then we find out what, if anything, they are going to do about this lump on our son’s side.

In other news, wow 2 new commentors!

To answer Lisa’s question, I have no idea if my hit count includes the RSS feed.  I forget I have an RSS feed, since I never use them myself.  I will have to ask tech support, AKA my brother.

Keep commenting, people! I promise to keep writing! 🙂

Thank You Jane

for both the comment and what you said.  I do appreciate knowing that someone, other than my mother and my best mate from University (Hi Mom and Rae!), is reading this!

But, according to my stats? I do indeed have only about 10 readers a day.  Well, not if I tweet a post, then people apparently follow the tweet here.  But I hate tweet spam almost as much as I hate regular spam, so I rarely tweet a post.

So please, everyone, comment!  Let me know you’re reading!  It really does encourage me to write more. 🙂

Yesterday I Woke Up With Very Few Spoons

What that means.

It actually started at about 330am when either I was awoken by Adam needing me or I woke Adam because I moaned in pain in my sleep.  My upper arms and my thighs hurt with every move.  I was having the worst Fibro flare I’ve had since having my son.

Lucky for me Adam settled back down after about a half an hour of playing ‘find me my dummy mummy’ and slept until 630.  That extra 2.5 hours helped a lot.

When Simon woke up for work at 7 I told him how much pain I was in.  Well, he could see it, as I limped around the flat and groaned as I reached for the peanut butter for breakfast.  He offered to stay home but it was really important to me to be able to take care of my son no matter what.  So Simon did bits of help (the most important being getting a coffee cup down for me!) and then headed off to work.

Adam and I had no plans yesterday, although I was hoping to walk up to the park.  Instead we stayed home.  He spent a lot more time in his bouncy chair than he normally would, but other than that, it was a normal day.  Right up to and including his 230 ‘I’m exhausted but I don’t want to sleep’ crank which can only be soothed by walking him around and singing silly songs to him until he’s so tired he falls asleep.

By around lunchtime I was feeling somewhat better, although I still couldn’t lift my arms over my head.  And I was exhausted.  I did ring Simon at one point and ask if he could even come home an hour early, it would help, but if he couldn’t, I’d continue to manage.

And manage I did.  My son was fed, dry, warm and happy.  Maybe he didn’t get as many snuggles as usual, but he still got tummy time on Mummy and Daddy’s bed while Mummy got dressed.  Maybe Mummy didn’t spend as much time  bouncing him on her knee as she usual does (he loves that) but she did sit next to him while he was in his chair and talked to him and tickled him.

When I got pregnant my family’s major concern was how I would cope with my mental health issues.  Mentally, I’ve been fine.  Oh sure, I’ve had sad days, who doesn’t?  And I’ve had some major anxiety and panic attacks.  But none of these have affected taking care of my son.

And yesterday I proved my Fibro doesn’t either.

Letter to My Son – Adam – 5 Months Old

Dear Adam

Here we are at 5 months.  The time has just flown by and I can’t believe you’re almost half a year old already.

So many developmental changes this past month!  The big one was you rolling over from your tummy to your back.  Surprised the heck out of both of us.  One second you were happily having tummy time on Mummy and Daddy’s bed.  The next you were on your back!  The look on your face was priceless, until you started to cry.  Unfortunately Daddy missed it.  He was indisposed at the time.  Poor Daddy.

Luckily, you’ve done it several times since then:

The other major thing that happened this month was you receiving your US Passport and Statement of Consular Birth Abroad.  These two things tell the world that you are indeed a US Citizen, from birth, no matter that you were not born on US soil.

You are in fact a tri-citizen, entitled to a UK, US and Irish passport.  Daddy and I will let you decide if you need an Irish passport when you are older.  With the UK and the US ones you are set!

Because you got your US Passport in a timely manner we are going to California for Christmas.  Your Grandma and Pops

Adam and Grandma Adam and Pops.

will be there along with your Uncle J, Aunt B and Cousins R & S.  Your other Pops might be there as well!

Other milestones Daddy and I have noticed this month include: –

  • You are trying to sit up.
  • You are beginning to be interested in what Daddy and I are eating.
  • You are starting to be able to put your pacifier into your mouth as well as take it out
  • You like to blow raspberries:
  • You can roll half way over from your back to your side.
  • You are, in general, becoming much more aware of the world around you.

This coming week is the appointment with the Paediatric Surgeon about the lump on your side.  Daddy and I are pretty sure they are going to say ‘well, we won’t be able to tell you anything until we see the MRI’, which you will be having 16th December.

No official weigh and measure this month my son.  But I would bet you’ve gained at least a pound and around an inch.

Growing fast!



Heeee’s a Yankee Doodle Daaaandyyyyy

So yesterday, Adam, Simon and I went over the the US Consulate here in Belfast to present Adam’s credentials to prove he’s a US Citizen.  This included 3 different forms to fill out, background information on me to prove that I lived in the US for 5 years before Adam was born and $150 in fees.  The goal by the end of the meeting was:

  • Consular Statement of Birth Abroad
  • US Passport
  • Social Security Number

Me, being a PA by profession, was prepared.  I had all the documents in a lovely plastic envelope.  I had a check list with everything checked off.  I was ready.

So I am up at the counter  and as the lady is going through the papers I noticed that the pictures that I knew I had stapled to the passport application were not there. I mentioned that to her and she said ‘The application isn’t completely filled out either’ and I realized I had grabbed the wrong application.  I had started one, messed up my handwriting and so used the second one I had.  And I must have put the good one in the ‘save in case I need it pile’ rather than the ‘take to the Consulate pile’.

The lady said, ‘well go ahead and finish filling this application out.’

So I go back to sit with Simon and tell him what has happened, practically crying and feeling sick to my stomach.  There was no way we’d have Adam’s passport soon enough to go home for Christmas if the application wasn’t completed that day.

Then Simon said, ‘Wait, we each have one of his pictures in our wallets from his UK application.’

And I said ‘They’re too small, but I will show them to her.’

So I go back up with the completed application and showed her the pictures and she said, ‘Sure, we can paste it onto a piece of white paper!  These are very good pictures!’

Oh thank God!

So she told me to take a seat, after taking my $150, and that the Consular would be right with me.

So we waited.  And were called back up about 10 minutes later.  All was in order!  Simon and I swore that all facts on all applications were true to the best of our knowledge and signed our names.  Then the Consular said ‘You went to Iowa?’

‘Yes.’ I replied.

‘I was at the Writer’s Workshop from 92 – 94!  So you were there for the flood, yes?’

‘Oh yeah!’

Now that’s proof once again that its a small world.

Consular went away and counter lady came back.  Told me that the documents for the Passport would go to Washington to the State Department and then come back to the Consulate.  I would then get both the Passport and the Statement of Birth by Royal Mail (pre-paid priority envelope) in about 10 days.

Social Security paperwork has to go to London.  That could take 6 – 8 weeks until we get his Social Security Number.  Anyone else see something wrong with it taking less time to go from Consulate to D.C. to Consulate to me in less time than from Consulate to London to me? Yeah, me too.

All in all except for the OH SHIT moment, it was very easy.  Everyone was very nice.

Simon and I both agree that it was sort of like waiting at the bank.  Only with less comfortable chairs.

And Adam is now officially half British and half American.  He has the passports (or will soon) to prove it.

Are You Kidding Me?

So Simon has informed me that Tesco is no longer going to do buy one get one free (BOGO) offers in order to reduce food waste.  Instead they will give you a voucher that you have to bring back after the BOGO is over in order to get your free item.  This, apparently, is to reduce food waste.

Oh bullshit.  What it will do is save Tesco money because people will forget their vouchers until they expire.  Or, do what I do, and forget to give them to the cashier once they are at the checkout.

When the hell is the government (and I truly believe this is a government inspired thing and would bet other stores will soon follow suit) going to get the hell out of my life?

Now, I am not a Republican.  Or a Democrat, for that matter.  I am registered Independent.  And I am only registered as that because I have to be registered as something. Sometimes I like what the Dems have to say, sometimes I like what the Republicans have to say.  But most of the time I think they are all a bunch of morons who should stop worrying about getting elected and worry about how to best run their country.  (NB: I am sure I would say the same thing about my adopted country’s politicians and politics if I at all understood them.  Which I do not.)

So why does the government get to dictate that I can’t have two of something, even if I am going to wind up throwing one away?  And why is Tesco agreeing to this, even though this is the same store where I can’t buy less than a kilo of new potatoes at a time.  Do you have any idea how long it takes two people to eat a kilo of new potatoes?  Much longer than it takes them to go bad half the time.

The real issue with food waste isn’t BOGO.  Its the 1000000000 types of brown bread on the shelf that are essentially exactly the same.  Its the 100000 types of cereal.  Its the 1000000 types of yogurt.  But you know what? In a free market system that’s what you get.  But I would bet Tesco throws away a lot more than I do, since they can’t sell things past their use by date.  Use by dates, BTW, are a rant for another day.

And so you get food waste.

But you know what else? We need to stop trying to save the damn planet.  The planet was here long before we appeared and will still be here long after we’ve killed ourselves off in a planet wide nuclear holocaust. Or, as I prefer to hope, long after we’ve left it to colonize new ones.

And, hey, what about the paper that the vouchers will need to be printed on? Will they be printed on recycled paper? I would bet not, as it would cost Tesco even more money.

And so once again the Nanny State rears its ugly head without thinking through the ramifications of their actions.

Adam, The City Boy,

had his first nature experience today.  I think he was confused!

We walked up to the Botanic Gardens today.  It was the first time he’s been anywhere where you couldn’t hear city traffic. He was looking all around at the trees and we walked through the rose garden.  But I think the quiet disturbed him.

He was yawning the whole way through the Gardens, but didn’t actually fall asleep until we were back on the street heading home.  Too much quiet, for my city boy!

We will definitely walk up there again.  Good exercise for mummy.  And the boy needs to see some nature on occasion.

Even if the quiet keeps him awake.

So, Here I Am…

over half way to 41.  And I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, in between nappy changing, cuddling, soothing and playing, about what exactly that means to me.

I remember approaching 40 with no more anxiety than any other birthday.  Well, I was 5 months pregnant at that point, so any anxiety I was having was wrapped up in that!  But also, what did I have to worry about?  I was about to have my first, much wanted, child, I was (and still am, BTW) happily married and my job, while not making me rich, at least never made me bored.

So how do I feel now?  A little more anxious, actually.  Its almost as if, having sailed through 40, 41 is going to be the big one.

For one thing I am, of course, much more tired, (who wouldn’t be with a baby in the house?) even with my previous insomnia issues.  And being so much more tired, all the time, means that I am almost constant pain of one sort or another.  Mostly in my hands and left knee.  Which we now know is fibromyalgia.

The left knee is also due to the weight I gained while pregnant.  Which I am working on losing!!

So I think 41 is going to be my ‘big’ one.  My 40.  Of course, at the moment I’m planning a spa weekend with some wonderful women I know for that weekend.

So maybe I’ll be 41.  But I’ll be relaxed.

And probably drunk. 🙂

Letter To My Son – Adam – 4 Months Old

Dear Adam

Today you are 4 months old.  I was hoping to say that you managed to stay out of A&E for this entire month but, alas, it is not to be.  You were there just after your second set of jabs to have your lump investigated.  You can read the whole story of that here.

This has been quite the month otherwise as well.  You’ve been laughing up a storm, really starting to sleep through the night and even thinking very hard about rolling over.  Your Daddy and I can just tell!

What we’ve learned this month:

  1. You love sitting up.  The bumbo is great for that: –
  2. SDC10553

  3. You have started drooling.  A lot.  But still no signs of teeth.
  4. If Mummy thinks you are too tired and doesn’t sing to you, you won’t go to sleep until she does.
  5. You hate wearing a hat. Even though you look so cute in one
  6. SDC10557

  7. You can take your dummy out of your mouth.  We are just waiting for you to be able to put it back in!
  8. The best toy in the world? Daddy’s fingers: –
  9. SDC10540

Winter is rapidly moving in here in Belfast, so mummy is getting ready to move you into a more sit up version of your pram.  You see, that version has a warm sleeping bag like thing that attaches to it, so you’ll be very snuggly warm this winter.  Also, you are definitely ready to be able to look around as we go about our day.

Mummy was recently diagnosed to fibromyalgia, so, once again, she has to ask for your patience.  She might not be able to be as active as you as you get older as some mummies can be, since she hurts quite a lot.

But she promises she will always be there to hold you, or pick you up, no matter what.