Friday, March 28, 2008

Speech meet video

A thank you goes out to Chad and Becky Eder for shooting this video up at the Spokane speech meet earlier this month!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stitches, Sweet 16, and stuff

Yesterday (Saturday) we went on an Easter egg hunt at the McClure's house. There were several families there, and probably 20 or 30 kids. The boys had a good time, and Micah pulled in quite a haul compared to his brothers. Ethan sat on the sideline and watched. He is not walking again yet, (two weeks now) but is finally starting to put some weight on the right leg, and will take a step or two to get from one piece of furniture to another.
It was pretty cold outside yesterday, in the 40's, and warmed up to the 50's during the actual hunt.
As you can imagine, I'm pretty excited that the Tennessee men's basketball team has reached the sweet sixteen in college basketball. I was running at the gym watching the last few minutes of the game, which I wouldn't recommend at all to anyone.
I was tired enough already from working out, and I was in the middle of a three mile run while I was watching the game. I bleed orange anyways, so as the game got close at the end, my heart rate was climbing, and I continued to run. I'm sweating off the lbs. I added at the hospital last week, and at some point I dripped sweat onto the treadmill. During the OT, I slipped on the wet treadmill, luckily landing on my right foot to the side of the treadmill, which was trucking along nicely. I timed it right and hopped back on and finished the run. Everything turned out fine, as I finished my run, and saw Tennessee win and Georgetown lose in a matter of five minutes.
If it was football season, there is no way I could have done that, my heart can't handle it. I'm pretty sure last year's TN vs. SC game took a month off of my life.
Tomorrow is the day that Ethan is scheduled to get his stiches removed. We thought we should take a picture now so everyone can see what it is looking like now. The swelling has almost completely gone away. The larger scar that you can see is where the drain line was at one point, but it is now totally closed up with a scab. The best news in all of that is that the swelling has not returned, the knee is not hot, and he is not pushing a high fever. We are very thankful to God for healing our boy.
Ethan is a real champ at taking his medicine four times a day. After taking it he always claps for himself for doing such a good job, which is a great contrast to how he handled medicine of any kind at the hospital. The picture you see here is the daily redressing of the gauze that is tucked over the surgery site. I'm sure his scar will fade over time, and I'm interested in what it will look like when he's playing basketball for Liberty Christian 15 years from now.
Well, that's all for to you soon!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

7 days in a hospital :(

When I wrote my last blog, I commented that Ethan was feeling low, and not wanting to walk around. Here is what our last week consisted of...

On Sunday, I stayed home from church with Ethan as he was still not walking around, and not wanting to put any pressure on his right leg at all. We were looking at his ankle, trying to figure out if he had "tweaked" it.

Becca noticed his right knee was warmer than his left knee and slightly swollen, so off to urgent care we went...

When I walked into urgent care with the little guy, they informed me that there was about a two hour wait, and I should probably wait at home where they would call me. I replied that I had a nearly two year old in my arms who wouldn't walk, so they ushered me straight inside. The doctor came in pretty quickly and sent me off to the ER of my choice. Off to Kadlec we went...

At Kadlec the ER was full of people, and the waiting line was long. Once again, we were ushered into a room inside the ER where we started a series of investigations. We went through x-rays and blood work, and the doctors consulted with orthopedic surgeons and Children's hospital in Seattle. At 11:00 p.m. the ortho doc had arrived and they drew fluid out of his knee, confirming a "septic knee" condition existed. He was rushed off to surgery at about 12:00 a.m. on Monday morning. The surgery took about an hour and a half or so, and he was admitted to the pediatric wing where he went through alot more pokes, and vitals before dad was allowed to lay down at 3:30 in the morning. Sunday night into Monday morning was a very rough night for us all. We learned after the surgery that another 24 hours without treatment could have resulted in kidney infection, brain infection, and death.

Monday through Saturday started a unique new "hospital routine" for the Long family. I (Russ) stayed the nights and split the days with Becca. Every evening a family stepped forward to watch the boys for us, so a special thank you goes out to the Hahn, Chvala, Laureano, Rice, and McClure families for helping us so much. This allowed Ethan to get some time with both mom and dad every night, and certainly helped a very stressed set of parents cope with the week. Ethan's fever of near 102°F finally broke on Tuesday, and he started to recover from the infection. As he recovered, his intense hatred of nurses and hospitals grew. He was carried throughout the birth center and pediatric wing of the hospital literally hundreds of times, just to give him a break from his room. Evenings were tough, as we went into our room to let the others sleep, or at least hear him screaming through walls and a closed door. He would fall to sleep around 10, or as late as midnight on most nights while we were there. Every 8 hours, he received another dose of IV antibiotics, which he would sometimes sleep through.

He was finally discharged from the hospital on Saturday evening, ending a 7 day stretch of agony that we are thankful is over. When we all got home on Saturday night, it marked the first time since mom and the boys left for church on Sunday that we had all been home together. Now that he is home, he will remain on oral antibiotics for six weeks, and will have follow up visits with the orthopedic surgeons. As of this writing, he still has a wrap on his right leg from his hip to his toes to keep his knee immobilized. We hope that this can come off on Thursday of this week.

We are thankful to God for saving our son's life, and thankful to all of our friends, family, and strangers that prayed for him while he was hospitalized. We are so very thankful for all of the visits and kindness that were bestowed on us during this very rough week.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring has sprung!

Yesterday (March 7) was the Speech meet that was being held up in Spokane Wa. Gavin did very well at his speech competition, scoring a 49/50 from both of his judges and earning a "Superior" rating. One of the coolest things of the day is that he was the only 1st grader in the Bible division that was asked to go up on the stage and "give his speech" again. There were about 400 people in the sanctuary when he spoke on stage. That makes it about 600 total this week, as the school had the speech meet students practice by giving their speeches at chapel this week for practice. Liberty Christian performed very well at the competition, as they do every year.

I (Russ) stayed home with Ethan on the day of the speech and was unable to attend. On the way to the school that morning, Ethan decided to get sick. He was in bad shape all day, and it wouldn't have been a very pretty to have him up there at the competition.
He's still not feeling very well today, and for some reason has decided not to walk around...feeling bad, and just wanting to be carried...poor guy.

Today the weather was awesome! Gavin was outside by 8:00 this morning riding his bike around, and we followed him outside shortly.

The boys had a blast on the playground, as the pictures show. It's too early in the season for the wasps to try and take over the swingset as they did last year. My neighbors just put up a new one from costco, and I've forwarned them that the wasps seem to love the cedar. This year I'm putting up about a hundred of the yellow jacket traps they have at Lowes...maybe that will help. By the end of the summer last year we gave them the swingset. Here is a pic of Ethan smiling. He didn't want to do anything but sit in the swing this morning. That was ok with me, as it left me free to push him and then tend to the other boys.
The "B" is talking very well for a three year old. Right now we're not planning on pre-school for him next year, but he'll start K-4 at Liberty two years from now when Micah is starting 1st grade. Then again, we may do the same thing we've done with Micah and use Ridgeview kindergarten as K-4 before sending him to Liberty. That has worked pretty well for Micah and he'll do well in Kindergarten next year at Liberty, which is full day. That reminds me, Gavin and Micah are both registered for next year. Yikes! $$$

March 10 is the first day we can register Gavin for "coach pitch" baseball. Micah will be doing T-ball this spring as well. Gavin is pretty excited, and has a pretty good arm, which is obviously didn't get from his dad. He and dad were "popping" the ball into the mitt from 20-30 feet away this morning in the yard. I figure he's caught more baseballs in practice than I did in my entire little league career 20 years ago. (I held down deep right field for the Big Sandy Tennessee "B" team). We never won a game in two years despite coach offering pizza if we could pull it out. We were thankful for the 5 run limit rule. I did manage to break my nose in deep right field, which gets back to Gavin catching more balls in his short career than I ever did.

The last picture of course is me, in my "warm weather" Volunteer uniform. In the fall I'll be found wearing my jersey.
And yes, I know we lost to Alabama this year.
Until next time...take it next project is running some ethernet wire from upstairs through the attic downstairs to our bedroom so I don't have to stretch an ethernet cable down from the TV room upstairs when I play Call of Duty 4's definately some west Tennessee engineering.