Thursday, December 18, 2008

A long overdue update

Well, since my last post things have been insane. Stan has been in an out of the hospital during the last 3 weeks. He was in with the high blood pressure readings. Those got under control, but we think that he picked up a NASTY pneumonia that landed him back in the hospital less than a week from when he was released! He stayed another 3 days! His kidneys were doing some scary things and he wasn't responding to oral antibiotics, so he got a bunch of IV antibiotics and a kidney biopsy. We had the biopsy to 1) tell us how much of his kidneys were damaged beyond repair; 2) tell us exactly what disease we were dealing with (was it the same one he was diagnosed with 15 years ago or had it morphed into something else?) and 3) give us a treatment plan. He came home from the hospital last Friday and (thankfully!) has been feeling well and is back at work.
The biopsy results came in today, and, in the exact words of the doctor, "It was better than I expected". Whooooo hooooo! His kidneys are only 25% scarred, the disease is still membranous nephropathy and the nephrologist thinks that with proper management of his blood pressure, his function will go back to near normal. If not, we 'know' this disease and will probably use the same treatment protocol as 15 years ago - cytoxan (an oral chemotherapy drug) and prednisone (a corticosteroid). It sounds scarier than it is, as Stan's only side effects were moodiness! I'll take that, considering the nephrologist was thinking kidney transplant within 2 years before the biopsy! Now it looks like we'll have LOTS of time before that!!!

I have another patient to report on, Hannah. She had her last appointment with the eye surgeon. Her eye has healed nicely and the lens is exactly where it should be! Our next step is to go to a pediatric opthamologist and get her fitted with glasses (her vision is 20/200 right now). It's another miracle in our lives.

Thank you to all those who prayed, brought dinners or just sat with me!! This came out of nowhere and really derailed me for a little bit. Hopefully, 2008 is behind us and 2009 will be hospital free for the Markuns (unless I get a boob job!!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

More 'excitement'

and I use that term loosely. Stan is currently in the hospital, and has been since Saturday night. Seems he missed a few blood pressure pills and his pressure skyrocketed (believe me, that won't happen again!). He is stable, but his kidneys are doing some odd things that are being looked at a little closer.
Never a dull moment here...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

This has to have been one of the busiest weekends in a long time! Friday, I took Hannah (all by myself) downtown for surgery follow-up. I am happy to report that all is fine and I survived the parking garage. Our van is so talk that the antenna scrapes the ceiling of the garage - every cross beam. It's just a little nerve wracking!
Then, I had bunco! Hooray for bunco!
Saturday morning I took my car to be looked at ( it's making a really weird noise ). No one can figure out how to fix the noise, but I needed a new serpentine belt. Aack!
Next, on to my house to pick up the girls and to high tail it to Sam's to pick up my nephew's birthday cake. Then, onto Ransom's 4th birthday. Unfortunately the girls had a birthday party to go to at 4, so we only stayed for a bit, then I took them to the party and I came back to the party. After Ransom's party, I picked the girls up from their party. And that was Saturday!
Sunday was church, Generations of Faith, book reports, Wal Mart any getting Stan's van tuned up and my serpentine belt on.
I'm tired!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Surgery is over

It was a grueling day. We arrived about 45 minutes early and were told that the patient that was supposed to go ahead of us was a no-show, so we could be bumped up. We thought that meant we'd get out of there even faster. Well, that was not meant to be. First, the surgeon couldn't get there until noon at the earliest, so we couldn't start too much earlier. Secondly, Hannah fought the anesthesia (again!) so after a million arguments and tears she ended up having to have an injection of versed instead of just drinking it. I got to wear the full Elvis surgeon jumpsuit and take her back to the OR, I think she was pretty mad at me most of the way there.

Hannah before the fight to drink her medicine

The surgery took much longer than expected, almost an hour longer. We're still not really sure why. The good news is that they were able to get the lens in her eye without using stitches (which apparently is a big deal). She only has one stitch which is where they made the incision to put the lens in. That stitch may never have to be removed, so we may be done with all this anesthesia stuff for good!

The bad news about Hannah having to get the injection is that it took MUCH longer for her to come out of anesthesia. We were allowed back into the recovery room at 2:30, and she didn't really wake up until 4:30. The good news about the injection is that the added medication meant that she woke up very peacefully. No thrashing, screaming or fighting. Just some irritation that she had the pulse ox, EKG leads, IV and shield and gauze on her eye. She had some apple juice, a Popsicle and graham crackers and we were on the way home.

It took us 2 hours to get home...nothing like rush hour traffic on a Friday :-(

Once we got home we had some Panera, went to bed, and got up at 6:30 to go downtown to get the gauze removed and have her eye checked.

Hannah in great spirits on the way to have the shield and gauze taken off

The doctor said all looks well, she has 90% vision in that eye. She has some astigmatism which will most likely have to be corrected with glasses. No biggie.

Now on to fight the insurance company!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Everything seems worse at 2am

Its 2am and I'm the only one awake. I hate that. I don't want to wake Hannah (who is sleeping with me in the hopes that she'll sleep in - surgery isn't until afternoon and she can't have anything by mouth after midnight) so I'm worrying. Not the most productive thing in the world to do, but at least it's quiet.
I just want the surgery to be over with and to have us all snug in our beds again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2 more days??

Well, we are hoping that in 2 days Hannah will have had surgery and this will all be behind us.
Monday morning I woke up with a 'don't get on the plane' feeling about the surgery that stuck with me all day. Now I know why. Tuesday morning greeted me with a phone call from UIC stating that Cigna had denied coverage for the surgery. A billion phone calls and one super secret authorization code later, I thought all was fine. Nope. This morning, another call from UIC. The authorization will not cover anything but doctors visits, therefore the hospital and the surgery in it are not covered. We were specifically told, when we applied for the Continuance of Care, that ANYTHING the doctor authorized would be covered, including surgery. So, a barrage of phone calls has been made, Stan has called his HR people and I wait. I wait with eyes swollen from crying and a stomach full of knots wondering if this is going to be covered. Wondering if we're gonna bite the bullet and pay the out of network costs, or tell an 8 year old who just wants to see normally again that she has to wait.
I hate insurance.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Countdown to surgery

7 more days until Hannah has her lens implantation surgery. I can't believe we've been going through this for 6 months. Since May 11th, Mothers' Day, to be exact. If I sit down and really wallow in it - it sucks. It's not fair. I'm angry. I feel betrayed. I try to be a good person/mom/wife, follow all the rules, do as I'm told and this still happens.
Then I have to stop myself and remind myself how blessed and truly lucky I am. I have three beautiful, healthy (except for that eye thing!) children that were brought into this world against all odds. Even when they made it to being born, the odds were still about 10% that they wouldn't survive and 30% that there would be something 'wrong' with them. All three of them beat those odds.
I am blessed, too, that I have such a wonderful group of friends who rallied around me when Hannah got hurt. They will never know how deeply touched and awed I still am by all they did for me. I am a giver, and it is almost impossible for me to take. They knew this, and they made me take anyway.
Yep, life isn't fair. Things happen. I guess I am slowly learning that things can happen for no reason at all and it's what you do with the results of that happening that count. Right now I'm counting my blessings and counting down the days until another chapter in this story is finished.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Book Reports

Yes, 3rd grade is the year of book reports. We've just started our first ones. The girls have to make a presentation and a visual aid (in 3rd grade language, that's a poster).

Here are some pictures of their works in progress...

Hannah read Laura Ingalls Wilder's The First Four Years

Sarah read Patch the Perfect Kitten

Emma read Flat Stanley's Christmas Adventure

I don't recall asking my parents to google things for book reports! Or to do a google image search to get pictures! LOL

I think they will do fine!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

I didn't get a whole lot of pictures, but I was able to get them to stand still for a few!

Emma as a vampire with her vampire husband

Sarah as a witch (a dead witch she told me)

Hannah as Miss America

Here's their whole class:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I must have a sign on me

that says, "Mess with me! Make me panic!"

As I was leaving the house this morning, the phone rang. I didn't answer it, but checked my messages on the way to work. The message was from the eye clinic at UIC. They were calling to remind me that I had an appointment tomorrow to fill out paperwork for Hannah's surgery on the 14th, oh, and Cigna is not contracted with us anymore and when we called them they said you would have out of network benefits which means you'll be entered into our system as a self-pay. Pardon me? I called back to UIC and explained that I had filed a Continuance of Care form and had gotten the approval for in-network coverage through Jan 1. She said they had no record of that and when they called Cigna they were told there was no record of that either. Now I have the letter giving me approval. I know right where it is. I call Cigna, with guns drawn. When I finally get a person, they check it and, yep, there it is. I ask her to call UIC, of course she can't do that. I call UIC back, explain that I am just calling to follow up and if they call Cigna they'll get all the approval information they need. She proceeds to look it up and says, "I don't know what the problem is, the letter is right here and HAS BEEN FOR A MONTH." So she's changing the billing back to in-network and my heart rate is slowly returning to normal.
Don't these people understand that when they call and deliver a mistake like this it literally puts people into hysterics???

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gonna blog more....

or at least try to! That is my "Halloween Resolution". Perhaps it will help keep the anxiety level a bit in check. Maybe not.
Today I am fascinated by a continuing issue in our house. Every single morning my children (and I call them that because they are mine, can't deny it) are SHOCKED, SHOCKED I tell you, to realize they have to do the following:
1. Get dressed
2. Eat breakfast
3. Pack a lunch
4. Put their shoes on
5. Brush their hair
6. Brush their teeth
7. Put their coats on

Every day is like a surprise party here. I think I will start saying things like, "Girls, get dressed. SURPRISE!!" "Eat breakfast -- SURPRISE!!"

It must be nice to have every day be a new, exiting adventure with all kinds of intriguing tasks. Unfortunately for me, every day is like the movie Groundhog Day.

p.s. Here are pictures of Emma in her new glasses (or being arrested)

I wanted to let you get the full effect of the green fronts and purple sides

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why I dislike Halloween

I know Halloween isn't until Friday, but I'm dreading it. Why? Is it because of the obscene amount of money I spend on three costumes? Nope (thanks, Mom!) The neverending doorbell ringing? Not even close. The signal that fall and winter are really here? No.

For me, Halloween signals the end. The end of any real 'free' time I have. There are, from now until after New Years, approximately one kajillion things that need to be done, parties to attend, gifts to buy and wrap. It seems that Halloween, with it's necessary costumes and candy purchases, signals that end for me. And there isn't a thing I can do about it (unless I go on a caramel making strike this year, which I don't think would go over well with all those I have gifted (read addicted) over the years). Sigh.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Guys don't make passes...

Well, it's started. The first of the Markun girls will be getting glasses. For reading the board at school ONLY. Emma is thrilled and picked out a pair with green frames and purple temples. The other girls are already jealous...they don't need to worry, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they all need glasses, and besides, Hannah has her sunglasses!

p.s. A big thanks to Kelly for pointing me to these cool new backgrounds! Let me know what you think of this one!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ever have one of those days? the grand scheme of things today wasn't that bad, but it was one of those days where everything just kept piling up...
First of all, 2 out of the three girls could not find their gym shoes. Of course it is PE day and it is the end of the world if they don't have their shoes. Where the shoes go, I do not know. We ended up having to make do with older shoes...of course the minute they got home they were able to find their shoes. Uugh. As 'punishment' they had to clean out the bench where the shoes are supposed to be stored of all shoes EXCEPT those that they now wear.
Then I got off work early, which was great! However, I decided to stop to get my favorite candy...Runts. Unfortunately I stopped at three stores and could find NONE. NONE!! BIG EMPTY SPOTS WHERE THEY SHOULD BE.
I was forced to order them from in bulk.

My name is Laura M. and I am an addict.

Oh, and then did I mention that it rained? Sure, rain, no biggie. Except that I have to pick the girls up from school and we have a substantial walk to the car. And it didn't start pouring rain until 3:28....and the girls get out at 3:29.
Welcome to my little world of tragedies....none horrible, but annoying nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


And, equally as important, WE HAVE INSURANCE APPROVAL!! Whoooooo hooooooo! November 14th is the big day...please keep us all in your prayers!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Picture day - yikes!

Today is picture day. Shouldn't be a big deal, right? WRONG!! Have you seen the order form for picture days lately...allow me to explain....
there are 864 possible choices for your personalized portrait package! That includes adding on extra photos or getting names added to your wallet sized pictures. (Kelly, you may have to check my math!) It took me a good 1/2 hour to decide what package...colored background (which is $4 more) or grey, how many 8x10s? 5x7s? 3 class pictures or just one? Pay for the super deluxe package to get the CD? Get retouching? Oh my God! The INSANITY! In the end, I decided on one of the lower end packages that had my 'requirements' - 1 8x10 for their school book, 2 5x7s for the grandparents and a class picture. Total damages....$108. The good news...the picture companies have entered the year 1990 - you can pay online rather than sending in a check in that funky envelope that never seals properly.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

THIS is why I have headaches!!

So, after 2 days of calling the surgeon, I was informed today that he is ON VACATION THIS WEEK!!! Something they could have just told me YESTERDAY!! I am so mad I could (and did) cry! Now on to the appeal process with Cigna to see if we can get the procedure covered after October 1st. Thanks to everyone for all the good 'em until further notice!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More surgery...

Yep. More surgery for Hannah. Hopefully she will have a lens inserted on Friday that will permanently replace the lens that had to be removed due to the cataract. We tried to use a contact lens to correct her vision, but she was, let us say, not receptive. We've been trying for almost a month to get her to do it, but she just can't/won't. The surgery is a last resort, but should restore her vision to a 'normal' level. Why the rush to have the surgery you ask? The hospital where her procedures are performed will no longer be participating in our insurance network as of October 1st. We've applied for an extension, but if we can just get it done before the cutoff we'll be in that much better shape.
So, once again, we'll be off early Friday morning and home that afternoon. Hopefully this will be the last of the surgeries.

Monday, September 8, 2008

One of the best things about triplet 8 year olds is...

SLEEPOVERS!! This weekend the girls were invited to a sleepover. From 5:30 pm until 11 am we were childless. I have to say, it was a bit strange sleeping in a house with no children. I think that has happened here only 1 or 2 other times! When we got up in the morning Stan offered to go get donuts and I had to remind him we could BOTH go...there were no kids here that needed to be supervised!! Whooooo hooooo! I think I could get used to that....

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy birthday to me, I'm a hundred and three...

At least I feel that old! I can't believe I'm 38. 38. It just sounds ancient. I don't feel 38, but all the evidence is there:
1. Grey hair -- it's coming in at an alarming pace. Thank goodness for haircolor!
2. Aches and pains -- I still haven't recovered from our trip to Great America. There is a spot in my back that may never be the same!
3. I have three children!! Three EIGHT year olds -- where did the time go??

I can't believe I'm a full fledged adult, let alone a 38 year old. Is this what they call a mid-life crisis??

Sunday, August 24, 2008

First Day of School!

I can't believe the summer is over! The girls had their first day of school last Thursday. Everyone was very, very excited to hear that they have Mrs. Held as their teacher this year! I think I was more anxious than they were!
Here's a traditional first day of school shot!

As you can see, Hannah is still wearing her sunglasses and probably will for a while. We had an exam under anesthesia the Friday before school started and was able to be measured for a contact lens. The contact lens specialist was wonderful...he is a pediatric specialist and was very, very knowledgeable, not only about the eye element, but the psychology of injured children, too. We are taking it slowly and hopefully she will be fitted for a lens in the next week or so. This should help with her sensitivity to light as well as give her eye the ability to focus.
I am back at work 4 days a week, and loving it!! :-D

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Hannah news

Well, things aren't going to be as simple as we anticipated. We are going to have to have another exam under anesthesia -- hopefully to be scheduled before school starts. They should be able to measure her vision and get a contact measured. There is some debate as to whether she will need to wear glasses as well as a contact for a 'bifocal' effect. We'll see when she gets fitted for the contact.
On the fun side, we all went to Great America and had a blast. Stan, Sarah and Emma rode all the roller coasters! Hannah and I preferred the more sedate rides, but still had lots of fun!
School starts the 21st - I know I can't wait!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another Hannah update...and iPhone news!

Hannah had another exam under anesthesia on Friday. I was all ready - even had gotten a prescription for some Valium for her so she would be calm when we went into the procedure room. Well, so much for planning ahead. I gave her the Valium at 6, since her appointment was scheduled for 8. Plenty of time to 'get happy' and still be happy! Wrong! They were running 2 1/2 hours behind schedule. By the time it was time for the procedure the Valium had totally worn off (it was only 2mg). The upside was that we had WONDERFUL anesthesiologists this time. They were patient and even gave Hannah's baby a mask to wear. The transition to the mask was much smoother this time. They also gave her something so when she came out of it she was a bit less combative - still definitely angry and combative, but not for as long.
Results - all stitches are out, we 'graduated' from the trauma surgeon and are moving on to the lens doctor. We will also be going to the pediatric ophthalmologist to have her vision evaluated soon...we know she can see, we just don't know what the 'measurements' of the distortion are yet.
I have been thinking a lot about this injury. I am hopeful that things will be as close to normal as school approaches (and it's on it's way soon). I hate that my little girl has become so introverted and shy...mostly because the light irritates her eyes. I miss her being happy and carefree.
Now, for something completely different, after much careful research and whining on my part, Stan let me order the new iPhone 3G. When it became apparent that I was going to lust after every iPhone I saw, and that he could get away with an anniversary/birthday gift all in one, AND our cell phone bill would only go up $5 a month, he relented. I have been waiting with baited breath for it to ship since last Sunday, and, this morning, it has shipped and should be at the store tomorrow after 3pm! I can't wait!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hannah update and Vacation

Today Hannah had another check up.  We're going to have another eye exam under anesthesia next Friday and hopefully get the last of the stitches out.  She is also now patch/shield free, much to her dismay.  It's going to be a big adjustment for her.  I also asked that she be given something before her exam to settle her down so we don't have a repeat of the hysteria from last time.  Hopefully that will help.


Now for the fun stuff...we spent 2 weeks in Syracuse, IN at my mother's cousin's house on the lake.  It was a blast.

The girls favorite part was the beach...and the playground there...

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emmaspinner   Bible School and More Vacation2008 041


Emma and Hannah loved the Amish bonnets I bought them in Shipshewana...

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And my FAVORITE part was going here:

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as seen on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

I had the Philly Chili - super yummy!

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We had so much fun...even Great-Grandma played Nintendo Ds!!

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

By special request...

Some pictures of Baby (and Hannah)...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Today's exam

Well, this was the most taxing procedure to date for mom! I had to walk Hannah down to the exam room and hold her down while they got the mask on her and she was NOT happy about it. I am sure that later in life she'll be telling her therapist that I restrained her and let them gas her. This mommy stuff is hard! Then, upon waking she was the most agitated she has been...I don't know if it was because she only received the gas portion of the sedation (no IV this time) or what, but when she woke up she was MAD. She was screaming that her eyes were stinging and she wanted to be home on her own couch. They got us out of there without her even having to drink anything. Usually we have to wait until she's had a Popsicle or something, but I think her screaming was on everyone's nerves.
The GOOD portion of the day -- her eye continues to look wonderful. Today they took out 6 of the 9 stitches (which means we're going to have at least one more of these!). The trauma surgeon said that he could have taken all 9 out, but they like to leave a few in a bit longer to establish that it is truly healed and that they haven't missed anything. Her retina looks good, as it has since the accident. The capsule where her lens was removed is still well formed and complete, meaning that when she is older they'll be able to slip in a lens with no stitches. That is a really big deal. Here's a neat fact...most of us wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from UV rays...Hannah's artificial lens will have the UV protection built in!
Thanks for all your prayers!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A great appointment!

First, to all those who have called that I haven't called back, I'm sorry. I'm just swamped trying to keep things afloat! Know that I appreciate it, and I really have meant to call you!

Today's appointment was great. Hannah's eye looks great, no sign of infection or opening of the wound and she is still able to see, and could even see farther this time.

We got the green light for swimming and spent the rest of the day at the pool! Hannah swam like a fish! It was awesome to see her acting like her old self. I was starting to get worried about her...she'd been pretty depressed and sleepy...I'm glad the 'happy Hannah' is coming back!

We go back on the 20th for an eye exam under anesthesia. They contemplated trying to get a good exam while she was awake, but based on the trouble we've had just getting cursory exams in the office, I felt that anesthesia would be our best bet. I wanted to be sure that they get a complete look at all that's going on in the eye, as well as give the trauma surgeon who stitched her eye a chance to see if the stitches are close to removal stage.

So, things here are good, and getting better. We're looking forward to spending lots of time at the pool now!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A huge miracle!!

We went for another check today at UIC and HANNAH CAN SEE!! She saw when the doctor put fingers in front of her eye - a HUGE improvement from before when she couldn't see anything but shapes! Needless to say, we are all elated.
We also got lots and lots of good news regarding summer! The doctor sees no reason why Hannah can't swim (yeah!) after next week's appointment and also gave us the green light for our vacation at the end of June and Great America later in summer! The best appointment yet!!
So, thank everyone for their prayers - they certainly worked!! Better than I ever expected they would! I ask that you all keep some very special people in your prayers...there is a little girl in Hannah's class that is having tonsil/adenoid surgery soon, a little boy in my triplet group with leukemia, a little girl in my triplet group that is also having tonsil/adenoid surgery, mom in my triplet group who's husband is gravely ill, and my college roommate's husband who was in a bad car accident and is now blind and in rehab for lots of orthopedic issues. If your prayers did wonders for us, imagine how much more you can all do!
p.s. a special thanks again to all my bunco ladies and triplet have no idea how much you have touched me and I hope that someday I will be able to give back!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A long day, and a small miracle

First the long day. We had an appointment downtown at 8am, so we left at 6ish. We forgot that it was Saturday and arrived downtown with about, oh, an hour and 15 minutes to spare. So I wandered around Food 4 Less and bought some totally unnecessary snacks (Cosmic brownies, anyone?) and then we went to our appointment. There were a few others there, interestingly, all had had surgery on their right eye except for one person. Fridays must be right eye days.
Hannah was a little agitated during the check (can't say that I blame her) but all looks good for now. No signs of infection and the retina is still staying right where it should be. All good news.
Now for the small miracle...which, to me, is a huge miracle.
Some of you know that Hannah has a 'baby' - which is one of those lovey blankets that has a bear head and a pink blanket for a body. She's had it ever since she was born, and it has been her constant companion. Well, we lost Baby (Hannah has named it Baby). We looked everywhere at home, I called everywhere we went after her last doctor's appointment, every store, EVERYWHERE! No luck. I was sick at the thought of having to send her into surgery without it, but we did and she held up fine.
Now for the we went to Cracker Barrel after her appointment (it's her favorite thing to do after her appointment and has become routine). I called Cracker Barrel twice after Baby went missing and Stan called there once, each time we were told she wasn't there. Today I had Stan take the 'replacement' Baby (which is a lamb) and ask at the front desk if anyone had turned Baby in. Lo and behold, Baby was there. I am sure that the entire restaurant thinks that I am out of my mind. I was sobbing. I am so glad that Hannah has her Baby back. It meant so much to me and I was sick that it was gone. I really felt that I had let her down. Now Hannah is resting comfortably with Baby on the couch, a worker at Cracker Barrel is probably contemplating some sort of lawsuit against me because I hugged her and cried so much, and all is right with the world. For now, at least.

Friday, May 30, 2008

It's over...and we're pooped!

The operation went swimmingly. Her lens was removed, along with the cataract. What does this mean? Well, for now, she isn't going to be able to see much of anything except light and shadow. Since your lens focuses the light on your retina, missing a lens means there is no focus. For now. The prognosis is good for her to be first fitted with a contact and then an intra-ocular lens that is permanent. We have to wait until the trauma stitches heal and she gets a bit bigger for the permanent lens, but it's all good news.
We're all very tired from our early morning Chicago excursion, and have to return tomorrow at 8am! Don't doctors ever sleep???
A giant thank you to my bunco moms who are taking care of dinners this weekend! I couldn't do this without you!

Today is the big day

We have to be downtown at 5:30, hence the insane hour of this post. Please say a prayer that the surgeons are guided by God's hand and that Hannah has an easy recovery. I will try to keep everyone updated as soon as possible as to the outcome.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A little something to get me to tomorrow...

"Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes. Patience attains all that it strives for. He who has God finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices." from St. Theresa of Avila

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Anxiety is setting in

at least for me... I am really anxious about the surgery on Friday. Maybe this is compounded by the fact that we have no idea what time it is yet...we're waiting for scheduling to call. It's just getting really rough around here...keeping one kid calm and letting the others enjoy the beginning of summer. I'm tired.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Good news / bad news

The good news is that Hannah had a great 1/2 day back at school. The bad news is that the doctors want to do the lensectomy and cataract removal as soon as possible so we are scheduled for surgery on the 30th. It breaks my heart that she is going to have had 2 surgeries in a month! It also will put quite the wrench in our lake cottage vacation, but we'll work around that. The harder part is going to be that the pool is right down the street and it sounds like swimming will be off limits for at least a month after surgery. Sigh.

Back to school

Well, today is the day. Hannah goes back to school. I think I am more nervous than I was her first day of kindergarten! Hopefully all will be calm...she has a doctor's appointment at 2:15, so daddy will be picking her up early (before lunch) and taking her downtown and I will be picking the other girls up at school. Please say a quick prayer that all goes well today (this is the lens doctor) and we can get the next surgery scheduled and done quickly.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

One day at a time...

Things are getting slowly back to normal here...with a hearty dose of chaos. Last night the girls had a birthday party - a Webkinz birthday party. They had a great time, all three of them. I was a little nervous since there were so many kids in such a small place...but things were fine.
Hannah had a difficult time this morning since her sisters went to the park...I took her with but she soon realized that sitting off to the side doing nothing wasn't fun, and the tears began. We're working on our homework now, since the house is nice and quiet.
I want to thank again everyone who has called, e-mailed, brought dinners, sent flowers and a really cool fruit arrangement, and a special thank you to the bunco moms who had a masseuse waiting for me at bunco last night!
Also, my college roommate's husband is out of ICU and has actually been able to be wheeled around! Way to go, Steve!
Lastly, I wanted to share this prayer that one of my 'triplet mom friends in cyberspace' sent me:

Prayer to St. Lucy
Relying on Your goodness, O God, we humbly ask You, through the
intercession of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr, to give perfect

vision to our eyes, that they may serve for Your greater honor and

Saint Lucy, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Update from today's visit

Today's visit went well...the eye injury is healing as well as can be expected. No signs of infection, no signs of leakage. There is some distortion of the lens due to the stitches, however. What does this mean? It means that the lens is going to have to be removed sooner rather than later. We knew the lens would have to be removed as part of the cataract removal, but we didn't expect that it would be this soon. We meet with the lens specialist on Monday.
The best news...Hannah gets to go back to school! She can't go to PE or outdoor recess, and has to wear her eye shield and sunglasses, but she gets to go back to school! She is going to have a half day on Monday, because of the eye doctor appointment, but she gets to go back to school!
Can you tell I'm a bit excited to have some normalcy back??

Countdown to follow up appointment

Our follow up appointment is at 8:45 this morning. I am nervous. Please keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another non-eventful day

Today was a very calm day. We went to Wal-Mart, rented some movies, and basically took it easy. Hannah has been such a trooper...not even complaining about the eye drops 4 times a day! 2 more days until our next appointment...I am eager to hear what the doctors have to say - I am hoping it is good news.
I am very grateful to all who have helped is all so appreciated. I am worn down but trying to keep a good face for the kids...sometime I'll be able to collapse, but it won't be for a while! So for now I just keep swimming and trying to keep my head above water. Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers.


A non-update is good. We had an uneventful day regarding Hannah's eye. She is such a trooper...doesn't fuss at the eye drops that she has to have 4 times a day, the sore throat from the breathing tube from surgery, any of it. She is much braver than I.
Other than Hannah's eye, we did have some 'eventfulness' - we went and got new tires for the car, had lunch with grandma and grandpa and picked out new DS games for her sisters.
Once again, a giant thank you to everyone for all of your kindnesses. I am overwhelmed. A special thank you to Anne from bunco for dinner and all the special treats for the girls, Reza for the yummy desserts, Heather from church for the wine, balloons and bears for the girls and for bringing dinner, Carolyn for keeping 'taco Tuesday' and bringing tacos for dinner last night, Deanna and Jeff for the beautiful flowers and teddy bear, and Sandra and Tracy for meeting me at the library and listening to me babble. If I have forgotten anyone, I am sorry! All of these things are making it a bit easier to get through this. I just keep remembering that it could be so much worse.
On a side note, please keep my college roommate's husband in your prayers...he had a terrible car accident over a week ago and is just now off the ventilator. Pray that he has as uneventful a recovery as Hannah has been having.
Once again, I am overwhelmed by your caring, generosity and love.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Scary, scary, scary

Here's the latest update:

For those of you who don’t know, Hannah injured her eye on scissors on Sunday. She had a 2 ½ hour surgery that day. We were transferred from Edward Hospital to UIC for the surgery and the ambulance driver was my best friend growing up's brother! We went back to the eye clinic at U of I Chicago and so far all is well. They checked to see that the wound is stitched tightly and that there is no more leakage from the globe of the eye. They also did an ultrasound of her retina and all is well there, too. So, for now, we wait. Hopefully her eye will heal well enough that she will have better sight than she has now, for now she can see just shadows and movement. She has to be out of school for a week (to keep the eye from being jostled as well as keep infection far away) and we have a follow up appointment downtown on Friday. I’ll be staying home with her all week.

It has just hit her this evening that this is going to be a long time and that her eye might not ever be the same. It’s heartbreaking to see your child hurting so much. I am trying so hard to keep this in perspective – at the end of the day, I have a little girl who will be just fine. Eyesight isn’t that important, and she still has 100% sight in her other eye.

A big thank you to Jeanne, who has been keeping you all updated. It’s hard for me to write because writing it down makes it so much more real to me.

Another big thank you to my church bunco group, who are bringing meals this week. All of your calls and concern and prayers are so appreciated.

Please keep the whole family in your prayers – I have one little girl who is scared she won’t see and two other girls who are feeling a bit neglected. This triplet thing is HARD!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Eighth Birthday

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Birthday number 8!

The eighth birthday weekend has been a blur! We had a billion things to do. The girls had their very first sleepover birthday party at their friend, Lainie's on Friday night. Then on Saturday, they had their 'kid' party at Aunt Nina's Sweets and Treats. An awesome party! Then Saturday night, we had our family party. Sunday was Church, First Communion Class, and trying to get to play with all our new toys!

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Hannah, Sarah and Emma making their own cotton candy!

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The cupcakes!

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The birthday girls!

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Making pucker powder sticks, choosing candy for decorating cookie pizzas, decorating cookie pizzas

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Singing 'Happy Birthday'

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pieces of Eight

I can't believe that they're eight. Eight! Those were the kids that I was in complete awe of when mine were babies. Those were the moms that I thought had everything together and were total pros at parenting. Eight. When they were born, they didn't even weigh 8 pounds (cumulatively!!). I can't believe the lovely people my little 2lb 2oz, 2lb 4oz and 2lb 2oz babies have become.
I will never forget the day they were was one of the best/worst of my life. Best because after so many years of heartbreak and trying I was finally a mommy! Worst because my health was in serious jeopardy and so was theirs for a while. Thank God things all turned out fine. I am truly blessed.
So, yesterday we had a special dinner and they got their Nintendo DSs a day early (so they could spend a whole day playing with them). Tonight is Culvers fundraiser night at their school, so we will be going there and (gasp!) their teacher will be there on their birthday!!!
Then cupcakes to dance class on Tuesday and a lull until 2 parties on Saturday.
Happy Birthday, Hannah, Sarah and Emma! I love you so much!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My attempt at being Acette of Cakes

I finally got to trying to make toppers for the girls cupcakes for their party. My hands and tongue are black from tinting icing black.

I am hoping that these will come right off the parchment paper once they are dry and stay in one piece.

They came of the parchment beautifully this morning!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Just keep swimming...

So many things are going on! This week the girls have a half-day on Wednesday and Thursday and a day off on Friday. Thank goodness for grandma and grandpa or that would be 3 more days of work coming off last week's one and the week before's entire week!! I've convinced my parents (I hope!) that they really need some intensive quality time with their grandchildren after being in Europe last week. I don't think they're buying it, but are humoring me anyway!
The next month is going to be a blur...the girls' birthday is coming up faster than you can say "Hairspray!" and we have both a kids party and a family party planned. Then on May 10th, they have their First Communion, which opens up another can of worms. Dresses have been ordered for weeks, and are on backorder. After much stalking, I finally got notice that they shipped this morning! Whoo hoo! Now, just to plan a party! Thank goodness for my girlfriend Karen's boyfriend, Mike! He works at Vienna Beef and has become my beef connection for all of my entertaining needs :-D
Just to illustrate my OCDness, here are pictures of the girls' invitations...

The family invitation (yet to be mailed!):

The class invitation (I printed it on hot pink cardstock and cut it out in the shape of the can:

The envelope for the class invite:

I have yet to start the First Communion invites, but I think they'll be a lot easier!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Get ready to 'awwwwwwwwwwwwww'

The girls (and Stan) at the Daddy/Daughter dance...
l to r - Emma, Sarah and Hannah

Theyyyy're (going) baaaaaaaackkk!

Vacation is over. I never thought I'd be glad that vacation ended, but today I am. Back to school, back to work here we come!

Friday, March 28, 2008

When triplet worlds collide...

We went to visit the other 2 sets of triplets I watch. The girls were thrilled...the babies, well, not so much! It was totally chaotic trying to get a picture of all 9, so at one point we gave up. Here are some photo highlights...