Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rorysaurus and Round Peg's Updates

So, Rorysaurus has begun to eat again (she's still lost a lot of weight, but isn't losing more...but will only eat about half of what once would have been a meal for her)and seemed to have a good time at her birthday party this weekend. She's still not back to as potty-trained as she was, and she's up with night terrors every night (after fighting to go to bed until midnight every evening). She's having a rough time, and I can only hope that the move will help her focus on her new room, her new play-space and her new school environment, and stop having such an anxious time dealing with the fall and missing her uncle. She's got a new appointment on Friday at 10 am.

I had an appointment on today to get my other drain out (icky, icky, icky thing), and should be able to stand up straight soon, although I'll be in this binder for another few weeks. I'm nearly out of my pain drugs (unfortunately) which means soon I'll have to deal with the pain and discomfort this causes soon. I've never slept better in my life, though (due to the t4). I've got a general health appointment with my gp on Thursday...the last time I saw her she told me to relax and have less stress in my life. Hee hee hee.

I'll know about the scholarship tomorrow, BTW. I did pass my paper and my class (huzzah!), and am on a short break between semesters.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You can help!

So, we're muddling through. I'm still on some rather nutty pain medications that make me loopy (and sometimes hallucinatory). It also makes typing and just being ambulatory difficult. I did get my paper submitted, but failed it because I had failed to mention some certain specific criteria. Except I didmention that item and spent two paragraphs detailing it. So, they're re-grading.

At the doc's today I got one of my drains taken out so I'm only leaking icky red/orange goo and tissue from one bulb on one side of me. Joy! I'm still in a binder and under strict orders not to stand up straight for another week, and not to do any heavy lifting for another week after that, but at least I'll be all better by the time Little Monkey gets released from the hospital.

Needlenoggin is doing well, we're still all on pins and needles waiting to see how his Medi-Cal, CASDI and SSI applications are going, and what his discharge plan is (when he's coming home, where to, what his care situation is, etc). We've also got, right now, over $340,000 in medical bills for Needlenoggin here, and a few thousand for Rorysaurus as well. Ick.

However, you can help! I'm in the running for a scholarship (that's right, for those of you who aren't aware, I'm a full-time student right now). The contest consists of a video explaining why you need the cash and how you plan on using it. The video on youtube is here. Click the link, watch the video (or don't) and rate it by clicking on the little stars underneath the video. I'm about 60 votes away from the first place guy (who is a gold-medla winner and a world record holder who wants a scholarship so he can get check "getting a degree" off his list). Vote, please.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Target, Wheelchairs and School Drama

So, Needlenoggin is wheelchair shopping with his people in rehab. Yay! One less thing I have to figure out (although the bill will come here...they all do). He's going to need a power chair and a bunch of other junk.

By the way, if you'd like to help him out, we've started a small Target registry for him (since he now has his own bathroom and needs big towels and a shower curtain. We'll be adding on sheets when we know what size bed he has, and closet organization items (he can only use the bottom half of closets) once we've moved and can measure.

Really, really, really tired today, and I've failed my paper again (too many different reviewers) so I have to do a re-write to avoid failing out of school. Today. While on crazy pain medication that makes me sleepy or hallucinate. Well, at least the paper will be interesting...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Surgery and Stitches

So, Monday night I tossed and turned all night, and finally managed to get up at 5 am, shower, kiss the kids on the way out and head to the hospital in SF. We arrived, checked in, and then I got changed into a hospital gown and some weird leg-pressure tights like the ones Needlenoggin wears. Then I was drawn on by my doctor, and knocked out.

I only vaguely remember the recovery room but I know I was there for just a short while before getting brought in to my room around 2:30 in the afternoon. I was exhausted and nearly out cold on Morphine.

Ain't I cute?

They put me in some sequential-massaging leg doohickies to keep my blood moving in my legs, drugged me up and left me alone. I sort of dozed on and off until about 9pm when my nurse, whom I will call Fail, came in. "Time to get up," she told me.

"Excuse me?"

"Time. To. Get. Up. You've been lying down for seven ours now. Time to get up and walk to the bathroom."

"Uh...this seems a little soon, and I can't quite get to sitting in my bed by myself. When I had my C section they..."

"Blood clots. Get up or you'll get a blood clot in your brain and die."

"Are you going to help me sit up?"

"No, you have to do it by yourself. It is going to hurt, but you'll just have to be tough."

"I'm plenty tough, that's not the issue. I was just told not to use the abdominal muscles that have just been sewn together, because I could rip them back apart. Could you get someone a little bigger (nurse Fail was about 80 lbs) to help get me to a sitting position?"

"Use your back to sit up, not your abdominals."

" definition, sit ups involve the abdominals. I'll just wait until my husband gets here, and he'll help get me sitting up. Is there a reason I've got to be up and moving, using the specific muscles involved in this surgery, so soon after such a big surgery?"

"If you don't get up right now, you'll get a blood clot and die."

Now, Needlenoggin had surgery, a big one, and was in these tights and leg massagers and what-not, and at this point I'm really sure he hasn't thrown a clot and died, and I know it didn't happen within 7 hours of surgery. I try arguing with her, explaining that I am doing the leg and breathing exercises that I was told to do, and that I was pretty sure if my husband could get me to a sitting position, I could stand, although I wasn't sure I could walk to the bathroom. She reiterated her threat of imminent stroke, and told me that she'd been instructed to pull my catheter while I was in recovery ( a lie) and that she'd been nice and let me sleep these few hours, but that she was going to make me get out of bed. I told her she could wait for Tuffy, so she turned off my Morphine.

Needless to say, she doesn't get any praise for being mean and lying. The next set of nurses, Winnie and Lisa, were strict, but compassionate, and helped me stumble to the bathroom, pee, and get back to the bed. Climbing in and out was as painful as it was post-section, and worse than some parts of labor.

So, after getting lectured by Tuffy about not listening to the nurses, since I apparently should have done back-sit-ups and gotten up and walking, I got a few hours of sleep. The doctor came in and okayed my discharge once I was taking the oral pain drugs, and then we tried to call my wonderful driver-friend, Becca. However, my phone wasn't working (died in the hospital), Rorysaurus was making Becca late, and Tufy was at work and sounding peeved at being disturbed. So, we waited outside the emergency entrance (not marked at all) for 1/2 an hour until the chair-pusher told me I'd have to come inside and wait for my driver to arrice, park and check in at the information desk before they'd let me go.

Riiight. My driver had my two, small, squalling kids in the car, and she was going to go pay to park across the street, unload them, come in and find the right desk by magic, and get me, and then trundle us all back out to the car. I told the guy I'd just wait outside in the chair, and he told me he'd been waiting for half an hour, and wouldn't wait longer. "Do you have someone else to go get?"

"No, but this is taking too long. You go inside now."

"I can't. My ride will never find me. I'll wait here. She's on her way, and then I can just get in."

"No! You go inside now. No more waiting outside." At that point, he tried to wrench the chair around so he could push me, even though my hands were on the wheels. I won, as I'm a lot stronger than he'd guessed, and threw on the brakes. He undid one, and I re-did it as he went all the way around me to undo the other brake. Then, he went for backup.

Out comes security guard #2. "You've got to go inside until your ride arrives."

"My ride is on her way, with two small children in the van, to a hospital she's never been to before. She only knows the name of the street that this little parking lot is on, and won't find it if no one is out here. My phone is dead, so I can't call her and give her more clear directions, and she won't even know to come in to any desk. I'd like to wait a little bit longer."

"No. You have to go inside. If your ride never gets here, we'll get you to call someone else. What if your ride never comes?"

"What if you out me inside where she never finds me? I'll stay out here." This forced these two men to begin planning how best to wrench my hands from the wheelchair wheels in order to force me, against my will, back into the hospital. Luckily enough, that's when Becca came to the rescue.

So, we got home, and Becca cooked for us, and Rorysaurus' Godmother Annie arrived, and a good time was had by all. However, Wednesday night, I tried to lay on my side in bed to feed Little Monkey, and tore out some stitches. See, here's the injury:

(a hip-to-hip cut...icky, I know)

This is where the drain attaches on my right side. When the stitches tore, the opened up a hole in me about as long as my little finger, and just as wide. Hurt like hell, so I used paper-tape and closed it. Then I made an appointment to go in and see the doctor on Thursday morning.

The bulb there is collecting about 260 ccs of icky bloody fluid a day...

So, we drove out at 7 something on Thursday morning and got me 10 stitches (without pain killers) and I was told how to pull out the anaesthetic pump that was left in my guts sometime today when it runs out of juice (just pulled all 3 feet of tubing out of my belly). I hurt like hell, and the kids just want to be held and loved and poor Tuffy is getting the short end of the too-exhausted-to-move stick, and I can't get in and out of bed by myself.

Becca has gone home (flew all the way here from Seattle so she could help for 2 days), but Annie is still here and so is Tuffy's little cousin.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Birthday and Bureaucracy

So, Today is Rorysaurus' third birthday. Crazy. However, since tomorrow is my surgery and she's got PTSD therapy today, we went to see Needlenoggin yesterday.

It was a weekend, so the center was understaffed, and it was hard to get people to help get him in his chair. We were there for two hours before he had his blood pressure medication and got into his chair, which was frustrating to say the least. The kids were both ready to go home by the time he even got out.

Eventully, though, we were able to eat lunch, go for a roll around the grounds and have cake. We got to sing to Rorysaurus as well.

(Yes, that is a homemade Batman Beyond cake)

(Needlenoggin and Rorysaurus seemed to like it).

Then we packed back up into the van and headed home. i won't be seeing Needlenoggin again for over a week, since I've got surgery tomorrow.

Here's my biggest irritation. There's no one in charge of all of this crap. The Center wants to send him home on 9/2, but no one has called us to tell us that. At the hospital, we were told he'd need a regular bed, but the Center has told Needlenoggin that he'll need a hospital bed for the 6-8 weeks he's home, and who knows after that. Oh, and because of his neck-brace, the wheelchair he's in at the Center (which may or may not be coming home with him temporarily, whenever he comes home) makes him FOUR INCHES too tall for a standard wheel-chair van. They are supposed to hold a family training and a transportation class for us *sometime* before he gets out, but no one has told me anything at all yet, and I'm the one trying to make sure he has a roof over his &#@%ing head and someone capable of caring for him when he gets home. In Home Support Services should be providing him with a caregiver, but he needs CASDI (California State Disability Insurance) and SSI (State Supplemental Income) and his Medical clearance before that can happen, and those papers should have arrived a week or more ago. Who is in charge of this nonsense?

Each state should have a book of the people to call to get his figured out. While I'm not really one for government intrusion, I'd happily pay more of my taxes out if I could talk to one central paralysis person and get all this crap straightened out.


Alright, now that that is out of the way, I'm going to go feed Little Monkey and pack up for tomorrow. Big day and all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

South Bay Spinal Center

So, we went down to visit Needlenoggin last night, and went through the whole process of loading the kids in the car and heading down to San Jose. We got there around eight o'clock in the evening, and (thankfully) had no trouble at all signing Rorysaurus (and Little Monkey) in as visitors. In fact, the nurses were thrilled to see Rorysaurus, as most of them had heard some version of the story before.

So, we got into the room, and plunked her down on the bed next to Needlenoggin. We got this picture (which aside from the AWESOME Batman cape, is a lot like all our other recent hospital photos):

Special thanks for that Batman cape are due, as our upstairs housemates sewed it for her as a birthday gift. I'll have to get a good picture of her with the reverse side out...too cool).

Then, the nurses had to do nursing stuff, and we headed out to the day-room to wait. Imagine our surprise when we were greeted at the door by Needlenoggin himself, ready to take us on a tour of the place.

(Note that Little Monkey is actually on my back, but cannot be seen)

So, Rory got up on Needlenoggin's lap, and we tooled around.

Oh yeah, he's awesome. So, he showed us the gym, talked about the very cool support group they'd had on Monday, and drove us around the outside of the place back to our car. It was lovely at the center, and we got to see our first helicopter landing as a Medi-vac came into the helipad there. We've got a bunch of logistical issues (like the fact that they want to split his rehab (due to the broken arm) and so want him to come home 2 weeks before I have a place for him to go), but the visit was fantastic.

He said he's lost some of the sensation he'd gained back at the other hospital, and that his right side it totally and completely numb. The left side remains the same except for some sever pain from a pinched nerve in his hip. We'll have a better prognosis on the broken wrist in a few days. He has a new neck-brace-collar-thing, which works better but is apparently much less comfortable.

He is, however, up for hours at a time now (4 to 5) and went out to a restaurant for dinner with some of his new buddies (they had ribs at a local BBQ joint).

He can even do tricks!

Anyway, everyone kissed him goodbye:

And he made (at my insistence) a cheesy "Hi, Mom" video.

So, there you have it. I've got to reschedule Rorysaurus for her next PTSD appointment (still whining and bed-wetting, but she's finally eating again) and make a bunch of phone calls (most of which I can also do from bed next week).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Can we fit one more in?

Surgery, that is.

Okay, here's the basic story. When I was pregnant with Rorysaurus, I got huge. I didn't gain a lot of weight, but was unable to drive near the end, because my belly prevented me from reaching the pedals and the steering wheel at the same time.

I worked my butt off and lost all the weight but still was having a hard time fitting into my regular clothes. Oh well, whatever.

Then, I got pregnant with Little Monkey. By 15 weeks, I looked like this:

And by 32 weeks, I was using a cane, wearing a belly brace and had still only gained 15 lbs. I was here:

Turns out, when the Rorysaur was in there, she tore my abdominal muscles apart, so there wasn't much holding Little Monkey in. This made it even harder than it would have been otherwise to get him out, since my abs couldn't do their job, and was the cause of the really bad back labor I had with both births.

I was expecting it to go back to normal afterwards, but my swayback and back pain got worse and worse, and I was cautioned not to lift anything over 25lbs. I was ready to ignore it. However, when doing a sit-up, my midwife could fit her whole little hand between my abs, and could feel the intestines underneath so, my GP and I found me some physical therapy and I joined a gym, and got stronger and lost a lot of weight. No progress on the diastasis recti, though. In fact, if anything, it has seemed to get worse. I can't stand up straight, and my back just aches. The GP finally told me to go get a surgical consultation.

So, back in early July, before all of this new drama started, I scheduled a consult. In desperate need of a few hours of peace and quiet, I left the midgets with my friend Kristin (here from out of state to watch the kiddos and help pack), andheaded in to San Fran for the consult. We (the GP, surgeon and I) had been figuring on the surgery sometime this late fall or winter, but two pressing things had happened since then.

1) Little Monkey is 22lbs. This means the amount of time I have where I'm not further injuring my back has shrunk a little, and

2) I'm going to need to be able to help transition Needlenoggin from chair to bed to other chair. Not necessarily all the time, and it won't be that I'm lifing him myself, but I will be helping move someone much larger than my 22lb son and 36lb daughter.

The surgeon wanted me to do the surgery with enough time before Needlenoggin's return to be back to normal activities, but, she was booked until November. So, I went to the assistant's office and started the scheduling process. Then, low and behld, a cancellation! So, my surgery is a week from today. 8/19.

I'll be in the hospital in SF for a night, and then come home to nearly bedrest for a week (only some light walking, no lifting (even of the kids)). I'll have drains in for a while, and will have to do all of Little Monkey's care in bed. However, I will have Tuffy's cousin here to help with the Rorysaur, as well as (possibly) Rorysaurus' Godmother. The week after that, Tuffy should be off pending Little Moneky's surgery, and then the big Neurosurgery itself. Then we'll be taking a week off to move into the new place, and then Needlenoggin should be arriving home.

Nuts? Yeah,of course. However, I'll have a little help, hubby will be home some and my mom will be up for a little bit as well, and when else would I be able to get so many people in here to help us?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Finally some good news

So, Friday morning Rorysaurus, Little Monkey and I managed to get into Needlenoggin's hospital room. It wasn't easy, as they have a "no visitors under 14" policy, and Rorysaurus was a) dressed as Batman and b) wearing red leather clogs. However, his doctors and nurses knew we were coming and all managed to be looking somewhere else when we arrived. :)

Anyway, we got a chance to hang out and see Needlenoggin before the EMTs were scheduled to arrive. Unlike the last few times when Rorysaurus has been a little hesitant, this time she very happily hopped up in the hospital bed with her uncle.

They were thrilled to get to cuddle and watch a movie on his DVD player while we waited (a special thanks to his work buddies who brought him that and the DVDs he watched throughout his hospital stay. It allowed him some entertainment in the ICU and saved him from telenovelas and bad game shows in the TCU).

It was good. The EMTs showed up, told him they'd let him watch movies in the ambulance, and laughed and joked with him. Once the guys heard what he's done, they told him he should work for the fire department! He was all smiles as Rorysaurus kissed him good-bye and he headed out to Santa Clara. When told Little Monkey would miss him as well, he rolled his eyes in a good-natured fashion, so nothing has changed there.

My Fairy Godmother (she's magic and grants wishes) arrived right as they were wheeling him away, and she hopped in the car with us as we headed out. I really need to express my undying thankfulness to her and to Crystal, my good friend from high school, for coming up here. Godmom has two kids of her own and a job, and flew up for the weekend, and this week simply wouldn't have been possible without Crystal. She's just gotten over the worst year ever (as bad as ours has been, maybe) and flew all the way out here from Florida to watch the monsters so I could get back and forth to the hospital and run errands.

Then we were off to Rorysaurus' PTSD appointment. She worked really, really, really hard, taking toys off of shelves and throwing them on the floor, and tucking everything in sight under a blanket to "help them get better." We then went over the whole story of her fall, and reminded her that it wasn't her fault and that Uncle Needlenoggin was happy so she was allowed to be happy and play as well. The "not your fault" meme really stuck with her, and she's been repeating it. She also told the doctor that her uncle "bwoke his back in five pwaces," so at least we know she's listening, right?

We got some suggestions for home, a diagnosis, and another appointment for Monday. Then we came home, slept and made about a dozen phone calls about places to live. Wheelchair access is really, really sketchy in older places, and newer ones are just so expensive. This is the Bay, so most 3 bedroom places are $2000 a month anyway, and if you factor out walk-ups, you're looking at a $2500 average.

Right before bed, Tuffy finally got home from work, and Rorysaurus' package arrived in the mail. We unpacked it and, presto! a chair for Lizabeth!

Rorysaurus spent the rest of her night wheeling Lizbeth around the house, putting her in bed, and checking her heart with clips and wires. Maybe she'll grow up to be a doctor?

Saturday dawned way too early, but we were up and running with the last of our coffee. Despondently, I refreshed craigslist, and started up my so-far-utterly-futile apartment search. I opened up a half dozen ads, and started writing my 56th email. I'd sent out 50 over the last 2 weeks, and made more phone calls than I care to count, and had recived back three responses. So, when I opened up the ad entitled "3 bedrooms in Emeryville for $2300", I knew I was in for yet another converted Victorian with skinny doorways that I'd have to retrofit for Needlenoggin.

Instead, I found this:

Whaaa? So, Tuffy and I drove over and did the application. This place is way out of our price range, but then again, so are all the first-floor apartments and ones in elevator buildings. This one has a court-yard and a pool and BBQ area, and a bathroom with a shower that Needlenoggin can roll into. Of course, Tuffy and I actually looked at this building a few years ago and couldn't afford it, so we were hesitant. We applied, because we have enough in savings that we had planned to use for Rorysaurus to go to preschool and to pay for my teacher's credential that will cover the difference.

It is four blocks, maybe five, to Needlenoggin's job and 6 blocks to Tuffy's. Emeryville is also flat, so biking is way, way, way easier than living in Oakland.

Here's the floorplan:


It looks like we were approved to rent the place! So, now we will at least be able to have a home for Needlenoggin for the next 12 months. The buildings, courtyard, elevators and the apartment itself are wheelchair accessible and they're familiar with service dogs (which we will probably end up with). So, one problem solved.

Oh, and talking to Needlenoggin at night, I was told he's really working his booty off in rehab, and was able to sit up for 40 minutes in a chair. They have support hose and an abdominal compressor that keep his blood in his upper body (so he doesn't pass out) and he spends an hour on and an hour off every day doing PT from 8am to 5 pm. So, he's progressing well!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Moving on out!

Well, Needlenoggin's doing as well as can be expected. He's moved in to the TCU, and is working his numb little butt off. :)

Most exciting is the news that on Tuesday, they sat him up, and told him they were hoping he'd be able to sit for 90 seconds. He did it for 4 minutes. Wednesday, he even was able to sit upright in a chair for 15 minutes! He also is sore in his abdomen from all that balancing upright, which is good, because at least he's feeling something. We're still hoping that he'll regain all of his sensation.

He's doing so well, it looks like they are going to transfer him to the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. This is the premier center for spinal injury in the state, so we're more than thrilled that they have a space that fits him.

The only issue I can see about the Spinal Center is that they don't seem to allow visitors under the age of 14. 30-60 days without seeing Rorysaurus would be very, very hard on Needlenoggin, so keep your fingers crossed that there's a way around that policy (having him meet us in the lobby or something). If worst comes to worst, we'll try and set him up with SKYPE (a webcam service) there, and have them talk that way, but I know he loves her hugs and snuggles.

All the center needs us to do now is find him a home to discharge into. ::sigh::

Needlenoggin also has a benevolent account set up through Washington Mutual, now. What this means is that anyone can go into any Washington Mutual in the country and deposit money into account # 3171400381, and it will go towards the van, mobility equipment, wheelchairs and his drastically increased rent. Donations can also be mailed to the Washington Mutual Emeryville Financial Center at 5747 CHRISTIE AVE
in EMERYVILLE, CA 94608-2412. Just include a note saying that the money is to be deposited in account # 3171400381. The donations aren't tax deductible, but they are appreciated.

We took candy (provided by our friend Jessi's mother-in-law, Carol) to his ICU nurses, and took flowers and milk-chocolate seashells to his FANTASTIC surgeon, warm doctor and favorite nurse. He signed all their cards with his left hand (since the right is broken) and while rudimentary, the writing was legible.

Rorysaurus and I (with help from our babysitter) got Fabric paint and made him a shirt for his transfer out to the rehab center, since he'll be leaving tonight or tomorrow and has to wear clothes again. :)

And a special thanks to Fr. Al for his loan of Beethoven the doggy-puppet. Needlenoggin is pleased and amused that he has such a soft little animal to love.

Please keep all of the works-in-progress (we're trying to visit a new apartment this week, and our folks are supposed to look at a van in the next few days as well) in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Good news

Hooray! I am happy to report that Needlenoggin's spinal drain is out! As of sometime tonight, he'11 have been moved to the TCU (Trauma Care Unit), where there's a little more room, fewer beeping machines, and a TV. Still, I'm sure he'll miss the ICU...his room is so awesomely decorated. Notice a theme?

Rorysaurus has been scheduled for her first PTSD therapy appointment on Friday at 11 am. She's begun climbing into my lap to tell me that she's a baby, and pretending to act like Little Monkey. She even drooled on the floor to make her point. :p

Oh, and checkout the video. Most of thse movement is involuntary but two twitches are him busting his butt.

Good news, bad news

The good news is that Needlenoggin is doing well in that he is in higher spirits than ever and far more coherent. The “ICU psychosis” seems to have passed, and while he is very sleepy and in come pain, he is ready to get off of the ICU floor. Next, they said they will move him to the TCU, and then it will be off to rehab in a week or so. He has minor sensation in parts of his lower legs (if poked hard enough, he feels the pressure on his muscles as warmth), and has some reflexes when pinched and poked. Also, with much straining (enough to break a sweat over the course of nearly 5 minutes), he is able to twitch one toe on his right foot a millimeter or two (!!!!!) They are hoping to take out his spinal drain today and move him in the next 24 hours.

The bad news is that Rorysaurus isn't doing so hot. She still is refusing food most of the time, and isn't sleeping in any kind of a normal manner. Her re-enactments of the accident are getting scarier and more upsetting (they now involve loud “breaking” noises, and she talks about blood and “owies” constantly). She’s also still not sleeping correctly, and has gone 16 or 20 hours at a stretch without eating. I still haven’t sent her back to school, because I’m afraid she’ll be too much of a nuisance, and that she’ll be too scared, whichmeans she is home allthe time, and whining or crying unless she's got Plaza Sesamo or Blue's Clues on. :( I am really worried about her.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Wow. Bay area people are the best! We can't do laundry right now, so we've stopped using the cloth diapers temporarily. However, they're expensive, so we put up a request on freecycle (like a free craigslist that tries to keep stuff out of the landfill) asking for diapers in size 4 or 5. This is what we got:

I'm amazed at the lengths perfect strangers will go to for folks in need.

In Needlenoggin news, he's awake and feeling much better. He was asleep when I went today, but woke up, talked about housing plans, and smiled at the silliness of Rorysaurus' latest song. High spirits and no hallucinations, although it seems he was hearing a few sounds that weren't there earlier today, his nurse reported. Not bad, all things considered.

Oh, and Rorysaurus has decided that she can save things from falling by "airbending" (a term for elemental magic from a show she watches with Needlenoggin). Very cute to watch her tr to move the air to her will.

I was telling a friend today that in our home alone, this year, we've seen more surgeon's bills than the average cost of a home in the US, and close to what my grandmother's Souther California home sold for just a few years ago. Bring on Universal Health Care!

Awww, thank you Reebles!

The donation sites for Needlenoggin and Little Monkey are hosted at Well, on their main page, Reebles has a link to their corporate blog, and they've picked up the story and have it as their top blog post here.

Needlenoggin's reflexes continue to exist, and he's able to feel pressure, if not touch, in a few points on his lower half.

Rorysaurus is throwing up bile (probably due to her refusal to eat), but is otherwise the same. We're trying some soup tonight.

Wish us luck on the home/van/wheelchair hunt!