Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh, crap

Yesterday morning I had to go back to the hospital (my third Tuesday in a row, now) for my sugar test. I got to the hospital and went to the lab, where the technician immediately started drawing blood. Now, I have had a sugar test before and knew this was not how things went. So I spoke up, and voiced that I was supposed to be there for the hour long sugar test. The tech dismissed me, saying that he does what the lab order tells him to do. I insisted, in a nice way, that things were not as they should have been, he insisted (as he finished up drawing the eighth vial of my blood) that he was following the requested tests as ordered. He finished up and sent me out, and I can honestly say that for just a moment I considered playing stupid and just leaving. And then when I saw my doctor again, and he asked where my results were, I could just get all wide-eyed and dumb and pretend like I didn't know the correct test wasn't performed. But, regular diabetes runs in my family, and my sister had gestational diabetes, so I'm not going to play around with little guy's health, not to mention my own. So I sighed and went upstairs to my doctor's office to speak with them.

After some confusion, it turns out that the nurse checked the wrong box on the lab order. Lab work costs us between $200-$300 every time, and because she wasn't paying attention I have to go to the lab AGAIN, on another day, to do the test. I'm seriously thinking about telling them I am not going to be responsible for the bungled tests. I mean, you can't decipher what exactly those lab orders say - it's all numbers or abbreviations, so I had no idea that the wrong box was checked. I drove ALL THE WAY over to West Florida Hospital from my house for a blood glucose screen, which was not the correct test and not necessary, to boot. And's that's not mentioning the gas I burned getting out there.

I can't go today to do to have the proper test performed because I have a ton of work to do. I can't do it tomorrow, because we're moving. And I could probably do it Friday morning, but it just galls me that I have to miss time from work (that I get paid for) to correct their error. Ooooooooh, I'm mad. I'm getting over it. I love my doctor, and I love his nurse (she was not the one who made the error), but I can't stand the hospital.

They are terrible with information, and their billing is a mess. I have received final notice bills for amounts and items that I have never been billed for previously. There's about $600 in lab charges that are bouncing around between them and my insurance company, and anytime insurance gives them flack for anything (even and seemingly especially when they are simply asking for more information) they turn around and bill my maiden name for charges incurred by my married name, but they do always give my maiden name the no-insurance coverage discount, which I think is nice since my maiden name is not a real, separate person and therefore not eligible for employment or health care coverage. I just received an insurance statement the other day, denying coverage for two claims made by this same hospital for services rendered in February, 2006. The claim was denied because of its' age. So, since they waited over a year to file this claim, now I'm responsible for the entire thing? That's just bad business. Oooooh, I just can't stand this hospital.

I'll have to get over it.

Oh, and in a side note, yesterday while driving through downtown I inadvertently drove through (yes, through, as in there was a puddle/pile) some raw sewage, and now my car smells terribly of poo. Sigh.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Update! A long, whiny update....

Tuesday morning's ultrasound did NOT make me feel any better. The registration people had my information all screwed up, and I paid half of the $396 that was my portion of the ultrasound and agreed to make monthly payments for the rest. That was so much money! Especially when you're trying to move and can use every penny.

The ultrasound was started by a trainee, who just sort of cruised around with the wand, checking things out, until the real technician got there. The real technician had to verify with me what she was supposed to be looking for - not an encouraging sign. Then she proceeded to maul my pregnant belly for twenty minutes. She hurt me. She was using way too much pressure, and she kept letting the wand and my stomach dry out, which was quite uncomfortable, as well.

The tech couldn't get Little Guy to move his head (he had pulled his face in towards his chest), and finally ordered me to go use the restroom to see if he would stretch out. I gratefully complied, and upon my return to the room there was a new tech there, who told me he was going to be finishing up. Twenty minutes of him poking around and he sent some pictures off and declared that he would be right back. When he left the room the little trainee hopped back on the machine and kept on with the test. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing my baby, but I was uncomfortable, unhappy, and wanted to be done with the whole experience. Ultrasound technicians cannot tell you anything except the most basic information, so while they could tell me what they were looking at, they could not tell me why they were looking at it or if they saw anything amiss. An hour of silence, only broken occassionally to tell me what I was seeing, and then only if I asked.

A few minutes after the real tech left he returned, saying he just needed a few more pictures. And he did the same thing three more times - leave, return, resume, leave. It was making me paranoid. And every time he left the trainee would hop back in. I felt like a training dummy.

Finally, we were done. They sent me on my way after an hour, a full hour, none the wiser as to what was happening with my baby. I did think to ask when my doctor would get the test results back, and the tech said two days.

So the next day I called my OB's office and left a message with his nurse. She called me back promptly the next morning and I explained to her that I just wanted - no, needed to know, for my own peace of mind, if they ultrasound(s) looked OK. She promised to call me back. And at the end of the day, my doctor called me back. Himself! And said everything looked fine, they didn't see any of the anomolies that are generally associated with SUA on either scan. I feel much, much better now. Whew!

Now as for Ms. Jacelyn - well, Friday I had a conference with her teacher. It was at this conference, this time last year, that I got her report card. And that was K4, so since she's actually an official kindergartener this year, I figured this would be even more official. I arrived at my school-scheduled time of 7:45 (an evil time to assign, I thought - the kids didn't have school, so I could have slept late if I didn't have such an early time) and met with her teacher, who just loooooooooooves my little girl. She said she occassionally talks when she is supposed to be listening, but not in such a way that it was a big problem. She said Jacelyn is a very good reader, her writing is excellent, and she's a very good student and a smart girl.

Then she said that they will not have report cards this term, just a little progress report (that was a photocopied report card filled out in pencil that I could not take with me). The progress report showed conduct, and then the grades for special classes. Jacelyn is still in the S, G, and P age for special classes (exceeds, meets, and then I'm not sure what a P stands for because she has never received one before and I don't have anything to refer back to). Her teacher showed me her special class (music, art, etc) grades, which I didn't have much of a chance to look at too closely, and then pointed out a 'P' in her art grades. I suppose the 'P' was for talking, or not listening to directions, but I don't know that. So I left the art teacher a message, asking her to call me back. Not so I can harangue her (although the overprotective mother in me would love to, wants to, in fact), but so I can find out what Jacelyn is doing so that I can speak to Jacelyn about it and fix it. The art teacher called me back today (Monday) and said that it was, indeed, for talking, but that she was already improving over the last two or three weeks and that it wasn't a problem. Or at least, it was a problem and was correcting itself.

I don't know why they didn't give out report cards. Jacelyn's teacher didn't know. I think it's kind of crappy - I mean, I would like to know how my daughter is doing in all areas of her education, not just her conduct and art, music and PE. I mean, what she is learning is important, and to not issue a report card on it seems to say it's not that important, or that they haven't done enough to merit reporting on, which I know isn't true. It bothers me. Not so much that I can't sleep at night, but it sticks a little in the corner of my mind. All the other grades got report cards. I don't know - I guess I'll just have to get over it, but I don't think it's very fair to just decide not to issue a report card without notice or an explanation.

I have to go home and sort through nut orders for my daisies, then continue with my packing so we will be at least sort of somewhat ready to move on Thursday. I have begrudgingly accepted the fact that we probably won't be able to stay at the new house Thursday night, just due to the sheer volume of crap that we own that needs to be gone through and sorted, but I cannot wait. I am so ready. I have been ready for the last two and a half years.

I packed up most of Jacelyn's stuff yesterday. We have the complication of leaving some stuff at Brian's parents and bringing some of it with us. Jacelyn had to go through everything, every single thing - every hot wheel, every pair of socks, even every pair of panties, and seriously think about whether it stays at Maw-Maw's or goes to the new house. We went through her underpants one at a time and she would mull over who-knows-what in her head. "Ummmm... the princess panties can go to the new house, but the My Little Pony ones should stay here. And remember those Spongebob ones? I think I want to bring those insteand of leave them". There was serious consideration involved. She still hasn't decided about the Dora Dollhouse - that has been boxed and unboxed about six times. I guess when you're five that is an agonizing decision - do I bring Candyland, or Chutes and Ladders? I tried to remind her that we will be just down the street, but that matters not to her little five-year old way of thinking. The toys left behind will not be immediately accessible, and that's all she seems to see.

I have my sugar test at the hospital tomorrow, and then I have to stop by the council store to pick up some 'Pizza Party' patches for the girls. Then off to Wal-Mart, to pick up the fixins' for english muffin pizzas, then off to scouts, where we will make pizzas and play games for our hour - we've been so busy making stuff for the big cluster meeting last Friday that we haven't had a chance to just have fun, so that is what tomorrow afternoon is all about. Then more packing, and more packing, and Brian's birthday is Wednesday, and then Thursday we move in. I'm tired, and sore, and my back and my hips hurt, and I've had a couple of mean Braxton-Hicks contractions today, but you know? We're moving out, finally, so that's all OK. Until afterwards, when I will be a mess, but that's OK too. Wish us luck!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Movin' on out

Oh, that's right, people. November 1st I will be making my triumphant exit from my MIL's house, where I have lived for the past 2 1/2 years. It's into a small apartment, and when I say that people make a face and say, "An apartment?" and I say, "I've been living with my MIL for the last two years. I started out sleeping on the floor of Jacelyn's room, with only my clothes with me, stuffed into plastic rubbermaid drawers underneath her bed. An apartment will be a palace". And it will be.

It will be 980 square feet of heaven, is what it will be. It will be privacy and personal time, it will be time I can spend with my daughter, just the two of us. Right now, we can't lie in bed on a Sunday morning and have a tickle fight without someone banging on the door or just barging in, asking for rides or for help or for Jacelyn to go get the paper out of the driveway. I can't discipline her without somone coming behind me and allowing her to do whatever I said she couldn't do: if I tell her she can't have anything else to eat because she didn't eat her dinner, my MIL gives her a popsicle. If I tell her she has to go to bed early, my SIL slips her a flashlight and a coloring book and markers. If I tell her she can't leave her room until its clean, someone slips in and cleans it for her while I'm busy cleaning the tub. Aunties and Grandmas are nice to visit but not the best place to live if you're trying to instill some discipline. Please don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful to have them around. It's wonderful for Jacelyn to have so much family surrounding her, and they love her very much.

It's small, but small equals less to clean. It's affordable, and will allow us to save some money so hopefully buying a home will be in our future, maybe a year from now or so. I won't have to worry about cutting grass. I won't have to worry about getting my lazy husband to fix something around the house. Little Guy won't have his own room, but he probably won't notice. I plan on nursing, but I'm a lazy nurser, so he'll be in a bassinet in our room for a while. And the very best part? It will be ours. Jacelyn can roam around in her panties, if she wants to, or even *GASP* naked. She has sadly been denied the childhood pleasure of partial nudity at whim. I had to convince her it was OK to take her pajama pants off at night, if she got too hot in bed.

I'm excited. I'm glad we're doing this now, before I'm too huge to help. My goal is to be completely ready for Little Guy by the end of the year. Moved in, unpacked, organized. I've even been doing some reading on freezer cooking, and I think I'm going to do that occassionally (prepare an extra meal and freeze it, only requiring thawing and reheating), so once LG does make his appearance we'll have easy to fix meals on hand and not have to order pizza or eat out or spend every evening at my MIL's house. I remember what it was like to have an infant, but this time around I'll have an infant and a five year old, who has to get to bed on time and get to school and be picked up and whatnot, amongst feedings and cleaning and working and all the other stuff in a day. Mothers are superheroes.

Jacelyn is on her way to Tampa as we speak. Brian's grandmother (from the Phillipines) is having her 80th birthday party this weekend, and Jacelyn, Michelle, Joe, and Brian's dad are all driving down there to surprise her. She has never met Jacelyn before, so it should be neat. I miss Jacelyn, terribly, but I'm sure she'll enjoy herself. Brian is in Tallahassee for the Florida State and Miami game today - he'll be in later tonight. Everyone is off enjoying themselves, while I sit here at work. Blogging, granted, but at work nonetheless. Sigh. Oh well. That still cannot dim my enthusiasm for MOVING DAY! Hooray!

I'm going to get to work. Thanks to TX Jen, for making sure we all weren't blown away by that tornado that zipped through town, and for taking time to make certain I was alright. You're a sweet girl!

Friday, October 19, 2007

My bad, y'all

Sorry I flipped out on my last post.

Now that I have taken some time to reflect (and to be forbidden to continue 'googling' SUA, that helps), I am feeling much more calm and optimistic. I am going to operate on the assumption that they did NOT find any other anomalies in the last ultrasound, and THAT is why no one called me with the information, and I had to find out from a doctor whom I had never seen before and who didn't give me enough information. Oops. Well, I said I was calm, but apparently I'm still bitter. I'll work on that.

We're OK, little guy and I. He's going to be fine. We're going to be fine. But we'll still take those prayers, if you got 'em. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Houston, we have a problem

Most babies have three blood vessels in their umbilical cords: two arteries and one vein. My little guy's cord only has one artery and one vein. This is called Single Umbilical Artery. Here is a link to a page that describes it, somewhat: This site, and every other site I've encountered, is a roller coaster for me. I feel better, then I feel worse. I am encouraged, then dejected. I think, 'Oh, this is OK', and then a paragraph later I am in tears.
I've been reading about genetic testing, intrauterine growth retardation, all of that.

I am freaked out. FREAKED OUT! And I have to confess to feeling slightly let down by my doctor, whom I have been absolutely smitten with up to this point. I got this news yesterday, at my four week check-up. I was seeing my doctor's partner, whom I had never seen before. She casually asked if my doctor had gone over my ultrasound results with me (the ultrasound that took place 4 weeks ago, mind you); I told her he had not, since I had seen him that morning before the ultrasound. She dropped the two-vessel-cord bombshell, then said they just wanted to monitor baby's growth from here on out. I asked if there was anything I needed to be concerned about or needed to know; she said no.

Then she said I should start coming in every two weeks for appointments (which is seems a trifle early to be doing, but whatever) and should make an appointment for an ultrasound in the next 1-2 weeks, so they can monitor growth and check out baby's face - he was trying to bury his face in my uterus at my last ultrasound, so they couldn't tell if he had a cleft lip and/or palate. Imagine a child of mine being camara shy. So next Tuesday I go for my next ultrasound, and then my sugar test. Then two weeks after that I go to see my doctor again.

I feel like he should have called me. But then, he didn't call me, and if he's a good doctor (Like I really feel he is) maybe it's because he wasn't concerned about the results. And I think that the doctor yesterday should have given me more information. I understand why she wouldn't want to give me the cold hard facts about SUA; she doesn't want me to panic (which I am doing now, because I looked the information up myself without a doctor around to temper my findings with facts), she doesn't want me to worry. I appreciate that. But I would rather be well informed. Did they see any of the potential developmental abnomalities normally associated with SUA? Heart, kidneys, nervous system issues? Did they rule that out? If they did rule those out, for which I would be eternally grateful, WHY COULDN'T SHE TELL ME THAT. If they didn't, why did she say the next ultrasound was just to monitor growth?

I'm just nervous, and I'm making too much of this, and I'm blathering. But I want more information. I understand there is no way of knowing for sure how things will turn out, I'm not asking to look into the future, but I want to know what they do know, at least as they can tell in the ultrasound.

Please pray for our baby, if you pray. I'm sure everything is fine, but it can't hurt. I'll keep you updated.