Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Special Day

I went on a field trip today with Carly's kindergarten class. We went to the zoo, saw a show there and looked at all of the animals, had a picnic lunch, rode the train, and then played at the park. Although we have been there many times before, something about it being a field trip made it seem much more special. I enjoyed spending the day with Carly and getting to know all of her friends a little bit better. Since she is in a very small school district she will be with the same 20 kids each year. I really want to know these kids and their parents. It is important to me to be involved as much as I can so that I know what is going on in my kid's lives. The funniest part of the day came from a conversation I had with Tristan, a kindergartner.

Tristan: Carly and Ashton are always pretending to be princesses.

Me: Carly thinks she is a princess.

Tristan: Well, she kind of is.

I think I had better keep a close eye on this one. It was so cute and funny. The kids were so loving and for the most part minded really well.

I also had a chance to meet the special education teacher for the school. She went on the trip as well. She was able to answer most of my questions about transitioning from Early Intervention into the school district. As much as I would like to pretend Anna will not need special education, she will. She will age out of Early INtervention in December when she turns 3 and I am pretty sure she will not be caught up by then. She is doing so much better and when she is by herself I think she is on target. When I see her around other kids her age I realize she is still behind and will need help to keep the pace. I am hoping that seeing her as she is might be some step towards the acceptance of all of this that I have been striving to find. I really liked the special education teacher and she really seems to know what she is doing. I am happy that our district mainstreams kids. I know it might not be best for all kids but I see the special ed kids in Carly's class and they seem happy and are accepted. I can remember my elementary days when the special ed kids had their own room and it might as well have been a freak show parade when they walked the halls at school because that is how typical kids looked at them. It seemed they were only allowed out to eat lunch and go to the bathroom- and they never did those things with the typical kids. Since they were never allowed to be with the other kids they seemed so different which I think only led to further isolation and cruelty. I hope that by mainstreaming kids they will be more accepted in the schools and in communities rather than being locked away where people can just pretend "those" types of kids do not exist. OK- that was a total tangent but oh well.

After the field trip, Carly and I came home and washed my car and her Barbie Jeep. Then we hopped in the car and went and enjoyed a snow cone. We had a great day together and I hope she always wants me to come on her field trips and is as proud to call me mommy as she was today.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Day In Pictures

Meet Beau. He is one of my parent's dogs. We are dog sitting for 2 weeks while they are on vacation. Beau is fairly well mannered but hates Kenneth. He like to snuggle with me but has been put in his place by Anna who insists "My Momma!!!" He likes to growl and bark at Max and Rocko, our 70 lb dogs. I am thinking they could finish him off in one bite, but don't worry, they won't (unless of course Beau is trying to break into our house in which case they know what to do!).

Meet Belle. She is dog #2 for my parents. She is crazy and has not been still for longer than 10 seconds at a time. She makes an amazing amount of crap for a 5 lb dog. She was given to my parents and they were told she was a chihuahua. I have my doubts but she is cute anyway.

Apparently word got out that we are animal friendly here because these baby birds are taking up residence on our front porch. I love watching them eat and learn to fly. Their mother is a bit mouthy but I think that is how mothers are in this house (or so I'm told.)

Apparently Anna confused our community's trash off today with dressing like white trash day. Oh well, she's cute as a bug anyway. She would like you to know if you have any spare bites of food she will take them. She has a lot of catching up to do, you know. Her surgery is officially cancelled and I am thinking I may need a second job now to keep up with her food demands. She eats everything that does not eat her first. Grow Anna grow!!!

I got put on call today for work and never got called in. I did not mind. It was an overtime shift for me today anyway. I kicked back with the girls this morning before Carly's soccer game and got to watch Barbie and The 3 Musketeers. What could be better?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy 101

My friend Jill awarded my blog the Happy 101 Award!

Thanks Jill!

I get to list 10 things that make me happy and then get to pass this award onto other sweet blogging friends!

10 Things That Make Me Happy:

1. Knowing I have a Heavenly Father who loves me 100% of the time for who I am and also in spite of who I am.

2. Time alone with my husband. We both work weird schedules and work around each other's schedules so that one of us is always home with the girls. We get very few days off alone together and so I treasure those times so much!

3. My sweet girls! Where would I be without them? They keep me busy and on my toes but I cannot even remember what life was like before them. They have taught me more than I ever thought possible. They have shown me that my capacity to love is far greater than I ever could have imagined!

4. Phone calls and rare visits with my sweet sweet sister. She is my sanity! Even though the Army has put miles between us she is never more than a phone call away. I look up to her in every way and hope someday the distance between us will be less!

5. Diet Dr Pepper!!! When I was pregnant with Anna I had gestational diabetes and got hooked on them. I will not even admit to how many of them I drink in a 24 hour period- it is a serious addiction!

6. Sitting outside in the morning and listening to the birds chirping. Living out in the country has its benefits and this is certainly one of them! There are 2 nests of baby birds on our porch right now and I love to watch them learning how to fly.

7. Spending time with Joanne and Rachel. I could not ask for 2 better friends! They have helped me to make it through these past few years when there were times I did not think I could take another step. It is so awesome to not only have these awesome friends but to get to work with them too!

8. My job. I know that sounds crazy but in these times when jobs are scarce I am happy to have mine. I get to help people live and get to teach others how to die. I get to come in at some of the worst moments in people's lives and make them better. What could be better than that?

9. Sleeping all night long! After 2 years of getting up with Anna about every 3 hours I have really come to appreciate a good night's sleep. Thank God she has discovered the beauty in this as well- finally!

10. A beautiful sunset. It reminds me that even as things are about to get dark, there can be beauty in the situation!

I bestow this award to:

She is that sweet sister I referred to earlier. Her faith is strong and such an encouragement to so many! Her husband is currently serving in Iraq. She is a mother to 3 small children, works as a physician, and volunteers in her spare time... and she makes it look easy!

I met her through the blogging world. She has an adorable son Charlie. She makes me laugh and smile and even though we have never really "met" I am so glad to have her on my side!

I met her through the blogging world also. Her son Zach could not be cuter and has cerebral palsy also. She and her husband Nathan are amazing people!

I met Nicole after we both survived preeclampsia. Her sweet angel baby Cooper was lost to the disease but never forgotten. Nicole's life was changed forever! Nicole's strength is amazing and her work to prevent this from happening to other families is tireless!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Joining "The Club"

I found this tonight on Jess's site. It is a membership letter to "The Club." It certainly deserves re-posting!

My dear friend,

I am so sorry for your pain.

Don’t worry; no one else sees it, I promise. To the rest of the world, you’re fine. But when you’ve been there, you can’t miss it.

I see it in your eyes. That awful, combustible mixture of heart-wrenching pain and abject fear. God, I remember the fear.

I see it in the weight of that invisible cloak that you wear. I remember the coarseness of its fabric on my skin. Like raw wool in the middle of the desert. You see, it was mine for a time.
I never would have wanted to pass it on to you, my love. I remember so well suffocating under the weight of it, struggling for breath, fighting to throw it off while wrapping myself in its awful warmth, clutching its worn edges for dear life.

I know that it feels like it’s permanent, fixed. But one day down the line you will wake up and find that you’ve left it next to the bed. Eventually, you’ll hang it in the closet. You’ll visit it now and then. You’ll try it on for size. You’ll run your fingers over the fabric and remember when you lived in it, when it was constant, when you couldn’t take it off and leave it behind. But soon days will go by before you wear it again, then weeks, then months.

I know you are staring down what looks to be an impossibly steep learning curve. I know it looks like an immovable mountain. It is not. I know you don’t believe me, but step by step you will climb until suddenly, without warning, you will look down. You will see how far you’ve come. You’ll breathe. I promise. You might even be able to take in the view.

You will doubt yourself. You won’t trust your instincts right away. You will be afraid that you don’t have the capacity to be what your baby will need you to be. Worse, you’ll think that you don’t even know what she needs you to be. You do. I promise. You will.

When you became a mother, you held that tiny baby girl in your arms and in an instant, she filled your heart. You were overwhelmed with love. The kind of love you never expected. The kind that knocks the wind out of you. The kind of all encompassing love that you think couldn’t possibly leave room for any other. But it did.

When your son was born, you looked into those big blue eyes and he crawled right into your heart. He made room for himself, didn’t he? He carved out a space all his own. Suddenly your heart was just bigger. And then again when your youngest was born. She made herself right at home there too.

That’s how it happens. When you need capacity you find it. Your heart expands. It just does. It’s elastic. I promise.

You are so much stronger than you think you are. Trust me. I know you. Hell, I am you.
You will find people in your life who get it and some that don’t. You’ll find some that want to get it and some that never will. You’ll find a closeness with people you never thought you had anything in common with. You’ll find comfort and relief with friends who speak your new language. You’ll find your village.

You’ll change. One day you’ll notice a shift. You’ll realize that certain words have dropped out of your lexicon. The ones you hadn’t ever thought could be hurtful. Dude, that’s retarded. Never again. You won’t laugh at vulnerability. You’ll see the world through a lens of sensitivity. The people around you will notice. You’ll change them too.

You will learn to ask for help. You’ll have to. It won’t be easy. You’ll forget sometimes. Life will remind you.

You will read more than you can process. You’ll buy books that you can’t handle reading. You’ll feel guilty that they’re sitting by the side of the bed unopened. Take small bites. The information isn’t going anywhere. Let your heart heal. It will. Breathe. You can.

You will blame yourself. You’ll think you missed signs you should have seen. You’ll be convinced that you should have known. That you should have somehow gotten help earlier. You couldn’t have known. Don’t let yourself live there for long.

You will dig deep and find reserves of energy you never would have believed you had. You will run on adrenaline and crash into dreamless sleep. But you will come through it. I swear, you will. You will find a rhythm.

You will neglect yourself. You will suddenly realize that you haven’t stopped moving. You’ve missed the gym. You’ve taken care of everyone but you. You will forget how important it is to take care of yourself. Listen to me. If you hear nothing else, hear this. You MUST take care of yourself. You are no use to anyone unless you are healthy. I mean that holistically, my friend. HEALTHY. Nourished, rested, soul-fed. Your children deserve that example.
A friend will force you to take a walk. You will go outside. You will look at the sky. Follow the clouds upward. Try to find where they end. You’ll need that. You’ll need the air. You’ll need to remember how small we all really are.

You will question your faith. Or find it. Maybe both.

You will never, ever take progress for granted. Every milestone met, no matter what the timing, will be cause for celebration. Every baby step will be a quantum leap. You will find the people who understand that. You will revel in their support and love and shared excitement.
You will encounter people who care for your child in ways that restore your faith in humanity. You will cherish the teachers and therapists and caregivers who see past your child’s challenges and who truly understand her strengths. They will feel like family.

You will examine and re-examine every one of your own insecurities. You will recognize some of your child’s challenges as your own. You will get to know yourself as you get to know your child. You will look to the tools you have used to mitigate your own challenges. You will share them. You will both be better for it.

You will come to understand that there are gifts in all of this. Tolerance, compassion, understanding. Precious, life altering gifts.

You will worry about your other children. You will feel like you’re not giving them enough time. You will find the time. Yes, you will. No, really. You will. You will discover that the time that means something to them is not big. It’s not a trip to the circus. It doesn’t involve planning. It’s free. You will forget the dog and pony shows. Instead, you will find fifteen minutes before bed. You will close the door. You will sit on the floor. You’ll play Barbies with your daughter or Legos with your son. You’ll talk. You’ll listen. You’ll listen some more. You’ll start to believe they’ll be OK. And they will. You will be a better parent for all of it.

You will find the tools that you need. You will take bits and pieces of different theories and practices. You’ll talk to parents and doctors and therapists. You’ll take something from each of them. You’ll even find value in those you don’t agree with at all. Sometimes the most. From the scraps that you gather, you will start to build your child’s quilt. A little of this, a little of that, a lot of love.

You will speak hesitantly at first, but you’ll find your voice. You will come to see that no one knows your child better than you do. You will respectfully listen to the experts in each field. You will value their experience and their knowledge. But you will ultimately remember that while they are the experts in science, you are the expert in your child.

You will think you can’t handle it. You will be wrong.

This is not an easy road, but its rewards are tremendous. It’s joys are the very sweetest of life’s nectar. You will drink them in and taste and smell and feel every last drop of them.
You will be OK.

You will help your sweet girl be far better than OK. You will show her boundless love. She will know that she is accepted and cherished and celebrated for every last morsel of who she is. She will know that her Mama’s there at every turn. She will believe in herself as you believe in her. She will astound you. Over and over and over again. She will teach you far more than you teach her. She will fly.

You will be OK.

And I will be here for you. Every step of the way.

With love,

This Little Piggy

Anna has been doing well since her dilation. The first night we did not tube feed her. The second night the girls spent the night with my MIL so I did not up the feeds that night just in case Vesuvius erupted. I did not feel like that was fair to my MIL who graciously keeps my kids for a night almost every weekend to give us a break. Saturday night was going to be the big night- the night where we determined if this procedure was a success. During the night Anna woke up and said "I code" so I just stumbled over to her bed and put another blanket on her and went right back to sleep. A little while later her pump beeped that it was finished and Kenneth went to flush her button and found her lying in a bed full of tube feeding. No wonder the kid was cold. Anyway, that attempt was an obvious fail. She woke up yesterday morning and ate a whole banana. That is remarkable for 2 reasons. 1. She hates bananas and 2. She never eats a "whole" anything. Then she wanted a snack, then she pigged out at lunch, then had another snack, then pigged out at dinner and then passed out in the recliner. Kenneth called me at work to excitedly tell me, "I can't keep this kid full today." I was off work today so I was hoping to get to see it the miracle for myself. She ate half a piece of toast for breakfast- better than usual but not too impressive. I took her to daycare and they said she ate about normal for them. When I picked her up from daycare the first words out of her mouth were "I eat." I cooked homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner and she ate 3 bowls of it. They were little bowls but still, it was 3 of them!!!! Then she had some pretzels before bed. I am debating about whether or not to even tube feed her tonight because her belly is so full and pooched out. I am thinking we have done a really good thing here. I have not cancelled the surgery just yet but for the first time in 2 years and 5 months we are not having to force feed our child and she has not puked. It is an amazing feeling! I pray this will continue. I now even have hope that someday tube feedings will be a thing of the past! She is sleeping better, too! She has fallen asleep twice without her medicine and slept in on Sunday until 10:30!!!!! I had to wake her up this morning and that never happens, she is always waking me up. Dr. Ogunmola- you are the man!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Prayerful Waiting

All went well with Anna's pyloric balloon dilation. Usually prior to taking the kid back into the OR they give them versed or "giggle juice" to make the parental separation easier. Anna has become such a pro at this that she didn't even need it. She just said "bye" and off she went. It isn't that I mind her having the versed but not having it makes the wake up from anesthesia much gentler for her. She did great. When we were allowed to go in and see her the only thing she was really distressed about was the pulse ox probe on her toe. It does not seem like she has had any pain. Dr Ogunmola said the ballooned area will probably swell today so not to expect to see any changes today but that if this is going to work then we will know it tomorrow. We will know it has worked if she tolerates a greater volume during her overnight feed without blowing up and vomiting. If it does work then I will call and cancel the surgery. Dr O said he expects the ballooning to last 6-12 months. At that time we would just repeat the procedure. She will probably need her button changed out about that time too so we can just do it all at once. If it does not work then he said there is really no other choice than to proceed with the fundoplication. I am prayerful and hopeful that we will see great improvement tomorrow. Since we have been home Anna has slept about an hour but is otherwise her normal crazy self. I thought maybe anesthesia would at least slow her down for the afternoon. Not so much!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Intuition. It is a crazy thing that can stir such emotion. It has been driving me crazy and making me nauseated. It has given me the sickest feeling deep in the pit of my stomach that I just can't shake. It is this feeling that maybe Anna's surgery isn't the right thing to do. What if it doesn't help? What if it makes things worse? What if it has horrible side effects? What if Anna hates me later for doing it? All of these things were circling my head like a bunch of buzzards on a dead animal and I just couldn't take another second of it. Add to that the fact that a bunch of parents of kids with GI problems that I converse with told me of how their children developed dumping syndrome or other horrible problems from the surgery. The more I found out the more horrified I was. I called the GI's office today determined to find some other less invasive, less terrifying, less permanent option. I asked the GI if we could maybe try ballooning open the pyloric sphincter. I know it is only a temporary fix but it would help me to know if fixing the sphincter will help fix the problem. He said it was certainly worth a try and that we should get it done ASAP- which meant tomorrow morning at 0645. So we will be leaving the house before the chickens are up and heading to Cook's to try out this solution. I am so torn and filled with so many emotions. Every time a new procedure surfaces I just get heartbroken all over again that my sweet baby is having to endure things that never should have happened. I am not angry, just sad and frustrated with a situation that seems to have no end. So please, if you have any prayers to spare, we could sure use them. Send them this way...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Microvasive Button. The Sequel.

I get a lot of emails and questions about Anna's button from parents being faced with the decision and also from parents whose child already has a button of another kind. I looked back at my previous button post and realized it was not all that informative because the button had just been placed and we were still new to the game (it does have a lot of pictures of the button though if that is what you are looking for). It has been almost 6 months since Anna's button was placed and I feel that my knowledge base it much broader now and that maybe I should share a bit of the questions and answers to them. I am by no means an expert but can tell you what experience and research have taught me:

Q: How did you finally decide your child had to have the button?
A: I think the point at which you decide this is different for every parent/child and every situation. For us, we had tried everything we and our team of doctors knew to do and Anna still wasn't eating. We were on the fence for quite a while. Anna was not gaining weight but not loosing either. Then for whatever reason she went on a total food strike and would scream and cry at the sight of food. She began to loose weight and was really looking sick. She was pale, her eyes had dark circles under them, her hair was dry and brittle and not growing.

Q: Do you have any regrets about having the button placed?
A: My only regret is that we did not do it sooner. Once the button went in life was so much easier. We allow Anna to eat what she wants during the day and then feed her through the button at night. The struggle at meals which at times could drag on for hours was gone. Yes, we have had problems with vomiting but that would have happened button or no button because of the reflux and gastroparesis.

Q: What are the advantages of the Microvasive Button verses the Mic-Key or other types?
A: From what I understand, the Microvasive is one of the only "one-step" buttons. That means when Anna had her button placed she did not have to have a long G tube and then have it switched out 6-8 weeks later. The button she has now is the same one that was placed on her day of surgery. The microvasive button generally lasts 12-16 months before needing to be replaced. The Mic Key has to be changed much more frequently although it can be done at home. Other types usually have a balloon that you fill with water and if you do not fill it just right you will have more leakage at the site. We have had minimal leakage. All buttons will leak a little- there is no avoiding that.

Q: What are the disadvantages to the Microvasive Button verses other types?
A: Because the Microvasive has a hard bumper on the backside and no water balloon it must be replaced while the child is sedated. It takes something like 25 lbs of pressure pulling on it to remove it so the child should not have to be awake through that misery. The only other thing I can think of is that with the Mic-Key the extension set locks into place and with the Microvasive it does not. We have learned to plug the extension set into the button and then run it through the side of her diaper so if the tube gets pulled it pulls from down lower and the "plug in" stays plugged in.

Q: Do you keep a dressing over the button site?
A: We do. Not everyone does. I have a good friend who said her son's site looked worse if they kept a dressing on it. We have noticed much more difficulty if we don't keep one on. We spray the site with SilverKare and put SilverKare on the gauze and keep a dressing on it. I do not like the leakage to get on her and it also bleaches out her shirts if it gets on them. We change the dressing at least once daily. I highly recommend SilverKare. It is the best product we have found to keep the site healthy.

Q: Have you had any granulation tissue?
A: In the beginning we did. Our GI gave us a script for some steroid cream that we used 3 times a day and it went away pretty quickly. I really think keeping the dressing on cuts down on the granulation tissue as well because it keeps the button from spinning too much. It needs to be turned once a day but too much more than that and the granulation tissue seems worse (that is purely my observation).

Q: Our button keeps popping open. Is there a solution?
A: Anna's frequently pops open, too. There are only 2 solutions we have found. The first is just to tape the "lid" down to her dressing during the day when we are not using the button. The other is to buy those tiny little hair rubber bands and place one over the end of the button with it closed. That will keep it closed as well but seems to encourage Anna to play with it more too.

Q: Does your child try to pull the button out?
A "No. She has the dexterity to close it if it opens but does not pull on it.

Q: What does your child call her button?
A: Anna has great receptive language but is behind in "spoken" language so she does not call it anything. But if you ask her where her button is she will point to it. So I guess we call it her button.

These are the questions I get most often. If there are others please email or comment them to me and I will be happy to answer them the best that I can.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Return Trip From The Land Of Denial

Anna's surgery is now officially scheduled for May 10. The scheduling lady was so nice about it and very respectful of the fact that I was changing the date based on my parent's wishes. She said she is a grandmother and would love if her child would be so obliging. I was proud of my decision to change the date and feel like it was the right thing to do for so many reasons. Our insurance company called today to talk with me about the surgeries. It was a totally random phone call. She wanted to know if I understood the surgery and all it entailed, where I would be staying, if I needed counseling, if we had told Anna about the surgery...the list goes on. I tried to be polite but really 1. Would I consent to 2 surgeries on my child that I did not fully understand? Um, NO! 2. My kid is 2 so I'm thinking I should probably stay at the hospital with her, mmm kay. I am not really sure it is well thought of and/or appropriate for a 2 year old to be left alone 75 miles from home after a surgery. 3. Um, no counseling needed here but thanks for telling me about the benefit that my plan offers- since I already used it earlier. 4. And no, I did not tell Anna. I am thinking that she wouldn't understand and furthermore probably does not care. I tried very hard and was successful at being polite to the lady but if this is adding to the rising cost of health care then I am pretty sure it is something I could do without. I appreciate the thought, but really, it isn't necessary. Then I wondered if there are people who do not really understand and if this service is necessary for them and then that really had me frightened so I just quit thinking about it.

In an unsuccessful attempt to go back to the land of denial and make believe I tried to go up by 10 ml (that is 10ml total not 10ml/hr) on Anna's feeds last night. For those non-metric people that is 1/3 of an ounce or 2 teaspoons. So Anna got 360 ml at 70ml/hr which is just a tad over 5 hours. When I disconnected her that child looked she had swallowed a watermelon. My decision was reaffirmed. The surgery is necessary. Luckily the volcano did not explode although I was sure it would. I kept waking up expecting to smell that wretched regurgitated Peptamen smell but never did. There is no good reason she should not be able to tolerate 2 1/3 ounces an hour other than the fact that her plumbing just isn't right.

I think sometime back I had posted about Anna sleeping in her own bed and in her own room. That only lasted a short time, like maybe a week or two, and then she was back in our room. So she has been in the middle of Kenneth and I ever since. One night she was gone to Kenneth's mom's and I actually had room in the bed and slept so good. I realized how much her being in our bed was disrupting my sleep. I had this bright idea to move her bed into our room and put it at the foot of our bed. We had to kind of make it a little ghetto so that we could still see the tv because I cannot fall asleep without it on. So her ghetto-fied bed is now in our room. I really don't care how it looks because she is sleeping better and so am I. She loves her own bed and is waking less and less. She only wakes up to tell us she is "code" (cold) or wants a "gink" (drink). We now leave a drink of water in her bed with her and have started putting warmer jammies on her at night so she is less "code." Carly is excited too because now on the nights Kenneth is gone it is just she and I.

The New Arrangement...patent pending

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Crackberry Saves The Day

Today has been an awesome Easter Sunday! The girls spent last night at their Meme's house and came home early this morning. We went to church and enjoyed a wonderful message. Then we went and had lunch at my aunt and uncle's house followed by an Easter egg hunt. I did so good today- I remembered everything I needed for church, our contribution to lunch, the kid's change of clothes, the diaper bag, sippy cups, Easter baskets, eggs... I remembered everything except the camera. Oh well, my Crackberry took a few OK pictures at the egg hunt so that is what you get. Cute pictures of them in their Easter dresses just didn't happen. But trust me, they were cute! The only thing that could have made today better was if Kenneth could have shared it with us. He is on duty but we went and saw him at the station and he will be home in the morning.

The girls spent yesterday at the lake with Kenneth's family. Carly took her bike out there because there are some bike trails. Her bike had training wheels and we have not really worked with her on taking them off. She apparently asked her cousin to take them off and he did. She then jumped on her bike and off she went...without the training wheels. I cannot believe she just did it all on her own but she did. She demonstrated for Kenneth and I tonight and it was no lie. She can do it!
Anna's surgery was scheduled for April 19th. My parents called today and wanted me to come over and "visit." I spend a lot of time with my parents but knew something was up when they called. My dad is quite transparent. I went over there and they very respectfully asked me if I would mind moving Anna's surgery. They are scheduled to leave 3 days after Anna's planned surgery to go to Italy, Greece, and Egypt for 2 weeks. My mom said she is afraid something will go wrong and they will be leaving. They also said they want to be available to help us during and after. I think it is nice of them to be concerned and their help with Carly will likely be needed and I want them to be able to enjoy their trip so I will be calling Dr. Black's office tomorrow to see if I can change the date to May 10. he scheduling lady is either a total heifer or was just having a really bad day when I talked to her last time so I hope she is nice about this...