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Failure To Thrive


*I couldn’t read this back so there’s probably mistakes galore. And, sorry it’s so long.

Just typing this first sentence sends me into a panic from thinking about a terrifying moment one morning back in July. It’s been the main reason I had lost any interest in most things, including this blog. But things have been building inside my head and I need to be rid of them.

I’ve talked in the past about the hypoglycemic episodes we’ve had with my 6 year-old. Within 24 hours of her being born, she was rushed to the NICU for low blood sugar which was in its teens.

The hummingbird was taken off of medication within 2 months of being born and we thought that was the last of dealing with hypoglycemia.

Two years later, I went to get her up one morning and she was still sleeping, which was unusual. I woke her and while I was picking her up, she started twitching and crying while having spasms. She has never gone into a full-blown seizure though.

With each hypoglycemic episode she’s had over the years, there have been some where we could still treat her at home with honey and juice, and some where we would need to go to the emergency room. There were times where she would be released from the ER within 6-8 hours and other times when her blood sugar wouldn’t regulate and kept dropping to scary levels so she would have to be admitted for 1-2 weeks.

To this day, I worry 24/7 I worry about the possibility of her having a low blood sugar episode. Several of her episodes have been when she was sick but then there have been some episodes that have just come out of the blue.

The little bird has had so many tests and been to so many doctors but at the time, they didn’t seem to have many answers as to what was causing this. Also, the bird is small for her age so the specialists we’ve seen believed that there was another underlying issue but hadn’t been able to figure it out.

So, to be honest, I can feel like a wreck most days with the worry of whether or not she’s going to eat enough to keep her blood sugar up. She’s also very athletic and since she’s such a picky eater with not much of an appetite, that makes the worry and stress overwhelming at times.

We always make sure to have snacks with us wherever we go in case she may start showing signs of hypoglycemia. There have been times she had been so low upon waking up that we needed something much quicker to get the sugar into her because she can be very dazed and can’t follow simple instructions.

I usually dip my finger in honey and start wiping it on her lips and thankfully she has always responded to that by getting to where she can take it from a spoon. It’s probably only been a few minutes when dealing with these low blood sugar episodes but it feels like time stands still.

The bird didn’t have any severe episodes for a while and after we started seeing her most recent specialist, for the first time I’ve felt like I can ease up on the worry a tiny bit and I welcomed that.

When we go to her specialist, I cringe when I hear him say “failure to thrive”. It’s something we’ve been hearing over the years and I know it’s because of how small she is. She’s 6 but about the size of a 4 year-old. Hearing failure to thrive makes me fell like a failure as a parent even though I know we do our best. She’s just not a big eater.

Over the summer, my husband booked a cabin where we had stayed the previous year. It was really cool for us since living in Maine for the past few years, this was the first place we’ve lived where we’ve been here long enough to start traditions with our daughter.

We were also celebrating our 100th wedding anniversary in July so I was actually more excited than I was the previous year we went camping. And, yes. I think staying in a cabin is camping and that’s as close to “outdoorsy” as I’ll get.

I’m certain my kid was a fish in another life because she can swim for hours, which is what she and the husband did for the first few days.

We were all having a really great time, despite being a human mosquito buffet for 4 days and missing the comfort of my couch. My 6 year-old was eating pretty good and we were reconnecting as a family so I felt like I was finally able to unwind on our little vacation.

I promised her that we could sleep in the same bed the last few nights, which is a treat for her. I think it may have been my husband walking out of the bathroom that woke me up early that morning but within a few seconds, I felt the hummingbird twitching violently in the bed.

I took her in my arms to try and see if she was coherent but right away I saw that she was having a full-blown seizure. I want to throw up after typing that because all of the fear comes flooding back from that moment. I called to my husband to grab some honey but we found we didn’t have any. In fact, we only had things she would be able to drink, like juice, to help her get her blood sugar up but she was way past the point of being capable of drinking anything.

While I still had her in my arms, my husband rushed back with some strawberry jam that I started rubbing around her lips but she couldn’t even take that. That was the moment her eyes went into the back of her head and the hummingbird went limp. I feel terrible for even having this cross my mind at the time but I really thought the worst, I thought this was it. We had never experienced her in such a terrible state and I went in a state of shock, all while calling her name and trying to get her to come to.

She was throwing up before she lost consciousness so the jam I was able to get into her just came back up. The panic set in since she wasn’t responding and during this whole time, my husband was trying to get cell reception which was non-existent. The hummingbird started to show some signs of coming to… after what seemed like ages when in reality this episode was maybe about a few minutes. It’s strange how time seems to go in slow motion in an incident like this.

I was finally able to give her more strawberry jam on her lips and she was able to lick it off her lips but she still wasn’t responding to anything we said and in a daze. Understandably. The jam was all over the bed and the two of us were covered in it.

We knew we had to get her to the ER but since we were in the middle of nowhere and not familiar with the area, it made a very terrifying situation even worse. My husband found that the nearest hospital was over 45 minutes away and we had to rush the decision of what to do and decided it would be faster to take her to the hospital.

The hummingbird was still throwing up and in between, she started to accept the strawberry jam I was feeding her with my fingers. It was the car drive that lasted what felt like forever. We finally made it to the ER and thankfully, the little bird was in a much better state but my adrenaline was pumping like crazy and I still felt like I was going to throw up my heart.

They told us that her blood sugar was still pretty low at that point and we spent the next six hours there. This episode with her low blood sugar and seizure left my husband and I stunned but we had actually handled it more calmly than previous times with her hypoglycemia.

Reality hit me after a few hours while I was sitting beside my 6 year-old’s bedside. Seeing my child in that kind of medical emergency for the first time when it came to her seizure has honestly fucked me up. Feeling completely helpless while she had been lying in my arms and thinking the worst has guaranteed that my heart will never go back into my chest again.

I was asking the ER doctor all sorts of questions about seizures and having confirmation that there is absolutely nothing that you can do while someone has one made me angry. I felt that this is my child that I protect and love more than anything, yet I just have to let her ride it out was bullshit. I was irrationally angry about it for quite a while. It made the every day stress of dealing with her hypoglycemia shoot up with thoughts of not only dealing with her symptoms of low blood sugar but that now seizures were something that she might experience again.

When we went to see her specialist within the week, he told us that the chance of her having another seizure was high for the next two weeks and it was two weeks of hell. I didn’t want her to leave my sight. We are really lucky that she has the doctor she does because he is fantastic and has this soothing way about him. Although, after that visit, I was on edge.

To help the hummingbird’s blood sugar stay stable over the night, her doctor has us add a few tablespoons of uncooked cornstarch in yogurt that we give my daughter as a snack before bed. The cornstarch helps slows the digestion of what she eats and so far, she hasn’t had any episodes of hypoglycemia since. We’ve been back to her doctor for a second time and it seems like she’s doing much better with the addition of cornstarch. She’s even gaining a little more weight.

There have still been times since that we felt the need to check her blood sugar if she’s acting unusually tired and yes, that weird noise you may have heard a few weeks ago was probably my kid screaming at the top of her lungs. She still hates getting it checked and my heart breaks every time.

I’ve been teaching her more about nutrition and how important it is for everyone, especially for her because of these episodes she has. Things are sinking in for her that while candy is a treat, it’s so important to make healthier choices with food, like sliced avocado or cashews with craisans.

Every day I still feel like I’m teetering over the edge with the worry that this day may be the day her blood sugar takes a dive. It’s not easy when my anxiety already eats at me as it is. I just want to hug every parent out there who also has kids who have a health condition. And then sit down with a big glass of wine and a very loud ‘cheers’ because parenting isn’t easy.

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Book Review: The Husband’s Secret


I’ve been reading so many thrillers and decided it was time to change things up. I came across The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty and while I wasn’t sure what to expect, I found there was more weight to the plot lines than I had expected.

It took a bit to wrap my head around the three main characters, Australian women Cecilia, Tess, and Rachel. But, their stories start to intertwine and at that point, it was hard to put the book down.

Cecilia is a very organized and put together woman with a husband and three daughters. Her life becomes out of sorts the day she comes across an envelope from her husband. The contents of the letter inside are unknown but the words on the envelope ‘only open in the event of my death’ makes Cecilia’s curiosity get the best of her.

Although, out of all the scenarios she ponders, reading the letter and finding out a truth about her husband isn’t anything she could have ever imagined.

Tess thinks she has it made with her husband and young son, Liam. She has a stable and comfortable life until she finds that the people closest to her have been betraying Tess. It puts her in a tailspin and has her going off to Melbourne to stay with her mother. She also comes across an old boyfriend, Connor Whitby, which has Tess conflicted.

Marriage was a form of insanity; love hovering permanently on the edge of aggravation.

Rachel dotes on her toddler grandson, who is her world. Soon, her son and daughter-in-law drop the news that they’re moving to New York City. The thought of no longer living near her grandson is too much to bear.

Rachel is also still reeling from the loss of her teenage daughter many years ago. Her murderer has never been caught but she’s had her eye on a suspect for quite a while. Rachel finds a video that gives her the certainty of her daughter’s killer but convincing the police isn’t so easy.

Should you buy the book? Yes, if you like suspense and mystery. I’ve already downloaded another of the author’s books, Big Little Lies.

*A must see… Thunderstruck – 2Cellos

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The Stages Of Buying And Reading A Book

My husband thinks I’m nuts, which is a given, but even more so because of the emotional attachment I have with every single book I read. Even the not so great ones. But once I start a book, damn it, I have to finish it.

Example A.

I read several books at a time but there’s always a front-runner and after that book is finished, the cycle starts over again.

Stage 1: Deciding on a book to read. Sounds easy but it’s torture picking one book out of millions. Damn those first world problems.

Stage 2: I finally decide on one but there might be a few more that are in the running. As much as I love real books, I’ve been reading on my kindle more and more. So, I use the “buy now with 1-click” button. And those few other books that sounded good? The “buy now with 1-click” button makes me get those too.

You are a thing of evil buy now with 1-click button. Evil, I say!

You are a thing of evil buy now with 1-click button. Evil, I say!

I had more self-control when I would be asked for my credit card but it would be in my purse downstairs and I would be too lazy to get it. Boom, no impulsive shopping for books or anything else for that matter. Now, with that clicky button, I go clicky crazy and have accumulated so many books, I could open my own library.

Stage 3: I seem to start out reading a book and usually think, meh. Because it’s not the last book I read and my head is still in that story.

Stage 4: I cannot put the book down. I don’t want to tear myself away from the characters. My kid needs to be fed, dinner has to be made, and laundry has to finally be folded after spending the past 3 days in the dryer after being dried over and over again with the intention of taking it out but then forgetting about it. But I can’t stop reading!

Stage 5: It never fails that when I’m at a crucial point of a book, my 6 year-old wants to have every single second of my attention. Even if she has a friend over to play with. I’m convinced that kids have an internal radar that pings when you really, really need a little time by yourself. It’s like she knows and thinks “Wait a second! My mom looks like she’s enjoying herself without my company. So, I will bug the shit out of her to make sure she remembers I will never let that happen.”

For that matter, even my husband is that way. The man isn’t much of a talker but when I’ve been having a toddler like tantrum in my mind because I haven’t been able to move along in the current book I’m reading and my daughter is in bed at last, I open up my kindle and my husband seems to have a rare moment when he wants to talk and talk. They know. Oh, yes. They know.

Stage 6: Oh my god. I’m getting close to the end of the book. No! No! No! This can’t be happening. I want to finish but I can’t let these characters go!

Stage 7: I set the book aside for several days because I need time to accept the fact that it will be over soon. Sniff… sniff.

Stage 8: I finish my beloved book and it’s bittersweet. Yay, I’m done but booo, so is the story and characters I’ve been consumed with.

Stage 9: Spend days with a book hangover.

Stage 10: Finally settle on a new book. And get a few more because of that damn “buy now with 1-click” button.

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1 Year

It’s been a year since we lost Ben. He would have been 9 months old. I find it hard not to think about how life would be if he was in it.

He would have an adoring older sister who would give him plenty of attention, love, and lots of kisses.

He would be crawling and using one of the cats as a chew toy.

He would have that adorably adorable drool dripping smile.

He would have irresistible chubby baby legs.

For the longest time I was internalizing the grief. But last week I started thinking about him and just sat where I had been standing and was crying for the longest time.

Even though we were supposed to box these up months ago, his clothes are still in my bottom dresser drawer. His crib bedding and swaddling blankets are still in the office closet.

My head is telling me it’s time to accept it and put away his things.

My heart is telling me it’s not ready.

*Just Breathe

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My Therapist Is On Vacation For The Next Two Weeks. I Apologize In Advance.

I was at Target and as usual, bought much more than I planned to. You go to Target for a bottle of shampoo and end up spending $200.

After getting the things I needed, I got the hummingbird some new clothes, My Little Pony socks, and a freaking Frozen comforter. For no reason whatsoever! We give her treats occasionally for doing well in school, keeping her room clean for a week (that lasted less than a day), putting her plate in the sink, etc.

But I’ve been noticing that it’s been happening more often and I realize that I’m spoiling her and need to stop this shit.

I started to wonder if it’s because she’s an only child and I’m trying to overcompensate? Or parents of more than one child can indulge their kids too and it doesn’t matter if you have 1 kid or 4.

The other part of it is spoiling the hummingbird came more often after we lost Ben. At the time, I was so far off in my head and emotionally wasn’t there like I should have been. That’s when the treats started to become more frequent. My husband has been doing the same thing since.

I know the only way to solve this is to quit buying all this crap I’m spoiling her with. It’s one of those things that’s easier said than done though. But I really need to come up with some boundaries.

Do you treat your kids? How often? Is it only for special occasions or can it be random?

*I’ve read this back and it might not make any sense. I just don’t want to raise a spoiled brat. So, I wanted to know if you do the same with treats or if I should put the brakes on it, etc.

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Thank You

I’ve been having a really tough week with depression and even though you may not know it, I wanted to say how much I thank you, all of you, who reads my nonsensical writing.

Taking the time out in your busy day to read my blog is something I greatly appreciate, more than I can put into words.

For the past 4 years, you have helped me deal with issues just by me being able to write about them and I hope in some small way, I have helped at least someone out there by being so honest with my feelings.

I know so well what it’s like to feel alone… different from others. So, the thought of possibly having even one person feel more “normal” helps me. Needless to say, I don’t like to sugarcoat things for that reason.

If you ever feel even the tiniest inclination to reach out to me for any reason, to vent or just write to feel better, ANY REASON at all, whether or not we are strangers, please don’t hesitate to email me….

I’ll be there to listen. If it takes me time to answer, know that I’m crazy busy or scatterbrained… as usual.

So, in my usual long-winded way, THANK YOU! <3

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Throwback Thursday: My Beautiful Mom And Snazzy Grandfather

When it comes to me and having my photo taken, it’s not a good mix by any means. Even when I was a cute kid, I HATED having my photo taken. Even now, I edit my pics if I share with someone. My aunt was the same way.

Pretty much every photo I have of her has her avoiding the camera or turning her face so you couldn’t see her. Haha! It must run in the family.

Anyway, for the past 15 years or so, I’ve been telling my husband that I want to organize our big ass box of pictures and put them into photo albums. Someday, I really want to pass them on to the hummingbird.

As I was looking through the photos, I found a photo of my beautiful mother and my very snazzy maternal grandfather. He was the coolest grandfather ever, the best.

He passed away when I was only 15 and I think about him every single day. We spent the day together one day during the summer and his last words to me were “See you soon! Two months later, he left this earth.

But, I have my beloved photos of him and will forever keep him in my memory and think of him always. He had a tattoo on his arm that he got while in the military that I thought was so cool. He fought in World War 2, was part of the Flying Tigers, and was a police officer.

My family didn’t have cable but he would put a video in his VCR (fuck, I feel old), and record hours of MTV for me, back when they actually played music videos.

He would do those little things for me that I greatly appreciated. I love him dearly.

The little hummingbird has been told plenty about how wonderful her great-grandfather was. I hope she learns more about him as the years go by and see just how special he was.

My incredible grandfather.

My incredible grandfather.


My beautiful mother.

My beautiful mother.

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