If hospitals gave frequent flyer miles, Id be typing this up from a secluded island somewhere while I sipped a bluish drink with lots of alcohol in it as Joe slept in a lounge chair next to me. Instead, I am in bleach stained sweats, fighting with a 7 year old computer, drinking cold coffee while Joe is at work trying to escape from me.

The last month or so has been a test of my emergency broadcast system. Almost like a OEM drill, but not a drill. More like a challenge. And as usual, I managed to meet the challenge with grace and wisdom. OK, who the fuck are we kidding here. I have been a total mess. The only miracle is that no kids or animals were harmed in the making of this update. Wait, scratch that. One kid was harmed, but it was TOTALLY not my fault.  This time. Charlie sustained minor damage while saving the world from aliens. At least that what he will tell you. The way I heard it was Charlie, the youngest of a group of boys and man/childs playing basketball down the street, was playing (and by playing I mean standing amongst everyone) basketball and a another kid (and by kid I mean a 20something year old) managed to connect his elbow with Charlies face. (and by face I mean eye) I had already resigned myself to bed because the prior two weeks spent in the hospital with Kylie (I will get to that later) had sucked the life out of me and I was on the brink of death from mental and physical exhaustion. More mental than physical because come on, lets face it, sitting in the hospital hurrying up and waiting is not a contact sport. Although it sure as hell fells like it. In fact, I am going to propose a new Olympic event. Hurry Up and Wait For The Doctor. I have trained for 13 years for this. I have this gold medal clinched. But, I digress… So. there I am, settling in for the night (and by setteling in I mean fighting off kids and dogs for my spot in my bed) when I heard the front door. Followed by Charlie sobbing. Not an unusual sound in this house, I figured he was just being Charlie. The little brother. Then I heard TJ. “Mom…come here.” More than used to being called to “deal” with “Charlie, the whiny butt” I said “No, you guys come up here!” Before he could finish saying “No, Mom…you NEED to come here!” I was already downstairs, one slipper on, fumbling to get my glasses back on my face. He had THAT tone. You know the tone of “oh shit, we are in SOOO much trouble for breaking our little brother AGAIN.” There sat Charlie. Blood dripping from what looked like everywhere on his face. Dearlordinheaven the head can bleed. Upon further inspection I saw a nice gash under his eyebrow that was no way a “suck it up buttercup” kind of injury. I was already heading back upstairs when Joe made it down and I can only imagine the look on his face. Back upstairs he came, where I was already dressed and ready to roll. Off to the ER the three of us went to get Humpty Dumpty glued back together again.

     Now, mind you, this event came on the tail end of two weeks in the hospital with Kylie, who decided that our life isn’t an insane asylum enough and she had a burning desire to spice things up a bit. A bleeding ulcer had drained my child of epic amounts of blood. Thanks to her stem cell transplant in 05, her normal hemoglobin is at about a 15. Thanks to the ulcer, it dropped below 9! Scans, tests, a bowel prep and an upper and lower endoscopy left her exhausted and empty but some prevacid was all it took to nip the issue in the bud. Finally discharged home, we THOUGHT we could take a deep breath and relax.


We get home from the ER with Charlie and Kylie informs me she had another bloody poop. But rather than the black coffee ground poop of a bleeding ulcer, it was fresh, bright red blood. Not a neophyte to the whole sick kid thing, I knew running to her hospital (not the same as Charlie had just been to, we like VARIETY!) would only get us a whole bunch of waiting until the GI came in the next morning. So, with one eye on Charlie and one eye on Kylie, I slept. Get it? Both eyes were open. No sleeping for Heather…

The next day my one eyed wonder Charlie stayed on the couch while Kylie packed for what she knew was going to wind up as another admission to the hospital. I called her Dr. and made arrangements to head up to the hospital. Her hb had been almost a 12 at her last discharge was now back down to the low 10’s. Her lab results indicate a long, slow bleed somewhere. SOMEWHERE? What the hell? SOMEWHERE? We can operate on a fetus in the mothers womb, we can reattach faces and hands, we can make women, men and vice versa but we cant “find” where my child is bleeding from????

Another few days, a series of tests, some group pow wows with a melange of Drs and everyone is scratching their heads. With no recent bleeding, Kylie was sent home where we scheduled a capsule endoscopy, had her last biopsy results FedExed to her transplant team in Long Island and a whole bunch ow WTF?s. So Back to my Olympic training. Wait. Wait for the endoscopy. Wait for Long Island to get the slides. Wait for that long drive to Choens Childrens Hospital  where we will see her transplant Dr.s who will no doubt have theories that will scare the shit out of me. 

So…what to do while I wait? Oh, I don’t know… clean my house that looks like a crime scene on The First 48? Do laundry that is piled so high in my basement I will need hiking gear and an O2 tank? Order 2,000lbs of mulch for my flower beds? Nahhhhh…that would make sense. That would be PRACTICAL… You all know how reasonable and practical I am. No.. I decide that its time to flip my wig, spazz out, reserve a room at the Rubber Ramada. I decide its time… to have… my very first… anxiety attack.

Go big or go home, BITCHES!