Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A wonderful visit...

My brother and his family were in Ft. Walton Beach this week and so we flew up to spend two days with them. I love my brother and I especially love his family. Whenever we are together, we have a blast - and they "get" my children which is huge.

Anyway, I learned a few things...
  • Zachary can sing the "Bow, chicka, bow, bow" porn refrain. Doug (my brother) has a new officer on his police force and his name sounds like a porn star. So we were joking about it, and sang the "bow, chicka, bow, bow..." and Zach heard us laughing. Since he always wants to be in on a good joke, he started singing it. That made us laugh even harder... Then, his cousin, Jack, started egging him on and, well we heard that the next several hours. Both Jack and Zach have no idea what is so wrong with all of this, because they are both innocent. Thankfully...
  • I am a poo-fessional. I can handle all poo-trastophe's. Apparently this is a "Gauthier" trait because my brother is also a certifed poo-fessional. My husband, Mark, however is not. The "girls" and I were visiting a cute little town and a poo-trastophe struck. A little poop ended up being a big mess - because Mark is not a poo-fessional. Needless to say, Uncle Doug to the rescue...
  • If you want to look skinny do this: get really fat for a few years. Then when you lose 15 lbs they think you are so skinny!

I didn't bring my camera, so I will have pictures of the adventures as soon as I get them from Doug!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Yesterday I received the itemized bill for Zach's hernia surgery. Wow! I knew our healthcare system is "broken" but I was reminded again, just how badly. I don't think government involvement is the answer, but I can definitely see the brokenness.

Zach was under medical care for about two-and-a-half hours. The bill? $8832.73 All I can say is thank God for good insurance! I only have to pay $280 in co-pays.

A fifteen minute surgery and it's almost ten thousand dollars! I am blown away by the inflated cost of everything. But even more blown away by the thought of trying to fix it. Like I said before, government involvement is not the answer. What has the government done a better, cheaper job with?

But charging that much money is criminal. I wonder how much I would be charged if I didn't have insurance?

Here are some of the costs:
Steri strip to hold the sutures closed: $22 (I think a box of them are less than $5 at CVS)
15 minutes in recovery: $438; $648; $683; $1212 (all depending on how long after the surgery it was)
Tylenol with codeine - 2teaspoons: $63.10 (I got the prescription for $5)
Sterile supplies (including the steri strips) $524

Crazy! But what to do?? Something needs to happen! But how? What? Requiring everyone to have insurance doesn't seem like it would make a difference. Especially when people can't afford it. The people I know who don't have insurance WANT insurance, they just can't afford it. Making it a requirement doesn't automatically make it attainable. Crazy!

Thanks for letting me rant!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

All before noon...

This has been a crazy week, so I don't know why I thought today would be any different...

Last night after Bible Study, Zach and I headed to St. Pete to spend the night with Krystal. Why? Because she was there for a conference and Zach had to be at All Children's Hospital at 6:30 am for hernia surgery.

We get to the hospital this morning with plenty of time to spare. As we are about to check in, I realize that I left his comfort-blanket in the car. We go through the small hassle of getting the blanket and then begin the pre-op procedures.

Zach is NOT a fan of the pre-op. And after struggling with him, he finally settles in. A parade of nurses and doctors come in and ask the same questions - thankfully they all want to be on the same page. One nurse asking him about his Michigan t-shirt and we talk about how his grandma and grandpa went there.

So as they prepare to wheel him off, I ask him if he wants his blanket that we hiked back to the car to get. Nope, he preferred his t-shirt that represents his grandma. Aaawwww... how sweet.

Surgery is quick and uneventful. He is sprung at 10:05 am and we head to get him a snack. As I'm feeding him Doritos and fruit (don't judge...) I get a call from Venice Elementary.

Ryan needs stitches. He was pushed and fell on the concrete. I'm not sure why the "goober hat" didn't keep him from being hurt, but well, accidents happen.

I call Mark, have him rush to Venice El and take Ryan to Venice Hospital. I will meet him there and "trade" kids so he can get back to work. He could take Zach to work with him and then I'll get him when Ryan's fixed up.

Lucky me... I get there in time to be the one who gets to pin Ryan down while they stitch him. I'm the lucky one who hears him scream and cry. As if that is not enough, he cries, "Momma, why. Mommmmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaa, whhhhhhhhyyyyyyy. Momma, why!"

Then they wrap the compression bandage around his head to get the swelling down and stop the bleeding. Later, Mark sees him and says he looks like a Civil War soldier. Yeah, he kinda does.

Anyway, all this before noon. Nap anyone?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Care Bears Song

So, I'm going about my normal Saturday morning routine of cleaning up, helping the kids play - or rather playing zookeeper and ringmaster - when a song comes on. The boys flipped through the channels and randomly landed on the kids music station. I rolled my eyes at the station, and then heard the words...

"I don't want to be like everybody else..."

Wow, that struck me, big time. Because that seems to be what's been on my mind a lot - in a variety of avenues.

I want to live a life that points to God. I want to stand apart. I don't think I'm doing a very good job at this and so I need to take a hard look at the choices I make and the things I say or don't say. That doesn't seem to be that common.
Also, we are getting our finances in shape and that means not living like everybody else. That means making the tough choice to not do something fun because we don't have the cash. That means putting off purchases until we have saved for it. That doesn't seem to be very common these days either.

So, like the Care Bears, I don't want to live like everybody else.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Random musings...

I don't update my blog nearly as often as I should! I love blogging, I just haven't taken the time. Not too many people read it, so for me it's a form of journaling.

I've finally made a huge decision, or it feels huge to me... And it is a wonderful feeling! I would like to say I sleep better at night, but well, Zach got me up at 3:30 this morning "reading" to his stuffed animals... for 3 hours!

Anyway... I have contemplated sending my kids to a special school next year instead of their current school. Zach has a phenomenal teacher and aides and he has completely thrived there. Ryan has had great teachers too and next year he would go to Zach's current teacher. Great, right? Well, one part of their education is really lacking and that's the aspect I need to fix. I struggled with changing their school and I was dragging my feet because I don't like change, I love Miss Dana, and its a "normal" school. Also, did I mention I don't like change?

Everyone I would talk to who have worked at the special school or know about it wonder why I am not chomping at the bit to make the change. Well, did I mention I don't like change? That and this one huge reason...

Sending the boys to this school is the final "admittance" that my kids will never lead a "normal" life. Now, I know there is no such thing as normal... But with the special school, I am admitting that my kids will never be mainstreamed. They will never play regular sports or experience the stuff that comes with a normal school. I have known this day would come and I'm finally ready to embrace what that means. Ok, with tears in my eyes...

I know this may not seem like a big deal to most people. But raising only special needs kids means some of my dreams have had to change. And this is tough.

So instead of crying too much, I'm going to focus on what the new school can offer:

  • A fresh start

  • Therapists who can work with extreme kids

  • Amazing assistive technology

  • A chance to avoid bullying because they are different

  • Friendships that come with everyone understanding you

  • Weekly swimming

  • Frequent field trips

One thing I've seen through Special Olympics is how bonded the kids are who go to this school. They are so much like regular school kids - only having special needs isn't an issue.

So I'm embracing the change and the uncertainty that comes with it.

It feels good to make a decision and not have the decision made for me!