Posts Tagged ‘hospital’

With Thankful Hearts

Very sick little girlFew things can bring a parent to their knees in prayer faster than a sick child…especially when the situation is very serious. This was the position my niece, Susan Griffith and her husband, Josh found themselves in when their younger daughter, Kaytlyn became ill when she was just 18 months old. Kaytlyn was running a fever of 104.5° for most of the morning, nothing Susan did seemed to have much effect on the fever. Susan knew she had to get more help, so she took her to Urgent Care. The physician at Urgent Care, sent them to the Emergency Room at the hospital immediately. The doctors took blood, ran tests, gave her something to bring down the fever, and told Susan to keep a close eye on Kaytlyn, and bring her back if anything got worse. When they left the hospital, Kaytlyn’s fever was at 103°.

Taking Kaytlyn home proved to be a very bad idea. By the time they got home, Kaytlyn’s tongue was swelling, making it difficult to breathe. Susan immediately took her back to the Broke downEmergency Room. The doctors gave her an anti-swelling medication and said more tests were needed to determine the problem. They did a spinal tap, which is among one of the scariest test imaginable for a worried mom. Then they took X-rays and more blood. Still they had no answers. Kaytlyn’s fever was still fluctuating between 103° and 104°. They decided to keep her overnight, and it was going to be a long night for Susan…especially since Josh was working in North Dakota.

Because the hospital in Powell is small, Susan and Josh decided that they wanted to take Kaytlyn to Billings, Montana. The doctors were very much against the idea, but after a while, they consented, provided they went by ambulance. Susan rode with Kaytlyn in the ambulance, and Josh left North Dakota, headed for Billings. Josh’s mother went to their house to get some clothes for Susan and Kaytlyn. Susan’s sister, my niece, Machelle Moore, picked Susan’s other daughter, Getting outJala up from school, and kept her overnight…unheard of for Jala on a school night, probably causing her to worry too.

The ride to Billings seemed to take hours, but finally, Kaytlyn was admitted to the Pediatric Unit at Saint Vincent’s Health Care…it was 11pm…a horribly long day. Josh’s mother made sure Susan and Kaytlyn got to the room, and then had to head back to Powell. Josh was still en route to Billings from North Dakota, but Kaytlyn seemed to be doing better now, and her fever had dropped to 102°. She was finally able to sleep, but for Susan, there was nothing to do but sit and think. It occurred to her how blessed they had been, that they had never had to bring their children to a hospital before. Still, they were there now, and she didn’t know what was wrong yet.

Nothing is worse for a parent than sitting in a hospital, wondering if they are going to lose their child. Susan finally dozed off at some point before Josh arrived…from pure exhaustion. She awoke to the phone ringing. It was Josh. He had made it to Billings, but his truck broke down Kaytlyn at 6on the interstate. Someone helped him get it off the road, and a highway patrolman gave him a ride to the hospital. I can imagine how Susan felt when Josh arrived…like falling to pieces. She needed someone to hold her together, and thankfully, Josh was finally able to be there. Pure relief rained over her. The morning brought more relief, when the doctor said it was Tonsillitis. They recommended that her tonsils be removed in a month or so, and sent them home. They went home with thankful hearts. Their baby girl was still with them, and they knew just how blessed they were. They would never forget their miracle. Today Kaytlyn is 6 years old. Happy birthday Kaytlyn!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

Sharing The Spotlight

imageWhen my daughters had their first children one day apart, almost 18 years who, I thought that was the coolest thing, and it was, but sometimes, sisters get to have their babies on the same day, and that it very rare indeed. Nevertheless, that is the case for my Aunt Dixie and my Aunt Bonnie. Their sons, James and Michael were born 49 years ago today. As a grandmother, I can imagine how busy things were for my grandma and grandpa. Of course, back then they couldn’t be in the room when the baby was born, nor could the father…which seems very odd to us now, but they were definitely in the waiting room pacing the floor. And the excitement must have been very high. Just think, to get two grandchildren on the same day, and they weren’t twins. That doesn’t happen very often. Now, top that off with both babies being born in the same town, in the same hospital, and you have real excitement.

It must have been interesting to the hospital staff too, because they had sisters in hospital with newborns for several days. Back then, the mom and baby stayed in the hospital for 5 days or so. I’ll bet it was the talk of the nursing staff. And for the sisters, they got to share the experience on a much closer basis than sisters usually do. They didn’t have to wait for visiting hours to see their sister’s baby, and in fact, I believe that only the dad and grandparents were allowed to visit back then, so they would have had to wait until their sister and the baby came home. Nevertheless, for the sisters, like their own son, they could easily go and see their nephew anytime they wanted to because he was probably right next to their own son, unless he was having his dinner, which would imagemean that their own son was doing the same.

Babies arriving in this world is always such a special day, and when you double that…without having twins, the day becomes even more special for the family. How wonderfully unique to be able to share the birth of your child with your sister. It adds a bond to the sisters and their families that might not have existed otherwise. Today is my cousin, Jim’s birthday and also my cousin, Michael’s birthday. I’m not sure who is the oldest, but I’m sure they will let me know as they read their story. Happy birthday Jim and Michael!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you both!!

Country Girl

Teenaged Caryl

Yesterday, we went to a barbecue at my sister, Caryl and her husband, Mike’s place out west of Casper. It is a place they are actually working on, and plan to live on when the retire. For now, they live in Rawlins, where he is a supervisor at the Sinclair Refinery and she is a Respiratory Therapist at the Memorial Hospital of Carbon County. The land they purchased will give them the opportunity to do something Caryl has wanted to do for as long as I can remember…have horses.

When Caryl was younger, she decided that she wanted to learn to ride horses, and she began taking riding lessons…oddly in the same general area of the land she and Mike have now Cowgirl Carylpurchased. Caryl loved those riding lessons, and became quite good at riding. Then, as with all of us, life takes us down a different road than the one we expected to take, and the plans we had made in our youth are traded for the plans we will now make as adults. After moving to San Diego, California, and then to Bremmerton, Washington, and finally Twin Falls, Idaho, she found herself back in Casper, and then moving to Rawlins. There weren’t many opportunities to ride horses where she was living.

Now, coming full circle, her life’s journey will once again place her in Casper, and living in a place where she can finally realize a dream that she has had for so many years. It didn’t occur to me that Caryl might actually be a country girl. I had lived in the Happy Country Girlcountry for 16 years, before realizing that the country was not where I wanted to be, and Caryl had lived all her life in town, and now plans to be a country girl. It is so strange how life changes sometimes.

I’m so excited for Caryl to be able to realize her dream. She seems so much in her element. It’s funny how I never really saw the cowgirl in her before. It’s just right for her. I’m sure she feels like their retirement can’t come soon enough. Today is Caryl’s birthday, so I guess she is one year closer to that big day. Happy birthday Caryl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Mesmerized

Chantel (3)Being the first grandchild in our family, Chantel was a bit of a novelty to us. At the time of her birth, my sister, Cheryl and her then husband, Rob were living at our house, prior to and during his basic training in the Air Force, and prior to their move to Plattsburgh, New York, where they would be stationed. I will never forget the night Chantel arrived. It was, of course the middle of the night, and we were awakened to let us know that my parents, Cheryl, and Rob were heading to the hospital. Of course, back then, you didn’t get to know what the baby was, because that technology was not yet available. That made for much more excitement on our part…and a very long wait…or at least it seemed like it. I can’t say for sure that it was a long labor, and it is likely that it wasn’t, because Cheryl didn’t really have long labors, as I recall.
Diva
Before we knew it, our lives would be changed forever, as we went from being little girls to being aunts. It was an exciting time for us. Having a new baby in the house, when there hadn’t been one for 9 years, was such a change. She was so cute and so little, and we were mesmerized. I have always loved babies and every single one is the cutest, the funniest, and the cuddliest, but your first niece or nephew is a special event…especially when you are young and don’t have children of your own. You suddenly feel a part of something that is very cool. Even if they cry and need their diapers changed, it just doesn’t matter, because that is your niece or your nephew.
Chantel
Through the years, Chantel continued to delight us with her stylish ways. She was always a little diva, and we loved it. The camera was always kind to her, because she seemed to always know just when to strike a pose, and just which pose to strike. Of course, her greatest beauty comes from within her, where a kind and loving heart resides. And when you have a kind and loving heart, that inner beauty can’t help but spill out of you all the time. Today is my first niece, Chantel’s birthday. Chantel, we love you very much. Your special ways are always a delight. Happy birthday!! Have a beautiful day!!

Just A Little More Time

Mom SchulenbergToday is my mother-in-law’s 82nd birthday. If you ask her how old she is, she will likely tell you that she is 65. Alzheimer’s Disease has taken away her memory of the more recent years, but she is still here with us, and that is a blessing. She was recently in the hospital, and the doctors did not expect her to survive that stay. Nevertheless, she fooled them, because they don’t know what a fighter she is. They said that she would not be able to swallow again, and that drinking water would be impossible. Now, she is eating and drinking and getting stronger every day.

When a person gets into their 80′s, you learn to cherish each birthday, holiday, anniversary, and basically every day, because you don’t know how long you will have them with you. And when they are sick, you pray that they will, make it to the next holiday, or until someone in the family can come from another state to see them. Each moment that they are sick finds you praying for just a little more time with them. You begin to understand just how precious life is…how precious each moment is.

This birthday finds us thankful that my mother-in-law will reach another year of age. The age of 82, is one that we would not have expected her to reach, just a few short weeks ago. Now, she will get to celebrate one more birthday with the great grandson, her first great grandchild, Chris, who was born on her birthday…a very special birthday present. She gets to spend one more birthday with my father-in-law, the love of her life, who himself is recuperating from pneumonia. She will get to spend one more birthday with her family, who all love her very much.

At the age of 82, we all know that this could be my mother-in-law’s last birthday. She has lived a good, long life, and she is getting tired. Nevertheless, we will rejoice in the victory that she has achieved. We will celebrate her strength to fight her way back from the brink. We will laugh and sing and smile with her in celebration of one more birthday, and just a little more time. Happy birthday Mom!! We love you!!

Extraordinary Care

JoshSometimes, in the life of a child, a situation arises that brings out the extraordinary in that child. And even if what the child is doing, isn’t something so unusual, the actions of the child are still extraordinary. I have seen the extraordinary in all 4 of my grandchildren over the past 7 years of caring for 2 sets of their great grandparents, but this current situation is about my grandson, Josh. Josh is my youngest grandson, and he has been the one who has been able to help in the current care of his grandparents, because at 14, he is too young to have a traditional job. Tradition has certainly not played a part in the work that Josh does every week. Most 14 year old kids think only of playing video games or hanging out with their friends, but not Josh. He wants to go to his grandparents’ house every time he gets the chance. And he doesn’t just sit and visit, he wants in on the work…although it isn’t work to him…it is Mom Schulenberglove for his grandparents.

Because, Josh has been more available to help in the care of his grandparents, he has had the chance to bond with them in a way few of the grandchildren have been able to do. His care and concern over their well being is so touching. Recently we had to put my mother-in-law, his great grandma in a nursing home, after she took a bad fall. It was the second of two falls in less than a week. Falls, are probably the worst thing that can happen to the elderly, but we were blessed in that she did not break a single bone. She did, however, tear the skin on her left arm badly. We took her to the hospital by ambulance, and from there she went to the nursing home. Josh wanted to know all about the nursing home. especially where it is. When his mom, my daughter, Corrie told him that it was in Paradise Valley, he said, “No, Mom!! No!! That won’t work!! That is too far from the hospital!! What if she falls?” Of course, once Corrie told him that there were nurses and Walt SchulenbergCNAs on staff at the nursing home, he felt much better. He knew she was safe. He loves her dearly, and Josh has made her safety a top priority for some time now.

Josh comes with us to see his great grandma as much as he is able to, but now he has shifted his caregiving skills to his great grandpa. He is such a loving, caring boy, and his dedication to his great grandparents has endeared him to them all. He helps, my mom, his great grandma at church, to get up and get to her car, and anything else she needs, and he helps with the care of his great grandpa, my father-in-law, every chance he gets to get over there. I am very proud of Josh, and his caregiver’s heart.

The End Of An Era

A number of years ago, the local paper in Casper, Wyoming ran an article about my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg. The article was about his hobby turned business, and was entitled, “Another Kind of Chairman”. My father-in-law took old lawn chairs that had damaged seats, and used cord to re-weave them into new chairs. The seats and seat backs of his chairs had designs in them for football team logos to musical notes. He also made tin men that hang from a hook and wind decorations for fences. He was known throughout Casper, and everyone knew his house, because of all the yard decorations he had up. It looked really cool.

Recently, my father-in-law was in the hospital for several days. At 83 years of age, this is a periodic occurrence. After a few days, he was released, and when we got home, he checked the messages at the house, and found that a woman had called about having him make some chairs for her. He told me that he couldn’t do them anymore. He had some to do already that he couldn’t get finished. You see, his vision isn’t so good right now, and he is weaker than he has been in the past. He had known this was coming for a while, but I hadn’t realized it. I take care of my in-laws, but I was too focused on health care issues to notice the unfinished chair in the living room hadn’t really changed over the past few months. And, since I’m not there every minute of the day, I was unaware that he was no longer making tin men, and in fact had given the last one he made to his sister, Esther…something she was very thankful for, because it is a treasure to her.

As I called the woman back to tell her that my father-in-law wouldn’t be able to make the chairs she wanted, I decided that we needed to take down the sign he has on the outside of his house, advertising the chairs. Later, when I mentioned to Bob that we needed to down the sign, it occurred to me that this was the end of an era. He had been making those different things for so long that I couldn’t really recall just when he started. I do remember him making a stick pony for my girls when they were little. That would have to be more than 30 years ago. So many people have been thrilled with their chairs, but sadly, as people age there are things they can’t do anymore, I know that, but this didn’t seem like something that he wouldn’t be able to do, and the fact that it is makes me very sad. Sad for him, and for the people who will not get to enjoy the things he made. Sad that this is the end of an era.

Not Forgotten

Knowing the kind of man my dad was, makes me wonder about the journey that his life took to reach that place of being the most wonderful dad in the world. He was a man who was respected, and who has been remembered by people I would never have expected to remember him, because the amount of time they knew him was so short, and yet, he made a lasting impression on them. How did he become such a charismatic person. Dad was the kind of man who always treated women like ladies. He was a gentleman to the end.

So often, we look at a child, or a picture of a child, and wonder what they might become. Even their teenaged pictures make us wonder about the adult they will become. It’s normal to wonder about the future, but sometimes, I find myself looking at pictures of my ancestors and, especially my dad, and wondering who they were as children.

I know about some of the antics my dad and his brother pulled, as well as some of the good things they did, especially for their mom. I have a feeling that I would have very much liked the boy that he was. Dad might have been a boy who was full of mischief, but he was also a boy who loved his parents and siblings. He loved the Lord, and lived his life for Him. His letters home from World War II proved that to me. He discussed church services and his own Bible study with his mother. His relationship with God was very apparent. The boy was growing into a man, and I think he would have been very much my friend…if he hadn’t been my dad, but I wouldn’t want to trade the dad he became for anything…not even the friend he might have been.

Because Dad and I thought so much alike, I can imagine that we would have had lots to talk about, but because we both also had a teasing, mischievous side, I can imagine that we would have probably gotten in a little trouble now and then, because…well, teasing and mischief are just naturally followed by the opportunity to sit in a corner, or spend time thinking about it in our room. I know that my dad as an adult loved to tease my sisters and me, so I’m sure his sisters were an easy target…not that I expect they minded much. His teasing was always in good fun.

I very much think I would have liked the child and young man my dad was. He was just
mischievous enough to be funny and enough of a gentleman to treat people right. I suppose that is why so many people remember him 5 years after his passing. Even people who treated him for a short time at the hospital, like the respiratory therapist who asked me if he was my dad. That really shocked me, especially when I asked how she remembered my dad after all these years, and she said, “Some patients are just special.” Of course I cried, but she couldn’t have said anything that would have made my day more than knowing the my dad was not forgotten.

I Love My Sister

My daughters were born 11 months apart. When I went into the hospital to have Amy, Corrie stayed with my sister, Cheryl. Back then, you stayed 3 days in the hospital when you gave birth to a new baby, and that was if you didn’t have a C-Section, which I did not. Also, the little ones couldn’t come into the hospital then. A child had to be 13 years old…no exceptions. It was very hard on those young siblings, especially if they had not been away from their mom’s much. So, Corrie got to wave at me as I looked out the window of my room. Things are much better now, for all concerned.

When I was released from the hospital, we went straight to my sister’s house to pick up Corrie. For a minute, I thought she was mad at me, and maybe she was, but really she was just more interested in the new baby I brought her. She wanted to hold Amy immediately, and really didn’t want to ever give her back. I know that many kids have some jealousy issues when a new baby comes into the picture, but she did not. Corrie was convinced that Amy belonged to her, so just you deal with it!! Of course, if Amy cried…I could just have her back until she got herself calmed down.

The girls were best friends throughout their childhood, and still are today. They seldom fought, but when they did, I have to say, that little sister usually won. I remember Corrie coming out of the bedroom one day to say with tears running down her face, “Amy hit me!!!” I told her to hit her back, to which she screamed, “Nooooooooo!!” I don’t know if she just loved her little sister too much to ever hit her, or if she was totally scared of Amy, which wasn’t a bad plan either, since Amy is very feisty!!

Whatever little fights they had as little kids, really haven’t mattered much, either since their childhood, or during their childhood, because they really loved each other very much. Many babies aren’t too sure of having their older siblings holding them very much, but not Amy. She truly loved her big sister, as you can clearly see. Corrie was gentle and so loving with Amy, and that love was always returned to her in every way. You can just see it on their faces. They just seem to say, “I love my sister!!”

A Hurried Trip

Every year on July 10th, I take a few moments to reflect of the wonderful gift that God has given me…my husband, Bob. When I wake up on July 10th, it just hits me. Almost 2 years before I was born, the man God planned for me…to be my husband…was born. Bob is so perfect for me. We are good together…a good team. Our personalities compliment each other and we share like interests. What could be more perfect.

I was talking to Bob’s dad today, and he mentioned his memories about the day of Bob’s birth. It is quite a story. The family was spending the day in Billings when my mother-in-law went into labor with Bob. Since this was her third child, things can go very fast. My mother-in-law was determined to have her own doctor deliver Bob…her doctor was in Miles City, which is 145 miles from Billings. My father-in-law said that he sure didn’t want to leave Billings, but she was so determined, so he gave in. I don’t know how much time they had to spare, but I do know that there was definite concern that Bob might arrive somewhere on the highway between Billings and Miles City. Bob waited, and his arrival was in Miles City…after which, my father-in-law breathed a huge sigh of relief.

As my father-in-law spoke about that hurried trip, I could picture the whole scene in my mind. My mother-in-law has always been very strong willed, and my father-in-law has always been pretty soft hearted where she is concerned. I can just imagine how she felt too. At a time like that you want your own doctor, not a stranger, in a strange hospital, is a city you don’t live in…especially since hospital stays for births weren’t 1 day or less then. She knew it would be a hardship on the whole family if they had to try to go back and forth.

In the end, it all worked out, and Bob waited until they reached Miles City to be born. I believe he would have been fine either way, and I suppose being born on the highway would have given them all a story to tell, but it would have been scary too, and I’m glad they didn’t have to go through that. Happy birthday my sweet husband!! I love you very much, and thank God for you each and every day!!