Saturday, November 14, 2009

An Overdue Update

Thursday was a good day.  We were going a bit stir crazy with all the rain so we headed out around noon.  First we hit Cracker Barrel for a yummy lunch.  Then it was off to some errands that included stopping by RNR (just in time for CJ to have a ROYAL poop!), Target, Ukrops, etc. We had a great Kohl's coupon so we engaged in a little retail therapy, getting some warm winter jammies for Roger and myself as well as a few other goodies. 

Then we went to see our good friend and chiropractor, Dr. Anna.  All three of us got "popped like popcorn" (as Charlotte likes to say).  Very important with all the stress we are dealing with. 

Then back home again. 

Charlotte had another relatively sleepless night.  Her brain just isn't letting her fall asleep.  We take her to bed at a reasonable/normal time but she just stays in bed reading books.  I think she fell asleep around 2 AM.  I did get some sleep but woke up wide awake around 1 or so.  Spent some time on the computer.  It's amazing some of the things you can learn on the internet.  I found out some interesting information about the function of the thalamus, including the fact that it regulates sleep.  It's really crazy to think about all those times when Charlotte was an infant and had such trouble sleeping that this tumor was growing there all along.  There's no way that we could have ever diagnosed it earlier and there are plenty of kids who have sleep issues who don't have brain tumors, but the more I think about it, the crazier it seems sometimes.  It certainly explains a lot. 

Charlotte continues to do relatively well.  She doesn't really want to do much more than read, watch tv/movies, and eat.  Pretty much all interest in her toys, coloring/art, other activities is gone.  I'm not sure if she is frustrated by her relative lack of motor skills or if her attention just isn't there.  Her speech is much slower and we have to give her lots of time to process things.  But her personality is still there.  She is still our Charlotte!

There are moments when I just want to take all the STUFF in our house (toys, games, etc.) and clear it out.  So much of it seems so useless these days.  It was nice the other night when some friends came over to play.  They actually made use of the toys that had been sitting in Charlotte's play area, gathering dust.  Anybody want to do some Christmas shopping at our house?  We've got some great, gently used toys!  We won't give up any books, though.  She uses those daily and never wears them out!

Today was another good day.  We got a relative break in the weather.  I got a bunch of RNR work done (paperwork, bills paid, etc.).  The Hayes family came over mid-afternoon for a short playdate and we all went for an early dinner at Pepicellis.  Good pizza!  It was a fun time and Charlotte ate 2 full pieces of cheese pizza!  We came home to watch more movies but I fell asleep on the couch.  Now Charlotte is back to reading and we are all heading to bed.

I think the best part of today was that it was the first day in over a week where I didn't completely break down emotionally at least once.  That's HUGE! 

I can't believe it has been a week since our devastating MRI news.  In a way, it seems more like a month.  Our calendar for the next few weeks is slowly filling with activities.  Tomorrow includes two visits/playdates and then we are headed up to a friend's house at Lake Anna for some RnR of our own.  We'll probably stay there Saturday night and Sunday. 

Monday will bring another doctor's visit with Dr. Tye and Dr. Massey to discuss next steps, including a palliative care plan for Charlotte.  We hope to get a better idea of what to expect in the next little while. 

More events next week as well. 

We got an interesting phone call today.  I think someone from Humana (our insurance company) called to check on Charlotte and when Roger told them what was going on, he received another call not long after from a counselor/patient advocate.  She was not a Humana employee but works for the company to assist families in situations like ours, making sure that we have access to any needed resources and helping us with the process, both logistically and emotionally.  Anyway, we shared with her Charlotte's story as well as the resources we are currently utilizing.  She asked about any fears or concerns we might have, said that it seems like we are on the right track and have access to very good resources (thanks to ASK and our fabulous medical team) but agreed to follow up with us in a week or so just to check in.  We also got her number in case we had any further questions for her. 

I really appreciated it.  As much as we like to complain about insurance companies (and I know I have done my share on this blog), Humana has a lot of resources like this available for their customers.  They also have an on-call nurse available for questions about medications and medical procedures.  I can imagine that if we didn't have access to our current resources and/or the knowledge and support system that we have right now, this service would be really valuable to us right now.  Her manner on the phone was very supportive and comforting.  She seemed to be very good at her job.  Nice to know that some of our premium goes to more than just paying out claims or filing denials...

I guess that's it for now.  Another busy day tomorrow.  I miss work.  I miss it a lot.  This is NOT a normal lifestyle for me.  That being said, I know that if I tried to go to Romp n' Roll and teach, I would probably be a mess and wouldn't be a very good instructor.  If you are part of our RNR family, please take the time to thank our employees (especially Annette, Samantha, Emily, Lauren, and Margie) as well as the crew at the West End and Midlothian stores who have been helping us keep it all together.  While you're at it, don't forget to register for your winter classes or birthday parties (wink, wink!). 

Have a good (dry) weekend, everyone....

Rachel (Charlotte's Mom)

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