Friday, September 23, 2011

The First Day of Fall

I'm not ready for this to end!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You Might Be a Farm Kid

You might be a farm kid if you consider this a pocket knife,

and argue that it does fold, and in fact does fit in your pocket. The proof being found in that you just pulled it out of your pocket.

You can argue that, and there may be some logic in the argument, but I can assure you that the security guards at the Liberty Bell will not agree with you.

While in Philadelphia, when we had a few hours not spent in a doctor's office, we
went to see some of the historical sights. The first stop was the Liberty Bell. As I was laying my purse out on the counter for inspection, Kellen behind me remarks to the security guard, "Oh, I have a pocket knife." The guard responds, "A pocket knife isn't a problem just as long as we know you have it. Can I see it please?" And Kellen pulls out the knife pictured above.

The mature female guard literally jumped back. The guards inspecting my purse had eyes only for the spectacle behind me. The younger male guard next Kellen stumbled over his words, but eventually got out, "You can't take that in here." At about the same time Tim and I are both asking our son why in the world he had that knife with us in Philadelphia and why it was in his pocket. Tim took the knife with a apology laced with disbelief, and volunteered to stay outside the building while Kellen and I went to look at the bell.

As we walked away the guards kept shaking their heads and laughing about Kellen's "pocket knife." We heard one remark, "What in the world was he going to do with that knife?" Another added, "Was he going to skin an animal or something?"  We did not tell them that the knife had been used for that very purpose many times. Nor did we tell them we were from West Virginia, or that we live on a farm. No need to perpetuate stereotypes. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We did have a little fun. . .

The vast majority of our trip to Philadelphia involved us sitting on our rears. Leaving Sunday morning and returning late Tuesday night, we spent roughly 18 hours sitting in the van,13 hours sitting in the eye center, and of course hours spent sitting to eat and the inactive hours when we slept. But outside of those hours we were walking.

It has been a long time since I've been in a big city, and Philadelphia made recently visited cities, such as Cincinnati and Durham look quite quaint. I do enjoy visiting the city, but must admit to feeling a bit out of place when we first got there. Our hotel was mere blocks from the eye center, right in the city. Once the car was parked in the garage, it stayed there until we were ready to head home.

I played tourist and hung out our hotel window to get pictures the first night.  I love how Philadelphia has the really old mixed in with the modern.

The majority of Monday was spent at the eye center.

We did have a few hours at the end of the day for a little tourist activity. With historical sites such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall within walking distance we (I) couldn't resist even though we all were pretty wiped out from the drive and the day at the eye center.  Unfortunately, many of the inside sights closed before we were able to go through them. We did get to see the Liberty Bell. Well, at least Kellen and I did. Tim had to wait outside. That funny story I will save for a post all of its own. 

And we were able to take in a few things from an outside view. 

Tuesday was Kellen's biopsy. After that we had to hit the road and head back home. We did however, make a quick stop for lunch at Pat's King of Steaks for the required Philly Cheesesteak where New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sat a couple of tables from us enjoying his lunch. Quite honestly, I wouldn't have recognized him, but my more politically savvy husband did. Of course the suits with ear pieces hovering around should have alerted me that someone well known was eating lunch near us.

And that about covers our whirlwind trip to the big city of Philadelphia.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait

In my last post, Glasses and More, I shared that a routine eye exam showed that Kellen has a lesion behind his eye that is causing his retina to detach. Last week we made a whirlwind trip to Philadelphia to see one of the top specialists in the country.

We saw several doctors and they ran many tests, much to my frustration many of the same tests he had here in Huntington. At the end of a long day we still had no answers, and the doctor was calling the lesion atypical. They scheduled a needle biopsy for the next morning, and we headed home to wait for the results.

The biopsy showed that the lesion was not a tumor. That is very good news, but it doesn't answer the question of what the lesion is actually. Nor does it fix the problem that is causing the retina to detach, and Kellen to lose vision. The doctors suspect that it is some kind of infection, possibly something originating from an animal. We have a friend whose husband has a similar condition cause by a spore from bird/bat feces. Mom has a co-worker with a similar condition caused by a bacteria carried by chickens.

Kellen and I spent a good day at the doctor/hospital for tests before we went to Philadelphia. Now he gets to go to yet another specialist. This time it is an Infectious Disease doctor. We aren't sure which one yet though, because the first one recommended to us doesn't see minors..... So now we wait again. We wait for a referral to make an appointment with a new doctor who will run a bunch of tests, and then we will wait for those results.

Hurry up and I can do well, waiting, not so much so. Keep praying for us!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Glasses and More

See what happens when he sees the camera.
There is a new addition to Kellen's face.

Kellen had been complaining that he was having trouble seeing for awhile now. We went for an eye exam, and they found that he is near sighted. We picked up his glasses today, and according to Kellen, the world looks much better now.

Unfortunately, near sightedness is not the only issue with Kellen's eyes. During the eye exam they found his right eye is not seeing anything on his left to the center. He did not respond to any of the blinking lights in that field of vision with that eye.

Further examination showed that his retina is partially detached. There is what one doctor called a tumor and another doctor called a lesion behind his right eye. That thing, whatever you want to call it, is swollen and leaking fluid of some sort behind the eye which is causing the retina to detach. The detached retina is causing the partial blindness in his right eye. We were referred to a retinal specialist. We saw him the next day.

The specialist did numerous tests, took a lot of pictures, and even took a sonogram. At the end of 3.5 hours of testing, he told us he wasn't really sure what is going on. He did say the lesion looked hollow which in his mind, ruled out a tumor and the worst possible scenarios. He said he thought it might be vascular because there was a vein going into the lesion, but he really had never seen anything like it. He wanted to discuss it with his colleagues. 

A week later and the colleagues have no answers for us either.  Their recommendation was to take it to the next level of specialists. Today we made an appointment with doctors in Philadelphia. Sunday we will drive there, and Monday we will spend 6-8 hours in their offices for more tests, and some answers and a fix, we hope.

I think we are all in a little bit of shock from the news, events, and lack of news. I can not believe we have to go through yet another major medical issue and traumatic event. Finding out we are making a 500 mile drive this weekend has put me in a complete doer/shaper mode of making plans and getting things ready on this end. I think having something to focus on is a good thing. It helps to keep my brain quiet.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

How Could I Forget This

I am having a rough week. It has been busy. Tim has been working long hours. We got surprising and not at all good news this week at a routine eye doctor appointment. (Sorry to leave you hanging on that one. I'll post more about it later.) Tonight I was feeling exhausted, and sat down to vent (or whine) here on my blog when I had a sudden thought that made me smile. Sharing thoughts, or in this case pictures,  that make me smile are much better than wallowing in the self pity I've been stuck in all day.

You may remember from Kellen's birthday that I complained that I could never get a decent picture of him. He wants nothing to do with being photographed. Luckily for me, we have a friend with a nice telescopic lens who took it upon herself to capture some pictures for me while we were attending a group picnic. Here is my teenager:


This picnic was over three weeks ago. I can't believe that I never posted these pictures on the blog. I tagged them on Facebook, and forgot about them. (Oh the blessing and the curse of Facebook.)

Kellen did eventually catch on. He asked Racina, "Why do you keep following me around with that camera?" So, glad she got some great shots first!  Thanks so much Racina for getting some great pictures of Kellen, and giving me something to smile about tonight.