Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jan thru April 2012 Big Move, Spring Break Trip and more

Moving Ladies

My mom decided she liked it here with us so much that she decided to move here permanently.  My sister's lease on her apartment was about to be up, and she thought it was a good time to think about buying a house instead.  So, she and Mama decided to get a house together.

My sister, Amanda and mother, Mary Jan 2012
We spent a couple of months looking for just the right house for them, meanwhile Mama stayed with me and my family in our house.  The end of March, they closed on the new house and we worked on moving them both in.  We traveled back to Odessa Good Friday to load up lots of stuff Mama wanted to bring back with her.  And we worked on getting everything out of Amanda's apartment for weeks.  After giving it a super duper cleaning, she officially did the walk through check out and is no longer paying rent on that place.
My mom and sister's new house
The new house - which is less than 5 miles from ours - is gorgeous!  Especially after James put down new laminate flooring in all the downstairs rooms.  He is really getting good at doing that.  He also pressure washed all the sidewalk and driveway in front of their new place.  He had neighbors coming over wanting him to do theirs, too! :)
Amanda watching my husband, James lay flooring
James at my mom and sister's new house
Mama's Health

We got Mama hooked up with a new doctor here so he could keep tabs on her health, since she had been diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure about the time Daddy passed away.  She is working on getting just the right medicines she can afford and we're hoping to get her those medicines mailed to her because the pharmacy she's using here always seems to get things confused.  Anyway, it seems like Mama's blood pressure and sugars are being kept in check pretty good and she seems pretty happy.  
Mama Jan 2012
I think she may be a little bored, though when Amanda is away at work and Josh and I are in school. It's been a big change for her from always taking care of Daddy and the church and her other odd jobs back in Odessa. But,  I'll bet I can find her some activities and we can find fun stuff to do while I have a little break from school in May.

Respiratory School

I am about to have all my finals for my first year spring respiratory classes.  My hardest class has been Fundamentals.  I seem to have trouble figuring out just what this particular teacher is going to choose to test us on.  I can study and study and study and still be completely surprised at a majority of the questions on her tests.  In my other classes, I am having no problem making straight A's.  And I am enjoying my hands on experience in the hospital during my clinicals.

Here is a little of what we've studied this semester:

 Bronchopulmonary Segments of the Lung

Bronchial Hygiene Therapy & Postural Drainage

Positive Airway Pressure Devices
Artificial Airway Devices
Mechanical Ventilators in the Hospital
Non-Invasive Positive Pressure Ventilation
me at school trying on the nasal mask on the BiPAP
Arterial Blood Gas Punctures
Arterial Blood Gas Analysis
Interpreting Chest X-Rays
I signed up for and was accepted into a job training program (to help pay for Respiratory School) called Project Quest.  I go to weekly meetings and turn in time sheets and grade sheets among other things to remain in the program.  They pay approximately half my tuition and supplies.  And when I graduate, I must work full time in San Antonio for 18 months to fulfill my obligation to them.  That is no problem for me as I planned to do that anyway.

Josh is finishing up his last year in Junior High!  He and his fellow 8th graders completed the Science and Social Studies STAAR tests. He is in the middle of a special project in wood shop where he is making a mother's day gift for me (can't wait to see it).  

We recently found him a nice grown up bedroom suite and sold his bunkbed he had really outgrown.  His room looks great and is quite comfortable now.

Josh enjoying his new bed
Josh has been practicing to participate in the Special Olympics Track and Field event coming up Saturday, May 5th in Schertz.  He has already participated in Special Olympics Basketball and Bowling.  He wanted to be part of the actual basketball team and even attended the first practice for that this year.  But when he would try to run and exercise with the rest of the players, it was evident that was going to be dangerous for him.  He became very pale and sweatty and his extremities were getting very moddled.  He just does not increase his breathing to match his activity level.  And it is near impossible to make the changes up and down that he needs during a whole basketball game.  So, we decided he needs to stick to doing skills only.  

Also, when he runs, we have to worry about his control box for his diaphragm pacemakers.  It bounces all around.  We certainly don't want that control box to be damaged or for the antennas to come lose if the box were to fall off him.  We have a couple of ideas I'd like to see him use to keep the box strapped around him better during the track and field events.  Luckily, the ones he is in are very short and sweet, so we won't have to worry long about strapping it down or making major changes to his rate on his breathing for him.

Josh is excited about going into high school next year, and he would love to get to learn to drive a car.  He even asked his doctor about it.  But the doctor said he wasn't sure Josh would be allowed to drive with the number of various problems with his autonomic nervous system affected by his condition.  The doctor told him he would think on it and get back to him later.  There are many questions about what to expect for Josh's future, but thinking about it all is a bit overwhelming for me now, so I continue to just try to focus on the here and now a while longer.  And we'll deal with issues as they come along.

Spring Break Trip

We did take a nice little trip over spring break to Corpus Christi.  We visited the beach and saw replicas of the Pinta and Nina ships that had been brought there for display.  We also went to the Texas State Aquarium and toured the USS Lexington.  Josh got some hermit crabs that he let his sweet nephew, Logan take home with him.  And we tried a little fishing - but didn't really have any luck.  It was a fun trip, but Josh did require oxygen every night and had a little bit of a emotional meltdown at one point with his nurses.  I think he got over-dehydrated and over-stressed.  Once we got him to drink several cups of water and take some extra cortef, he was back to his sweet loving self before long.

Nurse Nancy, Josh, James and me on vacation
Josh on vacation in Corpus Chriti
me on the beach - but too chilly to stay long

Josh on the beach
gee, what a face there, Josh!
me and James, Josh and Mama in a shark's mouth :)

Mama, Amanda and me in front of Pinta and Nina
Josh, James and me
Mama and me and behind us are Josh and Amanda about to get on USS Lexington
Josh, Amanda and me
me on flight deck of USS Lexington
me with Mama and Josh on USS Lexington flight deck
my sister, Amanda on USS Lexington, Corpus Christi, TX
Josh on USS Lexington
 Josh got a haircut while we were in Corpus Christi, can you tell?
Josh and me at the Texas State Aquarium
Josh with his nurse and friend, Nancy
Josh at the river, hoping a fish will bite
Josh's nurse, Nancy keeping a close eye on him
Mama watching Josh try to fish
Josh holding his new hermit crabs
close up of Josh's Hermit crabs
Steff, Bryan and Logan

Steff and her family are looking at maybe buying a house too, if they can find one that they like and someone else doesn't come along and snatch up before they can get it.  
my daughter, Steff with her husband, Bryan
Steff is training for a new job right now.  I sure hope she will enjoy it and it will be helpful for her family's income.  As she began her training, she enrolled Logan into daycare for the first time.  He seems to like it - although I hear he has had a little fight with another child.  

My grandson, Logan in Corpus Christi
Logan is growing like a weed.  We celebrated his 2nd birthday back in January at Chuck E Cheese.  

Bryan, Logan and Steff with Chuck E Cheese

Steff and Logan on his 2nd birthday!

He really enjoys coming to visit - especially at my mom and Amanda's new house where there are a couple of neighborhood parks and a big swing set in their back yard.  

Logan hanging out with great Memaw, Mary Ashley

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