Wednesday, August 29, 2007

fun times and not so fun times

Rowdy and I did a mountain bike ride in the Laguna Mountains last Saturday. For me, the best part was being able to negotiate the various rock gardens there confidently, without falling down once. It seems like every mtb ride ends up in me gaining a new scar, but maybe I've gotten past that.

Rowdy couldn't figure out why his bike was so much dustier than mine at the end of the ride...until I reminded him that he was eating my dust the whole time! Hahahahah!!! Gee, like that's going to happen ever again.

My victory was diminished by the realization a few days later that Rowd was brewing an illness that would result in our spending a total of 12 hours in the ER on Tuesday. Scary. He was doing just fine on Tuesday morning when he accompanied me on my morning bike ride to work. By 9am, he had a fever of 100.5, which progressed to 102.8 within about 2 hours. Fortunately, I was only working 1/2 day, so I could bring him down to the ER.

You know, it's very hard as a physician not to fall into the "satisfaction of search" mode. Sometimes, you have a patient that has a particular illness, or you have a preconceived notion about what you should find on their physical exam or imagin studies, and you're blinded to any other outcome. Such was our problem yesterday.

Because Rowdy has Crohn's, the general consensus was that the fever must have been Crohn's-related. A certain amount of lab work, a CT and a chest x-ray were obtained; seven hours later, there were five different opinions as to what was going on. A couple of people wanted to admit Rowd just for observation, but we were willing to convince them that he would be much more comfortable and better cared-for if he just stayed home.

It certainly was frustrating to have to be the wife and not the MD and not say, "You know, dudes, I noticed that you're not ordering blood cultures. Dontcha think that would be a good idea??" And I also ticked off some bossy nurse in the ER who didn't think that I should look at Rowdy's chest x-ray without asking "his doctor's permission" first. What tha??? Lady, I'm a radiologist at this hospital and the patient's my husband. I don't need anyone's permission!! Oh, and I could really rant about how the triage nurse asked if I was Rowdy's mom.

So, we went home for a total of four hours until Rowdy spiked a fever again at midnight. Part of the deal was that we'd go back to the ER again if that happened, and I'm glad we made that decision. Fortunately, we ended up with an ER doc who will get VIP treatment from me for a year because of his reasonable approach to Rowdy's symptoms. "You mean you had a fever of unknown origin and they didn't order blood cultures??" He gave Rowdy a dose of CefTRIaxONE (yeah, that's really the way it's spelled), some Motrin, and let him come home at 4am.

This morning, Rowdy was feeling tired and achy, but he'd been fever-free for four hours, so he'd definitely turned a corner. I called in sick to be able to get some sleep and make sure R was okay. We spent most of the day sleeping and trying to get back to some semblance of normal.

Here's a couple of pictures of us having fun on bikes...Geez, I look fat and stumpy in my picture. Great. I needed that.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Max, our youngest, visited us for a week recently. He's not really a water kid, so he resisted his dad's attempts to get him to the beach all week long. We finally got him there on Saturday, just hours before he was supposed to return home.

At first, he didn't really want to go in the water at all. Rowdy shamed/coaxed him into the water initially while I took the boogie board out for a few rides. Max tried to convince us that it was totally fun to be in the water up to his ankles, but we weren't buying it. I decided to try to get him a little more comfortable in the water and have more fun at the beach.

First, we just body surfed in the white water. Nothing too exciting, but it did give Max an inkling that maybe, just maybe, the ocean wasn't out to kill him. After about fifteen minutes, he realized that the boogie board probably would actually be fun to try. He boarded while I body surfed. We caught two or three really awesome waves, and that totally hooked him. Before we knew it, Max was going "outside" by himself and having a wonderful time.

I think it was the first time in my short "mothering" career when I really felt like I had taught one of my children something new and broadened his outlook. I've probably taught them other things, but this was easily quantified.

Too bad we didn't bring the camera with us that day, but to be honest, neither Rowdy nor I believed that Max would be persuaded to get out and do anything except sit on the beach and pout. I wish we had recorded our huge smiles as we slid along with the waves, and I wish we had a picture of how Max's borrowed swim trunks (he was 100% against us buying him a swimsuit during our school-clothes shopping expedition) filled up with air while he boarded. He looked like he had water wings on his bootie.

As we were driving him to the airport, we asked him what his favorite part of the weekend was. His answer was "definitely boogie boarding!" He now wants to go every time he visits us. We we count this as a parental victory. We take them whenever and however we can get them.
My Rad Life!