Friday, December 19, 2008

Glad we have a doctor in the family

Friday night Erica began to feel some discomfort in her stomach and we figured it must have been something she ate. Saturday morning she felt a little worse, but not enough to discourage us from braving the New York crowds for a little Christmas shopping. Saturday night it had gotten bad enough that I went to the ward Christmas party by may know, Erica does not like to miss a party! Sunday she felt no better than the day before and she decided to stay home from church. I left Sunday morning with Erica in the bed in a fetal position, clenching her stomach in pain. Throughout the day the pain did not get worse, but also did not get better. We started to get the hunch that it was not "just gas." Thanks to Erica's sister Angelique (the Dr.), Erica was convinced to go into the emergency room. We had plans for Erica to go see her Doctor on Monday, but Angelique insisted she go to the hospital then.

After a couple hours of ruling out things other than appendicitis, Erica was given a large bottle of nasty fluid for a CT scan of her abdomen to see if in fact her appendix was "thickened"

It is safe to assume that Erica was not a happy camper trying to put down the entire bottle of fluid.

This was Erica after the Dr. told her that in addition to drinking the fluid and recieving some intervensouly, additional fluid would be pumped into her abdomen through a "tube inserted rectally." She is not going to be happy that I am including this on the blog, but don't you think the reaction is classic? She tried reason and charm for an alternative, even including drinking more can ask her how it all turned out?

The picture above tells it all. Appendix was infact "thickened" and the preparation for the appendectomy began. I couldn't resist posting this picture - isn't she just so adorable? I was surprised at how quickly it all came together. After the Dr. came and told us that the results indicated that it is likely appendicitis, within 90 minutes she was in surgery (her first!).

Literally as they are rolling Erica away to surgery I am standing in there in the prep room wondering where I am supposed to go. It was 3:30 am and the hospital was eerily empty. I asked the surgeon as she was leaving where I could wait. She sent me to the family waiting room. Can you see the picture above on the left. Family waiting room closed. I was tired, thirsty and hungry. Problem, vending machines were on the other side of the iron curtain. Being the problem solver that I am, I found other vending machines to quench my thirst. Concerned for Erica while in surgery, yes. Bored? Yes, as evidenced in the photos above.

On the Left: Erica post surgery, still not awake - but smiling.

Below: Erica in the GI Surgery unit with sister Angelique.

During all of this I couldn't help but think how lucky we are to be able to recieve medical care so readily. Despite the economic difficulties, Erica and I are both employed and insured. I think sometimes we take that for granted. Erica's doctors were great and we only had one grouchy nurse experience the entire time. Thanks to everyone that called, sent flowers and offered support to Erica. Although a fairly routine surgery, we are both grateful to have family and friends that care.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


a few samples of how the nicolais prep for thanksgiving...
1. melt about 3 cups of brown sugar in an equally alarming amount of butter and pour over sweet potatoes to negate all nutrients.
2. roast peppers until they're sufficiently blackened. peel off skin and add olive oil, garlic (see #3), and parsley. (jason's job this year)
3. chop 25 gloves of garlic. do not use garlic press because mom swears it is too hard to clean.
4. boil/steam 14 artichokes to stuff with breadcrumbs.

the best part is sharing the deliciousnes with family and friends and enjoying an evening of stories, music, and togetherness.

overheard in kindergarten

erin "my dad is from china....chinese"
charlie "my dad is boston."

rhyming is a big theme in my class, so in a way i was asking for it. before an acting activity, i wrote "skits" on the board and as we discussed the meaning i hear brett say, "that rhymes with the s-word."
lily, "no it doesn't." then she slowly enunciates "stupid"--the word that has somehow become the kindergarten swear. stopped that conversation in record time.

today at the MET..."I'm going to be gooder than usual today. You know why? Because I already know not to touch things."

aaron was out monday and looked iffy on tuesday, i felt his head (i don't know why i did this b/c i can NEVER tell) and sent him down to the nurse. as he left he said, "i know, i know, you want a professional to do it."