I Should Have Known It Was Bad When He Couldn’t Open the Legos: How Do You Know When A Child Is Seriously Ill?

October 11th, 2010

I started this post earlier today at Suburban Hospital. Blogging to relieve stress…

My eight-year-old son is a Lego fanatic, as I’ve blogged here, here, and here.


When he returned home from a Saturday morning Cub Scout hike, nauseous and exhausted, I figured it was a stomach bug and encouraged him to sleep. He slept most of the day. And when he was too tired to open a much anticipated Lego box that arrived in the mail, I suspected a bad fever.

By 2 a.m. Sunday, when he was up and playing with the Legos, I thought he was on the mend.  By end of day Sunday, none of us, to my great surprise, had caught his bug, and that’s when I began to worry.  After all, aren’t viruses contagious?

When my husband told me he had to carry him upstairs to bed, I replied, “We’re calling the doctor in the morning.” But by morning time, my son couldn’t even get out of bed, so we headed over to Suburban Hospital, where they put him on IVs, took blood samples and a sonogram, and told us they suspected a perforated appendix.

After four hours, he was transferred to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Big Boy went by ambulance with his father, and I by car after dropping off Boo at his best friend’s house.

And here I sit, now, blogging, waiting to find out if he has a burst appendix or not.

I feel:

  • Grateful to live in a place that has such wonderful medical care nearby;
  • Remorseful that I didn’t take him in as soon as I realized he was too sick to open a Lego box.
  • Amazed by how helpful technology has been through all of this. From my iPhone, I was able to quickly update my FaceBook status, read comforting messages from friends; check in on Foursquare and Twitter (my semblance of normality); look up appenditicitis on the Internet, and get directions to Children’s Hospital from Suburban Hospital.

From the Internet I learned that he’d likely need surgery and that if he had an abscess it would not be a good thing. I realized he’d need to stay overnight, and might be laid up as long as a week.

I had just accepted that when all of  a sudden things changed. They didn’t know what it was after all…symptoms inconsistent with appendicitis…could be his intestine? Another four hour wait as he prepped for a CT scan before we’d know whether it would be surgery tonight, surgery in a few days, or some other “medical treatment.”

I know in the scheme of things this is a very minor childhood incident, but it’s never easy to see your child suffer or hooked up to IVs is it? Again, I thought of the kids in other parts of the world who suffer without access to the incredible medical resources we have right at our fingertips.

Thanks to all of you who checked in with me today.

– Lynn

Postscript: Unfortunately he does have a ruptured appendix with abscess. They’re draining it tomorrow, and we’ll know more about surgery. One nurse predicted a five day stay in the hospital, and the Internet sites I’m now cruising say two to three weeks to recover. We’ll see.  My husband is cancelling his business trip to London, and we’re hunkering down.  Fortunately we both have pretty flexible schedules, so we will be trading off on hospital duty and doing a lot of typing in the hospital room too!

Suddenly Single: Those Darn Business Trips!

June 14th, 2009

I was raised by a single mother, so I know full well what a tough job it is to raise kids on your own. And I’m reminded of that every time my DH goes away on a business trip.

This last separation   – dragging on for 10 nights  – was  especially tough. With each separation, I try to learn a new tip, time saving strategy, or  coping mechanism to help me  manage  our household and the demands of two young boys until he returns and is able to help once again.

I’m thinking  about sharing some of my tips, and at the same time, reaching out for advice from other parents who have found themselves in the same situation.

In the meantime, I’m breathing a deep sigh of relief!

Got any tips? Please share!


To Be an Advocate for Your Child

May 21st, 2009

What parent hasn’t heard these words? “Be an advocate for your child.” But what does it really mean?

When my 6-year-old started first grade, I kept hearing those words over and over again from parents with children in the public school system.

“Be an advocate for your child.”

And I wondered…what did people really mean when they said that?

Now I know. And I’m here to tell you, this is what it means:

– Talk to your child about his day at school.
– Visit the classroom.
– Ask questions.
– Follow-up.
– If something doesn’t seem quite right to you, talk to the teacher. Talk to other parents. Talk to the principal. Talk to the PTA. Explore the formal complaint process in your school district.
– Follow your gut.
– Use technology to your advantage: ask questions on listservs. Email your questions to other parents. Do research on-line.

By rights, I should have been blogging about gardening again, and sending my post off to my friend Sommer for this month’s Green Moms Carnival. But instead, I was learning what it meant to be an advocate for my child.

What’s been your experience with advocating for your child? Leave a comment and share!

More later –


Copyright 2009 OrganicMania

Nielsen’s Power Mom 50 & Me

May 10th, 2009

Twitter was buzzing on Friday about a new BrandWeek article on the power of “Digital Moms.” Another Nielsen Online study was out, and I was thinking that I really needed to read it for the benefit of my clients… Imagine my surprise when just a few hours later I received an email from my green mom friend @mcmilker with subject line: You Power Mom – You!!

I laughed.

Of course, I was thrilled too, to be named to this list of influential bloggers. What a great Mother’s Day gift!

But Power and Moms? Those two words are rarely used together. The Moms I know all feel just the opposite – powerless. Powerless over the craziness that comes with raising kids. The unpredictability of a good night’s sleep, the near-certainty that if you purchase non-refundable tickets to anything, your child will fall ill…the sudden realization that once you have kids, you really can’t control anything anymore.

But the fact is, Corporate America knows the power of moms’ collective purchasing power. Nearly $2 trillion a year is spent by Moms, who control 85% of household spending, according to the Marketing to Moms Coalition.

And where did I fit into all this? If anything, I’ve slowed my spending since leaving corporate America behind to start my consulting practice. But I spend a lot of time – on Twitter, through the Green Moms Carnival, during interviews, and here on OrganicMania and other blogs- advising women on which green and organic products are worth purchasing.

OrganicMania was included in Nielsen Online’s Power Mom 50 “mamaste” category of “mom bloggers who stretch beyond their spheres to explore going green, travel and spirituality,” along with fellow Green Mom carnival member Sommer Poquette of Green and Clean Mom and several other bloggers I’ll have to get to know: Traveling Mamas, Mormon Mommy Wars, Travel Savvy Mom, More than Words, Mom of Faith, and Happy, Healthy Hip.

I’m thrilled to be a “Power Mom.” Thanks to all who have supported me on this blogging journey, especially my sisters-in-arms at The Green Moms Carnival and @GreenMoms. Check out Nielsen’s Power Mom 50 report here.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!


Copyright 2009 OrganicMania

Just a Glass

June 18th, 2008


Wednesdays are one of my favorite days in the blogosphere because of a great carnival over at RocksInMyDryer. Each week, hundreds of Moms share tips about what “works for me.” The tips can be everything from the organic and green living tips yours truly contributes to just about anything having to do with parenting. Today, for example, the tips include “limiting TV,” “toy storage,” “toddler bathtime and pedicure in one,” “chore system,” and “managing a sick family” – along with more than 200 other suggestions!

There’s a simple issue that really bugs a lot of Moms, and it’s something that’s always puzzled me. The whole cup / sippy cup thing. Why do we think kids need sippy cups? Who among us grew up with sippy cups? And does anyone really think it’s cool to watch a kid chew on plastic? It doesn’t matter if its BPA-free or #5 or whatever the “acceptable” plastic alternative is these days.

It’s still plastic.

Your little darling’s teeth are gnawing on this plastic.

How can that possibly be healthy? It doesn’t matter what the plastic’s number is or if it’s made of recycled corn! It’s still plastic, and if you look closely, you’ll no doubt see tiny teeth marks all over the spout.

What to use instead? Well, your glass model above, aka Boo, is holding a small juice glass, courtesy of Crate and Barrel. He’s proud to hold it, and he’s been perfectly capable of doing so since he was about a year-old. His older brother started at an even younger age.

When glass seems to be a bad bet, I sometimes whip out something akin to Dixie cups. Simple paper cups. Remember them?

So next time you’re stressing out about whether or not your plastic sippies are “safe,” give it a rest. Try a regular glass or even a paper cup.

Works for me!

— Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2008