Friday, March 18, 2005


Took Camie to Kaiser this evening, to get her CT scan done. I couldn't go into the x-ray room with her, cuz of all the stray radiation I might get zapped with. She did real well, as far as I could tell. The x-ray tech had to poke her arm twice to get the IV in, so he could inject the iodine (makes a contrast in the blood stream so certain formations in the brain show up better on the scan, or something like that). She's got a small bruise, but she's none the worse for wear as far as that goes.

Anyway, we find out in a few days (the tech said "5 business days", so we'll see). The radiologist has to look at the scan, then forward it to the opthamologist who will talk to us.

She's a trooper, but she's a little stressed. She's trying hard not to show it. I'm very proud of her.

I'm gonna get some sleep. Ciao.

Terry Schiavo Reprieve

They can't kill Terry quite yet.

Thank goodness someone stepped in to slow down the judicial madness in Florida. Yeah, yeah, the Florida Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal of the lower court rulings.

Whatever. Both courts have recently made up law out of whole cloth, so I'm not all that impressed.

No, with the US Congress stepping in, Terry's not going to begin dying today.

But get this comment from Michael Schiavo's lawyer, George Felos, to Reuters: "Tom DeLay and Dennis Hastert are not members of the Politburo in Stalinist Russia.....The state does not own Mrs. Schiavo's body and Congress cannot simply order her to remain alive contrary to her medical treatment wishes and court order."

Congress can't order her to remain alive? WTF? No one's proved she wants to die!!!

The Soviet Politburo was renowned for killing political opponent's. When did they ever order someone to stay alive? Is ordering someone to stay alive some kind of repression? When did caring, compassion, and erring on the side of life, become evil?

Oh, that's right. It was 1973, with the US Supreme Court making up law out of whole cloth with Roe V. Wade. But that's another issue.

Liberals and secular-humanists are whacked.

That's all I got to say about that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Day 2

I let Camie take a day off, today. Last night was quite a jolt. She and I slept late. I didn't wake up till around 10:30. I think she was awake around 9 0r 9:30. We looked outside and decided, around 11:30, to take a drive up to Coloma and have a picnic. So we packed some lunch, and took off. The day was gorgeous. Camie enjoyed playing hookey with dad. On the way up Hwy50, we took a real short side trip, and went joyriding on the hills of Prairie City Road south of Hwy50. There's about a mile long stretch where, if you get up to about 60mph, it feels like a roller coaster! Camie was giggling and laughing, and I was glad to see it.

We went on up to Coloma, wandered around some of the buildings, sat by the river for a few minutes, then went and had lunch. We fed some little birds while we were there, and watched a couple of teen-age boys trying to impress their girlfriends by jumping off a rock into the ice-cold American River. They jumped in alright, but dang were they cold when they got out.

Along the way, during the day, Camie and I talked about possibilities and possible outcomes. She's really a smart cookie, and very practical about things. I mean, this could all wind up to be much adieu about very little, but she's aware it might not. When we got home I let her get on the internet and do a little research on tumors and such. She found a few things pertinent to her situation, but came away generally unimpressed. She's not showing any of the symptoms the sites all talk about. She has been having some dizziness, but I've only noticed it today, and it might very well be psycho-psomatic. Have to keep an eye on that.

She was making jokes before she went to bed tonight:

Dad, I can't go to school tomorrow... I have a tuuuuumor!
Dad, I don't want to do P.E., I'm dyyyyyyying!

Yesterday, her mom pointed out, when this is all done and we find out it's not a tumor, she can claim Arnold Schwartzennegger's famous line "It's not a tumor!" as her own.

She started bugging me a little more about staying home from school again tomorrow. I told her there's nothing wrong with you today, that wasn't there last Friday when you wanted to go work out in the gym and went running for 10 minutes on the treadmill, so you'll be fine tomorrow. Don't tell me that you are suddenly a fragile flower just waiting to shatter. Go to school. She chuckled at that.

I don't want to treat her like a fragile flower. I want her to be confident and strong going in to whatever it is, knowing that she's not fragile. I want her to learn to deal with life head on, and to deal with it, not hide from it. It's a fine line to walk, between being loving and caring for my daughter, and being overprotective and smothering. But I'm trying!

Keep praying it's a big nothing!

For a good explanation on what she's facing, click here.

Eye Troubles

My youngest daughter, Camie, went to the optometrist last Thursday, just for a routine, run-of-the-mill eye exam. The optometrist saw something in her eyes that concerned her, so she called for a consult with an opthamalogist. The second doctor looked, and decided to have her to come back yesterday so he could dilate her eyes and get a better look at her optic nerve. Said it looked swollen. Hmmm.

So we went back yesterday and they put the funky drops in her eyes to dilate her pupils. She was sitting in the chair having all kinds of fun waiting for her eyes to completely dilate. She couldn't focus on anything close-up, and her eyes would wander and she'd see double. She looked terribly bizarre with those great big, abnormally large pupils staring at me.

The doc comes in, gets his gizmo, and looks inside Camie's eyes. He sits back and says, yeah, the optic nerves in the back of her eye still look swollen.

I'm thinking, OK... so... do you have some medicine or something for her? That's when the doctor dropped a tactical nuke on me. And Camie.

He says, we need to schedule her for a CT scan right away......(did he just say CT scan? On my baby?).... to see what's causing the pressure on the nerves. It could be a tumor.....(He did NOT just say tumor. Oh, hell no he didn't). If it's not, it's usually a condition called "pseudotumor" which is a raising of the spinal fluid pressure (the optic nerve is actually coated and protected by the exact same fluid system that runs up and down the spine, which was news to me). We'd need to draw some spinal fluid to find out why the pressure is high (spinal tap? wha???).

Camie sat dumbfounded, and I asked the doctor a few questions. Wasn't really all that much to ask about. CT scan will confirm something wrong in Camie's head or not. If there is something wrong, we'll attack it and go from there. If not, then we go on to the next possible problem, and so on and so forth.

My kids have all been incredibly healthy, and in that sense we've been super-fortunate. I'm still certain, down to the bottom of my soul, Camie is going to be just fine. But having to think, even for a second, about a real possiblility of something bad happening to my baby like this....

It's in comprehensible to me what families do who experience sudden trauma, and actually lose loved ones.

I've seen my dad have a heart attack and lose his sight. That's about the worse thing I've been through. But dad's sight loss was a gradual thing which occurred over 40 years. I was prepped for the day he'd be blind all my life. The death of grandparents, although sad, was also an expected, inevitable thing; not "traumatic" in my book. Sad, but the normal way of things.

I just pray that Camie will be OK. She's dealing with it pretty well. After we saw the doctor, we went over to her mom's to tell her, too. Mom was understandably emotional, but handled it pretty well. She was concerned that Camie feel comfortable to talk about it, and express herself if she felt like it.

After talking to mom we drove up to Olivehurst and had dinner with Aisha and Jeremy in their new house. They've done a nice job painting it, and it's a really cute place. Jeremy can cook! Made some killer chicken and rice. Camie seemed to be herself for a while, with the distraction, which was good. Camie's just such a trooper.

We drove home, and talked about possibilities and things that happen in life. We talked about the CT scan, and what it would be like. At first, we were thinking MRI scan, which is the long tube they put you in, and that freaked Camie out! But CT is more like a donut they stick your head in, not your whole body. That made her a little more comfortable. She even made a few jokes about scrambling her brains. She's just such a trooper.

Again, I KNOW in my heart she's going to be ok. It's hard to explain how, but it's a God thing for me. The same way I KNEW, without a doubt, my daughter Lindsey would one day accept Christ, is the same way I KNOW Camie will be ok. It's a peace about it that doesn't come from me.