Saturday, August 30, 2008


Well my oldest baby is 8! I can hardly believe it. We have been celebrating for quite a while now. A couple of weeks ago we went to Grandpa and Grandma's for dinner and cake and ice cream. We had a great time!
On Wednesday we had another party with just mom, dad, Sammy, and Andrew. Ryan was leaving for Bulgaria and wouldn't be here on her birthday. Ry and the kids went to a local museum while I went to a job interview and then we all went black-light mini-golfing. Then finished the night having dinner at Golden Corral.
Here she is opening a couple of presents.
These are the "blendy pens" she got from Andrew.
This one she is trying to figure out what it is; I got tickets for her and I to go to a concert here in town. She really likes Mark Wills and he is one of the singers that will be there.

Then Friday she had a couple of friends over and we went swimming and then one of her friends spent the night. Today was her actual birthday and Mom and I took the kids and went to the movie "The Flyboys" a film that was filmed here in Southern Utah, it was actually a very good movie, not totally appropriate for kids (it is rated PG 13, and it got a little scary for them) but they really liked it and it kept even Sammy's attention for the whole 2 hours. That is really saying something because she is not much of a TV or movie person. After about an hour she is generally bored and ready to be done. Then Grandpa Barlow came to town and took us all out to dinner at Golden Corral, AGAIN!! She really got spoiled and she still has the concert to look forward to and her baptism, no set date on that yet. We didn't get any pictures today because Ry took the camera AND camcorder to Bulgaria! But we had a few from the previous fun.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

So sad

Just a quick note on life and death. It is so sad anytime you hear about anyone in an accident and especially when it involves kids. We learned today that a little boy that was in Sammy's first grade class was killed in a car accident yesterday morning. It really gets you thinking about life and death and how much we take life for granted. It is so hard and sad to try and explain to other kids why some people die when they are so young. It really does make you just want to take a little more time each day to love each other and be thankful for the many blessing we take for granted everyday.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Here we are so excited and ready for our first day of school this year!
Andrew is in all-day Kindergarten and Sammy is in 3rd grade! Here is Andrew in his classroom. He only had a 30 min. appt. today but starting tomorrow he'll go until 12:45 Then on Sept. 2nd he'll start his full days.
This is the pirate ship that his teacher's husband built. They can climb up on it and read and have all kinds of fun! Andrew and I got to climb up top and read a book today during his Treasure Hunt!
Sammy has a teacher that is new at the school and new to teaching; thus her class got stuck outside in a portable classroom. Here she is going into class this morning.
Sammy and friends Icelyn and Anna just finishing up their first day at school! All in all they all had a great day! The bus ride home was a BIT long. It took them almost 50 mins for what should have been about 15 mins! OH MY GOODNESS!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

All is Well. Or at least mostly back to normal.

So I haven't said much since we got home because we have just been busy. We went to Ryan's parents to pick up the kids and spent most of Thursday there. Friday I had a Dr. appt. and then went to the gym, the kids wanted to go swimming so mom and I took them. Then Danny and family was here so the kids went to moms to play with them and Ry and I went to a movie. Saturday we both went to the gym, yes Ryan was back on the treadmill already. I wouldn't let him lift weights but he walked and ran a little for over 30 mins. He really is feeling MUCH better. Then we took the kids to a movie and then did the grocery shopping that hadn't been done for a couple of weeks.

So these are just SOME of the battle wounds. I just took these pictures today so you have to realize that some of these happened over a week ago and most were at least 5 or 6 days ago. The first picture is really faint bruising on his hands where they drew blood and tried to do IVs.

This is where they did an IV on the back of his forearm. No it never did work, Yes it HURT like HE**!! I think this was a week ago. It actually looks a lot worse in person.
These are from multiple attempts at IV's as well as daily blood draws. The arm on the right where you can see the 3 red marks is where he had the mid-line (an IV that went clear up to his shoulder) The big hole on top is where it went in, the two smaller marks are where the had a little cover sewn over it. Most of the bruising came from bad phlebotomists that did not do their job well when they were drawing blood. POOR GUY!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We are HOME!!

I don't think I've ever been more glad to be home in my life! Spending 6 days at the hospital is NOT fun! Ryan was released from captivity (the hospital) today at 1:30 pm. He had a HIDA scan today, to check the gall bladder, and they said it was normal. They did a Hepatitis panel to check for 5 different strains and they were all negative. They also checked for mono, meningitis, west nile virus, pretty much anything they could possibly think of that even MIGHT be similar to his symptoms. Dr. Pendleton came in this morning and told us that his liver enzymes were finally on their way back towards normal, one was at normal and the other two were about 3 times normal still but on the way down. The markers for inflammation they were watching had finally peaked and were heading down so as long as it was OK with Dr. Cobb and the HIDA scan was normal he said we could go home today. The HIDA scan took about 1.5 hours and he was done with that about 10:30 this morning. By noon Dr. Cobb was in saying everything was good with the gall bladder. They never have heard back from the state on the sub-strain for Salmonella and he will continue to watch for that. He basically said if the state already has a strain on file that this one matches they will let them know. If not they will send it to the CDC (center for disease control, I believe) in Atlanta, Georgia and then it will be weeks or months, if ever, that they will hear back from them. Dr. Cobb says it still doesn't all make since. The problems he had did not all fit with Salmonella so he is thinking he possibly just had two separate issues going on at the same time and they just never really figured out the other issue, but he really doesn't know. He will keep him on the antibiotic for another 10 days. We have to go in next week and have more blood work done (poor Ry has so many holes poked in him that we can't even possibly count all of them). They will just make sure everything is staying in the normal range. There we a couple of viral tests that they didn't have results on yet but they said even if they were positive it wasn't anything they would treat and it would just get better on it's own. So he knows a whole lot about what he doesn't have, he knows there are no tumors from his waist up because it has all been scanned, poked, prodded and tested in about every way possible. He knows he doesn't have mono, meningitis, west nile virus, any type of hepatitis, and who knows what else fits into all the tests they ran. As far as how he is feeling. He feels pretty good. He's still very tired! His back is pretty stiff from were seeing about 10 different holes in his spine where they did the spinal taps and the blood patch. But no more fever or chills or terrible headaches, just the normal kind now. As long as the fever doesn't come back and he stays feeling ok, he will hopefully just keep getting stronger and better. Thank you all so much for you kind thoughts, words, prayers, and offers of help. We appreciate all the love and support so much. There is thunder and it looks like a great big storm rolling in so that is all for now. I'll be checking my email and that more regularly so if you have any questions I'll get back to you. We are headed to New Castle tomorrow to pick up the kids. Thanks so much to their grandparents for taking such excellent care of them. We are all glad this whole ordeal will soon be behind us.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Day 5--a Roller Coaster Ride.

Today started out with Ryan feeling SO good. He was walking all over, cracking jokes about breaking out of there. The dr. told us early on that we would not be going home today because his liver enzymes keep going up. Also he said they would be doing an MRI on the lower spine (that's 3 MRIs now, 2 CT Scans, 2 spinal taps and a blood patch that required a needle in the spine, one ultra -sound and way too many other blood draws, sticks, antibiotics and pain meds to count!). Dr. Cobb, the infectious disease dr. whom we lovingly consider our own Dr. House, came in for another visit (I missed this one because we didn't know he was coming, Ryan was napping so I was out taking a walk around the halls and talking to Ryan's sister just to get a change of scenery and some other company to talk to for a while). He said they still don't know the sub-strain of Salmonella and don't know if that is all that is going on or not so he has ordered a HIDA Scan, where they use radioactive tracers to go through his system and get a better idea of what is going on with the gall bladder (because that affects the liver enzymes). SO back to Ryan he was feeling great until after the MRI around 1 pm. He started to get a headache and it got progressively worse until they finally gave him some Hyrdacodon and Tylenol, these didn't help so they ended up giving him more morphine, which did finally kick the head ache and he got back to feeling MUCH better before I left. We played a game of Risk, which he won of course, and then I also brought the Xbox in for him so that is what he was doing when I left at 10 pm. I left strict instructions for the nurse that if he still had it on at Midnight they had orders from me to TAKE THE XBOX AWAY! He has has some really great nurses and CNAs while being there and we really appreciate all of them. The doctors all say his has been a "very interesting" case. Everyone is very sorry that they can't figure out what is wrong and that he's had to go through so much. Thankfully he doesn't have a problem with needles so that hasn't been an issue but he has still been put through A LOT! Thanks to Matt Lowe for the visit today. The visitors really break up the day a bit and we really appreciate them. Hopefully, again, we'll have more answers tomorrow and he can come home soon. That's all for now!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A New Man!

At least it sure seems like he is a new man. We finally got some answers, or at least some hope of some answers today. The day started off pretty much the same, the doc came in about 8:30 am and basically told us all the tests looked pretty much normal, nothing to be concerned about. Said we can't go home because they had to send the Salmonella to a state lab for confirmation and they still haven't heard back on that so we still don't know "for sure" what we are dealing with. Then told us the Infectious disease doctor would be in later to see him. We did also talk about the REALLY bad headaches he has been having ever since the spinal tap so he also said he'd send the anesthesiologist up to talk to him about a blood patch over the hole where they did the spinal. So we met with the infectious disease Dr. about 12:30 or 1:00 and he gave us a lot more information about how the Salmonella infection could have actually been from 2 or 3 months ago and some of the bugs didn't get flushed out and eventually worked their way into the blood stream, which would have started the fever and Rigors (the really bad teeth chattering chills have their own special name--rigors). But that he still needed to find out the strain of Salmonella from the state lab and then probably do a bunch more tests to make sure it hasn't affected his gall bladder or anything else because his liver enzymes are significantly elevated. So, we can't go home. Still have a bunch of tests ahead and not any definite answers but at least a hope of some. Then about 2:30 the anesthesiologist came in and did the blood patch, this is very interesting--They take your own blood out of your arm and inject it into your back right in the area where they did the puncture in the spine and then when your blood clots it will cover the hole and stop the spinal fluid from leaking and thus stop the headaches. And amazingly IT WORKED!! It's the first time he's been able to sit up AT ALL without a headache. It is the first time he has been able to get out of bed and walk further than the 5 feet to the bathroom (he did make one lap around the floor last night but it almost killed him) and he made two whole laps around the floor without any headache! So we say Yea for some progress! Also he hasn't complained of any of the really, really bad shoulder pain that he has been having either. This had been one of his biggest complaints because the headaches he could control as long as he laid COMPLETELY flat but the back pain just never stopped; if I was constantly massaging it then it was bearable and about the only way he could fall asleep but a half hour later it was back just as bad. I think my arm and back will be sore for a while from 2 days of constant massaging! Things are looking better. Ryan is feeling better. Now if they can just get their answers and get us out of there life will be OK again! We love you all and appreciate all the calls, emails, goodies, and messages of love and support, thanks so much!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

No news is Good news?

Well at least we hope that is the case. Today was one VERY long day! Just so you all know if you are going to ever have to stay in the hospital, DON'T do it over a weekend! You are basically just there and no one that can tell you anything is! Ryan had the ultrasound to check the gall bladder and an MRI and x-rays on his shoulder to check out the pain there but we never got any official word on that at all. Ryan saw the Doc about 7:30 this morning and really doesn't remember anything he said and that was the only time we heard anything from him. The fever is still gone and I think if he could just get out of the hospital he'd be feeling much better. We are hoping tomorrow will be a much more productive day and are hoping to find out a lot more information. Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers. and concern! We truly appreciate it SO much!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Day 2 at the Hospital

So right now I'm just thinking today was a VERY long and unproductive day! They did finally get the CT scan this afternoon even though Ryan was too nauseated to get even half of the contrast down. We saw the Dr. once about 8:30 this morning and never saw him again and of course the nurses "can't tell you anything". So we basically still know NOTHING. They never did confirm the Salmonella, that is still just preliminary, but they have started him on treatment for it. He was having some pretty bad stomach pain yesterday, and some bad back pain today. They said he has elevated liver enzymes and so they have him scheduled to do an ultrasound tomorrow to look at his liver and gall bladder. So with pretty much no answers and still more tests ahead we are still just waiting! Ryan's fever hasn't been back since this morning so we are thinking that is at least one good thing, but he is still feeling pretty miserable. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers and offers for help. The kids are both being extremely well cared for/spoiled by the grandparents so I am able to spend all day with Ryan and while he is really miserable his biggest complaint is that he misses our tempurpedic bed and really HATES the lumpy hospital one!
Will keep you all updated as best as I can! Thanks again for all the love and support!

Please Pray

I just wanted to let everyone know that Ryan is very sick. He has been running a high fever all week but doesn't have any other symptoms. He is in the hospital and they have been running one test after another and while we know a lot about what he doesn't have, we still do not know what he does have. They have found a gram negative bacteria in the blood which they say can be very bad, but that is all they really know. He has been treated with 3 different antibiotics so far and nothing has been helping. His name is on two prayer rolls here in Utah. Please add your faith and prayers to those of the many others that the doctors will be able to find the cause and the cure! Thanks for all your love and support!