20 Questions Tuesdasy: the apology

Sorry, folks. NO 20 Questions today. Both kids are snotty beyond belief and will take active parenting to keep them asleep. Send non-stuffed up and sleepy thoughts to the kiddos.

I have a good assortment of questions in the queue about the topic "Myths and Legends" that I will have to table until next week. Cheers. I hope everyone else is not having to deal with illness or deal with family with illness.

Belated, but only a little bit

I am usually the last person awake in the happy SRH household. Little Man and Q both go down around 8 or 8:30 and Wifey follows around 10 or 11. So I figured that I would get to this post on the 7th instead of after midnight on the morning of the 8th.

Little Man had a rougher than usual night getting to sleep at a late late 9:30. He has a bit of an asthma flare up going on. He seems to get one around this time or a few week later than this every year. It will pass, but there will be much coughing before all is said and done.

I have gotten Q to sleep three times this evening and Wifey has gotten her to sleep once. Q is taking up most of the night tonight and I am rather tired of rocking the little girl, even though she is amazingly cute.

Since it is still the 7th at least in Central, Mountain and Pacific Time Zones I am counting it as still being the 7th.

Happy birthday, Wifey. I had a wonderful day with you today at the BMV renewing your tags, at the grocery store getting your birthday meal ingredients (NY Strip, Baked Potato, and Broccoli, for those of you keeping score). I enjoyed chatting with you all day long and loved the I've-Got-to-Walk-This-Steak-Off stroll that we took after the meal.

I love you and am proud to be married to you, so Happy Birthday to you, albeit a bit belated due to family circumstances. Even as I type I am doing so with an annoyingly awake Q on my lap. Darn babies.

To recap:
Happy Birthday, Sweetheart
That has a different meaning if you accidentally misspell "Sweetheart"
Happy Birthday, Sweatheart
Baby not asleep
And potentially pooping while sitting on my lap
Thank you diapers for your poop-catching majesty
Boy in asthma flare up
I need to give him a breathing treatment in a few minutes
Not sure how to do that with Q awake and slowly defecating
I was going to digitally alter a pic of Wifey all artistic-like but I can't do that with a baby on my lap
So no "Digital Thursday" this week
Listening to The White Stripes Seven Nation Army
Have a great weekend all

O to the R to the A to the PRED


So this weekend was a flurry of breathing treatments and rampant coughing from the 4 year old. Things started on Friday afternoon and just deteriorated from there.


On Friday Little Man’s breathing took a dip for the worse. He started coughing more and more and since he has “cough variant” asthma Wifey and I both knew what was going on. ‘Tis the silly season for asthma in the SRH household and the silly season has decided to hit for full effect this weekend.

Every year when the weather turns from summer to more fall-ish (autumnal?) weather Little Man’s breathing takes a hit. By “hit” I mean a “clocker to the noggin.” It has something to do with the radical shift in temperatures, the relative shift in humidity, the amount of leaf mold / vegetative rot in the air, and supreme powers that be deciding to test the limits of Little Man’s parents. It doesn’t seem, however, that Clan SRH is alone in this matter either.

In mid to late September I notice through the magic of this blog’s sitemeter that many of the random referrals I get tend to be about Orapred, or as we refer to it in our house “The ‘Pred.” This is a topic I have touched on before and I am not going to go into great detail about the medicine because I am not a doctor nor am I a pharmaceutical rep trying to hock wares. What I will mention about the Pred is that it tastes nasty. Is it that difficult to mask the hideous flavor of the medicine? Mountain Dew, Redbull, Jolt, and other heavily caffeine laden drinks hide the insanely bitter taste of caffeine, but The Pred has to taste like you are licking a medicine pop withy the lovely antiseptic aftertaste. It is supposedly “grape flavored.” I guess it is if “grape flavored” means tastes like “licking an ashtray.” I do have to say though the name brand version of Orapred ™ is much better than the generic. I swear the generic version tastes like distilled horse ass (or what I imagine distilled horse ass would taste like). Anyway… in mid to late September the Google searches for Orapred start up in earnest. I continue to get about 3 hits a day on search strings for Orapred related queries until late February and early March. So at least Wifey and I can take solace in the fact that we are not alone.

So Saturday it gets worse, and Saturday really becomes a battle between the Asthma and Casa De SRH sleep. Asthma won that battle. Sunday afternoon we call our pediatrician office to talk with the Dr on call. Little man’s doctor’s office doesn’t even need to see us now prior to prescribing the Pred. Of the 5 docs there, 3 recognize that we are on a really aggressive asthma regimen and can be counted on to have been doing his treatments correctly, we haven’t dealt with (to my knowledge) one of the remaining doctors and the other one we don’t like for various reasons.

So yesterday afternoon, Little Man got hit with 13 cc’s of the Pred, and Wifey and I figured at least the cough will go away and we can sleep. Around 12:30 last night the coughing started up again, and now we are on 3 nights minimal sleep. I am rather caffeinated and Wifey is running on adrenaline only since caffeine gives her headaches. Little Man and Wifey will be seeing the Dr at 11:50 today and hopefully we can get a handle on this flare up.

To recap:
Little Man discovered a love of Ritz crackers this weekend
The buttery taste of Ritz? Those crackers contain no dairy
That ain’t butter? It is a bit scary to think that
I am tired of giving breathing treatments
Hey…. Wait a second, I am just plain tired
More Canada stuff tomorrow
If a cow and a horse were to**This just in we interrupt your regularly scheduled recap for this Little Man ailment recap update**
Wifey just got back from the Dr’s office with Little Man
Looks like it is most likely some kind of virus
The virus is causing the coughing
The coughing is not helping the asthma
He is going on a bunch of different OTC meds today
**back to our regularly scheduled recap already in progress**
and the lobster was with the octopus
What’s up with that?

And not a Spiderman in sight...

There are few words that are actually feared in the corporate world. There are words that instantly instill unbridled terror: downsizing… restructuring… company picnic. These kinds of words cause many a heart to burst, many a psyche to withdraw, and many a career to end. There are other words in the corporate world that instill a more ephemeral fear. They create a fear that is more mixed with loathing than with abject terror. Today dear blog readers, I will talk about one of these words… one these despicable corporate words… a word that induces eye clawing and teeth gnashing. Today, I shall bring forth the corporate word, WEBINAR!

Webinar is not a cartoon barbarian found in the distant future on an Earth that has been devastated by a runaway planet. That is Thundarr. No, a webinar is a seminar that is presented over the Internet or the World Wide Web. Web + seminar = Webinar.

Webinars typically do not present any earth-shattering (or moon shattering in the case of Thundarr) information. They are not used for presenting any kind of results to “real” research or studies. Webinars are a perfect vehicle for imparting intuitively obvious information in a wonderful PowerPoint presentation. Webinars are typically wastes of time with really intriguing titles.

Today’s webinar (1 1/2 hours of my life that I cannot get back, thank you very much) was on how land use planning and transportation planning should be integrated before decisions should be made about a community’s future growth. Now the webinar did not say HOW one should integrate land use and transportation. It just stated THAT those 2 topics should be integrated. Well thank you very much.

Words and phrases that are usually said during a webinar:

Synergy: check
Paradigm Shift: check
Growth Industry: check
Integrated Solution: check
Best Practices: check
Leverage: check

I though “webinar” referred to learning how to shoot webs and fly around the city a la Spiderman. I was sadly wrong. Tomorrow’s webinar is about Public Involvement. I am sure it will synergize public involvement into a integrated solution to leverage transportation planning as a growth industry by focusing on best practices and generating a paradigm shift in how consultants and clients interface with the public. Positive of it in fact.

To recap:
Little Man is going back on the Orapred
I cannot say that I am happy about that
I get it, but I am not happy about it
I need vast amounts of sleep
They shall not be forthcoming in the near future
Wifey gets home tonight
And none too soon
Her trip to Michigan was definitely worthwhile
That’s a sentence you don’t hear too often
Digital Thursday tomorrow, I hope to have something for you to see

20 Questions Tuesday: 62 - Reading

Today is 20 Questions Tuesday and I am home with a sick Little Man. By a “sick Little Man” I do not mean a little man wioth skilz beyond compare, I mean a little boy who is hacking and coughing his way into America’s heart. Anyway, I sent the call out yesterday for 20 questions and was blessed with many prompt returns. Thanks this week go to Dustin, Lsig, Nadolny, and JA Coppinger.

To the questions:

1. Best sci-fi book to read when you’re 25?
Hmmm I am more of a fantasy buff than a sci-fi-er, but I would go with… umm… Orson Scott Card and his book Ender’s Game. I would not, however, continue with the series. The book is wonderfully self contained.

2. Reading + Little Man: What does he request at story time?
All sorts of stuff. His group that is on massive rotation right now include Guess How Much I Love You, Dr Suess’s ABC Book (you may recognize this one from some previous posts) , these 2 Kipper books, an informational comic about asthma, and some board books from when he was a baby.

3. If I type the lyrics “Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high, take a look, it's in a book - Reading Rainbow…” will that song get stuck in your head all day?
I hate you

4. Last book you read that you wish you could get your money back for it.
That’s the funny thing, when I start not liking a book, I usually just walk away from it, but there is this series of books by Celia Dart-Thorton called the Bitterbynd Trilogy that have made me think about calling the better business bureau about because a plot is supposed to have a protagonist and an antagonist some conflict and a resolution. False advertising Ms. Dart-Thorton. False advertising!

5. Have you read “The Time Traveler’s Wife?”
Nope, and with such a ringing endorsement, how can I not? You wax eloquent about its merit so much in your question that I can't help be be compelled to read it.

6. What defines a good book for you? (Examples: Plot, characterization, beauty of language, subject matter, ease of "getting lost" in the story...)
It is a combination of plot, beauty of language, and characterization with the emphasis placed on beauty of language.

7. The Harry Potter books: pop culture fad, enduring literary works, or something in between?
I honestly think they are going to be something in between. I am not certain that they will have the timeless quality necessary for them to hold up as classics in perpetuity. There are some aspects of them that could work, but there are other parts that just will not survive without the fad.

8. What was your favorite book in school? Does it hold up today?
Book from school? I am a big fan of The Lord of the Flies… the book, not The Lord of the Flies himself. He is not so nice, but the book is wonderful. IT is chock full of symbolism.

9. How do you choose the next book you will read?
A combination of three things. Firstly, if it is an author I am familiar with, secondly if the cover catches my eye, and thirdly if the jacket text is not too blasé.

10. Do you consider yourself a good reader?
I consider myself an adequate reader, but I would not go so far as to say “good.”

11. What's you favorite genre of book?
Fantasy hands down. I love me some magic.

12. Who is your favorite author? and favorite classical author (if not the same)?
Currently I am loving Patrick Rothfuss cat*, but he only has his debut out at the moment. I will have to reserve judgment on if he holds up after book 2 comes out. If not him, I would have to fall back to… I have no idea. There are a bevy of authors that I will read, but none of them really jumps out as my favorite. As far as classical author? Hemmingway comes to mind because of his no nonsense prose.

13. How many books a week do you read?
1 tenth of a book unless you consider kids books and then it is over 12.

14. Do you think the youth of today will enjoy reading as much as their parents’ generation?
I think if there could be a few more authors to generate the kind of fervor that J.K. Rowlings did with the Harry Potter series, then, yes. Otherwise, it will be difficult.

15. Will books on the computer ever catch on enough to make bound books obsolete (or nearly so)?
I think there will always be a call for turning a page, so paper books will never completely go away. I could see books being printed on plastic paper in the near future though…

16. Most comfortable spot in the world for reading?
In bed

17. Series: book-by-book, or wait till they’re all in print to read?
Sometimes I like to wait for the entire series to be out and sometimes I like the anticipation associated with waiting for the next installment. That being said, I have also lost interest in a series as well. So, I guess the answer to your "either/or" question is "Yes."

18. One book you re-read regularly?
I can honestly say the only book I have ever completely re-read is The Lord of the Flies. I have attempted other books that I enjoyed, but I found that knowing how the story was going to unfold tainted my reading pleasure. I can however re-read comic books until the colors fade and words become illegible.

19. Reading in the “privy” – bad habit or “Man Haven”?
I am not a potty reader. I stay away from reading in the loo mainly due to my incredibly efficient excretory system. There is no reason for me to get to the end of the paragraph when the business is done.

20. Did you ever actually READ an article in Playboy?
Playboy has articles?

To recap:
Little Man is definitely sick
Not super sick, but sick nonetheless
I am going to try and export some work so I can do it at home
Yippee skippee
The only issue is that Little Man doesn’t like me working from home
He wants to play
Who doesn’t?
Wifey gets home tomorrow night
I might need to go into work when she gets home
That will be lovely
I am sure tomorrow’s post will be on the trials and tribulations of working from home
Ta Ta

Orapred 2K7

Orapred’s effect on the 2 year old Little Man of, well 2 years and less ago is vastly different than the effects on his 4 year old self.

That’s right this weekend was an Orapred weekend par excellence. Thursday’s sniffles rapidly devolved into a full on asthma flare-up, such that on Friday he was “On the ‘Pred.” There are some pros and there are some cons associated with this more mature response to Orapred.

Pro: Little Man is old enough to understand that even though he does not like the flavor of Orapred, he still has to take it to get himself feeling better. In fact, all weekend long he took this horridly flavored medicine like a champ. We just made sure that there was some water or juice handy after swallowed the foul tasting goop. This is in direct parallel to the 2 year old who faught us tooth and nail to not take the “Yucky.” We had to hold that little boy down and force the yellow ichor down his throat.

Con: Now that Little Man is a bit more verbal, the Orapred makes him quite the chatty chatterbox. I don’t think he knows just how close he was to getting himself killed on Saturday night just before dinner time. 2 years ago, he would just be maniacally running around the house only in his socks and giggling like someone was tickling a banshee. Both of those behaviors are tiresome, but one we could at least look on with bemused detachment.

The 4 year old version of Little Man also understands that he has to be tethered to the nebulizer for as long as the medicine takes to come out. It is nice only having to answer his “Is it over yet” questions instead of bodily restraining him for the last 5 minutes of the breathing treatment. It is a wonder that he even likes us

I mentioned the talking, right? That kid will not shut up from the hours of around 5 to 7 PM. 2 straight hours of 4 year old babble. I know he is whacked out of his mind, but, by Beckham’s Fashion Sense, he needs to shut up before his parents throttle him something fierce.

So to make a long story short, he really is dealing with the process of an asthma flare-up much better, but he deals with it by jabbering away like a blibbering fool. Both Wifey and I are quite tired from all the late night early morning breathing treatments, but he is breathing better so it is all worth it.

To recap:
Little Man’s photoblog is in the works
We might make a photoblog using Blogger with an associated Flickr site
We might just use Blogger
Who knows we are crazy people
Crazy people with nothing to lose
HP VII is done
My template is going to get some work done this week, even though I am not sure what my final look is going to be
How about a poll in comments
All in favor of me changing the name of this here blog from “Under Construction” to something else say “F Yeah, It is time you changed this M-F’er up!”
All opposed say, “F No! It wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t M-F-ing ‘Under Construction!”
Tomorrow’s 20 Questions Tuesday topic will be about “The Future”
Oooooooh scary.

nothing to show for it

This weekend was one of those quietly intense weekends of asthma fun.

Okay, I feel it is necessary to explain more fully. It is a blog, that is what I do, so let me ‘splain. During the days Little Man’s breathing was fine. It was not great by any means. He could not compete in balloon blowing up contests or toy sail boat races, but short burst of manic behavior on a slide seemed to only add a little bit of breathing hardship. In fact it was typically mild enough, that if we slowed down the running with some animal crackers his breathing calmed right down as well.

The issue is that at night he needed 3 breathing treatments a night to sleep. This led to Mama (The lovely Wifey) and Papa (me) not getting good sleep due to the multiple interruptions. This leads me to conclude one of a couple of different things.

1. Little Man does not like us and wishes us ill and fulfills those wishes via no sleep. There is merit to this one.

2. There is something in the evening air that causes Little Man to breathe poorly. I shall call it “the dreaded vapors.”

Or 3. There is a fey that is sitting on his chest and sucking the air out of his lungs unbeknownst to us and we are lacking a certain feline houseguest to scare it aware from our darling boy.

Maybe it is a combination of the 3, I don’t know. Anyway, it boils down to Wifey and I being tired with nary a sick looking child to show for it.

To recap:
Lunch sucked today
It does not bode well for tomorrow either
And I live for lunch
It was my “letter L” word and everything
I am hungry
But I have to workout before I go home to eat
That does not bode well either
I am drinking lots of water in preparation for my stunning ability to sweat while going nowhere
Stunning really, quite stunning
I wish I liked running, because it is beautiful out there today
Tomorrow’s 20 Questions Tuesday is all about the cryptozoologicals, paranormal animals, and mythological beasties


Little Man's breathing seems to have finally realized how crappy the weather is. Ergo, I am at home with his coughing self today. So far we are doing breathing treatments around every 3 hours, he is on Orapred, and he is still coughing. I think that very little of the coughing is the typical phlegmy cough that everyone has this time of year, but 19 of every 20 coughs is definitely the asthma-non-productive-dry-cough that we know so well.

We are really not that sure as to what to do. He is not responding great to the breathing treatments and o far I am unimpressed with the Orapred results. Usually that stuff knocks the cough on its ass, but... right now, the cough seems to be winning. I will be making an appointment with El Doctore soon, but his office isn't open yet, so I will have to wait a bit for that.

Needless to say (and yet still being said) I do not like this cough one bit.

To recap
Grandma D and Grandpa R are going to think they did something wrong
It is how they roll
It is picturesque as Hell out there
The roads are atrocious though
Soccer: US v Mexico tonight on ESPN2 at 9pm EST
I will be very interested to see this team play
Little Man's breathing is definitely compromised
Great a full day of Go, Diego, Go! and playing trains
Hopefully I will have a better report about his breathing tomorrow

Ride, Ride

Our house is a crazy roller coaster ride of apprehension during the months of October, November, December, January, February, April, and early March due to Little Man’s asthma.
Let me take you though a, sadly, typical weekend illness.

We will start the weekend illness on Thursday night. Around 11:30 Little Man sat up in bed and promptly voided his stomach. His belly made a groaning noise that awoke the slumbering Wifey from the dead of sleep she was enjoying. “It sounded like the gates of Hell were opening to unless the fury of a pent up devil.” –Wifey. The bed was now the recipient of 1 half bowl of tomato soup, at least 1 juice box, 5 chicky fingers, and some snacks. He had gotten the annoying virus that has been going around Central Ohio like wildfire. He continued voiding his gut periodically until noon on Friday. Then the magic of Sprite kicked in and settled his disagreeable tummy.

This was the first major hill of the roller coaster. The one where you are attached to the chain and feel the coaster slowly climbing the hill to start up the wild ride.

In Little Man’s words “Tummy feels better with Sprite!” - Little Man The little one was running around and enjoying himself all day Saturday and Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon {cough}. I’m sorry, what was that? {Cough!} Oh goody!

Looks like the coaster is about to go through that annoying part where your cork-screw around just before the loops. Now, He sounded a little ‘creaky’ on Sunday morning, so we gave him a full aerosol breathing treatment and that seemed to clear things right up. He is good and responsive to the treatment, that is a big positive in our world, but {cough, cough, cough} by Sunday evening, he needed another treatment. After his bath and during his bed-time ritual, he needed {cough, cough, cough, cough, cough} another breathing treatment. While I am in the queue to log on to the Shadow Council server for World of Warcraft (367 people want to log in at 9 pm EST on a Sunday night? WTF!?!? Don’t get me wrong, I am not an RP fairy, but just don’t like the asshats and asshattery associated with PVE and PVP realms) he needs another one. It {cough} has {cough, cough} only {cough, cough, cough} been about {cough, cough} 90 minutes {cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough}. Here come the coasters loops. You know the ones. They tend to make even the most hardened coaster buffs a bit queasy at the thought of them, and tend to cause your head to hit most of the safety restraining equipment associated with the coaster. Yeah, those loops… and there are 4 of them coming.

Last night, I gave {cough, Cough, COUGH, COUGH!!!}him another { COUGH, COUGH, COUGH, COUGH, COUGH, COUGH, BARK, BARK, BARK, COUGH, COUGH} (Whoa, did he just bark?) breathing treatment {COUGH, COUGH, COUGH}and his coughing got worse {COUGH, COUGH, COUGH, COUGH, BARK, BARK, BARK, COUGH, COUGH!!!}. {cough, cough} He did not {cough} stop {cough} coughing until {cough} around 11:30. We were gearing up for a trip to the ER, when all of a sudden, he just kind of stops… (by “just kind of stops” I mean he is sleeping while sitting up against me [to start with, Wifey took my place after about 20 minutes sop I could get ready for bed. She was in that position for much longer than me.] we think it was due to rapid succession of treatments coupled with a vertical positioning.)Sure he stops coughing, but Wifey and I are primed to fight this for the long haul. "I really though this bout would end up with us in the ER. I mean, his cough had developed a 'barking' quality." - SRH He doesn’t cough again until 7:30 this morning. I am not sure where in the hell on the roller coaster we are at the moment. It seems too good to be true that we are doing the tiny hills and turns that are used to decelerate so the ride can stop. I think more likely we are at one of the boring sections on the top of the coaster that have a sharp decline come out of nowhere.

To recap:
I hate roller coasters
That, and I am tired
I have gotten my hunter up to 19.5
I hope he is 20 by the time I go to bed tonight
Little Man coughs a bunch
Spaghetti for dinner
20 Questions Tuesday will be a continuation of the Christmas theme from last week
I think Little Man will not want tomato soup again
Thursday was the first time he had tried it as a soup and not just an ingredient in Orange Rice
I have a conference call I have to be in on at 9 am tomorrow
Not sure why I told everyone that, but it is true
So far it is the only thing on my schedule for the week

The Weekend That Was

How should I start out this post? Oh yes, I know. Little Man is bat-shit insane. He is off his rocker. Loopy. Nuts. Manic. Coo-Coo for Coacoa Puffs. Frappé à la tête. Loco de la cabeza. He is wacked out of his mind on (wait for it…. wait for it…. ) Orapred! That’s right the 11 month hiatus from Insane Little Man is over. Little Man’s breathing took a nose dive Thursday evening. Friday morning, the doctor decided that it was, indeed, time to hop Little Man up on goofballs. But this is only the beginning of the weekend. There is more to come.

Wifey had a conference this weekend, in fact she is still at the conference right now. It is some conference about dialog facilitation at a resort outside of Boulder, Colorado. (she gets to go to all the best trainings and conferences)

Umm.. I make maps for a living
For those of you in the know, you know there ain’t nothin’ outside of Boulder, CO. For those of you not in the know, there ain’t nothing in the Boulder, CO area. She is in the sticks, the boonies, the middle of nowhere, the not in cell service area. (Her actually getting there was an event in it’s own right, but that is a story for her to tell, and she kind of already did.) Anyway, to make a long story tediously laborious I would have Dickens ghost write for me, but Dickens is dead ("ghost write"? "dead"? quite the unintentional pun), so that ain’t happening. I guess I will have to sum up via a time line.

  • 12:30-ish pm: Little Man takes a double dose of Orapred
  • 3:40 pm: we pile into the car to take Wifey to the airport
  • 3:50 pm: The “You need to buys some gas, Idiot” light comes on
  • 4:00 pm: Little Man and I start our trek home from the airport. Little Man is starting to cough.
  • 4:10 pm: Finally find a gas station. Little Man is coughing more.
  • 4:14 pm: Traffic sucks so bad we have to go the opposite direction of where we want to go. Little Man’s coughing is even worse
  • 4:20 pm: Still working towards home in a VERY roundabout way. Little Man’s coughing is nearly constant
  • 4:45 pm: Finally home. What is typically a 15-20 minute trip has taken 45 minutes. Little Man is really coughing now.
  • 4:46 pm: Little Man is getting a breathie (aerosol treatment with Xopenex and Attrovent)
  • 6:00 pm: Second dosage of Orapred
  • 6:45 pm: Coughing is bad again, time for another breathie
  • 8:45 pm: Time for another Breathy
  • 9:30 pm: Start getting bags ready for the trip to the ER
  • 9:45 pm: coughing just is not getting any better time to go to the ER
  • 10:00 pm: ER
  • 10:15 pm: ER triage
  • 12:30 am: Leave ER waiting room to go home and give Little Man a breathing treatment
  • 2:30 am: Little Man finally falls asleep
  • 3:00 am: Papa finally falls asleep
  • 8:40 am: Little Man is up and ready to go, but no longer coughing

By up and ready to go, I mean, nuts. Bonkers. Cracked. Unhinged. Balmy (is “Balmy” a synonym for crazy? It sounds almost right.).

This morning began day 4 of the Orapred saga. I am tired and cranky. Little Man is tired and cranky. Wifey is tired and cranky (for different reasons, she will have to get into those if she wants), and she will not be home until tomorrow afternoon.

To recap:
This is the second time Wifey has left me with Little Man in the throws of Orapred loopiness
Bat-shit insane, off his rocker, loopy, nuts, manic, coo-coo for Coacoa Puffs, frappé à la tête, loco de la cabeza, he is wacked out of his mind, nuts, bonkers, cracked, unhinged, balmy
I am exhausted
Mimma has been a lifesaver
Everything will be back to normal tomorrow


I went to Little Man’s allergist appointment today. It was a fine little check-up. He is doing just fine. It was a delightful little family side trip in the middle of the day. I got to see my little boy and my wife for a nice hour long interlude in an otherwise monotonous day. It was a wonderful, yet not long enough, hiatus from the doldrums of work life. It really did make me really wish we were independently wealthy and did not have to toil in the cubicle salt mines of today’s information economy. A slave to the keyboard I am. Anyway… sadly, the trip to the doctor’s office to discuss my kid’s breathing issues was, forgive the horrid pun, a breath of fresh air.

He is almost old enough and coordinated enough to use the inhalers with breathing spacer associated with these new fangled contraptions. That would cut his breathie from about 5 to 10 minutes to however long it takes him to take 8 deep breaths. That would make the morning and evening rituals much easier. We will be working with him on this really diligently. The breathing machine (nebulizer) can be quite the chore. Sure it is a chore that keeps my kid alive, but a chore is a chore is a chore is a chore, in my book.

So after the Dr’s visit, Wifey and the boy drop me off at work so I can chain myself back to a desk and toil away. Wifey drops Little Man back off at G-Ma D and G-Pa R’s and then off to work she goes. Off to work she goes… with my cough drops. Oh, no! She drove off with my cough drops. My drops of anti-coughing. My Lozenges of Throat Soothiness. My only way of not hacking up a lung on a co-worker’s desk (I would not do it on my desk, sanitary reasons and all).

Mentholyliptus (Greek God of Throat Soothing) why did you allow me to be left bereft of all anti-coughing lozenges? Why?!?!? Please, Oh, Sweet Merciful Phle-Gnum (Egyptian Goddess of Colds and Wracking Coughs {Shout out to B!}), please forgive my transgressions against you, for I only have 2 cough drops left and hours yet till I can be re-united with my bag of soothing remedy. I realize that it was my own fault for putting the bag in Wifey’s cup holder. I realize that I am at fault, but, please, please have mercy on my pitiful itchy throated self.

To recap
Two Halls Cherry Flavored Cough Drops away from Hellish office coughdom
Left overs for dinner tonight, I am just not sure what it is that we have left over
I need to go and get more Breath Right Strips tonight, for I am out
Wifey is going out for drinks with some VIPs tonight
I’m staying in cradling a bag of red cough droppy relief
There is no projected tornado this evening so I won’t be working out
Wifey is a lightweight – maybe I’ll get lucky
More likely I’ll cough my way into a lonesome bed trailing a wave of sick behind me
8 Deep breaths, how hard could that be?
Okay, I am a bit light headed now
Really, there is a good bit of dizziness going on right now
Maybe I should try to get him to do 8 deep breaths, not 8 DEEEEP breaths
Whew…. spinning in my chair right now while sitting still
Okay one should definitely not do 8 DEEEEP breaths followed by 8 deep breaths

EKG or no EKG

Little Man’s EKG was this morning, or was supposed to be. More on the “supposed to be” later.

Firstly, I will not make anyone endure reading the whole post before they know whether or not Little Man was given a clean bill of health. He was is fine. The cardiologist said that there was a “buzzing” in his collarbone area and a “whirring” in his heart (his terms, not mine. I can’t make up medical terms like “buzzing” and “whirring.”), and that these are typical sounds most kids’ bodies make. It is just that Little Man is so “skinny” (again, his term, not mine) that there is a certain lack of tissue (that most kids have) to muffle the noise.

Okay, now that the paragraph about Little Man’s health is over, let’s talk about the visit.

So we get into the parking garage of Children’s Hospital in Columbus and start winding our way up to find a parking place. On the way up we had to deal with people who really had difficulty parking in confined spaces. This did not help the general stress level in the car, but Wifey and I recognized that we were showing how stressed we were and Little Man was soaking up the stress like a… ummm… stress sponge.

Anyway… we get into the office and start filling out paperwork. We had to use the back of the page when they asked us to list all medications. You know you have to give your kid too much medicine when at a specialist like a cardiologists office you have to use extra lines on their paperwork to describe you child’s drug regime. All that being said, it was really sad to see so many children there with circulation issues. Real, honest to goodness circulation issues. They were pale, eyes sunken in, out of breath just sitting there. It was bizarre seeing Little Man full of color, vim, and vigor in contrast to these kids with real issues. After completing the paperwork, and Little Man making a “Dirty Poop” it was our turn to go in to the Dr’s office.

So how did the office visit go? Welll…

Pure torture. Pure unabashed torture. Little Man is not big on the whole going to the doctor thing. In fact, I would go so far as to say that he hates it. Hates doctor’s offices with the fire of 1000 suns, especially if said doctor’s offices reside within the main campus of Children’s Hospital where Little Man has endured much and too often. He was traumatized by the scale, and by getting his height measured. Them he was traumatized by the blood pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer?) and the stethoscope. Then, after these traumas, the nurse, who was very personable and oddly not good with kids, tried to put a blood pressure cuff on Little Man’s leg. He was having none of it. The nurse stated “I can’t get a good read on this, because I can’t hear a thing!” Hey, Lady! Kid’s can feel shame! It is not his fault he is terrified by being in the Dr’s office. Cut him some slack! Where was I? Oh, yes, so after not being able to sit still for the leg blood pressure test, Little Man travels across the hall to get his EKG.

For this EKG they only needed 10 seconds of still clam behavior. In the EKG room Finding Nemo was on, piece of cake, Little Man loves Fishy! Well, Little Man loves Fishy when he is not having EKG pick-ups stuck to his torso and legs. We fought him for about a minute trying to get him not to pull off the pick-ups, but gave up on the whole EKG thing when he was reduced to a quivering mess of too stressed out readings. So his EKG was scheduled for today, but it did not happen. It tried to happen, but….

To Recap:
Cardiologist appointment was interesting
Little Man was arching his whole body like we were sticking him with a hot poker
I have to call software vendors today
I hate calling software vendors
Wifey and I are exhausted
Little Man is exhausted
The EKG was a diagnostic tool they couldn’t use in this case
Little Man’s heart murmur is exacerbated by stressful situations
I think getting checked for a heart murmur qualifies as a stressful situation
Pork Chops and Couscous for dinner tonight
The Dr was great with Little Man
The Columbus Crew sucks


Earlier this week (when the Asthma DEFCON was not soooooo dominating my thoughts) Wifey and I happened upon a sign in a local shopping strip’s parking lot. This sign looked much like this…

Now, this is not necessarily a surprising sign. Who wants a bunch of “skate punks” messing up a good old fashioned parking lot? And no one and I do mean No Frikkin One wants to deal with the insidious character known as a solicitor, but what got me about this sign is the syntax (not the “sin tax” that is a completely different subject that will have to be chatted about at a later date).

This sign seems to be addressing 3 distinct groups simultaneously. It targets skate boarders, solicitors, and their lesser known subset the skateboarding solicitors. Are skateboarding solicitors that much of an issue? I mean really. Truthfully there is probably a very good reason for the sign to be worded this way. If it said “No Skateboarding and Soliciting” grammar aficionados would still be able to skate or solicit, as long as they did not do both simultaneously. If the sign said “No Skateboarding or Soliciting” people in that parking lot might mistake soliciting as the punishment for skateboarding. It would be a really easy way for “skater punks” to get a job, and no one wants that. Damn kids need to earn their job, not have a job given to them as some sort of weird punishment. Back in my day kids would get shot with a shot gun full of salt if they were caught skateboarding where they weren’t supposed to. Not given a job in sales!

Why wouldn’t it simply say…

There is an elegance to the simplicity of using 2 separate phrases. People really should use me as a better resource than just making transportation planning maps.

To recap:
We are at Asthma DEFCON 2 and shifting to Asthma DEFCON 3
Wifey and I are completely exhausted
Having dinner with the ‘rents tomorrow
It should be a blast
We will probably go to California Pizza Kitchen
I need to get my car into the shop
It is making a whole heckuva lot of noise when I brake
I have a meeting to get to in less than 30 minutes
Have a great weekend everyone


I realize that yesterday I mentioned that we were at Asthma DEFCON 2. Well, today, I feel that it might be helpful for me to codify exactly what our Asthma DEFCON levels are, because, well, last night we shifted into Asthma DEFCON 1. I have stolen a page from the United States Military Nuclear Forces for my terminology here. In this case DEFCON stands for DEFense CONdition and refers to Wifey and my levels of readiness for Little Man’s asthma.

Here we go.

Asthma DEFCON 5: Little Man is doing just peachy. He is up to date on his maintenance meds, it is not too hot and not too cold outside without an insane amount of humidity. He has not been exposed to any allergens that he reacts to poorly in the recent past. Wifey and I are not concerned about a severe asthma attack occurring. This is a RARE state for the SRH household to be in.

Asthma DEFCON 4: Little Man might have coughed once. It is between October and May in the calendar year. Wifey and I have increased our vigilance in surveilling Little Man’s chest for signs of reatraction and other symptoms of labored breathing. Honestly, this is where Wifey and I reside most of the time.

Asthma DEFCON 3: He is most likely starting to get sick with some kind of virus or other such thing that kids typically get. Little Man’s breathing is “creaky” enough that we have started giving him supplemental breathing treatments twice a day with his rescue breathing treatments. Basically we have added to the Pulmicort and Foridyl aerosol cocktail both Xopenex and Atravent. This changes the aerosol treamnet from a benign 5 minutes of Little Man sitting still to a 30 minute battle of keeping the breathing mask on his face. Wifey and I are more aggressive about Little Man’s coughing. If there are more than one coughing fit in the span of 1 hour, we immediately move into Asthma DEFCON 2.

Asthma DEFCON 2: We are administering rescue breathing treatments every 4 hours. Little Man is clearly not feeling well. The virus of indeterminate origin is kicking Little Man’s ass, and Little Man’s breathing is suspect at best. Wifey and I are starting to lose sleep and contemplating when we should make the trip to the ER.

Asthma DEFCON 1: Little Man’s breathing is rather compromised. We are doing breathing treatments more than every 4 hours. We have increased the dosage of his aerosol steroid, and we are getting things ready for an eventual most probable trip to the ER. Wifey and I are both really sleep deprived and starting to labor with the idea of finishing sentences and completing thoughts.

Asthma EMERGICON: We are heading to the ER/DR’s Office because the breathing treatments are not giving him any sort of respitory relief. We have our portable DVD player and his allergen free snacks in tow. We are about to go on Orapred. Wifey and I are demoralized and exhausted. Demoralized due to the battle to keep Little Man off of Orapred, and exhausted because, well, we haven’t slept well in a while. Haven’t you been reading these?!?

After Asthma EMERGICON we are in the hospital for Little Man’s breathing. He has been hospitalized and we are even more sleep deprived and fighting with hospital staff about what Little Man can and cannot eat.

We are currently still at Asthma DEFCON 1 but it seems to be better than it was last night. I think we might be able to downgrade to Asthma DEFCON 2, but I don’t want to jinx it by hoping too fervently that we can do that. We have his ER bundle pretty much ready to go though.

To Recap:
I will probably refer to these Asthma DEFCONs often on the blog
Memorize them, there will be a test later
I am sleep deprived and shot full of caffeine
That’s right, in these cases of extreme fatigue I turn to my major vice… Mt. Dew
Hopped up on caffeine and sleep deprived makes me a bit snarky
Not sure what is for dinner
I will update the Asthma DEFCON level after Little Man gets up from his nap.

check up

We just had Little Man’s 3 year check-up. It was a great Dr. Visit in many ways and a difficulty one in many others.

Okay, the good: He did not need any shots, so the visit did not end with a blubbering puddle of post-shot Little Man. It is not a pretty sight. But, thankfully, it was not a sight for today. He interacted with his doctor (we shall call him El Doctoré). really well. He said “AHHHHH!” when asked. He didn’t fight when he was getting his ears checked out. He thought it was hilarious when El Doctoré was checking his pupil response for his eyes. He was nice and still while El Doctoré checked his breathing and heart beat. All in all Little Man did really well interacting with El Doctoré, and he behaved himself like a real champ. He has just grown up so much in the mere 3 years he has been around.

El Doctoré was very pleased that we had not had to see him since December of 2005 (we are as well), and he was really pleased that Little Man has been Orapred free for over 8 months now (again, we are as well). This is the longest stretch of non-Orapred usage for Little Man since we had to use it the first time just after his 1st birthday. All in all it was a really good visit.

The not-so-good: That being said, everything was not sunshine and rainbows. El Doctoré showed a bit of concern about how many steroid medications Little Man is currently using. On top of the asthma and food allergies, El Doctoré has suggested that we see a cardiologist because of a murmur present with Little Man. Great, just what we needed another medical concern for the Little Man. Honestly, this is the most upsetting portion of the appointment. The doc did a good job of minimizing the idea as just precautionary and prudent, but when a 3 yr old has to see a cardiologist, I can’t imagine that we are just doing it for “precaution and prudence“reasons.

These things were coupled with my own observations about the appointment with El Doctoré. Firstly, I was disturbed to see my little boy in such a clinical setting looking so small. He is currently residing in the 40th percentile for height and 25th percentile for weight. That translates to 37 inches or 93.98cm in height and 30.5 lbs, 13.83 kg, or 2.179 stone in weight. I realize that he is dynamo of energy that could potentially power the city of Reykjavík for about day in the spring, but he really is small for his size, and that is something you do not realize when you see him without other kids around to compare.

Secondly, I felt that he still is dealing with a speech delay. He just did not seem, in my opinion, to be talking as much and as fluently as he should be. Sure some of this may be due to “playing shy” around El Doctoré, but I just felt there was something more palpable to it than that.

Thirdly, I realized that, as a parent, I am not pushing Little Man to do enough things on his own. I do too much for him, when he should be doing it himself. I imagine that this is a typical problem with most first time parents, but it is something that I need to work on.

To recap:
Little Man is growing up
I need to get Little Man to draw more on his own, instead of just making Papa draw
I need to get him knowledgeable more about his environment
I am scared about taking him to the cardiologist
I am not sure we can add much more on our medical concerns plate
We had an open house this weekend with 0 visitors
Yep, 0 visitors
No one, none, zip, zilch, the big goose egg, etc...
I am so glad we are coming off the market soon
20 Questions Tuesday coming up tomorrow

Orapred Information

Okay, a rare Friday post for me, but I think it might be worth it.

Little Man is doing fine. We are on Orapred, yet again. Our Allergist is not happy about having to place Little Man on this steroid again in such a short time frame, but it is definitely what is necessary. We expect Little Man to be bouncing off the walls in 2 days time. Oh goody. If we have anymore crazy shots of him they will most definitely be posted. I do not want people to think I have anything personally against Orapred. To the contrary, actually. I have nothing but the highest regard for this medicine. It has definitely kept my little boy alive. It does its job, I just wish we didn’t need to employ its services too often.

As a public service (lofty sounding, I know) I have perma-linked the Drugs.com page on Orapred as well as the Drug Digest, and BioMarin pages. These were the most comprehensive and still authoritative sites I could find on this medicine. I will also be linking this page and my other Orapred posts for all to view at their leisure. It turns out that about 2 to 3 times a week I get a hit on this site from someone searching for Orapred side effects. I do not want to do them a disservice by solely having this site be a cache of anecdotal information about Orapred’s interaction with my little boy.

Here is the Drugs.com information
Here is the Drug Digest information
Here is the BioMarin information

Here are my previous posts about Orapred

Sleep Perchance to Dream
Hospital, Hospital, Jiggity Jig
Disharmonic Convergence
Update on Wheezy McAsthma
Little Man vs. Insane Little Man

To recap:
Orapred is a very effective drug for my little boy
I wish we did not have to use it as much as we do