We had a good visit in Dallas this week-end.  The kids were AMAZING and we had so much fun with them.  It’s crazy to me that our kids love going to the hospital.  What a dreadful place, but it is pure bliss for them…an adventure you might say.  Kaston went under his usual testing for his annual check-up; blood pressure, O2 sats, height, weight, EKG, Echocardiogram, a THOUSAND questions from the nurse & the cardiologist.  It appears that Kaston’s heart rate is slowly getting slower.  This might attribute to him being pale all the time, it might not.  So, we will do another Holter monitor to see where he’s at.  If he is getting too low or sees some delays, then it may be time for him to have a pacemaker to regulate it.  This is by no-means something unexpected.  LOTS of heart kiddos have pacemakers.  When you go messing around with the heart, alot of things get messed up so you just deal with them as they come at you.  It’s something that’s totally manageable.  Of course, it’s 1 more surgery (not open-heart – it’s a pretty minor procedure) and 1 more thing to have to keep up with.  Pacemakers do require regular maintenance.  What it DOES mean is that he can continue on and be as normal as possible.  And there is always the possibility that he doesn’t need one just yet.  So we will do the monitor and wait for the results and figure out where to go from there. 

He also talked to us about getting Kaston’s tonsils taken out to help out with the strep problem he’s had forever.  Now, this has been of some debate between his pediatrician and the cardiologist for about a year now.  The card. wants em out – the ped. not so much.  So we just need to get all of the information of the pros & cons & figure out what we need/want to do.  If he needs a pacemaker, they’ll do it in Dallas & we could do the tonsils at the same time.  No need in putting him under twice.  It’s risky enough as it is. 

So overall, a great visit!  The kids got to swim – alot – we ate some awesome food – alot – and did some much needed relaxing.  We took Korah to the Galleria mall and she ended up not buying one thing!  She’s such a miser when it comes to money!  And that’s a great attribute to have at such a young age!  Kaston takes after his mom & dad & spends every dime he has as soon as he has it!  Yesterday we visited the Children’s aquarium at Fair Park and got to pet sting rays & sharks – the kids loved it.  Then we went rock climbing at REI – Kaston’s a little spider man.  He gets up that wall in no time!  Korah struggled some, but the instructor did a really good job being patient with her.  She finally got over her fears and made it to the top!  Of course, Kaston had to try it again on the medium wall & did fabulous!  They want to check out our local rock wall place – maybe something to get the kids interested in?  Then we made a stop at Sam Moon – holy moly!  Not my kind of place!  But Korah loved it and found her a couple of purses that we could agree on and that were within her price range!  Overall – a great, inexpensive week-end.

With the events of last 2 weeks and just with life in general, Bob & I have come to the crossroads of life, yet again, as to “which path do we take?” regarding the care of our son.  Fortunately, we are hand in hand in this decision, praying that God guide us in the right direction.

It is concerning Kaston’s health and education. Do we or don’t we Home School.  Yes I said home school.  Ahhhhh….there are SO many unanswered questions right now, but oh so many signs. Signs that can’t be ignored. But the question is how do we make it happen? How is this even our reality now and and how is it even a possibility?

Kaston’s had a pretty rough winter being sick. I think he just got knocked down pretty hard and hasn’t been able to recover and his immune system is shot, even though he is on a pretty heavy regimen of vitamins and immune boosters. I would hate to see what it would be like if he wasn’t.  He misses ALOT of school.  And he is very far behind – about one grade behind.  It’s not because he doesn’t try – his teachers and the principal say that he is a great student, works hard, always participates – the ideal student.  But he still is being sent to remedial classes every day because he’s just not up with the other kids.  And it destroys him. 

Think about it…you already are aware that you’re different in the physical sense, not just the scars and the medicines, but you don’t get to do the same things the other kids do…and you look just like them.  You add in that you are aware that you can’t read very good and are being taken out of the classroom every day because of it .  His self esteem has plummeted.  And he is usually such a happy little guy.  But we see changes in him.  He hates school, says he’s so stupid on a daily basis and doesn’t want to do anything besides watch TV (that could be health related as well- he has no energy to do anything besides watch TV).  When I work with him at home on the websites that his teachers have given us, he does fabulous.  I made him retake the ones he failed and he made 100’s on all of them.  He can’t wait to read with me, and loves the fact that I am teaching him cursive  because the kids in his class started learning that too.  And actually, he did surprisingly well for his 1st attempts.  Better than his normal handwriting I see on his papers from school.  I saw his self confidence change the end of last week when we did our “home school”. 

Is it time to pull him out of public school and try home schooling him for awhile?  For the sake of his health and for the sake of his education?  I feel that I am perfectly capable of getting him caught up to a level that he should be.  I’m not a teacher, but I’m resourceful.  And organized.  (ok I have good days & bad & please don’t look in my attic!)  Removing him from dirty little kids and germs and sickness everyday would also probably help him build up some immunity where he’s not having to fight something off constantly.  I always wonder what he comes in contact with and will this one be the one that lands him in the hospital again.  Of course, I realize I can’t keep him in a bubble, but I also can monitor who he is around and make sure he washes his hands more than he does at school (which I doubt is EVER!)

Bob & I had the very 1st conversation on this topic last Thursday.  Friday afternoon, the school principal called me to let me know that because Kaston is already in section 504, that if a doctor deems it necessary, that he could qualify for a homebound schooling program where a teacher comes to our house for 4-6 hrs/wk and maybe that might be what Kaston’s needs right now to keep him healthy.  What!?  Here’s your sign.  (and there have been many others, this one was just the most obvious!)

Of course, the answer seems easy in my mind.  Here’s the delimna – I have a job.  A job that I love, an employer that has allowed me to care for Kaston to the best of my ability and still work for him without fear of being fired.  More flexibility than I could EVER ask for.  Along with having a job is that extra income.  Where do we come up with the extra income?  I know, you say, cut extras out of your budget & you’ll come up with the extra money.  Easier said than done, short of selling everthing we own.  (which I have considered, not the husband so much! – I joke around and say “Let’s sell everything we own, buy a huge RV bus and travel around the country!”  I don’t see that happening unless we win the lottery!)  Bob will more than likely have the opportunity to put in for Captain soon, but it takes forever for those things to go through at Pantex, if it even opens up.  It would more than likely be summer time before we knew anything.  If he got it, it would be a considerable amount more – maybe even enough to cover what I make.  So maybe that will be the answer?  I’ve been trying to come up with things that we can make & sell online.  SOMETHING for extra income.  Anything.

I have a knot in my stomach just like I did when I had to quit my job shortly after Kaston was born.  We know what the answer is.  It’s just how do we do it?  How do we make this work.  And ultimately, is this the best decision for our son?  And would we do this for Korah eventually too?  We’ve talked to both of the kids about this and they are all on board.  They ‘think’ they understand homeschooling, but I just wonder if they really know.    Yes, they will give up alot.  But they will also gain alot too.  It’s a totally different mindset.  And it’s something that you have to be careful and aware of on so many levels.  But it’s doable and I see the rewards outweighing the negatives on so many of those levels.  I have TONS of questions and alot of research to do, but I also realize that we’ve only been discussing this for a little over a week and probably need to sit on it for a little bit longer before we change the direction of our lives forever.

I am ready for the happy days of spring and summer to arrive again.  ALL of my posts this winter have been heavy hearted – but it currently is a direct reflection of my life.  I am ready for the cold to go away and the sun to come out (tomorrow! tomorrow! bet your bottom dollar…eh hem) and to have all of life’s crazy questions answered  – well my own life anyways.  I have to know that God is ultimately in control and that He will bring that sunshine back into my life eventually, and will lead Bob & I onto the path that we should go that has the beautiful sunset at the end of it.  Because we sure can’t do this on our own.  It’s impossible without Him.

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