The Samantha Years

Full Belly…Full Heart

I am still lavishing in the meal Susan and Andy brought over tonight…leg of lamb, roasted potatoes, organic cheese made at a local dairy, MALBEC (that’s for you Ryan) from Chile. Great meal and lovely conversation. Thank you, so very much Susan and Andy.

Towards the end of the meal, I played a CD of a dear friend’s band; Inda Eaton. If you have never heard of her, check out She is a fabulous musician and makes wonderful cookies.

I sat, with my daughter in my lap, drinking great wine, eating dark chocolate with crystallized ginger (who knew HOW GOOD that is?), talking to good friends, with another fabulous friend on the CD player….I was filled with love.

I told a friend the other day that I wish I wasn’t the friend that gives everyone else perspective but it’s nights like this that I relish in the simple beauty of our lives….the health of our daughter, a wonderful meal, and sweet music in my ears. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

The Samantha Years

It Takes a Village

The other day, while in our 8th floor room, a volunteer came by and asked if she could anything. I thanked her and said “No, we are very lucky, we have a wonderful support group.”

She nodded and said, “I can always tell by the look on parents’ faces if they are getting the support they need.”

I’m thinking my face looked supported! It should! Once again, we are grateful for all of the outpourings of good thoughts, prayers, cookies, lunches…..etc.

Last night Samantha spiked a fever…! She went from a sleeping Miss to hot potato (104 degrees) in about a 1/2 hour. Motrin and Tylenol had already been given so we started on cold cloths. A couple days ago I requested a cooling blanket…the great little device that fills with water and cools Samantha’s core.

We had some issues with the cooling blanket….

First, they brought a heating blanket…no good.

Then we got a cooling MACHINE with a blanket that fits into a HEATING machine….no good. Grandpa Jim had to figure this out on his own. The funny thing about cooling machines is that they are usually only used in the ICU so 8th floor nurses weren’t sure how to configure our device. Grandpa Jim took control and said we needed something else. Meanwhile, Grandma Judi was still soaking Little Miss in cold towels.

Third time is a charm! A new blanket and machine came up. Jim and I plugged it in! Nothing happened.

Jim played with a couple valves, a couple spurts of water ran through the tubes and that was it…..the blanket was filled with sweet, cooling water. Samantha was placed on the blanket and her temp was down within fifteen minutes.

The docs came into the room expecting to see a hot, sick little girl. I presented my peaceful, cooled child….nothing compare to the ‘controlled’, heated, pandamonium minutes before. The cooling of my feverish child was achieved by our efficient, intelligent village….cold towels and the engineering of a blanket.

Oh, we are still in the hospital….but I guess sometimes you gotta take the bull by the horns…or the blanket.

Comfy Samantha went back to sleep.

We toasted with a glass of Cab.

A special thank you to lovely Ellen and Jeannine who brought soup and bread today. Thank you for being a part of our village.

My face is happy and supported.

Keep those thoughts going for Monday!


The Samantha Years

"Monday is the key day of the week" Gaelic Proverb

So it looks like we could all be spending the night in our own beds on Monday pending that Samantha is fever free for 24 hours and she is back on her full feeds without any issues.

I have made her fully aware of the challenge she has in the next couple days and being the little fighter she claims to be up to it……. actually, she has been sleeping all morning and ignoring her mama. I’m a little hurt and itching to rouse with my comfy girl but I’m controlling myself.

Fingers and toes crossed for Monday!


The Samantha Years

O Bed! O Bed! Delicious Bed- Thomas Hood

Now, blessings light on him that first invented sleep! It covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a cloak; it is meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, heat for the cold, and cold for the hot. It is the current coin that purchases all the pleasures of the world cheap, and the balance that sets the king and the shepherd, the fool and the wise man, even. ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605

I now know why solders are sleep deprived. I know why denying one of sleep is considered a form of torture and why my mother insisted I take a nap at a young age.

Sleep is good for the mind. Sleep is good for the body. I LOVE sleep. When I don’t sleep, I am transformed to a horned beastie….with fangs and purple claws…and big feet.

The first night in we did not sleep. The collective ‘we’, Samantha and I, welcomed the dawn from our east-facing room. Grateful, perhaps that the night was over. Nothing is worse than knowing the world is snoozing away and you’re up. We did sneak in a nap- just enough to take the edge off.

By 9:00 pm I would have sold my left foot, confessed to terrible acts treason and bit the nose off of my unsuspecting husband. Ahhh, so this is the true nature of sleep deprivation….I get it…..can I nap now?

Happily, luckily, GRATEFULLY, Samantha drifted off with the help of a couple good meds. I collapsed into the fold out couch in the corner. Will I sleep? Or will I ponder the trivial events of my life. There is no room for trivial pondering, I can see the horned beastie in the corner should I have another sleepless night.

“The feeling of sleepiness when you are not in bed, and can’t get there, is the meanest feeling in the world.” Edgar Watson Howe

I slept! A good eight hours! Unheard of on the 8th floor. Today I am as sweet as pie (says me.) Thank you, thank you, little sleep fairies.

Samantha slept through the night and is snoozing now too. She is still fighting a fever but the infection had settled in her kidneys and can take a couple days to work itself out.

The biggest injustice to Samantha (well today anyway!) is that her belly was so distended the docs thought she might have a block of some sort. Not wanting to add anymore volume into her abdomen, she hasn’t been able to eat until they figure things out. Poor Sammers hasn’t had a meal since Wednesday. She is a hungry little pickle. We are hoping, crossing our fingers, that we can feed her today. Sleep last night, food today? It’s the little things in life.

The Samantha Years

8th Floor Residents

So, we are back at Children’s. This time it was the ultimate tease…..we came in for an out-patient appointment and were sent upstairs three hours later. After hour two I started to have doubts that I would make it home in time for Entertainment Tonight….damn the electric fence.

Samantha has another infection that we ‘think’ is coming from her bladder. She was pretty upset and feverish last night…..we’re hoping for a better night tonight….keep you fingers crossed. Mama needs sleep!

She’s on IV antibiotics and waiting for the meds to take effect. Once she starts feeling better and we find some answers about these nasty UTI’s, we’ll be going home. I’m hoping this weekend or Monday. Again, cross those fingers.

Send her a good thought or two 🙂

Hope you all are well.

Heather, Bart and Samantha