The Samantha Years

Filter Free

I’m not sure if it’s my aging mind, lack of sleep, PTSD or a combination of the three but sometimes the filter between my head and mouth does not work quite so well.

This can be problematic.

Since we spend SO much time at Children’s, I have been asked to sit on a couple boards; giving my opinion from a parents point of view. This is very helpful for all caregivers but I do have to remember to bite my tongue from time to time, scale down my anxiety, my angst, my frustration. I have to remember to use my filter.

I forgot my filter on Friday.

I was sitting at the table telling our latest story. The story of Samantha, the nurse and the 106 degree temperature. Out of my mouth popped “That nurse is just lucky to still be here.”


That was kind of harsh to a TCH board. I was told later that I never sound upset or vindictive when I talk about our hospital stays……until Friday.

I tried to explain that I didn’t mean any harm in the statement. I was just upset and that sometimes when I get that upset I wish I could morph into a praying mantis and bite the heads off of those who seem problematic; those who are getting in the way of our care. (For those who are frightened and confused, please see Morph from July 09)

Well, wishing to bite someone’s head off didn’t sound very friendly either did it?

Where is my filter?????

Not sure if TCH will invite me back 🙂

This evening I was watching a Discovery episode on Grizzly Bears. The weather has turned fallish, I’ve stopped shaving my legs above the knees and am therefore feeling a bit bearish.

I listened with intent.

“Getting between a mother bear and her cubs is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.”

Now there, that’s my answer, why can’t I have a warning like that?

“Getting between a Heather Bear and her Samantha is extremely dangerous. The Heather Bear may morph at anytime and bite your head off.”

If I only had a caption, I wouldn’t have to worry if I forgot my filter…..

“what happened to your head?”

“I had a run-in with a Heather Bear.”

“Oh, ouch….well that’s a Heather Bear for you….they will bite your head right off….dangerous animals….adorable but dangerous (hahaha)

The Discovery program ended with the Mama Grizzly being shot with a rifle-looking tranquilizer gun and relocated with her cubs deeper in the woods. Apparently, she had become a bit too threatening.


I’m looking for a stronger filter.

The Samantha Years


So, Lil’ Miss in her true form made the hospital staff run around for a couple days, recovered and was released last Friday. We still don’t know what made her so sick. Virus? Perhaps.

Months ago we had booked a condo in Vail for the weekend so we packed up the oxygen, antibiotics, important phone numbers and spent a great weekend up in the mountains. It’s amazing what a little fresh air can do.

Ya gotta keep on living…..

Samantha is on Tamiflu until the H1N1 vaccine is available. She is so much better….still tired after her big nasty sickness but she DID go to school this week and attended her therapies. What a trooper.

I gotta say, I’m pretty happy about the Tamiflu…if she wasn’t on it, I think I would have her in a bubble, coated in Purel, wrapped in anti-septic wipes.

Stay Healthy 🙂

The Samantha Years

Bibbity, Bobbity, Poo

Poo is monitored very closely in our household….Samantha’s anyway. When Samantha’s poopin’, life is good.

It’s the simple things I hold onto.

So, Tuesday night when Samantha’s belly looked big and distended, I started to get worried. When she was up all night with tummy pains, I became a little more concerned and when ‘interventional measures’ failed to produce the desired result, I called the doctor.

After several hours and a 103 spiking temp, I threw in the towel and loaded the family into the station wagon, Children’s bound.

If you can avoid the emergency room at Children’s right now, do…at all costs. It’s a nasty, fluey crowded, angry place to be. I lathered Samantha with Purel, took a deep breath, hitched up my big girl pants and headed through the doors.

At triage, we discovered that Samantha’s temp had jumped from 103 to a big, whooping 106. Not 100.6 one-o-six.


“I’ve never seen a temp that high.” The triage nurse said.

I was trying to keep from hyperventilating.

“Here’s some Motrin. You can wait outside and we’ll call her name.”

“You’re not taking her back now?????” I asked.

“We don’t have a room.”

“Will it just be a second?”

“Well, we’re pretty full.”

“But….you said you’ve never seen a temp that high. She has a mitochondrial disorder, she could crash at any time.” What the fickin’ hell???!!!

“I said that I’ve never seen a temp that high. I’m sure someone around here has.”

I left the room in disbelief. Seriously? No wonder people ape-shit in Emergency Rooms. I fact I could feel a little ape-shittiness coming on.

Fortunately, I had my conveted Bat Phone. You know, the Bat Signal…when Gotham City is in trouble? Instead of big Bat Wings, ours is in the shape of a big ‘E‘ for our fabulous pediatrician. I dialed her super, secret cell phone number.

“Dr. E? We’re here. Samantha has a temp of 106.”

“106? Oh shit.” (This is the first curse word I’ve ever heard Dr. E say in our 3 year relationship).

“They have us in the waiting room,” I felt my voice break.

“I’ll make a call.”

We were called into a room one minute later and Dr. E came down to consult with the ER Doc. Thank goodness for the ‘E-Phone’.

Samantha’s temp slowly came down and today she is resting fever-free. We are also managing the tummy issue with slow but consistent success. She has been tested for every virus and bacteria imaginable. We are hoping it is a bad case of the flu. What a hope, eh?

We have also decided that when Samantha gets sick, her tummy and its associated parts stop moving. We are now and forever more on high-risk poop patrol.

Samantha was admitted up to the 8th floor after her short stay in the ER. On my way up to the room, I ran into the triage nurse.

“Hey Mom, we get that fever under control?”

“She’s at 104 right now.”

“Fevers can be scary but they really don’t do any harm,” He said.

I resisted the urge to morph into my praying mantis state and tell him what a complete moron he is.

Out in the waiting room, the crowd had grown; sick, tired kids, parents with strained faces and wide worried eyes. When I walked through the doors they looked up at me and then away with disgust. I wasn’t a nurse coming out to call their name. I wasn’t a doctor; just another parent…getting in the way of who they needed to see.

I looked down and realized that in the midst of trying to control Samantha’s fever and getting her tummy to start moving that I had landed a little poopy on my shoe. Kind like a little medal of honor….congrats, you survived the ER during flu season…have some poo

My husband convinced me I should probably clean it off.

The Samantha Years

Cujo and the Kitty

Sunday afternoon….I have two hours. If I head west, I get into the foothills and a lot of climbing. If I go east, I can ride through the corn fields, small rolling hills and gain a little more speed. I head east.

I tend to stay on the ‘Road Less Traveled’ in order to avoid traffic; this has lead me into some beautiful, remote areas. Sunday afternoon I am marveling in the beauty of a long streching corn field and small quaint farm houses.

People drive fast in the country. The road is straight, no traffic. Really, what do you have to worry about? It’s the country….live free or die baby.

As a car passes me….the only car I have seen for miles, I see a small tabby cat leap out of the corn field…..

And straight into the car…..The car was going 60, it was no contest. And much to my dismay….the car kept going! They didn’t even slow down, no brake lights…just kept going! Boo! Hiss! Poor kitty.

Now, I am not an innocent driver. I have been the cause of many a roadkill (I think the most recent was a poor prarie dog) It was quite different however, watching the scene from a bike, watching it play out ten feet away from you, without the protection of steel, rubber, and 4,000 pounds. AND then to watch the culprit drive off, leaving you to deal with the poor kitty. Which, let’s be honest, there wasn’t anything really to deal with.

I was tramatized.

I was alone on the road….just me and poor (now dead) kitty.

I must do something to right this wrong; to set the world straight.

I look over and see a small farmhouse….the home of the kitty! I MUST tell them what happened. They can’t just come out and see their poor kitty in the middle of the road.

Feeling better, I hop off my bike and head up the gravel path to the house.

Almost to the door, I encounter two, very big, very angry, very territorial German Shepards.

Oh shit

I’m trying to remember what to do when you encounter an angry dog…. Play dead

No, idiot, that’s for bears.

Turn and run!

Um…yeah…not turning my back on Cujo and his buddy

Use your bike as a shield!

I remember someone saying to do this for mountain lions. Well, these dogs seemed as big and scary as mountain lions so I put my bike in front of me and started yelling my fool head off while backing down the path. This seemed to make them feel better and they started to back away. There was absolutely no doubt that if they wanted to….I could have been Heather Jerky.

I got back to the road and my kitty friend….Yeah…screw that, they can find their own damn cat.

I started to pedal my very frightened hiney home.

In life, I try to put a positive spin on negative experiences. As I rode home I thought what’s the postive I can take from this? My conclusion?


No postive lesson here…..sorry.

I did learn that perhaps when by myself, on an empty country road, on a bike, that perhaps I should think twice before heading up to the farmhouse…I’ll let the karma and the big hairy dogmas work it out for themselves.