Beware: Long post. What is it this year with visiting the ER? We never needed to before, but this year we went 3 times already. My Dad’s kidney stone in October/November started the trend in 2009. Isaac kept things going in 2010 after his seizure wouldn’t stop, then Isabella during our vacation (more on that later) and on Friday 30th July, I had to pay a visit myself. Lori’s managed to avoid it so far, but the year is still young, so watch out!

I was going to write about our trip to visit Lori’s side of the family, but since I started a new job on July 20th , I didn’t have the right muse. So I worked 4 days and then the following Sunday, I got sick. Really sick. It felt like the flu, strep throat, fever, and pain in my leg. Lori had some fever and sore throat too. My leg pain turned out to be the main problem: cellulitis. After visiting an urgent care facility and taking antibiotics, things got worse, so they prescribed an additional one. Well, that wasn’t enough either and I also ended up battling a 3-day non-stop headache and neck pain , so after a follow-up visit on a Friday afternoon, the doctor looked at me and said, “you need to go to the ER!”, so there I went on Friday at 3:30pm: ER visit #3 for the year. I ended up getting a tetanus shot, loaded with antibiotics via IV, blood tests and a doppler test to check for blood clots. I finally made it out at 10pm, my leg still looking like I took a blow torch to it. My head felt like it was floating a few feet above my shoulders but I managed to make it home ok. And all this perhaps due to an insect bite? Possibly. And if that wasn’t enough, the doctor prescribed new, very strong antibiotic pills for 10 days, twice a day, for $15.80 per pill Sleepingwith insurance! They make me dizzy, but I had to go back to work as taking an unpaid week of sick time after just 4 days of work at a new job was more than enough. This year is not gonna go down as a year of savings; not even switching to Geico will help! (we actually switched to Allstate). Here’s a very flattering photo of Isabella and myself sleeping on Saturday afternoon. Notice I’m wearing the same bloody shirt from Friday’s adventure.

So back in the second week of July, we took a drive to Roaring River State Park in Missouri (here are part 1 & part 2 of someone’s videos of the area). It was about a 10 hour drive, just under 600 miles. The weather was hot and it rained pretty much every day. On our way, Isabella got sick…sore throat and fever (sounds familiar?). We had to IMG_3745stop and get some over the counter meds and some head cooling strips/pads. Overall the drive was good. About 3 hours from our destination on Saturday afternoon, we got a call that our nephew Travis was at home and since he never met the kids, we took a detour to the Tulsa area and completed our trip the next day. 

So we finally made it to Roaring River on Sunday at around 1pm. I had only one thing on my mind: the World Cup final game! How on earth was I going to watch out there? Did anyone know what the heck it even meant? So we went to the Lodge just up the road and luckily, they had a lounge with a TV room. We ordered some food and while Lori and the kids ate on a table, I ate a salad to-go while watching the game on an old, orangey, rear-projection screen. At least I didn’t miss it, although it wasn’t a very exciting game. That brought the tournament to a close, which due to unemployment, I managed to enjoy to the fullest extent possible.

We then went to the campgrounds and met some family. They had a pick-up truck and I put Isaac in the truck bed. He was quite happy. Isabella wanted up too, so I put her in there with him while I mostly watched over Isaac’s every move (he’s the least stable after all!). Suddenly, I see Isabella fall from the tailgate as her leg got caught, and landed right on her chin with a bang. No, not on grass but on asphalt. Needless to say, she had a nice gushing wound and was crying while we tried to stop the bleeding. What a fantastic start to our vacation! What did that mean? ER visit #2 for the year. We actually tried to find an Urgent Care facility instead but there were none in the area, so we took a trip to St. John’s in Cassville. They cleaned her up, put some glue around the chin to hold some strips to close the wound and we were done; Cost: around $200 after insurance. This meant she couldn’t swim. This contraption was supposed to last a week but it only lasted 3 days. I wonder if I can get a refund? ;)

First Ride - The American PlungeLuckily, that was the first and last bad thing that happened. Isabella’s fever and sore throat went away and she didn’t make a big deal about not swimming. We  found other things to do, such as visiting Silver Dollar City. They absolutely loved the rides, getting wet, etc. Finally Isaac was able to ride with us and they had a blast. Movement is too darn exciting to them and as other kids cried in terror, they just couldn’t get enough and wanted to keep riding over and over until our stomachs just couldn’t take any more rides! It was a very hot day and we enjoyed plenty of icy lemonades. We ended the day with a nice ice cream and a tantrum by Isabella (she was just too tired to control herself at the end). The picture on the left is the first ride we took as a family and surely the first real ride at a park for both of them. You can see Isabella’s $200 chin contraption and her look of terror. But don’t worry, she was as excited as can be at the end and wanted to ride again. Isaac seems like he can’t believe what’s happening.

IMG_3751I fished and maxed out every morning on rainbow trout. We took the kids around with their bikes in all their protective gear glory. Isaac is learning to pedal pretty good but just doesn’t have the strength to propel himself yet. Isabella of course was running far away from us, falling each time she took a turn too fast while looking back, but somehow managed to save herself from getting Isabella First Trouthurt again. She has pretty good balance and although her falls are not very elegant, at least she can escape a dramatic fall, somehow!

One afternoon I took Isabella to fish. She had a good amount of patience. I cast for her and she reeled in. It was great as she finally hooked a trout after rigging it with a fly I found in a wad of fishing line lying on the ground. She was so happy and now wants to cook her own fish.

The family reunion was atrociously hot. Everyone was sweating like crazy. Even Isaac was wet and he usually doesn’t sweat at all. The kids had fun, ate a good amount, played around…and we had to chase Isaac a couple of times as he ran out of the covered area and headed towards the pool. I couldn’t blame him! Unless it’s in IMG_3777an air-conditioned venue or moved to October, I’m not going again!

There was a mix-up with reservations and we had to find a new place for the last 2 days. That cost more than expected as everything was booked since it was a weekend. We managed to find a really nice cabin owned by the State Park and the Lodge, and was well worth it to end our vacation there. On the morning of our departure, Lori wanted to fish so we took a risk and went at 6am with the kids. I let Lori fish while I took care of the kids. Isabella, watched, talked to family members and played with the fish on stringers, while I sat Isaac on a stand and I too managed to max out by around 7:30am (fishing starts at 6:30). We left the campgrounds around 10am and got home by 8pm. It was a good break just before the start of a new job.

But that wasn’t the end of the medical mishaps. On Saturday 24th July, Isabella broke Isaac’s thumb. Don’t worry, there was no ER run this time. I took him to an Urgent Care facility by our house, the same one we visited a few days later when we got sick and on the Friday follow-up. Monday Lori took him to an Orthopedic surgeon and put a cast, which hopefully will be taken out this coming Monday. That would be good as we’ve held off swimming for over a month now. Although with this heat, the water is going to hit 94F really easy! Next: Kindergarten.

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