Sunday, February 27, 2011


This is just the e-mail I sent out to all my family Saturday (2/26/11).

Hi again everyone. They prepped Weston for surgery this afternoon and he went in right about 3 pm here. Surgery took about an hour and forty minutes and then Dr. Black, who performed the surgery, came and talked to us. The news was in between really bad and good. They had to remove about 75% of his small intestine as it was completely dead tissue. The fortunate part is if he had no small intestine left they couldn't have saved him at all. The doctor said he wished it had been the large intestine instead of small. The small is what absorbs all the nutrients, so not having it is very detrimental.
So now he basically has about 27 cm of small intestine, separated into 2 parts(a newborn needs at least 40 cm). As he grows the intestine will hopefully grow and keep up and eventually (most likely 2-3 months) they'll be able to fuse the small intestine back together. This doesn't mean he'll be able to eat normally after that.
For now they will feed him through an IV. In a few days they'll be able to put a "pick line" in him which will feed into his chest right near his heart. This tube will allow them to feed him more dense nutrients and give him medications and other things. They will feed him TPN, which is just liquid food that has everything he needs. His intestine will still have problems for a few years, maybe 3-5 years. We can't know for sure right now. It will take that much time for his intestine to grow enough to be able to digest the amount of food he's eating. This means he will be fed TPN for the first few years of his life.
So right now he has two holes in his stomach, each one is the end of the two small intestine endings inside. Over time they'll be able to remove spit and other things from the top hole that comes out. Eventually they might be able to feed him, it will come out the first hole and they'll transfer it down to the second hole so it can pass through the colon and large intestine. How awesome is that? Haha. This will be done just to keep his intestines healthy with things passing through them.
He still has an infection right now. We learned that he has e-coli in his blood. That's probably what started the whole chain of events. This will most likely get out of him in the next few days with antibiotics.
Long term Dr. Black said there's no reason to believe he won't be able to go to school when the time comes and run around and play like normal. He should be totally fine after a few years. So there is light at the end of the tunnel already, but we have a million obstacles to hurdle before that!
He also has a little bit of blood in the ventricles of his head. He's at a stage 2 (of 4) in that. They'll watch this closely, but as long as he stays stable post-surgery the risk of it progressing should go down. Stage 4 is bad, right now its ok and can completely correct itself. No blood in the brain yet.
Oh, by the way, this whole intestine problem is called "short gut syndrome". I did not make that up, that's actually what they call it :)
Ok, this email is long and a little scatter-brained. Just trying to remember all I know. That's it for now. We still trust that the Lord will continue to bless us. He already has with this. We know this is the Lord's will for us. I joked with Sarah that we're making up for our relatively easy lives up to this point! We've been so blessed and this will be a great challenge, but a great opportunity to learn and be humbled. We love you all and are thankful for the continued prayers.

-Ryan and Sarah

P.S. Carter is still fine. We went and saw him and he's as well as can be. They will still monitor him closely for any infection, but all is well.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Shopping Etiquette

Well, at my current pace, I will be writing about 3 blogs a year. Go me. But since everyone tells me blogs are for married women with kids to write while their kids are taking afternoon naps, I figure 3 is pretty good. And since I'm usually using that same time that kids nap to nap myself, it's easy to see why I can't find the time to blog.
I would like to give my audience a lesson today on certain acceptable and unacceptable etiquettes/behaviors when shopping. We all shop and there's always someone who has to deal with you at the store. So don't suck.
First lesson. When you go to purchase your goods and the cashier asks you how you are doing today, these are acceptable answers:
"Fine", "Good", "OK", "Great", "Fantastic", "Stupendous", "Well", etc. Pretty much anything positive like that will work.
The following are not acceptable:
"Plastic", "Paper", "How are you?" (I asked first and you didn't answer me), "Horrible", "Not so great", or no response at all.
It's just a polite (and rhetorical) question, people. I don't need you to act like a stiff and say nothing. I don't need you to pour out your soul to me. I didn't know plastic was a mood. I don't need to know about how little Johnny is giving you grief at home and Sally is sleeping with half the neighborhood. I'm not your dad, therapist, or best friend. I know, I'm so harsh.
Lesson Two. Get off your phone. You're loud. Not only do I not want to know about Sally, but neither does the rest of the store. And it's kind of rude. Especially when you pay no attention to what you're doing. "Hang on a minute, Judy. This man is inconveniencing me, trying to get me to pay for my groceries in his line while I fumble around in my purse and get dirty looks from everyone behind me." Sorry, my bad.
Lesson Three. Don't whine to me about our store policies. I can't do anything about them. And they're policies for a reason.
Four. When I put my hand out to accept your check or cash, don't proceed to throw it on the counter right in front of me. My hands are really big, you couldn't have missed them. I don't care if you pay with ten dollars in nickels, just don't make me spend the next five minutes picking it all up after you could clearly see my hand willingly ready to take it.
Five. If you decide at the checkstand you don't want to get something, just give it to me. Don't try to be all sneaky and hide it behind People magazine. I see you almost every time. As much as I love finding rotten string cheese nesting between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on page 56, it's just a lot easier if you let us take care of it.
Six. Ok, this one isn't really my choice, just an opinion. If your kid (or kids) is screaming bloody murder all through the store, take care of it. Punish the annoying little goober. My mom would drop everything and take us straight to the car. Bribing them with all the candy in the store so they'll stop is an awesome way to make your kid a brat for life.
Seven. When you insist something is ringing up the wrong price, you're usually wrong. If I tell you I'm sure it's correct because I've been dealing with it all week, trust me. If I'm not sure, we'll send someone to find out for you. Just make sure you are looking at the right sign. It's slightly awkward when you're fuming mad at me for being wrong and we walk over together to look, only to find out you were looking at the wrong sign, and then I have to be really nice to you and say, "Oh don't worry, happens all the time. They're real tricky with those signs, putting them right in front of the product like that...." Also, don't get mad at me and think you should get the 5 lb. bag of Hershey's chocolates for a dollar because they were in the wrong spot next to the Bit O' Honey's. It was some moron like you that put them there, not me.
Eight. Don't put your bread at the bottom of your cart, put a 25 lb. bag of sugar on top of it, and then tell me you need some new bread because yours somehow got smashed. I will be tempted to smash something else, probably a body part belonging to you. Do I sound angry?
Ok, lesson's over. There's plenty more, I just can't think of them right now. Just use a little common sense. It's a great quality that seems to be escaping so many these days. And don't get mad. It's a grocery store, people, not healthcare reform. Have a nice day! Come in again!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


When I first found out about facebook I avoided it at all cost for a long time. But, of course, I eventually caved. Now you can find me there more often than most people. Although I never made a conscious effort to avoid blogging, I have never attempted it before, despite seeing its popularity and various people telling me to (not sure why...). But, here I am now.
I think, a lot, about all kinds of things. Whether it's at work while I'm tuning out all the annoying customers I have to deal with, or dealing with my self-diagnosed insomnia at 2 a.m., I'm always thinking about something. Therefore, I've decided to chronicle some of those thoughts.
I thought about using my first blog to introduce myself, but figured that's a waste of time. From my estimates, I calculate that about 3 people (myself included), with a plus/minus of 1/2 person, will ever see this blog. I think this will be for my own amusement than anything else. I will say about myself that I am sarcastic (usually more than necessary) and I hate political correctness (more on this later). I only say those two things as a caveat to my writing and hope ultimately that anything I post can be innocuous in its content.

I've had some experiences lately that have reminded me of the uncouth hilarity of certain encounters with people. The other week I saw a girl that I work with, but rarely see there, at a stake activity. We're not really friends and I know nothing about her. We walked past each other and since we knew who each other was we both kind of stopped to say hi. But I knew from the get go that the conversation would be nothing. It was that odd, "I know you, you know me, but really we have absolutely nothing to say to each other" encounter. Love those. Conversation went more or less like this:
Her: "Hey"
Me: "Hey, how are you?"
Her: "Good, how are you?"
Me: "I'm good"
Her: "Cool...."
Me: "Yeah, well I'll see ya later."
Her: "K, see ya."

Well isn't that just the epitome of intelligent conversation? We make Lloyd look brilliant. At least they had Big Gulps to talk about....
This is definitely not an isolated incident for me or other people I've talked to. There are lots of people we just kind of "know" from somewhere and it almost seems rude if we don't stop and say hi. Yet we leave these (non) conversations having accomplished nothing. Inconsequential, yes, funny nonetheless.
It reminds me of other odd conversation moments. When someone says something to you, but you didn't understand at all what they said. Usually you can get away with a smile and nod. But sometimes they ask a question or say something that requires a response. Those can be slightly awkward sometimes, especially if you just finished acting like you knew exactly what they said, yet said nothing. This happens to me occasionally at work since I deal with hundreds of customers per day.
Another angle of that is if you miss part of what was said or thought the person said something else. Then you respond to what you think was said or to partial information. This particular one caused one of my most embarrassing moments ever (you'll have to ask, I'm not typing it all here).
Or when you're talking to someone you don't know well and you intentionally or unintentionally find some kind of common link (you're from Kansas?! My friend's sister passed through there once on her way to Maine! Cool.......), yet it leads you nowhere in that conversation.
Last one I can think of, because I did it yet again recently, is when you just plain old stick your foot in your mouth. Like I said, I think a lot, yet for some reason when I try and vocalize these thoughts I come out looking like an idiot (it sounded way better in my head, I swear). I've talked to girls before that have long and/or unusual last names that have expressed their anticipation to lose that name when they get married. A few weeks ago in a conversation with four other girls, one girl had what I thought was one of those names. On my way out the door, through certain circumstances, I said her last name and asked her if she was anxious to get rid of her name. Stupid move. The way it came out made it sound like her name was a disgrace and she should be embarrassed by it or something. Why do I talk? They all looked at me like I was retarded (not denying it). Unfortunately I've had way too many similar experiences, so I've just learned to live with my own idiocracy.