Cleaning, Biting, and Overdosing – A day in the life of Carver Friedman

So today was insane. Carver was in RARE form so here it goes.

Carver is an early riser – like way early – usually up by 5 am. We’ve let him come in our bed, sometimes he goes and gets a snack, sometimes he watches the TV in our room, sometimes he crawls in Gannon’s crib. I’ve woken up to crumbs in my bed but nothing more than that – he’s usually pretty good and we DON’T want to get up that early.

This morning he burst into our room as soon as our alarm went off and exclaimed “I CLEANED GANNON’s room mom! Mom come look!” Well Gannon’s room is the hallway. We store a few things in the hallway, it’s typically kind of messy – a catch all area.

We walked out and yes, the hallway was clean. By that I mean, there wasn’t any clutter because Carver had thrown everything in the hallway over the railing and down the stairs.

Carver shoved half the junk in his room

So he spent quite some time hauling everything back upstairs. I appreciate the thought, I don’t think he was “trying” to be naughty but..yeah that’s not cleaning (although it seems that’s how his dad cleans 😉 )

He threw the other half down the stairs

I should have taken that as a warning to NOT TRUST CARVER when I assume he is sleeping. It may have prevented incident #2 of the day…

I nap with the boys. Gannon is ready for a nap around 11 am and honestly, today, so was I. Carver usually naps with us. He laid on the couch and I did too – we usually sleep upstairs too but carver wanted to watch Frozen 2 which we have to watch on the downstairs TV.

We all laid down and Gannon and I and (I assumed) Carver fell asleep. I woke up after the movie, Carver asked if he could still watch TV on the couch and I put on a new show for him and now I know he fell asleep at my feet. I woke up later, Carver was still sleeping, Gannon was still sleeping. I snuck out into the kitchen to get a glass of water.

There was a big orange spill on the counter. I thought that was weird. I went to wipe it up and try to figure out what it was. It smelled like Children’s ibuprofen. Weird.

I had given Gannon Tylenol/ibuprofen this morning because he his teething and miserable. The Tylenol was still in the counter, but the orange ibuprofen was gone. Weird.

Then I got thinking – did Carver get into the medicine? I go and wake him up and demand to know if he has seen the bottle. He said no and fell back asleep. Whew! Okay. But WHERE IS IT?

I frantically searched around the house some more when I couldn’t find it I really woke Carver up. Like REALLY made him wake up when he showed me where he had taken the bottle…the toy room closet. Another big orange puddle on the floor, it was almost EMPTY.

I’m not exactly sure how much was in it, but I would estimate 3/4s full when I gave Gannon ibuprofen that morning. There was probably still 1/4th left with a big puddle on the counter and a big puddle on the floor. So that was still 1/2 the bottle to account for.

Carver had drank it. Panic mode? Not for this ER nurse. We got a lot of “kids getting into medicine” in the ER – usually it isn’t a huge deal so I called poison control. They were so helpful and agreed – just keep an eye on him – make sure he doesn’t get too sleepy or he will have to go in. If he finished the bottle it could have been worse.

Then carver INSISTED on going back to sleep and telling me how tired he was. Eek. That made me nervous. He was yawning and he’s typically a no napper to begin with. So we went on a bike ride to stay awake and he’s been just fine ever since. I think it’s safe to say we are out of the woods. Lesson LEARNED. He says he needed medicine because he sneezed ?‍♀️?‍♀️

Shame me if you want, but don’t pretend like it couldn’t happen to you. Anyone keep pills in their purse? Anyone also keep candy in their purse? What if your grandkids or kids can’t tell the difference? I’m sharing my story to make sure you double check. We thought medicine was safe on the counter with the lid on. I thought I could trust carver.

And for the grand finale, Craig and I were playing at my moms outside – teasing each other, playing keep away when Carver ran right up to me and bit the fleshy part of my upper thigh – hard enough to immediately bruise and draw blood. I think he got too excited and wanted attention and wanted to play/tease too but OWWW!!

Anyway, so that was my day! Carver always keeps us on our toes! We’ve had lots of long talks today. It’s hard being a mom some days! As we were laying in bed about to go to sleep Carver looks up and asks “Mommy, do you still love me?” My heart BROKE. Yes of course Carver, there’s nothing you could do to make me love you any less.

None of what he did was malicious, he really thought he was helping clean, he really thought he needed medicine, and he just got too excited when we were playing. He’s just all the way 3 years old.

A Fatherless Daughter: May 28th and 29th, 2019

My father, Roger Kramer passed away from lung cancer on June 2nd, 2019 after his 129 day battle. His cancer progressed quickly after his diagnosis on January 24th 2019. The cancer spread to his C2, eating away at the bone and fracturing his neck. After finishing chemotherapy and radiation, a PET scan t revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body. I was honored to care for him in his final days and he passed away 4 days later. We not only lost a father but Craig and I lost a dear friend and community member. A Fatherless Daughter is a blog series that highlights his last few weeks and the struggles we have had to overcome as a family as my dad’s cancer battle came to an end.

May 28th 2019

Dad had a PET scan today. The results suck. 

Cancer has spread just about everywhere it can go. His femur and hip, a couple spots in his colon, his lungs lit up, they keep calling it “bad acting” cancer. It’s very aggressive and unfortunately we don’t have much time left with him and Dad will be referred to hospice care. 

We’ve got lots of plans to make. We’re okay. Cancer sucks. That’s all we have to update tonight.

May 29th, 2019

Here’s the Kramer family update:

We are okay. We are working on planning out our next few weeks.

There’s an odd sense of calm in the midst of all this. We are getting family pictures taken on Sunday. We are planning a baptism for Gannon and Georgia so dad can be there. Karl is on his way home from Houston as we speak. Last night mom, dad, Carver and I went to see where the plot is in the cemetery. We are talking about funeral arrangements and wishes. Mom and dad are going to finalize things with the lawyer.

Is it morbid to be doing all of this? Maybe. It does not feel that way. We talk about it openly and often. Carver knows Papa Moo is going to be with Jesus soon. His response was, “Okay! Me pop tart?” ? He came with out to the cemetery last night. We need to keep talking about it for his sake and ours.

How are we doing? Sometimes we are sad and crying and can’t even explain why. Sometimes we are laughing so hard we can’t breathe. Sometimes it feels like we can’t breathe at all.

We are all fielding tons of phone calls and messages. If we don’t get back to you, don’t take it personally. Maybe we are busy or maybe it just takes too much emotional energy to open the message and respond and keep up a conversation and it’s easier to just say nothing.

Dad is doing actually really well. He’s on less pain medication every day – the radiation to his neck is really starting to work to keep him comfortable. He needs more oxygen than he used to. He gets tired out easily.

Lots of people ask if dad is well enough for visitors or phone calls. The answer is YES! Dad is still the same as he was – probably even clearer since we have half the amount of narcotics on board. Please call, please visit, please send a message on facebook. If you’d like to arrange a visit, please message me or mom. Drop ins are okay but we’d prefer a little notice in case mom and dad have a scheduled meeting or visitor.

Lots of people want to help. I am cautiously offering the opportunity to provide food. We have a ridiculous amount of family coming, mom is STILL doing childcare through all of this so nap time is between 1 and 3 pm. Please feel free to drop off a casserole, hot dish, sweets, meat and cheese, preferably in a freezable container that does not need to be returned to you.

I think that’s enough for today. I was going to elaborate more on the behind the scenes of this post but I’ll save that for a part two tomorrow. It’s a rough week. I just realize now how little time we actually had with him after his diagnosis of terminal cancer. We were hoping for two weeks and we got about three days.

A Fatherless Daughter: May 25th, 2019

My father, Roger Kramer passed away from lung cancer on June 2nd, 2019 after his 129 day battle. His cancer progressed quickly after his diagnosis on January 24th 2019. The cancer spread to his C2, eating away at the bone and fracturing his neck. After finishing chemotherapy and radiation, a PET scan t revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body. I was honored to care for him in his final days and he passed away 4 days later. We not only lost a father but Craig and I lost a dear friend and community member. A Fatherless Daughter is a blog series that highlights his last few weeks and the struggles we have had to overcome as a family as my dad’s cancer battle came to an end.

Here is the Kramer family update:

I know we’ve been a little quiet since dad is in the hospital. It’s all been up in the air.

Here’s the scoop:

1) Dad met with speech pathology. They assessed dad’s swallowing. They think dad might be aspirating which means part of his food/drink goes into his lung instead of his stomach thus the pneumonia won’t go away or “aspiration pneumonia.”

2) Speech pathology couldn’t quite tell what was going on so dad essentially swallowed a few video cameras to see if he was aspirating. He passed that test just fine and is NOT aspirating.

3) They did not end up doing a bronchoscope. If they do the bronchoscope, dad May need to keep the breathing tube in for a few days and be sedated. Hopefully this new antibiotic will take care of everything.

4) On paper, dad looks good. Dad feels much weaker and requires much more oxygen all of the time. He used to be able to wear it here and there and now he needs it all of the time until this pneumonia clears up.

5) Dad will get a PET scan on Tuesday (which was supposed to be today) and results on Wednesday.

That’s dad’s plan. Everyone has been sending and posting pictures wearing their #kramerstrong shirts! It has been so uplifting to see while dad is in the hospital. If you have a picture leave it in the comments!!

As for now, mom and dad are on their way HOME! If you’re the praying kind, please include mom and dad in your prayers. Please let us just have a weekend at home. Please no more ER trips and ambulance rides and hospital admissions. Please allow these antibiotics to work. We are strong but we are tired.

I have some more to update on how amazing our community has been and has supported us but for now we are scrambling to get the house ready for mom and dad to come home.

Are you still reading? That was a long post! Thanks for keeping up with us! ❤️


Sunday: Family Yard Work Day

I’m exhausted typing this – we’ve been working hard ALL DAY. Obviously we made a lot of progress, take a look for yourself!

But a lot happened between the first picture and the second picture. Here’s the run down:

We pulled out a bunch of old tree stumps. Here you can see the boys working on it early in the morning. We ended up getting Craig’s truck and hooking up the chains to the stump and pulling them out. The boys had a blast in the truck with me.

Craig has been meaning/wanting to pull these stumps out for over a year. They came out pretty easy. Obviously we didn’t drive anywhere with the boys in the front seat and stayed in our driveway so save your mommy shaming – the boys had a blast.

TA-DA! Craig has a big vision for this area in the yard so I’m letting him run with it! I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I know that it involves shrubs and a country fence! Here you can see them working on it!

I was surprised when Craig taught Carver how to stain boards. Carver handled the responsibility very seriously and I think the more involved Carver can be the better! He was SO excited and that was the favorite part of his day!

It’s hard to see in the picture but I’m soaking wet and COVERED in dirt from power washing the algae off the side of the house, gutters, and sidewalks. I also spent a great deal of time planting the impatience along the sidewalk with Gannon while Carver and Craig worked in the garage so that was a pretty messy project – especially after I powerwashed!

While Carver was tagging along with Daddy, Gannon was tagging along with me digging in the dirt, crawling up and down the front steps, playing in the rocks and the grass, and giving lots of snuggles like this one.

So while this isn’t done yet, we are so pleased with out progress! Check it out! I so hope I can keep everything alive, it was so fun planting and picking everything out. Mom has impatience along her sidewalk and they have always been so beautiful so I kind of copied her idea:

That’s all I have for today folks! I’m so appreciative of our boys who LOVE to be outside and were so helpful today. Carver is starting to become quite the assistant as along as he is well fed with cheetoes, berry cheerios, and hot dogs! Gannon does so well outside and throws a fit whenever we have to come inside.

Thanks for reading pals! See you all tomorrow! In the meantime, feel free to catch up on the latest here:

A Fatherless Daughter: May 21st and 22nd, 2019

My father, Roger Kramer passed away from lung cancer on June 2nd, 2019 after his 129 day battle. His cancer progressed quickly after his diagnosis on January 24th 2019. The cancer spread to his C2, eating away at the bone and fracturing his neck. After finishing chemotherapy and radiation, a PET scan t revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body. I was honored to care for him in his final days and he passed away 4 days later. We not only lost a father but Craig and I lost a dear friend and community member. A Fatherless Daughter is a blog series that highlights his last few weeks and the struggles we have had to overcome as a family as my dad’s cancer battle came to an end.

May 21st 2019

Our patients are doing very well this evening!

Dad is HOME! ?? He was sent up to Lacrosse last Friday and came home today after becoming septic from pneumonia. Dad has a few more days of antibiotics at home. His PET scan is still scheduled for Friday! We will have a better plan of attack put into place then! Likely stronger chemo is in his future.

Remember to wear your Kramer strong shirts Friday and use the #kramerstrong! If you don’t have yours yet I’m sorry – my intention was to sort through those today but Carver needed my attention more. I will finish this up on THURSDAY this week.

It turns out that while they were putting tubes in Carver’s ears they decided to remove his adenoids as well. It appears based on what they saw that Carver had also been suffering from sinus infections that we didn’t know about ? he has complained several times in the past that his head hurts and has some behaviors that we’ve been concerned with. I so hope to see some improvement as he will now be able to sleep better and hopefully won’t be having sinus headaches/pain.

All that and regular ear infections, mild hearing loss, fluid behind his ear drum, and a runny nose and cough that doesn’t seem to go away. Well that all makes sense now. With the adenoids out and his third set of tubes in Carver should feel much better.

He has already been on 10 days of augmentin for the last double ear infection but now they will put him on two MORE weeks of antibiotics to help clear this all up.

Carver had a tough time waking up from surgery and was super upset which I’m pretty sure is normal after anesthesia but I’m really glad Kelli Jo Hanken was there to help out. He’s been doing better since we’ve been home.

So that’s the update from the Kramer/Friedman house! We will know more Friday – let’s hope we can avoid all doctors appointments until then!

In the meantime I think we are all a little too used to being ready to drop everything at a moments notice. Mom has always said God has a way of helping us grow – by giving us a chance to learn. We’ve always been very scheduled and had everything planned out. God has now provided us with the opportunity (haha) to grow and learn to go with the flow and remember who really is in control. Whether that means changing an entire weekend of plans because Dad is in the hospital or arranging who will cover childcare for mom. If there is one thing this experience has taught us – if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans ?

Also – I needed a picture to go with the post and Carver just couldn’t put down his pop tart so this is the result ?? I’d hate to discourage him from eating considering that’s been an issue since surgery. This is what “CHEESE!” With a mouth full of pop tart looks like ???

Dad is on his way back up to Lacrosse after spending his morning with me at work in the emergency room.

He is possibly septic again with a fever, shaking, coughing, needing more oxygen, low blood pressure, high heart rate.

Still don’t know why he is so sick or why the antibiotics aren’t taking care of this pneumonia. We are all very frustrated and sad and tired. He spent a whole 12 hours at home. We just can’t catch a break.

These are getting harder and harder. Obviously Dad is getting closer to dying. I remember the look on his face when I opened the ER doors. You could tell he was not well. There was just something different. You could tell he was sick of it. You could tell he knew it was bad. He wasn’t cracking jokes or trying to make me laugh. He knew this was serious and I knew he was tired. We all were. It was all hands on deck at this point now that Kelli and I were back to work. No one really could explain dads symptoms or what was going on. We now know he was just dying. The doctors didn’t know that, he wasn’t on hospice, we were waiting to see how the PET scan would read to determine what is next. Not once during this hospital stay did someone suspect he was dying. The radiation was supposed to work. Chemo, the real big bad chemo, was supposed to start the week he died. No one had any idea how invasive this cancer really was. I think dad knew things weren’t well. We were given a prognosis of 11 months after he broke his neck but not a few weeks. On the day I took dad to radiation he asked the doctor “what are the chances I’m going to light up on this next PET scan. The doctor said that they aren’t expecting that and it would be unusual for that to happen. Well, how wrong that prediction would be.

In other news, we stopped out at the cemetery today, pretty bummed to find dad’s flowers are missing. I don’t think someone would steal them but I also don’t think they would have blown away. We checked the garbage too thinking maybe they fell off with no luck ?

The Gannon Report

It’s late. It’s been a running day.

0430 Carver was up and ready to go for the day (ugh). He ended up waking up the whole house.

We had a hearing test/check with ENT for the boys. They told me to bring two adults to the appointment so we could switch out hearing tests with ear checks so my mom thankfully tagged along.

Here’s the scoop:

Gannon’s hearing loss completely resolved after tubes. After three sets of tubes and adenoids out, Carver has GRADUATED from the ENT clinic with no more scheduled follow ups! We ate lunch at Culver’s to celebrate. It was a good morning.

At 3 pm we had a zoom call with Gannon’s Keystone team. We’ve added a physical therapist to our team which gave some excellent insight! Here are some things we talked about:

Gannon’s walking has taken off. He’s doing better every day. He does a “walk walk plop” is how I would describe it, falling down every two steps or so his legs look like jello when he walks and I’ve presented some concerns with the way he walks/stand on his feet. He also does a W sit OFTEN which is a sign of low muscle tone/weakness. Nothing we didn’t already know.

So just assessing Gannon, she has confirmed what we suspected: low muscle tone. Which can be nothing or it could be something. He’s just got weaker muscles. When I go to sit Gannon up I feel like all of his joints are loose and stretchy, also a sign of low muscle tone. If you google “low muscle tone” it spits out a variety of genetic conditions and diseases but it could also be as simple as it sounds: low muscle tone.

Gannon squats down to pick up toys really well. He does have some great milestones he’s hitting with his gross motor development but there are some areas that need work.

Gannon might need some kind of brace/shoe inserts to help his knees/legs/feet stay aligned because of the low muscle tone. When we go to center for disability and development on June 17th we will learn more. They may possibly get some pediatric orthopedics involved as well depending on their concerns. We are concerned about the way he is knock kneed and walks on the inside of his ankles.

They are also happy we got in with peds neuro the same day. I told our new physical therapist “Welcome to Team Gannon!” We really do have a team with some excellent resources and I’m so thankful.

Gannon signs “thank you” which is just so sweet. He says “ba ba” for bottle and “da da” – really his only two words/sounds but hey! He has only been hearing for about 3 months now! That’s not bad! However, we still have a speech therapist eval next week to see if he would benefit from outpatient regular speech therapy.

That’s what I know! They had commencement tonight at the high school and had a parade of seniors through the local towns with the fire departments etc. it was GREAT! So nice to see the towns come together!

We That being said we are POOPED and it is past our bedtime so peace out friends! ✌?