From Yorkshire To Virginia

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Not really much to say. The mother-in-law came down to help out for a few days, so she's staying in the hospital room with the 2 of them. No new medical news, they're waiting for cultures to grow, which they've most likely said will take until Wednesday, so they're not going to let her out until at least that point. I stopped by ~6am this morning, but everyone was fast asleep.

Oh, and the Volvo has started dying again, so as it still hasn't been fixed we're effectively down to one car. It goes in tomorrow for them to have another go at it, at least we'll get a loaner this time...

Monday, January 30, 2006


So we ended up back at Kaiser at 1am this morning, and back in the hospital by 2.30 am. I left at 5.15am, after they did another sonnogram. She stopped vomiting after they put meds in her IV at around 4am. She's going to be in for at least a couple of days while they evaluate her, and see whether it truly is a relapse (which it looks like to me), or if it's something else that's just hitting her now. Another fun week looks to be in store...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Yesterday afternoon was spent at the Washington Auto Show. Iwent wth the fater in law (pictured). I'd never been to an auto show, so it was interesting. Lots of cars,lots of hybrid cars, 0 booth babes, and the usual highly priced food & beverages, with long lines for both. The plce was exceptionally crowded, and took a lot of walking to get around. All in all, it got us out of the house, and gave us something to do (although my alternative was a tiling class @ home depot that I would have liked to attend, but they hold those frequently, so I'll get to attend it at some point).

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Still sick

Last night G. started throwing up again, and ended up spending most of the night complaining about her stomach pain. At least the purpura seems to be fading away, I haven't noticed any new patches of it lately, so maybe that part's over? I just wish that the stomach pain would abate, the steroids were supposed to take care of it but they're obviously not working as well as they should...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Back in the classroom

So I restarted the MBA program at Virginia Tech. I have 11 classes left to go to complete it, and I'm taking 2 this term. I should finish the whole thing sometime in 2008/2009. At least the classes look interesting this term. I'm doing on on Management and Organizational behavior, and another on Leadership and Negotiation. Another plus is that I have the same lecturer for both, and he's heading off in April, so the classes both end at the end of March, about a month early (of course that means that we have some extended classes, and a couple of weekend makeup classes). One downside is that the class on March 1st is worth a decent chunk of the grade, so I'm going to have to fly back from a conference in NYC a day early so that I can make it. Ah well, c'est la vie.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Another visit to Kaiser

Well, we went back to the Kaiser emergency after hours care center last night. G. has been having a lot of stomach pain that just isn't going away, so after 3 hours of waiting, poking, prodding & X-rays, she was finally put on steroids to try to control her stomach pain. The doctor said that it should take 24-36 hours for the pain to start to lessen, so hopefully...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Even better news

Well, today she actually woke me up by walking into my room and asking if she could go downstairs to watch the new "Dora and the Superbabies" dvd that I'd picked up for her. As the day went by, she got progresssively tired, and did less walking, but she was a whole lot better than she had been. She still has the spots on her body, in fact they're getting a little bit worse, but as long as her extremeties aren't hurting her any more, that's great.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Princess Postponement

She's not doing too well today, so we've decided that it would be in her best interests to not go to Florida (Disney) this weekend. We've sorted it out, and she's going to go in February now, so hopefully she'll be doing better by then, and the weather will cooperate.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Doctor calls...

Apparently there's not much they can do about the blotches & pain in her feet, just wait for it to go down. After reading up on this disease, there's about a 30% chance that it'll come back :( at least we know her kidneys are in working order (that's the main problem with any fatalities that this disease causes).

They have said that she can fly on Sunday to Disney (originally she was leaving tomorrow), and they've given her a note so that she can get a wheelchair once she gets there.

Home again

Well, they finally diagnosed the problem. She has "Henoch's purpura" At 6pm they were on the fence about letting her go home and decided to err on the side of caution and keep her there. At 8pm we spoke to another doctor, and the decision was made to send her home.

We got home about 1/2 hour ago, and she started complaining that her foot was hurting her more, so we took her socks off, and her feet have swollen up again, and become very blotchy. We're waiting on a call back from the doctor...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Better news

Well they grew the cultures, and they determined that there wasn't a urinary tract infection, they now think that she just has a really bad case of gastrointestinal flu. They're hoping to send her home tomorrow. I've actually started getting sick myself, but she keeps crying for me to come to the hospital, so I'm going to head over there for a bit.

Tonight they have dogs that make the rounds to cheer the kids up, so I'm sure that'll perk her up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


So the follow on from Sunday, was to an appointment at Kaiser in Manassas. After a couple of hours of IV fluids, the doctor decided that she needed to be admitted to the hospital. So at 3.15 they strapped me and her down to a gurney (she didn't want to be strapped down by herself), and we were whisked off by ambulance to Inova Fairfax hospital. It's now been 2 days, and they've already said that she's not coming home tomorrow. So far the diagnosis is a urinary tract infection , which they've said is a seondary problem. They haven't found the primary problem yet, but they've ruled out a bunch of nasty things . She did feel a little better today, and snacked on some crackers, but she's still having a big issue with nausea when the meds wear off (which they allow to happen to see if she's recovering).

The hospital seems nice, and it's supposed to be one of the best pediatrics wards in the area. The picture below is the view from her window, with the lifeline chopper coming in to land.

Oh, and the title, well that's the feeling any parent has watching their child suffering :(

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sunday afternoon fun

Well, this has been a great weekend. All 3 of us have had one malady or another. Gwyneth turned out to be in the worst shape, and we ended up having to take her to the emergency after hours care center in Woodbridge. We were there for ~3 hours (over 1 hour of waiting) while they gave her an IV and pumped her full of fluids (she had to lie down with her daddy hugging her so she wouldn't squirm). She's home now, but has to go in tomorrow and get another drip. Hopefully she's going to be back on her feet for Disneyworld next week, she's really been looking forward to meeting 'Cinderelly'...

Monday, January 02, 2006

I don't be-lieve it!

Well, I did go to the Sprint store on Xmas eve to sign up for new cell phone service. I got there about 20 minutes before the mall was closing, quickly picked out some phones, told the guy what plans I wanted, filled out the paperwork, and handed it to him. He had a computer there, so I expected him to start typing and get everything activated quickly. Instead he picked up his cell and called the customer service... after 5 minutes of being on hold he got hold of a rep, and gave them my information. They refused the order saying that my home address was not in the 703 area code, it was in the 540 region (it's actually a split region, with both being used, although everyone I know has a 703 number). So they wouldn't let me transfer my existing 703 numbers from my current carrier. The salesman then tried giving the mall as my home address... again they declined, after he offered to give his home address as my address, and everyone else in the mall had closed, I told him to forget it, and I'd just go back after the holidays and sort it out.

10 minutes later I was in the car driving home when my cell rang, it was the salesman, customer service refused to cancel it because I wasn't present. So he gave me the phone number, I pulled over called in, and sat on hold for 10 minutes before getting hold of someone, who seemed perplexed by the situation until I explained it for the 3rd time, then told he me that it was cancelled.

This week I got a bill for $147.31 from Sprint... I called customer service, and after 5 minutes of waiting I explained the situation to the rep. She put me on hold, 15 minutes later another rep got on, he told me that it was my fault that I didn't call in and cancel it, despite me actually doing that. After I explained to him for the 3rd time that the phones had never been in my possession, nor did they have a signed contract with me (since the sales rep had handed all copies to me, and I destroyed them), he agreed to refund the bill. It really was like pulling teeth, this guy did not want to acknowledge that his company had made a mistake. The real fun thing is that he told me that with the way their system works, I'll get another bill next month for the pro-rated amount from the day I started the service to the day I cancelled it, and I'll have to jump through the hoops again then to get that wiped out. Suddenly I'm not too thrilled about the prospect of switching to Sprint...

So why the title? Well I'm starting to feel a bit Victor Meldrew-ish, although my wife has accused me of that for a long time ;)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Amazing engineering

One of the most amazing feats of engineering that I've heard about is what they did last year to the Royal Caribbean ship - "Enchantment of the Seas". Basically they cut the ship in half, then slotted a new 73 foot piece in the middle. Everything had to align perfectly. They had to slice and re-attach more than 1100 cables, 120 pipes, and 60 air ducts. Really amazing.