The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Update on Joe

I have changed the blog background because the boys are getting ready to enter their last month of school. In preparation for high school, the 8th graders are now currently taking comprehensive finals in all of their core classes. It is a miserable existence, trying to remember all the information for the whole year and cram it into a 2.5 hour test. With Joe's dyslexia, he is coming home absolutely exhausted. He will have four tests altogether. He had his Language Arts/English Literature exam yesterday and is sitting his Social Studies exam today. Friday, May 1st, is a holiday in Norway. He'll take up his exam schedule again on Monday and Tuesday with Math and Science. These finals are 20% of his semester grade.
As for Joe's hand....sheesh...where can I start with my frustration? He injured his hand nearly four weeks ago. He was seen at the Legavakt (like a triage point prior to what I would call an ER). He was given 3 stitches in a gash that deserved about 15. No x-rays were performed (as they don't have them at the legavakt and must send you to the sykehus (hospital). He really had no pain at all other than a burning sensation where the cut was for the first 48 hours. Then his finger started to hurt a lot...was swollen and was bruised. Alas, then it was Holy Week and everything was closed. We got an appointment for the dr. to look at it last week. He wanted x-rays and told him to forcibly move the finger as much as possible (okay, this does go against anything I have ever been taught as a nurse). We went to a non-acute x-ray clinic the next morning. We waited 8 days for the results. I called the dr's office every evening and finally Rich got involved. He wasn't as patient. However, that didn't make anyone care enough to check up on these x-ray films, either. In the end, we called our medical local representative at the NATO base and she called a dr she knew from the same office to explain our issue. Within an hour of her phone call, there was a referral to orthopedics waiting for us. I retrieved the referral, picked up Joe from school and spent the next 4 hours in the ortho dept with Joe and Lily. We saw a really great ortho doc that (as Joe put it) "is finally someone who seems to know what she is doing!"
She was concerned that Joe's gash was still not healed. (duh...3 stitches just wasn't enough!) She agreed that my dressing of steristrips and medicated bandaids (or plasters as they are called here) was the best bet. She took a swab of the cut to make sure that there was no bacteria infection present. She also put him on antibiotics just in case (which isn't the norm....they are very stingy about prescribing medication here). I was very thankful for that. She told him that rugby is out for awhile...although the damage has already been done. He has torn ligaments and ligaments that are misplaced within his finger. He has a bone chip in his joint (which is actually the least of his worries). I am now waiting for our consult appointment time to come in the mail for his visit to the plastic surgeon. Why a plastic surgeon? I asked the same thing. The plastic surgeons here are hand specialists. It seems like he'll be needing surgery. We will see when we finally get in to see one of these guys. It should be within the next week or so. I will keep you all updated. Joe wants the surgery done as quick as possible so that he can possibly compete in the NECIS rugby tournament at the end of May. I haven't had the heart to tell him yet that that will probably not happen. We'll let the dr talk about the plan and recovery when we see him. As I said, I will keep you all updated.

It's spring in Norway!

How can I tell? Well, the daffodils have been in full bloom for a couple of weeks now...the tulips have just joined them. The spring lambing has started and there are baby animals out everywhere. I have been taking care of a friend's cats while she is gone and she has sheep across the street from her. Joe came with me two nights ago and there was a lamb that was just a few minutes old there. So Joe was completely grossed out (but still fascinated) about the whole thing. The mom was busy eating the afterbirth as the lamb was struggling to try and stand up (which it was way too young to do at this point). The cows were even released from their winter barns this week...a whole 2 weeks earlier than usual because of the nice weather. This is what I will miss when I leave here...the farms...the animals...the simple beauty of this country.

Take me out to the Ball Game....

Baseball is underway in Norway! Actually, let me be more is underway at the International school of Stavanger! :o) Tim has moved up a league and is now playing in the Pony league, the highest/oldest league that plays. It is fun watching him play as it keeps the other kids on their toes. I think he may be the only leftie out there. Joe was signed up but isn't playing. He can't grip a ball or a bat with his finger. That's okay because Tim is actually more talented in baseball than Joe is and it gives the younger brother a chance to shine on his own. Lily, of course, spent her time picking wild flowers bouquets and collecting rocks. :o)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lily and the brownie batter...

So after we were outside for 2 hours today in the sunshine (but make no was NOT warm), we came inside to make some brownies for the boys. Lily, of course, was right there to help me and to lick the batter. These are a few pictures of her helping herself to the beater from the mixer. :o)

Lily and her scooter

There was a garage/car boot sale at the NATO base this past weekend. We had a lot stuff we took (and no one there to buy it). However, while we were trying to sell an old scooter of Joe's, Lily decided she really liked it and so now she has inherited it. Here are some pictures I took of her and Kona while we were outside today.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The 2nd annual ISS Invitational

On April 15th, we had the 2nd annual ISS track and field invitational. It was the first track meet of the season for ISS and everyone had a blast. I caught Joe on high jump but missed Tim's shot put debut....I'll be sure and catch him next time!

Lily in the Daffodils

Right near the gym I go to is a patch with a few hundred daffodils. They are in full bloom right now, so Lily asked if we could stop and take some pictures. This reminded me of two years ago in Okinawa...right about this time...going to Ie Jima to take pictures of Lily amongest the thousands of white lilies. :o) She is such a beautiful addition to any flower patch!


We arrived home on the Saturday before Easter...just in time to get a good sleep in our own beds and go to Easter Mass in the morning. Here are some pictures from after Mass at our home. Lily had a lot of fun finding the plastic eggs. There was one that the "Easter bunny" put behind the 8 inch troll I have. (Did I mention that Lily HATES trolls?) She could see it there but refused to get it...begging someone to move that troll for her. :o)