Sunday, December 07, 2008

Did Someone Mention Christmas Photos?

My parents and brother with our family

Which do you like best?
Just for fun - no cards this year.


I'm still here...just taking a break for a bit (OK, several weeks). Our family has gone through a ton of transition these past few months, but it looks like things are calming down and we are settling into a bit of routine. So, here are a few photos from the summer and fall that never got posted, as well as a quick update on each member of the Womack household.

Jim is doing really well. He went to the doctor in October and was released for a year. He is still taking a couple of meds but has not had any other episodes, for which we are grateful. Jim resigned from IWU in September and is now working at the Gas City Starbucks. He is also considering returning to school to get his master's degree. He stays home with the kids when he is not working and was back to running fairly regularly before all of the snow and ice dropped in.

I am working at Frances Slocum Elementary School as an Academic Specialist weekdays from 9:15-3:15. Although I feel a little sad about leaving our kids, I am enjoying the position (especially since they let me reorganize the book room!) I have been training to walk in the Indianapolis mini-marathon and have spent my "free time" creating some cool homemade Christmas presents (maybe I will post pics of them later).

Elisha (almost 6) started Kindergarten in September and has been enjoying new friends and learning to read. He loves attending ClubSplash, our midweek children's program at CWC, where he participates in the cooking and encouragement classes. He also like to work with Legos and is still drawing up a storm, going through what seems like reams of paper every year.

Madelyn (almost 3) is a sweetie who keeps us entertained with her antics (as seen below). She loves her brothers and spends time playing with dolls, play dough and books. Recently, after Elisha spent a day with his grandparents, she remarked on the way to go get him, "I hope I get to see Elisha" and then said at dinner, "I missed you, Elisha." I'm hoping she remembers these feelings of love the next time he teases her.

Josiah (7 months) is our calm, easy-going third child. We are so thankful for his disposition. He is a hefty 21 pounds and is already wearing 12 month clohtes and size 4 diaper (the same size as Madelyn, actually.) He is practicing sitting up and can get around really well with his army crawl.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

For the Record (A Short Novel)

While most people have heard some of the story, and some people have heard most of the story, very few have heard it all. So, for the sake of accurate information being passed about as well as helping us to remember all that happened these past few days, here goes...

It all started Sunday evening around 10 or 10:30. No, wait, actually it began that morning. I was kind enough to pass some sort of stomach virus on to Jim, and he was having really bad stomach pain. We figured it was related to the virus, but I looked up his symptoms on Web MD just to be safe.

One of the paragraphs mentioned that people sometimes dismiss pain on their left side as gas pain when it can, in fact, be heart-related. At that point, the pain was low enough that we didn't really think much about it, but I was thankful later that we had read that information.

Fast forward to Sunday evening: Jim and I had just watched a movie together, and he had been having some tightness in his chest on the left side (but had not told me). I fell asleep on the couch with Josiah, and Jim went to bed. When I woke up and came to bed around midnight, he seemed uncomfortable and was kind of groaning a little, but I just assumed his stomach was hurting again (he still did not say anything to me).

After a trip to the restroom, which further confirmed my suspicions, he tried to sleep. When he was still in pain at about 1 am, he (finally) said that he was having pain and numbness on the left side of his chest, down his left arm, and even radiating up into his jaw. We debated about what to do: call a local friend of ours who is a PA, head straight to the ER, or check out symptoms on Web MD. We decided to check online just to see what we were dealing with. His description of the pain and the location of it seemed to suggest that it was heart-related, so we got ready to go to the ER just to be safe.

After convincing Jim that there was no way I was going to let him drive himself to the hospital, we asked my grandmother to stay with our two oldest children who were asleep, loaded up Josiah, and headed out.

They checked Jim in quickly, and got his vitals, an EKG, and blood work. They also hooked him up to an IV and (at various points) gave him nitroglycerin, pain meds, and heparin, I believe. The doctor met with him and thought that it was not likely to be a heart attack based on his age, health, and family history. However, when his blood work came back and showed elevated levels of cardiac troponin (a marker of heart muscle damage which often indicates a heart attack), the doctor said that we needed to take this seriously and made arrangements to transfer Jim via ambulance to Ball Memorial in Muncie.

I was not able to accompany Jim on the ambulance ride to Ball, so he will have to fill in that portion of the story. I dropped off Josiah at home, took a quick shower, and had a good friend drive me down to Ball. We arrived about 6 am.

Over the course of the morning, Jim was seen by several doctors and medical students, including a cardiologist, Dr. Ali. He decided the best thing was to do a heart cath to see if Jim had any blockage in his heart. If not, he would do a CAT scan to rule out a pulmonary embolism, another potential cause of Jim's pain and abnormal blood test.

Jim actually felt decent for awhile that morning, posting on his Facebook account and resting. Mid-morning they did an echo cardiogram, and he began experiencing some chest pain again. They prepped him for the heart cath and sent him down for a chest x-ray. On the way back up really began feeling pretty bad, rating his pain as even worse than it was in the ER. They gave him nitro again, but he was still in pain. A nurse came in to do another EKG, and after reading the results and observing a drop in Jim's heart rate (it was down to 32), the doctor decided to the the heart cath right away. He had been scheduled for noon, but they had changed it to 2 pm. The doctor actually ended up ordering general anesthisia because he didn't want to wait for the other drugs (valium and Benedryl, I believe) to take effect as planned.

This was probably the scariest point of the ordeal. Seeing Jim in pain again and watching the calm, yet concerned reaction of the medical staff made me worried. By the time they were taking him down for the procedure, I was scared. Fortunately, we only had to wait around 45 minutes before the doctor paged us and let us know that he had found no blockages or damage to Jim's heart.

The took him right down for a CAT scan to rule out the pulmonary embolism, and that came back clear as well. His enzymes were still elevated (and rising, if I understand correctly) which continued to point to some type of heart issue. So, by a sort of process of elimination, they diagnosed it as pericarditis.

Because his heart rate had dropped so low, Jim stayed overnight in the Coronary Care unit. He had no more chest pain and was released Tuesday afternoon around 2:30 pm. He was prescribed some medication for his heart and is also taking Tylonel to manage headache pain that is a side effect from one of his meds.

Since then, Jim has spent a lot of time resting. He feels pretty good most of the time except for headaches and some nausea. He had some restrictions from the heart cath (no lifting over 10 pounds for several days) but, as far as we know, does not have any from the pericarditis.

We have scheduled follow up appointments with our family doctor as well as with the cardiologist at Ball. They do not expect it to happen again, but they do not really know why it happened in the first place. That is a little disconcerting to both of us but, like so many things in our lives, is out of our control. We trust God's sovereignty. That's all we can do.

Thank you for praying for our family. It was such an encouragement to read your comments and posts on Facebook. We also appreciate those of you who brought us delicious, wonderful, amazing meals. Our children will be missing them as they are thrust back into reality this week. :)

We will keep everyone posted as (or maybe I should say *if*) we know more.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Coming Home

They are planning to discharge Jim sometime this afternoon. He is on a two-week prescription of meds for the condition and they will continue to monitor him.

I asked what caused it and if it could happen again, and they don't know. It seems that most 30 year-old lean runners do not typically have pericarditis. :) So, hopefully, this was a one time anomaly instead of a chronic problem.

Thanks again for praying for Jim and our family. We will update when we get him home and settled if we know more.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Fixed Link

Thanks for all of your prayers. I know they are sustaining us.

I fixed the link to Jim's diagnosis for your reading pleasure.

Update on Jim

I'm hoping most of you who can keep up on Jim updates this way. The hospital will not let me get on Facebook.

Jim was admitted to the ER early this morning with chest pain and weakness/numbness in his left arm. After some bloodwork showed elevated levels of enzymes that are heart-related, they transferred him to Ball Memorial and have been running tests and trying to determine what is wrong.

Jim's heart cath came back good - no blockage.
The CAT scan showed no pulmonary *whatever*.
They have changed his diagnosis (from a heart attack) to pericarditis.

Jim will be staying the night so they can see if the meds for this are effective and so they can ensure that he is not having more chest pain or drops in heart rate (his rate was down to 32 at one point and they rushed him out for the heart cath - pretty tense).

Thanks for praying. I will try to let you know more as we do.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"It has a TV!"

After much time spent searching the internet, visiting car lots, and praying for wisdom, the Womack family became the proud owners of a van. Despite its many practical features - more space, stow and go seats, better gas mileage, to name a few - the title of this post shows the only thing our children care about (and what Madelyn tells everyone).

This is a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country Limited with every feature imaginable (and some I actually had not imagined). I would share more about its amenities, but I feel guilty about a few of them (seat warmers!), so I am not yet ready for full disclosure.

We are very excited and also a little nervous to have invested so much in a means of transportation. I do not have buyer's remorse, but I do feel slightly sick to my stomach when I think that of all of the money we saved is gone. Well, I guess it has actually just transitioned into a new asset, right? And that is what we saved I should be happy. I guess I have saving issues (or maybe just issues in general).

The above photo is not specifically of *our car* but it is the same color and make and model from what I could tell.

Thanks for all of the recommendations. If we were richer, we would have probably leaned towards the Honda or Toyota (I have a 1987 Camry that has over 170,000 miles on it); but with our budgeted amount, the ones we would have considered were out of our price range.

On a related note: we are selling our pop up camper (1994 Coleman Key West) for $3000 if anyone is interested. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


We sold our Explorer! It's bittersweet because I love that vehicle, but I have to admit that with 3 kids in car seats, I am looking forward to more room (and the ability to seat the kids so they cannot touch each other.)

So, I'm looking for recommendations for vans. We have saved some money and will be looking around this weekend with the hopes of finding something...soon.

Any words or wisdom? What to buy or what NOT to buy?

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I have friends who display photos of their 3 or 4 children, smiling and hugging. My little ones, however, have yet to perfect that particular look.

I believe these tears were the result of Elisha wanting to hold Josiah and Madelyn wanting to hold Josiah and Josiah not wanting to be held by either of them.

Can you see the family resemblance between Madelyn and Josiah in that first photo?


A couple of weeks ago, we were cleaning up after rest time and Elisha presented me with these:
He said that he had dropped them and then tried to fix them to get the one side to match the other. I don't think he quite got it right.

Fortunately, the kind woman at the glasses store was able to bend them back and they now look completely normal. Amazing.


Maddie loves shoes; we often find her trying on the shoes of other family members. Yesterday we discovered that the issue is much deeper. It applies to socks as well.


These are just a few of the photos that have been rescued from our digital camera. Since the date function is off and needs to be reset, I'm not really sure when they were taken...I'm guessing this is Josiah at 2 months or so.

This is Josiah at almost 3 months with Corban Resiwig who is 9 months (I think). Josiah tends to be at the top of the growth curve and Corban is closer to the bottom. We parents got a kick out of how close they were in size. It was also nice to hang out with Marty and Jaclyn for a bit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Photos of My Kids Before They Graduate

If it were not for Shannon, I would have no post tonight. Not to mention no photos of my kids before they turn 18 and move out of the house.

All of our recent photos have taken up permanent residence in our digital camera and may not be seen by human eye until I get up enough initiative to take some time (10 whole minutes maybe) and download them.

I'll try to get to it...really.

But until then, you have these lovely photos for your viewing pleasure that actually look like my children. I'm not sure if it's the camera or the photographer or a little bit of both, but Shannon really captured *the look* of the Womack kiddos. Especially Elisha.

So, thanks, Shannon, and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

English Lesson

Elisha: How do you spell "wand"?

Me: As in "magic wand"?

Elisha: Yes.

Me: (slowly as he writes) W - A - N - D

Elisha: (after only writing W-A) No, not "wand" (using short a sound) "wond" (using short o sound)

Me: I know, it's spelled with an "a" and it makes the short "o" sound.

Welcome to the English language, buddy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SUV Anyone?

Just thought I'd give the blogosphere an opportunity to take advantage of our great deal. We are trying to sell our Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer so we can get a van.

Since Josiah's birth, we discovered that you can, in fact, fit three car seats in the back seat of it (as well as in our Toyota Camry, for that matter), but we feel like we could use some extra room for strollers, bags, and other "kid stuff."

The Kelley Blue Book price is over $5500, and we are only asking $3500 (we realize cars that get better gas mileage are whats *really* selling).

We are praying it sells soon so we can start really looking for our next vehicle. Anyone interested in details?

Fully Loaded:
* Driver Air Bag
* Anti-Lock Brakes
* Air Conditioning
* Cruise Control
* CD Player
* Passenger Air Bag

* Rear Window Defroster
* AM/FM Stereo Cassette
* Leather Seats
* Power Door Locks
* Power Mirrors
* Power Windows
* Power Steering
* Power Seats
* Tinted Glass
* Tilt Wheel

Mileage: 116,000

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Random Shots

Josiah is growing and getting more alert.
I looked over to see Madelyn in a box..."reading."
She knows these songs/stories by heart and sits
and reads them to herself. Pretty sweet.


Wednesday's activities provided several photo opportunities.

A trip to the eye doctor offered new eye wear.
(Actually, only Jim, Elisha and I went, but Elisha was
kind enough to share his glasses with Madelyn.)

I realized that Elisha had a Book It coupon for a free pan pizza
from Pizza Hut that expired that day. So, the three kids
and I had our first dining out experience without Jim.
Josiah rested in his carrier the entire time.
Maddie and Elisha colored calmly.
Josiah gave up and snuck a nap.

Got Milk?

As a matter of fact, I do.
Ninety-nine bags to be exact.
One consolation in not being able to nurse Josiah
is knowing that someone will benefit from over 4 weeks of pumping.
I am making arrangements (completing paperwork and blood work)
to donate to the Indiana Mother's Milk Bank.
Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Before I had young children, I used to wonder how kids cut their hair, colored on walls, or generally got into things. I mean, what were their parents doing while they went around unsupervised?

Now that I'm older and wiser (and hopefully more humble), I get it. Last week Elisha colored on Madelyn with markers (notice her face, shirt and hands). My children have also been known to unroll the toilet paper (classic) and pull tissues out of the box (also classic), cut small holes in shirts, color on our bedroom carpet, play in the toilet, and team up with a cousin to use markers to decorate the walls, floor, couch, table and carpet of my cousin's band new camper.

Did I mention I am more humble now? And less judgmental too.


Elisha and Elijah were born 10 days apart and have been good friends since they were young. Now that the Bonds live in New York we see them a little less often, but the boys just pick up where they left off. Come to think of it, the moms and dads do too!


Elisha set the table when the Wuertleys (or more accurately, the Wuertleys minus Jason) came for dinner a couple of weeks ago. He told me that he did the silverware "like a restaurant." Oh, and the Bible story book (you press a button and it plays a song) in the center of the table was so that we could have music during dinner.