P. Sunshine

P. Sunshine
My Flickr Fotos

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Sorry it took so long for me to update this. My flickr page is really:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Adios, Blogworld!

To the very few of you who actually read my blog, I am announcing that I will no longer be posting here. I have decided to keep putting my pictures up on my flickr site, and perhaps I'll have little comments there, but I just don't have time to write. think the address there is www.flickr.com/pattisunshine
But anyway, I've been writing more in an actual journal lately, and it's personal stuff that I'd rather not share with the world,. so please visit me at my flickr photo site.
Ta-ta! thanks for reading!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Flashes of scenes from the inside of a PICU room, floor 8, Center Wing, of DeVos Children's hospital cloud my mind as this week is the 1st anniversary of H's CF diagnosis. I thought I would be depressed, emotional, pensive - about the shock and then the disappointment, then the grieving for a healthy child that we went through. Instead, I am depressed and pensive about other things, selfish things. I have been holding H. closer lately, studying his features more deeply, memorizing his sounds and smells. I keep forgetting that he has a life shortening illness, and that we have no idea how long he will be in our lives. He seems so healthy and robust - to look at him. No one would suspect, save for his unusually pale hue, that he is a chronically ill child. Just over one year ago, our littlest one was born, and we had no clue.
I currently have several friends who are expecting their own new babies soon, and I have to bite my tongue to keep myself from asking them if they were tested for the CF gene. No pregnant woman wants to be burdened with the paranoia that there might possibly be something "wrong" with their unborn child. We all go into our pregnancies hoping for a shiny, healthy baby - and most women end up with just that. When I was pregnant with my first son, I knew in my heart that he would be healthy, happy, and perfect - and he was! (although the colic for the 1st three months was a hellacious experience) From the moment of conception with my second son, however, I knew something would not be right. I remember crying about it. I knew I was pregnant, and I knew the child would have some sort of disorder. I kept hearing about the autism epidemic over and over on the news, so I got the idea stuck in my head that he would be autistic. Then I kept meeting people who had kids with Cerebral Palsy, so I imagined that would be the fate of my new child. I was so sick during my pregnancy, and so full of fluid. And I knew.
When H. was a baby, he rarely smiled. He was pale-bluish, and had huge cheeks that puffed outward and hung under his chin. People would look at him, and turn their face away as if they had just seen a troll. I kept telling my mom "I just don't feel like he's in there. He shows no emotion". H. slept all the time, and always on his left side. Everytime he ate, he would cry in pain and then have strange aqua colored poops. I found that if I pounded somewhat forcefully on his back, it would calm him down, but he would always burp and then projectile vomit. Our pediatrician had me come to his office several times to work with the lactation consultant, they thought I wasn't feeding H. properly since he wasn't gaining weight - I would go in, and they would weigh him, and then have me nurse H. for 15 minutes, and then weigh him again - They discovered I was doing everything right, but he just was pooping it all away. In hindsight, if I had known about CF, or if my doctor had seen a CF baby before, he would have recognized this as typical, we could have started H. on CF meds right away, and probably would have avoided his near-death at two and a half months. Good ol' hindsight, eh?
But H. didn't die then; he is here with us, getting into EVERYTHING, testing his limits, making his big brother laugh, terrorizing the cat - everything a "normal" baby would do. The only difference is that we have to stop and give him pills before he eats, and we have to treat his lungs twice a day....and keep him out of daycare, away from second-hand smoke, campfires, sick people, germs...but most moms do that anyway. I love my sick baby like any mom would love their child, maybe even a little more, since I know he's probably just on loan from God. Someday we may have to give him back. I hope not. I hope he will outlive his parents. I hope he lives long enough to be around when a cure is found.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Food, glorious food

Food, glorious food
Originally uploaded by pattisunshine.
Dang, I forgot my doggie bag too. For more shower pictures click on the picture

View of the staircase that Steve made

The E. family took their cool house on the lake and made it even cooler. All handmade!

For more shower pictures, click on the pattisunshine link

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

sickness by brokestick

Big Brother R. always says "When H. is sick it's sickness by brokestick and when he gets better, it's sickness by fix-stick". This past week, it was time for the brokestick. Little H. caught something, and he had it bad. His mucus isn't like a normal person's, you know, when WE are sick, we cough and sputter and use Kleenex to get the junk out. H. isn't so lucky. We have to beat the junk out of him. Force medicines into him that he gags and chokes on (and hurls across the room - we had a nice array of splash-paint colors one night - flashback to the '80's). THen one day over the weekend, he stopped eating. Would not take a single sip or nip of anything. I weighed him on our scale about every hour, hoping that all the work we did to get him to the 50th percentile would hold.
But alas, he did lose some pounds. HE was choking and coughing, and I freaked, My mind kept replaying his stay in the PICU almost one year ago.
Would it be that he ends up there on this his near anniversary?
Then morning came, and suddenly, the boy was begging for a bottle. He chugged and guzzled, guzzled and chugged. He is still chugging away today on White grape juice and special high-calorie milk.
Whew, that was close. He still has a bit of a cough leftover, but nothing like it was a few days ago. I so want him to make it through the one-year mark with no more hospital stays!
Here's to you, mah little fahter, you done goooooood.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Lovely day

No, I don't post often enough. My schedule is this:
Get up 6:30AM, get R. ready for school/myself ready for work - as soon as Todd gets home we rush out the door, I drop R. off at school, go to work, work, pick R. up from school, go home, clean the kitchen, make dinner, clean the kitchen after dinner, play with the kids/pick up the house and do laundry, give the kids baths, give H. his treatment, put the kids to bed, get in bed, fall asleep to Sex and The City Reruns, get up at 6:30 AM, repeat.
No time to socialize, take pictures, write, have relations with husband, or read books for bookclub (we don't talk about the book anymore anyway) OR BLOG!
Free Time's up! Gotta go!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

clinically speaking

Baby H. had his CF clinics today. For those of you not hip to the CF scene, it is the at least tri-monthly visit to the Pulmonology clinic where CF'ers get weighed, measured, cultured and evqaluated so Dr.s can note their progress and make changes to their meds/diets if needed.
The Dr.s were so elated with H's progress, that they proclaimed that he should be used as an example for a CF'er who is doing well.
That's a relief....I get really excited when I hear that news, but then I realize he's only been doing well for 9 months out of his WHOLE LIFE. We have no idea when he will start a decline, so I will take this news and feel the glory for now, dang it!!!
Now we will commence to the part of H's life that I have been dreading ever since his diagnosis. The switch to "real" foods. He's been doing so well on his special drink mix, that I am scared to make the change. CF kids require 1 1/2 times the calories of a "normal" kid's diet. This means that Todd and I will have to make sure that he gets heavy, fat-laden foods while we try to eat low-fat. I am terrified of what our grocery bill will look like. With one vegetarian, one carnivore, ane eater-of-low-fat foods and one eater-of-high-fat foods, mealtime is going to prove to be quite an interesting ordeal, indeed!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hayden's Heroes

I've decided to be a team captain for the Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis this year. Last year, the walk took place while H. was in the hospital, just weeks after we had discovered he had CF.
If you would like to donate, please go to this link:
or you can email me at pattisunshineAThotmail.com if you are a local and want to be a walker/funds-raiser.
I'll post more on this later as I learn more about it - gotta go give H. his treatment!!!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

scoopin ice cream

scoopin ice cream
Originally uploaded by pattisunshine.
Baby H.'s birthday treat - Black cherry ice cream and a doughnut!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

January 26th

Originally uploaded by pattisunshine.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY H!!!!! MAMA LOVES YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 20, 2006

first steps

I haven't been posting because I hate writing when I'm down. When I was in the midst of the high school trauma of trying to find where I fit in, and all that loveliness of teenagerdom, I wrote books and books of poems, expressing my downward feelings, but let's face it, writing about being down in the dumpies is not entertaining!
Today's post, instead, has a little something to do with the baby. The other night, he took his first steps! The best part of his reaching this milestone is the fact that all of our family was there to witness the action. The four Gundersons were congregated in the playroom/computer room, and baby H. was trying to stand. I was holding onto him and then I just gently released him and Todd reached his hands out and Baby H went step, step, step over to daddy. R., myself and daddy all started cheering, I was jumping up and down, and H. was just beaming with joy and the sense of accomplishment.
In one week, my littlest guy will be one year old. *sigh* I will cherish these little moments in my heart forever.