Friday, July 17, 2009

Just for you, Elise

I was reprimanded for not blogging in months. I didn't realize it had been so long. I had stopped because all of my focus was on my health and I felt like I was being way too much of a downer. Not much has changed in the area of my health, but boy, have these last few months brought with them some crazy changes.

Nat is now 2 1/2 years old. I'm in complete denial that he will turn 3 this Halloween. He has the wit and wisdom of someone much older, and is still very much the joy of my heart. His intelligence is a bit intimidating. Not intimidating as in he's smarter than me, but moreso in a way that there is going to be no holding him back. He is incredibly sensitive, and still very unsure of others his age; his interactions with adults, however, are far beyond any expectation I would've had. He holds polite conversations, has impeccable manners, and is very helpful. He has an amazing heart. His sense of wonder and awe is inspiring. He thanks God for things that make him happy. He loves to sing and dance, and has a definite artsy side to him. His future is limitless. His imagination reaches places that I cannot see, and one of my hopes for him is that he always stays a dreamer, always continues to follow the beat of his own drum, and simply stays true to who he believes he is. I love him with my whole heart.

Little Miss Savannah has turned into quite a diva. She is 14 months old going on 15. She loves shoes. She has been walking for about a month now and has a handful of words (mama, dada, na-na for Natty, knows that a cow says "moo" and a dog says "woof woof," and makes this nasal-like noise that can't be phonetically spelled when she wants to say "shoe." She's incredibly social, smiling and waving at anyone who will look her way. She flirts and accepts compliments on her beautiful blue eyes from strangers as though she truly understands what they're saying. She's very bright and very mischievous. She knows when she's getting herself into trouble, but simply bats her long eyelashes at you, flashes her nearly toothless smile, and expects to be exempt from a reprimand. As much as a daddy's girl as she is, she seems to know when I need a little extra love, as lately she has begun to climb into my lap, put her hand over my heart, and stare into my eyes as if to say, "It's okay, Mama. Everything's going to be okay." I hope - I hope with my whole heart - that I am able to have a healthy mother-daughter relationship with her. With both of them.

They play together, for the most part, wonderfully. The love they have for each other is very apparent. She wants to be everywhere he is, and while Nat does like his own space from time to time, he is happy to have her around. May they always be close.

The Hubs and I are trying our hardest to establish in our children a strong sense of faith, of God and His role in our lives. We want our children to grow to be happy and healthy, but also to be good, loyal, honest, faithful people. We struggle with knowing if we're doing it the right way, but I guess all we can do is pray and hope for the best.

Hubs and I are doing well. Our 7th anniversary is coming up. I married a great man and I don't tell him that often enough. He's a great father and I hope Nat learns how to be a man from his dad. I hope Savannah grows to learn that she deserves a good man like her dad. There are so few out there, and my children have a wonderful example to learn from.

My health issues still remain a mystery. I started my ninth and tenth medications last week. I'm hopeful that they will have some kind of effect. I had a repeat brain MRI just a few days ago and will have a repeat MRI of the cervical spine in August. Still having daily headaches and vertigo, however vision changes have begun to occur, my memory isn't what it used to be, and I've begun to have total left-side electric shock sensations. I still have the Hashimoto's Disease, and my endocrinologist is having a hell of a time getting my levels stabilized, and I was just recently (again) diagnosed with a severe Vitamin D deficiency. I'm also borderline anemic. What does all of this mean? Who knows. I'm trying so hard to be positive, so hard to put my faith in God, that He'll keep me here to see my babies have babies, but on some days it's hard.

So that's it, in a very small nutshell. I'll try to keep this updated more often for those of you who still check this.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I've never gone 4 weeks without updating. I've gotten a few e-mails and Facebook messages from some of my loyal readers wondering, "Hi, are you still, like, alive?" Indeed I am. Just nothing good to write about, and I figured my endless battle with all things medical was getting a little too heavy for blogging, so I gave it a break. How sad that, in these 4 weeks, nothing exciting has happened, nor can I come up with anything fun/funny/witty to write about? Ick.

Updates, then, in bullet fashion:

  • Savannah turned 9 months old on February 15th. Where the hell did those 9 months go? Ohhh, I know....I was so consumed with feeling like poo and trying to figure out what the hell is going on with my body that I've essentially missed my baby girl's first year. Fabulous mothering on my part. In any case, she crawls faster than I can walk. She pulls herself up on things, cruises, and is probably seconds away from walking. Lord help me. She laughs when I use a firm voice and/or her full name in an attempt to stop her from eating random things off of the floor or from attempting to climb the stairs. She claps, says "dada" and "yaaaaay," waves, and makes these awful noises that would make one assume she is part pterodactyl or part short-wave radio. She has never wanted anything to do with baby food, commercial or homemade, and can now out-eat her brother at any meal. No teeth yet. Typical girl attitude is already present, and I can hardly wait for the teen years. She adores Nat and follows him around wherever he goes.
  • Nathanael is days away from turning 28 months but already has the personality of a sixteen year old boy. I hate the terrible twos, and from what I've been told it only gets worse. He has completely abandoned the idea of napping, so coupled with his attitude you can imagine that we have some ugly days. He loves to draw, and is actually quite a good artist for a two year old. He's smart and a bit of a smartass, proudly identifies letters of the alphabet whenever we see them out and about. Adults who don't know him compliment me on his vocabulary and manners and knowledge...even if he does pronounce peanuts as "penus."
  • Me, I'm hanging in there. Medically, we're still trying to figure things out. A recent MRI of the spine and cervical spine showed that I have bulging discs in my neck and back, as well as a condition called spondylosis, which is essentially osteoarthritis of the spine. What's causing it is yet to be determined, but cervical spondylosis can cause headaches and vertigo, and so I'm in physical therapy two days each week to try to alleviate symptoms. For the first two weeks I felt like a million bucks, but some of the symptoms are starting to return and I've had an increase in neck and back pain, so if those two instances are related I don't know. My physical therapist is wonderful, though, and I'm hopeful that with her course of treatment I'll get to feeling better soon. Some muscle relaxers and a vacation wouldn't hurt the situation either.
  • Hubs turns 38 today. That seems so old to me even though I'm 32. We're approaching the 11 year anniversary of when we first met. He had just turned 28 and I was 22. Only 11 years ago? Seems like it has been at least 25.
  • I live about 15 minutes away from where Continental Flight 3407 crashed. Scary and tragically sad, and my prayers went out to the victims and families, but it's all people could talk about here. Everyone seemed to have a story of how they knew someone who knew someone who should've been on the plane. Like 9/11 all over again. Like everyone felt the need to have a piece of the tragedy. I don't get that.
And that, dear readers, is the last few weeks in a nutshell. I appreciate all the messages concerning my presence on the planet. I was just trying to spare you all from yet another boring and piteous blog entry.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I had my appointment with the third neurologist this morning. My primary care doctor suggested that I see this neurologist in light of the continued headache and vertigo as well as the progression of some other symptoms. While I didn't walk out of his office today with any kind of concrete answers as to what, exactly, is happening with my body, we did formulate a plan and will see what happens from there. Yahoo.

Starting today and for the next 4 days, I will be receiving an intravenous infusion of methylprednisolone and magnesium to reduce and kind of inflammation that may be causing the headaches. If this 4-day infusion works, then he will be forced to look in a certain direction for a cause of these headaches. I will have to go to an infusion clinic for 2 hours a day while this medication drips into my veins. Because my husband works and I won't leave the kids with anyone but family, I have to go at night, missing dinner and bedtimes for both kids. This better work.

I also have a prescription for Valium, 2 mg, to be taken 3x/day. Valium is apparently the drug of choice when treating vertigo. I'm a little leery of taking it, but he asked that I give it a try for 2 weeks. We'll see.

Doctor wanted to repeat a spinal tap. Remember how I had a spinal tap done in July of 2008? How it was supposed to be done to rule out MS way back when? Yeah. A MS workup was not performed on the fluid. I'm a little upset over that, because the experience was awful (took the jerk 4 full pokes to find the right spot), and because it was supposed to be performed to rule out MS. The kicker is that the doctor at the time TOLD ME that the tap ruled out MS. This is why I have little faith in the medical system. I wonder if I could sue him for fraud? In any case, I told him that I'd prefer to avoid a repeat tap based solely on my experience from last time, and he agreed to send me for non-invasive tests that may also indicate MS - a VER and a BAER. One tests the eyes and will indicate visual deficits, which I have begun to notice, and the other tests signals between the cochlea and the brain. If these two tests come back with negative results, I will likely follow the doctor's suggestion of having the tap repeated.

Finally, I have a test tomorrow called a TCD. It's essentially a sonogram of the brain, and will show live-action blood flow. It will be performed with a bubble study to determine the possibility of emboli from the PFO. I thought that MRA/MRV would've ruled this out, but I guess not?

I'm praying that these tests and medications will provide relief and assist in eliciting some answers. I really am so tired of all of this. Savannah will turn 1 in May, and it makes me sad to think that the majority of the first year of her life was spent like this.

Friday, January 09, 2009


I received preliminary results back from the brain scans I had the other night. The MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram, looking at blood vessels) and MRV (magnetic resonance venography, looking specifically at the venous system) both came back negative, which means that no small clusters of clots and no aneurysms were observed. There was apparently one area of the MRV that wasn't of good quality so I have to go back in tonight to have that part repeated, but I'm guessing nothing will show up. So this is good news.

Back to the drawing board. I see the third neurologist in about two weeks. He's also a headache specialist, so if he can't come up with anything then we'll proceed to the Cleveland Clinic to take the immunology route. I refuse to believe that there isn't a reason for feeling this way, and I"m not about to resolve to spend the rest of my life feeling this way. No thanks.

Thanks for putting up with my posts about medical issues and the worries that accompany the issues. Your comments, prayers, and Internet presence actually do mean a great deal to me.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Yesterday I learned that I have a PFO, or a small hole in my heart. In the 4 or 5 prior echocardiograms that I have had, this has never once shown up.

But now tonight I am scheduled for a brain MRA and MRV to determine whether or not I have had any TIAs, or, essentially, mini-strokes.

I have a blood clotting disorder. I have a history of blood clots to the lung. I also have several brain MRIs that have shown white spots. White spots = strokes?

I'm scared. I can't stop having visions of leaving my babies long before I'm ready.