Wednesday, September 2, 2009

my what's broken? (and update on Nate)

So, Dr H and I are becoming fast friends. Ok, maybe not but we have been chatting a bit. He called yesterday with some good news, Nathan is not currently anemic. He still had work to do though.


He called again this afternoon. He told me he wanted to talk about me for a minute. Turns out he got my full CT report today and he had a Diagnosis for ME. Medullary Sponge Kidney. He told me to go back to my urologist.

Alas, this doesn't help Nathan in the slightest. The problem I have is not at all genetic and doesn't fit Nathan at all. He told us that he still had to talk to Dr A (Nate's Ophthamologist) who wasn't in today but Nathan's urine came back showing he is wasting salt. He said this puts another check mark in the Nephronophthisis side of the puzzle. He told us that the salt wasting explains the polyruria and subsequent polydipsia, so we now have a reason for that, but we are not yet perfectly clear on the bigger picture.

He said he does not want to diagnose a disease like Nephronophthisis without being very confident that is the case, so he's not going to, at this point. He said that genetic testing won't help us, since only 2 of the 5 variants of the disease have known gene involvement. (They know which gene is responsible) What this means is that in the event that the super expensive genetic test came back "negative", we would be no better off than we are today.

He said that he was going to talk to Dr A tomorrow and call me again. He also said that although he knows how absolutely frustrating it may be to hear, we may be gearing up for a bit of a hurry up and wait game. We are in that horrible gray area and we may need to just give Nathan more time to give us clearer answers, repeat all of these tests in 6 months and see what happens. He told us that there is such a wide spectrum as to what is going on, that our son has kidney disease, but to give it a name and a prognosis at this moment is difficult.

I respect his hesitation. A diagnosis of Nephronophthisis is devastating. To know that our son would be in end stage renal failure before adulthood is beyond terrifying. To tell someone that without being confident would be irresponsible. I still absolutely adore Dr H. He has kept us up to date every single step of the way.

Honestly, I would link you to some info on this disease but it is so rare the most that can be found is in medical journals that without a decent understanding of Medical Terminology and physiology you would just scratch your heads. To explain it the best I can the juevenile form of the disease includes small kidneys that develop cysts which destroy the kidneys. This causes kidney failure 100% of the time, resulting in end stage kidney failure necessitating transplant in the teen years. It also includes other body systems, frequently the eyes (remember, Nate has cataract and progressively poor vision in his right eye). It usually manifests fairly early on with anemia, polyuria, polydipsia, and salt wasting. Obesity and mental retardation are common (the two things keeping him from the diagnosis, Nate is actually quite small for age at <3%> and by milestones, of average intelligence.

I'm so absolutely torn. I most definitely do not want my son diagnosed with a disease like NHPH but at the same time I just want someone to finally tell me what's going on and what to expect. The not knowing is about as horrible as it gets I think.

For now we continue to let him drink as he wishes and eat as much salt as he craves. And wait. Dr H will call me tomorrow after he chats with Dr A.


Monday, August 31, 2009

I was suspicious.... now I'm even more suspicious, he said

So today was Nate's appt with the Pediatric Nephrologist. Y'all I was 120% certain I knew what he would say. I was certain the cause of Nathan's polyuria/polydipsia was a urinary obstruction. I was sure at worst they would tell us he needed a simple operation to correct it and we would be finished with all of this.

One lesson I should have learned by now, never assume anything.

Dr H is amazing. I have never, in all my life met a doctor that spent 1.5 hours in the room with you. I have never, in all my life met a doctor who was so thorough he combed through the medical records of my family members in his search for answers. I met that doctor today.

He started off by telling us that he wasn't going to do much today but some fact finding. He had some slight suspicions, he told us.

First, he told us, the ultrasound did show some abnormality. The bladder was perfect to my surprise. It was the kidneys that weren't. He told us he honestly thought it was a measurement error and made the radiologist double check their work. But it wasn't a measurement error. My 2 1/2 year old son's kidneys are, in fact, the size of those in an 8 month old baby.

He asked about my pregnancy. He asked about Nathan's entire life. He asked if there was any family history of Kidney disease. He looked in my medical record and was astonished at my CT scan of 2007, showing 2 kidneys chock full of stones. Highly unusual, he said. He asked about our extended family, noting my grandmother's need for a kidney transplant in her 30's after sudden onset of severe anemia. Quite unusual. And quite suspicious.

He examined Nate and noted a paculiar extra fold in the lid of his right eye that we had never before noticed. He looked at his cataract with the light and then invited us to see it as well, seemingly almost jovial in seeing the peculiar tiny black dot in the lens, it doesn't take much to excite doctors. Looked closely over his Opthamology reports and asked that when we go to the U of M in October, to please request they look very closely at his optic nerve. He asked about Christian's hearing loss, of particular interest since the kidneys and the ears are so closely related. He asked about Nathan's eating habits, about his drinking habits and his odd liking, for a 2 year old, for salt. He put all of these tiny puzzle peices together in his mind.

He ordered a CBC to check for anemia, as it often starts to present in this age group with the disease he had in his mind. He ordered a urine culture we have to bring in to our clinic tomorrow to check for sodium wastage in his urine. He said he would put more puzzle peices together and call us tomorrow after the CBC came back.

I was slightly suspicious before, he said. After examining your son and talking with you I'm even more suspicious.

Before we left I couldn't help it, I blurted out "Can you please tell me what you are suspecting... I know you probably don't want to because you know I'm going to google it" And I cringed, because ya know, doctors hate that.

ABSOLUTELY he said, and he googled it himself and printed off a page for me. I have no problem with families being informed. And you know, if you ever want a second opinion, I'm totally ok with that too by the way. I would recommend the U of MN Fairview and I'll send all the reports myself, although I think it's a bit premature for that right now. Agreed.

So we don't know. He suspects a very rare condition called Nephronophthisis. A condition that is genetic. A condition that would mean our little Nathan would need a kidney transplant in the future, in order to live. A condition that, quite frankly scares the crap out of me and confuses me to the core. A condition I was not expecting.

For now, we wait for him to peice the puzzle together and to decide if this devastating condition will be put in our son's medical chart, effectively changing our normal, once again. For now we are instructed to let him drink as he pleases, eat as much salt as he pleases, and refrain from giving him things like Motrin/Aleve and other NSAIDS, which are quite hard on the kidneys.

I'm not allowing myself to fall apart. To grieve a condition we haven't confirmed. I am just doing my best to sit on my hands and wait. Like a good girl.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hopefully this isn't going to be the theme

We didn't get the greatest news today at Chris' Audiology appt. They did another audiogram because she likes to get one before school starts and Chris' hearing has declined in his left ear (stayed the same in the right). This is not good news. It means his hearing loss appears to be progressive. Which is what we had all desperately hoped wouldn't be the case.

She doesn't want to call it progressive just yet though (hoping against hope?) and wants another audiogram in a month just to see if by some shred of hope it improves to his baseline. She adjusted his left hearing aid to the new settings for now. It's really cool how they do that, it's not just a thing on the aid to turn it up, it's all computer programed to the child's exact sense of hearing.

I don't know what the plan will be if we do, in fact, find out it's progressive. I'm sure they will be more aggressive in figuring out the what's and why's to see if we can save his hearing somehow.

Nate sees the urologist monday, lets hope bad news isn't the theme of things. I'm packing our bags this weekend just in case, last time when they threw Shay in the clink I ended up 3 hours from home wearing the same clothes for 8 days.

*sigh*

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some new pics















The creepy old house by moms
















Reminded me of Wizard of Oz




























Saturday, August 22, 2009

Turning on a dime

So Thursday when I hadn't yet heard from our Ped I decided to call and leave a message that I would like the results of the Ultrasound. On my way home from work Dr K's MA Tammy called me and told me that Dr K thought everything looked good, that she had forwarded the reports to Dr H (the ped urologist) but he was on vacation but that if when he got back he thought anymore needed to be done from a urology standpoint they'd let us know. But to rest assured it looked fine.

Not sure whether to be bewildered that we had just checked off another body system in our search for what the heck is going on, or happy that another body system of my child appeared perfectly normal I figured we'd just move on to endocrinology and go from there.

Friday morning Craig woke me up and told me that Tammy had just called and he told them I would need to call them back and discuss things (cause ya know, I AM master scheduler around here). So I called back and she told me that Dr H had actually checked the ultrasound and while on vacation and decided he needed to see squirt ASAP. Told me to call down to Marshfield and schedule and if I couldn't get in within a couple weeks to call them back and they would get him in sooner. Well they got us in the day Dr H comes back from vacation, August 31st.

So, I really don't know anything. Just that Dr H saw something that he feels is worth dragging us 2.5 hours down to Marshfield for. Hopefully it's answers. God please let it be answers!

Also got a call from the referral center about Nate's eye. We'll be seeing another Ophthamologist at the University of Minnesota (no, we don't need directions, thank you ma'am, we could get there with our eyes closed and even have our favorite parking spot in our favorite parking ramp, thanks.) on Oct 9th for a second opinion on his cataract. We see Dr A, his current Ophthamologist this coming Thursday for his first recheck since getting his glasses.

We're waiting on rescheduling the endo appt until after we know what Dr H has to say. Here's hoping we don't need Endo, that they have a diagnosis, a fix, and we get get on with it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oh stormy day.

Nothing like a mid-afternoon tornado warning to get the blood pumpin. Blech.

Anyway. Still haven't heard from Nate's ped regarding his ultrasound. No news is good news? What would be good news at this point? That once again they think it's normal and there is still no reason why this kid drinks enough to drown and pees rivers? That we can check yet another body system off on our peice by peice search for whatever is causing this? That they DID find something wrong? I don't even know what to hope for anymore, I really don't.

I'm sure you've heard of the newest Favre circus. I'm pretty sure this guy craves attention more than Octo-mom at this point. He's really become quite the media whore, hasn't he. The Vikings? Really?.......... no REALLY? Apparently people are burning his jerseys and stuff. Yeah, ok, get over it. He's someone else's problem now. I mean really, he hasn't thrown that great since he hurt his thumb and now he's got a torn rotator cuff on top of it? Sucks to be you Minnesota. Sucks to be you. I don't get what the big deal is anyway. Yeah, we went to a couple super bowls, and even won one of those. But people, this "God" of the pigskin hasn't taken his team anywhere near a superbowl in what, 10 years? He's an old has-been. And he's having trouble accepting that. It'll be fun though, the rivalry between the Vikes and the Packers is crazy, and it'll be even more interesting this year. I might actually have to watch football. To see Aaron Rogers kick Favre's purple ass. Priceless.

Anyway. You'd think I care about Fooseball or something. I don't.

Some very exciting news. My husband just finished the application process for College!!! He's always dreamed of going into the police force, and you know, he's not getting any younger so it's time he followed his dream. I'm SO proud of him.

Anyway, better get my own homework done. Oh, and watch my DVR'd Hell's Kitchen.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

So Friday Nate had his ultrasound. She scanned his kidneys and went to the bladder and his bladder was enormousely full. Took him to go potty and his diaper was wet, second soaking wet diaper of the day and he had been up a whole hour.

Took him potty and came back out and she started again... There were still 64 cc's of urine in his bladder.

So it would appear that he's not emptying his bladder allvthe way, for whatever reason. An obstruction would make sense to me, since that can sometimes lead to polyuria/polydipsia. Now we wait for the doc to call and tell us what they think.

His blood pressure was normal, not sure what labs they ran but I'm grateful for lab techs who actually listened when I told them he was a hard draw. Even though they still had to spend forever digging, at least they didn't get all cocky about it like usually happens.


-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The price of a child, revisited.

I warn you my friends. Of all the posts I've written, this may be the one to get me the most hate mail. And that's big y'all, seeing my strong opinions on breastfeeding and not allowing a stranger to raise your child, er.... putting your child in daycare. Maybe. I dunno, the daycare issue does get me a lot of hate mail.... (and as always, I don't mean grandma's, aunts, uncles, dads, best friends since 2nd grade that watch your child minimally. I mean Daycare. Please fill out your child's name, age, and whether or not they've had chicken pox and how many times they've pooped each day and sign on the dotted line. Our hours are from 6-6, drop your child off in a commercial building to spend their day, daycare) .... moving on please.

Anyway. I received a comment today to my post from last year The price of a child. A comment that brought up a very good point. What about education?

Well, for the short term, being the first 18 years of my child's life that is, I figured that the costs of school supplies, clothes, and extra curriculars would probably equal that of the diapers, gear, etc the first years. So, no change there. But that's not what this dear commenter was reffering to. The word that makes our hands tremble as we hold our checkbooks. A huge reason why most people do not have more than one or two children. COLLEGE.

As the commenter pointed out, by the time our children reach college age a decent public school will cost about $30,000 a year. Heck, I'm in college right now and by the time I graduate a year from now I'll be about $24,000 in debt. So why didn't I factor that in? I mean if you figure 6 kids who go to a 4 year University at $30,000 a year. My God that's $120,000 EACH CHILD. That's almost 3/4 of a million to send them all off for Bachelor's degrees in something or another. $720,000 to be exact. So if I were saving each month I'd be shucking back $555.56 per month per child, so $3,333.33 for my 6. PER MONTH.

So how could that HUGE sum have slipped my mind in my calculations?

Well, let me calculate how much it will cost me to send my children to college.........

.................................




................................

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I have zero intention of paying my kids' way through college. None.


I know. You're thinking WHY on earth would I want my children to possibly not go to college and get a degree to have a comfortable life.

Well I do want that. I want very much for them to find something they are passionate about, pursue it, excel at it, and have a easier time of it than I do.

I also want them to be responsible for that. To be proud of that. And to be sure they follow their dreams, not mine.

I think so many kids graduate high school without a clue as to what they want to do for the rest of their lives. They simply haven't had time to test the waters and figure that out yet, at such a young age. Years before they've even earned the credits to graduate high school they are applying to this college and that, this program or that one. They are expected to leave the nest and fly to the dorm. Whether or not they have a clue what they are doing there. 4 years later (if they work hard) they leave the doors of the University of whatever with a degree and if they are lucky find a job in their chosen field. 3 years later many of them drag their butts out of bed everyday to sit at a desk they hate, in a cubicle they hate, with co-workers they hate doing a job they hate. Many of them choose broad degrees, Bachelors of Arts, Bachelors of Science... What exactly does that mean? My own sister has a Bachelors of Science degree in Sociology and an Associates degree in Criminology. She is an officer at a supermax prison. And she despises her job.

Ideally my children will not go to college at age 18. They will take some time to live. Take some time to get their wild hairs grown out and take the time to listen to the direction they are being called. Ideally, only when that happens will they apply to college. Ideally. Also Ideally they will attend a tech school and get a specific education to allow them to do precisely what it is they want to do, with the option of furthering that Associates degree to a bachelors, masters, PHD in the future if that's where the future leads.

They will pay for their own schooling because they will be better people for it. When they enter the doors of that school it will be with the prize in sight. A dream turning into reality. They will work hard to pay for each class, each book. They will work very hard at their studies knowing that if they fail they will have to pay for the class again. They will be less likely to skip class, less likely to party before that big final exam. They will be less likely to drink and do drugs on campus because they have class the next day and because they realize that at the end of the week, after you've paid for classes and rent, there's no money left for those things. Just like in real life. They will likely not waste time on Basketweaving 101. They will work their tails off for minimum wage and know what that's like and why they want better. They will be responsible with money because they have no other choice. They will learn to be frugal. They will not have to think they are dissapointing me if they decide college is not for them. And it may not be. And that's ok. And if it IS, they will walk out on graduation day with a tremendous sense of pride that THEY did this. All by themselves. Just like they learned to ride that bike, learned to tie their shoes..... the same smile of beaming pride they got when they won that spelling bee, all by themselves.

Having said that, our children WILL be welcome to remain in our home through college and go to one of the great tech schools or Universities in our area. If their passion lies in a career field not offered here or not offered online, we will do what we can to help them with housing near the nearest school that does. We will help them fill out paperwork for whatever student loans they may be eligable for, we will babysit their dog during finals week, and we may even do a load of laundry or two during midterms. We have no intentions of throwing them out of the nest to fend completely for themselves. Only to help them achieve THEIR dreams, not ours.

And if our children decided NOT to go to college. We will be ok with that too. Just as their father didn't attend college and makes a decent living because of his hard work, we hope the same for them if they choose that route. We will not put OUR demands on our children and will not try to make them live the lives we did or we wished we did. Because their lives are not our story to tell, but theirs.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doctors Doctors Doctors

So yesterday was doctor day.

Christian had his check up with the audiologist. She once again re-tubed his aids ( I hate those tubes! I think we've probably used more tubing already than most people ver do!). Took a new impression for a new mold on the right and set up for us to come back in 2 weeks for his before school audiogram and fitting for the new mold. Of course we are hoping for no progression in the hearing loss, so if you want to put that on your prayer list we'd appreciate it.

Shaylin checked out perfect. 50th percentile for height and 25th for weight. Which, if you know my kids that's really impressive! Doc said she's nowhere near puberty yet (didn't think she was) and her spine doesn't look to have progressed any so we'll just see what next year brings with her scoliosis. We are expecting to have to brace her as she hits puberty, the longer we can put all that off the better I say!

Nate. Nate, Nate, Nate. Well, he's still drinking enough to drown and we've been kind of playing a game of cat and mouse with the Peds Endocrinologist. The first appt we couldn't make and the second one this past friday he had an emergency and had to reschedule. Nate's Ped was actually surprised we were still dealing with this, she thought maybe it had resolved. No such luck.

A little update on all of that before I go further. As you know, a few months ago Nate started drinking excessive amounts of water and flooding his diapers. We had him tested for Diabetes, Diabetes Insipidus, and had an MRI done to look for a Pituitary tumor. All came back negative. The only thing they did conclude was that his urine concentrated very little overnight (12 hours NPO) Which his ped seemed to think was fairly insignificant due to the amounts of hydration he has during the day.

Shortly thereafter we had a full week where he drank and peed NORMALLY. We thought whatever it was had just resolved itself but then one day afternoon after drinking very little, the flood began shortly followed by cups and cups of water and juice going down the hatch.

I brought this up to her that it SEEMS that the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, at least in this case, had been answered. The urination seems to be the cause and the excessive thirst the effect.

She asked if he craves salt.... not really. He LIKES salt but he's not going crazy to get it. She asked if as a baby he had wet a lot. Possibly, but this was our first baby to wear cloth, so that makes it difficult to figure out if his #'s of wets a day were "normal". How often did he nurse as a baby. He nursed all the time actually. In fact, he refused to eat solids until he was a year old. Preferring to nurse instead. Maybe another clue.

So, she said she was going to take the step to consult the Pediatric kidney specialist and see if he thought there was anything to look for. We got a call today that Friday Nate will have a renal ultrasound (NPO of course, because I swear they want to kill me), a repeat blood pressure (unsure what that's about) and labs done.

We also talked about Nate's eye. I told her that although we do trust his Opthamologist, we were worried about his laisez-faire approach to Nate's eye. Nate's OP is of the opinion that his cataract is NOT causing his vision loss, but that both things are just the result of an eye that never formed properly at all. While he may well be correct in his opinion, we worry that someday someone's gonna say "well, if that cataract had been removed when he was 2, he'd be able to see out of that eye now".

She agreed that a second opinion was a good option. She referred us to one of the leading Pediatric Opthamologists in the country, who HAPPENS to practice at the U of M (yeeeeeeeeeks). Maybe this guy will agree with the other doc, maybe not. But at least we will feel better about the course of treatment with 2 doctors who agree on it. She also said that there's SOOO many differing opinions between OP's on treating eye disease that who knows, maybe this doc will have an entirely different take on what needs to be done.

At the very least we need to figure out what to do about Nate's glasses. He will NOT wear them. Ok, he will, for about 5 minutes at a time before ripping them off and breaking them. It's getting expensive and defeating the purpose. We need a plan B.

THEN. You thought I was done didn't ya? Yeah, no.

Then last night we get home at about 8pm and the kids have taken a new liking in climbing this huge pine tree in our front yard (mom was even up the thing the other night hehe). So they are climbing the tree and Jack comes in and says something is in his eye. Bark from the tree. Well, a tiny peice of tree bark, sure enough, is stuck on the inside of his upper eyelid. We flushed it and gave it some time, hoping it would work it's way out on it's own but after a couple hours it was apparent that wasn't going to happen as it was swelling, red, and bothering him quite a bit.

So, at 10:30 we arrive at the ER. Which was insanely busy. Great. So we wait 2 hours (I get it, it happens, boring but not bothered) doc comes in, flips his eyelid inside out, gets the tree bark out and checks his cornea for abrasions. Antibiotic in hand we are out the door and home at 1am.

Fun times y'all. Fun times.

So anyway, if you could send some thoughts our way that we get to the bottom of "mystery boy", as his ped calls him. They would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bubba's Bears is back y'all!



That's right, were back and better than ever! A few tweaks, some changes, and the help of our wonderful friends and we've been able to bring back Bubba's Bears for CHD. Raising awareness for Congenital Heart Defects through the love of a Teddy bear! Go to www.bubbasbears.com and find us on Facebook: Bubba's Bears.



Saturday, August 1, 2009

Invisible monster

When you lose a child, they tell you many things, the experts, the writers of the books, the parents who've walked the walk before. But they don't tell you everything. There are some bits you have to learn yourself. And those bits are the hard ones to deal with.

I get it that grief is a process. Denial, anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. They tell you that you will feel these over and over and over again, some more than others, for eternity. I get that. I've had my share of them all and expect to continue them until I die and can finally rest.

But the one they don't tell you about is the one that makes it hard to get through the day, hard to focus on anything. It is the one that's been plaguing me lately, kicking itself up a notch for no known reason.

It is the wait for the other shoe to drop. Feeling like life is so "normal" that it can't possibly stay that way. It's searching the internet for an eternity in the wee hours of the morning for every symptom to every illness that could possibly take another child from your arms.

I think I hide it well. I think on the outside I appear normal. I doubt anyone could possibly know that day in and day out I'm wondering which child it will be, which one will get sick, hurt, and die? Maybe it will be me? Or Craig? Maybe if I can just catch the symptoms of this invisible killer in time I can do something to save whoever it is.

I know I know. In that last paragraph was the obvious. I'm trying to prevent what my misplaced guilt thinks I should have prevented with Alex. I get that. I consider myself a pretty logical person and can see the deeper picture, know where these feelings are coming from. But that doesn't make them go away.

This is something "they" never mentioned to me. That the fear wouldn't go away when the bad dream ended. That it would continue to wax and wane for years, possibly forever. To go to bed everynight and fight the tears because I didn't hug them enough, didn't tell them I loved them enough, it could never BE enough.

The feeling like I am always on the defense against this horrible terrorist. I can't see him, don't have a clue how his attack will come, and have no idea who he will even attack. But I can't shake the feeling that he's out there. Waiting. And it's my job solely to be able to thwart his attack. Yet to walk around and go about life everyday like he's NOT out there at all, because not to would be to not live each day like it's the last.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Faith's lodge

I made a slideshow of our trip to Faith's Lodge last fall. The retreat for families who have lost a child. I think the song with it, Word of God Speak by Mercy Me absolutely fits these pictures since we could feel such an amazing calming presence in that place that I will never be able to describe.


video

Tired princess

4th of July weekend is huge in this town.. Huge. Our population swells as the terrorist.... Er..... Tourists park themselves in this tiny 6 lakes town and do what those in Wisconsin do best. Drink enough beer to drown.

Hailey had 8 events to attend as jr miss vassador and by the time I caught up with her saturda she was already exhausted. After a brief tantrum... Teen girl style she was able to regroup and continue, sunburned and tired. I felt the need for a tantrum of my own and I didn't have to run around half as much as she did.







-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Undefeated season!!


Chris had his last game of the season last night and they finished with another win making for an undefeated season!!! Now on to tournaments! They even finished the game with a homerun!

Pics aren't great of course I forgot my camera and had to get what I could with my phone.

Monkey pile!!!






-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Miss Chetek Pageant 2009

























































































Was Great. At first I got freaked out when they announced the girls and Hailey didn't get announced! I sat there freaking out, thinking Oh my god she's back there bawling from stage fright or something, my poor girl! I hoped and prayed she didn't decide to quit after all the hard work she put in but my fears were releived when she came out for the next segment. She got Miss Jr Chetek Ambassador. Her score did get knocked down for not coming out in the first segment and I later learned she froze and just couldn't do it, since they had to speak in the first segment. Shaylin didn't win but got a pretty crown anyway. Shaylin was quite a bit more upset this year over not winning. It broke my heart into a million peices but she quickly got over it and enjoyed her night as a princess.



























You can see them both in the Liberty Fest Parade on Saturday at noon!



































































Friday, June 26, 2009

The facade of happiness

I'm often baffled by the "better-than's" of the world. You know them, the people who have to have what you have, only a better. The people who simply cannot be happy with what they have and who they are that they constantly have to prove that they are superior to somebody else.

We've all dealt with them, maybe some of you are, without realizing it, those type of people. I don't know. But it really irks me I tell you. Irks me bad.

Unfortunately it isn't always involving material posessions. Usually the better-than's are so miserable that they will tell outrageous stories and skew the truth to make you think they are happier than you. It's downright amazing sometimes how some people appear to have absolutely no bad times in their lives, or if they do it was always someone else's fault anyway. They have a hugely overactive sense of entitlement and seem to get caught right up the little fantasy world they worked so hard to create.

Unless the better-than's are very careful, occasionally the truth will shine through and you just kind of sit back scratching your head, or maybe you muster a little internal chuckle, if you are like me. Such as when a better-than's teenager takes up smoking or when that teenager makes sexual references in front of adults. And when they realize that this doesn't quite match with the perfect little family they have created to the outside world, they rationalize it by falling down to a teenagers level and imitating the behavior themself. As if to say "see? I think it's ok that he says that.... so much so that I say it too". When you are pretty sure it's not something that any adult with any ounce of maturity would say, let alone to a child. I don't know, maybe I expect too much out of my children by teaching them respect.....

Ok so I'm straying a little. I can't help it, Craig and the boys are watching a movie and it's distracting.


It's too bad money can't buy contentment, isn't it? Money can't buy a lot of things. It can't buy love, it can't buy a family, and it can't buy happiness. Becoming comfortable with who you are and not allowing what you don't have prevent you from being happy with what you do is the key. It's something that in this world of instant gratification, money, greed, and materialism we have to think about daily, always reassessing and always taking inventory of what makes us happy. No keeping up with the Jones', not trying to be perfect, not trying to impress anybody... just being us and at the end of the day being wholeheartedly comfortable with that. There's a big difference in striving to be a better you and in creating the persona of a better you.... the latter is never satisfying.

People will often say that contentment is another term for complacent. That being happy with your current life is failing to try to improve it. And I can't help but wonder why they think that's a bad thing? Why does it always have to be better? Why do we always want more? We all have struggles in life and I guess for me it's about looking at those struggles and deciding what you would trade for them. No one has it 100% perfect all the time. Sometimes we live paycheck to paycheck and it can cause worry, but would I trade my 6 healthy children, my home, my husband, or anything else I have for the money I may not? Would I trade my fertility or time with my husband and children for the ability to buy $100 wicker baskets or foo foo trinkets for my dining table? No way! Sounds kind of silly to me. But Whatever.





Thursday, June 25, 2009

Talking to children about death

Mama Outloud's post on talking with her daughter about dying got me thinking about how my own children learned about death.



Before Alex our family really had been fortunate in not losing family members until a ripe old age. A year before Alex was born big C's grandfather passed away. In telling the kids about it we used the same technique most parents do. "Grandpa went to heaven to live with Jesus and now he can do cartwheels and ...." was enough for them. They hadn't been close with him because of space distance and it wasn't very traumatic for them as such.



So after Alex died when the Child Life guy (our savior that day) told us that our children had arrived and were waiting for us a sense of panic washed over me. What would we tell them? "Just tell them the truth" said the Child Life guy. "Children have a keen way of making whatever you are upset about their fault" he said, "it's best to just come out with it".



So we walked into the room and Craig sat on the sofa and I sat on the chair. I just looked for a minute at my children, noticing the anticipation in their eyes. I remember thinking "oh no, they think it's GOOD news" by the excitement that seemed to be coming from them.



I don't know how or why, but I just blurted it out



"Alex had to go live with Jesus"



And the world once again went into slow motion. I saw Little C run over to his dad as the tears sprung from his eyes. Hailey came to me. I was numb. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, hands down.



"You did a good job" the Child Life guy said to me as we walked out of the room. But I felt anything but good. I felt like I had just single-handedly ripped my children's hearts from their chest. And I had.



That day my children gained a premature understanding of their own mortality. Children die. What once seemed to them like something that only happened to old people, now became something that could happen to them. In the blink of an eye their sense of peace and safety was gone.



Of course the youngest, Jack, didn't really get it. Always asking us to buy baby Awex whatever cute shoes were on the rack at the store and asking when Awex was going to come home. He was only 4, after all and the idea that people could go away forever and never come back was beyond what he was capable of understanding completely.



Could I have prepared my children better? I don't think so. I don't think they could have come even close to grasping the concept without living through it.



I do know that we chose not to shield them from any of it. I remember being a child and not being allowed to attend my uncle's funeral and as such I had no concept of death. I knew that he was gone, but I didn't graps the finality of it.



Our children held their brother's body. They wrote him notes and attended his funeral and burial. In being included in those steps they gained understanding, and maybe some acceptance.



If your children bring up the subject of death be as honest as you can be without scaring them. Take them to a beautiful cemetary and show them where bodies go when people die. Share your beleifs about the afterlife with them. Don't freak out when they ask questions you don't want to answer, accept the opportunity. I only wish I had taken the time to do prepare my children what little I could.



I think talking about death with children scares us so much more than them because we can't bear the thought ourselves that someday they might die. What do you think?



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's not suppose to be hot in Wisconsin

When you think of Wisconsin what do you think of? Cows? Snow? Ice? Hell frozen over? Well, would you guess Wisconsin has some killer heat too? And not just heat. Heat that makes southerners run for the ER because they feel like they are breathing water. Not kidding. I don't care what anyone says, it really isn't the heat, it's the humidity. Try this for me, stick your head in the sink and breathe. Yeah, that's kinda what it's like.

Let's see, what else. The pageant is on Friday! I know I said we wouldn't go through that hell again but Shay had fun, and at the end of the day that's all that really matters. This year Hailey is in it as well so I'm going crazy x2! It'll be a load of fun though.

We didn't end up seeing the Endocrinologist for Nate. We had a bit of schedule interference but I don't think I'm going to reschedule it since.......... he's drinking and peeing like a normal boy! Ok maybe a bit more than what I would consider normal, but nothing like he was.

In other good news Chris had his 4 month GI check up today and he gained 4.5 lbs since last time! It's not as great as it sounds since just before the last visit he'd lost 4 lbs.... but a gain is a gain and we'll take it. GI wants to see him again in 6 months.

Baseball is almost done for Chris already. His team is currently undefeated with only 2 games (I think) left before tournament. Maybe they can make it all the way!

Not much else to report. Boring is goooood.

Ugly baby

At breastfeeding class. Isn't my breastfeeding baby the ugliest baby ever?





But it's diaper is great!!


- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon minus Kate plus 8= the show must go on!

Ok, so I've blogged about this family before HERE, you know my opinions on the family. But of course the world is a buzz about Jon and Kate going through the big D.

First I'll state that I think sometimes divorce is inevitable. I think there are some situations and some couples who honestly need to go separate ways to find happy. There are people very close to me who I've seen make an amazing transformation through divorce and come out the other side a little tattered and torn, but finally on their way to happy. There are people who try for years to make something work that doesn't have a chance, who make all the changes they can and look into every avenue to find out what isn't working and attempt to fix it. Sometimes it just isn't going to happen.

Jon and Kate. Am I the only one who sees the obvious here? I almost chuckled when Kate said "parents of multiples an 3x the chance of divorce". Not because it was funny, but because I instantly wondered if she had taken into consideration what the rate of divorce is for people with reality tv shows. Hulk and Linda Hogan, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey.... jeez really I can think of more families with reality shows who have divorced than who haven't. Has that ever really crossed her mind? That maybe that show is really at the heart of what is destroying her family? Cause I tell you what, seeing my husbands (and Jon's is pretty obvious) hatred for his entire life being played out in the media would have put that show #1 front and center on the list of "things we will change to save our marriage". But no.... Kate give up her cash cow? Kate be a "normal" mother and wife instead of a media whore? Couldn't happen!

Another reason her statement made me snort is that she always sees herself as this woman who was thrown into this and has all these things happen to her and this is why blah blah blah. Here's the thing. Do you know what the divorce rate is for couples who have lost a child? 50%. HALF of all couples (and unfortunately losing a child is much more common than having a litter of them) will part ways. HALF! This statistic and hers means one thing, those of us in these circumstances just have to work that much harder at our marriages. When the going gets tough we can't wait for it to get better, we have to throw everything else to the curb for a moment and address the problem.

Another thing that bothers me is when Kate was asked what bothered her the most (or something along those lines) her response was "the label". What?! Really?! What about the fact that your kids won't get to share their days with both of their parents? What about the look in their eyes when you tell them daddy lives somewhere else? What about the day when inevitably your children blame themselves? Because they will. They will because that's what kids do and those kids especially are going to think "wow, we must be a lot of work for them" or "daddy must be sick of us that's why he left". That's what kids do. I can think of a MILLION things that I would be far more worried about then the label. But Kate can't stop thinking about how she looks to other people, what other people thing. Kate can't, for once, put her family first.

I'm not saying Jon is innocent. Marriage takes two. It's not even 50/50 it's more like 100/100 because if you aren't putting 100% in, you are failing. I'm just calling it as I see it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alex's story

Disclaimer: The following video shows Alex's story in it's entirety. If you feel you may be disturbed by sensitive images, move on. Blah blah blah.... End disclaimer.







video

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Somewhere over the rainbow

video

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Empty nest syndrome... 16 years early?

So lately I've been freaking out about the idea that someday all my babies are going to be grown up and move on and not need me anymore. And quite frankly? This idea scares the shit out of me. You see, I've never been an adult without small children. Austin was born when I was 17 and a senior in high school. By the time I was an adult my existance basically was dictated by the next diaper change and well-baby exam. And with children born every 2ish years thereafter for a few years (went 13 years changing diapers STRAIGHT before getting a 2 month break between Jack's training an Nate's birth) I don't really know HOW to be a childless adult.

Today is really bad. My kids are spending the weekend at my moms. I came home from work to an empty house and here I sit, alone. I don't like it. Not one bit! Seriousely, commercials are making me cry.

Realistically I know that I have just about 16 years before empty nest will actually set in, but with Austin turning 18 in a short 2.5 years I'm starting to really freak out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Update

So the doc called today with nathan's MRI results.... Perfectly normal! While this Is great news it means we still don't know what is causing his excessive third and now horrible moodiness. She reffered us to a pediatric endocrinologist for further investigation. Why can't anything be easy?








-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bring on summer!

Tomorrow begins the kids' week of school for the year! Woohoo! I love summer vacation. I love that we don't have to get up at 6am or go to bed early or spend time on homework. We can spend days at the pool and lounging around and stuffing our faces with chocolate...... oh yeah, I forgot..... Craig and I don't get summer vacation from work. Bummer

Nate's MRI on Friday went stellar. I started off a bit irritated when I told the nurse that he's a very difficult IV start. I don't know why I ever bother to tell them because it seems when you say that suddenly their chests puff out and they go into superman mode because they KNOW they can do it easily, darn fools who tried before. Beleive me, Nate's had people who were very good at what they do put his IV's in before and I'm not joking when I say he's a hard start.

So she's looking for veins and I tell her she's likely going to have an easier time with his left hand. Stupid on me again because she decideds he has a wonderful one on his right hand (yeah, that one has fooled many a needle jabber before) and goes to it.

Yeah, 15 minutes later (do have to give her credit, I think that's a new record) she finally has access and wipes the sweat off her brow and says "Wow kiddo, you were a harder start than I thought!" HELLO!!! Did I not tell you that? But right, I'm just the parent what do I know. Only been down this road a time or two.

Thankfully the rest of it went smooth as butter. About 15 minutes after getting a good 3/4 of the nasty tasting Chloral Hydrate into him he was sawing logs and we were headed down to MRI.

I was quite surprised at how upsetting it was to be following our sleeping child in his hospital crib down the halls. Soooo many memories and fears came to the surface as I got a sense of deja vu of the events of 3 years ago. I had to keep convincing myself this was only an MRI.

45 minutes later out comes our sweet baby, wide awake but looking around in a daze. He had slept the entire test and woke just as the nurse was lifting him off the MRI table. Can't ask for better than that.

Back up to our room and Nate was on cloud 9 finally being allowed to suck down cup after cup of "appie juice". Poor baby hadn't had anything to drink since 6am and it was now 1pm. After he kept down his appie juice and jello and graham crackers we got to leave. Again the feelings flooded me as we walked out of the hospital WITH our son.

Hopefully we'll know the results tomorrow and will have some answers to the mystery of our little "water boy".

Yesterday we went to the cities for my cousin's wedding. It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony that was made better in that it lasted a whopping 10 minutes. We left at about 7 pm and brought my sister home and I headed home with the kids.

As I was leaving my sisters house she asked which way I was taking home and I said "well probably 64 to 53". noooooooo, don't go that way 64 is horrible with deer. (Which ya know, I have to take her word for it... this is the girl who's Malibu has been completely replaced in the front end, TWICE, from car vs deer accidents).

You can go 64 to 63 and then take D at Clayton straight into town. I shrug my shoulders and say goodbye.

On the way I decide to take her advice, remembering all the curves and hills on 64. So I turn on 63 and at Clayton I take HWY D. I start to panic a bit when I see us leaving the county we live in and entering D-county but am releived when We pass a town I recognize and I think WHEW, almost home. After about 30 miles or so I come to a T in the road. WTF? So I try to think about where I am and figure the left is the best option. Well this is Hwy V and Hwy V takes you in nearly a complete circle before going North. Starting to panic (as my gas guage dips lower and lower) I call my sister on Hailey's phone (Because mine had no service, apparently AT&T's "more bars in more places" motto discludes Butt-fuck Idaho) and after a minute we figure out where I am. Ok, go another few miles and you'll hit HWY 25, take 25 straight to Barron.

Ok so I get to 25 and somehow after all the circles I made my internal compass got completely turned ass backward. So I start going South on 25 and think "wait, this doesn't seem right" I realize that for that second my phone has 1 bar of service so I use my GPS to find my current location and hand it to Austin and say "watch and tell me if the little blue dot is moving toward or away from Barron"

After a few minutes he says "away, turn around". FRICK! Glancing at the gas guage again. O-M-G. Ok, we might make it to barron. Just then Austin says "mom, the GPS says the road coming up is A and shows Dallas! Ok, Dallas is on A and Dallas isn't far from where we live. Thinking that from where I'm at I probably have enough gas to get home on A, but not to Barron I make the decision to take A.

Well, did I mentioned my brain compass was all f-ed up? Yeah. Well so I turn on A and we go through that town I recognized before again and think ok, this town IS before Dallas, so we're good now. Chuckling that we'd now been through that town twice. (mind you these are tiny bitty hick towns that don't beleive in keeping gas stations open past 8 or having pay at the pump service). I call Craig (on hailey's phone again because again, I have no service) and tell him that we just went through P and I didn't know if I was going to run out of gas.

So we truck along and after a while I start thinking "man, I didn't think P was THIS far from Dallas...... And I see a sign that says we are entering Polk county (where my sister lives!) OMG OMG OMG PANIC! My gas guage is on E and screaming at me with it's stupid little light that I am about to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with 6 kids. Of course I don't pay for roadside service on the kids' phones and my phone won't F-ing work!

So Hailey, sensing my panic, calls my sister. I come to an intersection and my sister and I try to figure out where I am, since these two roads actually intersect in more than one place (wtf?) I drive a little bit trying to find any street names or anything that can help, while panicking about my lack of fuel. Of course all the tiny streets aren't listed on my sisters map. At this point I can't tell which direction I'm even going to help her figure out where we are.

About this time my mom, who was staying at my sisters house decides she's freaking out and is going to leave and drive home and find us. No amount of arguing from my sister, Hailey, or I was talking her out of it. Great, we are going to have all of us lost now!

So my sister makes a guess and tells me which way to head on A. She thinks we should be about 5 miles from Clear Lake (another town we had already gone through once) and she knows there's a BP station there with pay at the pump 24 hours. At this point I simply have no choice but to follow her gut because if I don't and continue to drive along these back roads aimlessly i'm certain to run out of gas. I gotta take the chance.

A few miles down the road we come to a town, it takes me a minute to find it but suddenly there it is, the beautiful glowing green BP sign! SAVIOR.

The canopy lights are off and the place is dark but thank-god for pay at the pump as I honestly think we chugged a couple times as we were pulling in, but I can't be 100% sure, that could have been my pounding heart.

Pump my gas and laugh as the pump tells me "your receipt is inside". Great, I think. Now i'm going to get pulled over for gas n dash because I don't have a receipt for my damn gas. Oh well, I just want to go home!

So we pull back out onto 63 (about 6 miles back from where we had turned on D in the first place, hours ago) and stay on it til I knew where I was, with certainty. Made Hailey text my mom to tell her we are fine, done come looking just go home.

Rolled into home at 12:30 and call my sister to let her know we are alive. I ask her about D and she says "well yeah, you don't really want to take that your first time at night because there's a tiny sign at the bottom of the hill that tells you that D turns left..... you musta missed that and went straight" Woulda been good to know!! "well, I didn't think you were gonna take it" she says.

Slept like a rock and didn't get up til noon. And I'm bout ready to tell At&T to shove all their bars in all their places up their asses.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Update on Nate

So the results of the tests came back. His urine did not concentrate overnight (abnormal result) but his sodium didn't rise like they expected so the endocrinologist at this point is saying he's about 90% sure it isn't Diabetes Insipidus. However, this leaves more questions than answers.

Apparently the thirst center in the brain and the vision center are veeery close to the pituitary gland so given his drinking enough to drown and his escalating vision issues his doctor wants to get a really good look at his pituitary and see if something is going on there that would be aggravating all of this. So next Friday we go to Sacred Heart Hospital for him to be put under general anesthesia and have an MRI of his brain. He can't have anything to drink or eat from 6am that day (which is going to be H-E-L-L with a child that wakes up screaming for his usual 40 or so ounces of water for breakfast, we have to be there at 10am to check in for anesthesia and they will start the MRI at noon. It's going to be a loooooong day.

If that comes back fine we may have to revisit the Diabetes Insipidus and put him through what is called a water deprivation test. He would be inpatient for this and it doesn't sound like much fun at all!

So, it sounds like we won't know much for another week to 10 days.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When church and state collide

So there's a news story from around these parts, Minnesota specifically, that is making national headlines. It is the story of a 13 year old boy named Daniel Hauser who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in January. Daniel's parents, per religious and spiritual beliefs, have declined chemotherapy to treat his cancer based on their belief in the "do no harm" philosophy. They have decided that chemotherapy, being a poison, is harmful to their son and chose to attempt to treat his chemotherapy with holistic means.

Last year a little girl from here in Wisconsin died after her parents chose to pray for her healing rather than seek medical attention. The girl died from complications of Diabetes, more specifically diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition which is quite easily reversed medically.

I'm torn to be all honest with you. On one hand I truly beleive that if a parent does nothing to help their child recover from illness, that it most definitely constitutes medical neglect and they should be held accountable. However, the parents of these children were not doing "nothing". They were attempting to heal their children concurrent with their beliefs.

If you think about it, all current medical treatments were once questionable and unproven. Through successfull clinical trials they became proven and mainstream, but at one point they were all considered outside the normal medical definition of proper and appropriate treatment. Should parents who chose unproven medical trials be suspected of medical neglect? Should the physicians and drug manufacturers who enroll these people in clinical trials be considered to be doing just the same as these parents are/were? I just don't know the answer to that.

I don't know how I feel about it. Is it sad that the little girl with diabetes lost her life to a disease that could have been managed, allowing her to live a full life? Most definitely. Do most people think Mr Hauser should be treated for his highly curable disease with modern, proven, treatment protocols? Sure. But who are we to decide right and wrong for these individuals? God entrusts our children to us, to keep them safe from harm, to provide for them.... What does that mean?

I know many people who use alternative medicine. Who choose to treat UTI's with cranberry supplements and the like. Most of them however, I am confident, would turn to antibiotics if they needed to.... is that where the line is? At what point do you decide one treatment isn't working and move to another? I would think that line is very blurred.

Mr Hauser is currently missing, along with his mother. They flew the coop, and now this child likely isn't getting ANY treatment for his disease, holistic or otherwise. Whose fault is that? And where is the line now? Where is the line between being a team member in your/your child's medical care and having your choices removed from you? Do we all have to worry now that if we feel our doctor hasn't prescribed the best course of treatment we may be hauled into court and a judge would then decide what treatments we could or could not pursue and possibly put our children into a stranger's foster home and continue treatment you beleived with your whole heart was dangerous and wrong?

How scary is that thought? Think about that for a minute....

Where do our rights to govern our bodies and our children's begin and where do they end?

I'll blog about some things that have been bugging me a bit. You see, I think people are batshit crazy. From the idiot who stole my prescription glasses at the waterpark to the lady at the clinic this morning wearing bright yellow pants and a winter coat in 80 degree heat. People are crazy.



But some people take crazy to a whole new level. There are a few things that I just don't understand. I guess maybe I wish I had nothing better to do with my life than think of absolutely asinine things to define me, ways to make me different. But I don't. What am I talking about? Well in no real order, here are some things I've noticed lately that make me go hmmmm.



Conditioner only hair care- At first I really thought this was a joke. Really. But no, it seems there are some people who only use conditioner on their hair and never shampoo. WHAT? For real? Apparently the idea (and I admit I didn't spend a great deal of time researching this) is that shampoo makes your hair produce more oil than it needs, so if you stop using it your hair will produce less oil and be more healthy, luxurious, whatever. Some take this a step further and don't use any products on their hair at all.



Ick. Haven't you heard of DIRT? Water doesn't take the dirt out ya head dumbass. Maybe you have a few loose marbles rolling around in there already that need to be cleaned out.



Honestly though, i'll be the first to admit that in this country we bathe WAY too often. It's not good for our hair or our skin to be scrubbed so much. But there's a fine line my friend. A very fine line. No one wants to smell you when you don't bathe because you think bathing is the devil. And unless you never leave your house, don't think it doesn't affect anyone else. We smell you and see your greasy hair. Get some 99 cent suave, I don't care. Just use freaking shampoo.



Next is the "We only eat whole foods" group. K, nuts and berries only go so far. And for shit's sake stop blogging about it. We don't care that you eat turds and berries for lunch with a little flax seed sprinkled on top. It looks disgusting, I'd be willing to bet it tastes disgusting, and if you think your family is going to live forever and be running marathons in their 90's because if it you are off your freaking rocker. And you know what? Your kids are going to be PISSED off when they go to that first birthday party without you and get McDonald's and chocolate cake. Pissed off I tell you.



Again, I'll be the first to admit that in this country our diets tend to be atrocious. But seriousely? Spending rediculous amounts of money to buy cous cous and sticks and rocks to eat? S-T-U-P-I-D



Family cloth- For those of you with weak stomachs you might want to skip over this part. Seriousely.



Cloth diapers are one thing. Cloth diapers are safer, cheaper, cuter, and well just better. However, some don't stop there. They wear washable menstrual pads and *gasp* washable TOILET PAPER. Tell me, how many of you think it wouldn't be too bad to wash your husbands shit rags? GROSS. Toilet paper isn't that expensive and is biodegradable. USE IT.



And something that I find absolutely rediculous that isn't even connected to the "crunchy" scene. French tipped toenails. I cring every time I see someone in flip flops with a french manicure on their toes. And even worse? One day while perusing the nail polish aisle I saw PRESS ON TOENAILS. Oh my god....

It never ends

I realize I have let you down again my blog readers, with my too long absence. Not that what I say is so important you'd be bummed out by not hearing my rambling for a week but, sorry nonetheless.

Once again I need to ask for your prayers. Once again we are dealing with a medical issue with one of the kids and once again we find ourselves with more questions than answers.

About 2 weeks ago Nathan started drinking an obscene amount of fluids. And by obscene I mean so much that we had to completely forget about cloth diapers, go to disposables, and then go up a size (which are too big) just to try to contain his colorlessly dilluted urine for an hour before he leaks through those too. How much water is an obscene amount of water you ask? Well "normal" daily fluid intake for his weight is about 39 ounces of water/fluids a day. He drinks that much with breakfast. He drinks 100-150oz per day, every day. Over 3x more than "normal"!

So yesterday we made an appt with the local bandaid station to have him looked at. They ran labs and thankfully ruled out type 1 and type 2 diabetes. His Creatinine and BUN levels were low (kidney stuff) but not too worrisome. Nothing looked bad. But........ then what?


The NP said quite frankly that she wouldn't even know where to begin and to get in with our Ped asap. Called the Ped's office and she didn't have any openings but we could see a visiting Ped from another clinic who helps out on Wednesdays at 10am.

So this morning after Nate did his routine drink enough to drown we piled in the car and headed to the clinic. After going over the situation and asking us all kinds of questions about his eyes (his eyes?) she goes and gets our Ped anyway who comes in and says they want to run some tests and these tests are normally done in the hospital but since he's two and controllable would we mind dehydrating our child ourselves, at home. Well, sure!

So Nate can't have anything to drink after 10pm tonight until his labs are drawn at 8am (gonna be a helluva morning for Craig, since I have to work!) and once those results are back we find out when he gets an MRI to look at his hypothalamus in his brain.

They think he has something called Diabetes Insipidus, or "water" diabetes.

I guess I don't really know what to hope for at this point. Something we can point a finger at or nothing and then we're left with a child that drinks enough to drown for no known reason.

Kids!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Love it!




-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, May 1, 2009

H1N1 Swine flu

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor of any sort and anything you read in this blog should never be taken as medical advice. If you have questions about your health please discuss them with your healthcare provider.

So, the swine flu... er.... H1N1 (so as not to piss off any swine) is all the buzz. Masks and gowns and forms and all kinds of scary stuff. I personally think it's being blown a bit out of proportion.

The swine flu, as per the current CDC stats shows 141 confirmed cases of H1N1 in the United states, with 1 fatality. A 23 month old Mexican child in Texas. For a general reference we'll say that's 1 death per 141 cases. Now it will probably be much lower than that as more people become infected and don't, in fact, die. But with what we have we'll say 1 in 141. K?

As of today WHO, or the World Health Organization reports 156 confirmed cases and 9 deaths in Mexico. Making the mortality rate about 1 in 17, We have to keep in mind that many of these people were likely infected and ill before their doctors knew what they were sickened with, that in Mexico it's not uncommon for people to live in very close quarters with many family members, and that many of these cases were in poor areas where people likely had little means to seek medical attention.

Now, the regular run of the mill Influenza that many of us have had at least once in our lives kills about 1 in 125 people who are infected every year. Didn't know that did ya? Scary isn't it?

So really, the death rate from H1N1 in THIS country is already quite a bit below the annual death rate from influenza. And it's likely that gap will grow as this thing plays out.

The difference is that Influenza A and B, or "the flu" generally causes the most morbidity and mortality in people who are very young, very old, or who have compromised immune systems due to things like Chemotherapy and HIV. H1N1 seems to have a liking for making young healthy people very very sick, but why?

The shit storm.

That's what I like to call it anyway, because I'm all about creating my own terms for things to make them seem more interesting.

The immune system works by identifying an organism or virus and creating an immune response. That immune response involves releasing histamine, which, contrary to popular knowledge, is actually what causes your runny nose, sneezing, and other icky symptoms. Histamine is a great defense, but it makes us feel pretty crappy.

Generally we are exposed on some level, whether it be by vaccination or casual contact, to many of the germs we will encounter our entire lives when we are very young. We gain SOME immunity from this so that the next time we are exposed our immune systems may remember the germ and act quickly and efficiently to destroy it, or even if we aren't immune will remember bits and peices of it and work to kill it off.

What happens when we are suddenly exposed to germs our bodies have never encountered before is the shit storm. It is essentially an over-action of the immune system. Our immune system sees the new germ, realizes it has NO idea what this is, and freaks out unloading massive amounts of histamine into our bodies to destroy it. Histamine creates fluid which can fill our lungs, causing pneumonia and viola...... you are in ICU with a breathing tube and a priest.

So that's the problem with the Swine flu. We haven't encountered it before. Will everyone's immune system overreact like this? Nope. And no one can predict (as far as I know) if yours will or not. But this doesn't seem to be the norm.

Even still, I personally think the world is overreacting.

Common sense goes a long way. Good hygeine, hand washing, use of sanitizer. Stay away from people who are sick and stay home if you have symptoms. If you feel you may have the swine flu you can visit your local urgent care and possibly receive antivirals to make your illness shorter in duration (if you meet certain criteria I'd imagine)

And for cripes sake people. You aren't going to get it by eating well cooked pork. And if you are eating undercooked pork I'd be more worried about a tapeworm than the flu anyway. Have you seen a tapeworm? *shudder*

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fluoride is poison

We are at the dentist with jack and chris. No doubt well have round 12,435 about why we don't give our kids poison... Er..... Fluoride.

Later taking Hailey to the dr to get a brace for her knee. Last night was her first track meet and she did awesome despite knee pain and a horrid stomach cramp and a team member who was a bit on the slow side ( in this politically correct world of keeping kids on teams whether they are any good or not). She got first in hurdles, the 1 by 400 relay and the 800. Unfortunately the slower girl ram 3rd in the second 400 and we were in 6th but Hailey as anchor got them to 3rd. My girl rocks! Pics of that to come.

For now I leave you with her always adorable little brother.



Update: As predicted, no cavities.... Right before the doctor came in the hygeinist said "I assume no fluoride for Jack either?" Nope. "Well, it DOES help prevent cavities, and you admitted he doesn't brush that great, kids who don't get fluoride usually have a bunch of cavities by his age so he'll probably have some since he's never had it (we even use reverse osmosis filters to remove it remember).
So the doc comes in and looks at his teeth and says "no cavities! But your kids NEVER have cavities so I'm not surprised" LMAO

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What is the point of prayer?

Craig and I went on a mini vacation a few days ago. It was a blast and Captain Morgan and Jose Cuervo tried to kill me, no lie. Thankfully my husband was there to put the kibosh on anything drunken related (how can he still be level headed with 16 shots and Lyrica in him?) We SO need to get away like that more often. I think next time we'll bring some friends so we don't end up sitting in the hotel bar spilling our life story to random strangers, but it was fun.

Shaylin is doing well. We were nervous about leaving her but she did ok. She's eating well again, still tires out quickly but I'm not expecting that to go away quickly, knowing how Mono works.

So, onto my exploration of my faith. As the title says, I've been thinking a lot about what prayer is, and why we do it. Then yesterday a friend sent me a sappy make you cry type email and I called her after I watched it and we contemplated the meaning of life, er, prayer.

I don't think many people use prayer as it was intended. I think prayer is a chat with God. A conversation of speaking and then listening just as we do with any other conversation.

So why, when someone is ill for instance, do we incorporate prayer chains and get on our knees and beg God to do our will?

You see, the way I see it, if God is who I've been taught he is. It's not really a popularity contest. A single person or a group of thousands isn't going to matter, is it? I mean, does God really hold contests and say "ok, if 15,000 people ask me to save this child, I will. Well no, it's not like that. So why do we recruit our friends, family, and strangers to pray for us in our time of need?

I've even noticed at family dinners people say things like "Bless this food and blah blah blah". Well, what if God doesn't WANT to bless our food? What if he has already decided that we are going to get a whopping case of salmonella from our eggs, is the fact that we ask him not to going to change anything? Is God just going to say "well, since you asked...." or, on the flipside if we DON'T pray for our food is God going to say "well, you didn't pray for your food to be blessed, so now you are going to vomit for 2 days".

I think many of us pray and it means nothing. It's just a simple ritual we do because it's what we have always been taught to do, just as we get out of bed and brush our teeth. Honestly our teeth don't really care if we brush them at 7am or at 9am.

Here's what I think. Stop jamming up the God airwaves with meaningless things, then maybe when we really need something it will get through.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Global warming shwarming


I have to wonder if the folks all bent out of shape about global warming have ever set foot in Northern Wisconsin at about 6am in January. Because if the -30 to -40 degrees we had all too often this past winter (not including windchill mind you) is global warming I will fire up my coal engine and say BRING IT ON!




In case you have never felt -30 degree temperatures here's a little bit of a description of the average January morning.



Alarm goes off at 5:45. Consider hitting the snooze again but realize your car needs to run for at least 30 minutes or you'll likely die before you reach the stop sign.




Throw some clothes on (dirties from the night before will do) and drudge upstairs.




Find tennis shoes, coat, and a hat. Consider putting socks on your hands as some gloves and eye the barbie scarf hanging the entry way as a fitting fashion accesory.




Bundle up and fish keys out of coat pocket. Point door clicker out the window and hope the battery in it is still sufficient to reach the 30 feet to the car. It isn't. Cuss out loud wishing you had invested in that remote starter.




Push the blanket blocking the draft from coming in order the door away and notice an apparently immediate 32 degree drop in the temperature of the room. Consider quitting your job.




Take a deep breath because living in Wisconsin you know full well that the minute you step outside all the breath will forcefully be sucked out of your lungs anyway.




Open the door and bolt out before you change your mind. Half run to the car and pull the door handle immediatelly feeling the frostbite hit your fingers and making them burn.




Lean into the car while finding the ignition, quite certain that if you actually were to sit down your butt would be permanently frozen to the interior of the car and you would just die that way, in the driveway in about 36 seconds.




Turn the key as snow falls off the lilac bush branch above you square onto your head.




Cuss outloud again as you hear the car try to turn over while it cusses itself and sounds more like a 1902 crank engine than a modern peice of machinery.




Finally it turns over. Turn the defrost on full blast, slam the door and run back into the house. Given only a second to worry if someone might steal your car while it sits running and then deciding you just don't really care.




Run back into the house, strip off the coat that is now doing nothing more than keeping the cold air from outside against your skin. Throw it on the floor, cussing again.




Go back downstairs and Tell your husband that you just simply don't CARE that the school only called a 2 hour delay in classes. Those kids will NOT be attending today.




Go into the bathroom, look in the mirror and decide your hair can survive one more day in a ponytail, because you remember all too well the girl in Junior high who went outside with a wet head and her hair literally froze and BROKE OFF. I'm not kidding either.




Go back upstairs and turn on the news while putting your shoes on. Decide it's better to turn it off than hear words like "record breaking cold" and "arctic freeze" But give a laugh when you see the map say it's 20 degrees in Florida.... suckers.




Stand there for a minute remember how warm 20 degrees would feel today. Swimsuit weather.




Get your coat and shoes on. Make sure your phone is in your coat pocket because you know if you crashed you'd have very little time to grab your phone and dial a number before your fingers fell right the frick off.




Glance out the door and see that your car is still in the driveway. Damn. Where are the criminals when you need them.




Move the "draft blanket" away from the door again and run outside. You realize you forgot to inhale before leaving the house and find it hard to catch your breath.




Get in the car, shut the door and spray the washer fluid to try to get the rest of the ice to break up. Then realize that the windshield wipers won't move. Get out of the car again and try to break the ice holding them down up for a half second until your are quite certain one of your fingers DID in fact break right the frick off. Get back in the car and rev the engine to warm it up enough to blow some warm air.


Finally after the shivering has stopped and hypothermia has begun to set in there's a hole in the ice about the size of your fist to see through. Decide that's good enough and drive with your nose as close to the glass as possible for maximum view. Then realize that your breath is fogging up the window more and decide that not seeing anything is a better alternative than ceasing to breathe to keep the window clear.


About halfway to work the car is finally warm and the amnesia begins to set in. The amnesia is important because with out it, just as mothers would never give birth a second time, you wouldn't again be able to bring yourself to get out of the car.


Get to work and circle the lot for the best parking spot. Of course there isn't one so you decide to just park, after all the amnesia is telling you it's not THAT bad.


Get out of your car and press the lock button on the keyring as your car beeps a beep that sounds a little like "what? You are leaving my ass out here?!" And walk away. Yes, I'm leaving your ass out here. Survival of the fittest my friend. Giggle for a moment while you realize you are so delirious you are talking to your car. Let out a small scream as your teeth freeze from opening your mouth during the giggle.


Walk to the building with your ears burning, your snot frozen. You can feel the ice crystals forming on your eyeballs as the "arctic chill" of a wind blows in your face.


Walk into the building. Take your coat off and say "Little nippy out there this morning, eh?"


Cause this is Wisconsin and as miserable as this all sounds.... you'll do it all again tomorrow. Because you're stupid. But not as stupid as those people who beleive in global warming.