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.


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*