March 22, 2011

Whole New Diagnosis

Today, I went to see my neurologist, in the middle of my hectic-getting-everything-done-before-I-leave-tomorrow day.  I expected to hear that my MRI was normal because I hadn't heard from the neurologist or anyone else.  I was just hoping to get in and get some medication for my headaches.  And also hoping that maybe there was some underlying cause for all these headaches.  Hmmm...

Well, my MRI showed that all my vessels were normal.  There was no bleeding and no aneurysms.  All my structures looked good, no narrowing.  Good!


There was something else.  Unrelated to my headaches.  My MRI showed a few lesions in my brain.  I even saw these tiny spots in my brain when she showed me the scans.  She said that they're common with people that have migraines, but not the cause.  My neurologist told me that it's possible that I have CNS Vasculitis.  Which, if you click that link, sounds a little scary.

So, she ran a bunch of blood tests.  I should get my results in the next couple of days.  And in eight months, I need to get another MRI done.  If the lesions increase, then they will do a further work-up.  She also wants me to start a daily aspirin regimen.  And, thankfully, she prescribed some medications for my headaches.

It was a lot and not at all what I expected to hear today.  Honestly, I don't think I have taken it all in just yet.  My doctor assured me that I'm fine right now and to not worry myself too much.  It's scary.  And again, totally unexpected.  Right now, I'm feeling a little numb.  I don't have time to break down and freak out about what this could or couldn't be.  I should probably stop reading about it on the internet, that's just scaring me more.  And I just have to wait, again. 

March 19, 2011

So, So Loud

On television shows like House or ER, MRI's are usually depicted as quiet.  Sometimes from the technician's point of view and other times from the patient's, but always so quiet.  In reality, that is not the case. 

Yesterday, I went in for my MRI.  I was a little nervous.  After I got changed into a the standard hospital type garb, I went into the room.  I laid on the table with my head in this half circle type cradle.  I was given a blanket, ear plugs, headphone and my eyes were covered.  Oh, and a little ball to squeeze if I needed to escape.  I held on to it for dear life.  He also placed another thing over my head, but I didn't see it since my eyes were covered.  The MRI specialist told me that the test took around twenty-five minutes.  He asked what type of music I liked and I told him my favorite radio station.  He picked a poor comparison to my radio station. 

And then, it began...

It was so loud.  The music and earplugs were not entirely helpful.  In fact, one of my earplugs became dislodged because of the headphones.  There were a series of different scans and each one had it one particular annoying, loud and jarring sound.

One began with loud buzzing.  Another sounded like incessant hammering, over and over and over.  Another sounded like a power drill in short spurts and it shook the entire table.  Some of these sounds come suddenly.  The MRI specialist tried to prepare me for them, but it was still a little unnerving at times.  And in between the series of scans, the crappy music would play.

Throughout all of this, I had to be entirely still.  I was very aware of how still I was keeping my head. I was also aware of the grip I had on that ball.   My nose began to itch at one point.  Really, now! -  I told myself.  Every once in a while, my knee would jerk and I feared I had messed up the scan.  Even though my head did not move.  Soon, it was done, but my ears were ringing a bit.

And now, I have to wait until Monday to hear from neurologist.  I have an appointment with her on Tuesday as well.  Hopefully, I will get some kind of answer.  I hope. 

March 17, 2011

Parking Spot

It's obvious, right?  The sign is clearly visible and there's no arguing that this spot is reserved.  And it's mine.

This spot is the closest parking spot to the entrance at Ryan's preschool.  Yes, preschool.  In the beginning of the year, the two closest spots are auctioned off as a fundraiser for the school.  This year, I told Jonas we were going to buy one.  It would makes things so much easier since preschool was the first stop before taking Hayley to school.  And we had to unload the baby.  This spot would make all that a little easier.

So, at open house, I bid on it.  In fact, I was the only one that did bid on the spot for the 2-day classes.  I won, at a bargain.  Yeah me!  Although I was fully prepared to bid more.

The school year began and I was so happy with my parking spot.  It's the little things.  But then, people were parking in my spot.  MY SPOT!  I would let them know, politely.  Usually, the same person didn't park there more than once.  We did inform the director of our frustration and she put the policy in the news letter a couples times.  And soon enough, it was no longer an issue.

Until today.

I was running late.  These headaches can leave me exhausted sometimes, so I haven't been waking up a early as I would like too.  I was getting the kids together downstairs and I realized I hadn't packed Hayley's lunch.  I packed it in record time and we were out the door.  Today was one of those days where I was thankful for that spot, I could run Ryan in quickly, leave her with her teacher and get back out to my car to take Hayley to school.  That thankfulness was replaced with frustration and annoyance when I pulled into the parking lot and found my spot occupied.  I was also fairly certain that that person had parked in my spot before. 

I was already late, so I waited.  I parked as close as I could and waited for the parent to leave.  Because today, I was going to say something.  Maybe I was more annoyed because of the headache or because I was late, I don't know.  But seriously, the sign is pretty damn obvious and if that person just thought it would be okay once, it wasn't.  It's rude.

I caught the guy as he was walking back out to his car and motioned towards the sign.  I then said, as nicely as I could, that the parking spot was mine and not to park there again.  I have a three kids, including a baby that I have to haul out of my car.

I was going to say something else, but he cut in.  He apologized and said it wouldn't happen again.  I think he was shocked that I had I confronted him, I don't know.  He seemed a little off guard.  Oh well.  I didn't say anything else and just nodded.  And then went on to take Ryan into class. 

Honestly, I've been nice about it all year long.  Too nice.  The sign isn't small.  It's there.  The policy has been mentioned time and time again in the newsletter, handbook and beginning of the year information.  What gets me about the whole thing is that it's rude.  I expected it in the beginning of the year with the new families at the school and I didn't let it bother me too much.  But some of these people that have parked in my spot, don't care and are simply jerks. 

Today, I said something.  I had to do it.  And I'm glad that I did.  It's my spot! 


March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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March 15, 2011


I finally heard back from my neurologist yesterday and learned that my CT scan came back normal.  I was a bit miffed that no one called me yesterday, but oh well.  No news is good news, right?  I also had to hear this on my voicemail because they called in that small window where I was gone taking Hayley to school.  Of course.  Even though the news was, in fact, good; I still had some questions I needed answered. 

I decided that it may be easier to get in touch with the neurologist through email.  And it was!  Sure enough, I received an email a couples hours later.  Basically, she wants me to schedule an MRI and a follow-up with her.  She also wants me to go ahead and start physical therapy.  The thought of an MRI is a little frightening. 

And now I wait again, I called a couple times today to speak with my neurologist's nurse and never heard back from them.  I have questions.  Some answers would be nice.  Hopefully soon.

March 14, 2011

Hot CT

Today's CT was weird.  All I knew is that I was not to eat or drink at least four hours before and to be there.  I complied.  A friend of mine accompanied me to my scan to watch Ryan and Jack in the waiting room.  Thank you Jessica!  When we checked in upon arrival, I discovered I was getting a CT with contrast done.  Oh!  

Soon enough, it was my turn.  The technician/nurse explained that they use an iodine contrast through an IV.  And that when it is administered to expect an intense warm feeling throughout my body.  Okay, I can handle that.  I think.  She placed the IV and got me situated for my CT.  They did one scan without the contrast first and she then indicated she was about to start the contrast.  And...

Wow!  Boy was a I warm!  Not just warm....HOT.  Everywhere, I mean everywhere.  I could feel it down to my toes, in my throat, my hands.  I thought she was kidding when she said I might feel like I wet my pants.  Oh my, warm.  It was a little intense and weird.  It was the weirdest 20-30 seconds ever.  

And then it was over.  Just like that.     

Right now I am waiting to hear back from my neurologist for my CT results.  Ah...waiting....

I'm doing well, just waiting.  Ryan has been keeping herself busy with Play-doh.  In fact, I don't think she's moved herself from the table for a couple hours.  She says that she's working.  Thank you, Play-doh.  And Baby Jack should be napping, but he has yet to give in to his sleepiness. 

And I wait...

March 12, 2011

How I Found Out About the Earthquake

It's four in the morning and everyone in my house is sound asleep.  Until the phone rings.  I immediately wake up and look to the Caller ID. 

Because seriously...who calls at 4am unless it is an emergency! 

The call is coming from my in-laws.  Many thoughts run through my mind: Is Grandma okay?  Did someone get hurt?  I tell Jonas that it's his mother and immediately pick up the phone.  My mother-in-law sounds a little frantic. 

And she asks: "Did you hear about the earthquake in Japan?"


I tell her that no I haven't.  Because I was sleeping.  And she then tells me that there is a tsunami warning for the west coast.  And me, half asleep and still with raging headache, does not see the cause for this alarm.  We live near Puget Sound, not the Pacific Ocean.  She goes on to tell me the projected time for the tsunami and asks that we stay away from the water that day.  Done.

Again, sleepy and with headache, I think I may have come off as annoyed.  I don't know.  But I assure her that we will stay away from the water and end the call.  I informed Jonas of the impending doom and we went back to bed.

And that is how I found out about the earthquake in Japan.   

And if my mother-in-law reads this: I know you were only concerned and called because you cared.  We love you too.  If Pikes Peak ever blows its top, please know I would call you anytime and let you know when to expect the lava flow to reach your home. 

March 10, 2011

Another One

The first one happened a couple months ago.  That one being the worst headache that I've ever experienced in my life.  When I was going through all of this I was assured that I was fine and it probably wouldn't happen again.  I was happy with that explanation because another headache like that hadn't happened again. 

Unfortunately, it happened...again.  The headache originated in the same way as the first one.  The only difference is that this headache isn't as severe as the first, but still severe enough.  I can't even be sure if that is true because I took a codeine as soon as I realized what was happening to me.  The codeine barely took the edge off and I laid awake for hours praying for some relief. 

I finally dozed off and got some sleep.  I was supposed to start physical therapy today.  The PT was ordered by my neurologist to help strengthen and stretch my neck in hopes of eliminating the pain and, hopefully, my migraines.  However, that was put on hold and I'm scheduled for a CT scan Monday morning.  And now, I rest.  I can't even accurately describe how I feel.  I have a headache, but I also have this weird sensation through my shoulders, neck and head.  It's tingly, leaves me a bit dizzy and heavy.  It's strange.

Earlier tonight, I cried.  As I held Jack, swaying to his lullaby music before laying him down for the night, I cried.  He held his head to mine, like he likes to do, giggled and smiled up at me.  I smiled, through my tears.  These headaches scare me.  My migraines, as painful as they are, are manageable.  These other headaches are so foreign and leave me feeling off.  I just don't know.  I worry, but I pray too. 

March 9, 2011

Jack - 9 Months

Baby Jack is nine months old.  He's my happy, handsome little guy.  Unfortunately, he's also suffering from a stomach bug right now, so he's not so happy.  And he's clingy!

Besides the stomach thing, Baby Jack is doing great.  He's not much of a crawler right now, but that doesn't stop him from getting to where he wants.  He's become a pro at that army-crawl maneuver.  Within the last couple weeks, he's cut two teeth.  Both of which were masked by being sick.  The first tooth came a couple weeks ago while he was suffering through bronchitis and the second came during this bout with the stomach flu. 

Jack has also been weaned for a little over a month now and is doing great.  He's a little picky and prefers his soy formula warmed.  As for solids, he's a big eater.  There's a few foods he won't eat.  And he's eating three times a day.  He's a growing boy!

And as always, Baby Jack adores his sisters.  I don't know how, but the girls can always get him to laugh and crack up more than anyone else.  It's always a joy to watch.  There's also a recent development, I shouldn't complain too much though.  Baby Jack is becoming a...Daddy's boy...yep.  A daddy's boy.  I don't know how this happened.  I kid.  As soon as Jonas walks through the door after a day at work, Jack only wants his daddy.  It's so cute.  Most of the time.  I'll admit, I'm a little jealous.

As for Jack's stats, here we go:
  • Weight: 18lbs 5oz - 20th percentile   
  • Height: 28.5 inches - 50th percentile
Jack's weight gain has slowed down a bit.  My breastmilk was that good!  There's no concern though, he's eats well and he's been sick the last couple weeks.  No worries.  He's happy and healthy.  He's great.  Soon enough, it will be June and I will be writing about his first birthday!  Baby Jack, Mommy loves you!

He's Still Pretty

My baby boy is a pretty one.  He makes all the girls swoon with his big brown eyes and long long eye lashes.  And he's always smiling.  He's pretty, I know it.  And I am pretty sure that he knows it too. 

Jack's hair also adds a facet to his "prettiness" factor.  Jack's always had a full head of dark hair, but it's grown out a little weird in places.  All the hair on the top of his head has grown long and curly, along with some hair around his ears that makes little ringlets.  While I loved all the hair, it was beginning to get too long.  And those ringlets on the side, well...ringlets...

So, I made an appointment with my wonderful hair lady, Kelsie, at Fresh. I was excited for Jack's first haircut and a little nervous too. I just asked that we kept the hair on top as long as possible. Jack did really well for his first haircut, he sat in Jonas' lap and chewed away on his toys/Jonas' fingers. And soon, Kelsie was done and my boy had a new 'do!' Jonas and I both loved it. And he's still pretty.

March 5, 2011

Disaster at Coach

Jonas and I did all the responsible things we had planned to do when we got our tax return.  We paid off a good chunk of our credit card debt and plan to have the rest of it paid off by the end of this year!  We bought Jack a new convertible car seat.  We bought the kids some new spring/summer clothes.  We bought our plane tickets for our trip later this Spring.  And I need to make a call to our landscaper for some work that needs to get done.  Oh, and I bought Jonas a new Kindle!  Yeah! 

So, Jonas wanted me to get something special for myself.  I was having a difficult time pinning down exactly what I wanted.  As much as I wanted something just for myself, I always put my kids ahead of myself.  Because we all know, our kids always need things.  And I always feel so guilty buying something for myself.  But, I pondered.  Maybe something sparkly.  Maybe a new bag.  Maybe a new gadget.  (I'm a nerd.)

I had been eyeing the Coach store for a while now.  I have a thing for bags.  I can't explain it.  So, after a day full of running around Seattle and surrounding areas we ended our journey at the mall.  I got the girls settled with a cookie and I got myself a frozen yogurt.  Before even stepping foot into the Coach store, I asked the girls to be good.  I asked Ryan to remain in the stroller and Hayley stay with me.  Honestly, once I was in there, there were way to many options.  I was going for something neutral, maybe a gray.  I was also drooling over this yellow one, I don't know why either.  I just was really drawn to it.  But again, it was hard making a decision because it wasn't a cheap one.

Hayley had been feeling off throughout the day.  I think I forgot to mention she vomited when we got to our lunch destination.  I thought she was over the stomach bug she came down with on Thursday, but apparently I was wrong.  Anyways, she was feeling a little light headed, so Jonas took her and the rest of the kiddos outside.  I debated and had a collection of bags on a table.  I wasn't sure, so I asked Jonas to come back in and give me his take on my bag decision dilemma.

And that's when it all began.  Ryan was no longer in the stroller and Baby Jack was getting restless.  Hayley and Ryan decided to run around a table for a bit.  I immediately asked them to no longer run in the store.  Hayley didn't listen.

And she slipped...


She slammed her head into the counter and her hand that was trying to block it too.

All was quiet at the Coach store.  Except for my screaming daughter.  I ran to her, no blood.  Thank God.  I told her that I was sorry that she was hurt, but upset that she chose not to listen to me.  I then instructed Ryan to get back into the stroller, but she told me no.  I counted..1...2...3...and  So, I picked her up and put her in there myself.  And then Ryan started to cry.  I think Jack began crying for sympathy.  I thanked the sales lady for her generous time, but decided to call it a night.     

At that point, I was so frustrated, angry, upset, concerned, embarrassed and defeated, I knew it was just time to go home.  As much as I wanted to get something for myself, it was just not going to happen.  What fun would it have been?  Maybe it was a bad omen. 

The girls tears did not end once we got to the car.  And they started up again when we got home and told them that they would be heading straight to bed.  No bedtime stories, no movie night.  They chose not to listen and that was their punishment. 

I know that I might laugh about this one day.  Probably not anytime soon though.  My girls are good girls, but like all other children, they have their moments.  I just wonder why of all times that moment had to be in the Coach store.  And to my girls, please know that I love you both, even when I want to strangle you both.  Oh, and I will probably never bring either of you into the Coach store again.   

March 1, 2011

A Letter to March

Dear March,

So you begin and so far, things have been normal.  I even got some things done around the house.  I am very much looking forward to this month of yours and am hoping for good things.  So please, be kind to me.  I hate to speak unkindly of other months, but your predecessor, February, was a bit of a jerk. 

For one, the kids seemed constantly ill.  The beginning of the month the kids were sick and at the end of the month, two of them were sick yet again.  Ryan had bronchitis.  Baby Jack had bronchitis.  No fun for anyone.  Jack threw up on me, a few times.  It's a wonder Hayley avoided all that sickness.  Oh, and yes, I was sick too.  Twice.  Oh, and let's not forget those headaches of mine. 

Since the kids were constantly ill, I was confined to my house a lot.  I like to get out, do things, shop and mingle.  I could have taken advantage of that time when Jonas got home, but who are we kidding?!  I was exhausted by that time and just wanted to crawl into bed. 

Jonas' Kindle was stolen. So lame. At least it is now useless to whomever has possession of it. But still, that person is a huge JERK!
It snowed.  I love snow, normally.  I do not love the snow when it turned into ice.  No, not so much.  There
was also a long stretch of super cold weather.  I'm not a coat person, I'm a sweater person.  It was too cold for just my sweater.

Ok, so actually, not all of February was horrible.  Jonas and I had a good Valentine's Day and another fabulous date night at the end of the month.  I was also able to use my groupon at the spa.  And since it was cold and snowy, I made good use out of my cute gray boots.  And I got to watch the girls play in the snow, which was super cute.

Hayley's class had an awesome Valentine's Day party that I planned with her teacher.  The kids had a chocolate fountain.  It was awesome messy happiness.  Ryan participated in her first Valentine's Day party at preschool and had a blast.

The girls went to the Father-Daughter Dance with Jonas.  They had so much fun.

I am thankful we did not get the flu.  One of the other first grade classes was missing half of their class one day due to the flu.  Many families suffered through it that we know.  Again, thankful we did not get in on that.

I bought Jonas a new Kindle.  It made him happy.  It made me happy. 

Oh yeah, I won a free mascara from Clinique.  That made my day.

So, okay.  I might be picking on February a little bit.  But for the shortest month of a year, it's packed a punch.  Literally.  So again, dear March.  Bring on some sun, Spring flowers and health.  Be kind to me, my husband and my babies.  And my friends.

Much love,      

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