Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Ultimate Sacrifice

In memory of the two firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department who lost their lives today while selflessly serving the citizens of Southern California.

Praying for their families.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Laptop Program

A few of you have wondered what a "Lap Top Program" is.

The Scout got accepted into the laptop program in 7th grade.

Well, it is this cool thing that has been around for quite a few years at our middle school. The kids bring their own laptops and get to use them as a learning tool for 2 periods a day-English and Social Studies. They do all of their papers in Word, type out lecture notes in class, and get to have interesting learning opportunities, such as going to online museums instead of opening a text book.

The kids are held accountable for using their computers appropriately in class. There are stiff penalties for playing games. And if anything inappropriate is done, they are expelled from the program.

The best boy is excited to go to school! Whoo Hoo!

I also want to give a nod here to one of my fav's:

Belle from "Life of a Southern Belle". I am a huge fan of her wit and outlook on life.

She recently gave me the awesome ( and prestigious :) Southern Belle Award.

She is having a wonderful giveaway. Head on over and say "Hello"!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back 2 School 2009

The Scout went off to his first day of middle school.
He is in the laptop program in 7th grade.

I have never seen him so happy to start a school year!

The Princess is starting 6th grade.
She could not be more delighted to start the year.

2 kids happy to go off 2 school =2 happy parents!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Family is Needy

AND I LOVE that they need me!

Unfortunately, immediately following my fantastic news, Firehubby's ear problem escalated into a MAJOR problem. He has had a severe insult to his ears from prolonged use of an elecric tool while maintaining wood fire ladders.

He has a condition called Hyperacusis. This is a very complicated condition that he is posting a detailed explanation about today(click here). The bottom line, it has caused some major suffering. He is being seen by a specialist and we are hopeful that it will become more bearable.

Brian is a wonderful husband and it has broken my heart to see him suffer as he has.

The kids are NEEDY too! But in a good way.

We have been seeing to it that the end of their summer has been full of fun and activity.

Yesterday, Scout rode 32 miles from inland to the beach on his bike with the Boy Scouts. We are so proud of him. We all met him at the beach. Fun!

The Princess has been taking swim lessons at the local university. She is becoming quite a swimmer!

We went off to a promised trip to Knott's Soak City waterpark. It was so much fun we stayed all day-despite our fair skin. We should buy stock in sunscreen.

And today we will wrap up our back to school shopping! TOMORROW is...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I have my future back!

I am so happy to report some awesome news from the Mayo!

Before we left, Brian and I agreed that what we hoped would happen is that the doctors would trigger a reaction, put a scope down in my airway and take a look on what the heck was going on.

After an extensive interview and a review of my charts and records, the first thing my doctor said was, “What I want to do is look in your throat while you are having a reaction and see what is actually happening.”

So, I went to the drug store and bought some Right Guard deodorant, because if you remember that was what the ICU nurse sprayed and go me going again. The test was to be done the next day. But, in the meantime there was a full schedule of tests to undergo.

One of the test was an asthma test, called a Methacholine Challenge. They have you breath in a chemical and if you are an asthmatic, you will have trouble breathing. Well, sure enough, I breathed it in and boy did my lungs clamp right down. My symptoms were similar to a few of my reactions that brought me running to ERs, but without the closing throat. As I sat in the exam room waiting for the second phase of the test, I suddenly started having the throat swelling sensation.

The nurses dashed down the hall and grabbed the two doctors who were going to do my test the next day and we went together to a different exam room. There, I had meeting with a barbaric instrument of torture…the scope that would be shoved down my nose and into my throat, with only a bit of numbing medicine spray to minimize the suffering.

Let me try to describe the experience, skip the next two paragraphs if you are squeamish…

The camera and bright light are in a tube that goes down your nostril, into the back of you throat, and then they keep going farther right down to your vocal cords. The doc even said at one point, just a bit farther and this is a bronchoscopy (ok, that means they are almost down my main breathing pipes leading to my lungs). Now, once they were way down there, they decided to take a leisurely time and get a good look. He kept saying, “Let me know if this is too much.” Well, it was too much, but I just sat there not letting them know. But I was not going to let it show, as I wanted them to get as much information as possible.

Well, after their Magic School Bus trip through the depths of my throat, they decide that the depths of my face would a fun visit. They saw my old sinus surgery sites, and then headed high and higher into my head. “You are going to feel some pressure on your eyes now and see some light.” OH MY GOSH. I am living in medieval times?

OK, you medical phobes can start reading again...

So with that, I got the best news ever…there was no swelling or spasm of my larynx, translation, this is not Anaphylaxis, this is not an allergic reaction after all!!!!!

The bottom line, I have asthma. The Methacholine Challenge showed a 24% decrease in my lung function (20% or greater is definitive for asthma). So that explained the shortness of breath that I have experienced.

Next I went off the Speech Pathologist who informed me the I likely have vocal cord dysfunction, something that is not uncommon in asthmatics and may actually be reversed or minimized with some special breathing techniques.

So, no more epi, no more steroids, no more antihistamines, just a few asthma meds and I am good to go!

Thank you all for you good thoughts and prayers. I believe we have a clear answer and I could not be more thankful!

Now, we are off to have a vacation in Minneapolis (if the Marriot will free us from our reservation). Well, either way we will definitely be there on Saturday, my birthday. Tarah from Eyeglasses and Endzones and I are going to have a fun time having a cuppa and maybe some shopping! I think I want a Tiffany bracelet to take the place of my stupid ol’ Medic Alert bracelet that I took off the moment I heard my good news.

I feel like I have a new lease on life and that couldn’t feel any better!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Not so part-time!

I have missed you all lately.

This upcoming trip to the Mayo Clinic has kept me busy.

I have needed to focus on getting things in order with my work. I worked perinatal bereavement six out of seven days (so much for part-time!). This included my 12 hour Labor and Delivery shifts on Saturday and Sunday.

Additionally, I have been trying to get my mind in order. I have struggled with discouragement and a lack of faith in getting better. In order to try to find the best doctors to give me a second opinion, I have read many articles and professional journals. The information on anaphylaxis prevention and on reactions to fragrances did not leave me with the impression that there was much that could be done.

But, then I found great encouragement in God’s word…

Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Being a nurse and having the knowledge that I do, I think that I can figure things out myself. God is in control here. He created me and He can fix me.

He can use the doctor’s knowledge to heal me. Or He can just do it Himself.

Clearly, I cannot do it on my own, I cannot even begin to figure out my problem. I cannot lean on my own understanding.

But, I can have faith in Him. I can trust Him.

We leave for the Mayo next Monday. Did I mention we are going to bring the kids. They are very excited to go to a "new" state, stay in a hotel, and swim every day. They are also thrilled that we will be visiting the Mall of America!

I will have more posts before then.

Now, I look forward to coming over to see what has been happening with you.

I hope you are enjoying your summer!