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Friday, July 30, 2010

Funny how things work

So the whole reason I started blogging again was because of our crazy life. Of course, now I realize that crazy life is what keeps me from being able to blog. Funny how that works. As my husband always says "high speed, high stress. That's how we roll!" haha

But seriously as if things haven't been crazy enough, there is always something new. The whole "high stress" thing is more true than ever. Even hubby is stressed, and he rarely gets stressed! So I'll update in my easiest "to the point" version that I can because well, you know me, I tend to ramble!

This month in particular has been overwhelming! Hubs has been having cardiovascular issues. He was chosen to take part in a study on a new type of water therapy, but they promptly kicked him out of class when his pulse got above 200. So he was scheduled for thorough heart tests, which were initially cancelled due to being out of town (more on that later), but luckily they were able to schedule him in right away when we got back. His heart looks fine, but he does have some sort of small mass in the artery (or is it a vein?) to his right lung. I'm assuming that would explain why his pulse ox drops into the 70's when he exerts a lot of energy. But I'm not a Dr, so what do I know? Anyway, they're not sure what it is yet, but being that he had the kind of cancer that is likely to return, any type of mass is a concern in that department. But seriously, it's a concern in general because he has a hard time breathing! He goes for a follow up on all this on Tuesday with his oncologist. Today he has a couple of unrelated appointments more pertaining to the Medical Board process. The process got a bit stalled - again - so they're trying to get it all figured out as far as what his current condition is with his knee and post-op issues and determining the start of the process because it technically never got started. We're still a little uncertain where we'll go and what he'll do in the civilian world, but we know God will lead us in the right direction.

As for me, I'm clueless. I felt relief from the symptoms I was having during the pregnancy immediately after delivery. Yay for being able to lay on my back again! But now I'm having brand new symptoms. I admit I'm nervous the doctors will blow me off since I'm breastfeeding. That's actually what stalled my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. They just assumed it was due to the demands on the body lactation causes, but when it lasted beyond the breastfeeding they finally acknowledged there must be something more going on. Perhaps my current symptoms are related to the FMS, but I'm not so sure. They seem to be neurological in nature (but again, what do I know? Seriously, probably more than I should. It kind of happens when you have a lot of medical issues) - shaky hands, muscles weakness, strong muscle spasms and cramping. And now I also have migraine strength headaches that last for days. It's horrible! It's kind of a vicious cycle, though, because I obviously need to see my Dr, but I cancelled two appointments because I wasn't feeling well enough to go, and then I had to cancel my last one due to our emergency out of town. So now I have an appointment next week, so hopefully that one will be a go.

Bubs is about the same. He's been acting up quite a bit since being out of school for the summer. And I'm sure going out of town so suddenly for a little over a week didn't help either considering we had no type of routine at all while we were gone. The last few days he was even asking to go home! He always wants to be places, so that's a big deal! He started private speech therapy last week, so he can keep up with some sense of learning routine outside of the home while he's out of school. Plus he really only gets 15min a week at school, and since he's having a lot of articulation issues, even his teacher suggested he get more. Our insurance approved it, so it's all good! :)

Ah, and the little princess - she is, well, grouchy almost all the time. We're beginning to become concerned since Bubs has his special needs, which involve a lot of social/emotional issues. We don't feel the princess has these same issues, but we've begun to question whether having an older brother with special needs is causing some emotional upsets - or that PLUS the addition of a new sibling. Or perhaps it's the fact that she doesn't seem to get deep sleep. She wakes often at night and will get up without seeming to be aware, and she yells in her sleep as well. I'm not sure which Dr to take her to - the child psychiatrist or her PCM - or neither. I suppose we should start with her PCM to even see if there IS a concern or if we're just being overly cautious because we have a child with special needs. It might just be the plain fact that she's a 2 year old that wants to be independent. We'll see. It's definitely not anything developmental! She's a bit shy, but she definitely doesn't lack vocabulary! She understands so much as well! She just absolutely amazes me every day with the things she says! And despite her new raging emotions she is fitting in to the role of the middle child very well. She always wants to know what her big brother is doing so she can do it, too, and she's always wanting to give her little brother hugs and kisses and help out with him any way she can! I try to tell her the best way to help is for her to use the potty so I don't have two kids in diapers! LOL Hopefully soon...

And as for our new little guy that I will dub the "moose-lion" for the sake of internet privacy and because that's my favorite nickname for him. It's a fictional animal from the cartoon Avatar: the last airbender. I call him "Bubby" a lot as well, but that's too similar to "Bubs," so I don't want to be confusing. Well, we found out the moose-lion has an Atrial Septal Defect, which is the same heart defect my sister and I were born with. The Pediatric Cardiologist said it is small and will probably close on its own or it will just cause a slight murmur and no further problems. Due to my heart history, though, it definitely needs to be followed. So for now, he needs to go back in 6 months. The Dr suggested my sister and I get genetic testing done to see if we have the familial form of ASD. Our dad has an Arterial septal defect so it's probably not a bad idea to do so! Plus it will help us look out for other things in the future should that be the issue or it could rule it out and we wouldn't have to worry about testing our other two kids or any kids my sister may have in the future. She is now married, and sadly I had to miss the wedding because I was only a little over a week post-partum. But I'm looking forward to the idea of having a little niece or nephew to spoil since the moose-lion is our last baby, and I LOVE baby stuff! :)

So that's what is going on with us. Needless to say, lots of Dr appointments and lots of chaos in the household. It really has been an emotional month. On July 9th I found out one of my favorite teachers from high school had passed away. He was only 50, so it was quite a shock. It's so different when you grow up in a town of less than 2000 people and go to the same school Kindergarten through 12th grade. You really know people. I will never forget on graduation day I seemed like the happiest person ever because I always felt like I was the "forgotten one." I was neither liked or disliked, I was just there. And I was SO happy to be able to leave there and start fresh! Another thing about a small school is once you develop your "status" you can't really get rid of it, and I knew there was plenty of reasons to like me! :) So I'm all smiles until this particular teacher gave me a hug and told me if there was anything I ever needed to let him know, and he said he really meant that. I instantly started crying. I know he meant a lot to a lot of people because he did genuinely care, and I'm continually praying for his family as he has two children that will both be in college this year - his youngest just graduated high school. It's so sad. As hubs and I were discussing whether or not I would be able to go over to Northwest Ohio for the funeral (with the moose-lion, of course, since he's nursing), we got a terrible phone call...

It was the following day that we were discussing the possibility of my going over to NW Ohio if our funds would allow and we would be able to find sitters for the older two kids back here when hubby had his Dr appointments. It was all so stressful to talk about and I wasn't feeling well (big surprise), so I laid down for a nap. My husband woke me to tell me he just received a call from his mom that his Granny had taken a bad fall and wasn't doing very well. Suddenly our priorities shifted to getting him over to Southeast Ohio/Northern KY to be with his family. So he did what needed to be done to go on emergency leave from the military and we discussed whether just he should go or the whole family. The biggest concern with the whole family leaving is boarding the dogs. One of my dear friends offered to keep them at her house! What a blessing! I obviously was hoping to go, too, because I honestly don't look at it like "oh, that's HIS family." When we married we became one, so his family is MY family. And Granny meant a lot to me as well. We didn't get to see her as often as I'd like, but when we did it was always so special. She definitely always made me feel like family. A few times I visited her without my husband because he wasn't able to go, and it never felt like I was out of place or anything. I got to visit her during almost every new stage in our life - when my husband and I got engaged, when I was pregnant with Bubs, when Bubs was a baby, when I was pregnant with the princess - a couple times - one being when we were living in Ohio, and they drove up to bring much needed stuff for us after we lost a lot of things (including almost all the baby stuff) in that nasty flood, when the princess was a baby. In fact, the kids and I visited her on our way home from hubby's family day at Ft Benning, and the princess took some of her first crawls at Granny's house! Such a precious moment! My biggest disappointment is, of course, that we didn't get to see her during the pregnancy with the moose-lion, and she didn't get to meet him before she passed. She had 3 great grand-children back to back, and I know that was so special for her because she loved her great grand-babies. I know she got to see him in pictures, and now she can look down on him from Heaven. She was such an amazing Christian woman, and I'm forever grateful for how she influenced my husband to be the spiritual leader that he is! I'm so glad we were able to be there to say goodbye before she passed. Granny was laid to rest on July 19th.

We started our drive back the next day. I'm going to post a blog on my business site about traveling with cloth diapers and traveling with kids in general. When I was by myself with the kids I HAD to travel overnight because the princess despised car rides, so I had to travel when she was sleeping. After traveling 12 hours by myself with two kids, and then again traveling 8 hours with the two kids by myself, I thought the 9 hour drive with two of us and three kids would be no big deal. Yeah, not so much! Wow! We were so glad to be able to spend time with family, but we were SO glad to be home again. We went up to NW OH to see my family as well because my husband's grandma that we were staying with does not have a very kid-friendly home, and it was a bit overwhelming. My mom had already taken that Friday off work because she and my grandma were planning a trip over here to the DC area to see us. So we went up there to see her and we stayed with my sister, and just let the kids run in her fenced backyard with her dog. They were so happy to be able to run without getting in trouble for anything!

We honestly still haven't settled at home yet, though. We're back to our routines, but the emotional stress plus the stress of the trip has taken a toll on me, and my symptoms are raging. It gets so bad I don't even have enough energy to get up! It's more stressful than anything. I still can't get over this feeling of going from being athletic, energetic, and able to handle any pain to being overly tired with no energy, burning out easily from a small cardio workout, and being so extremely sensitive to even the smallest pains. Just going to the dentist this week was pure torture! I mean I have A LOT of dental issues apparently, but oh my goodness, I couldn't handle the pain! And my body's lovely response was a horrible headache. Blech. So needless to say, the house is atrocious! I have all this stuff in my mind about what needs to be done, but I rarely have the energy to do it. :( It's so frustrating. So we're still working on that.

And to top off July, we got a call yesterday from my husband's step-sister saying his dad was being taken to the ER. Apparently he had a few small strokes over the past few weeks and has lost some of his vision. He was at the Dr to check up on all of this when he began to feel like he was going to have another one, so they rushed him to the ER. The good news is, he has no type of paralysis. They're running tests today to see what is causing them. My husband is, once again, ready to contact the Red Cross for emergency leave if need be. Unfortunately, if things do get bad (though we're praying they don't), only he would be able to go. We exhausted our options when we got a loan from AER to go to Ohio, and we can't afford for all of us to go anywhere else for a while. He got to talk to him last night, though, and he said he's feeling ok, so we're praying for the best!

And that's our crazy July in a nutshell! I do have to say, though, we had an awesome 4th of July with some great friends! I think I drank like 2 Pepsi's too many, but oh well! haha Perhaps that's why I can't drop this baby weight! Yeah, I definitely blame Pepsi... well, and my lack of energy. I did take a short walk with the moose-lion in a front pack carrier. I was tired and in a lot of pain afterwards, though. A little at a time, right? Here's to hoping that works with MORE than just dropping the baby weight!

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Giveaway

Check out The Cloth Diaper Whisperer give-aways. If you really need more fluff like I do, you need to follow their blog!