Saturday, April 30, 2011

Enough

I've had enough health and financial concerns in the past few years...no more, please!

First and foremost, my kiddo does not have leukemia. There is no way to describe the relief I feel about that. It's scary how a range of symptoms can mean anything from life-changing to nothing. She was having abdominal pain for a while, but when she started running a low fever and having upper-left-side pain and leg pain, the symptoms pointed to leukemia. The one thing working in our favor was that she's kind of at an "in-between" age, and leukemia tends to hit earlier or later.

Which means nothing, of course. Just ask any parent whose child has cancer.

After all her tests and labs, this is what we know--iron, protein and potassium are low. She still has symptoms of an ulcer. And her allergies are bad. Her current course of treatment includes prescription-strength antacids and antihistamines, along with recommendations to increase her meat intake and making sure she gets vitamins everyday. All of it is manageable and we are very, very fortunate. We follow up in a month, at which time, we'll re-evaluate whether she needs an endoscopy. I hope not.

For now, though, we've dodged a pretty scary bullet and can get back to the business of worrying about everyday stuff. The hubs applied for 5 jobs last week...nothing so far, but we're hopeful. God has a funny way of providing when it seems like we're about to hit rock bottom and I have faith that one way or another, things will work out. They always do, even if it's not the way I want them to work out!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Unknown

When it comes to me and my health, I don't like the unknown, but I tolerate it. I haven't done much in the way of following up on the dizziness, etc. I'm not blowing it off, but putting it off to focus on whatever is going on with my kiddo.

Kids get tummy aches, I know they do. But kids should not have tummy aches that leave them doubled over in pain, gasping for breath and trying not to cry. I feel horrible because the first few times she complained about a tummy ache, I gave a rather typical mom-response..."Try to go to the bathroom." My kiddo looked up at me and growled, "It's not that kind of tummy ache." Blamed it on stress, blamed it on the school lunch, tried to ignore it, but after a few days, it became obvious that it wasn't any of those things, it wasn't fake and we had no idea what was going on.

Our pediatrician, who I love (and I mean that, I love him like family), saw her last week, gave us some suggestions and said he'd see her in a week. We saw him yesterday and he didn't like what he saw/heard. She's feeling worse and the pains are getting more intense and he can hear abnormal sounds in her abdomen. He can't feel anything when he examines her, so he decided it was time to start investigating further. He sent us over to the hospital for tests--and I felt so guilty in the waiting room, knowing that the tests are needed, but trying to squelch the worry about how we're going to pay the bill when it comes.

Our hope is that it's just a little dysfunctional part of her bowel, moving out of sync, which can cause quite a bit of pain. Nothing can really be done for it, but it's relatively harmless. Doc has no reason to believe there's an obstruction, but he's checking for it. Also checking for a range of infections and disorders through labs. His concern right now is whether there's an ulcer, ulcerative colitis, Chron's Disease, Heaven forbid a tumor or something equally insidious. He's hoping--we're all hoping--that it's nothing and all these tests are nothing more than a precaution.

But I don't know how to get rid of that nagging fear that something could be seriously wrong. I'm trying to give it over to God, but there's a part of me that would also like to kick God in the shin if He showed up in my living room right now.

This is not the worst thing that could ever happen and I know that. And mostly, things are fine. But it's amazing how fear can clamp down and take a stronghold when the future is so uncertain. I'm trying to find joy in small uncertainties in life (a challenge for me), but this is a little too uncertain. So, we wait and find certainty next week when the test results are in.

Looking forward to a quiet weekend and Easter. Hoping the same for everyone else, too.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Results Are In


First, when I typed "results", I had a fit of giggling, thinking about an e-mail where someone repeatedly typed "resluts" instead of "results"--when referring to a children's dance team. Cracked me up.


Anyway.


I got the results of the MRI of my brain. Here's what a normal brain MRI looks like:




Interesting, huh? You can see all kinds of stuff in there!


So...here's what mine looks like:



Haha! Before anyone gets upset about me making fun of the hubs, please refer to my earlier post where he said that with his luck, the MRI would show a picture of him as the cause of my dizziness/falling. I did pick an un-flattering picture--but it shows him for the goofball he is. Trust me. He is a goofball.


So...actually, the MRI came back normal, which was encouraging. Nothing scary like a tumor or MS. It didn't show any problem with my inner ear, either, which was surprising.


So, now we look at "minor" causes of the problems I'm having and it's pretty much narrowed down to three things. It could be a problem with my blood sugar, stress, exhaustion or any combination of those three. I'm inclined to think it's all three. I've had blood sugar problems for years--not diabetic or hypoglycemic, but other weird issues where it suddenly gets too high or too low. I've been under a lot of stress. And I barely sleep. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that I've been dizzy and falling over. My fuzzy memory recently could also be directly related to any of this stuff, especially exhaustion, though I was cautioned that because I have severely low "good" cholesterol, that could also play a role in memory problems. See? You learn something new every single day.


To combat this, whatever it is, I'm vowing to get back the pool. I haven't gone in a month and I think I need to be good to myself--swimming is good for me physically and psychologically, so I should do more of it. I'll get my blood sugar tested again, too, just to be safe. And at least for tonight, I'm going to go to bed an hour earlier. Of course, one day of changes isn't enough, so I need to be more diligent.


Which brings me to...Five Things In Five Days!


1. Go to bed an hour earlier than "usual".


2. Go to the pool at least twice a week and take a walk at least 2-3 times a week.


3. Eat every 2 hours like I'm supposed to so I avoid highs and lows in blood sugar.


4. Eat almonds daily to help with my good cholesterol. Take my Omega supplements, too.


5. Not bring any work home with me this weekend.


I'll see how I do!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Impatient Patient

I'm (im)patiently awaiting the results of my MRI. I went last week and learned two things about having an MRI done on the brain:

1. If you are claustrophobic, you will either completely freak out when the techs immobilize your head and clamp the heavy grate over your face OR you will suddenly figure out how not to be claustrophobic anymore.

2. It is possible to fall asleep while having an MRI done.

In the first category, I had some anxiety. I don't like being restrained in any manner whatsoever AND I don't like small spaces. I had no idea what I was in for. I freaked out a little bit at first, but did some deep breathing--then that metal thing locked over my face and I thought I was going to cry. Instead, I made a freaky sound with my mouth and growled, "Hellllooo Clarice..." a la Hannibal Lecter. It made the techs laugh.

In the second category, yes, I did end up dozing off for a few minutes. I kept my eyes closed because I didn't want to see the thing over my face or how small the space was. Between that, the deep breathing and then the rhythmic hum of the machine, I fell asleep for a few minutes.

So, now the question is, is there anything wrong with my brain? I doubt it. I was hoping to get a call from the doctor's office today with results, but no luck. I'm thinking if it was bad news, they would have called me by now. I'll be really intrigued if it turns out to be nothing more than an inner ear problem. If it is, how do I fix that so I quit falling down? Maybe an ENT will have some answers? I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself.

The hubs said with his luck, they'd complete the MRI and a picture of his face would pop up, indicating that he's the cause of my mental fogginess, dizziness and stumbling. :) Never mind the fact that I'm just tired. I wonder if that could be the diagnosis? I would write a check for another office visit co-pay to have the doctor write down, "Dx: Freakin' Exhausted." I wonder what the insurance would pay for that??