Friday, May 29, 2009

What is a hole?

We all know a hole as a dip in the ground one of the kids dug for a truck to utilize, what you put your earrings in, the entrance where you put your foot into your shoe, a place where a dog saves that yummy bone for later, the small place in the middle of a CD, the opening to light a smelly candle, or as Khristapher says what's between your cheeks (lol), etc. So you get the idea of what a hole is and many places where they are to be and it's ok, but let me tell you where this "hole" poses a problem: IN MY HEART!!
After checking into the cardiologists office this morning we sat in the lobby for about 25 minutes. I read a book as Travis and the 2 small boys looked out the window at all the cars in the hospital parking lot. I was then called back to start my "bubble test" as she called it. As she starts with the IV for the test she asks which arm would you like it in? Hmm, as I look at them both all bruised from the weeks of many pokes, I just tell her to take the right since just 2 days ago the left was a bit bruised from the last IV.
As she starts this test and the IV is all in she puts this funky bar looking hat on my head that will monitor the bubbles that reach my head from the hole within my heart. As she finds the path on my head she tightens the little bars until this is feeling like an overly tight pony tail. The next thing is to push some saline through the IV into my heart, then to shake up the IV with some bubbles and then push that through the IV as I bare down (as if I am going #2), and then the last one was as she pushed the saline through I was to blow into a tube as if I was blowing up a balloon.
Now these sound really easy but have you ever tried blowing up a balloon that just wouldn't blow no matter how hard you tried and your head kinda started hurting? Or have you ever tried to bare down and not let anything out, not even a fart in front of others? It wasn't that easy it actually made my head hurt worse than it already was. (I know, nothing knew for a chronic pain/migraine patient right?)
She took the IV out and the head set off, wrapped my arm up as it bled profusely (as I am on aspirin to thin my blood so it is a less chance of blood clots forming and traveling to my brain) and then took us back to the waiting room for another 25 minutes. Thank goodness I had a book to partially keep my mind off of things for a minute or two. The nurse opens the door and invites us back again to another room. The way she starts in on the conversation I knew things were not good. She tells me how things will work for a heart surgery to happen and what I would need to take and do "if" the doctor feels this is the right path. Tells me he'll be in our room in a few moments.
Ok so the longest few moments later (30 min.) doctor comes in and immediately tells me I am very high risk for strokes and that he needs to give me some results to weigh my options at this time. **SCARED** On a scale from 1 (being pin size hole) to 5 (being very large hole) I rate at a high 5. I also have 3 white lesions on my brain from 3 minor strokes, and the extreme migraines that I have weekly put me at a very good position of getting things taken care of now before anything else happens that could cause permanent damage to my heart.
Even after this day is about to end I am still in awe and not really believing, I guess you could say, that I am scheduled to have heart surgery, due to the hole in my heart, at the end of June. I am so scared and stressed at the same time I don't think I can even think positive right now. I know many have told me to and give me time and I will get stronger but right now I am going to cry and cry and cry until I can't cry anymore and wait for my last two tests results to come back and just pray they are of good news and not bad this time around.
I am a little scattered brained and a nervous stressed wreck right now so if this is a bit scattered and hard to understand believe me that is how I am feeling and thinking on the inside also. Until I can think again I am off to rest, it's been a very long day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Do you ever wonder what's NEXT?

I am starting to wonder what can possibly be next. I have finished another week of doctors and testing along with some very scary results. First, I followed up with my balance and hearing therapist who worked with and taught me a few skills to work on with stress, relaxing and ME time. (this will have to be another blog) But as she was doing the testing for 2 hours she reiterated the Nystagmus within my eyes and that we have small exercises to help with this but it will not cure it, it's main goal is to help it from not getting worse which would cause surgery and such, so we will continue to work hard on that one. She also gave me more results after a few short tests that my front neck muscles have been damaged and are not working as a normal muscle should work, making my back neck muscles work extra hard adding unnecessary strain to my nerves adding to the neck nerve damage. (did that make sense, cuz it all is spinning in my head and I am having a hard time comprehending it all also).
Anyways after Wednesday comes Thursday and Thursday brings me to another doctor visit and more results not really wanting to hear. This was my cardio exam, due to the black outs I have started having, to check for any stroke activity or signs of things to worry about. Oh I now have things to worry about alright!! Went through the whole hour testing to be led to another room to have a nurse come and talk to me about the results. Um, can I say SCARY!! We sat about 15 minutes in this little room with a cold drink they offered to us, which led me to believe something else was wrong. After our wait a great nurse came in and she discussed a few things about the heart and then gave me some results. I have a hole in my heart which is called "Patent Foramen Ovale" or (PFO). I can try to explain in a few words best I can.
While we are babies we all have a small flap within our heart that allows the blood flow from right to left as it creates the two upper chambers (atria) of the heart. At about 18 months this fuses together and we no longer have a hole within our heart it will now be two separate chambers for the blood to flow into the right side, into our lungs to be filtered, then to the left side clean and pure and off to the rest of our bodies including our brain.
Well with this hole within my heart it is having blood enter the right side and a large portion going the correct way and a small portion going the wrong way. Now with the portion that is just going from the right side leaking through the hole to the left side it is not only unfiltered but it can also have a clot within it and travel to my brain causing me to have a stroke. This may or may not be the reason adding to my migraines, but we will soon find out. I am now diagnosed with being a very high risk stroke patient and will be watched and monitored often.
It doesn't stop at this. . . .we have to return to the cardiologist on Friday, May 29th to have an additional test done to view how large the hole is within my heart. Depending on what is said and how big the hole is I may or may not be in for open heart surgery within the next month or so. If it is not significant enough of a hole I will continue to take meds to thin my blood, be on a high risk stroke list and also be checked to make sure the hole is not growing that will make surgery happen also.
When I left the hospital today I felt so alone even as I walked next to Travis and the two babies. I felt like crying and screaming because of the news I was just given, yet I felt I needed to be the strong one and keep it all together and not cause any additional stress than what we were both feeling at the time. Travis immediately suggested we up my life insurance and get things written down of what, where, when if something does happen when we least expect it.
This is all so crazy to me that I feel like I am in a dream half the time and I just can't wake up to see the light of day again. Some days I feel as if I am numb, like I am just here yet I am really not. Do you just grin and bare it and continue to the doctors only to hear another bad result? I know keep my chin up, be strong, this is just something I have to go through to make me stronger . . . to hell with that do you really know what it feels like? Do we ever just stop and think of how others may feel? Do we realize some of us (ME) are not as strong as others (possibly YOU) to go through all the stress to learn a lesson?
I will continue to fight and be as strong as I can BUT I can NOT guarantee that I will be my best at times. I cry, sulk, be ornery, get mad, cry some more, wish I had someone by my side to give me support, cry again and try to smile to push my pain and stress away to take care of my family like I should be doing. I will wait a week and give more results then. I will continue to pray for the best as I hope you will with me also. Until then I will get on the life insurance for my babies.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More Results

I guess I really should blog more often if I have this much to say lol. I couldn't end the day without writing down the new results to date about my head. I visited the neurologist on Friday and did a few new tests and also have quite a few more scheduled. Life is crazy but it will be like that as I go through all my testing to get some relief. So besides the nerve damage within the sides of my head and the Nystagmus within my eyes, I also have Occipital Neuralgia. This is just the beginning of the tests though.
So here is a little in site on what this entails: Occipital Neuralgia is a chronic pain disorder caused by irritation or injury to the occipital nerve located in the back of the scalp. Individuals with the disorder experience pain originating at the nape of the neck.
When she did the tests to find these results it was extremely painful. She does a few exercises testing my bodies reflexes all over and then tests different muscles in my neck and head. I came into the office having a good pain day (if there really is such a thing) and left hurting needing to take drugs again. All day up to the time I came into her office I had the worst anxiety, stressing about all the different things that she could say to me and because I had to go in all by myself. Yes I am a baby and want someones hand to give me support.
She gave me some new meds to try for pain and get me to sleep better, than gave me a prescription that is a cream and works to numb yet help the damaged nerves in the back of my head to not cause the pain to get so bad.
We are next off to a MRA of the head and neck at the end of the month and then also a EEG of the head to see how the neurons are all transmitting in there. Kinda complicated but as I get all the information/results from my tests back I will then do my best to update them on my site. So if there is anyone out there ready to stay up all night with me in order for me to take this test correctly with no sleep let me know, lol. By the way I was told an MRA is different from a MRI as it reads what the brain is doing and how it is reacting and working, as a MRI only shows the masses within the brain. Kinda scary, but I am ready to find some relief.

Crazy Hair Day

Our kids had spirit week at their school a few weeks ago. One of the days was to have crazy hair. I got up to help them try to be the craziest, here are some of their pictures.
Khristapher had a separated ponytail Mohawk and Hope had fuzzy little ponytails everywhere.
They really had a lot of fun being CRAZY!!
Yes, Khristapher had enough little hairs to put in a few ponytails. lol

Just A Thought

Each life is so precious and so fragile.
Each life, each breath, each moment is a gift.
At any given moment our lives can change.
We simply must make the most of this moment now
And fill it with all the love we can.
Today I have only today. Tomorrow is only a hope.
Yesterday is but a dream.
I must live today to realize the hope that tomorrow's
Yesterday will be a pleasant dream.

My Sister, My Best Friend!

Yes, you are my sister;
This is very true.
But I also found my best friend;
Tucked inside of you.
I cherish the time we're together;
And miss you when we're apart.
I guess it's cause you're my sister;
And you're forever in my heart.
All the memories I have of us;
Will forever be apart of me.
They're tucked inside my heart and mind;
Where no one else can see.
You'll always be a part of my life;
A part no one can touch.
All because God made us sisters;
And I love you very much.
-betty hawkins

Matthew turns "3"

WOW!! Time does go fast when you're locking everything up, shutting all the doors, searching the trash can for all your missing items, yelling to stop the baby from getting hurt, etc. Oh I mean watching our two year old grow big and have silly comments all the time. Here are just a few things that will make you laugh about this sweet blond boy we live with (now don't get me wrong he is definitely the ideal "2" year old in EVERY way, but maybe being 3 will be different!!) He has always been the star in his daddy's eyes and can schmooze over the dad for anything he wants.
Three years ago we were sitting in a delivery room having our third little blessing and out pops our Matthew. It was such a great delivery that I told Travis how I wish we could have a million more babies. You would sleep all the time, not cry, be a very happy boy, but then somewhere along the way someone gave you an attitude, wow did that change me from really wanting anymore kids (good thing I was already prego with baby #4). You are silly in so many ways! Including when you get mad and you stick your tongue out one side of your mouth, turn your head to the side and act as if you were dead. lol
We have a 20 gallon fish tank with about 4 fish in it (now), but to Matthew he believes that Swedish fish (the little red candies) belong with the American fish (the little fishies really swimming around). He also believes these fish need toilet paper and he is always there to save them with a net when he thinks they are dead from all the abuse, I mean care he has given them, lol.
When we are watching a movie and anyone needs to get up for anything they always ask for it to be paused so they don't miss out on the movie, well little Mr. Matthew does the same thing, "Dad, cause the movie, I need to get my cars." (saying cars in his little New York accent). We have told him numerous times it is PAUSE but he continues to say CAUSE. When he comes back from doing what he needs to do he again tells his dad, ok cause the movie, instead of play.
Our little boy, has so many traits it is unbelievable. He is the sweetest, well mannered 2 year old ever! Honest he is! BUT he can also be the most horrendously BIG monster on the block with the worst attitude. He is always the one to say please and thank you, reminds everyone else to thank whomever made the meal, or bought him a gift or treat. He refuses to share his toys but when he wants help with something you need to do it NOW and he politely says thank you. If you have not seen this character in action you have definitely missed out!
This sweet "3" year old has the greatest smile and loves to laugh. When you ever hear the terms that laughing is contagious it is sooo true when it comes to Matthew. He will be in the car with baby Ashton in the back also and do some goofy thing to make Ash laugh and then continue to belly laugh from there. If you are not wanting to laugh you will listening to him it is hilarious.
Matthew has his best friend Hope and when she is gone to school his life is doomed til she arrives home again. She is all he talks about and what they will do when she gets home. Her name to him is "Sissy", unless of course he needs to tattle and then it becomes "HOPE" (that's screaming her name by the way).
We have certainly been blessed with this boy in our family!! He is such a great blessing 95% of the time and the other 5% of the time a HUGE trial. We have definitely learned a lot raising this boy. Not only from the terrible 2's but the many times we just sit and laugh at all the things this child comes up with. If I could only write down everything he says when he says it I would have a book of laughs for the rest of our lives to remember.
Some of the things Matthew likes and loves is as follows: to bite, have an attitude when he doesn't get his own way, Popsicle's, outside, his brudda (brother), sissy, cats, fish and giving them all that we have in life, being with his daddy, Elmo, Car Cars, trucks, taking baths, swimming, drawing in reading books, his monkey that talks, playing the computer, lining up ALL the cars and trucks throughout the house (we do not own the floor or have space for anything due to all the cars parked everywhere), torturing his baby brother, testing his mom to the limits, throwing things that he can't get to work in the garbage (assuming they are broken, like both of our cameras), going to the store.
Some things Matthew doesn't like: doing things when he is told to do them, learning to potty train, sitting down at the dinner table, being quiet, leaving his baby brother alone, his dad leaving without him, being without a book, pen or something to draw on, not having a Pepsi (Sprite) when his dad gets one, when someone tries to help him.
These are just a few things he likes and dislikes, but he has many other things I just can't think of. Mommy and Daddy love you so much Bubba! Life would NOT be the same without you in it. Even though you have thrown a lot of valuable things away and put many things in the cart at the store that we never knew you threw in there, we would never trade you! We have learned a lot from you in these short years together and plan on learning tons more from you in the years to come. Happy Birthday big boy it has been a delight being your mom and dad.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sleep? What's that?

Ok so MOST of us get a reasonable amount of sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Um, I can't remember when I last slept for more than 3 hours solid. Baby Ashton is not a sleeping baby at all!! He is a very good baby don't get me wrong BUT he also likes to whine and cry ALL the time, even in his sleep. Yes, he still sleeps in our bed (no comments please!!), we have never let the older two a day in their sweet little lives sleep in our bed but after losing a baby before the younger two came along changed something in us as parents and we have let these two sleep with us. Now most nights are just fine, did I mention that was with Matthew, lol. Ashton on the other hand is a whiner even in his sleep. Now mind you, I have many nights put him in his little bed next to ours and he has slept for an hour or two, but as soon as he has whined I put him in bed with us cuz I would rather have a little bit of sleep before 3am than to have none at all. Well last night he was sleeping so peacefully and I thought "wow are we going to get lucky" and as soon as I even had that thought I woke up to make sure he was still breathing and poor baby had a huge fever of 102*. I was so scared that I had to wake up Travis to get the thermometer and Tylenol and move baby to make sure he was coherent. Oh what a night it was from there. I am thankful that I woke him up as he was so out of it that I was scared! I did not go to work as this with any of my kids would make it a day that MOMS SHOULD BE HOME - REGARDLESS!!! Good thing I had one vacation day left, and it was approved! From this moment on until even as I write this our little baby is still whining and in pain from who knows what that it has left me wondering .... Sleep? What's that? I think he may be having a really hard time teething but I cannot for the life of me break his fever. This morning he was so lethargic that I have had to force him to intake liquids and stay hydrated. Babies make things so hard for me due to not being able to tell me how I can help them and it really doesn't matter how many kids you have you still can't guess. Tonight he is doing ok and we have not had to go to the hospital as of yet and I pray that we don't have to at all. As for the whining . . . it is still going strong even when I have gotten him to fall asleep for a minute. lol Sweet baby, mommy will go days without sleep if that's what it takes to keep you comforted.