Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Stills

Presenting this week's Sunday Stills. A little bit of this past week captured...

The little love and her loves... :) this one on Monday (this came after finding out that I need a new hard drive and mouse not to mention the cooling pad....)

Friday brought us Evan deciding to cut his hair.....

And this was earlier today. :) It's not a ton, but I'm happy with it nonetheless. (It's just a couple dollars above my weekly average)

This was us this week....How about you?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Brilliant, Fun and Easy! A guest post...

I happened across a post from a great blog this morning that I just HAVE to share with you! :)

This comes from
Shoestring Tightrope

--turning your coffee table into an unseen chalkboard!!
Link up to her post here

I think I may be on the search for a coffee table now.... :)

Hope you all enjoy and let her know I sent ya! :)


Monday, July 25, 2011

I've gone into recipe remission....

For now.... :)

I just wanted to let you all know that I haven't permanently abandoned my recipe quest. With everything going on lately with my 'health', I just haven't felt up to standing in the kitchen and cooking much of anything. As a matter of fact, both this week and last have been full of boxed mircrowave dinners. These last 2 shopping trips (we go on Sunday afternoons) have left me feeling like an absolutely horrible wife/mother. The shopping cart has been filled with nothing but premade stuff. My shopping cart NEVER looks like that. From boxed dino shaped chicken nuggets (I make easy and tasty chicken nuggets from scratch see here) to plain ol' microwave t.v. dinners and frozen taquitos. I have felt supremely awful about the lack of home cooked meals in this house but since I've had pain when I'm standing and/or nausea for the last 6 weeks, cooking just hasn't 'been on the menu'.

So, my apologies for my lack of variety and new finds lately. I'm hoping to be able to get back into the groove (insert Madonna's voice there) very soon! Goodness knows, I can't take much more of these guilt-ridden shopping trips!

Happy cooking (in honor of my deprived family... LOL)


Monetization; Learning the ways and making it work

Happy Monday to you!! My computer is back in the swing of things, at least for the moment, so I'm taking advantage and overheating the heck out of it! ;)

Todays post is about my foray into researching and implementing the various ways to monetize this blog of mine. I have discovered that I absolutely LOVE blogging and I want to make something that I love pay off. Literally. I'd love to turn this fun thing I've found into something that can truly help our family grow. So, I've been clicking away on every tweet, blog post, and passing comment I see about blogging, monetizing, making money from home, etc. I have to say, I've found some really great info too!! Thanks to three of my fave resources on the subject, Blogelina, TheWorkAtHomeWoman and 7onaShoestring. I must admit, I'm a little lost at what to do with it all though. I posted the other day about the awesome opportunity I happened upon for a web course on profitable blogging (see post here) that I'm super excited about. I can't wait to learn more and, hopefully, better learn how to put all this new info into play.
I also just signed up with Broadcast Bloggers to get things rolling as well. So far I'm pretty excited about the possibilities. I'm all about earning money as well as "Bling!" just for doing something I like doing anyway. Yeah buddy! I have to say though, I'm not sure about this "Rebroadcasting" thing. It's not that I'm against it, per se, I'm just not sure how it will mesh with my content...

What are your thoughts? Tips? What do you like to see from the blogs you love?
What works for you??
I'd LOVE to hear from you. Comment here or shoot me an email at with your thoughts.

Can't wait to hear from you!!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Stills... My 1st weekly post

Happy Sunday to you all! And welcome to my newest friends and followers-so glad you joined us! :)

Today is the 1st day of my very 1st 'weekly post'. I decided, partly thanks to some really great blogs who happen to be written by some pretty great photographers, that I wanted to share a few more pics of my amazing family with you all.
Let me warn you. I am NO photographer!!! I have a crappy and cheap point and click camera that frequently yields less than mediocre results. However, it does not stop me from taking pics, and apparently, it's not going to stop me from posting them either. :D

So here is a few pics from this past week. Hope you enjoy...

Sweet Justice keeping her brother company while he washes up (running around outside w/o shoes)

Justice assisting with the display of my 'copy creations'. I may not be able to create from scratch, but I can copy the label like a pro!!

Evan's "Tower of Power" and it's brilliant 'stand' that it fit into (yes, it goes all the way to the floor) :)
 See ya again next week for another Sunday Stills.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Deeply personal and painful. A story of loss...

Well here I go. This post comes to you thanks to a fellow mom blogger that shared her personal story of loss and pain and inspired me to talk about my/our most recent foray into the same.
~This might be a little graphic for more sensitive readers~

I am recounting this tale to you as I sit on the couch recouping from a D&C for a miscarriage. This D&C has been a long time coming too. Let me start at the beginning.
I started spotting about June 11th or so. A little late for my cycle, but ok. No big deal...except...something doesn't seem right. Oh well. Move on. Quit making something out of nothing.
After a week, on June 17th, I decided to take a pregnancy test anyway. Something is up here.... Low and behold, there was that double line staring me right in the face. But what about this crummy spotting for the last week?
I called the midwife that night but didn't recieve a call back until after I had finally made it to bed and didn't answer the phone (she was tied up in a complicated delivery, which was fine). I called back in the morning when I discovered my sparce brown spotting had turned to red. After telling her what was going on, she told me what I had already known. This was probably a miscarriage, or actually, quite possibly a blighted ovum.
Now, let me inject here, that I spent just shy of 7 years working in OB/GYN and Labor & Delivery. I'm well aware that miscarriage happens (as best we can tell) because of some incompatibility with life. Miscarriage is our body's way of taking care of some problem before it becomes one. I truly know, understand, and believe this. In this way, I am very fortunate. I do not share the most common problem amongst women/families who suffer miscarriages. I do not wonder what I did wrong. I do not wonder why. I do not blame myself. Honestly, I am thankful that the body is able to do this. I can't imagine the pain that could/would come later if not for this amazing feat of mother nature.
Ok. So a miscarriage. Well, I've known since the beginning, somewhere within me, that something was just not right. Ok. This is ok. This pregnancy certainly was not planned for and we are not in a good position right now to bring another life into this world. But....there is still a chance that it may not be a miscarriage. I'd have to wait until Monday (this was Saturday morning) to go in and get my blood drawn and have an ultrasound.
Are you kidding?! Wait 2 whole days?! Yeah right! But, oh choice....ok....we're in for a long weekend.
By Monday, the bleeding was still red, although not very heavy at all. I went in and had an ultrasound. There was definite bleeding from within the uterus. It's safe to say miscarriage now. Despite the preparation, it still hurt. It was still loss. It was still quite painful (emotionally). We (the midwife and I) decided that I could let this pass on it's own. It seemed on it's way and afterall, I'd already done this once before almost exactly 7 years ago... So home I went, prepared to be done with this, hopefully as soon as possible.
Well, not so body apparently wasn't on the same page. I continued to bleed lightly for the rest of the week. All the while, my levels of HCG (the pregnancy hormone) were dropping accordingly. By Wednesday, June 29th, I had stopped bleeding altogether and my hormone level had dropped down to 103 (from a starting point on the 20th of 1310 [negative is <5]). Well alrighty. We're almost back to normal and we can move on. When I went in on the 6th of July for what we assumed would be my last blood draw, we were taken by surprise. Instead of dropping all the way down to nothing, it had begun to climb again. Now, I'm back up to 199. Well what the heck does this mean? It means, that I'll go back in on Friday to redraw. We want to eliminate the possiblity of lab error. And this time we'll draw it STAT to make sure we have the results right away. Well, the results came in at 219. It hadn't gone up as much as we would've thought with a new pregnancy, but it DID go up so... After some debate and confusion, it was decided that since the possibility was there, it was probable that I was pregnant again. New pregnancy. "uh.......ummmmm.......uhhhhhh.....ok." Well now what?! I tell ya-dealing with the loss of a pregnancy makes you really look at how you feel about another one, planned or otherwise. Cuz as scary as it was, we were happy about this one. Were we financially stable? No. But would we make it work? You bet! We got to work on mentally preparing ourselves for this unforseen adventure. The plan was now to wait a week. Have my blood drawn again and have another ultrasound to verify. But no point in doing it until the level is higher and there is something to be seen to confirm. Ok. I have to wait an entire week now?!?! Will the torture never end?! Are you kidding me?! Well, I went in on Monday and had my level drawn. It's been 48 hours, it should have doubled. Well, it was only 258. That's nowhere near doubling.... That evening I heard what I already knew..."yes, we think it's a new pregnancy, we just don't know if it's a healthy pregnancy". I knew this already, but it didn't make hearing it any easier.
So I manage to survive, with most of my sanity for another 2 days. Wednesday, July 13th comes and is almost past when I start bleeding again. AGAIN. Seriously?! Again?!? But this time with some mild-moderate left sided cramping. Dominic calls in and we grieve....again. I call the midwive's office when they open and let them know what's going on. They nearly all cry with me and set an appointment for later that afternoon.
After an exam and some discussion, they send me to another office for a more precise ultrasound. This one confirms what we've all been wondering about for the last month. No, this was not a new pregnancy. It was the same pregnancy. It was a miscarriage at probably around 6 weeks that just didn't pass. Oh! And that left sided pain is a fair size cyst on my left ovary that may need follow up.... So. Again. I hear what I already "knew". Again, I cry for the loss..that I've now had to mourn twice.... So back to the midwive's office we go (Justice in tow) and let them know the findings. We sit down and set a plan. Do I want to try to let this go on it's own? NO! Do I want the help of medicine to further it along faster? No. Do I want to just have a D&C to get it done and over with? No, but yes. I/we certainly can't do this anymore. It's been just over a month already......I simply can't do it anymore. I just can't. Ok. So we wait for the doctor to review the ultrasound and make their recommendations and then we go forward. I may hear back today, I may have to wait until tomorrow.....Ok....
Friday, July 15th. I hear back that yes, I can call the doctor's office to schedule the D&C. I do so. Immediately. Let's get this show on the road. I get an appointment for Tuesday, July 19th. We're on 5 1/2 weeks since I 1st started spotting...
I go in on Tuesday and meet the doctor and sign the consent. I let him know that I need this done as soon as humanly possible and he agrees. I may hear from the surgery scheduler this afternoon or maybe not until tomorrow morning. Well the evening passes, then so does the morning. I finally call just after noon. She says that she was out for the morning and will call me back shortly, after conferring with the O.R. She calls me back and let's me know I'm scheduled for Thursday, July 21st at 10:30am.
Finally! There is an end in sight. No more. (I apologize here for what may be difficult and/or extreme)
I don't have to walk around anymore carrying a dead embryo. No more trying to carry on as usual knowing that this life, that started, is now dead and will start to decay within me. I mourned the death, twice actually, but I didn't get to be rid of it like I was supposed to. Instead, I had to carry it around with me. Always. Everywhere. No matter what I did, no matter where I was. I was carrying death...

So here I sit. On my couch. Laptop in lap. "Recovering" from what has provided me with an incredible sense of relief. It's finally over. We finally get to move on. Our loss will always be with us in our hearts, sure, but at least now the healing can really begin.....


Friday, July 22, 2011

Great finds and Great news! :)

Happy Friday to you all! And welcome to my newest friends and followers! :)

I wanted to take a minute and talk with you all about what I've been looking into and finding the past couple of days. Well, technically, just Wednesday and today as I took yesterday off for a little surgery. But since I'm couch ridden today, I'm able to do some more looking, learning, and implementing. :) Yay!!

I had a great day Wednesday in regards to this blog of mine! I found some great references and was able to get some great tips as well as enroll in an online blogging class "Profitable Blogging for Beginners" by Blogelina (an absolutely incredible source that I highly recommend!). I'm sooo excited! AND in an incredible turn of events, I am now setup for a year of web hosting through!!!!!!! It will take awhile to get set up and designed (since I have to learn and start from scratch) but I'm soo excited!!! This is such an amazing opportunity!
On top of enrolling in the class and getting the webhosting, I also did a little research about monetizing and how best to market my blog. I've read so many wonderful tips and ideas. I can hardly take in and manage all the incredible advice. And I have yet to be able to figure out how to put it all into play... But I'm definitely glad to be getting it and am most assuredly going to continue to search it out and learn.

I also made a couple of small changes to my sidebar. Until I am able to organize my blog the way I want, I got rid of some clutter. I did away with quite a few buttons. Not because I don't LOVE the blogs, but because I just don't have a good place to keep all of the buttons I accumulated. I want my page to be appealing, not overwhelming and I fear that it was getting to that point.

So that's pretty much where I'm at at the moment. I can't wait to share more developments with you as they come! Thanks so much for your support!

Very dearly,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Orange Turkey with Rice

Well, I find myself playing catch-up again. This is the 3rd recipe that should have been posted last week with the others but my "blogging ninja" day only took me so far...
So...with pictures and everything!!! I give you Orange Turkey with Rice found in the Cook's Library One Pot cookbook. Although, let me preface this one with-this is NOT a One pot meal. 2 at best (if you have 6 cups leftover cooked rice), but most likely 3...
Serves 5 with leftovers as modified (originally says it serves 4)

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium chopped onion (I used dried minced)
1 lb skinless lean turkey cut into thin strips (I used 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 1/4 cups unsweetened orange juice
1 bay leaf
3 cups small broccoli florets (I used 3 heaping cups)
1 large zucchini, diced
1 large orange
6 cups cooked brown rice (I used long grain white)
salt and pepper
to garnish;
9-10 pitted black olives, drained and quartered
shredded basil leaves

Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the onion and turkey, stirring, for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Pour in the orange juice and add the bay leaf and seasoning. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to a boil and cook the broccoli florets, covered, for 2 minutes. Add the diced zucchini, then bring back to a boil. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Using a sharp knife, peel off the skin and white pith from the orange. Slice down the orange to make thin circular slices, the halve each slice. Stir the broccoli, zucchini, rice, and orange slices (my oranges got mangled in the mixing) into the turkey mixture. Gently mix together and season, then heat throught for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture is piping hot. Transfer the turkey rice to warm serving plates and garnish with black olives and shredded basil leaves.

This recipe was good. I, somewhat unfortunately, bought iron-enriched rice which just doesn't cook as well as non. Not a mistake I'll be making again. Otherwise, it was tasty. Good flavors and everything all in one easy scoop. Meat, veggies, starch. Good stuff. :)
Hope you try this one and enjoy!


Wordless first! :)

Sweet Justice and her happy new friend Layne

Happy Wednesday to you all!!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our July 4th weekend

I thought I'd take some time out to share a couple pics from this past holiday weekend...

My sweet love and I

The little love and her daddy "coloring"

Sweet Justice in the park


Meat and Potatoes! (and not much else)

Recipe dos for ya! :)

I found this one in my dusty cookbook search as well. This one comes from The Four Ingredient Cookbooks. It's glamorously, Meat and Potato Dinner. Well...there ya go!
Now....I'm sorry to say....I forgot to take pics of this one.... :(
But...let's press onward anyway shall we? ;)

Meat and Potato Dinner - serves 5 with leftovers as I adjusted it

4 large potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly (I used 5 1/2 medium taters and didn't peel them)
1 lb lean ground beef, browned and drained (I used 2lbs)
Green Peppers, sliced (I used 1/2 a large pepper as I'm not a fan of cooked peppers)
28 oz can chopped tomatoes (I used a 28 oz PLUS a 14 oz can)

Layer above ingredients in order given in large, deep baking dish (I used 15x10x2). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

This one was good. I really wasn't sure how it would turn out. It was suggested that this was excellent burrito fixins. Throw a little queso in there and wrap it up in a tortilla and you've got yourself a delish burrito. If you're going to do this, and when we try it later, the potatoes will need to be julienned or diced very small to make it work in a tortilla but still. Totally do-able. When layering it in the pan, I added some shredded cheddar/jack on top of the potatoes as well as a little salt and pepper. The cheese was a nice little flavor addition. As was the pepper. You could definitely swap some of the tomatoes for salsa for some more flavor as well.

So there you have it. An easy and relatively fast (prep time at least) recipe. Justice even picked and ate the meat out of it...whadya know?! :)

Try this. As it is, with your own flare, whatever but of course...please let me know how it goes!


Sage Chicken & Rice ... New recipe post numero uno :)

Ok, ok. Try not to faint. I know it's been a while since I posted any recipes. I suck. It's ok, I'll admit it when I've totally failed... ;) But I'm working on getting back on track. As a matter of fact...I have 3 new recipes to post! How's that for shocking?! hehehe
So. Last week I actually cooked. And new recipes even... Apparently miracles never cease.
I decided to hit up the cookbooks that have been collecting some serious dust on my shelf and see what I could find. I found a great cookbook, in theory, sitting there called Cook's Library One Pot. One pot recipes?! Sold!!! But then I started looking through it. A great deal of them aren't do-able in our house. There's a decent section on lamb....not happenin in my house! If my husband has a strong desire for lamb, he has to have it at a restaurant. Not comin in to my kitchen. Period. Same goes for rabbit, veal, venison, goose, and duck. Now, before anyone gets all defensive of game hunting. I have nothing against it. I just don't want to eat it. Nor will I prepare it. It's just one of my weird things.
Ok. Beyond that... I realized something when going through this cookbook. One pot means everything is all mixed together... LOL Yes..I know. Brilliant deduction huh?! But this is relevant because my sweet little love of a daughter doesn't eat things when they're mixed together. Even if she likes all of the individual components. And she won't eat rice. This is a problem because that's a large component of many of the recipes in this book.... hmm... And I was so excited about this "one pot" thing... :(
Well, I decided to go ahead and try a couple of the recipes anyway. I'm going to continue to try to get Justice to eat things she previously has refused. It's worked at least once so far....I'm hopeful that it will continue to work, even if not with everything.
Sage Chicken and Rice - serves 4 (served 4 plus lots of leftovers w/my changes)

1 large onion, chopped (I sliced 4 green onions)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, diced (I diced several baby carrots)
2 sprigs fresh sage (I used dried)
1 1/4 cups chicken bouillon/broth (whichever form you prefer - cube, storebought, homemade)
12 oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used 2lbs ground chicken)
generous 1 cup mixed brown and wild rice
14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
dash Tabasco sauce
2 zucchini, sliced thinly
1/2 cup diced lean ham
salt and pepper to taste
fresh sage, to garnish

Place onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and sage in a large saucepan and pour in chicken bouillon.
Bring the vegetable and herb mixture to a boil, then cover the pan and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and stir into the pan with the veggies. Cover the pan and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the mixed brown and wild rice and chopped tomatoes.
Add a dash of Tabasco sauce to taste (I used several and there was just the slightest touch of kick after several bites) and season well. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
Stir in the sliced zucchini and diced ham and continue to cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is just tender.
Remove the sage sprigs (if you used fresh) and discard.
Garnish with sage leaves and serve.

The reviews from our house were eh....
I've never been a fan of wild rice, nor is Nick although he didn't mind it too much. The brown rice pretty much 'bonded' with the ground chicken so it made a different texture. Not horrible, but not fabulous. The seasoning and veggies were good. It'd be worth another try with regular chicken breasts and maybe more brown rice than wild. Or maybe just with white rice instead. All in all, not a bad dish. Of course, Justice wouldn't eat any of it and ended up with some of her lunch leftovers. We had plenty of leftovers and it's been had for lunch a couple of times.
Hope you try it and enjoy. Can't beat One Pot!! (unless you're Justice...) :)


...Hurdles *addition/addendum*

It occured to me after reading the last post later that I didn't quite explain, for those of you (most) that don't know, our situation. Or maybe I should say, what impact this has on our lives directly.

We're a one income family. Dominic is the sole provider, although I'm working on at least adding to our income some with MO Creations and with this blog of mine. We decided early on that I would be a stay at home mom. It's something that's very important to us.
For about a year and a half, Dominic was an Independent Contractor. He essentially 'owned his own company'. He 'contracted' with a company that contracts with auto parts companies and dealerships to transport auto parts. He used his own vehicle and was responsible for all taxes. It was NOT financially worth it, but it's what was available. Because he worked for himself, there were no benefits and we could not afford to buy them on our own. No way!! So the hunt was on for a better job. Better pay, benefits, better company...better everything. We found one. In March, he started working at a solar company. He assembles and eventually, will help install solar collectors. It's a great company overall. They have some odd business practices (they're based out of Spain so it may be normal there...) but they're dedicated to being as eco responsible as possible. They track their carbon foot print, as well as those of their employees. Dominic gets to work with engineers, gets to learn about alternative energies and is helping decrease the world's (they have contracts in Chile, Brazil, U.S., etc...) dependence on oil and coal. These are HUGE things for him!!! It's a great job. AND....we have benefits!! Woo hoo!!! And while this is a great job, this is by no means a career for my amazing husband. My wonderfully talented and insanely creative love is a writer and artist. It's his passion. AND...he happens to be amazing at it! (For some examples of his artwork visit his webpage here.) One of his drawings has been published in Beyond Centauri, a Sci-Fi / Fantasy mag for young readers and he may have more published by them later this year. It's very exciting but it certainly doesn't pay the bills. Yet. It will someday. Dominic has an incredibly creative mind/vision. He's been writing (and doing some illustrations for) a book. He's taken writing courses to further his talent/ability. He's submitting a couple of short stories he's written to magazines. He's working it. In addition to actually working...
So this brings us to the potential impact this STUPID MS may have on our/his life. MS can not only cause physical impairments of various kinds, but can also cause cognitive impairments. husband faces not only potential limitations on his physical ability to provide for his family in the immediate, but also faces potential limitations on his creative process to eventually provide for his family and exercise his mind/creative skills.
Could I go back to work if it came to it? Of course. Will I if that's what needs to happen? OF COURSE! But it doesn't change the actual facts, nor will it change how it makes him feel. Could I get a job now and put Justice in daycare? Yeah....but to no end. Whatever earnings I brought in would pay for childcare and that's about it. Whether your kids are in childcare or not, I'm sure most if not all of you know how incredibly expensive childcare is. What on earth would be the purpose of going to work just so I can pay for my daughter to be with someone else??? Ya know?!
This STUPID MS is already affecting these things. He's having great difficulty focusing on much of anything (the insanely small details of his artwork) including computer screens (his writing) through this double vision. I can't imagine his "pain" and frustration. He doesn't think that this double vision is going to last very long and I sure hope that he's right.
That's something else about Dominic. He has incredible faith. And I'm not speaking of faith in a Higher Power right now. I'm speaking of his faith in mankind, science, and technology. Faith in mans ability to heal. Faith in mans ability to evolve. Faith in mans ability to learn and take from science what is necessary to help further itself. He truly believes that given the number of people, in both the US and worldwide that are believed to have MS, we can find a cure and will do so within his lifetime. He absolutely believes this. And not out of hope but out of faith that mankind has the drive to utilize it's full ability and technology. Yet another reason why I love this amazing man.
Do I believe this? No. Do I want it to be true? You bet I do!! But let me tell you what I do believe in.
          I believe in Dominic. I believe in US. I believe in our ability to work through whatever comes our way.
I don't believe in Fate, Destiny, or Luck. I believe you should not just 'Take what you get' but 'MAKE what you get'. Don't just 'take the good with the bad' but 'take the good FROM the bad'. Learn from (all) pain; about who you were, who you are, and who and where you want to be.
These beliefs carry me through our daily struggles. They are what keep me as positive and truly happy as I am every day. Because I am just that...truly happy. I have a wonderful husband whom I absolutely love and who inspires me on many levels, I have a beautiful (body and personality) little girl who, along with her father keeps life fun and light. I have a wonderful son who challenges me to be a better person and mother every moment of every day and amazes me with his imagination. I have wonderful friends who support me every step of the way and remind me that being a "Family" isn't about sharing DNA. Tell me how it could possibly get any better than this?!?!
No. Life is not easy. We wouldn't learn and grow if it was. I have faced some pretty big obstacles in my short life and they keep coming. You know what?! Bring em on!!! I'm learning and evolving every step of the way. I'm being challenged and while it may be tough to get through, I'm all the better for it in the end. And so is my handsome husband and my fabulous family....

So...that's where we're at...
He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow with a PCP to hopefully get a referral to a Neurologist and get going. I'll update you as new things come our way.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I never tried hurdles in track...

And there's a good reason!!
Happy Wednesday to you all! I hope you had a happy holiday weekend and a fabulous 4th. Safe and Fun!
Ours was lovely, but I'll give ya more on that later. :)

Back to the hurdles...
I never tried them in school. Wouldn't do it. No interest in the slightest, but more than that, I "knew" I couldn't do them. I still stand by it. When watching hurdlers, then and now, I think it's absolutely amazing that they can get their legs up to do that....not me baby! But maybe even more than those very valid reasons, I'm thinking now that maybe it was a subconcious move on my minds' part to abstain from 'superficial' hurdles since I had plenty of real life ones to deal with. Not to say that anyone else, actual hurdlers specifically, doesn't have issues of their own but you know...I think my brain was working the whole 'self-preservation' tactic. Yay for my brain!! :)
And yes, as is the same for everyone, those real life hurdles just keep a' comin! We've had several lately, but the most pressing at the moment is Dominic's 'probable' MS - Multiple Sclerosis. I say 'probable' since we haven't had a confirmed diagnosis. Almost 3 years ago, all of a sudden, Dominic started experiencing double vision. It occured after a day at his family's ranch slingin hay bales. We thought it was from the strain from the work, but mainly from the incessant coughing he went through from the airborne hay. We figured it would resolve but after about a month of no resolution, we went to an eye doc. She was great. She said it was "6th nerve palsy" and recommended a Neuro-Ophthalmologist. We saw him. He ordered an MRI of the head, face, and neck. Ok. Done. So...... The results were back and said "strongly suggest MS". Ok. There were a couple of potential diagnosis' that floated around before the results were back. None of them felt right to me. There was just something telling me that they weren't it. When the doc said MS...that one instantly made sense to me. It just felt like that was the "right" one, even though there is NOTHING "right" about an MS diagnosis. And even though that one had never been suggested as a possibility. Not to us anyway.
So. He informed us that there were a couple of really great Neurologists in the Chicago area and that Dominic would need to follow up with one so as to get more testing for a definitive answer. Now, so as not to confuse anyone, yes we're in Colorado now. At this time we were still in Albuquerque but were moving to Kenosha, Wisconsin (an hour from Chicago) the next month. Ok. Great!! Except we have no insurance, paid for all of this out of pocket already (1 Ophthalmologist, 1 new glasses rx, 1 MRI of head/face/neck with and without contrast, and 2 Neuro-Ophthalmologist visits...Yikes!!!!) and were paying for a major move....umm......Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.....
Well, the double vision resolved itself slowly within the next month or so. Yay!! We never got Dominic to a doc while we were up in the midwest...instead, we focused on my new pregnancy (don't even get me started on the ridiculousness it took to get me prenatal care up there-I'll cover that sometime if anyone's interested) and moving 2 families 1500 miles to Colorado. He didn't really have any new symptoms while we were there so it made it easier to put it on the back burner for the time being. Never taken off the stove, just moved to the back...
Well. I'll sum it up and say that he's had 2 or 3 more "episodes" since the initial. Double vision only played into 1 of them and it was brief. The other symptoms were tingling of the arm/hand and leg, as well as some ongoing memory issues. This current one started a week or two ago and is another nasty bout of double vision along with one sided facial tingling, sudden onset fatigue that will then resolve later, dizziness and lack of balance, and a 'fogginess and slowness' of the mind that comes and goes. No Bueno!!!
Well. Enough is way too much! We finally have health insurance so we're using it! He can't possibly continue like this. He works with big dangerous equipment and materials at work. Double vision is a MAJOR safety issue!! Our reluctance to get him in any sooner has been due to the "Pre-existing condition" definition of the insurance company. They define it as a condition or illness or injury that has been tested for or investigated in any way, regardless of diagnosis, for 3 years prior to coverage. won't be 3 years until the end of November.... SUCK!!!! He just can't wait that long. We need to get started on this as soon as possible to hopefully get some treatment for some of these symptoms.
My amazing husband has been dealing with some pretty crazy and increasingly difficult stuff and never complains. NEVER. He's never had any health issues so all of this is very new to him. It's NOT easy, in any sense. He works SOO hard for us and pushes on regardless of what he's been going through. He's my hero. Even when I haven't had very much patience with him and some of his symptoms. Having medical issues is old hat for me. I dealt with a lot of things for a lot of years. I was flat out told to my face that I was making it up for attention, there was nothing wrong with me, and that I had anxiety when I really had an increasingly serious (if left untreated) heart condition. I dealt with major symptoms for years of both a heart condition and a neurological condition when there was "nothing wrong with me". So I had no choice but to suck it up and figure out how to keep going. You'd think I'd be a little more understanding when someone is having a hard time adjusting to sudden limitations that are beyond their control. Turns out...not so much. Turns out, that my brain seems to think "if you can suck it up and deal with it, so can everyone else." What the hell kind of crap is that?!?!! I haven't always had a lot of patience with Dominic but I tell ya, that stopped this weekend. I have made it a conscious effort to be patient, sympathetic, empathetic, and truly supportive. He says I'm doing great so far. Yep. That's Dominic. Taking time to praise my efforts when he's the one going through this horrible crap. Just ONE of the reasons I love him so much.
So. He's at work today. The first day this week and the first day with the double vision. We're glad he only has one more day this week. And then, on Friday, he has an appointment with a PCP to hopefully get a referral to a Neurologist to get going with this thing.
He's only had one little time (during the 1st episode) where he was angry and sad and did the "why me?!" thing. Totally normal and valid. I don't have those. I don't see the point. Neither does Dominic which is why it was once and very brief. It helps with this, as well as everything else, tremendously. We are however, faced with some pretty serious issues as a result of this and are really trying to see the potentials, their possible solutions, and what they mean for our family. We try very hard not to stress over things that aren't facing us yet or that we have no or little control over. We're pretty good at it. We (me in particular) do however need to take a look at the possibilities to help plan. Having a general idea, regardless of whether or not it works, is incredibly helpful when faced with a situation. So-that's what we've been doing the past few days. Going through the potentials of what we may be faced with in the future and setting up how we might deal with them. What are the options? What do we want for our family and how can we best achieve it?

So. There you have it. Look at that...I shared! ;)

Here are a few sites with information about MS. Do some reading. Learn about it. Hopefully, be compelled to help with the quest for knowledge so we can Cure it!!!!
MS Lifelines - a Pfizer sponsored site but still quite informative without being overwhelming
National MS Society - gives you the nitty gritty truth of what MS can bring, especially from actual patients
MS Foundation

So. There you have it.
Questions? Comments? Information??
Bring it on!! :)

Thanks for 'listening'--