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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Medical Update - Still Waiting for an Answer

I know many of you have been waiting for an update since I had my MRI.  I was waiting anxiously, myself, to find out what the cause is of all this mess.  I had the MRI last Thursday and was told my doctor would receive the report that afternoon or first thing in the morning.  I should expect to hear from her on Friday or Monday at the latest.  

I waited with bated breath, wondering what the answer would be.  Scar tissue?  Torn ligaments?  Arthritis in the joint?  Something worse?

Late Friday evening, just before 8:00, my doctor called with the news.  Or should I say, lack thereof.  The MRI showed nothing.  Nothing.

The radiologist indicated it was a normal pelvic MRI.  Well, actually, he stated normal pelvic ultrasound.  She thinks that was a typo and planned to contact him on Monday to confirm that he actually read my MRI and not the ultrasound I had last month.  She was also hoping to get a copy of the actual MRI, since she knows something about reading them herself.  She is also going to consult with another internist and the surgeon who did my hernia surgery.  

She’s at a loss.  We all are.  Thankfully, she’s not giving up on looking for an answer but in the meantime, I’m back to waiting.  I still can’t move my right leg.  I’m still in constant pain, though, thankfully the severity of that pain varies considerably.  And there is no apparent reason why my leg won’t move or why I’m in pain.  I truly don’t understand that.

I’m back in physical therapy, which is a mixed blessing.  I think it does help to some degree but it also gets things hurting on a pretty consistent basis.  Both my doctor and my PT are leaning toward that awful prolotherapy as a solution.  I’ve looked into it some more and it sounds even worse than what my doctor first explained.  It involves multiple rounds of glucose shots into the problem ligament where it attaches to the muscle or bone.  The shots are very painful and the resulting inflammation is also very painful.  Also, you can’t take anti-inflammatories for relief because the inflammation is supposed to happen in order for it to heal correctly.  You repeat the therapy until the ligament is healed and doing its job correctly.  Oh, also it’s expensive and not typically covered by insurance.  I am absolutely not sold on this idea.

I’m exploring some other options while my doctor also looks into her side of things.  I plan to go back on a modified anti-inflammatory diet, work with my PT on exercises, as well as rules I should follow to prevent injury (and I will follow them to a T), and an essential oil protocol that is supposed to help regenerate damaged ligaments.  

I wish I had some news—I would have taken good or bad.  At least, I would have had a game plan and goal to work toward to get better.  This not knowing and thus, not knowing how to fix it, is the pits!  Not to fall into a pity party but I’m pretty tired of hurting all the time, not being able to move and do simple tasks (like getting dressed or putting on shoes without contortions).  I won’t go into the amount of weight I’ve gained this year being totally inactive.

Ok, I’m done with the pity party.

Mostly, I wanted to update you all, since you’ve all been so caring in messaging me, texting me, and asking me how my test went and what the results were.  I wish I had a good answer to give you.  Thank you for your continued prayers and love.  It is all so very appreciated. 

God is good!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Medical Update

Back in the spring, I shared a bit of my journey regarding the injury to my groin and back.  Well a few more months have passed and I’ve continued along with physical therapy.  My attitude has gotten much better and while my back has made great improvements, I have stalled in the last month or so with PT.  Both I and my physical therapist feel pretty frustrated and discouraged.  She has continued to research obscure muscles and ligaments and work me over at each session and while it definitely helps in the short-term, I’m making no forward progress at this point.
I am discouraged because I continue to struggle with pain in my low back and groin, and I don’t have the ability to move my right leg fully.  

The end of September will be a full year since I started on this journey.  After a couple of sessions of cross-fit I just couldn’t get rid of this nagging pain in my groin that would get so sharp at times.  Then my back kicked in to help compensate and after much chiropractics, a hernia surgery, and six months of PT, here I am a year later still with that same nagging groin pain, back pain and now the inability to move my leg freely.  Yeah…I’m pretty discouraged.

My PT sent me back to my doctor to reassess the situation.  I just got back from seeing her.  I wish I had good news.  There are more expensive tests in my future and she threw around some scary sounding possible diagnoses and therapies.  Rogue endometriosis that could have settled in my groin instead of my uterus…ligaments stretched beyond their ability to heal…  I was almost in tears as she described some horrible procedure called glucose shots into the ligament and thought that might be the next thing to try.  She was honest that it is painful and expensive; it causes further inflammation so the body will heal itself correctly.  Yikes!! I so hope we don’t end up going that direction.

In the meantime, I’m getting scheduled for a very thorough ultrasound of the entire area (if you know what I mean) with a possibility of an MRI in my future.  And a consult with the glucose shot doctor (still trying not to cry thinking about it).  

On the way home I wanted to break down into tears.  I could feel the fear trying to get a grip…  Instead I started thanking God for being in control of this situation and the fear I felt at the edges of my thinking…it just dissipated.  Instead, I am wrapped in a complete peace.  There are still a hundred questions going through my mind: How can we afford this?  How much pain is going to be involved in getting better?  What if I need another surgery?  What if it is something really bad? How long do I have to be in this condition?  What if they can’t figure it out?  There’s so many more… But there’s no fear there.  There’s no worry, really.  There are questions—lots of them—but the answer is always God.  He is in control of all aspects of this situation and nothing could be more of a comfort. 

The Lord really is my strength and my comfort.  Amen! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Boys' Bedroom Renovation

I was just looking back through some previous posts and saw that I posted almost a year ago about our renovation of the boys’ room.  I was lamenting the loss of their cute baby/toddler decorations and realizing how much they are growing into independent little boys (ahem, young men).  I finished that post with a promise to follow-up with pictures of the new room.  As I continued to run through my previous entries from this last year, I realized I never did that!  Yikes!  I posted the pictures to facebook, but never blogged it.  
So, here we go.  All the photos as we built it, painted it and put it all together.  Big thanks to my hubby, who built the beds; and my grandpa who built the stairs with shelves.  

The boys decided they still wanted yellow walls.  I found some paint in the remainder section at Rodda for an excellent price and we got to work.

Next, since we were going to be building beds onto the walls, we decided to splurge and go ahead and do a much needed upgrade to the window in their room.  All of our windows are single pain, old sliders.  We want to upgrade them all but...$$$$.  This one window was $115 and well worth the peace of mind to have it in the boys' room.  The other window in their room now looks into our addition, so we ended up just putting a sheet of insulation over it and will hang a poster or something to cover that later.

I have to brag a little...I did the removal and installation mostly by myself (my mom came over to help lift the new window in--it was heavy!!).
 I wish I had pictures of the finished frames on the inside and outside.  It looks tremendously better, and of course, it's better insulated, and safer.

Joe built both of the boys' bunks.  We did Asher's up high like a loft bed.  Cainan's is a lower loft at a right angle.

We wanted to maximize unused space by having the beds up high--not using floor space.  That way we could use under the bed for storage & play.

Cainan has always slept with his dog, Bagel, in his bed.  Asher has always wanted to have his dog, Ozzy, sleep with him but dogs don't climb ladders.  For that reason, we decided to build stairs.  Again, trying to utilize space, we wanted the stairs to be shelves. 

The stairs were a success.

 Ozzy settled right in.

 Bagel had no issues either.

To complete the new theme for their room, we chose red and blue.  Once again, I found great deals in the remainder/mismatched paint at Rodda.

 I alternated the colors on their beds and the stairs.

There's plenty of storage under Cainan's bed for all their foam blocks.  Also, the stairs hook over the edge of Asher's bed, so they can slide as needed to make Cainan's bed, or get to stuff underneath, but I don't have to worry about them falling over on anything (or anyone!).  

I found some cute decals at the DollarTree.  I alternated the sports and space theme on the steps, too (come on, you gotta put space stuff on a blue background!). 

 The shelves and two chests of drawers fit under Asher's bed, instead of trying to cram all of that and their beds into their floor space.  The lifted beds made all the difference in storage and space.

I finished the whole thing off with some shelves up on the remaining space of Asher's bed.  I put some carpet squares that I got from the DollarTree, down on that end of the platform, as well.  It allows him a place to play and store a bunch of his toys.

I added shelves above Cainan's bed, too.

Altogether, I was able to consolidate all of their toys from their "play room" (which is supposed to be our guest bedroom), along with all their clothes and still have play area with plenty of storage.  We are very happy with the outcome and it should serve them well for years to come.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School!

Wow!  Another school year has started!  I absolutely love summers with my boys at home.  We have all kinds of adventures—I love hanging out with them!  But I’m also usually ready when school rolls back around—and they are, too.  Both boys were very excited to return to Roosevelt and see their friends that they missed all summer.  

Once again, Cainan asked his teacher if he could do a short presentation on the first day of class to explain why he does some things a little differently than other kids.  This year we also created a PowerPoint to go along with it.  I was able to record him this year, including his Q&A afterward.  It’s really great to see the kids curious and asking questions.  

UPDATE: Some of you have requested a clearer version of Cainan's speech and PowerPoint.  I've just uploaded his run-through that he did at home.  I hope that helps!