Thursday, October 6, 2016

Health Update

Yesterday was a blur of hospital appointments.

Couple of issues going on. I was trying to deal with them one at a time, but it appears that is just not how it's going to be.

First of all, I had a mammogram. A little over a year ago my routine mammogram revealed spots on my left breast. Probably benign, but warranting follow up. Three mammograms later, and they're telling me it's still "probably" benign. Apparently they standard of care is to follow up with repeated mammograms for two years. If there is no change within two years, then it's considered safe and I go back to routine yearly mammograms. Obviously if there is change, then we start a whole new ball game.

Secondly, I've been having gastrointestinal issues for quite a long time now. Months. Started out as occasional nausea, then more frequent, some bowel issues, heartburn... you name it and it's gastro, I had it. I treated with various over the counter meds. I tried cutting out different foods. The meds helped ease the problems somewhat, but nothing really seemed to really help. Over the past few months it has become more and more frequent, and more severe, until now I'm sick every single day, and the past few days the nausea in my stomach has turned into a dull ache in my abdomen. As in, painful. I finally gave in and saw my doctor.

My gastrointerologist couldn't see me until November, so I went to see my family doctor. He's not sure what's going on, but he's leaning toward the problem being my gall bladder. I have a CT and bloodwork scheduled for next week, a follow up appointment with him in a month, and a referral to my GI after all. He also gave me a prescription to help with the symptoms to take as needed, and I have to say I do think they are working. So that's a positive, I guess.

And then there's my metabolic disorder and related weight issues. It's been roughly a year since I had to discontinue my endocrine meds. I did meet with a couple of doctors, including the surgeon about the the surgery my endocrinologist wants me to have. Unfortunately, my insurance company won't cover it, period. You see, it's a bariatric surgery. Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, also known as VSG or Gastric Sleeve.

Briefly, the reason my endocrinologist recommends this procedure is a little backwards from the usual reason, and is the reason it has to be this bariatric procedure, as opposed to others. You see, the part of the stomach that is removed during the surgery is the part of the stomach that creates some of the hormones and other chemicals that are out of whack for me. It is for this reason that this is the optimal choice for me.

In fact, in what was for me a surprising additional confirmation for me to have this procedure, at my yearly gynecological visit earlier this year, my gynecologist also recommended the procedure, having no knowledge that another specialist had already done so. The reason? Well, my weight for starters. But... he specifically noted that because of the change in hormones induced by the VSG, there's a good chance it would also help improve some of my gynecological issues as well.

My husband is on board. The more I learn about the procedure the more I'm convinced it is the best choice for my long term health. Unfortunately my insurance company seems to disagree. So... we're waiting for some financial items to fall in line, and hopefully we'll be able to proceed early next year.

In the meantime, I now weigh more than I have ever weighed in my entire life, and am bigger than I have ever been. In fact, even though I know expecting a big result is futile, I've started utilizing meal replacement shakes just to keep my waistline from growing further, mostly because I can't afford to expand my wardrobe again. It's depressing, I hate the way I look. But I keep trying to look to the light at the end of the tunnel and know that a year from now my weight, and more importantly my health, should be much improved.

So, that's about it health wise. Seems like there's a lot going and nothing going on all at once.

How are all of you doing?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Kids Update

Well, here I am. Fall schedules are in full swing.

We started with Classical Conversations this year. and go to community on Tuesday mornings. Soccer practice Tuesday & Friday evenings. Gymnastics class Wednesday afternoons. Soccer games on Saturday mornings.

It's busy, but doable.

We recently got Jena's results from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. To summarize:
    - age wise she should have just started 2nd grade
    - grade wise she just started 3rd grade
    - her composite grade level equivalent is 4.4, with all of her stanines in the 8 - 9 level, and her NPR in the 95-99 percentile for all subjects

She is excelling in soccer. She was a star goalkeeper last season, and this season she has just continued to improve. In addition, she has started playing as striker a bit and has done fairly well in that position as well. Her coach has made several comments about how much she has improved on the field since last season. Jena loves the sport, and as much as she enjoys striker, goalkeeper is what makes her smile.

We also started her in gymnastics over the summer. She had been asking to do it for a while, then her pediatrician recommended it because she is a bit delayed in her gross (and fine) motor development, so we decided to go ahead, despite the added cost & expense. I have to say, it has been well worth it. Her motor skills have already improved greatly, and I honestly attribute much of her improvement in soccer to her ability to this improvement. She has more control over her body's movements, just in general, and several extended family members have commented on it. As an added bonus she loves gymnastics as well, and has made it her goal to make the gym's competitive team. As a result she spends a lot of her free time in the front yard working on her skills.

I have to say, I have been quite impressed with my little 7 year old's dedication to excelling in both sports, and the work she has put in on her own to that end.

We've only had two weeks of Classical Conversations so far, but so far I am quite impressed. The facts she is learning, the manner in which it is presented, the fact that she enjoys learning history, geography, & science; it's been quite nice. Science has always been the subject that I felt least able to teach well, and not only do they learn facts, but they do an experiment each week on community day, so that is a huge load off. Jena enjoys the way they present facts so much that she took it upon herself to memorize all the U.S. Presidents using their songs, and has already succeeded!

I started doing one preschool lesson each day with Jillian as well, and she already knows most of her colors and maybe half of her letters. Numbers are a bit of a struggle. She is still essentially non-verbal, but I have a feeling a language explosion is right around the corner, as she's added 3 words to her vocabulary in the past week.

I think that's about the only major updates for now. Hope all is well with all of you! As always, thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The funny thing about blogging is...

When I don't have time to write I have like a thousand ideas that come to me and I say "I really should write about this" or "I need to tell my blog world about this", and then when I have time to sit down and write, like tonight, it's all a blur and what ideas I do recall I now can't think of anything to say.


That's the way it goes, though, isn't it?
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