29 March 2014

Ahhh, Alone Time

So it's almost midnight and I only get a few minutes of it, but I LOVE my alone time. John is out picking up Nia from a girls night with the church youth group and the other children are asleep. Alone time is a precious commodity around this house and I actually think I'm the only person in our family that seems to need or want alone time. When I steal away a few moments to myself, I'm generally quizzed with questions like 'what's wrong?' and 'is everything ok?'

I grew up as an only child so until I had my own first child I got as much alone time as person would need. It wasn't until about 5 or 6 years ago that I even began to use the phrase 'alone time' or realize that I needed it. It was at this time that time when I began to have less of it. I had just become a full time stay-at-home mom, and shortly after started homeschooling our oldest daughter. Threw the last few years I've tried different ways to squeeze it into the daily routine, but it just doesn't generally workout the way I envision it in my head. I have been known to hide in the car with a book on occasion, but someone always comes to the garage looking for me asking if I'm ok.

Before family life, I was that person that would eat in restaurants or go to movies all by myself. I absolutely love to shop, but not with other people... I don't see the point in shopping with other people. I know shopping in small groups is a time honored girl tradition, but I just don't get it.

So, what you do to get in a pinch of alone time?

18 March 2014

Back To The Hospital

I started to write this post from my room at a sleep clinic after being released from the hospital that morning. I woke up Sunday feeling like poop and with blue lips. John's response to my blue lips were, "We are going to the emergency room." I didn't argue or resist, even I realize that a person shouldn't have blue lips. After being put into a little curtained room at the ER, my husband told my nurse I had passed out the night before. I hadn't even realized I had done this. Later I found out that he and Nia have been observing me blacking out for a few seconds at a time since December. What! Why haven't I realized I have losing seconds at a time for last 3 months?

So, lets have a little recap for people that don't generally read my blog. In December I was hospitalized for passing out, my blood pressure and pulse rate erratically and quickly going high and low, being absolutely exhausted (unable to get out of bed exhausted), being incoherent, and dizziness. This wasn't something totally new, I have had it happen before. Several times actually in the last 5 years. Before when it happened, I was always pregnant (in the last 5 years I have given birth to 2 amazing little boys and have had 2 miscarriages). I was always told it was just one of those weird pregnancy things and would go away when I was no longer pregnant. It has never been constant. It will go away for weeks or months and when it comes back may last a few seconds or (like in December) a few weeks. I am not however pregnant now (I was not pregnant in December nor have I been that way since) and since December I've had more time feeling crummy than feeling normal. In January my primary care physician (a new doctor for me because of moving in the fall) told me my blood pressure and heart rate issues are being caused by the muscles in my heart spasming, which is caused by fibromyalgia (I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 7 years ago). The good news is I finally have a doctor that realizes my fibromyalgia is key in figuring out my health. However, I don't know what to do about what's going on. I can't do many normal, everyday things if I'm prone to passing out at the drop of a hat. Not being able to safely pick up my baby or drive kind of puts a huge damper on my life.

Where are we at now. With the blue lips and blacking out, the doctors are thinking this might be more than a little fibromyalgia flare up. While in the hospital I had every possible test known to man run on my heart. Everything with my heart looks great. A cat scan was run to check for bleeding in my brain. Cat scan looked fabulous. I didn't leave the hospital feeling any better or with any answers again this time, but I did leave with a very distinct plan from my doctor. This is good, it's not something we have had when leaving the hospital before. Also, no one is trying to explain it away with the excuse of pregnancy. What's the plan? Well, my doctor wants to see what the results of the sleep test look like and is considering referring me to a neurologist. Depending on how that goes we will then look at the endocrine system. These test are expensive, time consuming, and not fun. So instead of doing them all at once, we are going system by system. Putting the most important systems for life at the top of the list.

I'm putting a complete list of my symptoms below. If anyone has a clue or slight feeling at what's going on with me, I would love to hear from you.

None of the following are present all of the time, I go weeks without any of them.
-Vision: sometimes I see spots or a halo around my vision field
-Poor gate: I feel like I'm about to fall over
-Pulse and blood pressure jumps around
-Irregular heartbeat- this is almost always present
-Light headed
-Memory loss/confusion
-Blacking out
-Extreme exhaustion
-About once a month I have a night of insomnia
-Crankiness: I get really grouchy when I'm not feeling well
-Mood swings: also when not feeling well
-Numbness on one side of face

-For the last 5 or 6 months everything has gotten a lot worse about 5 or 6 days before my period starts. January and February the symptoms lasted 2 days and then diminished. I might mention here this is when my periods seem to have become regular again after having Ember in May.
-I always have these symptoms just before catching any other kind of illness. Example: If my entire family catches a stomach virus. The day before I feel any effects of the stomach virus, I have most if not all of the above symptoms. This has always been worse than the actual illness that follows.

I'm home now and I've experienced all of the symptoms for most of the day. They are not as bad today though.

16 March 2014

Heart Update

The 2nd of January I was told my heart issues were caused by my fibromyalgia. I have muscle spasms in the muscles surrounding my heart that cause my blood pressure and heart rate to bounce around like a yo-yo. It makes me feel like a zombie when it’s happening. It comes and goes. Sometimes it last a few minutes, sometimes days. In December it lasted for 3 straight weeks. I can go several weeks without any issues then bam, I'm down for the count. I've know for 2 1/2 months what is causing me to feel so horrible, but my doctor has yet to tell me how to get relief from the issue, or hinted at any plan. My first visit about the issue I was told to get back onto my vitamins (I was taken off of them by a doctor when I was hospitalized in December) that I take to help control my fibromyalgia. I did, and the muscle spasms got better after a few days back on my vitamins, but only stayed that way for a few days. Since they come and go anyway, I'm not thinking the vitamins have much effect the vitamins have at all. I haven't been handling being sick very well at all. I get really, really depressed the first day of it and continue to be depressed until I'm well again. I’m grouch and not nice at all to anyone. Then I’m depressed for not being nice, even once I'm better this still really bothers me. When I do feel well, I live in complete fear that I will trigger something that makes my heart spasm. I have another doctor’s appointment this coming week, I pray I can get some relief.

update on March 17, 2014: So, I spent last night in the hospital... again. I was there for about 30 hours and have been told they have now run every test on my heart they can and my heart is fine. I'll write a new post telling a little more about the visit.

14 March 2014

Things I Recommend For Toddlers...

I will start by saying I have not been paid or am I affiliated with any of the below listed products or their companies. They are just things I like and thought you might also.

First up is the app Endless Alphabet which can be found here. The price is $6.99.

It is a rarity that I would recommend an app, especially one for a toddler. It is also an extreme rarity that I would pay 7 bucks for an app. In the 5 years our family has owned an iPad, I can remember exactly 4 apps that have cost this much or more that we have purchased. However, after playing this app for a couple of weeks, Cameron (age 2), has begun sounding out words that he encounters without prompting. Yes folks, this app has gotten my 2 year old to start reading words. Not by memorizing the shape of the word, but by using phonics. He hasn't picked up a book and tried to read it or anything that crazy, but if there is something he sees with a label on it that he wants, he has been sounding it out so he can tell us he wants it. He has done 5 words outside of the ones in the app so far for me.

And the next item is a Mommy's Helper Step Up potty seat found here on amazon for $23.45.

This has made not only potty time easier for us, but maneuvering in our small bathroom much less hazardous. It folds up, leans against the wall, and takes up much less space than a step stool and potty seat combo or the traditional little potty seat. The handles give Cameron a sense of stability. I would always have to help him hop down to his stool with the seat we had before this one. One warning though, you have to get it on properly. Notice in the picture above how the toilet seat is raised, if you don't do this the child seat can slip off with the child on it. Nothing worse than falling half naked from a any height when there is pee or poo involve. I would think that could be a definite potty training set back. 

And my final item is The First Years Insulated Sippy Cup found here 2 for $6.99.

These aren't the absolute best for not leaking, but I really haven't found a sippy cup that doesn't leak some. I like these because there are no valves. I HATE things with many pieces. I think when a house gets a certain number of people living in it, pieces just never seem to stay with their corresponding pieces. Since we are a family of 6, I think we have exceeded that number. If I manage to keep up with valves to sippy cups, I frankly get really annoyed by them either wearing out or by the extra time it takes getting them properly into their holes. I will only be buying this variety of sippy cup from now on.