Sunday, November 30, 2014

The first week of Advent

The first week of Advent is the festival of stones.

It was so nice to have kids around the table for our Advent story tonight, even the big kids humored me. It occurred to me that this is the Doctor's last Advent as a child and the last one he may spend with us. It is bitter sweet. He'll be off on a mission in the spring and then gone for two years. When he comes back who knows...

I love the anticipation of the season that Advent brings.

Happy Festival of Stones everyone!

Friday, October 17, 2014

How is it October?

Somehow this didn't post!

Holy cow!  I am not sure how almost 3 months have gone by!  We have been up to a lot of fun, a few mishaps and we have done a lot of dreaming.

We got back to school after recovering from all of our awesome summer guests.  Sam got baptized somewhere in there... grandparents came...

Comic Con happened...and Optimus Prime showed up.
Harry worked his buns off...and took a few selfies.
Now we are taking a deep breath in and seeking calm... tranquil autumn. hahahaha as if that can happen with this clan.

HEALTH update:
So I am coming up on six months since my stroke.  FINALLY I got to see a doctor that isn't just interested in giving me more pills. I got in to see the neurosurgeon that saw me in the hospital.  He didn't get to see me much because they were so concerned with my heart that the cardiologists hogged me.  The neurosurgeon said I have had more than one stroke.  We are looking at LEAST two, maybe more. My recovery is amazing but he wants to know why my speech and my legs (two different parts of the brain) are giving me trouble.  He has ordered a set of 3 MRIs to see if he can get to the bottom of some of it.  He isn't convinced it is a heart issue and is worried that something neurological could be to blame. I feel so validated after being told that I may or may not get it back and we hope it doesn't happen again so I should just take 21 pills a day and walk on.  I will do an update after I have had them.  They are scheduled for the 28th.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Enjoying Summer

We have enjoyed two weeks of grandparents and sun and beach now we are chillin for two weeks before the best 4 days of the year get started. It is really odd to watch this he of ours be invaded by people like us. Lol. There is a buzz of excitement in our house.

Harry is still enjoying Legoland and was told today that he will likely get carried past the season and he is super excited.

Ellie is excited for upcoming meetings with agents.

Sam and Sariah are enjoying friends and sand :)

Update on me.  I am finally getting in to see doctors. While my legs are better, they are still wonky.   I feel pretty great, lost 30 pounds and am enjoying life. My brain issues still loom, mostly in the form of word recall, hallucinations,  some stuttering and the most irritating my extreme lack of focus, but overall I  am loving life - you should be too.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Another week in Paradise :)

I keep being scolded to slow down, LOL... I know I am healing but goodness, that is the hardest order ever.  Two teens in this house and two little ones.  The drugs and lack of being able to drive are about all that slows me.  I went to pick up my second month of medications this week, WOW.

When you see it all out on the table, it is a bit frightening.  We had to pay cash for it all this month as I am waiting to get on an insurance policy and I found it odd and a bit disturbing at the pharmacy. When I first went, they assumed I still had MediCal, it was emergency insurance for my hospital stay and I was covered for 30 days.  We are extremely thankful because I know that bill will be huge. I knew I had to get a new policy as we were just a bit over the line for the free stuff.  ANYWAY... the pharmacist ran my prescriptions and said that they had been denied, no huge surprise really. So I asked for the cash price and she quoted me almost $300.  I nearly died.  What is wrong with this country?? So I went home to do some figuring and find $300 extra dollars.... like it might be in the couch cushions or something. I sat and figured what had to be purchased right away and what I had a bit extra of and could wait a few days. Seriously, I can't imagine doing this every month. It is so sad that people have to make those kids of decisions. I could start a rant but that would no be productive and will raise my blood pressure. LOL.  So I went back with my list in hand and once they knew I was paying cash, suddenly there was a huge discounting process. It was down to $140. So now... who is scamming who?  If they can run it with insurance then it is double but if you are paying cash then it is half? Now you are welcome to rant.  None of these things meant too much to me two months ago. Sure, I realized people struggled, but I didn't need prescriptions so I wasn't worried.  BAM. Guess who worries a bit now? No blanket statements.

We did have a nice week otherwise...

We started back to some school work this week. We will likely go for most of the summer to make sure we are ready for the fall.  Grade 2 and grade 8.  WHERE DOES TIME GO??

The Dr. asked if he could stay on at Legoland after the summer so he can continue to save for his mission... umm yeah, I am on board with that! So he is planning to get his state test done and then he will be done.  He really wants to graduate from Seminary so that may mean pushing his mission to this time next year, we shall see.  Him working is a blessing, to him and us. He loves it.

Our beach day had some excitement this week.... no sting rays, but the little boys in our group found a crab and had a bit of fun with him.  Spiders of the sea I say, but even Sariah was entertained.

On the me side, other than my drug wars, lol, I have been walking on, waiting for new insurance so I can go see new doctors. How am I doing?  Spirits are good, although I feel my temperament changing a bit, I hope I am still pleasant down the road.  People assume that because I look fairly the same, I probably am the same....nope. So things that aren't totally rosy.  I have hallucinations, at times my vision goes totally blurry, I have extreme focus issues at times, the most frustrating is probably memory loss.  I realized this week that I have lost a fair amount from the weeks before my incident.  Only time will tell on the rest.  I start back to acupuncture this week, hoping that will help :)

Blessings to all!  Have a great week!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I love these people!

This has been an adventurous week... I drove, not by choice and it was a little frightening but we got home. Not planning to do that again.  You see Papa got stung by a stingray at our weekly beach outing. We decided he is for sure a new level of B.A. now.  It is extremely painful and there is no treatment for the venom so you just have to wait it out while your body metabolizes it.  The lifeguards were great and super helpful.  We love Ocean Beach :)

My spirits have been better this week, I think the medications are starting to stabilize. I do find it interested (and a bit frightening) that even missing one dose or taking it late gives me chest pains and sends my blood pressure up.  I am not sure that you could really call me stable, at least by my terms since I am not seeing any end to all these drugs.  But I am here and that is what is important.  We are making some insurance changes so it is likely I won't get in to see other specialists until July at the earliest.  I will update when I know more.  My legs are getting stronger, but they are still now cooperating so strength isn't the issue.  I am enjoying good walks daily, after a time my hips and knee joint on my left side decide they are done.  No changes in my other issues of vision and focus.  But again, I am here and that part makes me happy.  Please keep us in your prayers as we work out the financial part of this new territory.

This week we have fun times with friends planned and Sam's birthday to get busy on, school planning to get started on and some school things to finish up for the year...slow and steady.

The Dr. has been super busy working at Legoland.  He is loving his job and I am so excited for him.  It really is just what he needed.  It is weird him not being here most days.  Hopefully he will sit for the CA High School exam within a few months so he will be done DONE on his high school career!  Life is marching on!  So weird. So cool at the same time. Bittersweet for sure but I have to say, I couldn't be prouder of this guy. To think there was a time when I worried he would never leave home.  He is excited to get busy on his mission to serve the Lord.  Wonder where he will go?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Life marches on...

It is super easy for me to focus on morning allotment of drugs keeping me alive. I admit to having some dark times of the soul lately where I am so thankful for my connection with the Savior. He's got a plan, even if I am not totally sure what it is just yet. 

I love to focus on this :)  Sam enjoying the day with our friends.  I am sad when I hear him tell his little friend about his mom almost dying - he knows.  He sticks pretty close to me these days, they all do.  Baby Bird hugs me tight each morning and smothers me with kisses, Lala opens up to me more than ever, The Dr. has started to show us glimpses of his true manhood in stepping up.  Life is different for sure. In some ways sweeter, in some ways day at a time.  It is all a gift.

Soon I will be working on school planning in depth for next fall, for now I will enjoy quiet afternoons and the humble blessings of my dear husband. He is such a rock. He knows I am struggling and he is right there to help me.  I am a lucky girl.

Many are asking for updates, so here is what we know now...

I saw the cardiologist for the first time since being home on Friday.  As much as I am leery of all things medical, he continues to make me glad that God brought him to work with us.  He listened to all my questions, talked to me about each drug and what it does, how it works, etc. When I asked him about a diagnosis, he gave me some options.  He said there is an extremely rare adrenal tumor called Pheochromocytoma.  Most of my pre stroke/heart issue episode symptoms are a match for it.  It seems that most doctors just worry about controlling the hypertension aspect and not about getting rid of the tumor.  To his credit, he works with my heart and as long as my heart is happy then he is happy.  So our next step is to try and find an endocrinologist to test me for the tumor. Thankfully these tumors are benign in nature. There is a large possibility that this isn't the diagnosis and I am just a weird fluke, we shall see.  The Dr. and Lala have been enjoying old episodes of House and bringing their own theories to the table with each meal...makes for interesting - and gross conversation.

My doctor also told me to get to the neurologist. He saw my brain scan and had concerns that he knows only that doctor can handle, so she is next.  She was awesome in the hospital so I am looking forward to that appointment. I know we are looking at brain damage and some loss of function, I don't know yet how permanent it is.  I know the brain is amazing and can heal, but I also know that this is a new place for us and we just have to walk with it.  I am thankful I can type, even though the words often don't come together like they should... it's like my brain forgets where the H is or the E is... it is an adventure for sure.  My legs aren't right... sometimes they cooperate and sometimes they buckle.  I don't seem to have total brain control over's like I have to tell them where to go and what to do. Thinking about walking isn't fun and I DETEST stairs. I do love getting out though and we are out walking daily so they are getting stronger, even if I have to tell them where to go. There is something wacko about my vision. A few times a day, typing or reading isn't possible, I can see words floating but can't put them together. It tends to be after I have exerted myself, napping and surrendering helps.  The good news is I can still knit!  That seems to still flow easily.  Embroidery not so much, I have to really focus on where that needle is going. I did lose 12 pounds in the two weeks I have been home, so that is awesome, looking forward to more.

I still can't drive or be alone with little ones, but I am here and I am happy and God is good :)

Blessings to everyone.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Keeping track

I feel prompted to keep up with my progress somewhere, this place is a good start. I need a place that isn't work related, that's just us. Raw.

On April 28, 2014, our lives changed.  I had what doctors are still calling an emergency,  I think you could pile stroke and mild heart attack on it. I arrived with blood pressure of 260/170.  I spent 9 days undergoing all kinds of tests. We know I have some brain damage and heart damage. We don't know how long it will take to heal. It may never totally heal. I can't drive.  I shouldn't be alone with the little ones. Handwork and reading aloud seem to be harder, my left leg seems to have a mind of it's own when it comes to walking - at least I didn't bring home a walker.

Our lives will be different now. New dreams need to be forged. I am lucky to be here. I love my husband.  I adore children.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our explorers block

With all the big kids, we have taken the opportunity to use our beloved former vacation spot for learning. There is so much rich history here. But this is the first time we have done it as California residents :) we had a lot of fun. We did our regular study of Juan Cabrillo and added this cool tour of the Maritime museum. They are building an exact replica of one of the fleet ships and it will actually sail! We also spent some time at the San Diego Mission.

Friday, March 7, 2014

WW2 Monuments at the Harbor

Beach with He Man

He Man was visiting and of course we had to play at the beach! The big kids are having fun digging holes these days.

The beach is right by the Navy base...The planes like to buzz close to the beach. Loud but cool.

Yeasty goodness!

MIL, Catherine read my mind for my birthday. I was pricing pizza stones and was having the hardest time deciding.  I came home from the mall and as if by magic, lol this awesome Dutch oven arrived. I am in love with and the way real yummy goodness of using real natural yeast to make bread.

Children's beach, la Jolla

A few weeks ago we went to Children's Beach for the first time, what a treat! ! Sea lions and their pups everywhere!

Noticed I missed some!

I was cleaning out Dropbox and noticed some pictures I totally missed! A few birthdays and some fun beach trips and did I mention we live in the flight path? I have become quite the air plane nerd.