Monday, October 31, 2011

It's a "Ruff" Life. . .


And a few pics I was able to capture before she tried to destroy it. . .

 What is this thing and why is it on my back?

I better get a really freaking huge treat for this, Mom.

I hate my life.

Happy Halloween from Daisy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baked Zucchini Crisps

Part of all this minimal change disease fun is a low-sodium diet. Also known as a  "low happiness and low fun" diet. I've been doing my best to keep track of sodium and what I'm eating, but it's getting pretty dull. I saw this recipe online and figured I'd give it a go! It may not be super low in sodium, but it is high in deliciousness and other health benefits.

2 medium zucchini, sliced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
sprinkling of garlic powder
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Mix together bread crumbs, pepper, garlic powder, and cheese.
Crack eggs in a separate bowl.
Dip zucchini slices in eggs, and then in bread crumb mixture.
Place on a greased baking sheet.
Spray with cooking spray.
Bake for 5-8 minutes in preheated oven. Flip and bake other side 5-8 minutes, until brown and crispy.
Enjoy with dipping sauces or plain!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday-Everything Is FIne

Everything is fine, fine, fine
Through the sunshine and the rain
I got a peace of mind
You know I can’t complain
I make it a point to thank the Lord
When I got Him on the line
I’m feeling good and everything is fine

-Josh Turner

my students
(yes, they have their moments, but in all honesty these kids rock!)

(hello my name is Lauren and I have a new addiction. These things are fantastic!)

evening alone time
(one of my favorite parts of each day is our evening walk. It's nothing more than a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood with the pup, but there is something about that downtime together that really makes my day)

(as my body adjusts to everything I am reminded of how truly wonderful good health can be)

our community group
(I love these people and the truth they bring into our lives. For those of you not involved in one, go get connected!)

What are you thankful for this Thursday??

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meet Big Bertha

I love any and every holiday. Truly, give me a reason to celebrate and I'll turn it into a holiday. President's Day? Sure, they did some cool stuff! St. Patrick's Day? Of course I want a reason to wear green and eat/drink green things! Veteran's Day? You better believe I'll be repping the red, white, and blue and thanking the vets! I annoy the mess out of some of y'all, and the delight the rest. Pssst, if you're in the annoyed category check out now. We have officially entered one of the best times of the year. . .the holiday season!

The wonderful kicks off with Halloween, followed by Veteran's Day, Turkey Day, and Christmas. This year Pinterest has kept me very busy with possible additions to my festive mood. Mua ha ha ha! My poor husband won't know what hit him when Christmas break comes around and I have all the time in the world to craft! Before I jump the gun to the other holidays, let's enjoy the one we have with us-Halloween.

Some people don't like the hullaballoo of dressing up and all that it stands for; I get that. I just like having something to celebrate and be happy about! This year David indulged me and got a pumpkin three weeks before Halloween (I told you I got excited). I would have gotten it sooner, but that whole getting sick thing really put a bug in my system for bit. Even though he would rather poke his eyeballs out with red hot needles, he was also kind enough to help my carve it. Without further ado, meet Big Bertha.
The first cut is the deepest. . .
Yes, I realize how truly lame I am.

Attempting a cranial something or other

She resembled a beautiful pirate for a bit with her one eye

Daisy contributed to the family event from afar. Apparently she's not a big fan of giant pumpkins.

Brain surgery. 

Big Bertha, two weeks and two teeth later. 

How are you preparing for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Big Fixins

This weekend was a weekend of big fixins around casa de Mobley. David's brother, John, earned his Eagle Scout rank (HOORAY!) which meant bacoodles of people coming in to celebrate. What that really meant was people were coming over. I absolutely adore all of David's family. When I say I won the in-law jackpot, I mean I won the jackpot. These people are truly fantastically wonderful and have welcomed me with open arms into their extended brood. Typically visiting with in-laws stresses people out, but I was actually pretty excited!

Friday night was the kick off event at John's high school. Everyone who was in town headed there to watch him perform with the band at the halftime show. Unfortunately a full week at school had knocked me out (and filled my legs with enough water that they began to resemble tree trunks. . .) and I wasn't able to go. David went and cheered him on enough for the both of us, and my momma came to keep me company.

Saturday was when the real fun started. Everyone was scheduled to arrive at our house about one o'clock to see the new house and watch football before heading to John's band competition that night. Welllll part of being back at school meant I had no time to myself last week, aka I needed to go to the grocery store. At 6:30 Saturday morning I dragged my booty out of bed and hit the Teeter for some snack foods. By the time I got home I had decided Davido had done enough sleeping and he should be up helping me prepare. Poor kid can't catch a break. He dutifully got out of bed and helped me clean top to bottom (you'd be amazed at how much clutter two people and a pup can accumulate) before they came.

It was a great afternoon for all as David gave tours and I entertained from my new pedestal. All the activity in the morning puffed me up like a balloon and my poor feet required massive raising all afternoon. After a few football games and lots of food they all bundled up for an evening in the cold watching the competition. I had every intention of going until a few family members vetoed it, so I stuck it out at home in my cozy clothes with the fire burning. I lead such a rough life, let me tell ya. . .

About 8:30 I started getting some tension in my chest. It was very odd, and something totally unfamiliar to me. Considering all this health hullaballoo I've been through, I've been able to avoid chest pains. I anxiously called the Momma (it's a toss up whether it's actually a good thing the Momma is a nurse-I call the poor woman about everything!) to see if I was dying or not. She called my doctor and told me to take a few things and wait it out. If it didn't go away in an hour to call 911. Awesome. I called my poor hubby to let him know I was falling apart, again. The sweet boy left the competition (at least my body was kind enough to wait until after John had performed!) and picked up some meds on his way home. Thankfully the evening ended uneventfully.

Sunday morning we arose bright and early to head to the Mobley's church downtown. This is actually the church we were married in so I always love going back! John was recognized at church and then the fam headed to the Mobleys for lunch and birthday celebration. Oh, did I mention we were also celebrating my wonderful mother-in-law's birthday AND David's amazing Aunt's birthday?!? I told you the weekend was big fixins!

After lunch we all tootled on over to the ceremony location and began the set-up. For those of you who have never attended an Eagle Scout Ceremony-go! It is so neat to see a young man recognized in such a way for all his hard work and accomplishments. It's also neat to see how the family component is tied into it. Both David and my brother, TJ, were Eagle Scouts, so it's always neat to see someone else achieve this rank! Not to mention I got to see my hubby in uniform. A Boy Scout uniform, but a uniform nonetheless. BAM CHICA WA WA! It was a wonderful ceremony followed by more food. Do you see a theme starting here?

We were pooped  by the end of the weekend. Refreshed from seeing family, but pooped. That evening we did nothing but loll about watching football. A great way to end the evening if you ask me! A few pictures from yesterday:

 Brothers preparing to say the oath

 The proud parents (can ya tell I was a smidgen close??)

Putting the Eagle pin on John.

The proud Papa and his two Eagle Scouts

The family on the alter afterwards

Forgot to mention the random deer we saw just chillin in some one's yard on the way there. It was real!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Delicious Dip

I am ALL about easy recipes to grab and go. I mean, what good Southern girl doesn't have a few up her sleeve for any random visit? The one I am about to share is not only delicious, but it is fantastically easy and won't cost you more than a few bucks!

one jar of red (or green) pepper jelly
1 package cream cheese-softened
spreadable cracker

Open cream cheese. 
Open pepper jelly.
Enjoy on crackers.

I told you it was easy! I made this today for all of my husband's sweet family, and got more compliments than I have on any other food. It was the first thing gone of everything we set out! Pretty impressive for something so pitifully simple. Give it a try!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday-How Great Thou Art

Oh Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds
Thy hands have made
I see the stars
I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout
The universe displayed.
-Christian Hymn

I have SO much to be thankful for these days that I may actually have trouble narrowing it down to a few. It's been very easy for me to get caught up in what has been going on these past few weeks and to really get down about it. The hard part is staying positive. Whenever I want to dwell in the negativity I snap right out of when I look around at all that surrounds me-I am so immensely blessed!! Alright I'll stop ranting and give you a glimpse at some of the awesome I get to experience.

(holy canoli did I win the jackpot here! I cannot express to you how truly wonderful these people are. From sending me messages checking on me to covering my class and taking care of my kids. Seriously they are awesome sauce and deserve WAYYYYYYY more credit than they ever get!)

(our families have really stepped up in this time to help us. My mom and sisters came to take care of me for a bit, and David's family visited me at the hospital every time. I am so blessed by their proximity and their kind hearts.)

*modern medicine*
(I heard so many times that it's all treatable, and for that I am grateful. David and I were talking one night about how a hundred years ago that would not have been the case. As much as some of us complain about all the medicines out, at least they are there for us!)

*caring medical workers*
(I didn't have the best experience at the hospital with doctors (David keeps reminding me I'm not the only sick person in the world. . .), but the nursing staff and my primary physician are stellar! I have been so blessed by people going above and beyond their call of duty to help me)

*my kiddos*
(my kids have been so sweet during this time! They constantly check on me and make sure I've snacked and am resting enough. How many people can say that about the 8th graders they know?)

 *my sweet husband*
(David has been absolutely amazing during all these. He is conscious of how much I can do, but he refuses to let me get lazy and dwell. We keep teasing him that he was supposed to have gotten the "healthy Wardlet" and he can still trade me in. He just laughs and takes it all in stride. So grateful for the rock that he is in our family!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Family Sticks Together

We've been very fortunate for all the people who have stepped up while I've been sick. From family coming in to take care of me to friends picking up our slack at work. Long story short, we owe y'all. BIG! So to fill you in on our shenanigans. . .

Wednesday evening I started getting really sore again at the biopsy site. I remembered that the nurse who had helped perform it had mentioned soreness could mean internal bleeding. Awesome. Thursday morning I called the doc about not losing much water weight yet (I never said I was patient) and mentioned the soreness. She told me she was going to schedule an ultrasound at the hospital just to check it out and that she would call back with details. Two hours later Abby and I were still sitting there. Well, I was more laying there because that's about all I did at that point. About a noon we received a call from the nephrologist's office that they had been alerted by the hospital that I never showed up for the appointment. No kidding-no one ever called us back! Anywho, we hopped in the car and headed over there.

Word from the wise, always get an appointment if you can. We learned this as soon as we walked into the admitting area and joined the line of other people with random issues. Since life likes to throw things out of whack for me, my paperwork had been "lost" in between scheduling my appointment and me not showing up (once again, BECAUSE NO ONE CALLED! I'm not bitter. Noooooo) which forced us to wait a bit. After about thirty minutes of me leaning back in the chair feeling woozy and Abby racking up points on Fruit Ninja on my phone, we were herded back to fill out more paperwork.

Around this time I started feeling kind of woozy. Very nauseated to be specific. Since the meds bring this on, I didn't think much about it, and tried to patiently fill out the paperwork while the nincompoop behind the desk did it wrong time and time again. When she finally had things in order she sent us back to the waiting room to wait for the ultrasound. Since I was feeling weird and kind of had to pee (a big thing these days!), I had Abby do the old-lady shuffle down the hall with me to the restroom. At least that was the plan. Ten steps in I knew it wasn't going to happen. I turned around to shuffle back and told the admittance lady that I felt like I was going to black-out. She brought around a wheelchair, but it was too late.

The next thing I remember I was being wheeled down the hall on a stretcher to the ER. The black-outs had struck again, those nasty sons of guns! The nurses were shouting random questions about medications and why I was even in the hospital. I was conscious enough to hear them, but not to respond. Once I did feel well enough I began answering as best I could for the charge nurse, with Abby there to fill in missing details. A good friend of the Momma's actually works in the hospital and came to check on me too. Just seeing a normal face again really calmed me down!

My sweet hubby showed up about the time they were finishing my vitals. He filled them on what he could before I started getting sick again. Yep, you heard that right-getting sick again. All of the sudden a wave of nausea came over me and I was dry heaving in pretty pink hospital bucket. This put poor Abby over the edge and she had to leave the room. Once I settled down I sent David out to check on her. Some long-time readers may remember my post a while back on Abby's heart problems. Well, they decided to kick in after seeing my episode and Abby was admitted to the ER. For those of you keeping track, that is now TWO Ward girls in the hospital.

David quickly called my dad, who hit the road from work to get to us. Momma was already on her way after getting the original call. Too bad she was in Chattanooga with Mandy on their way back from a doctor's appointment in Cincinnati. After I settled down they wheeled me to the ultrasound where they found no internal bleeding (praise Jesus!) and they discharged me. While waiting for Abby to get an echocardiogram, where they found no significant issues, I had another dry heaves spell and almost blacked-out. Again. The doctors then determined that I am now susceptible to these little gems and they could start happening regularly. Fun stuff.

To wrap it up, went in for a regular check-up, left with a new diagnosis. Hooray! It's certainly never dull around here. All is well now, and I actually am home now after my first full day back at school. I'm absolutely exhausted, but glad to be back trying to get into the swing of things. Thank you again for your prayers and well-wishes! We will keep you posted on news as we can:-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Diagnosis!

We officially have a diagnosis! Before I divulge all the details, let me back up and fill y'all in.

Last you heard we were stuck in the hospital another night. I could barely contain my joy at another night sleeping upright eating glue-like grits and dry toast. Well, not two hours later another doctor came in to check on me. This doctor also had not looked at my chart and knew nothing of what was going on (I'm beginning to see a trend here. . .) and said I should be able to go that afternoon. Huh? Let's recap: morning doctor said I was stuck until Sunday, afternoon doctor said we would be free that afternoon. As you can imagine, David and I were a bit confused by this and requested they actually communicate with each other (the horrors!) and figure this mess out.

A few more hours of waiting, and a pretty ingenious set-up of computers for football viewing, we were FREE! After a very painful discharge and trip home (who knew I-85 had so many bumps and construction??) we were home! My sweet husband pulled out the sofa bed and I settled in for an evening of complete stillness thanks to the very sore spot on my back.

That night I slept for 13 hours (I told y'all that hospital bed was uncomfortable) and woke up ready to settle in for a day of football and rest. The Momma joined us half-way through the day and was kind enough to not only make us a low-sodium supper (doctor's orders-bleck), but to also tidy up our increasingly messy house! I really am so blessed by these people!

That evening I went to bed early (as if I had a choice, my body is very adamant against me staying awake for extended periods of time these days) with hopes of going to school the next day. Monday morning rolled around and the minute my alarm went off I knew I was in for a rough day. The pounding headache that has come to characterize much of my time (thanks to water pressure build-up) was there to greet me. The next depressing turn? nothing fit. Normally this is a cause for joy because it means shopping-yay! Not so much. None of my clothes fit thanks to the ridiculous amount of water weight I have put on, and seem to continue putting on. I managed to find a summer dress that used to be too big, and threw it on. Off to school I went!

The first sign I should not have gone anywhere should have been when it hurt to take the dip in our driveway, but noooooooooo my stubborn self just kept on truckin'. I ended up making it to school, very slowly I might add, and shuffled down the hall to my classroom. About that time another teacher I work with saw me and sent me into my room saying she would be by in a minute to help me make sub plans. As she was helping me, a few of my teammates and our principal all came by to check on me with the same orders-to go home. Thank God for them! If I hadn't listened and tried to stay I would have probably passed out from exhaustion before the first class ended.

I ended up passing out for another three hours as soon as I got home. Such an exciting life I lead, right? A few hours of alternating school work and naps took me into the afternoon. By this point I was feeling especially puny, and kept texting the Momma to see if she had heard anything back about the biopsy. Around 3:30 I finally heard back from the nephrologist with a diagnosis! Apparently I have something called minimal change disease. She said this is the best diagnosis we could have hoped for, all things considered. She mentioned that roughly 60% of her patients respond well to steroids (bring on the bacon and acne cream!) and water pills. She then proceeded to call in about every pill known to man (at least it seemed like it) to get the ball rolling.

That brings us to this morning. I took everything I was supposed to and am waiting for it all to kick in. Realistically, I know it's going to take some time (she said anywhere between 3-4 weeks for the swelling to go down), but I'm still holding out hope that it magically happens in a day. David and I are so fortunate for everyone who has stepped up to help us in this time! From our co-workers who are picking up our slack (thank you, we owe y'all one or a million!) to our family and friends who keep reaching out to help. We cannot thank y'all enough for everything. More updates to come as we get them!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
-Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Let the Fun Continue!

Well first of all, you guys are all awesome.  I mean, I know I'm a great blogger, but I'm glad you guys got to experience it!

So, last night we had a little adventure.  Lauren was instructed to lay in bed for 6 hours after her procedure.  So, of course, right at 5:59:59 we decide that she can now get up to try and use the restroom (remember, she's retaining all this water).  Well, as I go to get the nurse, my sweet wife decides to blackout.  I can honestly tell you it's the first time in my life when "cave-men"-like tenancies took over and I went into "protect my wife" mode.

A nurse came in, snapped her out of it, and got her back with us.  Her eyes were extremely dialated and they proceeded to check all her vitals.  All in all, she was maybe out for 10-20 seconds, although it felt like eternity.

They checked her vitals, all seemed ok, but they wanted to perform a CT scan to see if she had any internal bleeding.  The scan took  all of 2 minutes and we went back to our room to wait for the results.

The nurse came in to inform us that she did have internal bleeding, but that it was very minimal and nothing abnormal considering the circumstances.  She also informed us that her lunges were apparently "being lazy" and that she needed to focus on taking deep breaths to expand her lunges.  She then said it was ok for Lauren to doze off, but that nurses would be in every 4 hours or so to check in on her status / vitals.

Needless to say, I decided to stay up for a while to make sure everything went back to normal.  The sweet nurses provided me with a cot (otherwise I would have been sleeping on the floor with a sleeping bag), and I tried to doze off around 11:30.

2 hours later and I was still awake, but then we remembered that Lauren's phone has a "white noise" app!  Listen, Lauren and I are really spoiled and we can't sleep if we don't have a fan running, so just take it easy, ok?

So I turned on the app, and we dozed off and on until about 7am when they did labs and 9:30 when the doctor came in.  He informed us that her numbers looked good, but all things considered, he wanted her to stay through the day.  Unfortunately, this kind doctor would also be visiting other hospitals and wouldn't be able to return tonight to discharge her.  Therefore, my beautiful wife and I will be enjoying college football together in the room, staying the night, and hopefully discharged tomorrow morning!

She's feeling much better, has lost swelling of the water, and has regained color in her complexion.  Quite honestly, we could probably have left this morning or this afternoon, but staying another night is probably a good idea considering our adventure last night.

Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers, and we'll keep you updated!

Until next time, I leave you with my favorite quote:
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Beuller

Go Gators, Tigers (Clemson), and Pack!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Biopsy

Good Friday evening to all!  Lucky for you, Lauren has a guest writer today - the infamous David Mobley!!!  Since Lauren's on the DL (disabled list to all you non-sports fans), I'll be updating you today!

This morning we went back to the doctor's office in Cornelius to get some last-minute blood work done before we headed off to Presbyterian Hospital in downtown Charlotte.  My awesome mother met us to take the pup for the weekend and off we went!  We checked in at 11 AM, and went back to the radiology department around 11:30.

Unfortunately, our first nurse did not pass the "successfully put in an IV" exam in nursing school and failed twice with Lauren.  She called in the queen of nurses and she earned her paycheck for the day as she properly did her job.  They took some more blood and we waited for about 1.5 hours for her biopsy to begin.

Around 1:30 Lauren began her procedure.  I waited out in the hallway and the wonderful Miss Jenny joined me as we waited for the biopsy to finish.  We joined Lauren around 2:30 and she said she felt fine (all things considered), but that it felt like someone with a steel-toed boot kicked her in the back.  My question, of course, was, "When have you ever been kicked in the back by a steel-toed boot"?  But I digress...

Apparently they stuck a needle in her left kidney twice and took two "successful" pieces during the biopsy.  Lauren said it sounded like a staple gun, kinda like a "chah chung" noise, if you will, as the needle entered her back and took out a tiny little piece of her precious kidney.

We waited in the room for about 30 minutes until they so graciously moved us into the hallway for all the hospital to see until they took us to our room.

About 45 minutes later we entered our room, shortly followed by a visit from the doctor.  He informed us that her kidneys are healthy and functioning properly minus the leakage of protein.  Because they're leaking protein, her kidneys are in turn retaining sodium, which therefore makes her body retain the water.  While they won't get results back til Monday, he's hoping that she'll simply need some doses of steroids (I'm really excited about finally having a spotter while I'm lifting in my garage), and that this treatment works for 60% of patients.  If it doesn't work, they'll try another round of steroids, and if that fails again, then we move on to other alternatives.

But like I said, they won't have a synopsis until they get the results in early next week.

Otherwise, we've had awesome visits from Miss Jenny who brought us pizza and coffee, and my wonderful parents who have been watching the pup and brought us CHINESE!! :-)

We'll stay here over night (I brought a camping pad and sleeping bag because this 6'4" body cannot fit on this tiny little recliner), have more blood work / labs at 7AM (rise and shine!), and then hopefully be out by late morning.  Then we'll head back home and have a great excuse to lay around and watch football all day!

Lauren and I thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, and we'll keep you posted as we find out more information!

P.S. - Tell Lauren how much you loved my celebrity post, and maybe she'll let me come entertain you in the future!

Until then, stay classy San Diego.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There Has Been A Revolt-An Update

When I left y'all yesterday I had no idea what was going on. That much hasn't changed. What has changed is that we've been able to narrow it down some-hooray!

We went to the doctor yesterday afternoon for the echo cardiogram. The tech lady was so sweet and explained every step of the way. It was so neat to see my heart pumping away on the screen. About 15 minutes into it she saw that one part of my heart (not a clue what it is called) is a little thinner than it should be. To err on the side of caution she decided to do a bubble echo. This required yet another IV. Oof.

Apparently I have very elusive veins that don't like to be poked and prodded very much. The nurse inserted the IV into my right arm only to discover it wasn't flushing and we'd have to try another spot. Awesome. She then decided my hand was the only place she could get a good vein. For those of you who don't know much about IVs, the hand is the most painful place to insert an IV. After inserting it and determining it would flush the bubbles they attempted the bubble echo. Yes, I said attempted, because my lovely veins would not allow the bubbles to flush at the necessary rate. After many tries we finally saw bubbles enter my heart, but not with the strength necessary to complete the test. The cardiologist ended up determining that the thinness was nothing to worry about now and would be assessed again at a later date. Summary of the story: it was a big, fat waste of time. No, no, no I'm not bitter at all!

After we waited for those results we met with my primary physician who filled us in on as much as he could. Turns out the 5cm long cyst on my spleen had nothing to do with any of my symptoms, neither did the irregularity in my heart. What was causing all these bizarre symptoms has to do with my kidneys. Huh?

The MRI showed nothing to be wrong with my organs other than some fluid in my lungs (from my kidneys causing my body to retain water).  My blood tests showed normal functions in my kidneys as well. Which means that all of this is likely some autoimmune condition. I really shouldn't be surprised, we Wardlets have a tendency to end up with the strangest of conditions. The water retention, nausea, weight gain, etc is all due to my lovely kidneys deciding to revolt. He then referred us to a nephrologist (kidney specialist).

Fast forward to this morning. I woke up with my hands puffier than ever and my feet so swollen it hurt to walk. I got out of bed and was short of breath. After looking in the mirror I noticed that my face was joining the ranks of the rest of my body with puffiness (side note: my husband has kindly started referred to me as a Mutant Ninja Turtle thanks to my fat face). I called the Momma and she had me pack a bag for the hospital just in case (spoiler alert: I was not admitted to the hospital) and had me come in to the doctor.

They did more chest x-rays to check on the shortness of breath and saw there was still fluid there. The doctor attributed this to my body retaining water and the fluid entering the "third compartments". He said the shortness of breath is likely due to the rapid weight gain (all the extra fluid). My body just isn't used to carry this much extra around. He then sent us straight to the nephrologist.

The nephrologist was wonderful, or as wonderful as she could be all things considered. As soon as she examined me and heard all my symptoms she ordered more blood work and a kidney biopsy. She also prescribed some diuretics to reduce the swelling. If they don't help me lose some of this extra weight, running back and forth to the bathroom will! Her guess for all this was nephrotic syndrome. A fancy name which just means my kidneys are not happy and have decided to revolt. Pretty exciting, right?

So, where are we now? Well, I have a kidney biopsy scheduled for Friday afternoon to determine what is causing the nephrotic syndrome and what the possible treatment will be. She's mentioned a long list of meds for treatment, one of which is a steroid. Now, I remember when my dear sweet sister turned into a raging bacon-thirsty tyrant on steroids, and I am SO not excited for those. I can only imagine what my level of patience is going to be with my kind husband and sweet children!

Continued thanks for the kind thoughts and prayers! We'll keep you posted as things arise!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

There's a First Time for Everything. . .

How cliche is that saying? But totally true. Yesterday was full of firsts for me, and they weren't all wonderful. Let me back up and fill y'all in.

About two weeks ago I started feeling short of breath. It would happen randomly, but was still pretty obnoxious especially considering the fact that I run 4-5 times a week and walk around the neighborhood most weeknights with Davido. I then began to notice other bizarre things like I'd either be starving or nauseous, but nothing in between. Then, I realized that my feet, ankles, and hands were swelling. Swelling to the point that I was having trouble putting shoes on. The final straw was when I put on jeans that fit a week ago, but could barely squeeze in to. I hopped on to the scale and discovered that I'd gained a little over ten pounds in less than two weeks. Now, I know I'm a big eater, but that is ridiculous! All this happened without me changing my diet at all.

I finally bit the bullet and called the Momma (aka Nurse Jenny). She scheduled an appointment for me with the doctor for after school on Monday. He took one look at me and began calling in the tests. Blood work, strep test, and ultrasound, and an EKG. He threw a flu shot in there for good measure. For a girl scared to death of needles, this was a series of torture experiments one after the other. Good thing the reading teacher in me thought ahead and brought a book (Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins-hit it up).

Two hours later it was determined that I would need a CT scan. Awesome. It was about five o'clock by this point and my sweet husband was beginning to wonder if he was ever going to see his wife again. Momma called him and he met me at the hospital for what turned into hours of fun (please tell me you're picking up on the extreme sarcasm here).

In case you didn't know, you're not allowed to eat before a CT scan. As previously mentioned, it was suppertime by this point and I was getting hungry, too bad my whining and protests were ignored by the hospital staff. They checked me in and gave me what seemed like a gallon of Crystal Light on crack. In all actuality it was the drink to prepare me for the scan. Then the wait began. Since I came straight from school I still had my computer with me and was able to get some school stuff done while I waited. About 7:30 the tech came back with a grim look on his face. A grim look is never good wherever you are, but especially in a hospital waiting room. It turns out the staff had been on the phone for the past hour trying to get clearance to switch me to a MRI instead of a CT scan due to the bizarre nature of my case. If only they had thought to tell the patient this we could have saved a lot of time and stress thanks to my direct contact with Nurse Jenny, but I digress.

At this point I was starving or at least it felt like it. David finally broke down and went to find a snack for himself. He was kind enough not to eat it in front of me, but just the smell of the Cheese Nips on his breath about did me in. I begged the tech to let me eat. It must have been the look in my eyes because he cleared it and my sweet hubby went in search of food for me. Thirty minutes later my tummy was full of Chick-fil-A, and we were still waiting.

Around 8:30 they took me back for the MRI. The ladies were super nice and answered all my questions, but the fact that I had to lay perfectly still in a tube for half an hour still had me freaked out. They hooked me up to an IV, turned on satellite radio in my headphones and slid me in. I'm not going to lie, I freaked a bit at first. It's not that I'm claustrophobic, but I have this thing about being able to move all my limbs. Bizarre, I know, but then again I'm a pretty bizarre person. Once they turned on the music and I got settled in, it really wasn't so bad. Oddly enough, it was actually kind of soothing. I started to relax and began taking breaths on command. What really helped me was naming my students. I went through each table in each of my classes and named all my students' first and last names. Who knew the kids could actually calm me down?!? Oh, the irony. . . After they MRI they sent us on our merry way back home. I took some of the diuretics they gave me to eliminate the swelling and climbed into bed. The minute my head hit the pillow I was out for the count.

That brings us to today. I have an echo cardiogram scheduled for later this afternoon, which will hopefully shed some light on that whole breathing conundrum. For those of you keeping track here is a list of the firsts from this experience:
  • First ultrasound
  • First EKG
  • First trip to the hospital not to visit someone (though I've spent plenty of times there visiting the sisters!)
  • First hospital band
  • First time drinking the CT scan juice
  • First time having an MRI
  • First time actually having something wrong with me and it not being just my hypochondriac tendencies acting up.
I will do my best to keep everyone posted as things develop. Thank you for all the love and prayers!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Falling for Fall

I postively love Fall! I think just about every one in North Carolina does by the time it comes around. There is just something about the smell of apple cider and pumpkins on porches that gives us such a wonderful feeling. Not to mention lazy weekends of watching football on the couch (just like I am now). What makes it all even better this fall is that we now have a house to decorate in celebration-whoot whoot!

A few weeks ago I posted a few pieces of inspiration I found on Pinterest.  Well I convinced the dear husband that these wouldn't be ridiculous wastes of time and headed to AC Moore for my first official project! I decided that the first thing I wanted to tackle was this precious "Fall" sign I saw. The crafter had taken different pieces of scrapbook paper and framed them. Then, she printed the letters of fall out in different fonts and pasted them to the scrapbook paper. Sounds easy enough. In fact, easy enough that even I could do it!

I picked out four different fall themed papers at AC Moore and went in search of frames. The frame selection wasn't stellar, but I wasn't really in the mood to shop around, so I bit the bullet and bought what they had. I looked at the selection of sticky scrapbook paper for the letters, but ended up just printing some off at home.

Step 1: Meticulously cut out letters-much harder than it sounds!
Step 2: Crop scrapbook paper down to frame sizes-also much harder than it sounds!
Step 3: Glue letters to paper.
Step 4: Arrange and enjoy!

Here are some pictures from my project alsong with the final product!

The mess I created as I went

"F" layed out

My favorite paper!


Finished product (and Daisy's booty)!