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Diagnosis

March 7, 2014

I have written this post hundreds of times in my head. Each time it feels witty and awesome, but then I go to put it on paper and I just can’t write it. I am not really sharing my thoughts on Facebook because there are just too many readers there. My daughter is there, and I don’t know if I am ready for her to hear my raw emotions.

Some of you already know what is boiling around in my head, others not so much. The past year has been truly difficult for my family. While Sultry Husband (I just love calling him that ), started a job that he dearly loves, our personal lives have been in turmoil. We lived with family for a time, but for the past year we have been in a rental house on our own.

Just before we moved here, I noticed that one of my knuckles was swollen and it hurt as if I had bruised it somehow. I often bruise myself without thinking, so I wrote it off. A few weeks later, that finger was just not getting better. I showed it to my mom (the nurse, whom we were living with), asking her how long a bruise like that should last. She sent me to the doctors office… where the Doctor scratched his head saying that he had no idea what would cause the issue. So he sent me to a “Rheumetologist” who specializes in joint issues.

Then we moved here. I did follow up with the specialist (Dr. B), and she said it could possibly be something, but my blood tests all came back negative for any kind of arthritis, so it was probably nothing. So, she sent me home with a prescription for a large dose of Ibuprophren. A few weeks later, with still no change in the knuckle, Dr. B ordered an MRI of my hand. Afterwards, she told me that there was definitely inflamation (duh) in the knuckle, and she would like to drain it with a big needle for further testing. Ick, but ok. She also offered me a cortisone injection. Finally, the injection did something to relieve the pain and swelling that I had dealt with for months.

A few months after that, my right hand started swelling up. Back to Dr. B I went. She stated that my blood tests still came up negative for Arthritis, but once it was in two joints, it was more likely that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis. I brushed off her thoughts, saying to myself that I would be fine, and it would just go away with time. Dr. B put me on a medication that seemed to take away the symptoms, so I thought I was fine.

Fast forward to Christmas. I wanted these super cute boots for Christmas. Sultry Husband and I went shopping for them, he wrapped them up all adorable… and when I went to put them on Christmas morning, they hurt my right foot. The top of my foot had been tender for a little while, but I figured I must have dropped something on it… but now, I was losing feeling in two of my toes on my right foot. I called Dr. B. who scheduled me to come in just after the Holidays.

By the time I went in, both of my feet were so swollen that any shoes, even shoes that I knew were a size too large, hurt my feet. Dr. B did some X-rays and a full examination. She stated that this was Rheumatoid Arthritis for sure. Once it was in mirroring joints, the swelling, etc etc etc. She gave me a new medication that should take care of the issue, and put it under control.

I started the new medication, and saw an instant improvement in the swelling. However, the major side effect to the medication is that it made me so sick, I was throwing up constantly. I called Dr. B. Who stated that it was time to try a different medication. This time, a shot. Fine, I have done shots before, I can do them again and be ok.

So far no sickness, but no improvement of symptoms either. When I asked Dr. B’s nurse how long it usually takes on this medication to see relief, she mentioned to me that it could be 6 weeks or 6 months before I saw improvement. If after that time, I was still seeing swelling and pain, I should call them again so they could adjust my dose. Wow, so I put my life on hold for up to 6 months? To say I was discouraged was an understatement.

That’s the nuts and bolts of my diagnosis and the timeline leading up to it. Now, for where my head is through this whole thing. Many of you know my struggles over the years with my physical body. My left hip was finally replaced 6 years ago, and I have been pain free since then. It has been a glorious 6 years of activity. The ability to chase after my kids and actually play with them. To hike with my family and not be left behind. It all felt so wonderful. When I first got the diagnosis, Dr. B told me that I could still lead an active and happy life, I would just be dealing with RA on the side. But many people can go into full remission and never have symptoms. I still hope for that, but at first, when the pain started, I pretended to be an Ostrich and stuck my head in the sand. The symptoms wouldn’t be bad enough to slow me down, right? If the blood test was negative, it could be a misdiagnosis, right?

I have had to face this diagnosis. The symptoms are not getting better, they are getting worse. Just last night, I almost started crying at my kids literacy night, because I was on my feet with shoes on, for a whole hour. This is madness. It feels unfair that I would get another physical issue. I mean, I spent a good portion of my life in almost constant pain. Surly I deserve more than 6 years of my life without it. I know that life is not meant to be fair. I just dislike being left behind when my family wants to go hiking. I also truly hate being left behind when it comes to the fear that my feet will start to hurt in less than an hour of activity. I will continue to seek out new treatments and medications. I will continue to work with my doctor for that end result of a mostly pain free existence. But right now, well right now, I just hurt.

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Reasons

September 25, 2012

I realized a few days ago that I hadn’t explained to some of you my decision to homeschool the girls this year. The reasons were wide and complicated… Our family upheaval was a big part of the decision… The girls are doing better than I expected with all the changes, first we lived with Grandma D for the summer, and now we are living with Grandma H until our house sells. Basically, here is how the decision started out, my parents were on a mission in Uganda Africa. They were not to return home until early September, but school down here is year round and started July 25th. School in Logan, where Grandma D lives, started August 23 this year. So, either I drive my kids 90 min each day to attend school near Grandma H’s house, spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars, or I needed to let my kids start school in Logan. At least, I thought that was my only option. I was very worried about the girls transferring so often in the school year. First of all, if I did start them in Logan, they would be at least a month behind by the time we transferred down to Grandma H’s house. I couldn’t afford the time to drive them down or the funds to spend on the gas, so I was afraid we would start a brand new school (hard in itself), then transfer once when we moved from Grandma D’s to Grandma H’s, then again whenever we are able to sell our house and buy one of our own again. 

Why not just stay in Logan you ask? That was never a good option. Dave had to rise at 4:30 every day, just so he could get down to work in SLC on time. Then he would drive all the way home at the end of the day, getting there about 5 or 5:30, and having to go to bed by 8 so he could rise again and feel somewhat rested the next day. It was a tough summer. We saw him for about 3 hours a day, and he was always so tired that he didn’t feel like doing much half the time.

So, one day, Sariah posted something about her kids starting school and I took over the comments section and ranted about my school decision problem. I didn’t know what to do with them. Timber however, had a great idea that she just simply put down “why not homeschool this year’. At first, I was like, NO WAY! I thought I would kill my kids or they would kill me or something. But, as I looked into it, I found (thanks again to Timber) an online public charter school. They sent me a computer, books, and they do all the lesson plans and teaching online. The girls watch “live lessons” once a week and I help them understand the concepts when they have trouble. Is it a perfect solution for all of us, not by a long shot, but for now, it is working. We are learning, the girls are adjusting (even if Michelle keeps begging to go back to regular school), and we aren’t going to have to transfer over and over again. School moved with us, and that is a good thing. 

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Family Photos

July 16, 2012

It has been a very long time since we have taken any kind of family photo’s. Dave’s new job has given us that reason, he wanted new pictures for his office at work. It has  been so long since he has had an office away from home, and he has a huge gorgeous bookshelf that is totally empty. It needed some love. So, Timber helped us take the family photo while Dave and I took the others. They are awesome and we wanted to share. Here ya go:

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The Fam. I still can’t believe how grown up my girls are getting!

ImageMichelle has chosen to start going by “Shell”. She loves and I mean LOVES to read (big surprise there), she is writing a book, and loves to play with dragons. She also turns 12 in a little over a month! Watch out world! This amazing girl is comin’ your way!

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Lisa is my 9 year old who loves everything fashon and sparkly. She loves hair bows and necklaces, beads and finger nail polish. If it is girly and pretty, that’s what Lisa wants. She chooses to wear a dress every day of her life, they are pretty! I had to stop her from wearing the super fancy church dresses to school though, too many grass stains!

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Melody… my fantastic 4 year old girl. I love that she hugs me all day, kisses me, and loves to play with me. Some of my favorite things to hear are “Mommy! Come play ponies! Mine is named Rosa Melody!” She loves to play pretend, her characters go from a baby kitten and baby dragon to a beautiful princess. She is so much fun!

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My baby girl Lily. Who is not such a baby as she is less than two weeks from her 2nd birthday! She loves her papa. Like the biggest Daddy adict we have had thus far. If he is in the house, she is close by. If he has to close a door to change or anything, she is outside the door pounding to be let in. I am a suitable substitute, but only until he walks in the door. From that moment until bed time, she is with Papa.

Lily also loves to dance. They are hilarious and I will have to post one soon, because she honestly keeps us laughing all the time.

I love my family!!!

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Her Royal Shoeness

May 24, 2012

Most of my kids end up enjoying shoes for a time, maybe it is the ease in which the word “shoe” is pronounced. I am not sure what causes it, but with Lily, shoes are not just something she likes, they are an obsession.

For example, this morning Melody put on her pretty red sparkly shoes. Lily saw them and immediately wanted them. She could not steal her sister’s shoes (not for a lack of trying), so a massive tantrum ensued.

If she sees a shoe in the house, she must bring it to me immediately, shouting “SHOE!” over and over again. If I acknowledge said shoe, without helping her put it on her foot, there is a problem. If I help her put it on her foot but it falls off, we have a problem. If the shoe she has found fits her and I can help her put it on, THEN she is happy and stomps around the house shouting “SHOE!” with much glee. Honestly its really funny but a tad bit frustrating at times too.

Dave and I have a nice shoe rack in our closest. It is very organized and keeps our shoes in place. Problem is, Lily has discovered our wonderful cache of shoes. First thing in the morning, she comes in, giggling and goes straight for the shoe rack to bring us EVERY SINGLE PAIR OF SHOES. She must deliver them or her universe will explode. I swear that we are always picking up our shoes, every day…

So, this morning, as I got Lily out of the bath… I returned to the bathroom to retrieve Melody as well, when I heard clomping and laughter. As I turned around, I saw the following and decided to share it… this picture of Lily in all of her happy shoe glory.

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Awesomeness

May 15, 2012

Sunday was an awesome day for me. Dave is the ultimate when it comes to spoiling. I got to sleep in, I was able to talk to my Mom in Uganda, Roses from my yard, chocolate! It was a day full of spoiling… Best of all though, my kids all wrote me letters, Dave did as well, but my favorite was “written” by my shoe obsessed, almost two year old baby girl, Lily. I admit I laughed and laughed about this one, it also came with a really pretty pair of earings.

Dearest mother whom I cherish,

Happy Mother’s Day! Your loving husband and my dear father clued me in on the lavish gift he procured for you from the far reaches of the globe, and it occurred to me that perhaps I, too, could offer some small token of my appreciation on this day of matriarchal celebration.

Therefore, I present to you this token of my love and awesomeness. May the bedazzlement thereof bring you much pleasure, and may you not mind if I try to steal said item for myself on occasion. Alas, I must admit that I have a bit of a weakness for all things shiny and pretty. Perhaps I shall grow out of it in a few years or so. Until then, consider yourself warned.

Thank you for being such an incredible Mommy, and for all you do to keep me feeling so happy all the time.

Sometimes I hide your things when you’re not looking. I thought perhaps, in lieu of the day and all, it was time I came clean. I can’t seem to help myself.

Love,

Lily Grace Dickson

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Frisbee

May 8, 2012

The other day we went to the park to play Frisbee. Lily loved watching, but after awhile, she decided she knew enough to play. The result made us laugh.

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A post

May 7, 2012

Yes, I know, its a miracle that I am posting. I always think about posting, desire to post, yet when it comes down to it, I find myself wondering if anyone would really benefit from what I have to say. Gah.

So, my older girls found this lame little journal I kept that would just share good things they would do when they were small. I didn’t write in it for long, but they now cherish it. Tells me that I need to write down stuff my kids do, and since this is my sort of journal, I will be making more of an effort.

Melody makes me laugh on a daily basis. Seriously laugh. She is good for me, I need the snickers. Today, she came in my office, whispering that she had a surprise for me. I took her hand and she said “first thing you need to know, is to be very quiet!” I said alright and she led me down the hall to the kitchen. Then she said “second thing you need to know, be very quiet!”. I smiled and said ok. She led me around the circle that is my kitchen (most of you have been here so you know what I am talking about). We ended up where we started, where she told me “third thing, be very quiet, I have a secret”. Then she led me around the circle four more times… each time going around, she would instruct me to tip toe and be very quiet. The big secret ended up being the new potty seat we have. I don’t know why she thinks it is so cool, or why she had placed it on the kitchen floor, but it made me laugh. I asked her if she would like to go sit on the potty and she said “nope, I don’t want to be a big girl today”. 

Lily on the other hand, is obsessed with shoes. She is at that stage where she knows what she wants but can’t quite communicate it well. She is constantly bringing me shoes, putting on shoes, taking off shoes, walking around in shoes (no matter what size), but if they fall off her feet, watch out, there is a tantrum coming. Still, stinkin’ adorable. 

Melody turns 4 next month, and Lily turns 2 the month after that… where has time gone? 

Oh, and the one thing I haven’t really thought about much today is the fact that it is the fourth anniversary of my hip replacement, no wait, its the fifth anniversary… haha the best part about all of that is that I don’t have to think about it! My hip is pain free! Today is also the 22nd anniversary of my original accident… but I almost didn’t remember any of that. yay.

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