Friday, July 29, 2011

Frustrating Day

Well, the muscle fatigue, rapid heartbeat, etc continue.

After spending all morning trying to get in touch with my doctor's office, I was told that my test results came back normal.  (The faxed copy they sent me had my potassium and creatinine both marked as "high," but apparently they were just high according to the computer's range - normal according to the doctor's range.)  Jamie picked me up at lunch and took me to the ER.  He wanted to take me to a cardiologist, but no one could fit me in today, and my primary care physician said that with my symptoms, he would rather I be seen at the ER than his office.  We were at the ER for about 3 1/2 hours, and in that time experienced:

  • 2 blown veins in my right arm while trying to find a place for the IV
  • 1 cold IV in a third vein-entry point
  • 5 vials of blood drawn from my left hand (since my left elbow-vein was collapsed from the two previous blood draws that week)
  • 1 EKG
  • 1 chest x-ray
  • 1 urine test
  • 1 orthostatic test (blood pressure & pulse while laying/sitting/standing)
  • 1 friendly orderly
  • 1 very condescending doctor
Results?  Inconclusive.  Some things can be ruled out, though - the EKG and X-ray came back normal, so that's good news.  My blood work showed that my creatinine and potassium levels are down from Wednesday, so those previously-elevated levels must have been due to my medications.  My blood pressure is good no matter what position I'm in.  The one weird thing - and the reason I'm supposed to go see a cardiologist next week if this continues - is my pulse.

(I just want to interrupt here to say that I am so thankful that they at least got something about this weirdness documented.  This whole thing has made me feel like some sort of hypochondriac.  I've never heard of this happening to anyone I know, and it's not really a visible issue, and I feel like I'm 90 years old all of a sudden and it's just ridiculous.  Sitting there in the ER being condescended to by the doctor ("you know, I see a lot of people who are dehydrated...") just got me angry, and I didn't even have the energy to snarl at her.  Interruption over.)

My pulse was taken along with my blood pressure in 3 positions: laying down, sitting, then standing.  My blood pressure was fine in all 3 cases, but my pulse was not.  (For reference, a normal resting heart rate for an adult is 60-100 bpm.)  My 3 readings were 106 bpm when laying, 120 when sitting, and 138 when standing still. 

I haven't taken my medication since Tuesday, and I'm not sick.  I haven't suddenly gained 100 pounds, making it difficult to heave my weight across the room, leaving me panting from the exertion.  (In fact, I'm down a jeans size since my body thinks I'm exercising all day with my heart pumping this hard.  Look on the bright side, right?)  I can't come up with an explanation for this.  I just want it to go away.  I feel like a complete weakling.  Here's hoping it either fixes itself over the weekend, or I can find a cardiologist with answers next week.  It started suddenly, so it could go away suddenly, right?

In the meantime, Jamie will continue being absolutely wonderful.  He's the best support I could ever ask for, and the best dad in the world to Gisèle and Miles.  I haven't had to worry about anything around the house or with the kids with him here, and I thank God for that, and for him, every day.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We Interrupt This Program...

I'm not doing too well right now.  Severe muscle fatigue - over my entire body, a rapid heartbeat, shaking, weakness...  I saw my doctor this morning, and he's taken me off of the 2 medications and the 28-day program for a week to give my body some time to recover.  He also had some bloodwork done to check my potassium/electrolyte levels (no results yet).  I start back over on my insulin medication (building back up to the highest dosage) next Wednesday; start on the 28-day program a week and a half after that; and then start back on my 2nd medication a week after that.  Hopefully, that way, we'll isolate what is causing this to happen.  He thinks it's either the 2nd medication (spironolactone) or the nutrition "shake" that my body is adjusting to.

Eventually, we'll get this all figured out!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Graham Crackers

Old pictures, but I just had to share.  He was so excited at being given a graham cracker!  No idea why it was so special to him.


Day 2 of the 28 Days

Day 2:  The nutrition "shake" did not go well this morning.  At least, the first 1/4.  (sigh)  The rest of it stayed down.  Pray for me, please!


Monday, July 25, 2011


I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

I was diagnosed 5-6 years ago, and I've been in treatment since.  PCOS (also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome) is a hormonal endocrine disorder that is rooted in insulin resistance.  It's not something that can be cured, but it is something that can and should be treated.  It manifests itself differently in every woman that has it, but for me, the main issues are insulin resistance, weight gain/inability to lose weight, hair loss, acne, and severe fatigue.  (I experienced pregnancy issues as well, but don't have to worry about those now.)

My doctor started me on 2 new medications and a host of supplements last week.  I'm taking Spironolactone (an anti-androgen medication to help regulate my hormone levels); Glumetza (an extended-release insulin medication); and calcium, B12, fish oil, and vitamin D.

There's one other part of my new health regimen that is going to take A LOT of getting used to, and that part started today, on my birthday of all days.  Today is Day 1 of my "28-Day Cleanse."  This program (a very strict diet along with a nutritional "shake") is a cold-turkey kinda way to be introduced to a lower-carb, lower-fat diet.  The list of restrictions is endless, and includes: red meat, deli meat, pork, seafood, all but 4 kinds of fish, salt, butter, wheat, anything containing gluten, eggs, anything dairy, sugar, corn, caffeine, nuts (except for 2 Tbsp of almond butter per day), strawberries...

The good part of the diet, besides the fact that after 28 days I'll be able to reintroduce normal foods into my diet, is that it really is going to teach me to eat better.  Since I'm insulin-resistant, I really should be eating smaller meals throughout the day (for example, 3 small meals with 2 snacks in between), and I've never been good about doing that.  I also have never had enough protein in my diet, and this diet really forces me to try to fit in protein more often.  I think I'll also find it easier, after these 28 days, to consume fewer carbs overall.

I had my first "shake" this morning, and it was VILE.  2 large scoops of the powder in 8 oz cold water, blended, then sucked up through a straw as quickly as I could do it.  I consider it a victory that it stayed down.  I popped 3 blueberries in my mouth right afterward to clear the taste a bit, and that seemed to help.

Say some prayers for me, that I can get through the next 28 days with grace.  It's going to be challenging!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Papa & Miles

There is a bond between these two that will never be broken.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day Date

Jamie and I both took Friday off of work so that we could spend some time together.  It was wonderful!  It's been a long time since we were able to spend that much time together.  We started by dropping the kids off at school like normal, and then we headed to Flora & Muse for some breakfast.

Caramel Macchiato topped with whipped cream - an indulgent way to start the date!
I got an awesome omelette - roasted mushrooms, with arugula and goat cheese, with a side of roasted herbed potatoes.  Jamie got classic eggs benedict, and really enjoyed it, as well.

Jamie's eggs benedict

After breakfast, we headed off to the theatre for... Harry Potter!!  I was sad, but excited, to see the movies come to an end.  They've done a really good job adapting the books.

We got there for the 9:45am showing, got great seats, and sat there playing War (card game) until the previews started.  (Jamie kicked my butt, in case anyone cares.)  After the movie, it was time for lunch - Moules frites!!  We went to a Belgian place called Jeannine's Bistro.  Jamie enjoyed his beer, and I scarfed down most of our mussels. 

We finished the meal with Crepes Suzette, but dug in too fast for me to get a picture...

After lunch, we spent time at the big Spec's store downtown, where Jamie was in beer heaven, and then went to the Galleria.  We spent most of our time there browsing in Borders before heading back to the school to pick up the kids.

It was nice to spend a whole day with Jamie.  We got to hold hands, actually talk to each other in the car, we didn't have to bring a diaper bag with us.... it was just perfect.   


Sunday, July 17, 2011

No-Bake Cookies

These are some of Jamie's favorite cookies, and were a special request of his on Father's Day.  (Recipe is courtesy of his mom, Mavis.)

No-Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick oats
1 tsp vanilla

-Mix together the sugar, butter, milk, and cocoa in a saucepan.  Bring to a hard boil, and boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.
-Add the peanut butter and vanilla and stir until smooth.  Stir in the oats.
-Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper, and cool in the fridge.
(Store in the fridge.)


Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Just Received an Email From Jamie

I got to work this morning and had an email waiting in my inbox from Jamie:

Today as we were driving through the parking lot at the day care, I coughed.  M said (his version of) “bless you, daddy.”  I said thanks but he didn’t hear me, so he said it again: “bless you, daddy.”  I told him thank you so that he could hear, and parked the car.  Then I turned around and put my hand on his leg and told him that he was being very polite and that he was doing a great job at it.  And what did he say?  “Thank you, daddy.”  I couldn’t help but chuckle. -J


Monday, July 11, 2011

Update with Phone Pics

I'm updating from work, so thought I'd share some recent phone pictures. 

One of our favorite things to do on the weekend is go to the Houston Zoo.  We have a family membership, and try to go at least once every six weeks or so.  Houston summers are sweltering, so we typically get there when they open, and try to plan our visits for the first Saturday of the month, when they open an hour early for Zoo members.  We'll spend a couple of hours there and make it back home in time for lunch and naps.  I love having a membership - it takes the pressure off of each visit.  We don't feel like we have to see every single thing every time we go.  We can just ask the kids each time - "What do you want to see today?"  And we can go wherever their whims take us.

At the zoo, in the wagon after getting sunscreen on.

At the zoo, in the wagon after getting sunscreen on.
Gisèle is her usual silly self.  She still loves to dress up, and still gravitates towards her dresses and skirts more often than anything else in her wardrobe.  She uses highly exaggerated expressions when she talks, which keeps her listener completely enraptured, and converses at a level far beyond her years.  She's completely wrapped up in the land of make-believe, and loves to tell us stories about all of her stuffed animals and what they've been up to.  Yesterday she set up a party in the living room (made up of various toys, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, books, etc.) that included "marshmallows that were going to turn into yummy blueberries."  She's very creative, and we can always tell which picture is hers when all the coloring pages are lined up outside the classroom - hers are always the most exuberantly colored.  Her latest drawing was a "rainbow machine."

Miles has turned into quite a little comedian.  Whenever he's been naughty, he'll listen intently to us as we explain what he's done wrong, then nod - head ALL the way up, then ALL the way down - very seriously when we ask if he understands.  Then he grins mischievously and we have to try hard not to laugh.  He's putting two & three words together at a time, and loves to repeat anything anyone else says - especially if it's Gisèle, his favorite person in the whole wide world.  They crack each other up in the back seat of the car by making silly noises at each other, blowing raspberries, or just putting things on top of their heads and giggling until they get the hiccups.  He likes to run around the house - multiple circuits between the living room, dining room, and kitchen - dragging a blanket in each hand, yelling "I-LOO-DADDY!  I-LOO-JELL!  I-LOO-MOMMY!  I-LOO-CHOO-CHOO!"  ("I-loo" = "I love" and "Jell" = "Gisèle".)  He says "Yah" instead of "Yes" and "Bay-a" instead of "Bear," and he's the cutest thing ever.

Getting his latest haircut while enjoying a blue raspberry lollipop.

In the car, with his sunglasses upside-down.

At the church picnic, with watermelon juice dripping off his face.
And just to make your day, here is the love of my life, who holds us all together.  I love you, Jamie!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

All Ready For the World

I love this picture.  It seems to me, when I look at it, that I can see exactly what she's going to look like when she's all grown up, with a family of her own. 


Sunday, July 3, 2011

So Handsome

I took these back in March, but I have to share them because they're some of my favorite pictures of my little man.  He had just woken up from his nap, and we were in a quiet house on a beautiful spring day.

My all-time favorite picture of him

The eyelashes


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