Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nola's 9 Mo Stats

at Nola's 9 mo appt

Weight: 20lbs (75%)
Height: 28.5" (>75%)
Head: 43cm (up to the 25%, woohoo!)

The Dr said her ear infection is all gone. I mentioned that she gags on EVERYTHING! I'm talking we can't give her stage 3 baby food unless it's pureed in the food processor or else she will gag and throw up all over. It's quite ridiculous. We tried giving her puffs twice and both times she gagged. The Dr said to try mashing up bananas with a fork and keep giving them to her to try and get her used to different textures or thicker foods. We'll see how that goes. I mashed up some mandarin oranges the other day and after they were in her mouth, she'd blow raspberries until it all came running down her chin. Not a success, but at least she didn't vomit!

Embry is insane. She won't stop talking about her birthday party coming up in a mere 4 MONTHS! She'll tell anyone who will listen about how she's going to have a Diego and Dora party and everyone's going to sing, 'Happy Birthday to Embry, Happy birthday to meeee!' and then she demonstrates how she will blow out her candle. She's completely potty trained but she's started this new thing where she'll just pee in her underwear enough to get them wet so then we have to give her new ones to wear. It's annoying as all get out.

We've been swimming a LOT lately. Partly because it's fun but mostly because our AC is still not working. The first time the AC guy came out (on Wed) he said he fixed it but he never actually opened up the bottom half of the AC unit in order to see the real leak. Needless to say, it was still leaking the next day and the same AC guy came out, so I showed him what was leaking and it was obvious he had no clue about it before that moment. So turns out they had to order the part and send out an install guy to determine how long it would take to fix and how many people they would need...which they didn't do till Friday. On Friday they told me they couldn't fix it till monday morning and also that the home warranty doesn't cover any reclamation or coolant disposal fees which are $400. Also, the home owners insurance tricked me and instead of paying a $1000 deductible to fix the water damage, we're signed up to pay 1% of our insured amount which is about $2300. This is a bit ridonkulous, honestly.

Good news though is that I'm probably going to lose a few pounds of water weight with all the sweating I've been doing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Nola is 9 Months Old!

and she started crawling on Saturday night (7/23/11)!!! Of course, I wasn't here either! I had been really encouraging her to crawl the day before because she was soooo close. She'd get on all 4's and then pull both knees forward under her tummy, then fall onto her stomach and start over. She was actually going places with that method, but it looked like an awful lot of work! Then I went with My friends Sarah and Anna (Hi Anna!) to a cabin on Mt. Lemmon from Sat-Sun and Nola started crawling Sat night. Go figure. She was really really slow at first, but now she's stepped it up a notch and gets into all sorts of things. So far, she immensely enjoys ripping magazines and shoving the pieces into her mouth. It reminds us of when Embry would shove sand in her mouth at the beach so fast we couldn't keep up with her little fists of fury! I took some 9 month pics of Nola today, here are a few of them...

This last one is Nola on the left and Embry on the right in the same pose at about the same age.

Our night at the cabin on Mt. Lemmon was a lot of fun. We played lots of games (Qwitch, Ruckus, Nab-It, and Skipbo), enjoyed the weather, tried to go to 2 restaurants at the top of the mountain which didn't work out, and did a lot of cutting with the cricut. I had a nightmare where I was moaning out loud and luckily Anna woke up and in turn woke me up to save me from my dream. I also had a dream where Anna's cell phone was ringing, but her ring tone was Anna saying, 'Annaaaaa! Annaaaaaaa?!' L to R: Me, Sarah, Anna

Our Mercury Tracer won't start so we bought a new car, well new to us anyway. It's a 97 Honda Accord that Tony's friend at work was selling. We're still trying to figure out what we want to do with the non-functioning Tracer in our garage. I got the title switched over on the Honda today and I was so very tempted to get Tony a personalized license plate that said 'IBMer' but he didn't seem thrilled when I mentioned the idea to him. Also, we noticed that the floor in our hallway was wet on Sunday night. After calling the home warranty people, we had some plumbers come out and they discovered our AC unit in the garage was gushing water. Turns out there was about 1/2" of water all under our stairs, so now we have our baseboards and some drywall ripped out and a bunch of air movers and a huge dehumidifier in our living room/bathroom. Now we're waiting for the actual AC company to come out and fix the problem. They said they'd be here at 5pm or after and it's now 8:30pm and I've called the home warranty place twice and still haven't gotten an ETA from the AC people.

In other news, I'm doing much better, which I'm quite hesitant to say in case I jinx myself or something. Seriously though, my back is a LOT better since starting physical therapy at the spine center and I think the extra time it's had to heal has helped as well. My INR was in range when I was checked last week, so that means I get to wait 2 weeks between appointments. Oh, and another thing that made me feel oh so good was that CULVERS OPENED IN TUCSON! Unfortunately Tony wasn't able to join us for dinner there last night (opening day) because he had to be here when the guy was out setting up the fans for our wet floor, but I brought him back a butterburger and some cheese curds. I did get some pictures though...

I also performed a sneak attack on Embry while we were in the bath last week and I cut her hair. I was so tired of it looking all scraggly and thin, so I trimmed the top part that was longer than all the undergrowth. Now it lays, curls, and looks a lot better and thicker. :D

Thursday, July 14, 2011


It always kind of throws me off when a doctor uses the word 'healed'. I mean, they're not supposed to do that right? I feel like it's taboo in the scientific medical world where all things must have a logical explanation to chalk something up to healing, but that's what the new rheumatologist just said to me.

First of all, he called me himself, at 7:30pm no less to discuss the results of my follow-up hip xray. That's pretty awesome. He said that he looked it over and the bone infarcts in the femoral shaft were gone and furthermore, the deterioration (or avascular necrosis) of the femoral heads (my hip joints) was completely healed. I mean holy cow, I'm having a hard time not sitting here smiling like a dorkus all alone at my computer screen!

On top of this (which I'm so trying to not get my hopes up about) is the fact that he said the ANA -antinuclear antibody- test the hematologist did in March (which is the main test for Lupus) came back negative. He said it could mean a number of things but the main thing he referred to was the fact that labs have recently switched to a much cheaper and not nearly as reliable method to test for ANA which gives false negatives for about 10% of patients. Ever since being diagnosed in 2003, my ANA has consistently been positive up until this test in March, so he's going back to look at my old lab reports. You can imagine that immediately my mind starts thinking 'oh gosh, what if it's gone? What if I'm all better? What if my life can be normal again?' Great and now I'm getting all emotional about it...lame! So, like I said, I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but what if...???

On the not so great side he said that once you have compression fractures they don't really go away ever...which is not what the neurosurgeon said, so I'm a little confused. And he said my level of vitamin D is good at 36 which I'm about to look up what exactly '36' means. He'll also continue to be my rheumatologist so I'll see him every 6 months for check ups, woohoo!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Teeth, Holiday, and Physical Therapy

Nola's top two front teeth finally broke through in the past week. First it was her left, and then her right came through a few days later. We thought she had a runny nose/fever from teething, then it turned into a cold, then it got slightly better, then she had a fever of 102.5 and kept waking up at night crying. So I took her to the dr the next day and voila, she has an ear infection in her left ear. We started her on amoxicillan that night and so far she seems to be getting slightly better. At least no more waking up in the middle of the night crying, so that helps everyone out! * Edit * I forgot to add that she says 'mama' all the time now! It's so great, it's mostly when she's frustrated, but I totally eat it up and respond with a lot of, 'yes darling?' and 'mama's here!' Also, she was weighed at the dr and she's 19lbs 4oz at a little over 8 months old. Mmmm, I love her!

We had a lovely 4th of July except we kinda missed the big fireworks. There was a super monsoon that started around 4pm which happened to be when we were supposed to be over at our friend Herb's house for some festivities. We waited out the bad part of the storm (ie horizontal rain) and then trekked out for the party. It was pretty low key which was nice and the kiddos had a great time playing together while the adults got to play a few games. Tony managed a huge come from behind victory in Farkle and then us stragglers (me, Tony, and Herb) played a game of Qwirkle. It was really fun and I think I might have to buy it. ;) Of course, I lost as usual. So since I didn't want to end the game early, we left around 9:20 while the fireworks which I thought started at 9:15 had actually started at 9pm. Basically we saw them while we were driving trying to find a good spot to park and then right when we found one (at the eastside PCC campus) they were doing the grand finale. :/ We came home to set a few off in the backyard, but Embry was not too pleased when Tony handed her a lit sparkler and then did a nice freak out when he set off a firework fountain by the pool. That was the end to our fireworks for the night and we called it quits and went to bed.
I had my first Physical Therapy appt for my back/hips. It was basically just an evaluation and he said we're gonna work on strengthening my core muscles. I'll be going in twice a week for 4 weeks, which is good, but kinda difficult to get someone to watch the kiddos that often especially when my sis and her family are moving down here soon. Oh that reminds me, I got a call from the rheumatology office saying that my levels of vitamin D are normal. I guess that means I just keep taking the same Calcium+D that I've been taking since 2003, but that doesn't really make sense to me since if it hasn't worked very well so far then why not switch it up? Anyhow, I'll wait to get the hip xray done and see the results of that before I get all huffy about anything.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Rheumatologist

The guy's name is Michael Mericic and he's supposed to be a rheumatologist who specializes in diseases of the bone in rheumatology...he even had a lovely book displayed in his exam room which he wrote. Overall I liked him. He's nice and he seems to know what he's talking about. He actually kinda reminds me of the hematologist, which is a good thing. Here's a breakdown of what he said:

  • There doesn't seem to be any clear reason why my bones aren't as strong as normal. He asked about my past steroid use and besides being the hospital I've never taken more than 20 mg at a time for about 3 weeks at a that would not cause it. Also, the steroids used in the hospital wouldn't show any damage for years to come, if at all.
  • The CT of my hips shows white (bone is supposed to be gray) on both femoral heads and about a 4 inch section at the top of both femurs. That could either mean there's fluid in the bone, the bone is dead, or it was damaged at that point but has repaired itself.
  • The CT of my hips (which was done prior to being bucked off the horse) also showed that my L4 vertebrae had a compression fracture. Weird seeing as the scans of my entire spine while I was in the hospital in Dec were completely normal except for a vertebrae in my neck. So what happened between Dec and April to my back?
  • He ordered blood work to see how my body is absorbing vitamin D and a repeat hip xray.
  • They don't give bone medications (like fosomax or boniva etc) to women who are pre-menopausal. I didn't catch why, but seemed like some hormonal thing.
  • He didn't want to check my estrogen levels (even though I mentioned it about 3 times) because it fluctuates throughout the month and since my body doesn't show any signs of a hormonal imbalance, there's no reason to think my estrogen level isn't normal.
  • He also does not like Benlysta. Or rather says there's no reason to like it yet. Basically, he said the studies showed that most of the time there is no or minimal improvement and since they don't know the long term effects, it wouldn't be worth it to risk taking it. Also he said it's about $35,000/year.
  • He doesn't like the idea of kyphoplasty. Basically that was because the blind studies showed the same improvement with the procedure and the sham procedure. That just goes to show how much power your mind has over your body.
  • He'll let me know about the blood work and xray and figure out what step to take next.