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Friday, April 24, 2015

Neuro, Uro, and Thankful for a Crappy Day

Whew, what a week!

I know I say that often, but it just seems to describe this week so well.

Tuesday we had an appointment with our neurosurgeon, Dr. Shafron, as a follow up from Madi's last seizure.  The ER had mentioned Madi's right ventricles were slightly larger.  I told them that she is shunted on the left so they always are, but they wanted me to follow up with neuro and just make sure there were no changes.  Dr. Shafron compared the images from the ER to her last images and her ventricle size looked identical.  Yeah for a well-functioning shunt!  I remember when she was tiny and she was flying through shunts.  I felt like that would be our life forever.  It's now been over 6 years with this same shunt!  6 years!!!!!

Thursday the girls had appointments for renal ultrasounds and a follow-up with our urologist, Dr. Zuniga.  They had a really hard time finding Madi's left kidney, and they aren't exactly sure they even found it.  Madi has a super kidney (her right one) that performs as well as 2 kidneys.  Her left kidney doesn't really work at all, though.  They think it may be shrinking/shriveling, which they said is typical.  Her right kidney continues to look great, though, so we are thankful for that.  Her bladder is also looking good.  Ramya's tests all came back great as well, so that was good news!  We eventually need to consider surgery for the girls to help with urinary and bowel things, but I told the doctor I would prefer to wait until after our adoption goes through and we re-settle as a family since both girls are doing well (they just can't get out of diapers/pull-ups at this point, which I know eventually they will want to do).  He agreed that was a good plan, so for now we wait.  He also answered a few "boy" questions I had about Conner and put my mind at ease, which was very much appreciated.

Now on to our crappy day that I am actually quite thankful for....

Today we had homeschool co-op and we had a blast like always.  Conner takes Mini-Mozart, which is an acting type class for kids.  He also takes What's Bugging You, which is a class that teaches them about, well, you guessed it, bugs.  He really loves both!  I teach the class the girls are in and usually pick a topic to learn about and then we have activity centers to work through related to the topic.  We also have music and PE class during that time.  We learned about polar animals and did a lot of fun activities.  The girls really enjoyed it.  After we left and got to the car is when the fun started.  Sweet Madi unlocked her wheels (she's very independent and knows how to lock and unlock them and usually uses them appropriately), unstrapped herself, and reached over to grab something.  That's when her wheelchair went flying backwards in to the parking lot and she went flying forwards, belly first, on to the asphalt.  She was scared but somehow was completely unscathed.  Not even a scratch!  There were many tears shed, but she told me she was crying because she was scared, not because she was hurt.  Thank God!  I'm so glad she wasn't hurt.  We talked about why we need to make a different choice next time and I know she learned a good lesson.

Next we had an appointment with our naturopathic doctor for a blood draw so we started to head that way.  Before I get to that part, though, here's a little back-story.....

Unfortunately this blood draw had been a really frustrating situation for all of us.  A few weeks ago the neurologist asked me to get a draw for her to check her keppra levels.  Since we had to do the draw anyhow and she wasn't due for any other labs, we decided to check anything we could and he also included folate levels, b 12, amino acids, thyroid, homocystine, and a few more.  I made an appointment at our pediatrician's office since they do draws all the time and I figured they would be the best with kids.  They did a great job on the draw and got her on the first try and were done quickly.  Unfortunately, though, somehow when they were transferring the neurologist's orders over to their paperwork, they left off the most important test... her keppra levels.  When I got the call that her results were ready I sent David by to get them.  When he got home I realized that the level was missing but the office was already closed and I couldn't call.  I called first thing Monday and after many conversations with our neurologist's nurse, Sonora Quest Labs, and our pediatrician's office, we realized what the error was but it was too late to do another test from that sample.  I had the neurologist write up another test form for us, including white blood cell count this time as well, and made an appointment with our naturopathic doctor this time for the draw so that I could also get a food allergy panel run at the same time.  I had tried to have it run with the first round of blood tests, but because it was an outside lab they wouldn't do it for me.  I figured we would at least get to kill two birds with one stone.  Now back to my previous story...

On the way to our naturopathic doctor's office we were all getting hungry and decided to stop at Whole Foods for lunch.  It was raining, though, and the traffic wasn't great.  As I was exiting the ramp I almost got rear-ended.  Almost.  I am so, so thankful for that almost in there.  God really protected us!  While we were shopping for our lunch I got a call that our new physical therapist (such a long story there but Tami, our amazing PT, was no longer contracted with our insurance so we had to switch.  We found Kelly after a few months of self-pay appointments with Tami and lots of phone calls.  We've had her a few months and really loved her) was no longer with the company and they had no other therapists for us at this time.  GAH!  It took me so long to find her and she was great with the girls.  We are so so bummed to be losing her, especially so soon.  I texted her to see if we can follow her to her next office but she's not sure at this time where she's headed.  Here's the good news, though.  The last few times Tami had worked with the girls she decided to bill our secondary, fully expecting them to deny her, since she was no longer contracted with them.  Instead, they paid!  We aren't sure if this will last, but for now, we can continue to work with Tami until we find another PT.  Even though we are bummed it's amazing how God has worked out all the details.  I also ran in to two friends at Whole Foods, so that helped soften the blow.  A hug from a friend just goes a long way!

After we got our lunch we headed to the office.  Dr. Vitaro was great with Madi, but unfortunately he couldn't get a draw on the first try and there was just no way she was letting him try again. She was pretty upset.  There were more tears shed.  The doctor felt really bad, and I felt bad that he felt bad.  I had just got done telling him how I was really frustrated at the other office for messing up her labs, but new it was a mistake and was trying not to be upset, and then he couldn't get a draw from her.  It was just a bummer.  I decided to just forget the allergy test for now and make an appointment to go back to the pediatrician's office for the draw since she can be a hard poke and they can get her on the first try.  That appointment is Monday, so I am praying like mad that Madi will do ok during the draw.  She was upset during the last one , which she also thought would be the last one, and I really pray she doesn't have anxiety about the appointment and that it goes smoothly.  Hey, third time's the charm, right??? 

On the way home Ramya apparently still had some gluten-free pizza crust left (that girl can really hold on to food forever!!) and gave it to Madi.  We were on the freeway and I heard her start to choke.  She cleared it quickly (thank God) but she started making her "I'm going to puke" face that she gets any time she gags.  I pulled off the road quickly to give her water and help her but she was fine thankfully.  Again, I am SO thankful for protection for her.  I know I sound like a broken record, but really, I am! 

Whew!!  Once we got home the rest of the evening went well.  We went out to dinner with David's grandparents to celebrate his grandfather's birthday and enjoyed spending time with them.  After the kiddos went to bed David and I finished watching a movie together and it was nice to just relax.  I'm thankful that tomorrow is a new day and I'm looking forward to Madi and Ramya's dance class and then working a bit in our garden.  We also have a family movie and some relaxing time planned. 

Though this week was busy with appointments, therapy, and homeschool, we had lots of fun times in between that I am thankful for.  I think these pictures speak for themselves and just how blessed we are...

(Relaxing and eating lunch after our urology appointment Thursday.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day out!)
Working on our garden...
Dressing up for silly photos at the Ice Cream Social at Madi's old preschool, Stepping Stones...
Relaxing foot soaks in momma's foot tub.  Madi said she couldn't feel it but was pretty sure it felt amazing.  She cracks me up!  She did also put her hands in it so she could feel the warm bubbles.



Tina said...

Hi Jamie,

I love that you see a naturopath in addition to your pediatrician. How do you decide when to see who or how do you integrate both services?

My name is Tina and I have a little one with myelo too. We tend toward the natural and see a naturopath as well. I've never known anyone else who does. So I'd love to hear your experience.


Claire from the Calico Corner said...

Where does Connor take MiniMoez? I've taught the class for kids ages 5-9 at Branches but sadly this was my last semester. I'm so glad he has loved it! Mrs.Caroline shared a picture from ballet on facebook and I was excited to see your girls there! That's such a wonderful program, I hope y'all are loving it. :) I'm praying for your adoption of D and sooo excited for all of you!!