Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yeah.........I "checked out" for awhile

Its been an odd couple of weeks around here and blogging hasn't been on the top of my "to do" list. So.......for those of you who live on the edge just waiting to hear what we've been up to......(Yeah whatever).......Here goes:

The boys did well with oral surgery. After the first 72 hours anyway. I think they were both surprised with the intensity of the whole experience, the inconvenience of the chewing issues in the first few days, their attachment to pain meds early on, and aren't really looking forward to any surgeries in the future. For Dane......who knows when/if that will be. For Grant.......he's now officially dreading jaw surgery in a year, which he already knows is going to cause the wisdom tooth event to seem very minor in comparison. But they're all healed up and recovering well. Onward and upward.

Jennica has not adapted to her new supplement schedule tremendously well, which has caused some headaches for everyone. I'm hoping (REALLY hoping) that we're through the worst of it now, but she got very moody and irritable through the first week and beyond. We're not sure if it was caused by the taurine, the magnesium, or the B6 P-5-P, but we lowered the dosage of all three and are easing her back up to the full dose. Technically, she should not have reacted. But any doctor that wants to try to cram that theory down my throat can take her home for a week the next time they want to change her supplements again. She seems to be almost back to normal now, so we'll probably boost things incrementally again in the next day or two. I think the highlight was coming out of the pharmacy to see an empty Durango sitting in the parking lot with the doors wide open where I had casually left her and Grant just minutes earlier. The doors being wide open alarmed me, and neither of them were anywhere in sight. Just as my heart was climbing up in my throat and I was beginning to feel a little panic, Jennica came streaking around the building at a dead run with Grant hot on her tail. Grant said she had been sitting there quietly in the Durango, and all the sudden, ripped open the door and took off down the street like a shot out of a gun. He immediately hopped out and ran after her--hence the open doors. Needless to say, he was not amused with her and neither was I. This type of impulsive behavior with no regard for personal safety is an unexplained common occurrence in children with SPD---and a great big pain in the fanny. Its a whole lot worse when she's "off" due to a dietary violation or a change in supplements, or some other occurrence that sends her reeling. The child-lock is now back in the "on" position on her car door. GGGGGGRRRRRRRR.

As for the rest of life, I just feel like I need another vacation. Preferably with some earnings from the lottery. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

So......just how tough are ya?

My athletic, wrestler-dude, football-player sons both get their wisdom teeth removed from their skulls tomorrow. Heh. Gonna be interesting to see how they handle this. You see......neither one of them has had any type of surgery before. Neither of them has had a broken bone. Not a tooth pulled. Not a sprained ankle. Nothing. Nada. Grant had three tiny stitches in his forehead when he was three years old and has had x-rays once. Big deal. I don't think Dane has even had x-rays before, other than standard dental x-rays, which don't count. So........tomorrow is going to be very "telling".

In total honesty, I'm not worried much about Dane. He has gotten drug into this whole event simply because Grant's maxillo-facial surgeon in Seattle ordered that Grant's wisdom teeth be removed ASAP in preparation of his upcoming jaw surgery. Since we were already getting it all lined up for Grant, it occurred to us that Dane also probably needed a check on his wisdom teeth. As it turns out, Dane's wisdom teeth are ready to come out and the timing is perfect. Grant...........well....... is not quite so lucky. Being almost two years younger, his wisdom teeth are still impacted well below the jawbone. The oral surgeon bluntly informed me that, if it were not for the necessity of removing them for the jaw surgery that needs to be done, he wouldn't take them out for another two years. He's going to have to "dig" for them, which carries a likelihood of a whole lot more pain and swelling than what Dane is likely going to experience. Oh goody! I'm sincerely hoping that it goes very smoothly. For Grant's sake.

And in the meantime, since we've become more aware of Grant's jawline, I've noticed much more lately how sunken his lower jaw actually is! I honestly never really noticed before! It was just "Grant". But now, I see in small ways how his speech is being ever-so-slightly affected, and how his chewing habits are affected. While the jaw surgery is going to change the shape of his face and how he looks, I'm excited for Grant and glad that this is all going to be corrected for him. I'm sure that millions of human beings have lived normal lives with a 9 mm difference in whatever-it-is, but I'm glad that he's not going to have to!

So anyway......it will be good to get the first major bridge crossed in Grant's surgery preparation. Wisdom teeth out.........and healing for surgical readiness. And Dane drug along "for the fun of it".(It was inevitible. This is just sooner rather than later.)

We'll check back in 24-48 hours and let you know if they still think they're so tough after going under the scalpel. Heh. Let's just hope they don't puke from the anesthesia. Like their Mom. Ugh!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wishing I could bury my head in the sand...

Last Thursday, we finally met with Jennica's naturopath to design our plan of attack on her amino acids results. Mike and I are pretty bright, and becoming pretty well-informed on how to read lab results. We knew the results weren't great. However, neither of us were prepared for the naturopath to tell us that Jennica's results are among the worst she's ever seen, and that she's at a bit of a loss as to how to proceed, since there are so many different things that need fixed, and they really need to be tackled in a methodical manner......rather than all at once.

So.........we're delving into the world of "compounding pharmeuticals." I've decided (in my immature, pouting manner at the moment) that this is a sign that your body systems are really really messed up......when they have to "create" substances JUST for you. And these things HAVE to be taken slowly, as we HAVE to be able to properly gauge the results. So.......we're starting with a specialty slow-release magnesium and B6 in pill form, and hoping that the levels climb. And we're administering a different nutrient through a cream, as its known to be able to be absorbed through the skin. And we wait. Again. And re-test. Again. Before we can "hit her" with more stuff, we need to make sure that her body is going to be able to absorb and utilize these few things, before we dump a ton more into her. There is no point to putting a lot of nutrients into her system if her body won't use them, which is precisely what its doing with food.

And we have to tighten the screws down even harder on her diet. We are now looking for "hidden" forms of gluten, casein, eggs, and peanuts in absolutely everything she eats. I had missed the fine print on the fact that eggs are in the bread we have been buying........so good-bye to that bread. We ran out of her organic maple syrup last week, so she has been eating regular syrup. Gone. All of those last-minute options for "minor" things have to go away. It is our best chance to heal her intestinal tract......which is the only permanent solution.

So until then.......we pray that her body is going to start responding to nutrients, but we also have to deal with the likelihood that it won't. The next options involve shots or IV therapies, that put these crucial life-supporting nutrients directly into her blood, and bypass her damaged digestive tract altogether. But there are risks to that, too, so first.....we have to try this.

And in the meantime, I feel the ever-present calendar staring down at us. The human body is designed (from caveman times) to focus on survival first. Her physical system is thriving. She gained EIGHT pounds between December and May, after the removal of the gluten. But the body will make a choice to survive first.......and feed the high-level brain functions last. In order for her to keep up with her peers and succeed in Kindergarten, we have to have her brain fed.

And then, I think to myself, thank heavens we found all this out now. What if she was a 5th grader? What if she was an 8th grader that had struggled all these years? How many children are out there that get treated as simply behavioral problems that have these types of drastic physical correctable things going on in their bodies?

So.......I guess I'm torn. We've come so far since last Fall. We understand SO much more. We have a long path behind us and I'm SO very proud of the huge advances that she's made. And then I look at the path ahead of us and groan. UUUUUGHHHHH! But she is SO very worth it! And just for the record, its always hard because she looks so darn normal, talks a mile a minute, and goes at the speed of light all day long. The average person never could imagine the struggles going on inside that little body! And I know that some days, we totally sound like the "nutty" parents. Oh well........

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

This is what its all about!

The photo needs no words. :)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Horse crazy

I'm sure that a few of you were shaking your heads a few weeks ago when I announced here that I had bought a new horse. With our already nutty schedules, what in the heck was I thinking? Well........I gotta tell ya.......I'm loving every minute of being back in the horse world. I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed every aspect of horse ownership and I am soaking it all up.
Truth be told, being a Mom of 4 kids is wonderful, but its easy to lose a bit of myself, when my life focuses around them. And simply put, in order to spend time with my family, I've learned to enjoy some of their hobbies, but had lost my own passion in the process. I play golf, which I enjoy, but its not a passion. We showed the dogs for awhile but, once again, it wasn't a passion. I love watching my children participate in football, basketball, track, wrestling, ballet, and all of their other myriad events. But none of them are MY passion. Horses is definitely MY passion.

Yodi is living at a boarding stable about 6 miles from our home. The stable is owned and operated by a dressage trainer, and the majority of the horses there are warmblood hunters and dressage horses. Counting Yodi, there are 12 horses at the moment, but that number will climb in the fall, as several of the boarders return when the weather gets wet. There is a large indoor arena, 20+ large box stalls, a variety of turn-outs, and all the other amenities that go with a riding stable.

As for Yodi, he's a good-looking bay quarter horse gelding with a small white snip on his forehead and one white foot. At a solid 15.2 hands, he's pretty big, but manages to look "average" next to the gigantic warmblood hunters in the barn. Quiet enough for the girls to handle easily, he's knowledgeable enough that he provides me with a challenge as well. Tiersten rode for quite a while in the arena last night, and is gaining confidence. Of course, Jen (with her lack of personal safety awareness) thinks she is ready for Grand Prix and would willingly hit a jumping course with no clue that she's not ready for that. (See why we needed a quiet horse with some knowledge?) I've been constantly testing limits with him, just because I want to know exactly how deep his abilities run. So far........I've done a ton of flatwork, had him out on trails and over wood and steel bridges, and he's met every challenge with ease. His only glitch involved a sideways jump when a napping herd of elk suddenly stood up about 20 feet from us. It scared me, too, and we made a unanimous decision to quietly head back the way we'd come. After years past dealing with young horses lacking experience, its nice to be able to just saddle up and go.

So.........while adding a horse to the menagerie might seem like an odd choice, its also tremendously therapeutic. I'm getting to enjoy something that I really love, Jennica is getting to participate firsthand in an event strongly recommended by her occupational therapist (riding therapy a.k.a. "hippotherapy" is HUGE for kids with SPD), and Tiersten is enjoying it, too. I had forgotten how great horse manure smells and how wonderful hay feels in my bra. :)