Friday, July 31, 2009

Visit with Neurosurgeon

Yesterday was my LONG visit with the neurosurgeon. The first thing I noticed is that they have praise videos playing on the TV. Then, as you are filling out the patient information, they have a sheet at the back for prayer requests because they sit down and pray for their patients on a weekly basis...thought this was neat and very rare in today's society.

Anyway....the dr basically said that I have a mild Chiari Malformation. Here is the description better than what I can say:

******The Chiari malformation is an abnormality in the lower part of the brain called the cerebellum. There are several different forms. The most common type is the Chiari I malformation (CM) which this article addresses. Less commonly, it may be known as Arnold-Chiari malformation, tonsillar herniation or tonsillar ectopia. Most cases of Chiari are congenital, meaning they are present from birth.

In normal anatomy, the cerebellar tonsils are located just above this line called the foramen magnum. But in an individual with Chiari, the tonsils hang below the line (herniate) into the spinal canal. The degree to which the tonsils extend can vary tremendously.
What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom of Chiari malformation is a headache, which begins at the back of the head (neck) and radiates upward. The pain is often made worse or can be brought on by coughing, sneezing or straining. These activities are known as valsalva maneuvers.

Visual problems such as nystagmus (involuntary eye movements), double or blurred vision may occur. Balance difficulties, vertigo and dizziness also may be present. Some people may have cranial nerve compression. This can result in apnea (cessation of breathing), gagging, swallowing difficulties, facial numbness or syncope (temporary loss of consciousness).

Patients may have muscle weakness, particularly in the upper extremities, coordination problems, and gait abnormalities. Imaging of the spine may reveal a fluid collection inside of the spinal cord, known as a syrinx. Some individuals may have hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the ventricles of the brain.
Is there a treatment?

The first step after diagnosis is to consult with a neurosurgeon who has experience treating and managing this disorder. Be aware that you may need to travel and you may wish to consult with more than one specialist.

If symptoms are mild and not progressing, your doctor may recommend conservative management. Supportive care such as headache and pain management, physical therapy or a reduction in activities can help manage symptoms.

An operation may be recommended. This is referred to as a posterior fossa decompression. The surgeon makes more room in the back of the head by removing small pieces of the skull bones. This reduces compression of the brain stem and allows the tonsils to move back into their natural position. The specific surgical techniques will vary among surgeons; no consensus yet exists on the best variation on this surgical procedure.*******

Also, the MRI showed that I have a chronic sinus issue so I need to see a ENT dr. The neurosurgeon wants me to see a neurologist so that I can get the headaches under control. So...I have to see an opthamologist, ENT dr, and a neurologist. I have to follow up with the neurosurgeon in 1 year and repeat a head MRI with neck images.

So, I am going to live! YIPPEE!!!

The girls are good and we are having a blast. More information about them and family life later...maybe during their nap!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Results

Went to the doctor today and by the time I got there I was at peace. I knew in my heart that there wasn't anything to worry about. So...I saw the doctor and basically here were the findings of the MRI:

1. I have what is called empty sella syndrome. Empty sella syndrome is a rare congenital disorder that occurs when an empty space in the brain fills with cerebrospinal fluid as a result of a deformity in the brain. It is not a life-threatening condition and there is no treatment...it just is.

2. I have slightly low-lying cerebellar tonsils. Technical definition:
the cerebellar tonsils move downward through the foramen magnum possibly causing compression of the lower brainstem and upper cervical spinal cord as they pass through the foramen magnum. The doctor basically said that it is like a brain hernia. He did say that he did not feel that it is severe enough for surgery and the radiology report even said that mine was "slight." However, the doctor wants me to see a neurosurgeon for a 2nd opinion to see if surgery is appropriate.

This was good news. I had no lesions or masses at all!! He did want me to take Topamax for my headaches but I can't take it while I am nursing. He explained to me that I have given the baby all of the benefits of breastfeeding and I could stop at anytime and it would not hurt the baby. I told him that I would rather not and so he told me that if I change my mind to call him and they would get the Rx to me to take on a daily basis.

So, God is good and I think I have know had just about every part of my body scanned or tested or viewed in some way. Basically I am healthy except for high blood pressure during pregnancy and digestive issues!!

Thank you all for praying!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

MRI Results

Bet you thought you would get the results to my MRI from this post, huh?? Well, WRONG!!!

The doctor's office called earlier and they want to see me on Monday. At first I thought that it must not be too serious if they haven't called yet. Well, I have only seen this doctor one time. I don't know much about how they operate. I do know that it took me calling 4 times before they would call me back about changing a prescription that I had from a suspension to a pill. So...track record on calling back - not so good. Now, my thought is that if the MRI was normal they would just tell me that on the phone. I had blood work the day I saw the doctor, they called me and said, "Just wanted to let you know your blood work came back normal." I don't know what to think. I know I am a worrier and having to wait until Monday is going to be hard but I have to trust in God. He is the Author and Perfector of our faith....a friend earlier reminded me of the words to one of my favorite praise songs:

I will bless the Lord forever
I will trust Him at all times
He has delivered me from all fear
He has set my feet upon a rock
And I will not be moved
And I'll say of the Lord:
You are my Shield; my strength
My portion; Deliverer;
My Shelter; Strong tower;
My very present Help in time of need!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lauren Laughing

I have never posted a video on here before....let's try...

Ready for Razorback Football!!!

Isn't this the cutest EVER???!!! LOVE IT!!! When I figure out how to post a link on my page, I can direct you to the lady that made these for me from Etsy.com!!!


Krista's 30th Birthday...SURPRISE PARTY!!!

Krista turned 30 yesterday and I have been telling her little white lies for about 3 weeks now and with the help of her husband, Heather, and Anita, the surprise was a success!!!! Here are some pictures!!


Pictures from Dora, Live!





Saturday, July 18, 2009

Our Busy Saturday!

Well, first thing this morning, I had my MRI on my brain...I am talking, 8:00 am!! Yes, it was early but I was glad to get it out of the way...it's done. Results...later. Oh, and if you have never had an MRI...yeah, it sounds like a jack hammer...not good if the reason you are getting the MRI is headaches! Hmm...

Then, off to Dora, Live! we went!! Me, Brice, Rachel, Krista and Chelsea. It was super fun! The girls really enjoyed themselves even though we were in the nosebleed section...really, I wasn't going to spend a bunch of money on something that I wasn't sure my child would even sit through...she did and that means that we might try other venues of the sort...she really liked it. I will post pictures later.

Then, she left. Yep, went with Brice's parents to Arkansas. My heart is a little sad. However, somewhere deep inside myself I can't help but feel like a bad parent because I am looking forward to the week where some projects can get done and I can have some one-on-one time with my itty bitty one (although not quite so itty bitty)! I love my Rachel so so much and I love spending time with her but she is hard sometimes. Brice reassured me this morning that letting her go with the grandparents makes me a good parent not a bad one but OH, will I miss her soooo!!!!

Tonight, work. Yep, that's right. Work. The emergency room kind. Until midnight...an unscheduled day of work, might I add. I was asked to work and I said, ok..for part of the PM shift...until 12:30. Tomorrow staying awake during church might be a little tough....

This next week should be fun..lots of fun things planned and I am really hoping to get started on Lauren's scrapbook. Those of you that know me, know how much I ADORE scrapbooking...well, get this...I haven't even started Lauren's scrapbook!!! Isn't that awful. I got 5 new Cricut cartridges for Christmas and haven't even used them yet. I have so many fun things to use and just haven't found the time between my two kiddos and everything else I have going on. That's on the agenda for the week.

Well, gotta get busy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CHUB -O!!!!



This sweet face is the face of my big ole baby!!! Today's doctor visit stats:

Length: 26 1/4 inches - 97th %tile
Weight: 17 lbs - 97th %tile
Head: 16 1/4 inches - 55th %tile

Yep, I birth em big and apparently parent them big too! I just knew that this baby was going to be smaller than Rachel...and she actually is if you look at the numbers....Rachel weighed the EXACT same as Lauren at her 4 month well baby checkup BUT Lauren started out 2 lbs heavier than Rachel at birth so Rachel was actually growing at a faster pace. ANYWHO....I just have big babies and I am okay with that as long as we don't get to Lauren's 2 year checkup and the doctor starts wanting to send us to an endocrinologist (like she did with Rachel) because she is so big. Other news from the doctor....she told me that the AAP recommends no baby food until 6 months. Well, that is different from what our regular doctor says, so we are going to continue with cereal and may not start actual baby food until 6 months but we will do cereal once a day for now and probably not exceeding 2 meals until she is 6 months. I am not sure how that will all work out but I am just going to go with the flow and see what works for MY baby!! She is a spitter!! Which, duh, I already knew...something else that she has in common with her big sister. She gave me some tips for reducing her amount of spitting...one was to feed her closer together smaller amounts....okay, seriously...we just got to where she would go longer than 2 1/2 hours in between feedings and I am not sure I want to back up and go back to that schedule and I believe that she spit as much then as she is now....anyway, as our regular doctor told us about Rachel...some babies are just spitters. It apparently isn't affecting her weight gain at all!!! =)

Here is a picture of Rachel brushing her teeth! I don't post as many pictures of her lately...


All clean!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lauren is 4 months old!!!

Yep! Lauren is 4 months old! Where did you go? NOT SURE!!! I can't believe she is getting so big!



She is in size 2 diapers. She can grab things now and hold them for awhile. We started cereal (yes, I know, a little early but she is doing GREAT!) She is drooling all over the place! Not sure when she will cut teeth but if it is anytime soon it will be before Rachel. Rachel didn't get her 1st tooth until she was 7 months old! Um...she is almost perfect in the church nursery every Sunday and Wednesday and really only fusses when she is dirty, hungry, or sleepy! She sleeps between 8-10 hours every night which is PURE HEAVEN!!!! I just love this little baby so much!! Wednesday is her 4 month checkup with shots, weight and length check! We will see a different doctor because the girls' doctor had her baby boy last week!!! Yay for babies!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Brain Hurts!

So, I said I would catch up....my brain hurts! I can't do it! Basically, we have been busy and I have taken a ton of pictures which I will post eventually. Let me give you the scoop of what we did today...

I have been having migraine headaches. Well, what I figured was migraines. I have never had them prior to having Lauren. I take that back...I had one early early in pregnancy with Rachel then I had one early in my pregnancy with Lauren (maybe that's a sign that I will have high blood pressure during pregnancy). Anyway, sorry for that side-tracked random thought. So, I started having these horrible crazy visual disturbances right after Lauren was born to where I couldn't see anything...just blurry and I couldn't focus on anything. It would last for about 30 minutes, the white spots/flashes would get worse before it would go away and as soon as the visual disturbances went away I would have a MASSIVE headache!! Well, I have had about 10 or so since Lauren was born 4 months ago. I had one yesterday which prompted a call to a doctor...a new doctor that I have never seen before. My PCP went to some MDVIP program crap where I would have to pay like $1500 a year just to have her as a my doctor...I THINK NOT! So...anyway, I have a new doctor who is not female which I am not crazy about, but whatever. I had another this morning...two days in a row...not good because today's was MUCH worse than yesterday's which I still hadn't fully recovered from. So, the doctor's appointment today....blood work, Rx for Imitrex (which I am not sure I can take while nursing...have to look it up. He knew I am nursing so I am sure it is fine but I like to make sure), and a scheduled MRI for this coming Wednesday which I will likely reschedule because of VBS and two children. I won't wait too long though. So...through the course of the day, I spoke to my grandmother in hopes to find out whether or not migraines run in my family....she proceeds to tell me that her mother, my great grandmother had them frequently and then died from a brain tumor. Lovely. Well, I am not thinking I have a brain tumor, but seriously....we just need to make sure! =)

Will update as I know more.

Both girls are great! Lauren is getting CHUNKY!!!! She will be 4 months old on Sunday and we go to her doctor (well, not her doctor because she is out on maternity leave) next Wednesday for her 4 month well baby check up. I bet she weighs somewhere in the ballpark of 16 1/2 lbs...that's my guess! =) I know that she is too long for 3-6 month clothes now!!!! She is barely 4 months old and having to wear 6-9 months because of her length! Don't get me wrong, she has some thighs on her but seriously her toes poke out the end! I just have big babies!!!

Brice is liking his job. Not much going on there. I have about 8 more lbs to lose to be at pre-pregnancy weight but I still feel like a blob! Breastfeeding is still going REALLY well and although sometimes I really feel like it would be easier to give her a bottle (and I do), I am so proud to be nursing exclusively!

I have to work this weekend after being off for several weeks. I am looking forward to it on one hand and not so much at the same time! O'well! I get to be among adults all day long.

Gotta go shut my eyes for a little bit...like I said, MY BRAIN HURTS!!! =)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Will It Ever Happen???

Will I ever catch up? Probably not!

I have been working really hard on planning my 10 year high school reunion. It seriously takes up my whole day besides playing with Rachel and feeding and playing with Lauren. I am about to have everything mailed out so I will get a break until I start getting money back. But, I think the majority of the time consuming work is done. I still have several people that I cannot find but I can't get them all, I don't guess.

We had a good Fourth of July. We had company the week before and didn't do anything on that day but had church outside the day after the 4th. Luckily, it wasn't too bad hot and we enjoyed it!

I will leave you with a picture and promise that I will more of an update later....

Isn't this HILARIOUS??!!



Reason to Rejoice
 
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