Monday, March 31, 2008

Thank Goodness for Medical Insurance...

Thank goodness we have medical insurance because the week of my birthday between Tuesday and Saturday we went to the Dr 8 times. Yes, I said 8, 2 of which we went to UCSF in San Francisco for(1 hour each way)!! How is that possible you say? Easy, when you go 1 time on Tuesday, twice on Wednesday, once on Thursday, 3times on Friday and once on Saturday. Here is the rundown of what happened. The night of my birthday, as we were putting Izzy to bed, Paul noticed some red spots on her legs and asked me to come look at them. She had played with a friend outside that afternoon so I was thinking, maybe it was some sort of allergic reaction. Then we inspected the rest of her and found them around her elbows too. My next thought was maybe it is the chicken pox. She has been immunized but I have heard of breakthroughs and her Dr had told me a few weeks before that they were finding out that the Chix Pox vaccine was only good for 4 years. I opted to not to give her the booster. I thought just my luck, she gets the pox 3 weeks later. The next morning I took her to the Dr. where he informed me that it was not the chicken pox. He got kind of serious, put a mask on her and hand walked us down to the lab for some blood tests. Even more alarming was the fact that he would not tell me what he thought it was because he didn't want to diagnose her without the blood test. Which in my head I was thinking, it must not be good if he doesn't want to tell me. He made the lab techs wear masks as well and they took her blood. We left to go pick Seth up from preschool and the Dr called me to let me know that her blood tests were all normal and anything they were really concerned about was not there. I asked him what the big worry was and he told me that he was concerned about bacterial meningitis because when it presents this way it is really bad and also leukemia. Luckily we can check those off but her spots were still a mystery. He wanted us to see the head dermatologist at UCSF (apparently she writes the books) so he made a call and she was interested in our case. Then I was thinking, if the woman who writes the books is interested, that can't be good. Anyway, her dr. also mentioned something called HSP but she was missing a few of the symptoms. Finally the night before we were supposed to go to UCSF her leg got swollen, which is a symptom of HSP. He then felt pretty confident in his diagnosis but, since it wasn't following the exact criteria (swelling should be in the joints not the tissue) thought it might be good to have the dermatologist double check it. Needless to say, she confirmed his diagnosis. So, what is HSP you ask? It is a condition that causes your immune system to attack your blood vessels causing breaks in them (hence the red spots). It can also cause intestinal bleeding, high blood pressure and kidney damage. So, we are going to the doctor every few days to check for blood in the urine, her blood pressure and any other symptoms she may be having. Last week she threw up and was having bad stomach pains. Those symptoms are subsiding now. She did have some blood in her stool but that seems to be subsiding. We are now on our 3rd week missing school. Luckily last week was spring break so she wasn't missing class. He wants her to take it easy as to not "rock the boat". It is so hard trying to get her to take it easy. After 2 full weeks of this now, she just wants to play. They say it can last 4-6 weeks and her kidneys will need to be checked for 3-6 months. Haven't we had our fair share of medical crisis' this year?

Most of the appointments were for Isabelle that week but Seth did have his first dental appointment. I am happy to report that he had no cavities and the dentist said he was the best patient all week. He was completely fascinated. Cooper also had his last follow up appointment from his little overnight stay at UCSF. I think he is going to be fine. It has been about 2 months since he has had a lung infection. Izzy also had an eye exam where they told me she needs glasses. The following Monday we went the Dr. again because Cooper was having an excema outbreak from head to toe. We also went again for Izzy that week. I can't remember when because it is all blurring together. Anyway, our insurance is probably going what the heck is up with these people. I think I have gone to the Dr's office more times in the last 9 months then I have my whole life! We are still going about twice a week to check up on Izzy but hopefully after this is all over things will calm down with going to the Dr!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Best Birthday

March 17th was my birthday and my sweet husband, kids and friends made me feel so special. My husband was so thoughtful and creative. The Saturday before my birthday I went shopping with a friend. My hubby called a few minutes after we left and told me that my present was in the car and to reach in the side pocket of the door. There was an envelope with a cute note that said "have fun shopping" and a load of cash. Then, on Sunday evening he invited a few friends over for cake and ice cream. On Monday morning Paul & the kids came up to our room (I was still in bed enjoying that it was my b-day and I didn't have to get up yet) with my favorite bagel, some OJ and a card from each one of them. The cards from the kids were adorable and Paul gave me a very sweet card. In the card he wrote me a very creative message. He surprised me and took the day off and planned a whole day for me. He just had the times and addresses of the places I needed to be and I had to use the GPS to find it. My first stop was a pedicure. He even had a bag for me with some magazines and a Take 5 candy bar and my flip flops.
The next stop was lunch with him and the boys (so I could feed Cooper). We had a wonderful lunch and I was so happy to spend lunch with all the boys. When we were done eating he gave me a bag with a change of clothes and I was off to my next destination which was a facial and an 1 1/2 hour massage. When I came out of the massage there were balloons and 3 dozen roses (one dozen from each boy in our family, he is trying to teach them that boys give girls flowers). My next stop was Cheesecake Factory for dinner with the family. When we got home the kids had picked out a cake for me (mint chocolate chip ice cream, green for St Patricks). It was a wonderfully memorable birthday. Later in the week some friends took me to dinner at PF Changs. It was a wonderful week full of birthday celebration. I typically do not like a big deal made of my birthday but everyone made me feel so special. Even though there were other challenges during the week, my wonderful b-day outshone them.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Exploring the bay area

We have been in this area a year now and we get out fairly often to explore the area. Probably not as often as we could since we had Cooper and then he was so sick for so long. So, a few Saturdays ago we headed out to a regional park called Tilden park where they have a steam engine you can ride, along with a bunch of other fun things to do. Isabelle's friend Grace came along for the ride. By the time we got there and rode the train, the kids had burned through all of the snacks so we headed home and decided to come back and finish exploring the park another day, it is huge! They had a great time on the train, it was a great ride and a pretty authentic miniature steam train. They loved it when the train went whoo whoo and all the steam came out. We grabbed some lunch on our way home and since it was such a beautiful day took it to a park closer to our home. The kids were great and we stayed for 2 hours then went home and cleaned up and finished the evening by going to the Old Spaghetti Factory with friends. The kids were beat but we had a great day.

This was the view on the drive to the park, it was an amazing view of San Francisco.
Seth at the park near our home.

While Mommy is Away the Mice will Play...

While I was gone in Las Vegas, Paul took the kids to the church parking lot with their power wheels so they could have plenty of room to drive without worrying about cars on our street. He set them up an obstacle course, they had a blast! Mama Thom was amazing, taking over while I was gone. She made sure the kids got to school and all of their activities. Not to mention all of the other day to day tasks. They had a great time with her. I am sure they wore her out.

Teeth & Army Crawling

About a month ago Cooper got his first tooth and shortly there after his second too. I have been waiting till they were sticking up far enough to get a good picture. I think he may be working on a third one that will be coming soon. It is not the best pic of his teeth but, those 2 stubs on his bottom gums are his teeth. Luckily he hasn't bit me yet.

The night before Cooper & I came home from Las Vegas he started army crawling. He was playing on the floor in Sarah's nursery while I was helping Marissa get things organized and all of a sudden he just took off! I couldn't believe it. I grabbed my mom's cell phone and took a video to capture it. Things are going to be changing around our house now that he is mobile! I have to beware of the human vacuum so the floor always has to be sparkling and I guess its time to start baby proofing again. He has also started a couple of other fun games, like rolling over when I try to change his diaper and taking his pacifier out and dropping it and watching me pick it up. He also likes to drop it out of the side of his crib! I am always searching for the lost pacifiers under the crib. Such a fun age, it is so fun to see his little personality.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's a thumb one...

Just a quick funny. Seth has a bad habit of handing me his boogers. I have started telling him to go find a kleenex or throw it away. Tonight he does his usual and goes here mom. I reply, "Seth I don't want your booger go get a tissue". He replies, "but it's a thumb one" (he holds the booger out on his thumb, like that makes it more acceptable to give it to me). Ahh, boys and their boogers.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Marissa & Sarah's shower

On the last Wednesday in February I flew down to Las Vegas with Cooper to see Marissa and her new baby Sarah and throw a shower. Isabelle & Seth stayed here with Paul and my mother-in-law came out to visit and help so Paul didn't have to miss work. It was so great having her here. She was a big help!! I don't think the kids missed me that much! Anyway, It was so fun going to Vegas with just Cooper. It is so funny, after having three kids, going down to one for a few days is a breeze! I had a great time visiting with my mom, Marissa and my new niece Sarah. She is a tiny little peanut. I am not used to such a small baby (mine were all much bigger than her, by like 2 lbs!). We ate out, went shopping and spent a lot of time just hanging out. The shower was on Saturday, we had a great turnout and the food was wonderful. On Monday we went shopping again so I could help her pick out any missed items that she didn't get at her shower. We also found a crib and changing table. It was a wonderful extended weekend and something my sis and I have been waiting a long time to do together. It was bittersweet leaving. I was happy to get home to my husband and other children, but very sad to be missing out on this amazing experience with my sister. We are finally both stay-at-home mommies! We were so busy at the shower we didn't get that many pictures but here are a few of me, Marissa and my mom.

Valentines Day

So I know it is a little silly being that it is almost a month later but my sweet husband got me the most amazing flowers for V-Day.

Seth ready to go to his Preschool Valentines Party

Izzy excited to have lots of valentines from her kindergarten friends

UCSF Children's Hospital

So on Feb. 19th & 20th we went to UCSF Children's Hospital for Cooper to have all of his tests run. The first test he had was a bronchoscope where they put him to sleep and scoped his lungs to make sure everything is anatomically correct. They also took some swabs and cultures and placed the ph probe to measure acid in his esophagus to see if he has reflux and how badly. Everything in his lungs was correct so that has been ruled out as the cause of wheezing. The probe had to stay in for 24 hours so we had to stay overnight. It was not fun staying overnight in the hospital. Poor Cooper is such a light sleeper and we had a shared room with another little girl who had had major surgery. She kept yelling in pain and her parents didn't seem to know how to whisper. Plus, the nurses kept barging in to check on her. Not to mention we had to keep a close eye on Cooper to make sure he didn't pull on the probe because it couldn't be moved at all or the results may not be accurate. So, we all finally dozed off when I wake up to the LOUDEST snore I have ever heard in MY LIFE!!! I don't think there are words to explain it. The little girls dad had sleep apnea and kept letting out these enormously loud snores. Needless to say it woke Paul up too and by that point we were laughing because we were so tired we didn't know what else to do. Then Cooper woke up for the 10th time and I knew we couldn't stay in that room. I started walking the halls with him, wondering if I would have to do that all night. We had a good nurse and she said she would see if she could get us our own room but, they were very full. Meanwhile Paul was standing outside the door to our room and another nurse came out of the room and was like OH MY GOSH, do you want me to ask him to leave the room so you can sleep? Luckily our nurse was already working on getting us a different room. So, finally at 12:30 am we got our own room (at least until 6:30 that morning). We finally got a few hours of sleep before I had to feed Cooper again. They took the probe out that morning and then we had one more test before we could leave. We went to radiology to have a swallow study done. They took x-rays while he swallowed to make sure he was swallowing correctly and not aspirating into his lungs while he was swallowing. That test was also negative, he does not aspirate while he swallows. We finally went home and he passed out as soon as we started driving and then took a 5 hour nap after we got home.

A week later we went to see the cardiologist to make sure it was not a heart condition causing the wheezing and that came out all clear as well. So the worst of the worst is over. We finally got a call telling us that the PH probe was positive for reflux and we have an appointment to see the GI in a week. He started on prevacid. It seems to help a little but he still spits up and wheezes a little but luckily we have not had any major breathing issues in about 6 weeks. Hopefully his reflux will get better with time and will not require any major intervention. He seems to be gaining weight a little bit better now that he is not as sick.

My mom came out to watch our other kids so we could both be at the hospital!! Thanks mom you are the best, it was so nice not having to worry about our other kids when we were at the hospital.

The Doors to the surgery Center



Upclose with the probe