Monday, February 28, 2011

Is Trouble Brewing?

So the little boy was diagnosed with and ear infection last week.

His first one in almost two years since having tubes placed in April 2009.
Yes, we still have our original tubes, and I am still tempted to contact Mr. Guinness to see if we qualify for his World Record Book!

I thought that a quick round of antibiotics would do the trick.
I thought that we would go back to normal and all would be fine.

I thought wrong.

He got worse on Friday.
Demon-possessed worse.
Yelling, crying, hitting, refusing to eat, refusing to nap, fighting with big sister.
It was rough.
And he wouldn't let me touch his right ear or let me look in it.
Yes, I still whip out that otoscope of mine every now and then to admire that little Cheerio in his ear that cost us so much money because we found the best ENT around and he is out-of-network but worth every penny so we went to him anyway!

So off to the pediatrician we go.
When she looked in his left, non-infected ear, she said the membrane looked GREAT!
Whew!
But one teeny tiny glance in the previously-infected right ear and then the look she gave me said it all: T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

"I can see the tube, but it there is a clot of blood at the opening", she says.
Translation: the tube is obstructed.

Not draining.

Possibly filling with more infected fluid.

Causing the demon-possessed behaviors we are seeing.

And the small boy can't hear very well from that ear right now.

There is nothing that she can do for this multi-million dollar obstructed Cheerio except give us another round of antibiotics and some samples of a cream for the yeast-like infection he got from the first round of antibiotics and personally call our ENT to try and get us seen earlier than our scheduled Thursday appointment.

So trouble is brewing.
And so we wait.
We wait as the tube stays obstructed.
We wait as infected fluid possibly builds up on the other side.
We wait to see if he spikes a fever from the nasty fluid.
We wait until Thursday to see if the ENT can fix/flush/aspirate the clot.

Or remove the tube entirely.

I am hoping that the clot dislodges itself somehow...wishful thinking, I know.
So I am pulling for the fix/flush/aspirate in the office on Thursday.
That would mean one ticked off boy for sure!

I hate waiting.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

And The Winner Is.....


TARA LINK MILLET!!!!!


Congrats to you, Tara!


You have 48 hours to email me with your mailing address to claim this most awesome prize!


(NOTE: If Tara does not contact me within 48 hours of this posting, another winner will be chosen at random.)


Thank you all for participating in the Preschool Prep Company "Meet The Sight Words" Giveaway.

Visit the website at http://www.preschoolprepco.com/ for more great products.


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Friday, February 25, 2011

A "Sight Word" Blog Giveaway!

WOW!
I am so excited!
Oh so excited!

You see, a couple of weeks ago I purchased some great items on sight words.
You heard me. Sight words.
Yes, the same sight words that have been a thorn in my side for the entire school year so far.
A Mom gets desperate after a while.
Plus, I LOVE to shop!

And once Kaitlyn and Andrew started to watch the videos, they (yes, even 3 year old Andrew!) were saying them along with the video.
In fact, they were racing the video to see who could say them first!

So then I sat down with them and watched the video from start to finish.
And let me tell you...if there is an Emmy Award for this product, then let me be the presenter because they are ab-so-lute-ly AWESOME!

The animation is amazing!
The timing of each word is perfect.
The gradual change from cartoon-esque word to real word is impressive.
Unlike those other videos that flash words on your TV screen and mention it a few times and throw in a picture or some music, each and every word is "alive"!

And clever?
Clever is not the word for it!
Although I dislike bugs, my favorite has to be the way they portrayed the word "and" as a chameleon.

For those of you who follow my blog, you probably already know that I am one tough cookie to impress.

Well, I AM impressed!
So tickled with my purchase, I emailed the company, telling them how awesome I thought that they and their products were and asked if they would like to offer something to one of my blog readers.

And Kathy from Preschool Prep Company was so gracious to say "yes"!


Taken from the website, "many words don’t follow basic decoding rules and are taught in pre-k and kindergarten classrooms as "sight words", "instant words", "high frequency words" or "star words." A new reader finds sight words very frustrating until they are memorized. A good reader will be able to instantly recognize "sight words" without having to 'figure them out'. Preschool Prep Company makes learning sight words fun and easy. Now children can master "sight words" with the same rapid speed that they learned letters, numbers, shapes and colors."
Meet the Sight Words-Level One focuses on the following words:

A, and, for, have, he, I, in, is, it, of, play, said, that, the, to, and you.

Now it is time to practice what you have learned.

Level 1 books focus on the 16 most common sight words
When your child has learned the sight words from the video, they will easily be able to read the book with Mom or Dad's assistance!
Vibrant, animated, and with bold print, these 12 books cover a variety of topics to keep your child's interest and encourages them to want to read even more!
Book topics include the following:
Jump Rope
The Leaves
Play It
The Picnic
School Time
The Rain
Sharing Day
The Toys
The Bike
Water Play
The Dog
We Play

You can get a glimpse of what a segment of "Meet The Sight Words" video is like by clicking here!


So now for the giveaway!



ONE LUCKY WINNER will receive BOTH ITEMS (the DVD and the 12-book set)!

FREE!

To enter, all you have to do is one of the following:

1. Comment on this blog post below.

2. Become a fan of my Facebook Page Apraxia Mom and leave a comment there.

3. Become a follower of my Twitter page and "retweet" my tweet about this giveaway.

Simple as that!

RULES (ah, yes, there are always rules, aren't there?)
***Open to US Residents only.
***Contest runs until Midnight (CST) on Saturday, Feb 26, 2011.
***Winner will be chosen at random.
***You must have a valid email address.
***If chosen winner does not respond to my email within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

For more information about Preschool Prep Company and to see the other items that are available for purchase, you can go to their website here!

Now if you would excuse me, there are more items from their line that I must purchase.

Thank you, Kathy @ Preschool Prep Company, Good Luck, and Happy Reading!

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Eye Surgeon Update


This post begins with a HUGE sigh of relief...WHEW!

At this point, Kaitlyn does not need her revision surgery.
She will need it, don't get me wrong.
She just doesn't need it at this time.
In fact, her doctor said that her alignment looked better this visit as compared to the previous visit.
However, we need to continue patching her strong eye to strengthen the vision in the weaker eye.
She is currently 20/40 in the strong eye, but is now 20/70 in the weak eye.

Last summer, she was 20/20 in both eyes.
Darn.

But lately, getting one sassy, mouthy seven year old to wear her eye patch without a meltdown has been...well...impossible, to say the least.
Instead of having her wear it for four to five hours per day, we are lucky that she is wearing it for two, maybe three hours....if that!
I know, something is better than nothing.
I discussed my concerns with our doc and he gave me an Rx for an eye drop that essentially blurs the vision in her good eye, making the weaker eye work harder.

I was a bit hesitant (and still am!) about using an eye drop in place of a patch.
I did find one article here about the positives, but I still have more research to do.
What about possible adverse affects such as retinal damage from prolonged pupillary dilatation?
Cycloplegic eye drops are as effective as eye patches for the treatment of amblyopia, or lazy eye, the most common cause of visual impairment in children and young adults, a new study claims (Archives of Ophthalmology 2002;120:268-78. Amblyopia affects up to 3% of the population and results from visual neglect secondary to muscular and refractive differences between the two eyes. Ultimately these differences result in defective visual processing. It is usually treated by placing a patch over the good eye, effectively forcing the lazy eye to work harder and improve.

When I noticed that he was "finishing up" and trying to move on to the next patient, I told him about my concerns with the patch, her behavior, and so on.
Now, I like this guy.
I do.
But he really ticked me off.
Instead of listening to me and my concerns, he brushed them off, telling me "play games with her with the patch" and "give her an option as to when she wants to wear the patch" and blah blah blah.
I could tell that the shaking of my head and eye rolling wasn't getting anywhere with him.
DOC! This is not your typical child!
This is a special needs child, and your sissy options are not options in my book!

I was through.
He pissed me off and I wanted to just go home.
It was like talking to a wall.
And, to add insult to injury, he stands up and pats me on the shoulder and says "You're a good Mom. You'll figure it out."

He did not just say that, did he?
Oh yeah, he did.
And I was done.

So I picked up my daughter, picked up some new patches, used his Rx for toilet paper, and brushed off his insensitive comments.
He's got a lot of a$$-kissing to do to make up for that comment!

We'll see what happens in two months when we go back.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Parent-Teacher Conference

We had Andrew's PTC on Tuesday afternoon.
Seeing that we just had his IEP Meeting in December, I knew that there wouldn't be a whole lot of updates or changes.

He seems to be doing very well in school.
Although he doesn't want to talk to his peers very much.
Not that he ignores them, per se.
He just does his own thing and interacts with them when he feels it's necessary.
And his SLP in class said that when he does talk wit them, it's more of a whisper.

Intimidated?
Could be.

But IEP goals are being met and he is happy.

And that makes for a great conference, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Top Ten


10. Somewhat of a "resolution" to the bullying issue (by adults!)that has come to light in Kaitlyn's classroom. At least they know that I know!

9. Getting a voicemail from Andrew's school nurse stating that he was complaining of ear pain, but no fever. Uh-oh!

8. Finding out the next day that Andrew has bloody drainage in his ear and a tube that appears to be falling out. Uh-oh...this sucks!

7. Having your three year old be the historian in the doctor's office. Now that is pretty cool!

6. Sending Kaitlyn to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the weekend for a getaway...for everyone. She loved it!

5. Prepping for Andrew's Parent-Teacher Conference.

4. Prepping for Kaitlyn's appointment with the eye surgeon. Something tells me that we will be doing surgery sooner than later.

3. The Special Needs PTA...LOVE IT!

2. Hopping for spring.

1. I love my kids!

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Monday, February 21, 2011

"Born This Way"


Ah, yes.

Lady GaGa.

A woman of many faces and many outfits.

But also a lady with a message.

Have you really listened to the lyrics of her newest hit "Born This Way"?

If you read below, it applies to A-N-Y-O-N-E out there.
Anyone.
Including children with special needs.
*****************************************************************
"My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars

"There's nothin' wrong with lovin' who you are"
She said, "'Cause He made you perfect, babe"
"So hold your head up, girl and you you'll go far,
Listen to me when I say"

I'm beautiful in my way,
'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way

Don't hide yourself in regret,
Just love yourself and you're set
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way

Whether life's disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
'Cause baby, you were born this way"

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Cool vs NOT Cool


You know what's not cool?

What's not cool is your 19 month old son (back in 2009, that is) having to suffer with nine ear infections in six months.
Yep, that's an average of one ear infection every three weeks.

Not cool.

And it's not cool that he is speech delayed because of those effin infections!

And it's not cool when he has an allergic reaction on day #8 of a 10 day course of the wonderful pink stuff that treats the infamous ear infections.

But it's cool when your son can tolerate a cephalosporin.
Cool.

And it's cool when you find the most awesome-ist ENT who looks you in the eye and says "He needs tubes....now." and would have probably put them in that day had it not been so late in the afternoon and Mom wasn't flippin' out.
Or had the small boy eaten a Hungry Man meal one hour prior.

And it's cool when you can go almost TWO YEARS with the original tubes that were placed in April 2009 without an ear infection.

SUPER-UBER COOL!

And it's not cool when the preschool nurse calls you on Wednesday and leaves you a voicemail stating that "he was complaining of right ear pain but her doesn't have a fever and he won't let me look in his ear".

Not cool.

And it's really not cool when on Thursday morning he won't let ME look at or even touch his ear.
And it's not cool when his pediatrician gives you and Rx for that cool Cephalosporin again and then tells you that the "tube looks like it is starting to fall out and he has some slight bloody drainage from his ear".

Nope. Not cool.

And it is definitely not cool when your son cups his hand over his ear and shrieks in pain.....because he is in pain!

Not. Cool.

And it's so not cool when you call that awesome ENT who put the PE tubes in back in April 2009 and find out he is out of town.
For another week.

But that not cool phone call with the receptionist turns cool again when she sees that the doc is in another office next week and books that appointment for your peace of mind.

Ear infections: not cool.
Blood from ear: not cool.
Shrieking ear pain: not cool.
Attitude from child with ear infection: not cool.

But my trooper of a son is cool.

Sorry buddy that you have to go through this again.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

More on Sight Words!


OK, OK, I'll admit it.
Sight words are pretty cool.
And these videos are really cool!

I just received these in the mail yesterday and my kids are hooked!

HOOKED!

Many words don’t follow basic decoding rules and are taught in pre-k and kindergarten classrooms as "sight words."
Children can easily master these Sight Words after a few viewings.
Meet the Sight Words has become a staple in pre-k and kindergarten classrooms across the country.
Meet the Sight Words 1, 2 and 3 teach over 45 basic sight words!

CD #1 covers the following words: of, play, it, he, you, in, I , to, have, and, a, said, is, the, for & that.
CD #2 covers the following words: are, as, but, go, had, here, his, like, my, on, see, she, they, was, we & with.
CD #3 covers the following words: all, at, be, by, from, her, him, look, one, on, some, there, this, up & word.

Many of these words that Kaitlyn is already learning in school are found in all 3 CDs.
She was actually really excited to watch CD #1 this morning on the way to school and was able to identify the word before the CD announced the word.
And Andrew?
Well, let's just say that this is his newest addiction!

And this company rocks!
They have received over 25 national awards for their products!

Preschool Prep Company™ was formed to research and develop tools that would help educate children in their early years. One two-month study and thousands of hours of research and development later, Preschool Prep Company™ brings to the market a line of products that help young children master letters, numbers, shapes and colors before they are even able to speak.

The company is dedicated to helping children develop a strong foundation with which to learn how to read. Preschool Prep Series™ products provide a set of vital tools for children to use when they are ready. All products are designed to teach toddlers and babies during an opportune window of time when they are learning to talk.

Check it out, and get your kids hook,ed on sight words, too!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

THE OLIVE YOU FOUNDATION



There's a really neat lady out in the southern portion of the United States who I would like to hug one day.

A big hug.

You see, she and her husband are doing one thing that I would love to do.
One day.

They set up a foundation for children with speech and language issues to receive the therapy treatments that are so necessary.
It is called "The Olive You Foundation".

The Olive You Foundation was created in honor of Maggie and Luke Tarpley. Both had speech difficulties at an early age, but with ongoing therapy and support they found their voices. Our parent organization is the Community Foundation of South Georgia 501(c)(3). This ensures that all donations to The Olive You Foundation are 100% tax deductible.

OU assists in helping children with speech and language disorders by funding supplemental therapies and treatments. OU also assists charitable organizations who serve children with communicative disorders.

Our purpose is to provide grants to help children who have speech and language disorders. Our goal is to allow children with communication difficulties the chance to better express themselves. The Olive You Foundation strives to provide children the opportunity to receive assistance to help improve their communication.

How Can You Help?
You can change the life of a child with the gift of improved communication. The Olive You Foundation is privately funded through individual donations, grants and fundraisers. We invite you to support our work with children through either an individual donation, a grant, by participating in one of our fundraising activities or by holding your own fundraiser to support OU.

How Can OU Help You?
Do you know a child who would benefit from additional speech and language services or treatment? Perhaps you know an organization that serves children with communicative disorders? Please share our information with them.

Donations
OU accepts donations of any kind. Monetary donations can be made through our parent organization, Community Foundation of South Georgia, by clicking the "Make a Donation" and then selecting The Olive You Foundation Fund or (OTHER if you do not see it as a choice) follow up with a phone call to CFSG to verify donation to Olive You from the "Choose Fund" option on the CFSG donation page.

Contributions can also be made payable and mailed to:
The Olive You Foundation Fund
c/o Community Foundation of South Georgia (CFSG)
PO Box 2654
Thomasville, GA 31799
(229) 228-5088 Phone
(888) 544-2317 Toll Free
(229) 228-0848 Fax

No parent should have to fight the way we did to find out a diagnosis for their child. Nor should parents have to beg, borrow and plead to receive the needed therapies and services for their children.

No child should have to do without because, financially, the parents can't provide. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about the costs of therapy, struggling with a disability is hard enough without the compilation of stretched finances.

Please forward this to anyone that you know who could benefit from the foundation.
Please find it in your heart to donate to this foundation.
Just think of the children that you are helping.

Thanks!

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Top Ten


10. A rough day at work last week. Really! How much more can they cram on us without causing a fatal error?

9. A possible allergic reaction to an antibiotic by me.

8. A concern for ulcerative colitis after two rounds of antibiotics in 7 weeks for Kaitlyn. Thankfully, its not!

7. My son flirting with his teacher! Yes, its cute!

6. A somewhat productive evening away scrap booking...NOT!

5. A 7 year old with major attitude is very trying on the patience.

4. Going to a birthday party at a pool over the weekend equals two tired chicks.

3. Continued progress with speech therapy.

2. Our upcoming eye surgeon appointment for Kaitlyn and a Parent Teacher Conference in the same day. Why do I do this to myself?

1. I love my kids!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Learn To Read


This website was shared with me and I just have to pass it along to you all!
Because, after all, it is soooooo cool!
It is a website mainly for K-6th graders, but it has online animated children's books for ages 2-10

The site usually requires a $99.00 annual fee.

However, for a very limited time, if you log on here and enter the keyword "learntoread", you can have access to the site for ONE YEAR for FREE!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

No Words

I really have nothing to say today.

Well, that is not true.
I have a lot to say.
I just don't know how to sit down and type it yet.

I had a meeting this morning about some concerns that I am having and it went well and now I have to wait.

Vague, I know.

I will tell you about it soon.
I just don't have the words (or energy or time right now) to say it.
It's all good.
It's OK.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why Whine When You Can Sign?*


*The trademark of Signing Safari....how snappy!

I get emails from a variety of sources: parents of children with CAS, companies asking me to review their products, stalkers, you name it.
And the other day, this email came through and really caught my eye.

I am an advocate for sign language.
I taught my daughter to sign and she rocked almost 100 signs before her words started to form.
The boy, on the other hand, put the "boy" in "boycott"....big time!
Refused to sign.
The only sign he would use was the "evil boy look".

Yep, that look.
And it was his trademark!

But Sharon and Rebecca have really put something together that is really neat.
Being specialists in the area of sign language and sign language interpreting, they have put together a website which includes DVDs, downloads, and classes* on how to teach your child to sign.

We all know that there are many benefits of signing such as decreasing frustration, promoting earlier speech, and less anxiety for both parent and child.
It's really a great website!
And for a limited time right now, they are hosting a SPECIAL OFFER!


You, too, can check out this site at www.signingsafari.com
*Classes in the Cincinnati, Ohio area only.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

10 Questions to Ask Your Child


Don't you hate it when something so simple makes you mad?
Like something so darned common sense that it makes you want to smack yourself in the forehead and say "DUH!"
Well, leave it to Scholastic to give me a "duh" moment.
I read this article, ran with it when I picked Kate up from school yesterday, and sat back in my seat overwhelmed by the flow of information that was flooding me.

Thanks, Scholastic, for making me feel like a dim-wit!
I guess my questions just weren't good enough, huh?

Click on the link below and try it with your kids.
10 Questions to Ask Your Child About His Day at School Scholastic.com



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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week


This week is Congenital Heart Defect (CHD)Awareness Week.

CHD Awareness Week is an annual awareness effort to help educate the public about Congenital Heart Defects. Participants include individuals, local support groups, national and local organizations and congenital cardiology centers throughout the world!

Congenital Heart Disease is considered to be the most common birth defect, and is a leading cause of birth-defect related deaths worldwide.
Despite the fact that CHD affects approximately 1.8 millions families in the U.S., a relatively small amount of funding is currently available for parent/patient educational services, research, and support.

By sharing our experiences and providing information, we hope to raise public awareness about conditions that affect approximately 40,000 babies each year in the United States alone.

It is our sincere hope that efforts to educate the public will result in improved early diagnosis, additional funding for support and educational services, scientific research, and access to quality of care for our children and adults.

Last year, we found out that Andrew had a CHD.
My own heart broke.
And almost stopped.

It started with this post on Thursday, May 20, 2010:
I can't figure out how to write this post.
Please bear with me, as I am sure I am going to stumble around and not make much sense.
Here goes:

So Andrew has had this hoarse voice since Sunday evening.
It seemed to get a tad worse on Tuesday, better on Wednesday, but back to bad today.
So I had enough.
I cancelled his speech therapy session (which Andrew was pissed off about, by the way!) and made an appointment for our pediatrician to evaluate him.
Could be sinuses.
Could be allergies.
Could be that he is loud and yells and his voice is hoarse from that.
After speaking with the doctor, she examines him and says that "his throat is red".
But besides the hoarse voice, that is his only symptom.
"Let's do a throat culture, just to rule out strep" she says.
Throat culture is done, some pouting from Andrew, and we sit and wait for the results.

Positive.

Huh?
How is he strep positive without symptoms?

Then, the big blow. As she is listening to his lungs and heart:
"...and we know about the murmur..."

"Um, what murmur?" I say, with eyes as big as a deer just caught in the headlights.

"Oh, you don't know about it?"

"Um, NO!"

With all the doctors that have seen my son.
With all of the stethoscopes that have been on his little chest.
Not one person has ever detected a murmur.

Until now.

So we go for an ECHO with Doppler Study on Monday at 10:00am.
Our pediatrician doesn't seem concerned about it at all.
After all, she noted it two weeks ago when Andrew was in the office.
She was going to recheck it at his three-year-old well child visit.

But it's back out there now.

And I sit here.

My heart is broken.
Broken because these kids of mine just can't catch a break!
We get two steps forward, only to be pushed three steps backwards.
Now we may be adding "Cardiology" to our list of specialists for my children.

Dear God, please let this be "benign", "innocent" and "functional" as the doctor called it.
Dear God, please let my little man be OK.
You don't give me more than I can handle. This I know.
I don't ever question You.
Please help me understand this latest cross that we have to carry.
Dear God...please.

And then it went to this post on Friday May 21,2010:
A quick call in the morning can really change your whole day.
I made one of those quick calls.
"Just wondering if you had any cancellations for a ECHO today...at any time?"
"Hold on, let me check....."
(Hospital on-hold music playing........)
"OK, we will do it at 1:00pm. Can you be here at that time?"
"I am there!"

So, at 1:00pm today, Andrew will be having that ECHO w/ Doppler test.
To evaluate this new "murmur" that was detected yesterday.

It's too early for me to drink a glass of wine.
Then there's the whole "drinking and driving thing" that I won't do.
Can't take an anti-anxiety pill.
Falls into the same category of "caution while operating heavy machinery while on this med" deal.
So I am going to wing it.
With my rosary in my pocket.
Saying my prayers the whole way to the hospital and during the test.
And probably throwing up somewhere along the way.

Please pray for my son.
He's just a little boy.

To another one on Friday, May 21, 2010:
A gentle woman.
A man who gave me great directions.
A man with a kind word and nice smile.

The test is over.
"Nothing appears to be jumping out at me, but the cardiologist will still have to review it..." she says to me.

Was that my heart that just skipped a beat?

Yes, I am slightly relieved, but still have to wait for the "official report" from the Pediatric Cardiologist.
That may not be until next week.
The tech that did Andrew's test was truly an angel.

So maybe I can get back to normal?
Not be such a ditzy woman, trying to juggle her son into an elevator and stare blankly at the floor numbers wondering "Where did I park?"
Luckily, there were two men in the elevator with us.
One man remembers seeing us walk in a hour or so earlier.
At least he remembered Andrew's Cubs hat!
He told me what floor I might be on.
I think he's a Cubs fan, too!
GO CUBBIES!

And the other man?
Well, let's just say he was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Kind.
Pleasant.
A warm smile.
A nice few words.
Not something that you expect from a well-known television anchor, would you?

Thank you, Mr (no, I won't use your name!) for being so kind.
Thank you for dismissing my ditzy behavior.
Thank you for that nice smile.
Thank you for being a teeny tiny bright moment in what has been a very dark 24 hours.

To this one on Monday, May 24, 2010:
Good, bad, and ugly.

The Good: both the Pediatrician and the Cardiologist are not worried.
The Bad: Andrew has a 3mm PFO.
The Ugly: my eyes from all the crying I have done today.

So that is the word: Patent Foramen Ovale.

He was born with it, a flap in the septum between the atria, yet it never really closed on its own.

In fact, we are all born with it. And it typically closes on its own within the first year of life.

Except in about 25% of the population, and Andrew just happens to be in that 25%.

And the "swishing sound" that they are hearing is the force of blood being rapidly squeezed through that flap (PFO).

So instead of Andrew having a "lub-dub" sound when they listen to his heart, he has this periodic "lub-swish-dub" sound.

And that "swishing sound" is the left-to-right shunting of blood through the atria of the heart. I was told that this is the shunting we would want, as the right-to-left version is a bit more tricky.

So I was assured, reassured, and reassured again by so many professionals that this is nothing to worry about.

That so many people have this.

There is nothing different that we need to do.

He has no restrictions, and we can go about our lives as normal.

No medications, no surgery, no interventions.

We actually don't even need to see a Pediatric Cardiologist.

Ahem! Guess who is seeing a Peds Cards anyway because I said so!

I am not sure how I am feeling about this right now.

I think I am still in shock about the whole situation.

Goodnight kisses take on a whole new meaning when you hear your child has an "issue".

And ends with this happier post on June 12, 2010:
My heart is happy.
But more important is that Andrew's heart is happy.

Ever since that day when I found out he had a heart murmur.
And that day we had his 2D-ECHO.

And the day we heard he had a PFO, my heart hadn't been the same.

This is my little boy's heart we are talking about!
What if something is wrong?
We were reassured by our Pediatrician that his murmur is most likely nothing to worry about.
Even the Cardiologist that read the ECHO called it "unremarkable" with the except of that darned 3mm PFO.
But this Mama needed some peace of mind.
And her own heart needed some reassurance.
So on Friday, we had an appointment with a different Pediatric Cardiologist.
Not the one who performed the 2D-ECHO.
Not the one who read the 2D-ECHO.
A Pediatric Cardiologist who knows neither me, my son, his heart, or my concerns.
I wanted someone to examine my son.
To listen to his heart.
To answer my questions.
To tell me that he was going to be just fine.

And he did that....and more.

He listened to Andrew' heart.
He answered my questions.
And most importantly, he told me that my son and his heart were just fine.

What Andrew has is called a Still's Murmur.
Benign.
Innocent.
Functional.
He agreed that there is, indeed, a PFO
And a quick 12-lead EKG confirmed no issues with rate and rhythm.

He reassured me that my son is fine.
His heart is fine.
There will be no need to follow up at this point, unless I notice new symptoms with Andrew or our pediatricians pick up something new while listening to his heart.

So we have now added "Pediatric Cardiology" to our list of specialists.
And we are very blessed to have been lead to this specific Cardiologist.

And that sound you hear, folks, is my heart singing.

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Tuesday Top Ten


10. The Blizzard of 2011 that hit us with 20+ inches of snow! WOW!

9. Two sick days and two snow days last week.

8. One school day last week means a long week for Mama!

7. Kaitlyn "lying" to the doctor that she did not have a sore throat...trying to get out of a throat culture (which she did get and did test positive for!) A-Ha!

6. Sitting back and letting Kaitlyn tell the pediatrician about her symptoms. Pretty awesome! I didn't have to translate, either! I can get used to this!

5. Continued progress with speech therapy for both kiddos!

4. Upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences.

3. A rough medical week for me...thank God everything is fine....I need a "Mom-cation!"

2. Not seeing our Bears in the Superbowl on Sunday. Ouch! That still smarts!

1. I love my kids!

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Testing....

...Testing this transmission remotely.

...Testing my patience....

...Testing the level that my stress can get to tonight.....

...God is testing me a lot lately. *sigh*

....My husband has been testing me, too. But he brought me roses today. Awww!

I can handle this.

My Crazy Driver!

(I'm sorry to inconvenience you, but please scroll to the lower right portion of my blog to "Pause" my music. This will allow you to hear the video. Thanks!)

This is late in being posted, but it makes me giggle everytime that I see it.
Andrew had a "Car Theme" in his school and they ended the unit with the child making a car from a cardboard box with assist from their parents.
Andrew painted his all by himself.
You can actually see his little handprints on it, too!
That, my friends, was his idea!
Many of the cars you will see were made by the parents.
We just added some "car stuff" to his box to make it look like a car and not a painted cardboard box (CDs for headlights, red plastic bowls for wheels, a foam license plate, foam side mirrors).

Andrew is in the gray shirt.
The one looking at my FlipCam all the time.

And I always wondered if he paid attention in school.
If he was listening.
If he was retaining and remembering everything that Miss F was saying.

That answer is a resounding YES!

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Fourth Quarter Profits...and My Premiums Keep Going Up!


As I was driving home after dropping both kids off at school this morning, this is what I heard on the radio:

"...Aetna Insurance exceeded Wall Streets expectations by posting a profit..."

So then I google it so I could read more and this is what I found:

"Aetna Inc.'s (AET) fourth-quarter earnings rose 30% as the health insurer's cost of medical claims compared with premiums improved, though revenue and premiums declined.
Still, the results beat analysts' expectations and the company projected earnings for the year of $3.70 to $3.80, while analysts forecast $3.27."

To read the whole WSJ article about Aetna and their "Wall-Street-Exceeding-Expectations-for-Q4" click here or here!

I'll have to bookmark this and keep this very handy the next time Aetna decides that my claims are "not medically necessary".

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Of Sick Days and Snow Days

To say its been rough around here this week would be an under-statement.

20+ inches of snow.

60+ mph wind gusts.

Husband setting a record by taking 3 hours to clear driveway and walkway...with a snow blower!

Two sick kids with fevers, snotty noses, productive coughs and sleepless nights.
Now, with matching sinus infections.

Me with a potentially life-threatening issue which caused serious fear but was quickly ruled out with an MRI.

To say that it has been a rough week is truly an under-statement.

On the bright side, spring is only about 8 weeks away!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today's Top Ten

10. The massive snow storm here in Chicago! WOW! Now this is what I call snow!

9. Two sick kiddos at home sharing bean bags and germs. (An excerpt from our dialogue: Me: "Guys, stop sharing Kleenex!". Kaitlyn: "Ma, this is wet!". Andrew: "I blow my nose, Ma!"

8. Head and neck pain...yuck!

7. A negative MRI/MRA for causes of head and neck pain: hooray!

6. Kids out of school for three days now this week. Can you say "boredom"?

5. An understanding boss. Thank you, Kim!

4. Daughter refusing to come to the car last week, crying, saying that she "wants to stay at school". Hmmm, makes me think that I am a bad Mom. *sigh*

3. Son with more and more words.

2. Positive feedback from Andrew's school regarding socialization. Hip-hip-HOORAY!

1. I love my kids!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011