Saturday, October 7, 2017

September

Wow!  It's been a long time since I have posted!  September was a blur of volleyball, cross country, football, doctor appointments and school!

We started the month celebrating Dillon's 13th birthday.  He was lucky and had the day off school so we went to go get Maddi and celebrate with her.  It was rainy that day so we couldn't be outside but we found some ways to have fun anyways ☺  We started with a gumball eating contest at the mall.  Dillon won and no one choked!




We did a little shopping and when the sun came out for a few minutes, we took some pictures.






Michael wasn't able to be with us that day so on our way home, we stopped and grabbed some cupcakes so that we could celebrate with him that night.  We love Dillon!  He is so kind and respectful.  He loves sports and puts 110% into every practice and game.  He's good at school and everybody seems to want to be his friend.  He is such a blessing to our family.  His sweet spirit brings peace to our home.

The rest of the month flew by.  Our weekends were spent at volleyball games, football jamborees and cross country meets.  Mondays and Fridays were spent at the football field too.  Makenna sang the National Anthem at a couple of varsity volleyball games.  It has been so fun to watch them all do their thing this fall!



The rest of the month, in between games and trying to get to work, I spent hanging out at various doctor's offices.  Since I had my uveitis come back at the end of the summer, I was required to get more blood work done and have a physical.  My first round of blood work filled 9 vials.  When I went in for my physical I was told that one of the tests came back with high results so they wanted to break it down and see what was causing to be high.  I had 5 more vials of blood taken that time.  While I waited for those results it was suggested I have a mammogram.  First one ever.  A few days later I was called back saying my blood work showed positive for lupus and that I needed to go in for a second mammogram because they found a suspicious spot.  I also had to go to a rheumatologist for further testing for lupus.  Second mammogram resulted in needing an ultrasound.  The ultrasound showed I needed a biopsy.  The rheumatologist said no to lupus but had me take a chest xray for something else that I don't know the name of.  The xray came back clear so he had me have a CT scan of my chest.  That also came back clear.  In the meantime I had my biopsy consultation and scheduled my biopsy.  The  next day I went in for an MRI on my brain to check for MS.  Two days after that, I had my biopsy.  Five days later everything came back clear, no MS no cancer!  The cause of my uveitis is still unknown and it was frustrating to go through all of that and still have no answers but I am grateful that it was not any of those things they were testing me for!  I also had a small cyst removed from my head (I thought it was a mole) and got my flu shot!  I should be good for a while!  In 6 months I will go for a follow up mammogram.  Next month I will go in for a follow up for my eyes to make sure they are still clear.  Hopefully that will be all that my future holds in the way of medical things.

During this Zeke also failed another hearing test.  We had to take him in for a CT scan of his head.  It showed nothing.  That means that fly that used to live in his head really did eat his brain!  We will do yearly checks of his hearing to make sure that things are not getting worse.  Right now it is very mild and only certain tones so it does not seem to affect him.  Hopefully it will stay that way!

So... that was our month of September!  I am hoping for a much slower October as fall sports wind down and doctor visits end.  

Oh!  And we also got a new dog!  Nellie, a very sweet Irish Wolfhound!  I love her!

Monday, August 14, 2017

I Will Be What I Believe

Recently I heard a song sung by a group of children called "I Will Be What I Believe".  I loved it and I thought, how important is it to actually BE what you believe?  If all of us that professed to be Christians and follow Jesus Christ would actually BE Christians and follow Jesus Christ, how great would that be?  Think of the impact we could have on others!  Think of the impact it would have on us!  If you aren't Christian, you still believe in kindness and goodness.  Think of the impact you would have if you WERE kindness and goodness!  And I don't mean just on holidays or when it's easy.  I mean all the time.

I have been blessed by many people who ARE what they believe.  They are kind, thoughtful, caring, humble.  They serve and love those around them.  Everyone wants to be near them because of who they are.  They make their world a better place.

This year, as we start the new school year, this is our family theme.  We talked about what we believe.  "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men..." (Article of Faith #13) among other things.  If we believe these things, are we these things?  What can we become better at?  Do we believe in being kind to our neighbor?  Do we believe in forgiveness?  Do we believe in serving those around us?  Do we believe in working hard and doing our best?  If we do, have we BECOME that yet?

Our goal this week is to identify one thing that we would like to start on.  Then we will work to BE that one thing.  As we become better at that particular thing, then we will add another and another until we can say that, "I AM what I believe."

One person, trying to be what they believe can affect so many others.  I know my life has been affected many times by those that are what they believe.  It has made me want to try harder and do better.  It has made me want to be like them.  Be that one person.  BE what you believe.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Singing with the Canaries

This last weekend Makenna got the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at the Sioux Falls Canaries game.  They are a AA baseball team.  She did a great job!  After the game the kids got to go run the bases and get autographs from all the players.  Our friends from church came to watch her sing and we were also able to bring Maddi with us.  It was such a fun day!  Here are pictures ☺
 
pregame practice

Performance time!
Running the bases after the game.  Zane did it too but not sure what happened to his picture.

Getting autographs

Olivia getting her shirt signed


Olivia is quite proud of this shirt and wants to know when we can go to another game.  She had a lot of fun!

Makenna with her signed shirt.
All the kids with Michael and Matt.

All of us together ☺

My favorite picture of the day ☺

Saturday, August 5, 2017

My Baby Blues

I have posted before about the Uveitis I keep getting in my eyes. I happened the first time right before Thanksgiving almost 2 years ago.  They were so inflamed that the iris was stuck to the cornea (or something like that, not sure the names of all the layers - the second layer was stuck to the top layer).  I had to have my eyes dilated for a month and ended up having to get injections in both eyes.  Eventually it cleared up but no reason could be found for why it happened.

A year later, it flared up again.  This time it was just in my left eye.  There wasn't as much inflammation in the front so I didn't have to stay dilated but I did have to get another injection in that eye to help get rid of the swelling in the back of my eye.  I continued on drops for about a month.  That was November of 2016.

May of 2017 it came back again.  This time it was in my right eye.  The inflammation was only in the front this time and it was not very bad.  I went to see a retina specialist per doctors orders.  He gave me drops and said if it comes back again we would have to start over with blood tests and things like that to see if we could figure out what was causing it.  I went back to my eye doctor in June for a followup and it was all cleared up.

On July 24th I had my yearly eye exam and I expressed to her that I felt like my vision was not very good.  (This inflammation causes blurry spots in my vision).  She checked and sure enough, it was back - in both eyes, front and back.  She put me on drops and I made an appointment with the retina specialist again.

This last Wednesday I went for that appointment.  It had for sure come back and was much work than it was in May.  The inflammation in the back was not being helped by the drops.  So... I had to have injections again.  Yuck!  The last time I had them was not a good experience.  I think they (not the retina specialist - different office) put dilating drops in my eyes instead of numbing drops because when he put the needle in, I felt it!  I squished my eye up as a reaction to the pain so he pulled the needle out and gave me another drop.  Then he put the needle back in.  Again, pain!  This time I held still though.  As he was starting to put the medicine in my eye, the head rest that my head was on fell backwards and my head moved.  He pulled the needle out to see what had happened.  Then he had to put it in a third time (still pain) and finish the shot.  Oh my heck I hated that!  My eye was dilated for 2 days after that.

So, hearing that I needed injections again was not pleasant.  The retina specialist does it differently.  Instead of going in to the bottom corner of the eye like my previous doctor, he goes up into the top.  So instead of just a numbing drop in the eye, the upper white part of my eye has to be numbed clear up and to the side.  It is a 15 minute process for each eye.  They get these really big q-tips and stick them in some sort of numbing medicine.  Then they stick that up under the eyelid in the top corner.  Because it can scratch your cornea, you have to look down and away from the q-tip while it is in your eye.  After 5 minutes, they come in and switch it out for a second one and then again in 5 minutes with a 3rd one.  After that, I get the shot.  Then they repeat on the other side.  It is really hard to sit for 15 minutes looking down and to the side!  It is also really hard not to pull that q-tip out when they first put it in.  It's very irritating!  It does make the shot painless though.

I was so glad that Michael went with me that day because I would not have been able to drive home!  My eyes were dilated and very irritated from the q-tips and the shots.  I could hardly open them all the way home.  The rest of the night they ached and most of the next day.  It hurt to move them or touch them.  By Friday they were much better and because the medicine he gave me was so strong I don't have to do the stupid drops anymore!  I go back in 2 weeks for a followup with my eye doctor to check my eye pressure and then I go back to him in a month to see how things are clearing up.  In the meantime I have a whole list of blood work that I have to get done and I had to schedule a physical to see if they come up with anything as to why this may be happening.

Uveitis is usually caused by some sort of auto-immune something.  We are trying to find out what that is so that we can address that and hopefully stop having issues with my eyes.  Until then, I am hoping that this last set of shots did the trick because I do NOT want to do it again!

My eyes that night after I got home.
My eyes the next morning.  

More Family Time

We ended July with a visit from Michael's family.  Joyce, Stacey and Carter got to come spend a weekend with us.  We had so much fun!  The kids loved showing Carter around the farm, playing Batman with him, going to the lake and taking him to see the race car and "Cornbines".  We made "s'nores", rode horse, fed the calf, played Go Fish and ended the weekend with a trip to see Maddi.  Can't wait to see them all again!

Here are pictures from our weekend (there are a lot!)
 Maddi and Munu
 Makenna and Carter building a dam and a river
 Go Fish
 Zane on a Cornbine
 Playing with our Main Street Village
 Getting on the combine.  He was nervous at first. They are big!
 They look suspicious...
 Carter checking out the race car
 Makenna and Stacey on their run
 Carter and Stacey
 Michael teaching Carter about the beans
 Up in the combine

 Dillon
 Stacey and Olivia
 Checking out the equipment
 Riding Nacho
 Carter on Nacho.  He's a natural!
 Adventures of Batman
 S'nores by the fire
 Maddi and Carter
 Olivia and Carter at the lake
 Driving Peanut
 Stacey and Maddi
 Everyone but Makenna.  She was at work.
Cousins!