Saturday, October 25, 2008

I don't know... to get a boy to understand the word 'No'.

Girls, they just look at you, with your stern face on and your stiff tone, and realise that what they are doing might be wrong or bad for them in some way and they stop doing it. Immediately.

Boys, they continue to do it until either they fall down, fall off, get their finger trapped, crack their head open, get burned, get all the tiny pieces everywhere, swallow the penny, eat the cat food or get covered in the dingy, stinking water.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Amazing...I'm actually well!

OK, I have hole in my leg, but I feel pretty amazing, nonetheless! I ended up in the ER to have the huge growth on my leg cut open and drained. I got diamorphine for my pains and IV antibiotics.

Mmmm, warm, fuzzy diamorphine!

Anyway, it's taken about two weeks to heal properly as it had to heal from the inside out and they cut right down to the muscle. I have a small cut left and a little hole.

Now we have the lovely game of finding out why this is happening as it's not just happening to me. The kids seem to be getting quite random infections and Miranda keeps getting skin infections when she gets her reaction to tree pollen in the spring. So I'm seeing an immunologist as well as the infectious diseases people to see if anyone can pinpoint it.

I suspect, though, that the cause of my problem is easier to work out as I have a feeling that my blood sugar is a bit abnormal. My endocrinologist has me on a quite high dose of my synthetic thyroid hormone which means I'm slightly hyperthyroid. This, combined with the fact that I've put on every pound that I has lost before I had Gabe so my pre-diabetes has probably kicked in again, means my blood is super yummy to the bacteria on my skin, so whenever I get a little blemish, like a shaving cut or an ingrown hair, they have a field day. Great excuse to not shave!

I've done my utmost to diet this week and seem to have shifted a couple of pounds, so I just need to keep with it. As soon as this damn thing has healed completely then I'm going back in the pool. Until then, though, I'm getting out the yoga DVDs!

Can't wait till Christmas, though! Hopefully, my lovely man will be getting me a Wii Fit. I've dropped him enough hints!

Actually, Christmas is making me all excited! I've done quite a bit of shopping for the kids already. I have actually also bought my sisters' presents and something for Sean. It's a bit more difficult to do the kids though as I buy one whole load of gifts then split them 3 ways - birthday, Santa and tree! Imogen's not so difficult this year as she's getting 3 big pressies, but still needs a Santa sack. I'm finding it really difficult to buy for Miranda because we pretty much have everything for her age group that she likes to do; it's kind of more of the same which is a bit sad really. Gabe is fun to buy for though. I'm buying cars and garages and cool boy stuff!

Lord knows what I'm going to get for Sean though...I can't buy him a plane!

We've also sorted out their parties already, which I am very thankful for. Imogen's taking some friends to see Madagascar 2 and Miranda wants hers at the same gym as last year and I'm quite happy about that!

Hopefully, we should be spending Christmas at home in the UK. That's the plan, anyway. We'll see if it comes off. As this is the last time it's going to get paid for, we really should do it! It's a logistics exercise getting all the pressies there and back but we've done it before, we'll do it again!

Something that has made me very happy this week is that Imogen got brilliant grades in her Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMTs). She was in the 'Advanced' section for two and one mark short of 'Advanced' for the other. It has no bearing on anything but the school's placing in the district and the county but she was invited to try out for the Johns Hopkins University Centre for Talent Youth's Talent Search. It's a big countrywide competition that about 1000 students win through to, out of about 75,000 invited to enter, so it's pretty good odds! I'm just amazed at how well she did and how far she'd come in a year. I know they coach them to the nth degree but I'm not disrespecting her acheivement at all. I think she's done remarkably well and I want to tell everyone what a superstar she is!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Another boil gone rampant.

My first one was in April and it was somewhere delicate so I couldn't walk. Result? Flu-like symptoms and being told by my doctor when I finally went that I should have gone to the ER. Two antibiotic shots in my backside and a course of horse pills later and it went away.

Then I had two less problematic ones on my legs that took lots of soaking and draining and a month or so to get rid of.

Then, while I was in the UK, I had one on my wrist. It was huge. It was obvious and it was embarrassing. A course of antibiotics and cream later and it drained...horribly.

Two weeks ago, I had another one in the delicate place but it was less deep than the first and when I got it to drain it went away quite quickly.

But I now have one on my thigh, which is fairly obviously an ingrown hair gone mad and the pain is ridiculous. My heat pad is out again. I have antibiotic washes and creams coming out of my ears but nothing seems to be working, so I'm off to the docs later...


The bigger point, I feel, is why am I getting them? Apparently, one of the reasons possible is that I may be diabetic. Thing is, the actual healing thing is not a problem, once they drain. They go pretty quickly and the scar is quite small, so that's not a good indicator of being diabetic. I also have no ketones in my wee. But still, better to be safe than sorry, I feel. I still have all the paraphernalia from the gestational diabetes so I shall check my blood sugar later; just need to get a battery for the unit.

I only use this blog to moan...LMAO!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Long time, no write!

Yes, it truly has been a looooong time! March and it's now September. Much of that time has been eaten away by life in general. I suppose I wasn't really properly well until June any way.

So, what's new? I went home to the UK for the summer. Literally! Spent 6 weeks there, 3 with my MiL and 3 with mum. MiL is lovely. She looked after us so well. We went all over the shop with the kids and they had a ball. They ran her absolutely ragged, insisting that she went round the block with them every night. While we were there she went off her diet (she's lost 3st since last summer) and didn't think she'd put a pound back on with all the walking and running after the kids she did!

Mum was also great but she is in so much pain she can't do much. I went with her to the docs and argued the toss about getting her an appointment to see the orthopaedic surgeon so that she can have a new hip. Originally, the man she'd seen at the hospital had told her that she couldn't have the operation until she had got her BMI down to 31. Not being funny or anything, but Mum was on a 500 calorie diet and put weight on because of all her various hormonal issues. She is also in so much pain that she can barely walk, let alone exercise to shift weight. So basically asking her to lose that kind of weight (4st), whilst leaving her in agony, is tantamount to human torture. I put my point thoroughly to the doc. The doc wrote the letter, she got to see the specialist who told her that he didn't know who'd told her that she had to get her BMI down that far but he was talking rubbish and they scheduled her in for 18 weeks.


Anyway, my Grandpa, who will be 95 in December, is also quite sick. The hospital can't quite decide if they're going to send him home because he's doing so well or whether he's never going to go home again... His sister, my great Auntie Marie, came over from Australia to see them for what she though would possibly be the last time and seemed to be on the money. She's been kind of looking after my Nan, who's not always very lucid, while my Aunt Pam has been away as Mum isn't really able to do so. This is frustrating for everyone. Mum because she can't do the looking after, Pam because she had this holiday booked and then Grandpa took sick, Marie because she's kicking on a bit herself and didn't expect to go on holiday and have to look after her much older SiL and Nan because she can't understand why Grandpa just can't come home.

Mum's also dealing with Dad and his failing business. I think we always knew it was a lost cause but everyone was pleased that he could give it a go. I just wish that he had taken some advice and not just played at being a boss. I'm still not sure that it would have succeeded, but at least he would have been able to say that he gave it everything. As it is, they're going away from the business about £40k to the wind at a time of their lives when they need to have put away every penny *sigh* He's not taking the loss very well. I think he felt he had something to prove, having lost his first business to a scummy business partner. Now, he has no one else to blame, though he's trying to blame Mum...

Anyway, we had a lovely time at home. Coming back here was hard. Don't get me wrong, I do love where we live and I love my house and our standard of living is crazy high but with Grandpa and Mum sick and Dad depressed, I really wish I was 45 mins down the road and not 3,000 miles away.

We've fallen back into the old place and the kids have gone back to school now. Miranda's started half day Kindergarten and is loving it, though she's so tired by the end of the day she can do little else but lie on the sofa watching Spongebob! Imogen's in 5th Grade and the homework amount has gone through the roof. To be fair, she's thriving on it at the moment; she hates school when it's slow and dull!

We bought a kitty last week. The kids have been going on forever about getting a pet. I don't want rodents (have enough mice in the walls thank you!) or lizards and I wasn't sure about getting a budgie, so we compromised and got a 'low allergen' cat. He's a Maine coon and he's called Jones. I'm not sure he's that low allergen as Imogen started sneezing the moment he arrived but she's very good at taking her meds! She knows full well that if she doesn't, the cat goes back and she'll do anything to avoid that!

Here is the little man. He's quite handsome!

Anyway, enough of all that. That's where I'm at today. Not tremendously interesting, but there you are!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

'No Evidence of Metastasis'

So, by now, mostly everyone has heard my good news.

I underwent the radioactive iodine treatment in the middle of February. Let me tell you that being hypothyroid is possibly the most unpleasant thing I have ever been through.

I stopped taking my synthetic thyroid medication in the second week of January. I had expected to feel tired almost immediately but I didn't. Had a bad case of man flu! Silly, I know, but I think I let myself 'suffer'.

The low iodine diet was hard work. No dairy (they use iodine to clean the milking equipment), no processed food or eating out (possible iodised salt), no soy(a) (no idea why), no seafood or fish (high iodine content from the sea), some beans were a no no too, no red food colour (one of them is iodine based). Hmmm. Take away my fish, soy and cheese and this demi veggie has very little left to eat! I was existing on unsalted nuts, avocado and home made flapjack!

By the middle of the second week, I began to feel rough. Especially after my endo told me that my numbers weren't high enough and he expected me to be a week, maybe two, longer in the process. I lost the will to do anything other than get the kids to school, wash their clothes and make sure they got fed. By the end of that week I felt like I was thinking through fog.

During the third week my creativity left the house completely. I normally write a fair few emails and posts and even this blog but I couldn't do any of it. I couldn't even play with the kids. I felt like a blob. I eventually (after my treatment) read about the fact that the original 'cretin' was found most in regions where there was little natural iodine in the food and water. not only was cretinism signified by the goitre but it was also typified by people who weren't stupid in the village idiot kind of way but more that they were dullards. Completely devoid of liveliness and creativity. Yes, I became a cretin. No goitre as no thyroid, but I was a blob just the same.

Luckily my mum arrived at the end of the third week and the fourth week passed in a blur of shopping! My sister, bless her, did put the purple highlights in my hair that I've been going on about for ages! Now I just want more of them!

Had a full body scan on Wednesday 13th Feb, having had a small dose of radioactive iodine on the Monday and went home in the meantime. Then I got the full dose on the Thursday. I was then released from hospital, still radioactive, on the Friday. I was not allowed to be more than 3ft from anyone for more than an hour for adults and half an hour for children, for the next 2-3 days. Yes, the US doctors discharged me on that proviso, knowing I was going home to a house with a 9 yo, 4 yo and 1 yo. Angry about this? Moi? So I went to a hotel for 3 days, without telling the hotel. I figured this was safer than going home. For Pete's sake, I can still technically set the radiation alarms off at the airport for another 2 months! Anyway, I stayed at the hotel and saw everyone briefly on Saturday and for a little longer on Sunday, before mum and Jess flew home. My throat came up huge on Saturday, so the goitre I never had looked like it had finally arrived, but it was just my salivary glands getting a kicking. Lots of water and sour sweeties later and the swelling began to go down. I didn't appreciate the Jabba the Hut look!

I managed to put on 15lbs without changing my eating habits in the final 2 weeks. It has only just started to come off again...

My piece of paper arrived on Saturday with the magic words 'No Evidence of Metastasis' written on them. I'd been feeling much better during the last week as my thyroid meds had finally started to kick in again but the relief I experienced from reading that was unseemly! You don't realise the weight is there until it's gone.

So, hopefully, I shall stay that way through the next 5 years, which is how long they keep tabs on you after this op. If you're still clear after then, they pretty much assume you're properly cured. Of course, I shall have to take the Synthroid for the rest of my life, but that's just one of them things.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Year, New You?

Well, thank goodness that's over...precisely my thoughts when the ball dropped on the 31st, announcing the dawn of a new year. 2007's only true bright spot was and continues to be my 3 gorgeous kids.

Imogen seems to have finally got a handle of her social skills, though she occasionally forgets herself still. She is doing brilliantly academically. She's in the top 25% of her class for everything which, as she's the 4th youngest in her year, is fab. We're fairly good friends right now but the pre-pubescent young lady pokes her head over the parapet every so often to let mummy know not to get too complacent as teenage angst is not far away!

Miranda is mostly a delight and we're on top of her allergies, including the puzzling spots on her head (children's shampoo was too drying). She has a tendency to be maudlin and can't cope when she hears the word 'No' but we're working on it! She watches far too much TV though. I'm mostly keeping on top of it by offering other things to do but I remember that her sister was much the same at this age and it hasn't done her too much harm. So long as she watches 'educational' TV and not endless re-runs of Spongebob, I'm not too worried!

Gabriel is wonderful. Having the time to take pleasure in watching him turn from a helpless baby into a full-on almost toddler has been the most wonderful thing of 2007. Regardless of all the awfulness of the past year, it is that thing that I hold closest to my heart. He is so laid back, nothing phases him much. He is pretty much always happy. In fact, I don't think he's had 20 days of miseries in the last year. When he is miserable, it's a shock! He eats well, he's almost walking, he has four or five recognisable words though he uses more sounds than that, he loves to swim and he adores both his sisters. I managed to catch a brief snippet of him wall walking yesterday:

I finally managed to persuade Gabriel that he didn't need mummy milk any more, though he's been having digestion problems with the cow's milk. At least he drinks it which is more than can be said for the girls at the same age! He's on a mix of my frozen milk and cow's but I'm almost out of the frozen stuff, so we're trying him on a mix of rice milk and cow's today. I hope that will keep his tummy calm. As for my health issues, I am getting there. I had a lump in my shoulder biopsied last week and am awaiting the results. Regardless of those, I am getting the radioactive iodine probably, depending on blood results, at the beginning of Feb. Assuming the lump is thyroid material, the RAI should kill it and it shouldn't need removal. I will need to be away from home for about a week until I stop glowing, but I should then not need any more intervention for the cancer. Just stay on the thyroid meds for the rest of my life.

So, hopefully, that means that 2008 will be a much better year for me. Maybe I'll then be able to shift the lard that I seem to have accumulate from all the pity chocolate!