Sunday, September 30, 2007

October Plan

Tomorrow starts the Book It program for our home school. The K requirements seem way too low to us, especially since Bug has been reading daily for over a year now and she reads way more than the 15 and 20 minutes that they recommend for the K goals.
So, we are actually going to add comprehension to it. She will read her books and explain or narrate them back to me, I expect her to choose Level 3 or higher for her free reading at least 3 days a week. Oh how I love the Library.

We are going to be working on a Notebook/Lap book on the Rain forest this month. We have 4 books on the Rain forest and a lot of fun projects in store. I will try to post pictures as they are completed (or at least what we get done each week)

Our Math will be her K Horizons lessons 31-62 for the month.
Happy October.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Can You be Both?

Can you be both an Organized Person and a Messy Person?
I have some rooms in my house that are terrifying. No matter how hard I try, I cant seem to keep them clean.
In those rooms, I have very organized areas. I love tinkering with them, organizing, sorting, purging, sorting then putting things into neat, clean, well organized Homes, be it containers, crates, bins, tubs, or just on shelves.

I have been like this my entire life, I have certain areas in every room that I would like to throw out and start over again as well as hyper organized areas (Bugs toy Bin that will be moving BACK upstairs is one of those Hyper organized areas) She has each of her categories of toys in their own tubs, several of those tubs actually have smaller containers separating more categories (arts and crafts cubbies...anyone?)

How do I get the organizing side to win over the messy side of me? I do not like being an Organized Messy. While I can find things without a thought more than 90% of the time, how do I get past that clutter, that seems to breed when I am not looking?

My Goal is to eventually be able to have people com into my house that are not family without being embarrassed. Currently, My Mom and MIL are the only two I don't completely freak out over entering my home. Unfortunately, that's because Neither of those women were successful housekeepers either, and I know my home is neater than theirs was.

All of my rooms are 15 minutes from clean, so why do the OTHER in laws only give me 5 minutes worth of warning before they show up? Ahh, well, its improving day by day.

God Please give me the Grace to help me Get it mastered so that I might be able to train the Bug to not keep a disastrous house when she is old enough.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Appointments are All made

What a whirlwind these last few days have been.
I did not anticipate ever having to go through these things again.
I do not know why it seems so scary this time, its routine testing, making sure I am ok. My family deserves to know that I will be ok, they need me.

After all, if I am sick, who will listen to the Bug read and applaud her improvements. Yes, daddy would do that, but he is working to provide for us, if I cant take care of her, she would have to be put in school. YUCK.

Who would take care of DH, there are times where he just needs to be shown that he is appreciated. Now, now, I know I need those things too, but a woman really doesn't need as much as a man to be shown how appreciated we are. Yes, we love hearing it, but deep within, we know how they feel, men seem to need more reminders.

It doesn't matter, October 17th, I will have the shunt series of X-Rays to check positioning, The CT Scan for what reason I really don't know, lol, it says to check the shunt, but that one is kinda confusing to me. And lastly the MRI to verify there isn't anything new going on up there.
Honestly, I am surprised a Spinal Tap wont follow, she had said one, but its not on the list. I am at a crossroads on how I feel about that. On one hand, I HATE having that needle stuck in my back, but on the other hand, I KNOW that I need the Tap, I know my pressure is high, if I hadn't gone through this for what amounts to more than half of my life, maybe then I wouldn't be so positive, but I do know. So we wait and Pray, and Pray and wait.

Since I want the DX of shunt malfunction, you may ask, what are we praying for? I am praying that the pressure stays low enough that I don't end up in the ER before my appointments. A dear friend of mine, enlightened me yesterday that this has been going on for a year. Its getting progressively worse, and she is right, I put it off TOO long. I should have called about 6 months ago before it became constant. Instead, I tried rationalizing, that this is not happening again, and the headaches and sickness was caused by stress of raising a very needy little girl. Its not.

Now, for the big question, Why do I want this to come out as a shunt malfunction, instead of say, NOTHING. Well, its simple, if its a shunt malfunction, its easily fixed. Not painlessly, but easily. I have a great neurosurgeon, who put the shunt in, he is even rated among the best by his colleagues. I trust him. What I don't trust, or have the time for, is having to look for what else could be causing all of these symptoms. They are all directly related to the PTC, including a lot of newer symptoms that I did not have before. Its easier to treat the known, and the unknown is just terrifying and more so when you are in pain.

I will know more of whats going on October 31st, after my follow up appointment.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

That was a Short Wait

Well, I left off describing the lead up diagnosis to the PTC. That was fall of 1998, in the panic that followed such a rare illness (I have only met one other person from where I was from that has it) the doctors sent me down to Detroit to get checked by doctors more familiar with the effects on the eye. Kresge Eye institute, I was scared out of my mind, they sent me to the third floor (where all new patients went at the time) There were so many canes I was truly afraid of what I was about to endure. Fortunately, it was NOT THAT BAD. Oh the waits and testing were murder. It was definitely and all day affair for each appointment even the ones at 9am, basically because it was a 2 hour drive just to get there.

I saw the worst doctor in the history of medicine, OK, he wasn't that bad, but he had no chair side manner and was a jerk...I have had a few people refer me to him since, NO THANKS, I would rather be sick or even blind. Fortunately he didn't want me as a patience since I didn't have insurance, and sent me to a wonderful doctor who met us on the 1st floor where he had his office hours. Dr. Ing was the greatest most gentle and understanding doctor I had ever met. He allowed me to quit taking all the meds I was on (Diamox has some pretty nasty side effects) they weren't working anyhow. He also made a point to calm me down about the weightloss, now, I still tried to lose weight (its been a constant battle all of my life) but said that obviously since the problem was not better at a lesser weight, and not worse at the heavier ones, that weight is just a problem that the docs try to blame it on and they really don't know what causes it.

I felt human again. This was NOT my fault. After seeing Dr. Ing twice, I was given the option of surgery or pretty much wait and see. I had already lost alot of vision, and even more of my visual field. When I looked at the charts (the visual field is demonstrated about the size of a 50cent piece) my vision was about the size of a dime. I fought to get medicaid (I was still just a temp at the hospital) til I won. I had the Optic Nerve Sheath Fenestration done. Within weeks I could see an improvement. I continued those appointments til Dr. Ing was sent back to Canada, I cried hard that day.

Just over a year later, I was back in the hospital, back to being sick, and so frustrated. Granted the headaches hadn't gone away yet, but I thought I was done battling.
In 2001, I married the most wonderful man on the face of this earth. We got pregnant. We Lost the baby (all within 3 months) and I wound up back in the hospital with PTC in August.

This time was a bit different though. The man I married was from the Detroit area. I was admitted to a Detroit Area hospital. The ER doctor and Neurologist who saw me there did not treat this as some imaginary fake disease. I was treated for the pain, lovely morphine. Given several muscle relaxers to try to ease the tension from the muscles, something no one had ever done before, and while it didn't help for very long (only about 20 minutes) The next day I was told I would be receiving a visit from a referral he had made to a Neurosurgeon.

Hmmm. I knew about treating PTC surgically, I knew from the support groups, that sometimes they worked REALLY well, and others, not so much. Was I willing to take the risk? I did not know. I had questions, and lots of them. I wanted a family, would the shunt interfere with that? I wanted to be headache free...if not I didn't think surgery would be worth it. When Dr. Daniel Pieper walked in that door, I knew I was getting fixed.

He told me yes, I could still have children, but I may need a C-Section (no problem) and that while he couldn't promise that it would work, he had had alot of success with headache reduction.
That was good enough for me too. On September 11, 2001, yes while the Twin towers collapsed from Terrorism, I had my shunt put in.
The next day was hard, I think it was harder due to not knowing what was going on in the outside world than the actual pain I felt.
I got to go home a few days later, within two weeks the headaches were GONE. Yes GONE, I got a period about 12 days later and that cycle conceived the BUG.

When the headaches started returning intermittently, I figured it was just tension from raising a child, or whatever other excuse I could come up with. But when they started NOT going away again. I called. Surprisingly, today, SATURDAY, at 10:30am, the phone rang, it was his office. They are going to have some tests run to check the function of the shunt. I feel so much better knowing that I am getting the ball rolling to getting back to what had become normal. I don't need to be sick with a 5 year old.

Thank God He knows whats going on. I know in my heart this problem will be corrected quickly.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Well the bug is behaving much much better today and yesterday, we set up a reward system in which she has to earn points and stickers and stamps to get to go to our activities like McDonalds play dates.
She likes the system, and is working towards a goal of getting to go when we are scheduled to go, she gets to stamp her calendar and we even marked in on the paper, so she knows what she has to do to get her rewards.
I have Pseudotumor cerebri, or what amounts to a false brain tumor. It was diagnosed after suffering for nearly 10 years before someone figured out why I had headaches that were debilitating, dizzy spells that lasted forever, and nice shiny spots in my vision. I had to get what I THOUGHT was the flu to be diagnosed back in 1998.

The week had been stressful, I was working a job with a trainer that I didn't particularly care for (come to find out she had had a death in the family, so it wasn't all her fault she was so out of it) but the job was quite disorganized for the line I was in, and it was not preforming like I felt it should (I had worked for Marriott in college, and the college cafeteria was much cleaner than the hospital I was currently working for) I had had a root beer to drink, food didn't seem appealing, I thought I was getting sick from all the stress of working with a missing trainer...after all, how do you learn to do a job, when your teacher is NOWHERE to be found??

Well I got home and got really sick on Wednesday evening, called into work on Thursday, since I worked in a hospital, I couldn't go back without a doctors note, so Thursday I went in, they wrote me a note to go back on Monday, but on Friday I was back in the office since I could not walk across the 12 feet of living room in the house without nearly fainting, I was seriously dehydrated, but my eyes were not capable of following the doctors finger either. They sent me to an Opthalmologist, scared that something was REALLY wrong, little did we know what was coming.
We went to the Opthalmologist straight away, I could no longer bear the sight of light at all, it sent sharp pains through my head, neck and back, and just was beyond unbearable. The mean doctor shined the brightest of bright lights in the backs of my eyes, and sent me to the emergency room for a CT scan, he told my mom, that he thought I had a brain tumor. Not a good thing to hear when you are about the age your cousin was when she died of a brain tumor 9 years earlier (when the headaches Started)

After a long gruelling time in the ER, and an MRI, there was no tumor, but the morphine was barely helping the pain at all, that day, I had my second spinal tap. (the first was also when the headaches started, and while the results were the same, the symptoms of PTC are very different for Pediatric patients as I have learned since diagnosis, so it was missed)
The PA (physicians assistant) I was assigned it the ER caught it only because he had just learned about it. Thank heavens for him still being a student.
and thus started the journey to where we are now, waiting the call back from Dr. Pieper's office on what to do next.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What a day

well Today did not go as planned, nor did yesterday, I guess I need to try a different plan.
Bug has behaved beyond horrible all day.
She has been fighting school, and being obedient in general, I have a headache from dealing with her...can I go hide somewhere?

I love her dearly, but this nonsense is really bad. I am at my wits end and noone at all is happy. tomorrow we will try a chart and see if we can get her to earn stickers or something for being good, if she is good all week, we will go to Mc Donalds for play group....she has to have some motivation for behaving, and I need the goals met.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Agenda

Well today's schedule is working much better than yesterday. Although I am not going according to times very well, its just after noon here and we got some school done, we got the grocery shopping out of the way, Menu is planned, and today's chores will be completed within reason in about an hour or so.

The funny thing is, I think I feel accomplished just based on that fact that we were both dressed before noon.
Today is a sweater day, it was only 55 at noon here. It is actually nice, but it did require the Bug to choose more appropriate attire. She is in one of our Thrift store finds from last week or so.

On the Menu for the remainder of this week
Today (Tuesday) Meatloaf, Mashed Cheesy Potatoes, Garlicky Green Beans
Wednesday Spaghetti and Grandpa's homemade meat sauce, Fresh Bread
Thursday Crock Pot Pot Roast, Probably shredded and served over bread
Friday Lasagna, garlic bread (the lasagna will be made on Wednesday with the leftover sauce (I will make 3 8"pans for the freezer)
Saturday should be a smorgasbord of leftovers if not, it will be Chili

Do you Remember Where you were?

September 11, 2001
I do. On that fateful day, I did not see it fresh in the news, I awoke to the fact that my Neurosurgeon was told about the towers while inserting a shunt. My shunt.
I am more thankful than ever that God was in that operating room because 6 years later it has not failed yet, and To be honest, I was a wreck after hearing about the towers, so I am blessed that my doctor didn't get shook up.

We had miscarried that June, then I had the harshest of my PTC attacks that August, which is what led to the shunt being inserted on that day.

It was so long ago, six years, my baby wasn't even conceived yet. Bug was not conceived til October 7, 2001, a mere month later.
She does not know much about what went on that fateful day in 2001 before she was born. We rarely watch non Sky angel TV, so she does not hear the news. We will teach her about this as well as other parts of American History.

Many people gave their lives today, totally unprepared when they left for work that morning. How do you prepare for something like that? You really cannot. Those people are truly heroes, They brought a divided nation together.

I think its so peculiar. We have a lot of people who claim that they are not Christian, and more that claim that they are, but the one commonality, when problems strike, WE all Pray. We call out to our creator.
I grew up between two non Christian homes. My Family went to church, believed FIRMLY in God, and my neighbors, well, they didn't, But when things went wrong.... Guess who they called to pray with and for them? You guessed it, they came to us. As Christians, we are there for people to come to. Perhaps One day, they will not come to us, but rather Go straight to the source.
Share that source. God wants us to share his love and faithfulness.

Take time today to remember the Patriots. Those who have given their lives for your freedom. We are Free. We are free to speak, disrespect (what a shame that we have THAT freedom) and Free to believe what we choose.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Where the Spirit of the Lord is, There is Freedom. Or in a different version, There is Liberty.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A New Schedule

Well today we supposedly tried a new schedule, LOL, It DID NOT work.
Last night Bug had a HORRIBLE night, she fought going to sleep til almost 10pm and even then it was not without a fight. Now, before you start worrying about her being sick, or scared, or something legitimate and having a rough night, be forewarned, there was nothing wrong other than her not wanting to go to sleep.

Our Night went something like this... Bug, its time to get ready for bed, Go Brush your teeth...she goes into the bathroom, I hear water, Now, she does know how to do this all on her own, and I do not NORMALLY need to supervise, but I guess Last night was NOT normal. Fifteen Minutes you still HAVE teeth? No mom, I still need to Brush my teeth.... What were you doing? Uhm Uhm UHM.
Now I am frustrated, go in BRUSH her teeth For her and tell her to GO TO BED. Good thing we did prayers ten minutes before the fiasco.
It is now 8:50 (mind you, we started with prayers at 8:15) I get her laid down. Leave the room and I hear MOMMMMMMMY. What Bug? I love you. I love you too, NOW go to sleep.
9:15 she is STILL talking (no one in the room to answer, but I guess) 9:20, Mommmmmmy? Go to Sleep. 9:35 MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY! Ok, Get your Bottom upstairs, YOU were told to go to sleep almost an hour ago. Now remember, in the middle you don't hear the patient momma finding out WHAT she needs each time, or the multiple warnings that she needs to not worry about the light, the cat, and the TV in the other room if she wants to sleep downstairs.
I take her up stairs, put her to bed, Turn the fan on, and WAHHHHHHH, I cant find Giraffe, this cute little stuffed giraffe, so here we go again, 20 minutes of crying over choices.
GRR, right now, I am so glad we are dealing with the infertility, because If I had two children, I wouldn't have survived (or she wouldn't be out of her room YET)
I slept with Giraffe to calm her, lol. And at 4:30am or so, a Bug was sleeping on my floor, happy to have her giraffe back.

Tonight WILL be different. At 7:30 we will be reading Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne, ONE chapter, and she will be going to bed UPSTAIRS, at 8pm. No ifs ands or buts about it.

We will Begin our schedule again on Tuesday, maybe we will get SOMETHING of it done.
The Chores, NO, because we have errands to run (need Ground beef and Eggs for Meatloaf) and I will need to disassemble the futon for the free cycle posting, and Move the wood and pipes as well as the other trash out front for tomorrows Great Garbage pick up. And we shall be done.

Tomorrow, evening I will post to let you know how it went.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

What kind of Homeschooler?

I am totally dumbfounded, I just took this quiz from Guilt free Homeschooling. I am so so dumbfounded, I never would have imagined my results. I never in a million years would have classified our style as unschooling. I have always had the preconceived notions that unschoolers don't do anything. I don't know why, probably because its not scheduled. We do things, We use a curriculum, sometimes. We do unit studies, sometimes. We read, A LOT. Bug is 5 years old and working on stuff in Kindergarten and First Grade levels from a workbook style curriculum, she plays, helps me clean the house, and just about everything we do, We do together.

I had always considered myself more of the eclectic type, but I guess when I write down the spontaneity of our days, we are unschooling. I hate being tied down to a schedule, I have tried them several times. I was gifted the MOTH book by a good friend of mine and have discovered that nothing gets done if I put times where we are to break our day. I do love the schedule, we use more of a check list to measure what gets done though.

I guess its ok to be an unschooler, Bug is still learning quite a bit and keeping me on my toes. This week we are going to be notebooking the life of a moth since it was in today's newspaper. They even provide a lesson plan for teaching it.

Happy Labor Day Here's to a great unschool year.