Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I knew there was a reason I became a CNA...

Gasp! Another entry in less than a month? I know, crazy! But I thought I owed an update on Ben to all of you dear friends who commented and emailed such encouraging words.

So, the short story is this...he's GREAT! The medicine seems to be having a good affect. He's not too tired, although does feel a little different. He has not had any huge fits or bouts of anger, and is a lot more polite, but all this is from 2 things. One, his tics are lessening a little and not as frustrating (although I do agree with the doctor that the dose will need to be increased to truly affect the tics); and two, he has hope. He no longer feels like he's a 'broken' kid who just can't obey...he understands, truly, that he's a 'broken' kid (like the rest of us 'broken' people) who has a unique challenge in life (like a lot of us) and sometimes, that unique challenge makes obeying harder (or controlling his anger, or not freaking out over noises--which he hasn't done as much this week!) The diagnosis of Tourette's has kind of made everyone around here ease up on each other, and also made us so thankful that it's JUST Tourette's. Not a whole bunch has changed, yet everything has changed. Weird, I know.

Now, for an update on some other medical issues I've broached over the last 2 years. Many of you have asked, and I forget all the time to update as things get resolved or as we learn new info.

First, Sophia. She has been seeing a doctor off and on for some embarrassing flatulence issues (embarrassing to us; she actually claims that she LIKES tooting so much and is quite proud of some of them...not sure who her parents are, but I don't know ANYONE like that). This issue, combined with her ever quickly increasing weight (despite what we feed her) have caused us some concern. Nutritionists say we're feeding her just right; lab results have shown no celiac, diabetes, thyroid, or other typical disease; and she eats less calories than Ben and Madeleine. Our next course of action is to explore gluten-free and food allergy testing. But we also know, just by looking at her, that her frame and metabolism take very much after her Aunt Heidi and Mommy, which will lend her to being "sturdier". It is affecting how she feels about herself, so that is what we're working on now, as well as making it fun to eat healthy and exercise more. Her issues with constipation continue to be watched, as that is what we thought led to her appendix rupture, but overall, her big issues have been handled. AND...it's been two years since she had her appendix out! Can't believe it's been that long!

Now, for Madeleine. She continues to be under the care of an awesome endocrinologist. She is making slow progress in the height department, but the endo is pretty confident that there is no Human Growth Hormone deficiency, and that she'll at least reach 5'2, which is good! It would appear that she has no Celiac disease, no diabetes, no thyroid issues...her tummy aches were probably due to stress, and her fainting episodes we think were related to hypoglycemia. So, we just have her eat more frequently, especially when she's going to be in a long rehearsal or something. Overall, she is doing well and we don't have many worries any longer about the "late bloomer" in our family (whom the endo thinks will 'bloom' AFTER little sister does...fun times for us, having two girls that are 4 years apart, sharing puberty almost on top of each other. Yay.)

Now for me. I have dealt with weight issues my whole life, as well as depression, skin issues, womanly issues including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, infertility, miscarriages, extreme fatigue...plus some other things. Finally, after years of different tests and psychotherapy and drugs and whatever, I have a doctor say, "Let's check your vitamin D levels, and re-check your thyroid." The thyroid had possibly been done in the past, but I wasn't sure how recently. Well, I didn't come back with high glucose and cholesterol like we thought I would. I actually have a severe vitamin D deficiency and hypothyroidism. So glad to have found the answer to a lot of my issues. I'm feeling a little better and continue to lose weight on Medifast, although the thyroid issues makes it go a bit slower than I'd like.

Finally, Teddy. We thought he was just fine, until today. He went in to have his hands checked out for possible carpal tunnel. Turns out he does have moderate carpal tunnel, and they found this out after the painful nerve tests. Oh, and the painful muscle test where they insert a thicker needle into muscles in the hand, arm and bicep, about an inch deep, and kind of dig it around, to test for the electrical current. Yeah. I didn't tell him about that one, because I didn't have that one done when I had a nerve conduction test. So, the doctor also tested some blood levels, to rule out some things related to fatigue. We are going to take care of some sleep issues, and follow the protocol for the carpal tunnel to try to avoid surgery...but in the meantime, Teddy needs to think on some vocational choices, since the carpal tunnel will only get worse with his line of work, and surgery will help but not prevent it from coming back if the same repetitious movement is done. Also, if taking care of the fatigue doesn't help, and the carpal tunnel doesn't improve, then we're looking at testing for other things, things that I don't want to speak aloud because they are scary.

So, that's it in a nutshell. I tell it all in one place, at one agonizingly long time, because lots of you have caught snippets here and there of one child or the next, but I've failed to update completely. Contrary to appearances, we really are a healthy family. We just get odd medical issues, seemingly all at the same time!

Prayers would be welcome, as we continue to navigate Benjamin's issues, but also as the family's other medical things come into play. Madeleine is weary from being 13 next month, but all her 13 year old friends tower over her and sometimes, kids her own age treat her like a baby. Heck, kids who are a few years younger than her treat her like she's 8! Soph is weary from being overweight with no change despite our attempts. Teddy is weary from the pain in his hands and worrying about the affect on his job. And I'm the Mom. I'm just weary, period. LOL! Seriously, if we come to mind, prayers would be appreciated.

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