Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Headache Update #97....Feels Like

I went back to Dr. Bernui yesterday for my follow up to this visit. On the way there, I was nervous again. What if the test results don't show anything like all the times before? I have been on a strict diet since the first visit. I did well for the first 3-4 weeks. When it came time to slowly add food back in, I fell apart. I adhered to the diet long enough to know that I definitely have some food issues. I felt much better when I eliminated gluten, corn, dairy and sugar. So anyway, on the way there I was thinking that it's probably just a food intolerance, and that I needed to go back on the diet to figure it out.

The doctor came in and asked a lot of questions about how I did on the diet and how I was feeling. We went through every symptom....headaches- a little better, but not gone....neck/body stiffness- worse than before...night sweats- not as consistent, but bad when I have them....fatigue- energy level is much better. At this point I'm thinking there's no way the blood work showed anything b/c surely he would have already addressed it....he's been in the room for probably 30 minutes.

And let me say, I obviously had mixed emotions about the results revealing anything. Do I want them to be negative and just battle it out with the food intolerance until I figure it out? Or, do I want the results to be positive for a chronic disease? I have to be honest.....after 16 months of feeling so badly, I did want the results to show something. I know there are plenty of people out there that think I'm a hypochondriac, and at times I feel crazy. I talk about my issues a lot b/c there are so many people that are kind enough to ask how I'm feeling, and so many people that pray for me. With that said, I do not like the attention this brings. I don't like eating a crazy diet and drawing attention to myself. There were plenty of times that I cheated on my diet b/c I didn't want people to ask why I was eating like a bird.

So, after talking to the doctor for 30-45 minutes, he grabbed some papers and said "Let's talk about your test results." Let's do that, I thought! They ran a million tests which revealed four main things. In order of importance, regarding the effect each has had on me, here they are:

1) Lyme Disease. Ironic b/c that is what Darrin and I suspected from the beginning. Before all this began, I didn't know anything about Lyme disease and how it is a controversial topic. For those who don't know, here's the short version. Most mainstream doctors do not recognize Lyme disease, especially in this area. It is very hard to get a diagnosis. Dr. Bernui uses a special lab just for Lyme tests. Lyme disease is diagnosed by blood work to test bands. I don't exactly understand all of this yet. iGeneX confirms a positive for Lyme with 2 positive bands. The CDC confirms a positive with 5 positive bands. I had 3 positive bands, and 2 that were indeterminate. Therefore, iGeneX says positive, the CDC says negative. Dr. Bernui is treating me for Lyme disease. I had the option of antibiotics, homeopathic or herbal medicine. Knowing my body, we chose homeopathic. Dr. Bernui said I might feel worse before I feel better. I started yesterday and feel TERRIBLE today. It's like I have the flu, but I don't. Hopefully that means it's working?? Many have asked where I could have gotten Lyme disease. It's not a crazy thought for me. When we moved to Tennessee over 20 years ago we lived on 20+ acres. I worked outside a lot. And, I went on a couple camping/outdoorsy trips with my youth group. Most Lyme disease patients don't remember a tick bite or a bulls eye. This could have been dormant in my body for years.

2) Very poorly functioning immune system. He used a CD57 test for this. Again, this lingo is all new for me. A normal immune system is between 60-360. Mine was 19. This obviously makes me a very susceptible host for bacteria and viruses. He prescribed vitamins and supplements to boost my immune system, along with the diet again.

3) Active Epstein Barr, which is mono. I had a severe case of mono when I was younger. Something has triggered it....likely my weak immune system combined with pregnancy and labor. This explains the fatigue, and maybe the night sweats.

4) Low vitamin D levels. This wasn't abnormally low, just on the low side. The normal range is 32-100, and mine was 33. Hoping some vitamin D supplements will help.

So, there you have it. Armed with this information, a great doctor, a supportive husband and family, and a strict diet, I'm ready to feel better. I thank God for His plan to refer Dr. Bernui through a friend that I haven't spoken to in years. Hoping my next update is a good one.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sneak Peak

I'm sure there will be tons of catch up blogging to do after Christmas...right now my to do list is just too long to blog. Here are a few pictures from the last several days. More to come. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daycare Christmas Party

Today Miles' class had a Christmas party at daycare. Parents were invited to bring a treat and come visit during snack time at 2:15pm. Since Miles' favorite snack food is marshmallows, I made chocolate dipped marshmallows with sprinkles. After they passed out all of the food, Miles went straight for the marshmallow, as did several other kids. Success!

When I got there they were already sitting down at their little tables. I think it is the cutest thing to see all of the kids calmly sitting and eating their snack. In the background you can see his three main teachers...LtoR...Ms. Melessia, Ms. Pilar, and Ms. Debra. They are wonderful. I am so thankful for the structure and love they show Miles everyday.

This is Miles' friend, Amelia, that I blogged about a couple posts ago. They have really become big buddies. Yesterday when I dropped Miles off, she was so excited to see him. I told him to go say hi to Amelia. He walked all the way around the other kids and patted her on the back. So sweet. When I say her name, he repeats "Me Me". He saw her picture on the computer tonight as I was looking through all the pictures from the party....he literally ran over say "Me Me, Me Me, Me Me".

After snack time, it was play time. It was fun to see Miles in his environment. He was definitely right at home. He got a little hyper after snack time. I thought he might be on a sugar high...and that we might have a mini repeat of the other night...but he was only wound up for a few minutes. Whew....

They even got to play with fake snow. There are two student helpers in his room, Ms. Paige and Ms. Amber. They do a great job with crafts and fun projects. Miles always comes home with the neatest things.

Here's where it gets good. The last activity was music with moves and instruments. As you can see, Miles was very focused on this part. He worked it out on the dance floor. He was pulling out all his moves. His favorite dance move is the one foot pivot...spin in a circle until you get dizzy. He did that one. He would also squat down and jump up. I had a few people ask if he got his moves from Darrin or me. Unfortunately at this point I believe he has been cursed with my rhythm, or lack thereof.

This is the window that overlooks the car lines. This is the afternoon hang out as they watch for their parents to arrive.

I had to go back to work, which I thought would be hard on Miles, but he was playing so hard with the fake snow that he didn't have a clue I left. It was a very fun filled hour.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Anniversary Party

Darrin's parents celebrated their 40th anniversary on Saturday. We helped throw a party for them with Darrin's sister, Crystal. It went well & we hope they know that we love them!!!

The happy couple...

The happy couple with their rowdy grandchildren, minus Jayci, who was missed. By the way, Ava's not mad....that's her sassy pose...

Too bad Darrin's like eight feet tall. Family pictures are just plain awkward...

Miles decided to squeeze me in the rest of the pictures...

We served a variety of desserts. Miles had a few bites here and there. We have NEVER seen him that wound up before. He was literally climbing on chairs and running in circles. I told Darrin on the way home that if we ever needed reassurance about why we feed him like we do, we got it. He was hitting me in the face, pulling my necklace, slamming cabinet doors.....he was crazy.

Even Miles agrees that it was a wild night...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Miles & Amelia

When I dropped Miles off at daycare today, he immediately hugged three of his friends...Alex Pitz, Amelia, and Molly. Every morning when I get him dressed we (I) talk about his friends. Every time I say Alex, he repeats it "Ahh-x". When I say Amelia, he just smiles.

I received the following pics from Miles' teacher today. This one said that Miles must be playing hard to get....

I guess he gave in. After all, Amelia is a doll!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa Visits Daycare

Last week Miles' daycare sent a note home explaining that Santa would be visiting on December 16th. We had to bring a $5-7 wrapped toy, with our child's name on the outside. For some reason the note choked me up. The thought was just so cute. I sent a camera to daycare today so they could try to get a few pictures for me. I was afraid they would be too busy with the craziness of the day. I was thrilled when I got home and saw the following pictures.

Miles got a puzzle. The kid is a puzzle genius. He brings an empty puzzle to us wherever we are...we tell him which piece to go the elephant or the dog....he will go in his playroom....find the piece....bring it back....and put it in the right spot. We are just amazed by that.

Speaking of the things he knows....we learned this weekend that he also knows his body parts. He was pulling up his shirt which prompted us to ask where his belly was. He pointed to his stomach. So we asked him where he nose knew them all. I texted his teacher and told her that she was making him a baby genius! Lately we've been "those parents" that constantly quiz their kids and try to make them perform. It has to stop b/c I really don't like treating kids like show dogs. I see how parents get sucked into though. Their little minds are amazing.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Well Trained

That's actually a bad title, but I couldn't think of anything else. It's a bad title b/c no training went into this at all. Miles started doing this all by himself.

Two of Darrin's favorite things are his phone and the remote. Miles must have picked up on this early. Any time he sees either of these items laying around, he will take them to Darrin immediately. Here he is taking the remote...

And, here is his phone...

This morning, I was getting ready in our bathroom. Darrin's phone was on the counter. Miles strained to reach it, and then walked all the way to the living room to give it to him. He brings my phone to me too, but I never get the remote. Must be a guy thing.

Monday, December 6, 2010


We went to the Titans' game yesterday. Recap...

1) It was beyond freezing. There weren't enough layers available to keep me warm. I had on 14 articles of clothing and it didn't matter. It was spitting snow, that looked like vanilla Dippin' Dots, all day.

2) During the first quarter, the guy behind us asked us to sit down. According to him, "it didn't make sense" that we were standing up, I guess b/c the defense was on the field. We carried on as if he wasn't there and he ended up moving or leaving sometime in the 3rd quarter. I suspect he went home to his lazy boy, which is where he should watch the games from now on.

3) We had excellent seats. I always like to go to Titans' games but it seems like I end up watching most of the game on the screens b/c I can't see well from far distances. This time, our seats were perfect. I could actually follow the game and see the ball. Very fun.

4) The Titans' stunk it up. I have never liked when fans booed their own team but I have to say that I joined in yesterday. It was ridiculous and disappointing considering we were freezing our butts off and they didn't even get a first down until the 3rd quarter, when Darrin & I happened to be standing in the concession line. They got two first downs in a row and I contemplating staying there for the rest of the game.

5) We walked back to our car to find that it had been broken into during the game. I'd be willing to bet that it was the sketchy people running the make shift parking lot. Thankfully they didn't damage the car and somehow missed my purse that was semi hidden under the front seat. I'm guessing they weren't very smart. All the got was my GPS, which was like the first one ever made anyway. Don't get me wrong, it makes me mad, but it could have been much worse.

6) Even with the freezing cold temperatures, the grumpy old man behind us, the Titans' lackluster effort, and the car being broken into, we still had so much fun. I am so glad we were able to go and have such good seats. What a fun day.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Breakfast Duty

Darrin has breakfast duty every morning. Breakfast has always been his thing anyway. He makes great homemade pancakes and yummy omelets. Oh, and he cooks bacon to perfection, which is something I've never been able to do. He and Miles seem to have a lot of fun in the morning.

The only thing we've found that Miles won't eat is pancake syrup. Funny b/c I typically eat my pancakes without syrup too.

Miles is a great eater. He loves all kinds of vegetables, including carrots, green beans, peas and broccoli. He really likes meat. If given a variety on his plate, he will always go for the meat first. They say at daycare he doesn't always finish his fruit but gets seconds on meat and vegetables.

I think we've been blessed with a non-picky eater. However, we have worked diligently to try to make him this way. From the time he started eating solid food, I stressed variety. I always start with the vegetable first, the meat second, and if he's still hungry I give him something that he really likes...such as yogurt, applesauce or marshmallows. Also, we don't give him snacks outside his regular eating times, and he doesn't drink juice at home, which I think ruins kids' appetites. By sticking to a schedule, it forces him to be when it's time to eat, he will usually eat whatever is before him. We never offer choices either. We operate with the motto "take it or leave it". Sounds harsh but he's one of the best eaters I've seen at 15 months.

Every parent has their "thing". I've said before, mine happens to be diet & healthy eating habits. I'd like to think that our plan has contributed to him being a good eater, and I do.....but as I said, I do think we were blessed in this area with Miles. I'm inclined to think he would have been a good eater no matter what we did. Regardless, I feel good about what he eats, and that's worth a lot.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Funny Stuff

I got a text last week from one of the students that helps in Miles' class. It read: "I think Miles is ready for a baby sister". I was sitting in the waiting room at the chiropractor and could not control my laughter. I have never seen him play like this & it struck me as very funny, and sweet.

She told Miles to hug the baby and he did....then he throw the doll across the room. Maybe he's not ready after all.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Healthy Deliciousness

Thought I'd share a few new recipes. I've been on my doctor induced, gluten & sugar free diet for 15 days. While it hasn't been fun, I have learned a few new recipes that will stick with me after the diet is over. Thought I'd share since they are so healthy for you & your family. Darrin & Miles like them too.

Roasted Vegetables
Cut up vegetables that you like into bite sized pieces. My favorite combination is red potatoes, carrots (whole carrots, not baby carrots), celery and onion. Paint the bottom of a 9x13 pan with olive oil. Add the vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil. Stir vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I've found that a lot of pepper makes them tasty. Try to spread the vegetables in a single layer. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Baked Apples
Quarter several apples and cut out the core, leaving on the skin. Place them in an ungreased 9x13 dish. Pour sugar-free apple juice (name brand makes it taste better than generic) in the dish about half way up the apples. Sprinkle the apples with cinnamon. Bake at 350 until the apples are soft.

Apple Cider
Add a few sprinkles of cinnamon to sugar-free apple juice and microwave until warm. Stir & enjoy.

Roasted Salted Almonds, made by Blue Diamond, are a delicious & healthy snack also. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Time To Go

When it's time to leave in the morning, Miles stands by the door. The only problem is...he stands by the door when he thinks it's time to go. His time frame doesn't always match up with mine.