Awkward Wife of the Year

The hubs and I decided that we were ready to have a child. I randomly approached him one day, and started talking about when he thought would be a good time for us to start trying to get pregnant. We both agreed on April for two very different reasons. His was because it would be January when the child come, and my busy time of the year would be over at work. Mine was Titans football regular season would be over, and Vanderbilt’s men’s basketball SEC play would be starting up, but not until the middle of January. We can see where our priorities were.

We love a good cruise so we decided to take one in April before their “busy” season started. It was tons of fun as usual to get away from the real world, and not hear the negativity that is always present every single day. We also had the best waiter for our dinners who talked to us about what true sacrifice was. He was from the Caribbean, and worked on a cruise ship 8 months out of the year. His wife stayed at home. She was a nurse and took care of their children. Michael made sure to tell us about how life and marriage are supposed to work.

When we got back home Dustin told me that we were pregnant. I told him there was no way, no one gets pregnant on their first try. For a month we went back and forth, and I told him how crazy he was. I will be the first to admit that I LOVE trying to prove Dustin wrong. So when the day came that I was able to take a pregnancy test I went and got one.

It was a Wednesday night. Both of us will never forget how this went down. There are two tests that come in a box. I took the first one, and waited. It was a faint cross. I didn’t believe it so I took the other one. And once again another faint cross appeared. I was in disbelief. This wasn’t supposed to happen, this NEVER happens. I go into the living room were Dustin is sitting on the couch, and I sit next to him. I told him I needed to talk to him – normally when I say these words it is never a good thing. He said OK…. I didn’t exactly say words – I just handed him both tests. He looked at them, and said kinda shocked “You’re pregnant?” My response was not that great, “I guess so”.

Previously I had been thinking about when we did get pregnant how I would tell Dustin. On Pinterest there is all these cute ways to announce to your spouse that you are pregnant, and I wanted to do something similar. But in my stupor I couldn’t think straight, and just ran straight to him. I still didn’t think it was true so the next morning I got another test and took it at work. This time it was the one that says the words pregnant or not pregnant. Well that sealed the deal, in big bold letters it said PREGNANT.

We still get a big laugh about how awkward I was in telling him that we were expecting. When we talk about the baby this conversation almost always comes up. The good news is too that there will be more of these moments that happen in my life. 🙂

Specialists aka the Doctors

When you have a significant life change in your health you try to find the right people to help you get answers. Well let me tell ya something, that is easier said then done.

When we started out in the hospital I was assigned a neurologist. You think at a hospital they would have the best of the best….well that wasn’t the case for me. He ordered me to be on 3000mg of Keppra a day. Seizure medicine is made to slow your brain down, and being on 3000mg a day my brain was going about as fast as a turtle runs. When I went to my first appointment at his office we noticed that everyone had this look on their face of not being able to register what was going on and people were falling asleep – a true sign of being on way too much medication. After that first visit I never went back.

I was referred to a primary care dr (the one that ran the entire blood panel on me), and he referred me to a new neurologist to see if he could help get things going in the right direction. When I met with Chris (the neurologist) he was in shock I was on as much Keppra as I was. He quickly knocked me down to 300mg a day. This was a game changer. I could carry on a conversation with someone instead of it being a one sided conversation where I just stared at them. Chris was able to give some insight to my seizures, but there is so little research that there wasn’t much more he could give me.

Last year I became a regular with the hospital. I ended up having a seizure in February, March, May, and October. In April I ended up with a kidney stone which is also something that is common with someone that has epilepsy. The seizure that was in October actually happened on a cruise ship. (Side note: if you ever get sick on a cruise ship those people treat you like you are royalty.) When I went into the hospital for the seizure in May the people in the ER actually said “oh I remember you”. Not what you really want to be known for. When all of these were happening that is when the drs started to believe that I had catamenial seizures. It was a fantastic day to know we were all on the same page…finally!

There had also been talk about my thyroid being out of whack, and helping wreck havoc on my health. My sister had told me about a dr that her mother-in-law was going to for her thyroid, and how much she enjoyed going to him. So I went to see him to see if my thyroid was also another cause of the seizures. Come to find out I only had a few nodules, but it wasn’t anything to worry about. We ended up talking a little bit longer, and he referred me to a new gynecologist.

Let me tell you, I hit the lottery when it came to this gynecologist. I got to meet her in January, and when I told her I had catamenial seizures she said the magical words I had longed to hear, “I know all about those. I have 5 or 6 patients that have those same types of seizures.” I could have hugged her (and I’m not a hugger). She was the one that told me that everyone has a seizure threshold, and when my hormones decide to go a little haywire I slip under that threshold and it produces a seizure. Due to her knowing the side of hormones she has been very helpful, and has answered every crazy question I have had when it comes to pregnancy and seizures. She has been a true blessing.

I have been to countless doctors to get answers, and I have finally gotten to my core group of doctors that I trust. I still don’t have a primary care doctor, but the doctors that I do have take really good care of me.

 

Catamenial, say what?

After my first three grand-mal seizures it wasn’t clear what type of seizures that I had. There are a ton of different seizures, and I am still learning all the different types myself. If you want to check out the different types check out the Epilepsy Foundation

What we did learn in the first few months was that I had been having pedi mal seizures my entire life. I would periodically have my eyes flutter while I was talking or while someone else was talking and I had no idea what was being said. My pedi mal seizures would last roughly 2-3 seconds, but they would happen fairly often. My family and I never really thought anything about them.

Shortly after I had my first shoulder surgery I went to a primary care doctor that ran an entire blood panel on me. When we got the results back my vitamins and minerals were at rock bottom, but that wasn’t the shocking part. The shocking part was that my testosterone and estrogen levels were super low. My testosterone was at a 23 when it needed to be at a 75, and my estrogen was a 47 when it needed to be 150. As my best friend said, “I was not a woman or a man at that point.”

Knowing these numbers helped the neurologist to figure out what kind of seizures I had – catamenial seizures. Catamenial seizures are only present in women, and the statistic I was given was less than 10% of women have this type of seizures in the world. With catamenial seizures they are present before, during, or after ones menstrual cycle. What happens is ones hormones change drastically which causes one to go below the seizure threshold and induces a seizure. Mine happen to occur before my menstrual cycle begins.

It has taken me some time to be able to get to figure out what works for me so that I don’t have another seizure. Medicine helps for day to day, but does not come close to controlling them. The week leading up to my menstrual cycle I make sure I get plenty of sleep, drink A LOT of water, and just take it easy. People think that I am crazy because normal days I get between 9-10 hours of sleep, but during that week I average about 11 hours of sleep. I have also added Pedialyte to my morning routine that way if I have lost any electrolytes I can add them back in.

I still have my pedi mal seizures from time to time, and when those occur I get sent straight to bed. That is a sure sign that I am exhausted, but I am too stubborn to admit that I am tired. So far it’s been 11 months since my last grand mal seizure, but I have also been pregnant for 6 of those months. The body protects itself when one is pregnant, and the numbers are pretty slim when it comes to one having seizures while pregnant.

 

 

I’ll Take Two New Shoulders

After round one of grand mal seizures I was in the hospital for a week. I would like to tell you that it was a great stay, and that it went smooth sailing – but it didn’t. It was a circus to say the least. I will spare the details, and pray that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

When I got back home the first thing that happened is we had to schedule an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. The ortho dr. in the hospital didn’t want to touch me when he heard that I had two previous shoulder surgeries a few years earlier due to wear and tear and a good accident prone story. I didn’t get to see my dr. since we called that morning, but they worked me in to see a NP that was told to “give me whatever I asked for”. All I wanted was a different pain killer since the one I was on wasn’t cutting the pain.

Shortly after that first appointment my dr. got all of my scans, and got me an appointment to sit down and talk to him. When I walked back there the first thing he wanted to do was give me a hug, but he didn’t touch me because well I was fragile. We came up with a game plan that day. I would have a total of three shoulder surgeries. We would start with the left one since it had the most damage – a stripped muscle, and a pretty large break. The right one was left to heal on it’s own and then he would go in and get all the scar tissue out. Then it was back to the left shoulder to get the scar tissue out of that one.

I ended up having surgeries in July, September, and November that year. The dates were scheduled around Vanderbilt football games so I wouldn’t miss any home games – I had priorities hah!

28 with a Bang

Every year for my birthday I do the same thing. A baseball game. Nine times out of ten I go to the Nashville Sounds game for my birthday. Their games either fall on my birthday or right around my birthday. The day I turned 28 they actually played at home, and it was on the agenda to go!

Birthday

That morning I did my normal routine – open at Starbucks, then go hang out by the pool since I would be off by noon. The plan was to wait for Dustin (my now husband) to get off of work so we could go to dinner before meeting friends at the Sounds game. Once we got to the game the skies weren’t looking too friendly (see above).

It ended up we had a rain delay, but we decided to leave just to go hangout. I ended up staying at a friends house with some friends that night. That morning when we got up I took my friend home that had stayed as well. This is when things started to take a turn for the worst.

While I was driving my friend home we were talking. Well she was talking, but when I would go to talk I couldn’t complete my sentences. She knew something was up, but didn’t know for sure what was wrong. I dropped her off, and then headed home. I had big plans to go eat that night with my family for my birthday, but first I wanted to eat lunch and take a nap.

I got some food on the way home, it didn’t taste very good at all. When I arrived home I told my mom I was going to lay down for a little bit for a nap before I got ready to go to dinner. I laid down, but my contacts were killing my eyes so I got up to take those out. I noticed on my way to the bathroom that my mom was on the phone with a family friend. At the time I didn’t think anything about it, but I am thankful she was there. This is when everything goes black for me.

My mom thought I was throwing up so she came to check on me, I didn’t answer. She opened the door – I was not throwing up, I was choking while having a grand mal seizure. My foot was stuck under the lip of the cabinet in the bathroom so she couldn’t flip me over to get me to stop choking. Somehow she was able to get my dad to come help (who was downstairs in the basement), and he was able to finally get me free.

I didn’t have just one grand mal seizure that day, I had three. Two at my house, and then one either in the ambulance ride or at the emergency room from a reaction to Narcan that they had given me (the paramedics weren’t sure if I had an overdose or not so they were being cautious). After it was all said and done I had a shredded tongue, a leg that was bruised from being beaten by the bathroom cabinet, a right shoulder that was broken and dislocated, and a left shoulder that was broken so bad the muscle wasn’t attached anymore.

The day after I turned 28 started a new journey for me and for those around me. It has been an adventure to say the least, but it has been one that has made me thankful to the good Lord above for giving me a new day each morning I wake up!

Where were you?

My 6th grade science teacher told our class there was going to be 3 events in our lives that we would never forget where we were or what we were doing.

She said those words on April 20, 1999. I don’t remember her name, but I do remember at the beginning of the class we could buy ice cream (this lady had an ICE CREAM MACHINE IN HER ROOM!) while we watched Channel 1 news. Channel 1 news was the kids version of CNN or Fox News. When we flipped on Channel 1 I was busy getting my ice cream, and turned towards the TV to them showing live coverage outside of Columbine High School. The entire class went silent. It was the first school shooting we had heard of happening. That day Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed themselves and 13 others, and injured 21 more kids.

Fast forward to September 11, 2001. I was in World History, and it had been like any other day. We talked about some history, and took a general knowledge quiz. The bell rings. I head to my 2nd period class where I am met by my buddy Tyler. He yells, “they’ve hit the tower!” I was totally clueless as to what in the world he was talking about so I just went to my seat. The news is on and they are showing live coverage of the Twin Towers right after the second plane hit the South Tower. We had class, but no one paid attention to the teacher. That day 19 hijackers took the lives of 2,977 people.

In both of these tragedies we came together. We let people know that we carried about each other, and we realized that tomorrow is not promised. I saw this on Facebook, and it stuck with me.

 

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REPEAT: “TONIGHT IF YOU HAVE SOMEONE IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU LOVE, TELL THEM!”

 

Stitches and Laces

The ole hubs asked me why “Stitches and Laces”. September is a great month for us when it comes to sports. Baseball is nearing the end – this is the time of the year that they really step up their game to make the final push to get in the post season. Football is starting up. And EVERYONE in the South is excited about that. It never fails that during the month of September we have a football game going or a baseball game going on the television every single night.

But it is so much more than just sports. A baseball has stitches that holds the leather together at the seams. And just like the stitches in the baseball we have “stitches” that hold us together when it comes to certain areas of our lives. If you are like me you keep those “stitches” as tight as possible and let very few people in. A football has laces. Those laces help the quarterback grip the ball to help him get the ball to his teammates. I have a few people that are the “laces” in my life – they are my soundboard, they help me get through the struggles, tell me when I am being crazy, and help me get through this rollercoaster ride called life.

I am learning slowly that I need my “stitches” to become a little bit more lose, and to add a few more “laces” to my arsenal.