And God Laughs
I told God my plans and He laughed. So now I am living, laughing, and loving according to His Plans.

Seeds in the Wind

Well, my self imposed vacation lasted a record 24 hours ;) I had decided not to write because I felt that all that I had been writing lately had such a negative or melancholy tone to it. But the more I thought about it, and with some advice from a friend, I realized that not everything about living this life is going to be easy and that if I want to be honest here I need to write about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
In medical news, I am not sure what I wrote in the last post but I am currently very angry at the Dr who assured me that he knew exactly what was going on and was so positive of the diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease - so positive that he had me receiving benefits from the MDA. So positive until the DNA results came back negative. He sold me hope, and I was so careful to ask him again and again if he was sure because I have been down the road of false hopes so many times before. He wanted to then refer me to the Mayo Clinic, but financially I can not afford the expenses of travel, lodging, etc. that go along with such a medical trip. Therefore, it appears the medical consensus is that I have an unidentified progressive neurological disorder that shall not be named. Treatment will be symptomatic. As much as this sucks, and it sucks on a grandiose scale, I am weary of all of the testing and the appointments and the feeling like a laboratory specimen and the false hopes and the never ending cycle. I just want to have some sort of a life.
I made the appointment for my Botox injections today, and the soonest the could do the injections was August 4th. By my calculations, that is 34 days away - nothing like prompt service with a smile. :) I have one neuro appointment on the 20th to figure out who is coordinating care and to discuss symptom management, and the fact that I prefer to have the general neuro rather than the specialist in charge of my care (especially after the false hopes).
This Tuesday I have an appointment with a new GI doctor for the dysphagia that has returned with a serious attitude problem and the severe nausea, stomach pain with eating, bloating with eating, and other fun stuff it brought along. I am back to eating Gerber products - if you ever need a recommendation on their baby or toddler food, let me know I have eaten just about all of it. I almost choked to death last night on the bready part of a bagel and so am stepping down from soft foods to more blender/pureed consistency. My throat and chest still hurt today from that choking episode. I definitely do not want my tombstone to read "Death by Bagel"!  Now death by chocolate.... ;)

darlin... can you do milk shakes?
Or is a straw tough for you?
I was just thinking that you could start out with Ensure as a base and then add fruit, wheat germ ... and that way you might be able to have "healthy" calories?

I can handle anything that is soft and does not have multiple textures in it at once. However, as an occupational hazard I can not tolerate any of the Ensure, Boost, Pediasure type products. After doing tube feedings for children for years, and catching what came back up (sometimes on me) I instinctively react to the smell with a gag. Last time we found a single protein powder that, when mixed with milk, I can tolerate out of everything the dietician had to offer. I can supplement with that if I can drink it - lack of thirst makes drinking anything hard. But the Gerber meals haven't been too bad - some protein, some veggies and I supplement with yogurt, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, cereal. And I have an awesome friend whose son has to eat a soft diet who is going to hook me up with recipes for more grown up foods that are still easy to eat.

Job 8:21

"He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

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Wild Olive

Wild Olive

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Creative Victory

This is Me

I am a thirty year old enigma who has defied every expectation ever placed upon me and refused every definition created for me. My greatest passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs and their families. As a special education teacher I broke all of the unwritten rules to make sure that my kids received the services they needed and had a right to receive. I have never been so proud to be reprimanded before in my life. Now, due to unpredictable twists in life, I am learning first hand what life is like when you rely upon a wheelchair for mobility. I am a medical puzzle with the pieces slowly being identified and put together, and my medical bills alone could fund a small nation. It takes a village to keep me alive. :) However, I am not defined by the genetic misspellings. I am a teacher, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a dreamer, a reader, an amateur photographer, a writer, an advocate, a star gazer, a world changer. I am stubborn, situationally shy, quick to use humor and wit to make others laugh or cope with a situation, sarcastic, fiercely independent, giving, compassionate (sometimes to a fault), protective of those I love, defiant of arbitrary boundaries, perfectionistic, self conscious, self assured (yes you can be both!), articulate and occasionally dramatic. And that is just what I could fit in two sentences! :)

Who's On First, What's On Second, I Don't Know! (Third Base!!)*

Simple Vocabulary Definitions for those who may not speak fluent medical :)

Undiagnosed Progressive Neurological Disorder- This is the diagnosis that is believed to make everything else fit together. It explains my frequent infections, my muscle weakness and dystonia, my dysautonomia, my cardiac issues, my inability to regulate blood pressure, my dysphagia, my ataxia, my severe fatigue, my extreme nausea, my gastrointestinal dysmotility and IBS like syndrome, my unbelievable migraines, my sensory changes in my arms and legs, my vision issues, my hearing loss (so much for blaming medication), and so much more. Going back to infancy and childhood, this would explain the severe apnea, the significantly delayed motor skills, the reason why I could never keep up with my peers in physical activities, the neurogenic bladder, the malfunctioning thyroid, and my frequent illnesses and vomiting. This is the diagnosis now being used since the DNA testing for Mitochondrial Disease came back odd and I can not afford the expenses of a workup at the Mayo Clinic. We are treating symptomatically.

Pan-Dysautonomia- "Pan" means that it impacts many different systems of my body, "dysautonomia" is a failure of my autonomic nervous system or the part of my brain that does all of the automatic things that do not require conscious thought like telling your heart to beat, regulating your blood pressure, adjusting your body temperature, maintaining balance in space, digesting food, hunger and thirst, etc. It is believed that I have had this from birth based upon my history of symptoms, including severe life threatening apnea as an infant, but the cause remains elusive at this time

Dystonia- abnormal muscle tone and spasticity, including painful spasms, that primarily impacts my feet and lower legs and is now starting to be a problem in my back

Ataxia- difficulty maintaining balance and coordinating/executing movements

Dysphagia- difficulty swallowing due to any number of causes including muscle weakness and poor muscle coordination

Adipsia- the absence of a sense of thirst

Other Medical Issues- Lupus Anticoagulant (autoimmune disease that causes me to tend to form blood clots and has already caused two deep vein blood clots and one mild stroke), Migraines, unknown connective tissue disorder, abnormal gastric motility, allergies, history of v-tach and severe sinus tachycardia, changes to my echocardiagram that include leaking valves and a new murmur, low blood pressure, ataxia, untreated PFO (small hole in my heart that increases the risk of stroke), chronic lymphadema in my left arm, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Narcolepsy/Idiopathic CNS Hypersomnolance (believed to be a result of the dysautonomia and my brain's inability to regulate the sleep/wake cycle), mild hearing loss, malformed optic nerves, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies

* Title comes from an old Abbot and Costello routine that I chose to memorize in 6th grade and absolutely love.