Saturday, July 25

On Vacation

So...both my computer and then my internet connection decided to go on computer came back to life but not my internet. Sad day. I'm using someone else's computer right now which means I can't even put up any of my oh-so-marvelous pictures from the past few weeks. Sad day.

In the meantime, I am also on vacation: Ava & flew down to SoCal on Monday night. She's done a lot of swimming in J&Ds pool (and I've done my fair share). I'm also seeing 4 of my doctors while I'm here.

J has been traveling on business for the past 2 weeks & gets home tonight. Also Gramma Cindy & Tiffany bravely drove down from Seattle to Temecula with our little 5 month old TeaRose. Teagan believes they are torturing her by keeping her in a car seat for so long each day. They arrive this afternoon & I'm sure Teag will love being free of the car! Mike flies down next weekend and Dani's mom & two of her sisters will also be here that weekend. Talk about a crowded house! But fun. Ava is planning a luau style pre-birthday (for her) post-birthday (for Dani) and welcome home (for J) party for next weekend. Should be a fun time! With any luck, I'll be able to post pictures from our adventure.

In the meantime...just imagine all the fun we are having!

Monday, July 13

Stormy Sundays

We had a delightful day of rain & thunder storms yesterday. While that crushed our plans to take Ava to the beach to learn how to skim board, it was still a delightful cozy-in day. We went out for breakfast, watched the movie Dreamer, and then sat outside under blankets, listening to the thunder, while drinking hot cocoa.

Saturday, July 11

Spoiler Alert

So, invariably, when I have a migraine, I get sick to my stomach. Last night was no different. What was different however was the song I woke up to while sick that has remained stuck in my head, even now.

Having a 9-almost-10-year-old niece in the house, we have been introduced to a new genre of television shows (don't worry--this is not totally random; it does connect to the previous paragraph). Such shows include: The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, iCarly, and (of course!) the oh-s0-popular Hannah Montana.

Here comes the Spoiler Alert: Do Not Continue Reading if you have not yet seen the most recent new episode of Hannah Montana! I mean, I wouldn't want to ruin it for you or anything!

Having now seen this episode twice in one week and having never seen HM before, apparently Miley AKA Hannah is growing up & is dating (gasp!) a boy from her past (double gasp). That's right, Jake (whoever he was/is) is back. Miley wants her Dad's approval to date the guy who has broken her heart multiple times but kinda screws up that plan when she fails to tell him for 3 weeks that Jake is back & that they are dating. Dad is not happy. Dad acts juvenile. Miley schemes to make him like Jake by pretending to like "bad-boy" guitarist Jesse (who plays in her own band) but accidentally falls for him too. In the end, after composing a song & much dilemma, she choose Jake~which is good cuz otherwise they wouldn't have been able to do that whole memory montage to the new song (something like "He Could be the One"-which at 16 the emphasis should definitely be on the Could!).

Point being, prior to composing the above song, Miley strikes a tune & begins to sing about how she's angry at her dad. The chorus of said song goes (roughly) "Neaner, neaner, neaner. Neaner, neaner, neaner. Neaner, neaner, neaner...."

So going back to my migraine & waking up in the night to be sick & having a song stuck in my head, sadly said song was not the "He Could be the One" one, but rather the Neaner-Neaner-Neaner one. Perhaps this is really why I was sick in the night. I must say that after being sick, I lay in my darkened room & cursed the day(s) I saw that episode.

Here's another observation based on my new exposure to these television shows, aside from Hannah Montana's dad, where the heck are the parents to all these kids who are running around?!?! Is the TV industry subtley trying to get kids to resent having parents? Or are they unwilling to pay the larger salaries an adult might try to garner from them? Or can they simply not find any adults willing to play a full-time roll on these series. Either's weird!

And those are my musings for the morning. On a brighter note: the sky is blue, the air is crisp, & it is shaping up to be a beautiful day sans head pain. Yay!

Friday, July 10

Black Out

This is the view from under the black blanket blocking out the light that was attacking me during today's migraine:

(yup, that's my foot)

Sadly, even w/black drapes, my room is always extremely bright/light. Even at night. The whole neighborhood is "safely" lit with street lamps & garage door lamps that burn all night.

We had to leave the lake today because of my migraine (sigh)...oh & because Spiderman left his mask at home by accident. Hate it when that happens.

If I can ever get the pictures on my to down-load to my computer, I'll show you the (birthday) story behind the costume. [These pix are from my phone.]

As for now: it's back to bed & a darkened room for me.

Hey Bren! How is it that I haven't had a migraine since October & I have one little conversation with you about them & 2 days later, bam! One hits me outta no where! Hope that means that you are currently migraine free. :-) I'll gladly bear your pain, chica!

Wednesday, July 8

What Is Wrong with You, Anyway

People often ask me what exactly is going on with me medically...besides the technical terms of peripheral polyneuropathy, fibromyalga, and encephalopathy that I've learned to rattle off my tongue with ease. You can go back & read my original post on this or you can read the following "brief" synopsis of my conditions courtesy of wikipedia:

Ok, so peripheral polyneuropathy is a neurological disorder that occurs when many peripheral nerves throughout the body malfunction simultaneously. It may be acute and appear without warning, or chronic and develop gradually over a longer period of time. Mine occurred slowly over time.

Mine was triggered by severe (like radically severe) deficiencies of vitamins B12 and B1. Many polyneuropathies have both motor and sensory involvement and some have autonomic dysfunction. Symptoms depend on the type of nerves affected; motor, sensory, autonomic, and where the nerves are located in the body. One or more types of nerves may be affected.

Common symptoms associated with such damage are muscle weakness, cramps, and spasms. Loss of balance and coordination may also occur. Damage to the sensory nerve can produce tingling, numbness, and pain. Pain associated with this nerve is described in various ways such as the following: sensation of wearing an invisible "glove" or "sock", burning, freezing, or electric-like, extreme sensitivity to touch.

Under normal circumstances, pain sensations are carried by unmyelinated and thinly myelinated nerve fibers. Guess what huge components of myelin are? You got it, B12 & B1! Guess what your body just sort of needs in general? Right again, B12 & B1.

So my poor body was desperate for this vitamins & decided to “borrow” them from my nerves’ myelin. This caused lesions or holes to occur in the myeline. And after a peripheral nerve lesion (or hole), a neuroma (or nerve swelling) may develop at the stump.

The neurons then become unusually sensitive and develop spontaneous pathological activity, abnormal excitability, and elevated sensitivity to chemical, thermal and mechanical stimuli. This phenomenon is called "peripheral sensitization”. More simply put: my nerves just kind wig out of their own accord.

Moving on: Fibromyalgia, basically means muscle and connective tissue pain. FMS is a disorder classified by the presence of what is often termed “medically unexplained symptoms” that include chronic widespread pain and a heightened and painful response to gentle touch. Other delightful features of FMS include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness. In addition, people with FMS also frequently experience a range of other symptoms that involve multiple body systems, that include sensations of numbness and tingling abnormal motor activity and cognitive dysfunction. An increased prevalence of affective and anxiety-related symptoms is also well known. Our guess is that the peripheral polyneuropathy was the trigger for my FMS.

Then there’s the Encephalopathy, which literally means disorder or disease of the brain. In modern usage, encephalopathy does not refer to a single disease, but rather to a syndrome of global brain dysfunction; this syndrome can be caused by many different illnesses. To put it bluntly, it’s brain damage. Mine was caused by the stress of the first 2 conditions & involves the loss of my executive skills, low attention span, and some other stuff, that is hopefully reversible.
So there you have it. Simple, right?

Yeah, right! So, basically...I am always in pain. Sometimes it’s not so bad—I can function like a fairly normal person. Yesterday & today the pain just about takes my breath away. Some days I can walk like a fairly normal person. At other times I must rely on a cane to get around; other times it’s a wheelchair; at others I just stay in bed or sit in a recliner. Sometimes I shake. There is always a tremor running through my right leg & often in my left hand. My eye twitches. I don’t notice it so much any more—it’s just one of those things.

Too much stimulus (like a large group of people all carrying on conversations or my precious nieces & nephews running around playing) can make me feel overwhelmed and on edge. Sometimes I can read or watch a movie; on other days I can’t concentrate on anything for more than a couple minutes at a time. I now feel blessed when I’m able to read—it’s always been one of my favorite past-times & I hate it when I am unable to do so.

On really bad days, it takes everything in my power to try to concentrate on anything other than the pain. Trying to take part in a conversation takes every ounce of power I have.
As I said in this post, thank God for my mom...I couldn’t make it without her! So, today, being one of those not so great days, means that this post may not make sense or read smoothly. But at least you know why!

In order for this to not be totally depressing, how freakin' cute is my niece?!?!

And guess who is now eating peas??

Monday, July 6

Reality Check

If you just casually peruse my blog, you might think my life is pretty easy…and I guess, in a way, it’s true. But only because I have the best support system ever: my mom.

My mom takes care of me physically when I need it; she takes care of the house & all its needs all of time; she does all the shopping; all the cooking; and she pays for everything: rent, utilities, my doctors’ co-pays; my monthly medications (which ain’t cheap!); pays for the car’s upkeep & gas. But most of all, she is a great emotional support, a wonderful friend & confidant.

We can truly laugh & cry together & be silly or (on rare occasions) totally bitchy to each other…cuz let’s face it: I can be a true pain in the butt! And it's not as though she hasn't been through a rather painful past 2 years on top of all of my stuff. But she truly walks in the grace of God.

So if you think that my life is peachy, you're right: thanks to my mom.

So here’s to my mom: I love you, mama!

Favorite Pix

Here are a "few" of my favorite picture from the past couple weeks.




Beach Bum

Mr Blue Eyes

Salt! Yuk!

Rice Cereal! Yum!


Hip-Hop Girl




Surfs Up

Some Family Pix:

And last, but not least: Red-Neck 4th of July!

Thursday, July 2

Kenyan's Pre-Bday Party

Since Kenyan will be with her Dad on her actual birthday (July 12th), we did a special little pre-party at our house for her today. We all dressed up & ate from fancy plates & drank soda from crystal glasses.

Everyone got to blow out candles & eat 2 cupcakes.

Both Kenyan & Van got pre-birthday gifts that will live at Mary & Gramma's and Kenyan got another one to take to her Dad's to open on her birthday. Van's birthday July 7th & we will give him another gift then.

We had fun playing with new toys & blowing bubbles & just enjoying each other's company.

Another great day!!!!!

It's Official!!!

It's a boy!!!!!! Dani had another ultrasound on June 29th & Demetri~while mostly doing handstands~also gave them a great view of his little boy parts. Dani is getting REALLY "great with child." Enough to make us wonder if she's got someone else hidden in there! Hard to believe Demetri isn't due until mid-November!

Isn't Dani adorable?!?!

Wednesday, July 1

Splittin' Up

So Gramma & Tiff took Ava, Van, & Kenyan to Lake Washington today.....

That's Mt Ranier in the distance.

A fisherman gave Ava a fish.
She planned on keeping it as a pet.
Eternity had other plans for the fish.

...Meanwhile Teagan & I stayed home & took it easy.

So even though we all split up for the day, I am gratified to report that Van was reported to miss Aunt Maiwee very much. (I like to be missed!)