Monday, March 22, 2010

Balance & Faith - Celiac's & Anxiety

For those handful of friends and family that might be checking in on my blog, I apologize for neglecting it the past month or 2. Our family has been on a constant rollercoaster ride since the New Year began and apparently, this ride is on the runaway track! To try and give the short story of it (and for those of you who know me, know that's virtually impossible), it all started with our trip to Disney 2 weeks after the Christmas holiday break. My husband and several family members had signed up for the Disney marathon so we all planned a rare family vacation down at Disney for the week... something we just can't seem to find time to do anymore. So we were all very excited (not necessarily about the additional travel after 2 weeks worth of driving back and forth between Tennessee, Kentucky and Delaware for Christmas, but so be it, it was part of the deal) So while we were down there, Alex seemed to come down with some sort of viral sinus stuff... had her down and out some of the time we were there but we still seemed to have a good time in small pockets here and there so we were thankful for that. We didnt really think much of it... struggled back and forth on whether to take her to a clinic down there but decided against it and just tried to let her get some extra rest, water and kept plenty of children's cold medicine and tylenol on hand. So we were on our way back from Disney and stayed with some friends in Macon, GA... Alex got to visit and play with her old buddy, Peyton and they were very excited. Well, right before we took off to head home the next morning, Alex sits down and says she feels shakey, next thing we know, she's throwing up... a lot! We clean her up, get her a sprite and crackers, say our many apologies to our friends for their couch (ugh!) and get in the car to head home... that was our focus at that point... get home! She was very pale when we left... but slept for 2 hours and woke up seeming much better. From there, we thought things were ok. But these random 30 minute mild shakey/nausious episodes were happening about twice a week... that went on for about 3 weeks. Then Brent's grandpa passed away and we had to hit the road again for Kentucky for funeral services... everything seemed somewhat normal, but understandably sad at times. So we get home from that on a Friday afternoon and Brent and Alex repack to hit the road again for Louisville for a big volleyball tournament... that night, at midnight, she popped up and started throwing up one time after another... until they finally ended up at the ER. ER doc thought it was a stomach virus, gave her anti-nausea meds and said she'd have a rough 48 hours. From there, she could not eat or drink much of anything for 2+ days but vomitting was under control. She was becoming increasingly more weak and pale, so by Monday morning we had her back at the ER for IV fluids due to dehydration. From there, we have battled these 30+ minute episodes an average of 1-2 times a day now for the past 3 weeks. The only thing that seems to cure it is for her to lay down for about 30 minutes until it passes. Meanwhile, docs have tested for diabetes, thyroid issues, hormone levels, blood levels... all coming back fine causing the mystery to continue. So more blood work was done and we are now waiting on test results for Celiac's Disease and Abdominal Migraine. My gutt says its not abdominal migraine (after doing some research - some symptoms are there, but my gutt says no)... im sure the docs would appreciate my "gutt diagnosis". But based on the research Ive done on Celiac's Disease... the symptoms definately line up! Now, the longer this has went on... especially ever since the all night vomitting and dehydration, the anxiety levels for her have seemed to go through the roof at times. She has become very clingly, needy, fearful, and anxious at many times throughout the day... especially about going to school. She has been having 1-2 episodes a day at school... and when she has these episodes, if you cant sit and work through them with her and talk them through telling her she's going to be ok and that she just needs to sit down and wait it out... if you try to have tough love with her on these and try to just tell her to suck it up... she ends up having an emotional breakdown... which then just adds to the anxiety because then she has kids making fun of her for crying... just an aweful downward spiral. And unfortunately, kids will be kids... she's had 2 of her friends make fun of her before for crying.. whether its because she's hurt herself or because they are making fun of her for some reason (before these episodes began) and typically, eh! it is what it is! no big deal! she'll get over it and move on! But then you add all this to the current situation, and it just elevates the anxiety... nowwwwwww... we are worried about our friends seeing us cry, so add that to the already building anxiety and now we probably have a child that's about to emotionally fall apart on us! So! Here we are... trying to hang on for dear life during the dips and turns on this rollercoaster ride... waiting for the end of this ride to come.... hoping and praying it will come soon. Since having the possible Celiac's thing come up, we have taken her off of all gluten foods for the past 3 days... and whether it was just enough to make her feel in control again and gave her some emotional stability or it actually made her start feeling good again physically so she was back to her running and playing self again on Friday and Saturday... now Sunday (yesterday) seemed a little peculiar... she came home from church and was a little quiet and clingy, but it was also our first rainy, dreary day after 2 beautiful sunny spring days... so who knows? it could have just been the rainy blues... or the rainy day syndrome where you just want to slip into your comfy clothes and watch movies all day... Unfortunatley, the poor child is secretly being watched like a hawk and analyzed every second of the day right now. Also, this peculiar yawn type tic has started... I dont think its a yawn though... she just opens her mouth really wide like a yawn but its not the same elements of a yawn... Ive been told kids get little tics around this age and that I shouldnt read much into it, so trying not to. Uh boy! Trying to keep my own anxieties from getting all up in arms so that my child doesnt feel MY anxiety so that it doesnt just adds to her ALREADY anxieties makes me very anxious! And its one of those things where you just know people are tired of us talking about it... but we're trying to put it out there... because we know NOTHING about all of this and the "ride" we are on right now, so the only thing we know to do is talk to others and put it out there so that maybe someone else has gone through something similar and can offer some words of wisdom and comfort. Meanwhile, trying to work during all of this is insane... but ya know, I think it just might be the thing that IS keeping me sane at this point... its a little like meditation for me... designing and sewing... makes me feel good inside. So although my focus might not quite be what it needs to be right now, Im very thankful I have my SKIRTS! Much love to you all... you have all been a wonderful support with your care, concern and prayers! I just so hope we are not neglecting our other friends and family's needs right now because we so focused on this one thing... if we are, please slap us and wake us up, k? :) Have a great week all... and keep Alex in your prayers for us please.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Getting back to some normalcy!

Well, it feels pretty good to be getting back to a little bit of normalcy the past couple days. Its been a long 5 weeks... between the loss of Grandpa Carter and Alex being sick with a terrible long drawn out stomach virus, it has been quite the rollercoaster ride around here lately!
This picture reminds me what Im thankful for... for all these beautiful kids (grandpa's great grandchildren), for the loving family we have (on both sides), for the time we had with grandpa in Florida last month, for Alex's returned health, for my mother-in-law and the moral support she gave us while she was visiting this past week, for the Good Lord always sticking by us, for our lovable pets, for our wonderful friends that know when to reach out, for the bible study group that refuels my spirit and soul every time we meet, for the sunrises and sunsets, for the roof over our heads, for the food on our plates, for skirts! :), for yellow roses, for America's Funniest Home Videos, for the PJ game, for safe travels, for people who can love without judgement, for coffee, for peace of mind, for rest.... I could go on all night... I have so much to be thankful for.... but its time for that "rest" part. :) So night'all! Have a wonderful and restful weekend!