Friday, January 30, 2009

New Doctor, Mixed Feelings

**Warning** Most of this is to help me keep things straight. Sorry if it's "too much information" for you! :)

Well, Logan had a cardiologist appointment yesterday. We received some information that we’re not sure we’re comfortable with just yet. I have put in a call to his previous cardiologist in Sacramento and after talking things over with him, we’ll decide what’s best. (After typing that out…it sounds so simple. I wish it were that…but it’s anything BUT simple in my mind.)

Clinically, Logan looks great. We all know that! The little guy has always ‘looked’ great, even in heart failure! So that’s a positive and we know that he handles his health condition remarkably. His pulmonary valve and conduit (the one they replaced in Sacto almost 2 years ago now) looks wonderful. It’s handling its position well and Logan’s immune system has decided it likes this one much better than the last, so that’s good!

The part we’re not sure of is that his new cardiologist, Dr. Ghazali, feels that he needs to be put back on Enalapril. This is an ace inhibitor medication used to control his blood pressures. After reviewing the echo from yesterday and comparing it to the previous echoes from Sacto, he feels that Logan is having a gradual enough increase in the pressures in his aortic valve to constitute medication. He reassured us that we are nowhere near ready to talk about replacement; however, it’s more about preserving this valve as long as possible. The better they control the blood pressure leaking through that valve, the better they protect it and preserve it. With this reasoning, we agree.

What we are unsure of is that this has never been an issue brought to our attention until now. I have no frame of reference or scale, to determine the numbers given to us over the course of the last 3 visits. So we’re unable to make an educated decision on whether it’s time to medicate him versus waiting another 6 months, which he also gave us as an option. This is one question that I’ll be asking Dr. Fallah when I speak with him today. Replacing his aortic valve was something we knew would be happening eventually, however it was perceived to be something to deal with in his adulthood. I plan on consulting with his previous surgeon, Dr. Mainwaring regarding this topic. Mostly to gain perspective and additional education on the possibilities and options concerning this area of his heart. I read through the previous echo reports and all that was noted was that the “mild leakage” was something to watch closely. He never mentioned it out loud to us. At least not in a way that was cause for concern. So basically, I’m just looking for reassurance that this is the correct step to take now. It would make us feel more comfortable hearing it from someone who has followed Logan most of his life rather someone we just met. I’m not excited about putting him back on that stuff. I saw such a different baby when he was taken off of it. But if it’s what he needs, then that’s we’ll have to do. Please pray with us for peace and clarity in this next decision we need to make.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Relationships

Yesterday at MOPS we heard from a guest speaker on the subject of relationships. Why we need them, how they affect us, etc. She talked about the differences in intimate relationships such as with our spouse, our children or our family and sometimes with a close friend. And then she talked about casual relationships such as with our neighbors, friends, fellow church members, etc. It seemed like a timely topic for me. I’ve been struggling a bit with my new environment. I have wonderful friends here which I’m grateful for. But nothing seems to be clicking just yet.

And today marks the eve of Logan’s first cardiologist appointment…in a new town with a new doctor. She talked about how, in intimate relationships, we deeply feel our loved ones struggles and concerns. We also share deeply with their conquests and joys. Logan is my youngest child. From the moment he was born I have felt deeply all of his joys and all of his struggles. And yet there is nothing I can do to ‘fix’ his problems or ease his struggles. As another 6 month appt looms, the nervousness starts to creep in. Will this be another stellar report or will this be one of the ones where they tell us his heart is declining again? My brother is also going through some struggles right now that I can’t seem to pray hard enough for and I certainly can’t ‘fix’ his problems or ease his concerns either. This leads me to the most intimate of all relationships. The one I have with Jesus. I’m so grateful to have Him to turn to when my heart aches for my loves ones or fills over with joy in their conquests.

So today I’m talking to Him about my nervousness, my concern for my son’s health and the sick feeling in my stomach for my brother. I’m also talking with Him about the joy that my sons bring me, the way they make me laugh everyday. I’m thanking Him that my husband has a stable job and that we always seem to have just enough money to get by. I’m thanking Him for the relationship with my brother and sister-in-law, that they feel comfortable sharing their lives intimately with me. I’m hoping for a little grace today for my anxiety over all these things and I’m praying for some for my brother’s anxiousness as well.

Relationships are funny things. They can cause us so much joy and so much grief. But most importantly they cause us to feel. Just to have the opportunity to love people through whatever life’s challenges. This greater purpose is so worth it! To steal a quote from one of Logan’s former doctors: Do not let the fear of what if…rob you of the joy of what is”.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

'Here comes the sun...doo doo doo doo"



What do you get when you have LOTS of snow, a "warming trend", EXTREMELY cold weather and then finally a temperature above freezing? Some seriously long and scary looking icicles! I've also come to realize how the presence of the sun can give you an almost euphoric feeling. I don't care that it's only 34 degrees outside...when the sun's out, it may as well be 75 degrees in my book. (Minus the capri's and flip flops!) I totally took the sun for granted living in California. After all, they don't call it "sunny California" for nothing. Apparently the sun and Indiana have a love hate relationship because they don't see each other much. However, absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Year In Cards 2009

Last week my sister-in-law Angie and I decided to do a card class by Kristina Werner over at Two Peas In A Bucket called 'A Year in Cards'. Every month Kristina offers a couple of sketches and a challenge/homework assignment. We have decided to pick a particular sketch each week and then share what we've come up with with each other. We will also post them on Two Peas website as well. This months card class focuses on Valentines Day cards, but we decided to do them with which ever theme we wanted. Here's my first two cards for the year of cards 2009!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nap Time = HOPE

I think I’m going stir crazy! We've had snow and more snow and the past 2 days we’ve all been stuck in the house. No school too…which means tons of attitude and “why not” questions coming from the 5 year old in the family. I’ve made the best of it but it has not all been pretty! I read my friend’s blogs who are all amazing moms and I strive to be just the same. But then there are days like today when you’re playing the Memory game and putting your hundredth puzzle together and it all goes bad. Suddenly you’ve decided that there is a right and a wrong way to play Memory and Chutes & Ladders…ummm, with a 3 and a 5 yr old, think again. They don’t care that you only go down the slide and up the ladder. They don’t care whether you actually finish the puzzle you’re working on before going on to the next. So why do I? We made snow angels in the front yard today. And then I attempted to shovel the driveway. Why? It’s covered again…just like the living room floor is. Sometimes my attempt at being ‘amazing’ is met with adversity and a bad mommy attitude. Today is one of those days. However, it’s nap time. Which equals HOPE!

**UPDATE** Nap time did wonders and the wind stopped long enough to play in the back for a while. See attached photos and video clip! :)

video


Monday, January 5, 2009

Positive!...Lab Results & Today's Accomplishments

So the results are in and Group A Strep it is. Good news is that the penicillin is working wonderfully.

In other medical news…I think I have found a worthy candidate for Logan’s cardiologist. Today I shamelessly tagged along with a friend of mine to her daughter’s cardiologist appointment with the hopes of meeting this guy and seeing his facility sort of incognito. At the end of her appointment my friend kind of ‘outted’ me a bit and I had to spill the beans. He was so gracious and took more than enough time to answer some questions and assured me that he would love to meet Logan and that it would be an honor to be his care provider. He also sealed the deal on the “pediatrician fence” that I’ve been sitting on so it was sort of a two-for-one deal today! We now have our first official cardio appointment set for January 29th.

Here are a few pictures of the boys from Christmas. We had a wonderful time with the Maier side of the family this year. The visit from Grandma and Grandpa might have made things a little bit harder for Logan. But these new drums from Santa make a nice distraction!



Friday, January 2, 2009

Strep Infection

Strep infection…on your bottom? Who knew! But apparently that is what Logan seems to have. Go figure! He’s been complaining of itching down there for almost 2 weeks now and there just doesn’t seem to be anything to help him. He’s got these tiny, red pimple looking bumps on his little bottom and they look angry! So off we went to the dr. And “oh darn!”…the previous dr that we just saw is out until Monday. And incidentally, the new one we saw today was what a dr should be! Unfortunately he’s leaving the practice. (One wonders if he’s running from the other chick!) But he cultured the area and said he was 95% sure that it was strep. (The actual results will be in on Monday.) Has anyone heard of such a thing? Logan, Logan, Logan…he likes to keep this mother just shy of my own heart palpitations due to anxiety!

P.S. For those of you who are about to email me about taking my child back into that place…I assure you that I am in the process of finding him a doctor in the closest large city from here. (A 45 minute drive I was hoping to avoid but most definitely willing to make!) Nate’s insurance is changing and we’re waiting on our new cards. I have narrowed down the search to a very prominent and highly recommended practice near a credited children’s hospital. We’re just trying to decide on “who” in the practice will get the pleasure of caring for our littlest Maier!