Saturday, April 1, 2017

What's New?

A lot has happened since I last posted anything and I apologize for that, but I was dealing with some health issues of my own.  It happened again, the same thing that happened last year.  It starts out like a bad case of bronchitis and then just lingers and wears me out to the point that I have absolutely no energy.  I couldn't even get through loading the dishwasher.  It was bad.  I thought something really bad was wrong.  Thankfully my doctor ran a few tests to help determine what the issue was.  I had a pulmonary test and a stress test along with all the other usual things that go along with these episodes.  Then finally yesterday I went back for the results of all of these tests.  Apparently my heart is fine, but my lungs are not.  The doctor said my asthma is severe and poorly controlled with the medications I was currently taking.  So, she gave me a steroid shot in the bum because the oral steroids I took last time made me break out in a head to toe rash, and she changed up my daily medications.  She said the insurance company may require prior authorization for the new medication so she gave me samples to use until it gets authorized.  Below are a couple pictures of the tests I had done.  

The first test was pretty easy.  I had to take in a breath and blow it out as long and as hard as I could five times and each breath was recorded in the machine on a graph.  Then I was given a breathing treatment and then we did five more breaths after the treatment and all of that was also recorded.  

The second test was a little more intense.  I was hooked up to a machine that kept track of m pulse, my blood pressure, and my breathing while I had to keep the speed of the bike I was pedaling at a certain speed for as long as I possibly could go.  The bike seat was the most uncomfortable seat I've probably ever sat on.  I didn't last very long on the bike simply because I couldn't breathe.  In fact, I had a little panic attack when I had that mask over my face and could not breathe.  The technician had to really talk me through not riping the mask off of my face so the machine could record everything I was experiencing so the doctor would have it.  

Well, all in all, I am grateful we did these tests.  My dad asked me the other day, before my last doctor's appointment,  if I had asked if I was suffering from COPD.  I studied up on COPD and found that every single symptom was something I was experiencing.  By the time I was done looking into it, I was armed and ready to ask that very question at my next appointment.  Well, it's not COPD just poorly controlled severe asthma.  The doctor went over each test with me and said she could see that I really had trouble with the breathing test before the breathing treatment, and that explained why I had such a hard time with the stress test.  Yesterday she gave me the shot in the bum of a steroid, changed my prescriptions, and a sample of the new medication.  As soon as I took my first dose, I noticed a huge difference.  It was amazing!!  I could actually breathe!

I have to tell you, I was really scared before these answers came.  I was worried I was dealing with something serious because I had absolutely no energy and could not even walk from my desk at work to my car without having to stop catch my breath before getting into my car.  I couldn't even walk to the stop sign at the end of my street without having to stop and catch my breath.  I couldn't clean my house without getting winded and having to take a break.  It was really scary.  Of course, it was more scary not knowing what was wrong.  It's Saturday and I can actually breathe.  I went to the grocery store and didn't have to take a break before getting the groceries out of the car.  I brought them right into the house.  Then I put them right away and didn't stop there.  I even did a load of dishes.  I can actually breathe!  I had no idea how debilitating my asthma has made me.  I was in total disbelief that I even had asthma.  Not any more.  I now know how much better I can feel and I am so grateful to my doctor who listened to me and really did everything she could to help me.  The last time I was in the doctor's office I saw their new physician's assistant.  She said things would have been a lot different with that visit if he wasn't so fresh out of school.  Who knew?!  

The stress test was a two part process.  First to determine if my heart was the problem.  It wasn't, but of course my weight was brought up by me.  I admitted that I knew my weight was not helping my health situation.  So, because I brought it up, the doctor pursued things a lot further than she would have with a patient that didn't bring it up. With all of this, I was given the opportunity to sit down with a nutritionist who helped to create a diet that will help me fuel my body properly, that will stabilize my blood sugar, and ultimately help me lose weight.  I was also informed exactly how much exercise I need to do per day and where my heart rate needs to stay during exercise.  To my surprise, I don't have to do much.  I can actually use my bike here at the house and get my exercise in.  The key is diet and the best part is that I will eat real food not packaged foods and shakes.  I like that.  

Then, in three months I go back to my doctor for another breathing test to make sure I am still on the right track.  In six months I go back for another stress test and another sit down with the nutritionist to tweak things and fine tune my diet.  I'm hoping I will be a bit thinner by then.  Time will tell.

Now that I am feeling better, there have been a few things I have been able to do (finally) around the house.  (I still cannot get over the difference two doses of my new medication makes.  I feel like a new woman!)  I put new material in the window part of the french doors we have that lead to the back room we use as extra storage off of our dining room.  Curtis helped me pick out the fabric.  It's amazing to me how much that boy picks up and remembers.   

Here's a better picture of the french doors and the fabric.

The fabric matches the Stripling Warrior Print we have hanging next to our china hutch on the opposite wall.  This is that print.

Then on each side of the doors I've added something fun.  If you are facing the doors and to the left of them I've put up my door frame and my giant letter "S".

Then on the right of the french doors is a tray I just finished.  I found this old tray and it was the perfect size and shape I was looking for.  This is the tray before I painted it.

  Pretty ugly, right?  I thought so too.  So, to bring out some of the yellow in my Stripling Warrior's print I painted the tray a bright yellow.
Then a friend of mine cut the vinyl saying for me.  In fact, I've been wanting to do this little project for about a year now.  I just didn't want to spend the money.  As it turns out, the entire project ended up costing me less than $20.00.  The most expensive part of the entire project was the cost of the vinyl and the tray.  I used yellow spray paint.  There is a lady that lives close to me that does vinyl out of her home and only charged me $10.00 for this little piece, and she had it done in a day.  I was thrilled.  Here is the final project.

I love it!  Eventually I want to take the top piece off of my china hutch and hang my large white shutters and my print of Christ, the Family Proclamation, and the Living Christ, but I can't figure out what to do with my collectibles.  Kyle has been buying me piggy banks for my birthdays and sometimes for Christmas for a while now.  He even got me a piggy bank when he was in Hawaii.  Those are on the top shelf of my hutch.  Then I have a few figurines that I would want to display someplace as well.  I think the piggy banks could go on a dresser in my room if I ever get a dresser.  Right now the only dresser we have is in our closet.  Here is the top of my china hutch right now.

It's a bit messy right now, but that's a quick fix.  We just need to move the bottles of water and the sign that 's rolled up next to the waters.  Below are the piggy banks I have.  There is a definite boy theme going on there.  I have Darth Vader (he is in the far left corner.  He's hard to see.) a Ninja Turtle, the Hawaiian Monkey, a Dinosaur, and Spiderman.  

Below on the next shelf, as I mentioned before, are my figurines.  The statue of Christ, my praying family, my family sitting around the Mom, and my husband and wife figure, then a couple female figures as well.  

Enough about the dining room.  I was able to hang the frame I plan to use for important things behind the front door in our home.  It fits perfect behind the door and I love it.

I was also able to get out all of the Easter stuff too.  I'm telling you, this being able to actually breathe has made a huge difference.  I'm still amazed!  I cannot believe it.  Below is the mantle.  It helps having all kinds of things left over from our oldest daughter's wedding.  All I had to do was a couple things and we are good to go.

We put eggs on my gold tree and put out the bunnies we have on the mantle and the other hutch.

Then out front we used the banner from Danielle's wedding.  The flowers on the wreath are from the wedding as well.  The bunny is something someone gave me.  We just added the pink ribbon.  

This guy came home from his mission.  This was the last photo taken of Curtis and his mission president just before he left the airport to come home.

These are the sweet words Sister Smith shared on her blog about this group of missionaries.

This is the entire group of missionaries leaving at the same time Curtis left the mission.  This photo was taken outside the Manhattan Temple.  Aren't they a great looking group of young men and young women?  

This is what we saw as soon as Curtis got off the plane.  Look at that smile.  He came home fast.  His flight was early and his friends missed seeing him at the gate.  I don't think he spent more than 20 minutes in the terminal.  It was  very quick pick up.  Then as soon as we arrived home he went over to our neighbor's house and talked with our old Bishop and his wife for a bit.  By the time he actually made it into our home he had two job offers.  Then by that night he received a third job offer.  Then the next day he received the fourth.  I couldn't believe it.  Four job offers in less than a week of being home from his mission.  That's pretty amazing.  He's even had an interview.  So, we are hopeful the one job Curtis wants will be the one that works out.  He is a young man with a plan.  He told Kevin tonight that he wanted to sit down with us to discuss his one, five, and ten year goals.  He is ready to go and get moving on with life and whatever that means.  He is determined to work, go to school, and eventually find a wife.  We love this kid.  He has such a spirit about him and he has brought his sense of humor back into our home.  The night before last I heard Kyle laugh like he use to laugh when his little brother would say something funny just out of the blue.  I was so happy to hear that.  I love it.


Since Curtis has been home Kevin has been up and about quit a bite, as well.  Yesterday while I was at my doctor's appointment, Kevin and the boys went out with their cousins to go shooting.  Tonight, after the Priesthood session of General Conference, we had a late dinner around the table as a family.  We haven't done that in such a long time.  It was great.  In fact, Kevin and the kids are still sitting around the table talking.  Since Curtis has been home we have had more discussions about gospel topics than we have had in a long time.  Curtis has brought life back into our family life.  Funny how that happens.  These talks have sparked some deep conversations between Kevin and I, between Lexi and Kevin, and Kevin and the boys.  I am thrilled about that and I hope it continues.  Time will tell.  

Well, I should get going.  We have received so many blessings over the past few days and answers to prayers.  I am so grateful for all that we have received.  Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.

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