Archive for the 'health' Category

16
May
12

brachial plexus.

I feel like I have to blog about this topic because it weighs on me constantly. And as much as I try to push it out of my head, I’m reminded of it all too frequently.

During my labor with Jolie, I damaged my right brachial plexus which is a very important network of nerves. The brachial plexus runs from your spine under your collar bone and is responsible for the nerves that power your arm. Somehow, by some freak of nature, I managed to stretch mine during labor. The result is that I can’t move my right arm. I can bend it at the elbow, but can’t lift it up or out to the side. And now the muscles have atrophied. It is very uncommon to suffer this kind of injury during labor and thus it took a really long time to diagnose the problem. Most people who suffer brachial plexus injuries are in car accidents or have suffered football injuries. The good news is that it looks like the nerves are regenerating. The bad news is that it will take more than a year for me to regain full mobility. It’s already been 5 months and I’m not even close to being fully rehabbed despite hours of physical therapy, massage, chiropractor, acupuncture and neurology appointments.

As you can imagine, this has made life a little difficult. And even more than the physical limitations, it’s depressing. Anyone who has had to complete physical therapy exercises can relate that it’s hard to make time for them and it’s hard to stay motivated. The progress is extremely slow and the injury can be pretty painful at times.

When I start to feel sorry for myself, I try to remind myself that it could be way worse. And all signs are pointing to an eventual recovery. In the meantime, I just try to stay positive and keep focused.

09
May
12

jolie’s birth day.

Since mother’s day is approaching, I thought it would be a fitting time to tell the story of how I became a mother. There are no words to describe what a whirlwind Jolie’s birth was. I’ve tried writing this so many times now and I’m really struggling. Nothing I write seems to express how emotional and deeply personal the experience was for me. This is the best I can do…

The evening started off fun! I met Stacy for dinner at Tup Tim Thai and we had a lovely evening catching up! I felt completely fine. Later that evening, I felt a small rush of fluids. Nothing big (a couple tablespoons at best). I just chalked it up to weird pregnancy stuff (which happens a lot). Then it happened again about 20 minutes later. By the 3rd or 4th “rush” I started to get nervous. This just didn’t seem normal. Derek was convinced that I was overreacting, and I figured I probably was too. Regardless, I called the nurse hotline. They told me that it was probably nothing, but that I should come in just to be safe. So we jumped in the car, determined to make it a quick trip.

To my surprise they told me to get comfortable because I would not be leaving the hospital until the baby was born (so much for having a bag packed and being ready)! My water had broke. They explained that in cases of a premature rupture there is increased risk of infection. That being said, it was still important for the baby to stay put and develop. The ideal situation would be for me to hold out until 34 weeks at which point they would induce. However, if I started laboring sooner than 34 weeks they wouldn’t stop it. On Wednesday night when I checked into the hospital I was 32 weeks and 5 days

By 3pm the next day I started going into labor. I was completely panicked – it was too soon. What happened to my week-long hospital stay?!? SCARY! I’m not going to go into too many details here, but I labored and labored and pushed and pushed. And finally after being in labor for 15 hours the doctor determined that I had the wrong pelvis shape to deliver the baby. A c-section was ordered. About 20 minutes later (at 6:23am Friday morning), my beautiful daughter Jolie was born. She surprised us all and tipped the scale at 5lb 2oz and 18 inches which is huge for a 33 week old baby. Jolie spent the next 34 days in the NICU and came home with us on January 18th.

Jolie’s birth and subsequent NICU stay was the single most emotional and trying time in my life. I was completely unprepared for the intense love and deep anxiety that goes along with having a preemie. There is just no way to prepare for it. We were so lucky to have a wonderful medical care team and a strong support system in our friends and family. Thank you to everyone who called, texted, visited, prayed, etc – we are eternally grateful. I do have a couple people I’d like to thank individually.

Dr. Cricket Davenport (OBGYN) and Dr. Andrew Beckstrom (Neonatologist) – Thank you for your compassion and strong leadership. When you’re faced with traumatic situations, you want confident and competent doctors – which you were. We deeply appreciated you taking control of the situation while carefully explaining what was happening to us. Thank you for delivering my healthy baby girl.

Barb the NICU Nurse – There will always be a place in my heart for you. You were the first person who let me hold my daughter and you were our biggest advocate to release Jolie from the NICU. You were always there with words of encouragement, practical advice and hugs when we needed them. I will forever be grateful to you.

My sister – I will never be able to thank you enough for your support. Sitting with me by Jolie’s crib for hours. Keeping me company. Driving me around. Making me eat. Listening to me cry (which I’m sure got old).Celebrating her milestones. And snuggling with the boot when I couldn’t be there.  I can honestly say I would have never gotten through it without you.

My mom – Who shows me by example everyday how to be a good mom. We are so thankful for all your constant love and support.

Derek – I didn’t think it was possible to love you more than I did, but I do. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive and involved husband. You were such a pillar of strength for me – never once getting frustrated with my never-ending flood of tears. My heart grows every time I see you with our daughter; she adores you. And we are both lucky to have you.

Jolie – My sweet baby boots. You are so amazing – thank you for being such a fighter!  You have brought so much joy to our lives and I cannot imagine life without you. I’m excited to see you experience all the wonderful things that life has to offer. I’m honored to be your mother.

Here are some of Jolie’s first photos. She looks so different now, it’s hard to believe she was ever so small and fragile.

19
Sep
11

tickled pink.

We had an ultrasound today and….drum roll please….. it’s a girl! Even more importantly, she appears to be healthy and is on track developmentally. She was super active and was moving around a lot. Oh, she’s also a thumb sucker! We’re so excited!

08
Aug
11

hello 2nd trimester!

Friday marked the first day of the second trimester! I’m pretty darn excited for a couple reasons. First of all, this means my chances of miscarriage are significantly reduced. I was surprisingly cautious the first few weeks not to get too excited for fear I would be hugely disappointed. I loosened up quite a bit after we saw the heartbeat at 8 weeks via ultrasound. Now, I’m fully allowing myself to get excited (telling everyone, surfing the web for cute baby stuff, etc). The second reason I’m really excited to move into the second trimester is that I’m hoping my morning sickness will start to subside. It’s been pretty awful. I’m consistently puking 1-2 times every morning followed by a few hours of gut wrenching nausea. It’s not fun. I try not to whine about it too much, because I know nobody likes hearing about it. They say that women start to feel less tired and less nauseous around this time.  BRING IT ON, I’M READY! The third reason I’m excited is that we only have 6 months until we get to meet Baby Boots! Hooray!

31
Jul
11

baby boots.

Meet the newest member of our family – baby boots! Yep, I’M PREGNANT!! WOO-HOO!! He/she is 13 weeks old. We are so excited!

I’m sure I’ve alienated any readers that I once had, since I’ve not posted in months! I hope you’ll forgive me. I stopped blogging because being pregnant has completely monopolized my thoughts, and thus posting about anything else felt like a complete lie. And we decided we wouldn’t tell anyone until 13 or 14 weeks. Also, being a walking zombie hasn’t helped the blogging cause at all – I’ve spent most of the last 3 months sleeping. I’ll post more about the pregnancy tomorrow!

17
May
11

the enchantments.

This July we are hiking the Enchantments! We entered the lottery and we won! Well, my sister Stan actually won, but the permit is good for all 6 of us.  The Enchantment Lakes are located near Levenworth in the central cascades and are a high alpine basin full of lakes, granite formations and breathtaking views. This hike is commonly touted as the most beautiful and scenic in Washington State.  It’s been on our list for a few years and, we’re finally taking the plunge (umm…not getting any younger!).  It’s about 18 miles and the highest elevation point is 7,800 feet…which doesn’t sound too bad until you hear that at one point in the hike there is a 2,200 foot elevation gain in ¾ of a mile. It’s basically like climbing a tree with a heavy backpack on. (Why am I doing this again?!?)  We will take 3 nights and 4 days to complete the hike and we’ll have to pack everything in and out. I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone, but I’m mostly concerned about food. I’m going to have to be able to carry in all the food I want for 4 days (on top of clothes, sleeping bag, cooking stuff, tent, etc), and I’m nervous I’m not going to have enough to eat! I’m not sure how I feel about trail mix and dehydrated food. Eww. If anyone has any favorites or advice let me know.

13
Mar
11

thank goodness.

I must say, I’ve never been happier for Sunday to come around. Last week was one of the worst weeks ever. I’m really ready to start a new week – fresh.

  • Monday I had undoubtedly the worst day of my professional career. I made a big mistake. I didn’t make the initial mistake, but I contributed to it and should have caught it. It was my responsibility to catch it and I didn’t. I’m not going to get into the details, because frankly, I’m tired of thinking about it, but it was bad news. It was one of those knock-the-wind-out-of-you, wake-me-up-from this-nightmare, is-this-really-happening moments. Luckily I work with some really amazing people, and everyone rallied.
  • Due to some technical difficulties, I couldn’t start p90x last week, but now I’m all set and ready to go now! Tomorrow I start!
  • I’ve been having headaches, so I went to the eye doctor. Turns out, I’m nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. Perfect. Thanks. How does that even happen??
  • I’m fighting allergies or a cold. It’s more annoying than anything and I’m really tired of sneezing. I always get nervous when I’m having a sneeze attack while I’m driving. I always feel like I’m going to get in an accident. Anyone else?

There are a few other things that happened this week, but they aren’t mine to share. So I won’t. All in all, the stress-o-meter has just been running too high. Sorry to be such a whiny blogger tonight. I promise I won’t make a habit of it. Luckily, today marks the start of a new week!

06
Mar
11

P90X.

I’ve been struggling with what to do about working out. I haven’t consistently exercised since a few weeks before our wedding. And I really need to. Besides losing a few pounds, it’ll give me more energy, help me sleep better at night and feel better about myself altogether.  I don’t really want to join a gym, but it’s still pretty cold, dark and rainy to be working out outside several times a week. And then I came up with the perfect solution. P90X! Derek is going to share the garage (aka man camp) with me and I’m going to try to keep to the P90X “Classic” routine! Work out starts tomorrow! If anyone has any experience/advice with P90X, I’d love to hear about it.

16
Jan
11

this week.

I’ve been feeling incredibly lazy and lethargic and completely unproductive lately. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or the lack of sunshine. Probably both. Anyway, I feel like I need to get back into a good routine to help keep me motivated and upbeat. So, the plan for this week is as follows:

–          Exercise 3x. Baby steps people. I haven’t worked out in almost 5 months.

–          Take my lunch to work every day this week.

–          Get out of bed earlier.

–          Drink more water.

–          Limit my TV watching. It’s the ultimate life sucker.  And if you don’t watch out it will monopolize hours of the day!!

 

Wish me luck!

09
Jan
11

Happy 2011!

Narrowing down my goals for the new year is always a fun but daunting task. There is something SO uplifting about a fresh start and I’m really looking forward to 2011. Here is what I’m going to try to accomplish.

Be a good wife. This is a big one and probably the most important now that I’m married. I really want to get our marriage off to a good start. We already have a super solid relationship and things are going great, but I believe that you have to work to grow together and be in-sync. Perhaps it’s the little divorced kid in me, but I’m really paranoid about growing distant, fighting too much and not communicating. If you don’t grow together – then you grow apart.

Stick to our budget. While I’ve put together many o’ budgets in my life, I’m not sure that I’ve ever actually stuck to one more than a month. I’m going to try really hard to make this a priority in 2011. We’ve signed up for Mint.com which is already proving pretty convenient and helpful.

Be grateful. I think this is incredibly important and I’m always trying to be better about it. I’m scared to death of turning into a whiney, ungrateful, miserable person who is blind to the good in their life and is absorbed by the bad. I have so much to be thankful for and it’s important to recognize and celebrate it.

Start trying. This one isn’t entirely up to me, but I’d really like to start trying to get pregnant in 2011. The whole thing is overwhelming and exciting and terrifying at the same time.  There are so many unknowns! How long will it take? Will we even be able to get pregnant? Will the baby be healthy? Can we afford it? Will we be good parents? Are we ready? What do we do about childcare? The only thing that we do know is that we want to be parents. And we certainly aren’t getting any younger. But, it takes two to tango and I need my partner to be fully onboard before we can start trying.

Enjoy Alki. Enjoy our new neighborhood as much as possible. It’s so fun to be in a new place and I want to make sure I take advantage.

Start Canning. My mom and I have decided to start canning. I’m really excited about it. Pickles, green beans, asparagus, jam, you name it! It’s going to be awesome.

Buy a desk. No explanation needed on this one.

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to a great 2011!

15
Jun
10

dentures.

I’m really down in the dumps over my dental appointment this morning. The first part of the appointment went ok. And when I say “ok”, I really mean that I wasn’t ready to end my life yet. The hygienist was cleaning my teeth, with limited commentary, and I was doing my best to just get through it.

Cut to 45 minutes later when the dentist comes in to do his examination.

Hygienist to Dentist: Everything looks pretty good, doctor. She may need a night guard because she’s having some discomfort in her lower left teeth (he really used a lot of garbally-dental speak here, but you get the point). She also has some kind of abrasion on her gum that’s a little inflamed (i.e. a canker sore).

Dentist begins examining my teeth/gums/etc. Dentist proceeds to rub his gloved fingers all over my canker sore…intentionally.

Me (in my head): OMG – OUCH. That freaking hurts. WTF?! You know I have a canker sore, why would you do that? I’m going to punch you in the face if you don’t stop soon.

Dentist to me: Well, I know we’ve talked about this before, but it’s really time we get you into an oral surgeon. (Pulls out the trusty patient mirror). These baby teeth are wreaking havoc on your bite and other teeth. You are going to need to replace these with implants. (i.e. pulling the baby teeth, inserting a steel rod into my gum, and then placing a fake tooth on the rod). Since you have 5 baby teeth (At $5k an implant. Yes, that’s $25k in implants…and I’m not even getting the breast variety!), we need to start working on this sooner than later – don’t worry, we can do them in phases. I’m also concerned because the shifting and sinking of these baby teeth are causing your other teeth to move a lot. All your bottom teeth are shifting to the right to compensate. I think we’ll need to put you in braces before we start the implant process to straighten everything out. (Awesome – because I didn’t get enough of the braces the first 5 years I had them). Your case is so unique; I’d really like to take you to my dental study group to get opinions from all the experts so that we can put together a comprehensive plan. (Unfortunately, this is not the first time my mouth has been used as a case study at dental meetings).

ME (in my head): I hate you.

Dentist: BUT, there is good news. No cavities. Gold start for you. Good job.

ME (in my head): Now I really hate you. That’s like saying, “I’m sorry; your house has burnt down to the ground. But the good news is that your garden is still intact.”  I’d rather have a mouthful of cavities.

At this point I’m seriously considering pulling out all my teeth getting dentures instead. I think it would probably be cheaper.

27
May
10

I be workin’ on my fitness.

I thought I’d give a little update on our workout game. It’s been 4 weeks, and so far I’ve only had to put $5 in the pot! I feel pretty good about that.

09
May
10

four days or else you’ll pay.

A few work friends and I are starting a 3 month workout incentive program that we invented called, “Four days or else you’ll pay”. This program is designed to push us into working out that fourth day. As many of you know, working out three days per week is pretty easy. But working out that fourth day is really, really hard.

Here’s how it works. From now until August 1st, each of us has to work out four days per week. We keep track by using stickers on a calendar….because really, who doesn’t love stickers?!? At the end of the week, we each owe $5 for every day we didn’t workout four times. For example, if I only exercised three times during the week, I’d owe $5 to the pot. If I didn’t workout at all during the week, I’d owe $20. We collect the money weekly and at the end of it, we celebrate together (with drinks and food of course…we have to negate all that exercising)!

Today marked the end of our first week, and I’m proud to say that I’m rocking four stickers!

23
Feb
10

anxious.

I keep catching myself – jaws clenched, shoulders/neck tense and a jittery anxious feeling.  It’s that feeling I used to get in college on Sunday mornings when I knew I had a ton of homework and tests to study for. But why? I can’t pinpoint the source of my anxiety. It’s just there. Hanging over my head. Lingering.

I think I’ll take a shower, sip some tea and read in bed. Sounds perfect.

20
Oct
09

crazy lazy.

All I want to do these days is sleep, watch Deadwood, admire my new ring, read and eat.  I’m not exaggerating; it’s embarrassing. I can’t take all this darkness – it messes with me too much. It makes me a worse, less productive version of myself.

19
May
09

quick fix.

I thought I would share my new favorite quick fix week-night dinner. I honestly can’t get enough of it. It’s easy, relatively healthy, inexpensive and most importantly, it’s delicious!  I’m estimating the entire dinner costs less than $14 for two people and takes about 30 minutes (but 20 of that is marinating and boiling). What is this miracle dinner?  Drumroll please….

Grilled Portabella Mushrooms (marinated in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, canola oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, sugar and fresh rosemary-if you have it. Marinate time: 20 minutes; Grill time: 10 minutes.)

Spinach Salad (baby spinach, grape tomatoes cut in half, diced red onion, walnut pieces, goat cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and spinach salad dressing warmed up. Mix the salad up.)

Potatoes (we like red potatoes, but any kind will do)

Try it. You won’t be disappointed. The meal just happens to be vegetarian, but it doesn’t seem like it because the portabellas are so meaty!

Tip: Don’t buy your portabellas from the grocery store – they are really overpriced. Try a local produce market or farmer’s market. We paid roughly $1.50 per mushroom at Pike Place Market.

12
May
09

white female seeking…

…Thailand travel tips and tennis lessons.

So, if anyone has any info on either topic – please send it my way!

06
May
09

workout update.

The results are in! As you may remember, I signed up for personal training a few months ago. It turns out my hard work is paying off. I’ve been at it for about 10 weeks (although there was a 2-3 week break in there due to vacation and being sick). Last week was measurement week.

Waste: slimmed down by 1.5”

Thighs: slimmed down by 1” on each

Arms: slimmed down by 0.5” on each

Chest: slimmed down by 1” (I’m not that excited about this one)

And lost 7 lbs!

04
May
09

all in a name.

I don’t mean to make light of a global epidemic, but I think that half the hype surrounding swine flu is a result of the name. The name conjures up images of humans growing snouts and sprouting wiry pig tails. Remember in Pinocchio when he’s at Pleasure Island and the kids start turning into donkeys? That is the image I get in my head when I hear “swine flu” (on a side note, that part of the movie was really creepy now that I think about it).

Had this same virus been called “influenza type 19” or “blue sky flu” nobody would have cared. But because it’s called “swine flu” people are freaking out and Egypt has unnecessarily slaughtered 300,000 pigs. Think about it. Mono can be a pretty bad virus, but I practically want to get it because it’s called “The Kissing Disease”.  Sounds kind of nice. Maple Syrup Urine Disease – YES PLEASE!

Yellow Fever. Pink Eye. Ringworm. Small pox. Mad Cow Disease. I rest my case.

24
Apr
09

vegetarian out of boredom?

Is it weird I’m considering being a vegetarian for few months because I’m bored?  Some people turn vegetarian because they have health concerns or feel a moral obligation, but not me. I’m just bored and I feel like it would be a fun challenge. It would force me to become more creative with my cooking and try new recipes!  I don’t want to do it forever – just for a month or two (it would be too hard over the holidays and I think my family would probably disown me). Just something I’m thinking about – I’ll let you know what I decide.




a blog for anyone, but mostly for me.