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Still waiting

Waiting to see if we're moving.  Waiting for Becca to have a hearing test on the 24th.  Waiting for Becca to have an MRI on May 8.  Just waiting...I bet I could break out into some Dr. Seuss right now, but I'll spare you.  Time to make Tom's lunch/smoothie and go to bed.

Apr. 3rd, 2012

Saw the GI doctor.  The first thing he said was to quit weighing Becca every week.  He doesn't think that there is a GI problem; instead, he thinks it's more likely that her speech delay, hypotonia, and lack of appetite is something neurological.  He's ordered a sedated MRI.  If we find out we are, in fact, moving, then he will go ahead and order a scope of her esophagus, stomach, and upper end of her colon.  Otherwise, he'll see us in 2 months and go from there. 

He told us that the growth charts that are in the military's electronic records are not up to date with the new CDC charts.  While the military charts put Becca under the 2%, the new charts put her in the 5%.  Much better...and she seems to be holding her own.  My biggest concern is the fact that she goes through bouts where she eats and then she doesn't eat.

So...still no diagnosis, but closer to it just "being her".  Get to do her sweat test gain tomorrow since she decided not to sweat last time.  They'll also redo her CBC and check her urine.  Fun!!!

The latest

Becca went to the feeding specialist.  She said there is nothing mechanically wrong with the way Becca eats, which is what I have been telling the doctor for weeks.  Of course, the doctor thinks that could be a less than accurate assertion since she's only been seen twice.  Uh huh.  Neurology didn't find anything.  2 of the stool tests have come back normal (looking for malabsorption issues).  We have a sweat test next week to check for cystic fibrosis.  Her newborn screening was negative, but better safe than sorry.

Yesterday, at her weigh in, she had gone from 7.7kg to 7.65kg.  The doc was ready to have her admitted.  Tom and I put the brakes on that because 1) she's still recovering from croup  2) she's recently made a change from almost all calories coming from fluids to calories coming mostly from solids  3) we have no intention of admitting her to Madigan since they were completely incompetent last time  4) she sees 4 different docs next week already  5) she's stable and energetic  6) mommy is not ready to see her baby with a feeding tube down her nose.

We told the doc we'd reconsider if she hadn't made any gains by next Tuesday.  

To top it all off, Tom was placed on orders to Ft. Stewart, GA.  NOT good.  EFMP said they could handle Becca, though they don't know what they're going to handle.  Tom's friend here at 4BDE thinks they've finally gotten everything arranged to get him pulled over.  I'm not counting my chickens yet.  GA would be a horrible scenario.  At least with an OCONUS move, there was extra money from COLA, but moving to GA would not give us that.  There's no way we'd be able to pay our bills if we didn't have a renter pronto.  We don't qualify for the military's mortgage program.  And a short sale or foreclosure just isn't for us.  Then again, maybe we could just declare bankruptcy and walk away from it all!  Start collecting food stamps and welfare checks....yeah, that sounds like a good plan!

Mar. 3rd, 2012

It may be the 3 martinis in me (still trying to recoup after almost 3 years of not drinking), but I think I'm depressed.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's a good possibility.  I have no interest in the things I used to love, like cooking.  All I want to do is run, and this girl doesn't like exercise.  Running is the only thing my body has been craving.  Not food.  Not sex.  Not a hot bath.  Just booze and running.  Shit that makes me stop thinking.  We're looking at buying a used treadmill since I can't just go running off down the street with 2 kids.  

I've been drinking more than ever's been normal for me.  It's not that I need it...I just want it.  Once everyone has gone to bed, it's just a way to, once again, quit thinking.  Fucking A.  I hate typing on a laptop.  I'm mid-sentence and next thing I know, my palm hits the mouse pad and I'm erasing a sentence 2 lines up.  Fuck me.

Quick update

Our orders to Germany were cancelled.  As of now, we don't know where we're going because branch keeps trying to dick Tom around.  The doctors want us to stay here since there is still no diagnosis for Becca.  They said the only Army hospitals with the capability of finding a diagnosis are here, Hawaii and DC.  DC doesn't have Tom's job.  Even going back to Hawaii would break the continuity of care and put us back at the bottom of the list for referrals and wait lists.

So far, Becca's blood tests show that her thyroid is fine and that she doesn't have muscular dystrophy.  If the metabolic tests are normal, she'll go to Neurology.  If they're abnormal, Gastrointestinal.  

I know she's getting stronger because she does more and more all the time.  She bends over and picks things up without assistance. She walks all the time.  She's just not eating or talking.  I know she understands everything because she responds and takes direction.

We see the feeding/speech therapist on the 16th, so hopefully she can help.  The nutritionist is at a loss and is now telling us that until we see the feeding therapist, let her have what she wants.  If she wants to get her calories from fluids, fine.  If she wants McDonald's french fries, fine.  

So, to sum it up, I'm at a fucking loss.  Tom and I are both stressed beyond words.  One of his friends is trying to get him pulled over to one of the Stryker brigades here, and if that happens, he'll be in Afghanistan by the end of the year...but at least it would just be 9 months instead of the 15 months he did in Iraq already.  I can handle that.

Feb. 13th, 2012

I hardly ever post on here anymore.  Why bother when I have Facebook?  But, it just seems like it's time.  I'm super stressed and not sure that I want all 200+ people on FB knowing my issues, family or not.  Well, we were scheduled to move to Germany this summer.  That's up in the air now for 2 reasons.  1) the Army is pulling 2 combat teams from Germany, so there's a good chance the orders could be cancelled.  2) Becca is now in the EFMP (exceptional family member program).  We knew she was small and a picky eater, but apparently, it's more serious than that.  We've been seeing nutrition and physical therapy for over a month now.  We just went through a battery of appointments with developmental pediatrics and they're concerned about her low muscle tone and weight.  She has low-normal to abnormally low muscle tone.  Her weight, though, is very low.  Off the growth charts low.  Not sure why.  The doctor's want to monitor her weight for 2 months and see if there's any improvement before they start jabbing her full of needles and doing MRIs.  However, she doesn't eat.  Not enough, at least.  I butter and oil everything.  Try to fill her with calories, but she just has little interest in food.  After some research and talking to various people, I'm wondering if it could be as simple as a zinc deficiency.  Becca was exclusively breastfed for the first year because she REFUSED food.  It's not that she wasn't offered food.  Zinc deficiency can result in delayed or stunted growth (check), loss of appetite (check), and decrease in sense of smell and taste (maybe the reason she doesn't want to eat?).  I'm hoping it's as simple as this, because that can be easily treated with supplements.  My mom's friend's grandson had the same issue...a few weeks after starting zinc supplements, he was eating, talking, running, etc.  

Speech is the other issue.  They want her in speech therapy since she doesn't talk much.  Granted, she's only 16 months.  They're wondering if her low muscle tone extends into her mouth, making it difficult to eat and/or talk.  Personally, I don't think that's the reason she doesn't eat.

So, all in all, I'm a bucket of stress.  It's pretty slim chances that we will go to Germany.  While that sucks, it's also a good thing IF we can stay at Lewis.  We like it here.  We have a house.  We have a church we like.  Friends.  It would be a huge financial burden off of our shoulders NOT to move.  But, we'll see.  Germany hasn't come back with whether or not they have the proper facilities for Becca, which could be hard since there's no diagnosis for her condition yet.  Hoping to hear back this week.  I just want to know something.  I'm frustrated and operating with a very short fuse.  I'm angry.  I cry randomly.  Tom says not to, but I blame myself for not forcing food on her earlier.  The one good thing the doctor did say is that she is very smart and there is nothing wrong with her mentally.  That is my silver lining.  

Chicken Bacon Pie

2 cups cooked chicken
4-8 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp garlic salt
pepper and other seasonings to taste
shredded cheese
2 frozen pie crusts, thawed and rolled flat

Place one crust in deep dish pie plate.  Cook bacon in butter (sounds good already!).  Remove bacon and add vegetables (feel free to add any veggies you want); cook until tender.  Add flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, until thickened.  Add chicken, chopped bacon, and seasonings.  Combine well.  Add desired amount of cheese.  Pour into pie crust.  Top with second crust and seal edges.  Poke with fork several times.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or so.

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Just poop already!

So, Payton hasn't pooped since Jan. 13.  She's holding it, and I'm not sure why.  I'm assuming she had an anal fissure and it just hurt to go, so she started holding it.  A pediatric nurse told me to give her 1/2 capful of Miralax 4 times a day for 2 days, then 1/2 capful a day for 3-4 months to let her colon shrink back to its original size. 

Tonight, I sent her to timeout, which made her cry.  The bad part is, I wanted her to cry because a lot of times, that will get her to poop.  Lo and behold, she did...a little.  It was a start and I'm sure it had to make her feel at least a little better.

I called Madigan to talk to a nurse and was told that they can't give any advice over the phone. Thanks for nothing, assholes.  Instead, I called Cleveland Clinic and a nice nurse told me that since she's not vomiting or crying about stomach pain that I don't need to take her to the ER.  Apparently, it's not uncommon for kids to go 5, 6, 7 days without a BM, but that on the 7th day, it's wise to call a doc.  She told me to push the 4 "p" fruits: pears, peaches, prunes, and pineapple.  Bananas and apples are a no go.  I lied to Payton and told her the pear was an apple so she'd eat it.  She won't eat prunes, but she loves prune juice.  Go figure. 

Other than that, she's doing great and so is Becca.  It's almost time for her 4 month check up.

I have an appointment to get an IUD tomorrow and am excited.  I absolutely hated the Depo shot.  It made me dread sex, and on the rare occasion that I did want it, I couldn't convince my body to cooperate. 

Still doing my college.  I've completed 30 credits so far this term, and will have another 12 done before the term ends.  I've finally gotten into my accounting courses, and they're proving to be a little more difficult than I anticipated. 

That's it.

Kiddies and stuff

Payton is amazing.  She has her days where I'd still like to give her to whomever knocks on the door first, but for the most part, she's a great girl.  She's a really good big sister.  She's always ready to fetch diapers or wipes, hand me blankets, or just lie on the floor with Becca.  She's a jabbermouth and loves her play phone; however, she doesn't like to talk on a real one.  She's in love with the Disney princesses and Tinkerbell.  She can count to about 12, but recognizes other numbers, too.  I need to find some flashcards to start word/picture association.  She's 2 1/2 now and getting so big.  I'm having to buy 3T stuff now because she's so tall.

Becca is your typical 3 month old.  She still doesn't do much but lie there, eat, poop, smile, and coo.  She's got a crooked smile and I love it.  I just started putting some 3-6 month sleepers on her, but most regular outfits are still 0-3 months.

Christmas was insane.  There were so many presents, it was rediculous.  Since the girls are the only grandchildren, they get spoiled. 

I have a GYN appointment in a few weeks for a consultation about the IUD.  I got the Depo shot before I left the hospital and I'm not doing it again.  It took my sex drive lower than I thought possible.  It's just not for me.

Tom leaves on Sunday to go to Ft. Benning for MSLC (E7 school).  He'll be gone for about 2 months.  The idea of being on my own with both kids is a little scary. 

I'm kicking college's ass.  So far this term, I've completed 30 hours.  My term ends on March 31.  As soon as Tom leaves for Georgia, I'm going to start working on my next 2 courses (accounting).  I needed a little break, especially with the holidays.  With those completed, it will be 42 hours in one term, plus more if I can swing it.

All in all, a quiet but satisfying life.

Eggnog Cream Pie

This pie is delicious.  I was surprised how much I liked it since I'm not a big fan of eggnog.  Very rich!  Oh, this makes 2 pies.

2 unbaked pastry shells (9")
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cartons (one 8 oz and one 12 oz) cool whip, divided
3 3/4 cup cold egg nog
3 pkgs (3.4oz) instant cheesecake or vanilla pudding mix  (we used vanilla pudding)

 Line unpricked pastry shells with double thickness of foil.  Bake at 450 for 8 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 5 minutes longer.  Cool on wire racks.

 In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, allspice, and nutmeg until smooth.  Fold in the 8 oz carton of cool whip.  Spoon evenly into crusts.

In a large bowl, whisk eggnog and pudding mixes for 2 minutes.  Let stand 2 minutes or until soft set.  Spread over cream cheese layer.  Top with remaining cool whip.  Sprinkle with additional nutmeg.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours
 


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