Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Past Few Weeks~ Parties and Problems

I am still trying to get well, but I've been well enough to have attended a few birthday parties these past few weeks.  Since I wanted to attend the celebration for my nephews' birthdays, I scheduled my appointment with the cardiologist the Monday following it, that way I'd already be in the Wasatch Front.  I carpooled with my mom and brought my darling daughters along for the 3-day trip, which turned into a week long venture, but more on that later.

Let's begin with a Party!

My nephews' party was held at Northridge Park, the park I grew up near.  It was fun to go back there and see just how much all the trees have grown- there's actually shade there now.  There was lots of family there and lots of pizza and breadsticks and parm-bites and salad to feed the crew.  I'm assuming my brother must've gotten a good deal through his work at Dominos Pizza because there was a LOT of it there- and specialty pizzas too!  It was a lovely day for a picnic lunch and we all enjoyed being together.  
Getting ready for cake.  Mandy made the cute cakes.

Devon- the second baby with blue eyes born to my siblings.

Lily loves playing with the babies!

Lighting the Lightening McQueen cake!

Candles lit- let's sing :)

Blow!  You can't see Max's head behind my dad's, but it's there.

Max hasn't tried blowing out the candle yet.

Jaxon helping his brother blow out the candle.

Me and my dad- do you see the resemblance?

I wanted to capture April's ravenous ways.

Trent and Lindsey brought the fun bubbles to share.

I asked for a smile, but he wanted to just show me his new cars.

Grandma with her 2 blue-eyed grandkids.  Don't you love how excited she looks :)

More bubbles.

We're all having a good time sitting on Mom/Grandma's lap.

Watching Trent hit a softball into outer space was a lot of fun.

There's my wonderful sister.

And here's Lily with her ever-changing smile (when this photo was taken she had lost 6 teeth, but now we can add one more to that.)
So after the party, we stayed at my brother, Micah's house for a few days so I could be in town for my cardiologist appointment.

Problems With My Heart

I met with my cardiologist on Monday.  As an interesting side note, the appointment happened to be in the same building that I watched get built when I was in labor with my first-born.  I remember watching the sun set, then laboring all night without a wink of sleep, then watching the sun rise and all the construction workers show up across the street at the crack of dawn, totally unaware that they were being watched by me, a half-naked, exhausted, soon-to-be mom trying for 3 hours to push a baby out.  I remember glancing over at the workers out my window every now and then and feeling like they were progressing more than I was.  Then after my baby was born I remember thinking how the workers and the rest of the world was going on with their busy lives; they were so unaware of the miracle that had just taken place and the perfect angel that was just brought into the world.  That was 6, almost 7 years ago.

Now, back to the cardiologist.  My sister came with me and we walked into a waiting room filled with elderly patients, probably 40 people there.  I've never seen a busier doctor's office in my life.  I was told the wait would be about 35 minutes.  That was pretty accurate, although I think we waited a little longer than that.  Then they called me back and had me undress so they could do another ECG on me, then get dressed again.  Dr. Hwang came in and in his broken Korean-accented English told me that my ECG was normal but that my Holter monitor results from a few weeks prior was a big problem.  He explained I was having PVCs (Premature Ventricular Contraction) 5% of the time which could lead to a heart attack, and was likely the cause of my varied symptoms.  Woah.  Then he wanted me to get a heart MRI done as soon as my schedule would permit to check for scarring on my heart.  Scary.  Since I already had packed my car to go back home after the appointment, I had to rearrange my and my family's schedule.

Luckily, we figured it all out- mom would drive April's car back home to Roosevelt while I stayed with the girls at Micah's house and Lily would have to miss a week of school and I could get my MRI and follow-up appointment done that week.  By then April would be done with finals and could drive us back home, then drive her car back.  Confused yet?  Just know it all worked out.

So more partying at Micah's house until MRI time...
We gave Jaxon's new ice cream making machine a whirl. 

Waiting for the cream to freeze...

Went shopping with Micah and saw my first Rootbeer Keg, and it even has Jesus serving it to children.

Micah was thirsty.

Devon playing with the toys

Max looking so sweet and innocent

Pretty Miss Maizie playing

The Time Came- The Heart MRI

I had just had a brain MRI done a few weeks prior, so I kinda knew what to expect, except I knew this MRI machine was the traditional tube, unlike the open MRI I had done.  I was nervous for a few reasons:
  1. My sister and mom told me stories about how the contrast made them physically ill
  2. My dad had to stop in the middle of an MRI because of clausterphobia, then reschedule a time when he could take valium before going down the tight tube
  3. I was told the MRI was 2 hours long (which it really wasn't, it was only 45 minutes)
  4. My MRI experience a few weeks prior was uncomfortable, loud, and I had to keep telling myself to settle down and that things would be okay.
So, I was nervous again.  To my relief, I had no reaction to the contrast, I wasn't clausterphobic, I was only in the machine for 45 minutes, and I had a comfy pillow, the machine was not as loud, and I was at ease with the techs talking to me every few seconds.  The only rough part was that the heart is a moving target and in order to get pictures that were not blurry, I had to constantly be holding my breath for different intervals, anywhere from 7 seconds to 23 seconds.  I didn't think I'd do well holding my breath and I thought I'd probably feel like passing out, but I actually made it through fine and felt calm.

The next day was my follow-up with Dr. Hwang.  "The MRI is normal." He told me.  That was good news.  "But..." he continued, "that doesn't explain why your heart is doing this."  He proceeded to tell me that it may be because of my POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), for some unknown reason my blood pressure will drop and cause stress to my heart as it tries to compensate.  So, at least we know my heart isn't damaged.  He wants me to take flecainide at a low dose.  I've been debating following that advice, but tonight I felt like I should do it, so I did.  So far, I've still had symptoms and they're a little stronger than what  I think they've been the past few days.  I'm planning on talking with the nurse tomorrow about it.  

So, with that, we went back to pack the car, and headed back home with April as driver, me as passenger, and Devon and Amara in the back.  Lily came up a few hours later with my brother Joe and his family who were able to swing their schedules to come up to Roosevelt for my mom's birthday that weekend.

Another Party

My mom and my brother share a birthday, and since my sister was driving me home, she decided she'd stay and celebrate for my mom's birthday.  Joe's family completely shocked my mom when they walked through the door to surprise her for her birthday.  It was fun to have all company and their help here at my home, and of course it was fun to celebrate my mom's 53rd birthday for 3 days straight.  I hope my brother, Micah, had a very happy birthday too.  Here's a few pics of when everyone joined us here in "the Basin."
German Chocolate Cake

JJ looks a little sad because he got scolding for blowing out the candles

Maizie was going to get that ice cream no matter who was holding her.