My primary care doctor referred me to a Rheumatologist in Santa Cruz. I made the 45 minute drive up there and she takes one look at me, asks me how old I was, humored me for about 1 minute, ordered some blood tests then sent me on my way. I went back two months later and she says, "Your tests show several abnormalities, but you're so young. Let's just wait and see what happens."
Okay, obviously I'm not crippled or anything, but wouldn't it be smart to figure out what it is now so that I can keep myself from eventually being crippled? She made me so mad. Just because I was young she wouldn't treat me! So I told my p.c. and he referred me to a different doctor (and was so mad he said he would never refer any of his patients to the first Rheum.)
This new doctor actually took me serious and answered my questions. He looked at my blood results and said, "You have many abnormalities. Your main problem is Sjogrens Syndrome and that is most likely what has caused your jaw problems also. Let's treat the Sjogrens first, then see what other underlying issues you have going on."
Now that is what doctor is supposed to do !
So here is what Sjogren's Syndrome is:
Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture producing glands. Sjögren's is one of the most prevalent autoimmune disorders, striking as many as 4,000,000 Americans. Nine out of ten patients are women. The average age of onset is late 40s although Sjögren's occurs in all age groups in both women and men.
About 50% of the time Sjögren's syndrome occurs alone, and 50% of the time it occurs in the presence of another connective tissue disease. The four most common diagnoses that co-exist with Sjögren's syndrome are Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus, Systemic Sclerosis (scleroderma) and Polymyositis/Dermatomyositis. Sometimes researchers refer to the first type as "Primary Sjögren's" and the second as "Secondary Sjögren's." All instances of Sjögren's syndrome are systemic, affecting the entire body.
The hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth. Sjögren's may also cause dryness of other organs, affecting the kidneys, GI tract, blood vessels, lung, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. Many patients experience debilitating fatigue and joint pain. Symptoms can plateau, worsen, or go into remission. While some people experience mild symptoms, others suffer debilitating symptoms that greatly impair their quality of life.
So the medication that I'm taking is also used to treat Malaria. I don't like taking medication, so I'm doing some research to find natural ways to treat it. I might have some problems with this though. If you know me well then you know that I have annoying food/texture issues. All of the natural remedies include ingesting things whose names alone make me gag a little bit. This will be a major challenge. Hopefully some funny stories come out of this new adventure.
3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup 1% milk
2 teaspoons peanut butter
1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
2 teaspoons (chocolate) whey powder
4 ice cubes
(1 8-ounce serving has 235 calories, 11 g protein, 39 g carbs, 5g total fat (2g saturated), 4 g fiber) I use the smoothie as my breakfast meal replacement. They boys have it with their eggs and toast.
And here's a Jackson story that shows he's just like me.
When I was Jackson's age one of Jackie's friends spent the night. She wore knee-high socks to bed and we all slept in the same bed. I wet the bed, getting her socks completely wet. (Gross, I know). When we woke up in the morning I wouldn't admit that I wet the bed. I just kept saying, "I just sweat a lot when I sleep. I didn't wet the bed! I'm just really sweaty!"
So Jackson woke up this morning and had wet the bed. The first thing he said was, "Oh wow, I was really sweaty last night. I guess I better change my pants. I can't believe I was so sweaty."
(In our defense, we're both REALLY heavy sleepers, so when I was his age it just didn't register to me that I needed to go potty or that I had gone potty.)
As I do every day around 3:00, I asked Jackson to pick up his toys so the house would be clean when Daddy got home. While he was cleaning up I was back in my bedroom putting laundry away. With the washer and dryer running, and the radio on in my room I couldn't hear very well. After I'd been in my room for a few minutes I hear some noise, so I go and check on things. Jackson had finished picking up his toys then decided to go into the closet for the vacuum, and yes, that noise I heard was Jackson vacuuming. I said, "What are you doing buddy?" He says, "I'm just cleaning up. I have to earn my keep so that you don't sell me to the gypsies."
(Side story: My dad used to tell us he was going to sell us to the gypsies when we were kids. It's one of those things you never think you'll say, but then it comes out of your mouth without any thought. I think I've said it to Jackson twice, jokingly. Obviously it made an impact.)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
All I could do was hug him tight and tell him what a good brother he is. It really impressed me to see how concerned he was about Payton's happiness. Jackson really is such a sweet boy. I'm so lucky.......
I posted about Motherhood on my other blog. Please read it and give me your opinions on motherhood!
About 2, maybe 3 weeks ago I decided to finally get out there and rake the leaves. This took me two days and I filled up about 12 40 gal. bags. It was a big job and my back hurt. Over the weekend I was so happy to see that Jackson wanted to take his turn raking the leaves!
Jackson's friend Beckham has a pet Turtle. While they are out of town for Thanksgiving we get to babysit little Turtle. I'm thinking this is the best kind of pet. He makes no noise, he eats lettuce, and it takes almost no effort to take care of him. We've only had him one day and the boys and I are totally in love with him.
Little Payton put so many words together yesterday! He completed a whole paragraph and I could understand each word (this is a huge deal since Payton's usual communication is in the form of grunting and pointing). Nate had a 24 hour shift on Monday so all day yesterday he slept. Payton knew that Daddy was home, so he was curious as to why Daddy wasn't out playing with him. After Payton looked all around the house for him and couldn't find him he came to me and said, "Daddy? Where's Daddy? I wanna see Daddy!"
We also had the Primary Program in church yesterday. All the kids did a really good job and it was a great program, but I was focused on Jackson. He got to speak and he did a really good job. He likes to talk into microphones. It was cute watching him sing too. He did really great at first, but as the program went on he zoned out (as did the rest of the Sunbeams!). It is so fun to watch him grow up. I think he might be growing up a little too fast. Thanks to his new "girlfriend" he's learning a little too much about being lovey dovey. His little friend Bella likes to cuddle with him, calls him husband, and we even caught her having him kiss her so she could "wake-up". Luckily he was only kissing her on the cheek. We might have to monitor those too more closely!
Having faith and having a true testimony of Christ's teachings truly does change you. Anyone who knew me 5 years ago or even 10 years ago would tell you that I'm a completely different person now. Back then I didn't deny what I knew to be true, I just tried to pretend that it didn't matter to me. Luckily the Lord never gave up on me. All of my bad decisions led up to one monumentally amazing blessing.........Jackson. Although the change didn't come quickly, I grew to understand the gospel more through Jackson because I could finally understand what it felt like to really love someone else more than I loved myself. I grew to understand, and am still trying to understand the huge responsibility it is to be a mother.
The decisions that I made after having Jackson led me to Nate, and now I have little Payton too. Things haven't been simple for our little family. We have had many struggles in the almost three years since we've been married. But the Lord's hand has been in our lives.
I never thought that Nate would be able to adopt Jackson, I hoped for it, but I was doubtful that his "birth donor" would ever agree to it. I just prayed and prayed for it, and one day I just knew that the time was right. I made the phone call and he just agreed. I called around to find a lawyer and found out that this would cost us at least $1000. A few days later I happened to be at the gym riding a bike. A girl who was acquainted with my parents (and I had only briefly met her once) came up and started talking to me. We just made small talk for a while and then her job came up. She said that she worked for a lawyer. He practiced some type of corporate law. I jokingly said, "Hey, ask him if he wants to do a free adoption!" I didn't think anything of it until my mom called me three weeks later and said, "Colleen talked to her boss and he said he'd do the adoption."
It took about 7 months for the whole process to be done. Jackson was officially adopted by Nate on March 29th, 2007. Two weeks before Payton was born. Then on December 28th, 2007 we went to the temple while Nate was home for Christmas Exodus.
When I look at those experiences I know that those blessings came from the Lord. I know that he has looked over us and protected us and I hope that I will always be worthy of those blessings.
It looks at the Book of Mormon from a historical point on view to see if it could really have been written by people during that same time period. I already have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, but it is still amazing to me to see so much evidence that Joseph Smith really was called by God and translated such an amazing book of scripture. There really was no possible way he could have made up such a historically accurate story about this group of people. Read it!
The boys are getting to the point where they actually play with each other and hang-out. Whenever I leave the room to do something, then come back to check on them they're always doing something together. Today I found them reading a book together. Other days they are wrestling. Usually they are quietly getting into trouble together. It's a lot of fun!
And Payton cried while Jackson got his face painted
Then on Thursday Jackson got to wear his costume to Pre-School. When Payton saw Jackson getting his Dragon on, Payton decided he wanted to wear his Monkey.
Payton the Monkey!
Jackson the Dragon!
The party animals!
Then they played for a while!
Jacksons good friend Ricky goes to his pre-school class so we caught some pretty sweet pictures of them together.Then FINALLY we went Trick Or Treating tonight!!
I have stood up for what I believe in. I don't need to spend time stressing about the possibilities of what could happen if Prop 8 is defeated. I've done my part, so now my main focus has to be on making sure that I do everything I can to be righteous and be an example for my kids, my husband, and anyone else that notices me.
So, you most likely won't see anymore politically themed posts. (If I do consider taking on some other subjects I might just make a separate blog for that) I'm eager to get back to posting about my kids, Nate, good food, and good fun!
I'm 99.9% sure it was all in my head, but I swear it hissed at me! I think I blinded it with the flash on my camera so when it came time to kill it, it didn't even try to out run me. Nate will be so proud that I killed a NASTY spider all by my self.
I've been doing really good with the no sugar thing. I hardly ever get cravings anymore so that is like a miracle!! Nate had a "traumatic" experience yesterday and needed some comfort so he bought some sugar cookies that were also completely covered in frosting. For some odd reason I felt like I deserved a "reward" for eating so clean, so I decided to have a sugar cookie. Within 20 minutes of eating it my joints were achy and stiff, I had a headache, I could feel my heart racing, and I started getting annoyed with everything Nate was doing. ALL because of the SUGAR!
You may think I'm kind of weird for blogging about meat, but that is how much it has influenced my week. Do yourself a favor and cook one this weekend. For busy moms, it's the gift that keeps on giving.
Well, I took a trip to OSH today to get a few plants, and I found the answer to my problems. An "old-school" push mower!!! I wasn't interested in paying $300 dollars for a big mower so this was the perfect solution. It obviously doesn't work quite as well as big bulky one, but it's perfect for me. I don't have to put any gas in it, and I don't have to use an extension cord. Everybody wins in this scenario!