"I have to get this"

Jackson went with me to the bank today. As we were driving I looked at him in the rear-view mirror and saw him peacefully looking out the window, and picking his nose. I said, "Jackson, stop picking your nose!" In a very relaxed tone he said, "Yeah, in a minute Mom. I have to get this."


Finally a diagnosis

In my junior year of high school I started getting these horrible pains in my jaw. The glands would swell up and I couldn't eat or drink. I was always tired so first we thought I had Mono, but I didn't. We went to the doctor and got x-rays, an MRI, and did everything we could to figure out what it was, but nobody could ever give us any answers. Then in college I had a lot of joint and muscle pain so I went to a Rheumatologist. He took some tests and narrowed it down to Rheumatoid Arthritis or Sjogrens Syndrome, but still had no answers for my jaw problems. I was tired of going to the doctor and not getting any answers so I just gave up on it. Once we got to Cali I decided it was time to get an official diagnosis so I could try to make sure things didn't get worse as I got older.

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.


Smoothies and Bed-Wetting (Great combo huh!)

Payton is a super picky eater. If he had his own way he'd eat fruit bars 24/7. He doesn't like to eat real fruit. I think he probably has texture issues like me. I finally got him to eat strawberries and bananas, but they had to be Organic. Seriously. He could tell if they weren't Organic and he would spit them out. After a while I got tired of paying so much more for Organic fruit, and he wasn't too interested in the fruit anymore. I've found that smoothies are pretty much the only way to get fruit in his tummy so we've started having smoothies for breakfast. The smoothie the boys seem to like the best is this one:

3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup 1% milk
2 teaspoons peanut butter
1 banana
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.)


Training him well

Jackson was so cute today and I tried to take pictures of it, but my camera was on the Fritz, so no pictures to document this story. Sorry......

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.)


Surprisingly Happy

Payton is a lot like me when he wakes up. He's generally moody and grumpy. Add the fact that he's almost 2 on top of that, and you've got a very challenging child on your hands for those 30 minutes after he wakes up. It was quite a relief for me when he woke up this morning and he was happy.

Nate went in to get him and the first thing he said to Nate was, "I poop." Then Payton came into my bedroom and told me that he pooped. So I laid him down to change his diaper. He put his hand over his nose and said what I usually say, "Oooh, Stinky. Yuck!" (He's never said that before).

Later on in the morning as I was getting Jackson ready for school Payton came in and decided to be really helpful. Jackson put on his clothes, then I sat him on his bed to put on his socks and his shoes. As I put on the socks Payton grabbed Jackson's shoes out of the closet and started to put Jackson's shoes on his feet. Of course I had to put them on for him. But when we were done he was so proud of himself for helping out.

I couldn't help but wish every morning would go like this. A morning where he didn't cry because there were no fruit bars. He didn't throw his plate and all his food on the ground. He didn't cry because we were out of juice. A morning where he's just happy and content. It was beautiful.


My latest projects

I started both of these quilts before we moved last year and never got around to finishing them once we got unpacked. The studio where I worked needed a baby quilt for their Silent Auction, so I found the opportunity to finally finish my projects. The blue one is completely hand stitched and took forever, but totally worth it! Now I'm back in the zone and want to sew all the time again!


Move Your Boogie Body

This video never fails to make me laugh, even when all I want to do is cry...........Enjoy!!


Thanks Ya'll

Thanks to the people who gave me their blog addresses! I'm pretty sure I've been able to restore the rest of my links! That's that great thing about blogs, you only need a few peoples links and from there you can find 30 more! For a while there yesterday I was so devastated because of my silly blog being messed up. I'm still bummed about losing all the cute things Jacks said, but life goes on I guess. Anyway, thanks for giving me your links!


I need your blog address!

So I found this website with really cute blog backgrounds. I was trying to use one on my blog and it ended up deleting a bunch of my info. Yes, thanks to that cute blog background I've lost the cute things that Jackson had said, and I lost my blog lists (It makes me extra mad because I saved my old blog info just-in-case, but for some reason some of the HTML didn't save correctly, grrrrrrrrrrr). I'm sure I'll be able to find the links to some of your blogs again through the comments that you've left, but could all of you who check my blog leave your blog address in the comments section of this post so I can link up to all of your blogs again!


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