Monday, July 25, 2011

A Very Personal Challenge

If you are a regular visitor to the B-Hive, you know that we have been through many challenges as a family in the past 3 years. I have said many times that one of the most important things throughout this journey has been our church family. My faith has been tested. I have prayed to God, thanked Him for the huge blessings in my life, and at times wondered why He has tested us with some of the challenges that He has thrown our way. Sometimes my prayers have sounded a lot like begging, pleading for God's help. No matter how you look at it, my faith has been tested over the past three years. I can also say that sitting here today, my faith is stronger than it has ever been. There is no doubt in my mind that God has not only carried Owen on his journey toward healing, but that he has been right there with me as I have wondered how in the world I would make it through the next days, weeks, months.

Some time ago, I'm not sure exactly how long, I saw a posting on a great friend's Facebook page (I love you Angela!) about reading the Bible in 90 days. At first I scrolled past the link not thinking too much of it. I did kind of a double take and scrolled back to the link. My thought was, "90 days? That is not possible. How could anyone read the entire Bible in such a short period of time?" After thinking about it for a few moments I thought, I'd love to do this. I'd love to do this with Angela who is a strong woman of faith whom I really love and respect. Then I started thinking about the challenge and what it would mean to me to complete it.

Bible in 90 Days
Today marks the beginning of Week 3 of Bible in 90 Days (B90Days). As of today I have read through the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Tomorrow starts the book of Joshua. Some parts have been particular difficult, slow dense reading or a lot or repetition. Other parts have been so enlightening. All in all I am loving it and am so proud that I am sticking with the challenge and on most days not even finding it particularly difficult. Support and accountability are huge factors as well. There is a huge group of women, other moms, taking this challenge. I was assigned to a group and we check in with a mentor each Monday. I also have Angela reading right along with me, and also a good friend from high school.

I am looking forward to continuing on this journey, learning more about my faith and myself and reading the WHOLE Bible!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another Surgery and a Bladder Scare

At the end of June both boys were under the weather. I suspected ear infections, so off to the pediatrician we went. We left with confirmation that each boy had one infected ear and with armed with antibiotics. I set up appointments for ear checks. Owen went on Tuesday. He had improved quite a lot, no fevers no complaints. On Sunday night he started acting like he wasn't feeling too well and by Monday his fever had spiked to 101.4 degrees. By Tuesday morning the boy insisted that his ear did not hurt. To be honest, he's almost 3 and changes his mind quite a bit. I wasn't buying it and fully expected to be told that his ear was still infected or infected again. Wes changed his first morning diaper after he woke up. As I went to perform diaper change number 2 of the day, I noticed that his urine smelled particularly strong. (Sorry for the potty talk, but lets face it y'all already know quite a bit about Owen's urinary tract.) I started to worry and asked Wes to come to the appointment with us. Deep down I was pretty sure he had a UTI. I kept trying to talk myself out of it. He hasn't had one since his very first kidney infection at 5 weeks of age, I am sensitive to all things related to Owen's urinary tract, he is starting to potty train so maybe the strong smell had to do with him holding it and then instead of telling me he had to pee he went in his diaper, etc. As we waited in the exam room for the doctor Owen announced that he had to do pee pees. We asked the nurse for a specimen cup to collect his urine. I don't know why this surprised me, perhaps because we had switched doctors to a friend of ours from church and he is much more thorough than our original pediatrician, but the nurse argued with us about the need for a urine sample. Owen has a fever, we test his urine. End of story. She eventually saw things our way. Owen wanted Daddy to take him pee pees and was thrilled to go in a cup. Wes came back and told me that the urine was extremely crowded. Oh no, I thought. I knew then that my suspicion was correct.

The doctor came in and began to examine Owen. Neither ear was infected. More evidence supporting my UTI hypothesis. After looking in the second ear, Dr. Bill went to take a second peek in the first ear. Then back to the second, repeated a few times, taking a longer look each time. It turns out he had seen a pearly looking growth on Owen's right ear drum. He suspected that it was something called a cholesteatoma. He wanted Owen to see an ENT to confirm. We were able to get an appointment for Wednesday morning with the ENT that did Carter's ear tubes. I was so anxious, worried and upset. We were very happy to be able to get an appointment so quickly and at least know what we were dealing with. Both of the ENT doctors that have taken care of Carter looked in Owen's ear and confirmed the cholesteatoma. They wanted Owen to see one of their partners in their downtown to see one of their partners who operates on these things all of the time. Again, we were lucky to get in to see him right away. We went downtown on Thursday, where the surgeon confirmed that it was indeed a cholesteatoma and would need to be surgically removed. It is congenital, yet another birth defect. It is very small; most of these growths are not caught until they are much bigger. All three of the ENTs were very impressed that Dr. Bill caught it. After a CT scan, the surgeon was able to tell us that the cholesteatoma had not impacted any of the "hearing bones" around it in the ear. A hearing test confirmed that he has not experienced hearing lost. Though I am very upset about another surgery and just so worried, we received the very best of the possible bad news. I should be hearing from the office on Monday to schedule the surgery. We really appreciate all of the prayers, positive thoughts and support that people have shown.

After checking Owen's urine dip, Dr. Bill confirmed that he did in fact have a bladder infection. More worry, anxiety and an overwhelming feeling of why is this happening again. I spoke the the nurse at Owen's urologist's office. She spoke to the doctor, and he expressed that he is not overly concerned about the infection and would not be in any hurry to intervene in any way. He said he felt that Owen's starting potty training and holding his urine is definitely a contributing factor. Since Owen had his urology check-up on June 14, he felt that the way his kidneys emptied of all dilatation after he went pee was very positive and in his opinion meant that it was very unlikely that he was having any recurrent reflux. I was also assured that there was no reason to be overly concerned about the reflux recurring, for it could not ever go back to the severity from before the repairs. More good news, no more fevers and Owen is back to his happy energetic self. The fact that he is not showing clinical sign of illness is probably the best news at all. I think it goes without saying that it has been a very long week.