The Sweetest Sound

>> Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I was brought to tears today standing in the sanctuary of a church I do not attend. I was surrounded by moms and children I don't know after 3hours of wrangling guiding 12 kindergartners around a church building I don't know. But it was a very meaningful moment none-the-less.
This morning, I was a volunteer tribe leader for the VBS Lucas is attending. For 3 hours, I helped an energetic group of 6year olds make crafts and run around a gym with sponges on their head and eat a snack and go potty and sing songs and get to the right place at the right time. It was a crazy morning. Fun, but very tiring. At the end of the day, all the tribes came together for a final story and song.
So as I stood in this unknown sanctuary in a pew full of unknown kids, I was overwhelmed by the sound of over a hundred kids singing How Great is Our God (Chris Tomlin). I could just barely see Lucas in his pew several rows in front of me. I stood and sang along with these kids, watching them do the sign language they have been taught as they sang these amazing words.

How Great is Our God! Sing with me, How Great is our God!

I couldn't help but be deeply touched by seeing Lucas sing and do the motions along with this host of other kids. Hearing their sweet voices proclaim such profound and life-changing words was one of the most precious things I have ever heard. I stopped singing to drink in the moment and say a quick prayer for Lucas and Caden and all these other kids that they would truly know that their God is Great and that they would base their life on that knowledge.

I am going to try to get it on video tomorrow. If I can, I'll share for sure.

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Working Against Myself

>> Monday, June 21, 2010

I am putting this post on Dupage Mamas tomorrow, but thought I would share it with y'all too. It has been an interesting few weeks. But, things are getting better and I am thankful for that.

All the blood they took on just one of my trips to the lab.... yikes!!!

As a medical professional, I have been told by many older patients to appreciate my body while it is still in good shape. We have all probably heard that at some point- from our parents or grandparents or someone lamenting the health challenges that come with aging. Whenever I have heard that, I just laugh it off and say that of course I don't take my body for granted. But in light of some recent health challenges of my own, I can see that up until now I have totally taken good health lightly.

About 4months ago, I started having some pain in a few of my joints. My first thought was honestly that I am grossly out of shape, which isn't un-true. I had started the Couch-to-5K running training with the hopes of losing a few pounds and getting ready for swimsuit season. But as the joint pain continued to get worse, I backed off the running to make sure I didn't injure myself. And the funny thing was, even when the running stopped, the joint pain did not. It was spreading from my ankles and knees to my fingers and wrists and toes and elbows. This wasn't running related anymore. So after a trip to my doctor and some blood tests indicated something a little more complex may be happening, I found myself sitting across from a rheumatologist who was telling me I have Lupus (SLE).

It was a bit of a shock, if I'm being honest. I was totally expecting this doc to tell me to take a few Motrin and stop wasting his time. Instead, he is listing off to me my new list of dos and don'ts and writing prescriptions. This can't REALLY be it, right? I couldn't wrap my head around it. I am only 33. I shouldn't have a chronic health issue at this point. Not yet.

After two second opinions made it three specialists telling me the same thing, I am now at a place where I am trying to come to terms with what is probably the truth. I still say probably because I am holding out hope that this may not be the true diagnosis and I will be able to stop taking these medications a few months down the road. But for now at least, I have begun walking down this path of treating Lupus and trying to get rid of this joint pain.

Lots of people take medication everyday and LOTS of people have WAY worse things to deal with than this. It is totally treatable and hopefully without very many long-term complications since we seem to have caught it early in the progression. I am well aware that this post may come off as whiny or "poor-me." I hope not though. As much as this could be worse, it has been a bit of a blow. I am taking medications to keep my body from attacking itself. That seems to strange to me. It is like I am working against myself- that left to it's own ways, my body would continue to damage my joints and eventually my kidneys and other organs. And now I have to take measures to keep that from happening.The first couple days after starting the meds, I had to will myself to take it. I want to do the right thing, I am not trying to be stubborn or over-dramatic. It is just taking me some time to adjust to this idea of being on long-term treatment for a chronic illness and having this diagnosis of Lupus be something that will forever be on my radar screen. Even if I get to a point where I am symptom-free (hopefully soon!!!), I will still have to be mindful of it enough to take the medicine and make wise decisions about my life and my body. I am not 20 years old anymore with a semi-immortal view of my own health. I am 33 with some challenges that are changing the way I see myself and my body and my health.

I did eventually run a 5K, two actually. And I am doing another in a few weeks. The running doesn't make it better or worse. So for now, I am sticking with it. I am making some lifestyle choices to reduce stress and get more rest. Trying to at least. I will get this under control. And once I am pain-free again, you know I won't take it for granted. My body may be trying to work against me, but I am determined to turn this around. I am using this as the motivation to take my body back under MY control. Trying to anyway.

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Jesus Loves Me

>> Thursday, June 10, 2010

I know I just shared some videos of Caden, but this is too cute not to post.

Caden loves to sing along when Hubby or I are singing to him and rocking him at bedtime. It is one of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard. Several times, I have tried to capture it on video so that I will never forget the way his sweet little voice sounds right now, singing these songs. I can't fully capture how precious the moment is when he has his eyes closed and is falling asleep and yet singing along to hymns and worships songs. As soon as I try to discretely turn on my Flip camera, he opens his eyes and wants to play with the video camera. But, this time, at least I got him to still sing the song so that I could capture it forever.
Int his particular video, I love how at the end you can hear him ask to see the video I just recorded. Isn't it funny how our toddlers know how to operate a DVD player and a cell phone and a laptop before the age of 2! He is such a gadget-loving kid! :)

And while I'm here, I want to ask for your prayers tomorrow. I am seeing a third rheumatologist in the morning, this time at Northwestern Univ. Hospital. I saw another guy out here in the suburbs on Wednesday and he came to the same conclusion as the first with just a slight alteration in the treatment plan. I am hoping that seeing a MD at a teaching hospital will provide me with some fresh insight or thinking in regards to this whole thing. I am not yet pain-free, but I am getting there with the help of some pharmaceuticals and extra sleep. It is both the short-term pain relief and the long-term plan that I need some fresh ideas about. I am not trying to be stubborn or a know-it-all. I just want to make sure we know what this is and treat it appropriately. After having two docs say the same thing, I am not sure what to think and am trying not to get discouraged. But, I think I am putting a lot of weight on what happens tomorrow. So, if you have a second to offer up a quick prayer, I would be very grateful.
I'll update this weekend.

And in other news... I'm going to a pole dancing class Friday night. Ha!!! I'll definitely share more about that.

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Not to Toot My Own Horn...

>> Saturday, June 5, 2010

.... Well, maybe just a little bit....

I am feeling a bit like super mom/woman today.

After taking the boys (by myself) on an all-day adventure to the Field Museum Thursday, we woke up yesterday morning and headed to Target. We met some friends at the Farmer's market and then played at the park. I did a craft with the boys in the afternoon, cleaned the kitchen and started dinner.
After a full day of motherhood, I went to work last night, twice actually. I got called in to help finish a case at around 4:30 and then as Hubby and I were at the climax of a very intense movie, the pager went off again for an emergency heart attack around 11:15.
Then this morning, I showered and was out the door by around 6:15 to go sign in for my 5K race. The one I started all this crazy running and training for 3months ago. I wasn't sure I could do it, truthfully, since I was having some intense knee and wrist pain when I first woke up and I didn't get to bed until after 1am because of the case at work. But I knew I would be so upset with myself if I wimped out. This was the original goal and I needed to see it through.

So.... I did it. I ran the whole thing and in my best time yet. Yeah me!!!! Hubby and the boys were at the finish line to cheer me on and it was so fun! Actually, it was hard. I am not a natural runner. I have to push myself. But I did and that is what feels good. 31:15. 45seconds better than my first race. Yippee!!!

We just got home, barely beating the rain, and I put Caden down for a little nap. And now, I am going to take a little nap myself with a hot rice bag on my knee. I am going to relish in this feeling of satisfaction and contentment. I am proud of myself, for the race and for everything else too. Downtown adventures, quiet crafts in my kitchen, late-night life-saving, persistent runner... happy mom. But maybe it is just the runner's high talking.

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Alex the Lion!

>> Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Caden is completely obsessed with The Madagascar movies. He calls it "Move-it, Movie-it" and wants to watch it several times a day. I just had to share these cute little videos... the first (very short) is his sweet little voice talking about Alex the Lion and the second (a little longer) is him sporting his dance moves to his favorite tune! Both so adorable... in my unbiased opinion. :)

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