What Did You Learn Today??

>> Sunday, February 27, 2011

On our way home from church today I asked Alayna, "What did you learn today in Primary?"

She said, "Preschool."

Me,"Preschool? What is Preschool?"

Alayna, "Preschool Power!"

Me, thinking, thinking...trying to figure out what she means. "Do you mean Priesthood Power??"

It was sooo cute! She loves Joy School so much...We all had a good laugh over that one!! :D

It does leave you to ask what kind of powers one would have in Preschool though. LOL!


Back Again...

>> Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ever since Jared had his mini episode last Saturday he hasn't been the same. He's been extremely fatigued and just can't seem to get over feeling crummy.

This past Saturday his low back started really hurting and Sunday all he could do was think about sleep. He was having shortness of breath to the point he couldn't breathe if he laid down and developed a rash on his chest. His appetite significantly diminished and felt as though he wasn't digesting properly. We weren't sure if he was having some sort of reaction to the Steroids or if it was just more M.S. symptoms.

Sunday night he was up for several hours during the middle of the night in the fetal position because he was in so much pain. He felt like his entire spine was on fire! He was still feeling exhausted and over all malaise.

Monday morning I made a call to the Neurologist. Dr. Chang said he didn't feel it was a reaction to the meds but if we felt that he was feeling worse to not hesitate to take him in. So I made the decision to take him to the E.R.

We got to Banner Gateway around 10:30am. They put him in a bed pretty quickly but we didn't see an actual doctor for almost 4 hours. They did a chest x-ray and basic physical exam. They ran a saline solution IV, an EKG, and drew his blood. The x-ray showed 'something' on his lung, the physical exam showed he's still having delayed reflexes..even when they drew his blood he didn't feel the pain of the needle until it was out! The EKG was normal but showed that his heart rate seemed a bit slow 54bpm, and his blood work was all normal.

The E.R. doctor said they think he has an atypical case of pneumonia. He told us that it's common for M.S. patients to get a secondary infection after a relapse. The E.R. doctor consulted with Dr. Chang's office (he was out for the day) to see if there were any additional tests that they would like done, but they didn't feel anything further was necessary.

They gave him an RX for a Z-Pak (Zithromax) and wrote a note for 48 hours off of work. If in 48 hours he isn't improving or worsens he needs to go back in ASAP.

So that's how we spent 8 hours of our day yesterday, he was discharged at 6:30pm. Jared was quite grumpy by the end of it all. I try to stay positive but it really is hard after a week of stress and worry.

Honestly, I don't think it's pneumonia at all. His white blood cell count is normal. He's not coughing or running a fever. The 'only' indicator his lungs are involved is the fact when he lays down he has trouble breathing. We are going ahead with the RX just to cover our bases..but these doctors are guessing!! It's so frustrating!

I'm calling St. Joe's today to try to set up Jared's MRI that Dr. Chang ordered for him last week, that we still have yet to hear from anyone about. I'm hoping there will be an availability open soon...


Watching Over Me

>> Friday, February 18, 2011

Last night we had a Relief Society 'Art Appreciation' Meeting. We had two speakers. The first speaker took pieces of art, centered around Jesus, from history and helped us to better understand the emotion, thought process, style etc. of the paintings. The second speaker who is an artist herself, shared some of her own paintings, her mentors, and few of her personal favorite artists pieces.

Afterwards, we went into another room where they had beautiful music playing softly in the background and the women from the Ward contributed art from their homes and a small write up of why they chose that particular piece to display in their home. The art was beautiful in and of itself, but the personal significance that was shared as to why each woman chose that painting, statue, or photograph to display, and why it meant enough for them to purchase it for their home, made it mean so much more. It was so well done and the Spirit was so tangible. There is no way one cannot be moved when viewing inspired works of our Savior.

I offered to share the painting we have hanging in our home. It's by Greg Olsen and it's titled, "O Jerusalem".

“O Jerusalem”

When I first saw this portrait it spoke to me so personally. The Savior is sitting high on a hilltop in the early morning hours looking over his beloved city and people. I feel He does this each and every day in my life and with all of us. We are all apart of Jerusalem. He knows our road is hard and some of us may even become lost, but from where He sits he can see and find us all if we call to Him. In Matthew 23:37 it sums it up perfectly, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem...how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings..." He is our eldest brother and His message to us is to remember, “lo, I am with you always” (Matt. 28:20). This brings me such comfort and peace in my heart. I know I’m never alone. He is always watching carefully over me, and to Him I’ll never be lost or forgotten. He loves me!


Our Valentine

>> Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eli is such a sweetheart!

For Valentine's Day he brought Jared and me breakfast in bed (Apple Jacks and milk), and wrote us a song!

(Please excuse the handwriting, he's usually a bit neater. :P )

He even serenaded us! (Which I think had some of the words that are missing...lol!) It was totally cute and a perfect way to start out our Valentine's! :D

He's such a thoughtful boy!


We're Going On a Mission

Not sure how I missed blogging about this, but better late than never! :P

Last May, our Primary had an Activity Day that sent them on a mission. It was a so creative and the kids really got a feeling of what it would be like to go on a real mission.

Walker and some of the other Primary Children had their photo taken and an article written in the Beehive about their experience. :)

Pretty cool huh!?!


But We Live in AZ!!

>> Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Saturday we went to Eli's game and the weather has been really kinda crazy. One week it will be 50 degrees out for the high and the next it will be in the 80's! It was pretty hot out on Saturday and there was no shade on the football field. We sorta just baked out there. After Eli's game we took the family to lunch (as has become tradition). Jared chose Olive Garden this time. We were about 3/4 of the way through our meal and Jared started feeling really sick. His eyes became hazy and dilated and he was feeling very hot and started sweating, it was 'not' hot in the restaurant. He tried to pick up his drink and his grip wasn't as firm as he thought and his glass slipped from his hand.

I told him to go out to the car and turn on the a/c and lay back until the kids could finish up and I could pay the bill. I told him to make sure he took his cell and to call me if he felt he needed something sooner. I watched him walk out of the restaurant and he was really unstable...I knew then.

We got home and he seemed to be getting paler and I sent him to bed. It's happening again...

He pretty much slept the rest of the day. Sometimes he can 'reset' by sleeping and in the morning he'll feel better. Not this time...

Sunday he woke up and he felt worse. His symptoms hadn't improved and now he had a migraine. His muscles felt weak and he couldn't walk at a normal pace and he had to hold everything with both hands. When talking to him he was very slow to respond and he just couldn't focus with his eyes for any length of time.

I called our good friends the Campbells and asked Dave if he could come over to give Jared a blessing. He was so happy to help and called another one of our friends, the McKees, to help. The blessing was such a comfort and more specific than any other healing blessing Jared has ever received. It surprised me at how specific it was actually. Every thought and concern I had on my mind seemed to be addressed. It was a confirmation to our family of how much the Lord is aware of us. He knows each one of us and he loves us. The Spirit was so strong I couldn't hold back the tears. I was overwhelmed...

Jared and I don't have any family close by that are members or that hold the priesthood. It can be hard at times to ask members from the Ward to come into our home and give blessings to us and or help Jared give a blessing to our children. I'm so incredibly grateful and thankful however, that we have made close friends that feel like family and they are willing to help out anytime anywhere. Words cannot express my gratitude for their friendship and love.

Again, Jared slept almost the entire day on Sunday as well. Pain/weakness in his left arm seemed to become more prevalent, especially by the evening.

Monday he seemed to finally be improving but not to the point of being able to go in to work. I called the Neurologist and the earliest they said they could get him in was 'next' Monday. I said that wasn't going to work and asked to speak to someone else. He transferred me to the nurse. I explained the entire weekend and his symptoms and she agreed he needed to be seen right away. (Sometimes you have to be pushy.)

I took Jared in at 2:30pm. His last Dr. left to have a baby so he has a new doctor, Dr. Chang. He's pretty young..but he seems to know his stuff. He's a resident still so he has to report to an attending, which is like getting two doctors for the price of one. He took Jared's full history, ran him through a ton of physical tests..stand, sit, push, pull. Checked his vision..up, down, left, right, and peered into his eyes with that light thing for forever! He thought and thought, drank his what looked to be like chocolate milk through a straw (neurologists are a weird bunch of people), and finally confirmed what we had already assumed. Jared had had an M.S. exacerbation over the weekend.

He said he feels the Copaxone he's been taking has been handling his M.S. pretty well. It's been 3 1/2 years since his last episode that put him in the hospital. Until this weekend he's been pretty much symptom free. He told him to continue to take the Copaxone. He also said he can't confirm until they do an MRI that it was indeed an exacerbation, but from the tests he put him through and seeing that his left arm is markedly weaker than his right, and that he is having pain in the muscle, it sounds as though it was. He also said that M.S. patients often suffer from heat intolerance and it can be a trigger for bringing on an exacerbation/relapse. He told Jared to stay out of the heat as much as possible. (But...we live in AZ!! sigh...)They are going to set up an appt. for the MRI as soon as possible and in the meantime, they are putting him on a steroid burst (Dexamethasone) for 3 days.

He said the thinking and treatment for M.S. patients has changed recently. It used to be that they would have to admit you to the hospital and run an I.V. of steroids for about an hour when a patient would have an episode. Now they write a prescription you can fill at the pharmacy and you can take pills at home. It's a LOT of pills though, 25 per day for 3 days! yikes! However, Jared was thrilled to not have to get an I.V. The steroids are used to fight the swelling of the nervous system. M.S. is an auto immune disease so this helps to sort of calm everything down.

They also gave him an RX for Nexium since the steroids tend to upset your stomach pretty bad. They had to be very sure he didn't suffer from ulcers or they wouldn't have been able to give him the Dexamethasone. The doctor also wrote a prescription for Relpax. It's for migraines. None of the other migraine meds have ever worked for Jared..but he wants him to try several different ones and hopefully they will land on one that will do the trick. It's better than the alternative which has been being laid up in bed for a day or two suffering.

I really felt the Lord was watching over us this weekend. He sent so many of our family and friends as His hands to help us. We had so many people tell us they were praying for us. We had tons of phone calls and messages asking what they could do to help. We had meals show up and treats. We feel surrounded by love!

The last time Jared had a major relapse I felt so alone and isolated. We didn't know what was going on or what to do about it and it was so severe he didn't even know who I was. NOTHING can prepare you for when you walk into your husband's hospital room and ask him to tell you your name and he can't...nothing...

This time was still scary, it was a minor exacerbation, but still unnerving. However, what made it so much more bearable was, we were surrounded by so many that showed us their concern and compassion.

Nothing will ever take the fear away when he has a relapse. Everytime it happens I wonder...is this the one? The one that takes the man I've known for over half my life away from me? The one that disables him and he no longer can walk, talk, or play with our children? This disease gives you false hope at times. You don't see it. You look at Jared and unless you knew he had M.S. you would think he was a normal enough guy. But it hides, and then out of nowhere it strikes and turns your life upside down and you are scrambling trying to get your bearings and on your feet again. There is no cure for M.S. and it can be terrifying and consuming to think and wonder when and what it will do next.....

We do feel extremely blessed. We have a loving family and such an amazing Ward that are ready and willing to help whenever they get a call. It brings tremendous comfort to us and we are forever grateful!



>> Saturday, February 12, 2011

One of the many things I admire about Eli is his determination. This guy has fire in his eyes about football this year. He started out the season fairly 'green' as they say...to see him play now... he's like a whole new player!

He approached his coach a few weeks ago to find out what he could do to get more playing time. Since then, his coaches have had a new respect for him and have taken notice of his drive and willingness to do what it takes to get better, and be better each and every week.

During the week Eli asks me to leave for practice early so he's the first kid there and he's the last kid off the field at the end of practice. He puts in 110%! :)

Today he was on fire at his game! He was pulling flags and catching passes and made a touch down!!!!! Way to go Eli!!!


His teammate Jacob was really excited! LOL!! Love it!!!

Final Score: 34-13 ....Cardinals WIN! :D

Alayna is so proud of her big brother! :D


Would You Could You In Box??

Last week in Joy School we read:

After we finished reading it, we had 'real' green eggs and ham for snack time! ;D

The girls were a little nervous at first but then once they smelled it cooking they decided they'd give it a try.

It was a SUCCESS!! :D

This was a fun little activity that brought the book to life for the kids! :)


Final Project

Each student in Oceanography Club had to do a final project before they went on their trip to San Diego. They were assigned an sea animal and could choose to do a poster, clay model, or a diorama. I forgot to share Walker's project when he first completed it. So here it is now! :P

He got the Manatee. It was so much fun doing this project. It was a real family affair! :P

Jared got an LED light to enhance the lighting in the diorama...lol!

I added the awesome fisherman on top! I was quite proud of him! :P


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