Eli's IMPACT Test

>> Monday, January 30, 2017

Eli had his IMPACT test today. They took him back to a room with a computer that tests what kind of impact/effect the concussion is having on his cognitive function. He needed to concentrate and focus so they told me to wait in the waiting room for 20-30 min. until he was finished. Then they would come and get me. 

It's basically a timed test that quizzes you on patterns...with numbers, shapes, words, etc. 

After the test Eli came to get me and he was super hyped up!! He said, "That was the most stressful, hardest, and most fun test I've ever taken!!!!" 

I couldn't stop laughing!!! Hahaha! You should have seen his face! He was freaking out! :P 

He said it asks you all these questions and you think you are done and then they ask you stuff from the very beginning and you don't realize you should have remembered it and on top of that it's timed so he was on some major adrenaline high! LOL!!

The docotor came in and talked to us. She asked me what kind of student Eli is typically, and this is where my Mom pride gets to shine, and I said, "He's an excellent student! He's in honors classes and get's straight A's. He's really bright!" :D

She said, "Well the test certainly reflects that! She said he scored higher than 75% of boys his age and in one section scored 94% higher! In fact, a boy just came in who is 4 years older than him and didn't score nearly as well!" 

Oh boy, my heart was just over flowing with pride! :) 

She said, "Clearly his cognitive function isn't being affected. He may still feel dizzy and hazy for a few more weeks but that is normal. With bright guys like Eli they are used to things coming easily to them and not having to work as hard as your average person. So when he struggles it probably feels much more difficult than it would to others. They aren't used to struggling. She said the important thing right now is to get back to school as much as possible and try to be patient with the process of your brain trying to heal and process the trauma it's been through. It's going to take time."

We were really happy to hear things are ok! :) 

She did another test where he sits on the table and then holds his arm out in front of himself, he gives a thumbs up and then shakes his head side to side like he's saying no with his head while keeping his eyes focused on his thumb until she says stop. Then he stands and closes his eyes. She spots him to make sure he doesn't fall and sees if he can stand up without leaning, falling, etc, 

Then she has him do the same thing again but this time nodding his head up and down. 

Both times he leans really far all over the place. He can't keep his balance centered. :(

She said this can clear up on it's own in time. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't but if you want to help speed things along he can go to Vestibular Therapy. She said either way is fine. So she gave us a referral to go to therapy at Banner Desert. I think having a consult at minimum would be good. He's constantly blacking out and feeling like he's going to hit the ground any time he gets up from his chair or from laying down. He has an appt. on Monday.

Over all he's getting better. The soreness and headaches are manageable and he went to school and stayed for half the day today. That's the longest he's gone yet in 2 weeks! Yay! 

Be safe out there guys! Keep your eyes on the road and not your cell phones! <3


Who Did This????

>> Saturday, January 28, 2017

I was turning out the lights in the living room and I noticed something on the wall. I took a closer look and it kind of looked like chocolate milk. 

I of course turn around and start repremanding the kids saying, "Who did this???!!! You guys are pigs! I can't believe you spilled chocolate milk on the wall!!!"

They all look at me like I'm deranged and crazy. 

Then Walker said, "That was you! When you flung your Wendy's Frosty at Eli the other day cuz he said, "You won't!!" " 

Hahahaha!!! I had totally forgotten I did that! :P Oops!!! Not my greatest mom moment...but a really funny story! :P 


Nice Shot!

>> Friday, January 27, 2017

We were getting ready for bed tonight and Alayna was throwing her "blankie" around. Which is really a sarong I got when we went to Hawaii a few years ago. :P 

She flipped it in the air and it landed perfectly over the curtain rod, perfectly in half!!! LOL! 

We all thought that was pretty awesome!! :D

Eli felt it was "Dab" worthy! Haha!


You Get Credit For Trying...

>> Thursday, January 26, 2017

Eli tried to go back to school today. I took him an hour late so he didn't have to go to band. Two hours into his day I got a text saying he was hurting pretty bad and couldn't focus on anything. He said all he was able to do was one worksheet. :( 

I asked him if I needed to come pick him up. He couldn't decide but in the end he asked me to come get him. 

He ate some lunch and laid down to rest. The next thing I know he's crashed out on the couch. For most kids this would be normal and typical. For Eli, this is VERY rare! He never naps, slows down, or takes a break. He goes from sun up to sun down. LOL! 

He ended up sleeping for almost 3 hours!!

 I'm so glad he tried to go to school but really glad he called me. He needed the rest. Hopefully things will improve each day. 


Concussion Specialist

>> Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Eli had his appointment with the concussion specialist in Phoenix this morning. He got his history and cause of the injury etc. and ran him through some tests. 

They don't like to put kids through imaging if they don't absolutely need to so they typically diagnose from symptoms, pain, how it affects their daily life, and some motor tests. 

Eli is still having headaches and soreness. He gets dizzy when standing and sometimes his knees just buckle. His brain is foggy as he explains it and has a hard time concentrating. Bright lights are painful too. 

The doctor confirmed what his pediatrician had told us...he's the lucky winner of a concussion. :( 

He gave us an academic accommodations form to take to school so his teachers will know what he should be limiting and need help with. Monday he's supposed to go back to do an IMPACT test. It
is a computerized neurocognitive assessment that helps evaluate and manage concussions. Test results are compared to baseline scores of other kids his age to see what impact it's had on his brain. 

At that time they will also see how his dizziness/balance issues...(otherwise known as Vestibular Disorder)... are doing. They may recommend he go to therapy (Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy) for treatment and correction. 

So good news is he can start back to school....not so good news is he has a few more doctor appointments and healing to do. He's on his way though and I'm SO grateful his injuries weren't worse. 

To help cheer him up we took him out for a BIG breakfast! :) 

This place was on Driver's, Dine-In's, and Dives a few years ago. 

I think he was happy! :) 

Love you Eli! <3 


Wind Caves

>> Friday, January 20, 2017

Monday was MLK Day. Walker called up his friends and put together a day hike. Love that he puts himself out there and organizes things. 

The weather has been beautiful lately and he has been dying to get out there and enjoy it!

Most of his friends don't like to drive or just don't drive (this is still weird to me :P ) so he offered to pick everyone up and take them. 

They hiked all day. They made it to the very top of the Wind Caves in Apache Junction. There might have been some shenanigans where they climbed portions that stated not to go that way...but I try to not listen to those parts of the story too closely. :P 

Just look at that view!!!! Gorgeous!!!!!

They had a great time and came home exhausted. It's good for them! <3 


Car Accidents Stink!

Eli has been having a persistent headache since the accident along with lots of soreness in his back, neck and arm. I decided I better get him checked out to be safe. 

I'm so glad I took him in. It turns out he has a concussion. Most likely from hitting heads with Cody, the driver seat chair, and the window. He was really tossed around. :( 

She wants him to take it easy the rest of the week. Limit video/computer games, no school, and nothing that will jostle his head around. 

After the doctor we went to see the chiropractor to get a full examination and hopefully get him so help for his back/neck. The chiropractor also confirmed he has a concussion and wants to see him for treatments for the pain from the whiplash for the next month or so. 

Unfortunately, that also means he will miss the Scout snow trip this weekend. Weather has forecasted 1-2 feet of fresh snow while the boys are up there. It would have been so much fun!! I feel so sad for him. He was really looking forward to it. But we have to take care of that sweet little head. 

Last year he was sledding on the snow trip and his face collided with a tree and was pretty banged up. We can't risk something like that happening again. After talking a little bit we also thought sleeping on the cold hard ground with all the back/neck pain he's having wouldn't be the smartest either. 

So....instead we'll have to find some fun movies to watch and get some tasty snacks! :P 


Pulmanologist Follow Up

>> Thursday, January 19, 2017

We had Walker's follow-up with Dr. Panesar (the pulmanologist). They retested him for asthma. I got a picture of it this time. :) It's a fun little test where you blow into a machine and see if you can make the hot air balloon blow up all the way. Walker feels like the office is too geared towards little kids...being 16 he feels a little "mature" for these games. Hehe!



 Good job!!! LOL!!! He passed! :) 

They also did an allergy test on him. He's never had one done. They tested him for all sorts of things...dog, hamster, bermuda grass, rye grass, mesquite, ash, milk, eggs, nuts, fish, apples, avocado, bananas, watermelon, there was 2 pages of things there were looking for. Turns out he doesn't have allergies! All of these years we've had him on Claritin and Flonase because the Dr. said he had them but he doesn't. 

From what I'm understanding though, the Dr. said he does not have allergic rhinitis but he may benefit from taking an antihistamine and nasal steroid to decrease the nasal turbinate swelling and edema in the nose. So I'm not exactly sure why he still needs the antihistamine but somehow it helps the nasal tissue from swelling? Perhaps his nose is just sensitive to normal things in the air..like pollution?

Walker has seen some improvement with the trial of Afrin (which is a nasal spray that does what these other 2 will do together but you don't become addicted to it). He is still snoring some but not as loud and his anxiety seems to improve considerably the next day after using it. 

Dr. Panesar said if the spray is not helpful enough that he would recommend a septoplasty for his deviated septum and turbinate reduction. The ENT did mention the turbinate reduction but I never heard him talk about the septoplasty. I spoke to the ENT's office today and I guess it "was" in his notes to do both. My brain tries to keep track of all this important stuff but sometimes it just slips out...LOL!

The Dr. said he's not sure whether the nasal sprays will be helpful for his long-term usage and wants us to follow-up with Dr. McKenna (the ENT) to discuss what he feels is the best option since the spray seems to help but not entirely. He did say if we move forward with the septoplasty he would like to order another sleep study a few months after its healed to see if he's still having sleep apnea issues. 

I asked about a CPAP machine to help him for now but the he said until the septum is corrected the CPAP won't help him at all. 

  I'm supposed to hear back from Dr. McKenna's office tomorrow. Even his assistant was a little confused on what the next protocol should be and wanted to clarify it with him and we'll go from there. 


Dreaded Phone Call....

>> Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Nothing gets your heart pumping as a mom like getting a phone call from your son saying, "Mom we've been in a car accident!"

I asked him if he was ok he said he was banged up some but ok. I asked him where he was and he couldn't tell me. His voice was shaking and he was scared. I asked him to tell me what he saw around him..buildings, stores, ect. He said he could see a Wells Fargo and a Staples. I knew right where he was and told him I'd be there in about 5 min. 

Eli had been at the mall with some friends. His friend Kalvin's Great Grandma was driving the 4 boys home afterwards. They were heading west on Warner just passed Val Vista. They were in the middle lane and a girl who was on her phone decided to pull out of the Taco Bell driveway onto Warner. She didn't have enough room (because she wasn't watching), Eli saw her coming and said, "What is she doing???" Then he heard the Great Grandma yell, "Oh no!!!"

She hit them on the passenger side door. Eli was sitting behind the driver furthest away from impact. When she hit them it pushed the car over the median. Thankfully no oncoming traffic hit them coming from the other direction. As you can see if things would have been just a little different they might have even hit that light pole right behind the fire truck. Thankfully that didn't happen either! <3

All of the boys were able to get out and walk away from the scene. They had scrapes, cuts, bruises, and some headaches but nothing too major. The Great Grandma however did break her wrist and was beat up pretty bad. They took her by ambulance to the hospital. That is her sitting on the median with the paramedics. 

 The boys were in the gold car and the at fault driver was in the black car. 

Eli was sitting next to Kalvin's brother Cody. He only had a lap belt on and he is about 5-6 years old. It didn't restrain him very well and he slammed into Eli's right arm and right side of his face. Which then pushed Eli the other direction and he hit the bridge of his nose on the driver's seat in front of him. Then he hit his head on the window. We don't know how he got the scrapes on his shin.

That night he already started getting sore. His nose was killing him. His right arm, neck, back and head were throbbing pretty good. We gave him some ibuprofen and ice packs to help. 

He hasn't been able to go to school the last 2 days because he's so sore and the headaches are pretty strong. 

This whole experience rattled him pretty good. He'd never been in a car accident before. We talked really late that night because he kept playing what happened over and over in his mind and couldn't sleep. He kept saying things like, "what if this would of happened? or if she hit us at this spot instead of that spot?" I just sat with him and listened and tried to comfort him. We talked about how there were so many tender mercies and angels attending them. Things "could" have been worse...but it wasn't! They were being watched over for sure! That everyone is alive, able to walk away with only minor injuries...that's a miracle!  

I took him to the Dr. today because he's been having a constant headache. She confirmed he has a concussion. :( She wants him to rest as much as possible...which means no school the rest of the week if possible (if he must go he should only 1/2 day), limiting video games and computer time too. I guess that takes too much brain power. :P  If he isn't improving by Friday she wants us to call and she'll give us a referral to a concussion specialist. Hopefully he'll be much better by then.

We are definitely counting our blessings. We know things could have turned out much different. So grateful for my boy!!! <3 


Branching Out

>> Monday, January 16, 2017

Alayna was drawing the other night and was talking about getting a new case for her phone. We suggested she just paint or draw something on the case to make it how she wanted it. 

She drew it out on paper first, then tried it on her case.

It turned out so cute!!! :) 


Sleep Study Follow-Up

>> Thursday, January 12, 2017

Took Walker yesterday to see the ENT (ears, nose and throat dr.) to follow up with his sleep study. He was crazy behind schedule...like 90 minutes behind. We were gone for 3 hours! :( 

We did get a lot of information though. He checked Walker out, went over the test results and discussed options. 

First off, he DOES have sleep apnea! He's having 1 episode every 3 minutes. So basically he's never able to go through the entire sleep cycle. His body isn't able to rest and restore. It's definitely affecting his sleep and his quality of life during the day. 

After examining him he doesn't think his tonsils or adenoids are playing any part in this issue. The adenoids are still a little enlarged but nothing significant. He has a deviated septum as well. The left side is much smaller than the right. He noticed the lining of the nasal passage is inflamed and suggested we try Afrin. The current allergy spray he's on isn't helping at all. However, Afrin is addictive, so if it does help significantly then he will give him an RX for two different sprays. One is a steroid and one is an antihistamine that are really strong and do pretty much what Afrin does...with out becoming addicted to it. If the sprays don't really help then he will go in and burn the tissue inside the nose. 

The doctor feels that his biggest issue is his jaw. His jaw is too small for his tongue. Most people with sleep apnea are over weight. Clearly Walker isn't over weight. Over weight people actually have fat tongues. That's what makes them snore. The tongue becomes too big and an obstruction when they lay down. With Walker, his jaw doesn't have enough room to allow the tongue to fit, so in effect it's pushing his tongue too far back into the back of his mouth/throat causing the loud snoring and obstructing his breathing. 

The Dr. loved his shirt! Hehehe!

If the nasal spray and nasal procedure aren't helping enough he wants to send him to an oral surgeon to discuss options. He said that they could give him a mouth appliance that would push his lower jaw forward giving the tongue enough space inside the mouth when he sleeps. This should help with the snoring. If the appliance doesn't seem to help then he recommends having surgery. 

The surgery sounds super crazy to me though!!! 

It's called Maxillo-Mandibular Advancement (MMA) SurgeryThey basically have to break his upper and lower jaw. They place plates and screws inside and enlarge the jaw. This should fix the problem permanently. I read that people have a 90% reduction in symptoms from having this surgery. 

Since the jaw is broken, it has to be rubber banded shut for a few weeks. It would require an all liquid/smoothie type diet. Weight loss is common during recovery. One patient's story I read today said he actually was able to return to school after two weeks. The jaw was still banded but was able to talk enough to get by. He was still pretty swollen but it was manageable. We'd most likely wait until summer to do it. 

He also said a CPAP machine might be beneficial. But since he's only 16 he doesn't feel this is the best option long term. He'd basically have to use it for the rest of his life. We could use it now though until we decide on the surgery. It would give him the quickest relief and help. 

We've decided our first step is to see if this nasal spray helps and we'll go from there. 

Doesn't this look like fun???? Yikes! 

When we were in the doctor's office and he was explaining everything the Spirit was jumping at me saying.. This is it!! This is it!!!

He's been having a really difficult year and we've been trying so many things to help him feel like himself again. I'm grateful to have answers. Not sure how fond I am of some them though... Lol! 

However, he would love to have the surgery because he's self-conscious of his lack of jaw line. 


Eli Has Mad Hops!

>> Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Jared and Eli were messing around the other night. Eli was trying to jump up on Jared's shoulders. Jared didn't think he could do it.....

The little stinker did it!!!! LOL!!!


Family New Year's Resolution!

>> Saturday, January 7, 2017

So before the end of the year I was thinking about New Year's Resolutions. One night in the shower (this is usually where I receive most of my inspiration...LOL! ) the thought came to me that we should make it a family resolution to go to the temple together once a month. I threw it out to the family to see what their thoughts were and happily everyone thought it was a great idea!!! :)

So today we got up early and we got dressed in our Sunday best and went to the Temple together!! 

Alayna is 10 years old. She still has 2 years until she is old enough to go and perform baptisms. I didn't want that to stand in our way though. I think you can enjoy the temple inside and outside!

Jared and the boys went in and did baptisms and Alayna and I hung out together. You an actually go inside the temple without a recommend. They have a lobby area and a waiting room. Alayna had never been inside so I thought we'd start there. She was SOOO excited!!!! Excited isn't even the right word....she was ecstatic!!! She kept talking about it all week and all the way there! She couldn't believe she was going to get to go inside! :) 

While her and I wait together my plan is to teach her all about temples. Why we have them, what their purpose is, and why they are so important to us. I have been gathering worksheets, scavenger hunts of things you can find at the temple, scriptures, puzzles, games, all sort of things that we can do to deepen her knowledge of the temple! I've also come up with some other FUN ideas for next month, but I don't want to ruin the surprise! :P 


We are all so excited about this family resolution! Everyone had a great morning and we ended it with a giant breakfast at Black Bear Diner! Who doesn't love a yummy big breakfast?!? :) 


Sooo Tired...

>> Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Walker has been really struggling this year with being exhausted all the time. It doesn't matter how much sleep he gets, he's STILL tired. Being a teenager it's hard for us to tell if he's just a teen or is there something bigger underlying here? 

At Thanksgiving the family went to Texas for the reunion and Jared noticed that Walker was snoring pretty bad. But he's always snored. Since he was a little guy. We had his adenoids checked when he was in Kinder or 1st grade but the pediatrician said they weren't enlarged enough to warrant removing them. 

He does have seasonal allergies (4 seasons out of the year! :P ) so we also weren't sure if that was a factor either. 

He's been struggling to get his homework done, manage the stress in his life in an effective way, and his sleepiness seems to have gotten worse! So we scheduled him for a sleep study to see if he may have sleep apnea. Jared and my dad both have it.  

Last night he went to Phoenix Children's Hospital with Jared. They arrived at 8:30pm.

 They got him all hooked up, wired up, and bandaged up!!! He looks like a trauma patient...not like someone getting ready for bed!!! LOL!!

He said it was pretty much the WORST night's sleep he's ever had. :( 

 As you can see he looks totally refreshed from a good night's sleep!!! Poor kid! They were released bright and early and got home by 6am this morning. 

We should get the results in the next few days. 


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