Monday, August 30, 2010

redneck pool

Friday night our air conditioner broke.  Frank thinks he can fix it, but the part had to be ordered and won't be here until tomorrow.  So, we've been really hot the last several days.  Sunday, I was getting a little worried about our miniature dachsund.  He was panting and breathing heavy most of the time.  I was telling Frank I wished we still had a wading pool.  However, it being Sunday, and the fact that we're going to have to spend so much on the air conditioner, I didn't want to go buy one.  So, Frank was standing in the shed looking around and comes out with a tarp and proceeds to build a "pool" in the bottom section of our playfort.  It's surrounded by 2x4's and we have thought before of turning it into a sandbox.  It created a wading pool about 3 inches deep, which the dogs, along with us have been enjoying.

The kids relaxing in the pool. 
And no, they don't have beers, it's IBC root beer.

Friday, August 6, 2010

kids quilt camp

This week Shianne went to a kids quilt camp at one of the local quilt shops.  She kind of debated for awhile whether or not she wanted to take it, and the first day when I dropped her off I could tell she was a little nervous and scared.  But, she had a great time and has talked about it almost constantly this week.  She did such an awesome job and has a completely finished quilt.  The pieces were already cut for them out of lots of random fabrics, so that is one part they didn't learn to do (though she will if she goes to the next level camp next summer).  The first two days they worked on sewing the blocks together into rows.  Wednesday they sewed the rows together to complete the top and chose what fabric they wanted for the back.  Shianne chose a black and white print, understanding that a neutral color was a great choice for a quilt with so many colors.  Wednesday evening, the instructors basted together all the students' quilt tops, batting, and backing.  Thursday the kids did the quilting (the stitching that holds all the layers together) using the sewing machine.  Then today, they sewed the binding, which finishes the edges.  Shianne got done so early today, that she used a bunch of scraps that were left over to design and make a miniature quilt for our puppy.  She got the top to it completely done and we have basted the layers together so she can finish it tomorrow.  I am so proud of her.
One really cool thing about Shianne's quilt is the back.  It's black with white circles.  Once the whole thing was together, she was holding it up and noticed that the colors from the front shine through the white circles and make them look like glow bracelets.  It's really neat.

Williams quilt.  We have a fleece blanket that his breeders gave us that he'd had since he was born.  We decided to turn it into the back of the quilt.

Friday, April 2, 2010

talking funny

So, not only can I only barely whisper because of the botox, some things I can't say right at all.  Some sounds I can't make at all.  When I try, no sound comes out at all for a little while, which also usually cuts off several more letters of whatever word I'm trying to say.  For instance, n's are really hard.  If I try to say "nerd", it comes out "rd".  Other sounds come out wrong.  This really became a problem yesterday when I was trying to help Dylan read.  Every day, he brings home a short book from school that he has to read.  So, yesterday, I told him he had to read his book before he could go out and play.  The problem was, I was the only one home.  We got to the last page and one of the words was "at".  Now, normally he knows that word fine, but yesterday he just couldn't remember it and couldn't figure out how to sound it out.  However, when I try to say that word right now, it comes out "hat".  It took us a good two minutes to finish that page (which only had one sentence).  He was getting so frustrated because he wanted to go out and play.  I was laughing so hard at my inability to say "at", that it was making it even worse.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

breathing update #2

    So, the botox started to kick in Saturday night and by Sunday morning it had fully kicked in.  I can breath quite a bit better.  Before, I could only walk at a snail's pace without being in danger of passing out.  Now, I can walk at a normal pace without any problems and do other light acitivities.  I don't think I could go workout or anything that strenuous.  My vocal chords are still closing together if I breathe too deeply too quickly, but not the rest of the time.  I can finally get a deep breathe so long as I do it slowly.
   The downsides:  I can barely even whisper, and if I try to talk too much, I can't even do that.  I had to buy a wireless keyboard for school so I can type what I need to say to the kids onto the smart board.  I can't cough.  When I try, I sound like I've been smoking all my life and I can't quite.  I can hardly drink anything without choking, and therefore going into a coughing fit.
   I'm hoping that these drawbacks will subside a little, but that I will still be able to breathe ok, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

breathing update

I went to see a new ENT yesterday and figured I'd give everyone an update on where we are.  First, I figure I'll give a recap for those of you who may not know everything that's been going on.  The recap is in italics, so you can skip that part if you want to.
    7 weeks ago, I noticed that I was having trouble getting a deep breathe.  This came on very suddenly; one day I was fine, and the next I couldn't breathe.  I went to the doctor that day.  They did a chest x-ray and didn't see anything, but decided to go ahead and treat me for pneumonia.  Two days later, there had been no change and I went back.  They put me on more powerful medicines and an inhaler and told me to call back in two days if there was no change.  Two days later, there was still no change and so my doctor scheduled me to get a cat scan of my chest.  That showed nothing either, so she then referred me to a pulmonologist.  He did several test in his office and decided that I probably had asthma along with some spasms in my bronchials.  I really didn't feel that this was right, but went ahead and tried the two inhalers he wanted me on for the next week.  They did nothing either.  My inability to breathe deeply (even walking at a normal pace is too much exertion) is constant throughout the day.  The inhalers made absolutely no difference.  I went back to the pulmonologist after a week.  The first time, I had felt like he had really not listened to what I had to say as much as he should have.  Also, a noise had developed when I would try to breathe deeply and I felt that he had kind of brushed that aside and not really paid attention.  But, the second time he really listened and said I needed to go see and ENT.  So, a week later, I went to get a scope done.  Thankfully, the ENT was able to see right away what the problem was.  Every time I breathe deeply or quickly, my vocal chords are shutting together and almost completely blocking off my air way.  Because this condition is so rare (the ENT has only seen it once before), he wanted to refer me on to a different ENT with more experience.  Due to a lot of failure to communicate, that ended up taking three weeks.
    So, yesterday morning was my appointment with the new ENT. He did another scope so he could see for himself exactly what was happening.  He was actually really surprised that I'm not having muscle spasms anywhere else (I guess most people that have this do).  After the scope, he told me I basically have three choices: 1. just learn to live with it and possibly it might go away some day, 2. have botox injected into my vocal chords (which may or may not help) every three months unless/until it goes away on its own, or 3. have a tracheotemy (which alsos may or may not help and is obviously an extreme measure).  He then told me that today (yesterday now) was a botox day, so I could do it then or I could think about it and do it in a month (he only does it once a month).  Well, having already lived with this for almost two months, and having already read on the internet that botox was a possibility, there was no way I was going to wait another month to try it.  So, yesterday afternoon I went back and had the botox done.  He had speech pathology students in that day following everybody around.  You know you're unique in a bad way when the doctor comes in after you've been left alone with the students and, in a really excited voice says, "Did she tell you what's wrong with her? Huh?".  It's supposed to take around 48 hours before it works, if it's going to.  I'm supposed to call back next week to let him know if it's helping.  So far, there's been no real change.  My throat feels a little weird, but there has been no change in the breathing.  Also, a side effect is that I may not be able to talk any louder than a whisper.