On the Hampster Wheel/Happenings

To say it’s been a busy couple months would be an understatement. Before February started I was looking at 6 doctors appointments, 2 doula interviews, 1 hospital tour, Ryan’s normal school activities/party extras, not knowing where the next pcs would take us, having to find a back up sitter for labor/baby time. Then add in last minute visitors from my husbands side of the family, couple snow days off of school, sick days off of school and it was beyond overwhelming. 

Then some things started to fall into place:  we found out we found we would be moving to Hawaii, not our first choice but not a bad consolation prize. With that brought a new set of to-do’s. With dogs there’s a whole process of getting them vaccinated, blood tested etc that must start asap so that they won’t have to be quarantined when we arrive… So vet appointment added to our February. I found a back up sitter. Some fun to the end of February: family pics (I had wanted to do them and actually had them scheduled when Ry came early) and a prenatal massage. 

  
Lyme stuff

It’s been mostly ups and downs with a majority on the upside. I did have decent flare on my birthday. After a couple days with early rising house guests and a nocturnal womb gymnast I woke up on my birthday with a killer headache, fatigue and hot flashes/fevery. Number one cause of flares for me:  stress number two lack of sleep (minimum needed to feel functional about 7 hours). I think I got 9 total all weekend. My lyme doc appt was canceled due to a decent snowstorm in which all of northern Virginia was advised to stay off the road.  

 See so much snow!  My appointment was rescheduled but I did get my blood work back that I tested positive for EBV and Mycoplasma. Numbers weren’t super high but enough that indicates a chronic exposure. Another piece of the lyme puzzle on my way to healing. 

I see my lyme doc on Monday and am eager to see her for a variety of reasons but especially since yesterday I got a new tick bite! Smack dab on my pregnant belly! WTF man. We spent a total of one hour playing oustside, half hour in the back yard and half on our deck. I had on a form fitting maternity top, dress and long leggings and sneakers and bug spray on our bottom halfs. I put the AC during nap and settled down for a detox bath and there it was on the lower half of my belly (where had I not been in the bath I physically couldn’t have seen it otherwise). Such a viserial response seeing that bastard, traumatizing and on my belly ..like seriously am I am this baby not facing enough of a battle??? It’s been so nice being an active wife and mother and I don’t want to lose that. 

Usually around my birthday we do some sort of hike, so we did one for our anniversary weekend the following week. We drove a short way to King George and did some exploring.  

   

Other than that on the exercise front I’ve been getting in several dog walks and my prenatal yoga class once a week. 

Baby stuff

Up until yesterday everything had been going well. I had been going to the MFM once a month and OB every two weeks. She had been growing great and has been super active. More a fan of somersaults and rolls than kicks but I’ll take it. I found/hired/met with a doula I like. We had our second hospital tour. What a physiological response walking by the NICU, I literally had chills. Maybe an omen? 

So the deal with the two hospitals:  my Ob office has two locations, one in the town we live in (that hospital has the NICU, slightly older, and under construction, has a tub in L&D, portable fetal monitoring) and the town over (my doctors are on call there, better chance of getting them for delivery, lower key, newer, no NICU). So after some research I had decided on delivering at the further away hospital since having my provider would give me a better chance at having the birth I want and someone familiar to a comfort level of mine with my medical history. This was all until yesterday…

I had a different time feeling driving to the office than I had in recent weeks. I had a new U/S technician or atleast I’ve never seen her before. She had asked how I had been measuring, “only a day or two behind ever” and she informed me that it looked like a couple weeks. You know u/s aren’t going well when there’s a lot of silence during them. I watched after measurement after measurement showed 31, 32, 33 weeks….(I’m 35). The doctor came in and said its her stomach that looks small. She may just be a small baby but now until delivery is crucial so we’ll be monitoring with biophysical ultrasounds weekly to look at growth, breathing, and fluid levels. And just when I started to feel a little confidence. My doula invited me to a birth circle last night but I just couldn’t think birth, baby …back to expect the worst hope for the best. Well atleast I can stop baby shopping??? Here lies the other issue: if this keeps up it means c-section since my OB doesn’t induce patients hoping. To vbac, it means NICU (so hospital number 1), no children allowed under 12…, harsher recovering for a lymie (especially with one wih a new bite). So this will be a very long week….

In like a Lion out like a Lamb March

This month has seen one hospital tour, will see (with the added monitoring and normal OB appts switching to weekly appts at the end of the month) 10 doctor appointments, Easter, new soccer session and spring break. We have a planned visit with friends at the end of the month that I’m really looking forward to. So hopefully spring will bring some blooms of hope. Until next time… 

 

Instead of…

We had been toying with a March race for a bit (either Coaster run or Catalina Island) when our pup had that lump that needed to be biopsied so we held off. By the time he (thank God) was all clear the first race had sold out. We had talked about West Coast to-do’s before our (hopeful) move and the Grand Canyon was a biggie on my list. So instead of a race weekend we decided kind of impromptu lets do it.
Planning
This really was the Thursday before we left. Something a lot of people don’t known is the Grand Canyon National Park is infact dog friendly. They’re allowed all along the South rim trail and a special road called the Shoshone that opens up to a great canyon view. But apparently it was a big weekend to head up there because all of the dog friendly hotels that had decent reviews were sold out. Then we came across the Grand Canyon Railway and hotel. The hotel itself wasn’t pet friendly but had a pet resort attached. So we wouldn’t
bewith our furry family but they could play with dogs right next us and we could take them out to breakfast in Williams before we left and walk around.

Williams
Williams is located about an hour north of the Grand Canyon. Located on historic Route 66, the town is adorable. Now for those of you with little girls who’ve watched Frozen a million and a half times, my 2 year old guy has watched Cars more. This town transports you right into Radiator Springs.

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2015/03/img_7455.jpg (top is where we ate after the Canyon, the diner is ok- good atmosphere just ok food, I’d stick with a milkshake etc here) (bottom is the Bistro 66, great Italian food beer and wine brewed locally). The people were very friendly. I was surprised how wilderness like it was. A real mountain like town, snow on the ground. I expected desert vastness…

Chu chu

My son was so excited for the train. The train takes you right from Williams to the Grand Canyon. About an hour and half ride each way. This is such a great idea for kids, makes it more than just mommy and daddy want to go on a hike trip but an adventure. We started this adventure with an old West Cowboy show at the Depot.

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After this show it was “all aboard”. The ride featured cowboy singing old country like Johnny Cash. Our train attendant Becky was great. She was so informative about the history of the train, the area but pointed out so much wildlife such as: prairie dogs, antelope, Ravens, and other animals like cows and horses. She told many a cow joke too. The ride was not just for kids as there was a cafe car that sold beer and wine and treats, there was so much to look at. It was also great for me because I could rest up for our ride.

South Rim Exploration
Seeing the Grand Canyon was on the bucket list and it more than exceeded my expectation. I’m not sure words will do it justice. It’s definitely one of God’s gifts for us to admire. Our guide warned us and I felt it, the elevation. We were at about 7,000 feet. Now where I live is not at sea level…close to 3,000 ft in areas but I felt it. But I did as the guide suggested and drank plenty of water (and Nuun). Having Lyme makes you more sensitive to high altitudes but I listened to my body and felt decent. Some highlights: snowball fight with my son, seeing a bunch of mule deer, great views and crisp air. After the rim trail and the trail of time (seeing and learning about various ages of the rocks) we did some of the Angel Loop trail into the Canyon. We didn’t go too far mainly because it was icy. If we had proper hiking boots, poles etc and didn’t have a little one it may have been possible. Plus I was getting pooped.

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After a stop in the gift shop and some snacks it was time to board the train.

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Oh no robbers!
The ride back we got more great info from Becky. We learned and saw some volcanoes (some near Williams are not extinct!). About an hour or so into the trip the train stopped and cowboy robbers got us. (It’s also the way the performers get tipped, you have small bills visible).

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2015/03/img_7508.jpg Ry got to keep a bullet from one of the cowboys😬.
The next morning we picked up our pooches and walked around Williams one last time. We had breakfast at Grand Canyon coffee. Many patios in town are pet friendly.

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Overall great trip. The hotel was nice but not too fancy you worried about having a little one with you. The only issue we had was rude neighbors. They woke us up 11:30pm the first night and then had their kids playing in the hallway at 6:30 am. Had I known they weren’t checking out I would have moved rooms. But other than that adding the Williams stay made it perfect for the little one and for me with a chronic illness it gave me a chance to rest before and after the hike. I think the gentle train ride helped eased motion sicknesses too I would of felt in a car. Im glad we did an “instead of”
Next up:
Finish up my heart monitor, and a MRI this weekend kicks off my marathon amount of appointments before we leave. I’m getting nervous. Until next time…💚

Hikes and Happenings

The ticking down of the weeks of leaving the desert is very exciting but stressful trying to squeeze in appointments that are no less than two hours away-some four. As of yesterday I booked most of them: heart follow up TBD (waiting on monitor to arrive first so we know how long it will take to get results), MRI 3/22, EEG 4/6 (although waiting on March cancellation), Neuro follow up 4/17 and rescheduled my last Lyme doc appointment for the same day as my tattoo: 4/27. Whew…..
While waiting for our physical orders to peace out of here we enjoyed some hikes. It’s something we did last winter as well. The freedom of time (not signing up for half marathons) has afforded this. During the week I’ve taken my pack to some local trails. We’ve had a crazy amount of rain (for here) and that’s made this place blessed with so much green and wild flowers.

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Over the weekend we went to Short Canyon. About a 20 minute drive north. I tend to find things listed as “short easy hikes” and they end up totally not so. We ended up deep into the canyons. My vertigo was a little nutty for a bit but some yogic breathing solved this. We went much further than expected and although the waterfall wasn’t exactly as advertised (hubby found it on the way down) we found much more.

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What else? We held off on signing up for the Coaster run as of now: first because we were deciding between that and doing race at Catalina Island and then because we found out our lab, Chester has a tumor on his tail. We should find out by the end of the week what it is. Prayers please, he’s an amazing part of our family. We’re still in the planning process for our Disneyland trip/son’s bday/family visit. I also completed the #forloveandyoga Instagram challenge. It was the first I’ve been able to do! Single digit weeks here for me, lots to do…. Until next time 💚

Happenings 2/22

Well, this will be my first post at age 35. While things aren’t the easiest right now, I’m happy to be here. More on my birthday later.
I had my cardiologist follow up a little over a week ago. Now mind you I mentioned nothing about running, my primary reason to go there was to go over my 30 day event monitor. We walk in and he says “so sorry about running, I know you were mad” (see do no harm post from early fall/late summer). “Running is bad for you. Healthy guys they go run marathons and die. Bad for knees. (Picture this in thick Japanese accent). Jogging ok 5k maybe 10k but anymore more for Olympians ok”. Ok man we aren’t even here for that. I jog/walk/run 5ks when I can during treatment and I have no urge to discuss my post Lyme remission running plans with this guy. Ok so he asks about my erratic heart rate. I tell him still while I sleep. “So maybe we get 30 day monitor”. Hello that’s why we’re here. We tell him we did this and it’s like him pulling teeth to find results. After he does it just shows more sinus arrhythmia which is normal for my age. Long story short I will be getting a different monitor and I just finished up the at home sleep study he ordered. That was a pain in the tush.
Next up on the doctor front. Need to schedule EEG and MRI for neuro. It finally was approved by insurance but we’re running out of time here and trying to squeeze all this in while hubby is going through a busy work period is proving difficult. Then I’ll have a cardio follow up, a neuro follow up and one last Lyme doc visit in April.
How have I been feeling? Well after my ER visit I was doing really bad. The fatigue was unbearable and the nausea even worse. I also developed some canker sores including one on my tongue that made eating near impossible. Thank God for the extra long weekend because I couldn’t get off the couch really from Thursday-Monday when I felt a little better. Why was this? Who knows? Stress, not going out of town in a month, who knows. Finally on Presidents’ Day the nausea let up a bit and I said ok let’s do something. So I put on my seabands and we went to a festival up in Kernville.

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I continued to improve after that finally able to get back out on my walks. That’s another thing that may of set me off, I was trying to walk every day instead of every other. I was able to do chores and enjoy my birthday.
We decided to head up to Kennedy Meadows area to find a little hike. I packed my knee brace, some snacks and NUUN and we went off. On the way we stopped at a small general store, pet a couple puppies talked to a fellow Pats fan and spoke withy the owner of the store. She told us we could find the Pacific Crest Trail off of the campground. Having just read Wild by Cheryl Strayed I was excited. As we set off I was reminded I have a long way to go to regain my physical fitness that Lyme disease has hindered. I listened to my body, took sips of NUUN and rested when I had to. I’ll get back some day to the hiking that I used to enjoy… Strenuous jaunts that included trails where hands were needed or if it seemed to easy I’d jog… Anyway the reward at the end of trail was a beautiful footbridge. I love being outdoors with the family.

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Next up running wise? We’re still debating doing the Coaster Run at Knottsberry farm. But first I plan on signing up for Team Sparkle Run for Rhett virtual 5k. Rhett syndrome is a a disorder (not genetic) that mainly affects young girls. It’s a neurological disorder that severely impacts the way they can speak, walk, eat etc. I have no idea what these young ladies go through but having neuro Lyme I know a bit sometimes how it is to feel trapped in your own body. Registration ends tomorrow (2/24) so I urge you to sign up. You can run, walk, roll this whenever until mid April.

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Last up: and the winner is: Nicole Cepaitis. Please email: info@newportskinnytea.com do claim your prize. Just reference Valerie @flowingthroughthefight.com

Until next time💚