Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Well here we are at the end of March already! Where has the time gone??? I can't believe how quickly we are into spring and yet it really doesn't feel like spring. If it weren't for all the blooming plum and cherry trees I would say it was still winter!

With Spring comes Colton's birthday! Wow my baby boy is going to be 6!!! We are going to invite his kinder class to join us for a party hopefully on the 11th, if Out of This World Pizza has an opening. This will be his 1st big birthday party ever! I can't wait to see how much fun he will have! (Thanks mom!)

We are almost done with the spring product sale for cub scouts, and I am soooo very glad it is almost over. So far it looks like it's been a huge success. I think the pack has sold almost $5k worth of product, earning the boys close to $1200!! At this point we have almost our whole pack going to summer camps and most of them have paid their own way via fundraising! I am so proud of how hard these boys have worked toward their goal of going to camp.

With the slow going recovery of unexpected abdominal surgery and all the other "distractions" my house is a wreck and its driving me nuts! I am literally pretending not to see the insanity, otherwise I will break "doctor's orders" and clean something. Yeah I know, everyone is shocked to hear that I am actually wanting to clean, but really it is driving me crazy!

Not to mention the fact that I really need to get my raised beds preped for planting, the leaves raked out of my flower beds, and the weeds pulled! I hate seeing the days tick by with no rain and my not being able to be outside digging in the dirt. Starting seeds inside and watching them grow is only fueling the desire to see that I have a successful garden this year! Its both about really wanting to eat fresh homegrown veggies, and about saving money. I spent less than $20 on seeds and peat pots, I'll probably spend another $20 on dirt and compost for the beds, but in the end that is cheaper than one trip to the produce section of the grocery store or the farmers market!

Now for some not so good, scarey, and possible live changing news......

Marc may not have a job come June. They had layoffs this week and lost 1 person in his group. For the tools he is responsible for there are 5 people for 3 contracts so chances are they will let at least 1 person go in the near future. I'm nervous and scared of course, but at least we know it might be coming this time instead of being blind sided like we were back in TX.

Marc and I have both decided that if it does happen we will be moving back to Florida. I can't stand the idea of starting over in yet another new place with no family or friends. The kids need family, and our family needs us. Marc's mom in particular. So, since she has the space (both inside and a giant RV in the drive) for us until we can find jobs and get a place of our own we will stay with her. It looks like if he does get laid off he will get 2 months severence which would be enough to move us and hold us over for about a month.

The scariest part will be trying to sell our house. I just don't know if we can get what we owe on it, and if we can how long it will take. There are a ton of houses for sale in our neighborhood. ****BIG SIGH*** But enough of borrowing worry from tomorrow. We will just have to take it one day at a time and prepair for the worst while hoping for the best. There is a "state of the business" meeting going on right now, so maybe Marc will get some good news.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


So out of no where on Friday I started having pain in my abdomen. At first I thought it was just gas pain, then as it got worse and I started to feel nauseous, I thought it might have been food poisoning from the veggie cream cheese I had eaten. I had to take care of some cub scout stuff, so I gritted my teeth and headed up to the grange hall to meet Wael from the district office to turn in our pack's cookie dough order. While I was waiting for him the pain got worse, and I got sick. When he got there, he ran down a few things for me to try and what to do if they didn't work. Ended up following his advice about an hour after I got home and went to the ER. By the time I got to the ER at around 8pm I could barely stand up and the pain was so bad I could barely breathe.

One of the ER nurses found a gurney for me to lay down on until they could get me a room. She started an IV so that I could have pain meds ASAP. About 10 minutes later I was back in a room and getting Torval and Delaudin by IV. After 4 doses they finally got my pain under control. I swear I have never felt such intense pain ever before in my life. At that's said after having 2 drug free childbirths!

So now that I was finally comfortable, the investigation into what was causing me so much pain could begin. First, it was off for a CAT scan of my abdomen. The ER doc thought that it could be a kidney stone, so this was the best test to look at my kidneys. About a half an hour after I got back from the scan the ER doc came in and asked me who my Gyn was. Then left. I was left wondering why on earth she wanted to know that it of info. About 15 minutes later she comes back and tells me that from the CAT scan it looks like I have a torqued ovary. Which meant that my ovary was twisted. She then tells me that I need surgery to fix it. OK I'm a little freaked out now. Mind you I'm at the hospital by myself, no clue who could watch my kids so that Marc could be with me, and not all that fond of the idea of being rushed off to surgery without being able to see my family first. So I lay there a little scared, a little out of it from all the narcotics floating around in my bloodstream, and just a little pissed that I don't know what the hell is going on.

Finally after another 30 minutes or so Dr Thum from my Gyn's office comes in to see me. She says to me that the CAT scan isn't the best diagnostic tool to use when looking at the ovaries and that she really needs me to have an ultrasound to get a better idea of what is going on with mine. So the u/s tech comes and gets me, we have a nice chat during the whole procedure and she puts my mind at ease by telling me what she sees and that it doesn't look like it's an emergency. This is confirmed when Dr. Thum comes back to tell me that my ovary isn't twisted, but that I do have a fairly large cyst that seems to be "leaking" which can cause the intense pain I have been feeling. She isn't sure it needs to be operated on yet, but wants to admit me to the hospital for pain management while they come up with a plan.

So OK at this point I'm dazed and confused since I have no idea what awaits me. I'm glad that I'm going to be admitted so I can have a real bed and sleep. Since they aren't rushing me to surgery I also get to eat something. I finally get to my room, get some pudding, and another dose of pain meds and go to sleep.
The next morning Dr Thum comes in and says that managing my pain is the best she can do for me. She doesn't think I need surgery and isn't sure how long it will take for the cyst to go away or my pain with it. She wants to keep me in the hospital until I can get off the IV pain meds and be able to take meds orally and eat without being sick. So that was the plan.

Until I started thinking about trying to manage my life while on pain meds. Not being able to drive, in a foggy haze, trying to be a mom and a wife in that situation didn't seem like a good idea of me. The more I thought about it, the more I felt that the cyst and its host ovary needed to come out. I just had this "gut" feeling that surgery was the answer here. Well Dr Thum, and the other doc from my doc's practice didn't really agree with me. I talked with Dr. Morris (I think that was her name) on Sunday and finally got her to agree to let me stay one more night in the hospital so that I could actually see MY doctor and let him make the decision. So Monday morning comes and Dr. Klotz comes in and we chat about everything that is going on. He realizes that I have a valid point. I have had a hysterectomy, I am not having any more children, and I don't need 2 ovaries to keep my hormones going and keep me from going into menopause. I also don't need to be in pain or on pain meds for an indefinite period of time. So, he checks the OR schedule and gets me set for surgery Tuesday morning.

The surgery goes well, and when Dr Klotz comes to see me afterwards he says that my instincts were right. Turns out that the cyst was actually INSIDE my ovary, and it was leaking. It was bleeding INTO ITSELF. Which means that it was only going to get bigger as it bled into itself and filled up even more. And that meant that it wasn't going away anytime soon. So I feel validated. And very glad I stuck to my guns and insisted that they fix this instead of just sending me on my way with a Rx and a smile.

I'm home now. Trying to recuperate with 3 kids under foot and a husband who can't take any more time off work. But fortunately my kids are being great, and I don't really feel too bad. Tired, sore, but mending. My incisions hurt, and my insides are bruised but they will heal and I will be back running around like crazy in no time.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Is Singulair (montelukast sodium) the cause of Austin's ADD like issues?

Austin has been taking Singulair for his EIA and chronic nasal allergies for about a year and a half now. I have been thrilled with how well it has controlled his asthma symptoms and stopped his constant cough and runny nose. Until today.

As is our usual routine, Austin went up with his brother and sister to get ready for bed. He took his medicine and then brought me the bottle to let me know he was getting low and it was time for a refill. It was then that I noticed a new little sticker on the side of the bottle that I hadn't seen before. It reads, "Call your doctor immediately if you have mental/mood changes. New/worsening feelings of sadness/fear or thoughts of suicide." I did a double take. I read it again. And I thought WTF?!?!?! This on a medicine given to kids for allergies? So I went to the web and started searching. And found http://www.parentsforsafety.org/ and http://tiny.cc/zrwTN both with startling and scarey information that has recently come to light about a drug that I give my 7 year old every day!!!!

This label or warning information was supposed to be in the patient info leaflet as of March 2008. I can honestly say I DO NOT remember seeing it. And add to that why didn't my pharmacist say anything to me about the change? Why didn't my doctor? Why? Because if you read the "required communication channels and disclosure" from the FDA they weren't required to. All the drug manufacturer has to do is put the info in the leaflet. It is up to the doctors to read them every so often to make sure nothing changed. All the pharmacist is required to do is put the little sticker on the bottle that prints out with the Rx label they don't have to tell the patient or parent who picks up the Rx that there is a new sticker on it, or new information in the leaflet (which btw I never got from Rite Aid since it comes in the box the medicine bottles come in by the case). All I ever do when I get a refill is look at the bottle, make sure the dosage is the same, and that they gave me the right medicine. Once I've read all the stickers I hardly ever look at them closely again. Until today. And every day from now on.

Many of you know how we've been struggling with Austin and his lack of focus, "wiggly" bouts, and forgetfullnes at school. I haven't written much about his recent onset of irrational fears near bedtime, and his more aggressive attitude. For months now he's been complaining about not being able to sleep well, waking up a lot, and having bad dreams. All very much mind boggling to Marc and I. Now, after reading account after account on the above websites and others like them of children Austin's age having very similar symptoms after starting Singulair, I am wondering how we missed the link. I started to think back to when all the issues started last year in 1st grade and if that was about the time he started on this drug. It turns out he has been taking this since April of 07 the last few months of Kindergarten. I'm not sure if this is the cause or not, or if it is just exaserbating something that is just part of his temperment. I've been trying to find accounts that are more detailed as far as a timeline in association with the mood changes etc, but we all know how people's memories are and if it wasn't an immediate noticable change then it goes unreported. He started taking this so late in the school year of 06-07 and we had issues from the beginning in the 07-08 school year that I chalked up as a bad student/teacher pairing. Until today. Now I wonder could it have all been caused by this medicine that was supposed to make him feel better??????

I cannot begin to tell you how upset this all makes me. Needless to say I threw out the rest of his bottle of singulair and he won't be taking it anymore. I have read a ton of recovery stories that say once the kids are off the medicine all the behavior issues resolve with in about a month. That is encouraging news. I am really interested in seeing what happens. Will his focus improve? Will he go back to being the sweet kid that he was as a Kinder? Will he love school again? You have no idea how upset I am that something that was supposed to help could have possibly robbed him of nearly a year and a half of joy due to the frustrations, yelling, crying, notes home, calls from the teacher, red cards, etc. over school issues. I'm so mad I could cry.

Now the issue becomes what do I do about his seasonal allergy symptoms with spring right around the corner? And his exercise induced asthma with him playing outside more and more?
He didn't have any of these issues on Zyrtec. The medicine was working well, but he still had night coughs during high pollen/wind days and after a day of a lot of activitiy. If we remembered to do his provental daily the instances of that went down, and the only reason we started on Singulair in the 1st place was because it was touted as "freedom from inhalers" which at the time he was 5 yrs old and hated them, and was really unable to use them effectively. Well guess what. We'll go back to inhalers. Honestly this is so scarey to me. I am not sure what to do. I have lived with allergies and EIA all my life. I hate it. When my allergies are bothing me I can't think, focus, function. I don't want to see my kid going through that when school is a struggle for him to begin with. I need to take him to an allergist, but we only have 1 car and Marc's job has suddenly become a lot more demanding and less flexible. I have to figure this out. There goes another ball up in the air! Sheesh! What a mess.