Monday, June 27, 2011

Medicated Not Motivated

Ok...while I am not really motivated...I am medicated.  Not feeling too great these past few days.  Hope to catch up with you all soon! XoXoXo!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Great Vaccine Debate

So...I have this huge debate going on facebook right now.  Not really between I am totally one of those people who believe everyone should have their own opinion...and I refuse to argue about it...but it's between other commentors.  I must say, people are passionate about this subject.

The subject being...vaccinations.

I know, I am sure some of you are going to get all fired up over this, but I am going to clearly state my experience and offer no opinion...well maybe a little one.

When Brendan was a infant and had his first vaccination appointment, I was all set on giving him whatever the doctor recommended, totally in agreement for all vaccines to be given.  I's the right thing to do for my child and the community...right?  Or...maybe not. 

So...he recieved the usual Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio and Hep B. 

I do not remember exactly how long after receiving said shots...he went out.  Like unresponsive to any kind of stimuli unconscious. 

The doctor's eventually chalked it up to an allergic reaction to the Pertussis portion of the vaccine.  Now...with the is quite impossible to pinpoint the exact culprit...but as a young, new mother, not yet an RN with any experience...I took the doctor's word as gospel.  And I have to admit...I do love my Pedicatricians and trust them immensely.  They are highly regarded in this town and I have a close working relationship with them in the hospital.

So in future years...Brendan received the DT version...minus the Pertussis.  So, yes...that means my son is not vaccinated againt Whooping Cough.  It has concerned me through the years, especially when there was a supposed outbreak in this area...but what I witnessed when he was a baby was also very I was always torn.

When Zachary came along 5 years later and was about to recieve his first set of vaccinations...I was advised to skip the Pertussis portion altogether due to his brother's (what they called) severe allergic reaction.  So again...I complied...freaking out every time one of them got a cough.

To skip ahead...last week...Brendan went to the Pediactrician's office for yet more vaccines.  It is time for his 7th grade boosters.  Now, the office we go to does not offer we go to the Health Department for that one, however he recieved the MMR and Varicella.

A couple days later...he looked like this...

He awoke covered in a rash...face swollen, a fever and swollen joints in his hands which he complained hurt when he tried to open and close them.  Poor guy was crying because he had no idea what was happening to him.  All he knew is he looked awful and he hurt.

So, the recommendation of his to the ER we went.  I thought perhaps that was a little over the top, as he was not in any respiratory distress...but the fact that his hands and face were so swollen and his joints hurt...scared me enough to take the physician's advise. 

In any was decided between all docs involved that it was a probable reaction to the MMR due to the Measles-type rash and accompanying symptoms.  He was given antihistamines and steroids. 

This was on is now Thursday and most of the symptoms have resolved...he is just still a little spotted.

I am again finding myself torn to continue with the entire vaccination schedule...for both my boys.

I am obviously aware of the pros...but now have come in direct contact twice with the possible cons.

So the question to my Facebook friends was a simple To Vaccinate? or Not To Vaccinate?  Then World War 3 broke loose on my Wall. Oy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Birthday Boy

We celebrated Zachary's 8th birthday yesterday at Mimi's (my mom) house. It's funny, every year, I ask the boys what they would like to do to celebrate...and the answer is always the same. Pizza & ice cream cake at Mimi's! It's definately become a tradition in our family to celebrate every milestone and holiday at her house. I guess the kids all like the consistentcy. Aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins all came together once again to celebrate Zachary turning one year older. It's hard to believe my baby is no longer a baby. Makes me a little sad. Those infant and toddler years are a distant memory. Now I will have tween and teen years to contend with soon. I am thankful to have such well-behaved, sweet boys. My Zachary is definately the more ornary of my two. He has a smile as big as his heart and a laugh I could just hear over and over again. He is a snuggler and looks up to his big brother. He loves music and he loves to dance. Definately the entertainer in the family. His enormous big blue eyes will make you melt, and his head full of gorgeous curls are enough to make any girl jealous. His favorite color is green. He enjoys soccer and basketball...and cannot wait to start his second year at surf camp. He spends his days off from school riding his bike, fishing in our pond and pounding the neighbor kids with water balloons! He adores Jesse and constantly reminds him that he is his best friend. Happy birthday to one of the loves of my life...I am so lucky to have been chosen to be your Mommy!  XoXoXo!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Painful Days

Yesterday I had 200 units of Botox injected into my face, head and neck.  Knowing full well it would throw me into agonizing pain, my Neuro ordered me a side shot of 60mgs of Toradol.  Which his medical assistant decided to give me in my scrawny arm.  Ouch!  I don't know about you all...but I usually give and recieve Toradol in the rear...and I much prefer it there...way more meaty! a result of mutiple needles sticks and lack of food intake...I decided on the way out it would be a good idea to pass out. nurse...the one who sees blood and guts all day long...who has had numerous pokes and IV sticks in every part of my body a bazillion times without flinching...fainted in the hallway of my doctor's office.  My blood pressure plummeted and my heartrate was a whopping 48 bpm when I woke up.  Ooops.

It was so embarassing.

So...then I proceed to drag my sorry ass to work this morning, squinting my eyes in pain and apparently slurring my speech and talking very slooowly.  Then...I get asked by my charge nurse if I'm high.  All I could do was laugh.  Of course she soon realized the absurdity of such a question and quickly apologized.  Honestly...I wish I was possibly would've helped.

Today...I also packed up the belongings of one of our 3 month old baby girls that has been living her entire short life in our NICU on a ventilator...that passed away last week.  I went into work in the middle of the night after she took her last breath to take her picture.  I took pictures of her still, peaceful little body.  I took pictures of her mother, father and big sister cradling their little angel...of her tiny feet...perfect ears, petite nose, curly hair, clenched up fists.  The family found the strength to come back to our unit today to gather her memory box full of those be used for her memorial service later this week...her beautiful satin gown with pink flowers and lace bonnet...her footprints...curly locks of her dark hair, and all the other momentos that I and the other nurses that cared for her had gathered in those 3 months.  And I cried.  Letting that box go...was me saying good-bye.  Good-bye to a sweet baby that will forever be in my heart.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Burst My Bubble

Yesterday I recieved a letter from Aetna.

I assumed it was just an Explantion of Benefits as I get them regularly...but my heart skipped a beat when it stated that the insurance company has made a decison about coverage for Percutaneous Implantation of Neurostimulator Electrodes.

It read:  Coverage for this service has been denied for the following circumstances...

(Now I will spare you the two page details, but one part that got me was where it said):  "Aetna considers use of cervical spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of members with disc herniation, neck pain, and/or cervicogenic headache.  Based on the clinical rationale provided above, coverage is denied as not medically necessary under terms of your benefit plan."

Are you fucking kidding me?!? 

Even if I put aside my diagnosis of Basilar-Type Migraine, my diagnosis of fused cervical vertebrae, bulging discs and bone spurs which in turn cause constant cervicogenic headache should be enough. 

Seven years of medication, surgery, injections, and other various treatment still was not enough to convince them that my quality of life is diminished and a Neurostimulator may be beneficial.  At least allow me the trial implant for crying out loud!

I suppose Aetna would rather another member of society be walking around hopped up on opiates and muscle relaxers.

Way to go insurance suck!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Photos By Mamie

Creating this blog has allowed me to meet so many amazing, strong women that I now consider to be my friends.  One of whom, is Mamie McClellan...a fantastic photographer and a chronic pain sufferer.  She lives her life battling multiple illnesses such as Crohn’s disease,  Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Supraventricular Tachycardia...all the while raising her daughter, Katie, and persuing her passion for taking pictures.  I was honored to be asked to send her some of my knitted hats to use as photo props.  Here are a couple of recent pictures taken of beautiful baby Emily wearing a Pixie Dust Beige hat with naturally rolled brim in Fairy Tale Pink accented with a cute little flower...perfect for any little girl!

Be sure to check out Mamie's blog...Photos By Mamie!!!