Thursday, October 26, 2006

Good News!!!

If you’ve been keeping up with your reading here, you know that I’m getting weekly blood tests and that I’ve had two blood levels that have been steadily increasing for months: bilirubin and neutrophils. Yesterday I got the results of my blood test from Monday and every level is normal! In one week my bilirubin went from 1.9 to 0.9 and my neutrophils went from 90% to 65%. Praise God! I’m counting this one as a miracle.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Phil, the Clown

Henry’s fine now. Lot of people showed concern and I just wanted everyone to know that his lungs are clear; virus is gone. He’s back to his normal self, which is good…I think.

I had my blood drawn on Monday and they decided to get a full liver panel. All my liver tests are normal except that bilirubin, which is still elevated, but it’s actually down by .1, so that’s good. I have my ultrasound on the 25th.

I did find out that my neutrophils have been steadily increasing since August. I’m told that’s a portion of my white blood cell count, which is one they are checking all the time because my medication can cause it to go too low. That’s strange to me. Apparently neutrophils are measured in percents and normal range is 42-75%. In August, mine was 69% and it’s now 90%. I guess that’s one more bridge to cross.

I get my blood tests done every Monday now, so they’ll be closely monitored.

We go to Virginia in a week and a half, to visit Sue (Phil’s sister) and family and Phil’s parents are coming down from New York. My doctor told me I have to call before I leave…I’m not sure why. Is he going to say I can’t go? Hmmm....

It will be nice to get a break from the routine, see family, friends, shop and eat at American places and see some historical sites.

I was reminded by several people that I don’t have a picture of Phil on this blog. Here’s why:

I looked through many, many shots and finally found this. It’s from our 10th anniversary in July and I think it’s a once in a lifetime shot. So, don’t expect too many shots of him…they all start to look the same. Oh, by the way, he’s very proud of those faces he can make.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Henry and the Asthma Attack

This week turned out to be pretty crazy. Henry started with a runny nose on Tuesday and Wednesday evening started feeling pretty bad. He woke up several times in the night (very unusual for him) and first thing in the morning I finally realized it was because he was having a hard time breathing. I called the doctor and they listened to his breathing on the phone and told me to come right in. Turns out he was having an asthma attack. They said that it isn’t truly “asthma” as a diagnosis until it has happened many times, so right now, it’s just the same thing as asthma and could happen again several times and then just go away, never happen again, or happen for the rest of his life. He was really bad. They even had the techs coming in to look at his chest that was retracting (collapsing in because he was trying so hard to get a breath. His oxygen saturation was 89% (not good). They gave him a breathing treatment and now he’s on an inhaler and steroids for the next five days. It was pretty scary.

I also had “issues” trying to get a refill for my medication this week. I was getting quite the run-around from the pharmacies on the bases. I finally got through to a pharmacist that I need more medication and I was able to pick up some yesterday. These are times when it is very hard to be in a foreign country. The main problem with my medication, though, is that it costs the military $20 a day. These are times I’m very grateful for our medical benefits.

On a sober note, we were at the BX today (Base Exchange or like Target, sort-of, for you non-militaries out there) and they were collecting items for the wounded soldiers at the hospital. Landstuhl is very close to us and that is where all the wounded soldiers are taken. It is a good perspective for me every time I go in there. For instance, when I went in yesterday to pick up my medication, I passed a guy who had half his face burned. These guys (and their families) are really sacrificing a lot.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Taking it Easy

Today was a lazy day. We spent over 30 hours this weekend working on the church to get it ready for an interim pastor and we are whipped. I went to see my neurologist yesterday for my regular check up. I’ve had elevated bilirubin levels since March and they are steadily increasing. He wants me to get my bilirubin checked every week now and also has ordered an ultrasound of my liver. He says there is a chance that there is nothing wrong with my liver. Apparently there is some hereditary condition where you have high bilirubin levels for a time, then they go down, then up, etc. I don’t know of anyone else in my family with this condition, however. He said there could be a problem with my gallbladder, but I didn’t really understand him, due to the language barrier.

We played Mousetrap today and I can’t remember why I liked that game so much when I was a kid. What a frustrating game! I lost and I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to lose! The girls just wanted to trip the mousetrap and didn’t really care about the game.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

First Post!

Here I am, finally entering the blogging world. Things are busy here in Germany. At this point Phil and I are both ready to leave to go just about anywhere as long as we aren't here any more. With all the deployments, Phil is just way too busy at work and it's getting old.

These are some pictures of a trip to the park this summer and the one of Henry is playing in Daddy's car, one of his favorite pasttimes.

The kids are doing well. We are in our 6th week of school and it's going very well. Addy is so focused, which is such a blessing. Some days she finishes all her work by 10am, other days it's a bit longer, depending on the work for the day. Kate is done in about 30 minutes, which is about the length of her attention span.

I am trying to potty-train Henry Pull-Up style. It's the lazy way, I know, but I just don't have the energy to do anything else. He is doing okay, but it will be a while longer before it "clicks." He is the most demonstrative of any of my kids, which is a surprise to me, with him being a boy and so shy around others.

My health is okay. I seem to have stabilized since July and haven't gotten better. I still continue to run about 4 days a week and go about 3 miles each day. Some days are better than others. It's so hard to run in the dark. I run around 6am, before Phil leaves for work. I feel really good as soon as I've finished the run, though. As of a couple weeks ago, I found out that my liver is having some problems. I go to the doctor next week, so hopefully I'll get some answers then.

We love all of you!