Thursday, February 14, 2008

What's your story?

Just finished watching the movie "Nine Lives" - I didn't love it but it made me think. Made me think a lot. Made me realize that everyone has a story. Even the person that just cut you off in traffic has a story. Maybe their mom used to criticize their driving, so they drive a bit agressive. [Maybe they're really late for some super important. Thinking about it this way doesn't make it any better that they're driving poorly but it helps me react to them a bit differently - with more compassion, perhaps.]

Whatever those stories are, they shape you, drive you, hold you back, make you laugh, make you cry. I also got thinking that my story affects so much of who I am today, esp those negative issues that I have not yet dealt with. I guess people call that baggage, huh? And, nope, I do not want to be carrying all that around for the rest of my life. And it's so true that hurt people hurt people - I want to stop the cycle with me. Thank God that I have found Him - the one who has brought healing to my innermost being. And the good stories? Those are the ones that I relive sometimes, that I draw encouragement from, that make me stronger. Thank God for those! :)So, what's your story?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The blog entry that really made me think.. posted right here. Sometimes Kev and I will have this one discussion over and over, usually after midnight after we have both gone to bed: (and it goes something like this)

Me: "Honey, how did we end up going to bed after MIDNIGHT again?"
Hubby: "I'm not even sure. Time sure flies when you're on the web."
Me: "We should really cut back more on our web-surfing time, huh?"
Hubby: "Yeah, we say that a lot, huh?"
Me: "Yeah, we do, a bit too often..."

Anyhow, there's just so much on the internet these days. You wanna buy something? There' the forums to find out what is the best fit. Then there are the coupons to find to make it cheaper. But then you end up finding another great coupon and wonder if that store carries something similar. And on it goes. Then there are all these ways you can get in touch with old friends and keep in touch with them. [Plus, who doesn't like looking at pictures!! :)] There's really just so much information, that sometimes I feel like it drowns me. I find out about things I should be doing with the kiddies. Places I should visit. Things I should be doing to better my person, home management skills or to be even more "green" (AKA environmentally-conscious), etc. It really just never ends. Anyhow, all this to say, I really need to take a break and pray about what I really should be doing with my time. Because time is so precious and I can never get it back, esp. my time with the kids.

Our journey with congenital ptosis...

Aidan was born with congenital ptosis, which caused us to seek medical advice, prayers and more informal information as soon as we found out it would be a problem. But as we researched, we couldn't find much information, even on the web, so we thought we would blog a bit about our experience with it - in hopes of helping someone else. :)

Congenital ptosis simply means a droopy eyelid, usually present at birth. The pediatrician thought it might have been due to the way he was positioned in the womb and that the droopiness would correct itself. But unforunately, it did not. So, we started consulting with a pediatric ophthalmologist, who recommended that we start patching his good eye at 3 months to prevent lazy eye and to help his brain develop connections to his "little eye". So, this poor kid was patched several hours a day almost every day started at 3 month til about a week ago. The patching was helpful and there was normal development of the "little eye" but his vision wasn't 20/20. The ophthalmologist started to be concerned about his vision and recommended surgery as soon as possible.

We then searched for a pediatric ophthalmologist who still performed ptosis surgery (ours didn't) and found one that came highly recommended and was in our insurance network. This surgeon recommended a levator resection, which basically means to shorten the eyelid muscle (the levator) by removing a section of the muscle so the lid would open higher. This surgery was completed shortly before Aidan turned one. Unfortunately, this did not raise the lid high enough and we had to continue with the patching and close monitoring by the other ophthalmologist.

After Aidan turned 2, the ophthalmologist was more concerned about Aidan's eyesight after diagnosing him with astigmatism, which she feels was caused by the increased pressure of the lid on the eye. She then recommended a 2nd operation. We had wanted to put off any further surgery because after a certain age, this type of operation can be done using local anesthesia vs. general anesthesia. But as we continued to watch Aidan have more difficulty seeing things (having to lift his chin to help him see or look to the side for more clarity), we decided to go ahead with another surgery, sooner rather than later.

By the time we decided on another surgery, we had already moved down to FL and we really questioned if we would be able to find a great surgeon, since we heard most of the eye specialists were concentrated in the Northeast. However, we finally found a surgeon who did fellowships in Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, and Plastics - making him the perfect candidate to be the surgeon for our son - Dr. Steven Gross in Palm Harbor, FL! Praise the Lord!! AND, he was also in-network. We felt so relieved! Anyhow, last Wednesday was the date of the 2nd surgery and it went really well. This time around, Aidan had the frontalis transposition done. This procedure basically takes the eyelid muscle and attaches it to his eye brow muscle so that he can lift the eyelid with his brow more effectively, while still allowing him to close his eyes when he wants to. [Another resection might have lifted his lid more but might have prevented him from closing his eyes, thereby causing dry eye issues.] He recovered quickly the day of the surgery - yay! [Getting a new train from the Thomas the Tank brand also helped.] The hardest part was preventing him from his usual antics (playing with this head on the ground, rolling around, etc) and not taking him to the playground (so he wouldn't get dirt in his incision). We've also had to patch his eye during naps and nighttime sleep to prevent him from touch the incision area. But Aidan was a real trooper - I'm so proud of him! :) We didn't take any pics the day of but took some Post-op Day #3 when we finally took him out of the house - you can see pic here. We're now praying for a quick and complete healing!

And as you can see, there aren't a whole lot of articles for parents of kids with ptosis that we could find. A lot of articles were comparing procedures or describing them but most of them were written using medical jargon. We hope reading our experience was helpful for someone else. If you need more info, feel free to email me -! :)


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

How I got a free bag of Kettle Corn...

So, Saturday was Touch-A-Truck Day at the local park and we decided to bring the kids, though it was only 3 days after Aidan's surgery (more on that later). But since he bounced back to his normal "tiggerish" self shortly after his surgery and his eyelid looked pretty good, we thought we'd go for it. Plus, what other chance would kids have to be able to climb into all these different vehicles and push all the buttons and touch everything?! But I digress. Besides all the vehicles parked on the premises for this event, there were also vendors with their wares and edible items for sale. We had given the kids Kettle Corn before and they LOVED it! So, as soon as Aidan got whiff of it, he started asking for some. We are trying to cut down on expenses, so we buy it for them once in a while and we decided not to buy it this time around. We were able to distract him by pointing in the direction of some trucks, so he stopped pestering us. :) After a good half hour of immense fun, we started to hear whirring above. A helicopter was arriving for this event and they were flying it directly across the park for dramatic effect...though they definitely forgot about all the vendors below because things started flying every which way from the winds produced by the blades and the dirt was getting all stirred up, getting into everyone's faces. As the helicopter drew close, some vendors lost the umbrellas and tents that once had covered their stands. One umbrella-on-the-loose started towards Jana and I and I sidestepped that one no problem. I turned around to look at it, thinking to myself that I was so quick....then BAM! something hit me on the leg...hard enough that it knocked me to the ground. I deftly tried to fall on my hip so Jana (who is still in my arms) wouldn't get hurt. I turned around and saw the tent for the Kettle Corn stand that had just hit us head for more people. Doh! Anyhow, both Jana and I are OK. We survived unscathed, save for a humongorus bruise that was already developing on my thigh and a tender hip area. People who saw this incident immediately rushed over to check on us, including the guy who owned the Kettle Corn stand. He also rushed over with the biggest bag of Kettle Corn he had and said, "Here, take this. This is the least I can do." I managed to mumble a thank you, though I was still a bit dazed. Anyhow, I later rejoined Kev and Aidan and handed Aidan this huge bag of Kettle Corn. "Here you go," I said, "uhhh, I got you a bag of Kettle Corn." Anyhow, after I told the story to Kev and a few of our friends that were with us, we all had a good laugh. And don't worry, I'm fine - after several applications of Arnica gel (love this stuff!) and lots of prayer, I'm pretty much back to normal. The moral of the story: Always keep your eyes peeled for flying objects. :) Enjoy!