Thursday, February 16, 2012

More Than You Or I Want to Know about Vestibular Migraines

My sweet daughter L has been suffering since the beginning of October from dizziness, light headedness, nausea, and blurred vision, which I have blogged about a little before.  Yesterday we met with her neurologist (as seen on TV! - yes, he is famous) and  we feel like we finally have a plan of action.  He still believes her symptoms are consistent with the diagnosis of Vestibular Migraines.

For those of you who are interested, the plan involves several different parts.

1.  She will take teeny doses of Topamax, for the migraines, which will take a few weeks to see if it works.  She can increase the dosage as needed.  She will also take Clonazepam in teeny doses for the dizziness.  We really hope that actually helps, because nothing else has so far.
2.  L can sleep okay, but she does not have restful sleep - she has pretty active dreams (battles with swords are often fought and won)  most nights so she doesn't get a lot of rest, really.  He told her to take Benadryl at night to help with that.  Apparently migraine sufferers have worse symptoms from lack of sleep, but you probably already knew that.
3.  Apparently there are several types of foods that can trigger migraines.  She has had very few foods over these past months that she can even stomach to eat, due to constant nausea.  We will have to eliminate things here and there, but several of us, including the doctor, suspect that foods with gluten in them are a trigger.  So, guess who gets to learn about cooking gluten-free?  Yes, that would be us.  Ugh.  We will experiment with other foods that are triggers as well.
4.  L's fitness level was also tested several weeks ago.  Due to the dizziness for 5 months, etc., her fitness level is very low for a young woman her age.  He really read her the riot act about that - I am happy I didn't have to, because I have suspected for a while that this was causing  some of her problems. He explained to her how she needs to get blood moving in her brain to help its functionality. She seems much more motivated now to try.  Of course being dizzy and light-headed every day makes it pretty tough to want to exercise!  So, hopefully some of these medications, etc. will help quickly so that she can start a work-out routine.
5.  He told us to read the book, "Heal Your Headache", which I purchased on Amazon last night.   It is quite a strict program to help with headaches.  After all she has been through, I think L is pretty willing to do what is needed.  At least, she is willing right NOW.....
6. Last month, L participated in some neurocognitive testing, which this doctor ordered, but we haven't gotten the results yet from the doctor who performed them.  We will meet with her, and then find out if L is eligible also for some neurofeedback treatment.  Apparently, this can also be quite a help to some people on the autism spectrum.  That would be a wonderful thing if it would help eliminate or improve some of her Aspergers challenges. I don't really know that much about this, so we shall see.
7.  This doctor is a memory expert, and he was very curious about L's brain and her memory.  She has an amazing memory for certain things, but her executive functioning has always been wavering due to ADD symptoms as well as the Aspergers.  In December, he had her answer a series of questions, and do some tasks in a computer program he designed for memory testing.  He told her that she was "off the charts" with her results, and that he could see from the test results how highly intelligent she is.  He was very pleased, and his reaction to this gave her a much needed boost of confidence.

So, there you have it.  My prayer is that this plan of action actually works for her.  I know many migraine sufferers who do many of these things, but have little improvement when their migraines hit.  While L doesn't have a lot of headache pain, these vertigo symptoms have been completely debilitating and she has not been able to really get going with college credits, or jobs, etc.  She had to miss this semester again.  Hopefully she can start feeling well enough soon to get back to learning to drive, and perhaps get a job.  We have high hopes that her quality of life will improve very soon.

We just may have to WAIT a little while to find out.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

That C Word - Challenges

Let me tell you about some people on my mind lately.  The four of them have some important things in common. They are warriors.  They have cancer.  They are all members of my church.  Two are family members.

Cynthia - Cynthia is my cousin, and a couple years old than I am.  She lives in Arizona, and we spent some time together as children and teenagers.  I have not seen her nor chatted with her for many years, other than a quick wave and glance at family funerals.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer last Fall.  She is undergoing treatments and has a very beautiful, loving supportive family.  She and her sister give me updates every now and then about how she is doing.

Craig - Craig is my brother-in-law, married to hubby's older sister.  They live in Utah.  I've known him almost as long as I've known hubby.  He is being treated at the Huntsman Cancer Center.  He has been battling tumors for many months.  He is quiet about it, and wears the challenge with dignity and dislikes greatly talking about himself.  He is hilarious, a big tease, and loves his family deeply and with great dedication.  I often wish I lived nearby so that I could support him and his wife as they walk through this together.

Spencer - I knew Spencer as a little boy, and remember him playing in my basement one day when his  mother came to visit me.  He has big beautiful eyes, and loves basketball about as much as my son B used to breathe it when growing up.  His family moved to Virginia when he was very little, and all I know about him now is through his mother's blog and through Christmas cards.  His parents are righteous, valiant souls who love God and are dedicated to raising righteous children.  A month ago they learned that, at age 16, Spencer has leukemia.  He will undergo a bone marrow transplant very soon.  His dear and dedicated mother has decided to blog about the experience here.

Lisa - Fabulous Lisa and her great husband and adorable kiddos lived near us and attended church with us during dental school, and now live in Utah with their four children.  They used to sit behind us during Sacrament Meeting and we loved to hear the sweet angel voices of their little ones as they quietly chatted with each other and with their parents. We smiled as the parents taught them how to behave and how to love their Heavenly Father.  She is a runner, a crafter, a clogger, a sewer, and a blogger.  She reads this blog  - (Hi, Lisa - don't be mad that I'm talking about you :-) ).  Lately I have seen what an amazing fighter she is.  If anyone can kick the tumor that plagues her brain, it will be her.

Our family has a list of missionaries that we pray for together each night. We have done that since our children were little ones. We now have our cancer list.  These dear loved ones are mentioned by name every night as we pray for Heavenly Father to bless them with strength and power to overcome the obstacles they face.  They are all on my mind every day.  How does one explain what they are having to endure?  A young grandmother, a father of great young adults, a 16 year old athlete, and a beautiful young mother.

This of course is proof that Heavenly Father is in control.  We endure these challenges better when we work our way to accept that, and put the outcome in His hands.  These situations turn us to Him.

Matthew 11:28-29  
 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

This passage of scriptures was what I have held onto during the most difficult times in my life in recent years. I would literally picture in my head letting go, and tossing my burdens upon the Lord.  What a blessing that image is to me.  It allowed me to continue walking through the mud and trudge to the other side. I know the Lord loves me. He loves you, too.  He will watch over these four loved ones and their families.  I know it.

Hopefully they will only have to WAIT a little while to feel it, if they don't already.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sewing Room, Office, and Craft Room - SOC room?

My Sewing, Office, Craft room is just about finished!  I am very happy with it.  Here is the main wall:

Here is the sort-of-before post.  If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have seen my "sewing/craft room" board.  I have implemented several ideas I collected there.  However, I must say that this spot is MY spot and most of the things in it represent something sentimental in my own life.  I doubt anyone else would love it as much as I do.

 I'm okay with that. 

I have my sewing on the left and office and computer on the right.  These things can easily be moved if the work space was needed for something else like scrapbooking or for doing other crafts.

Here are the details, from left to right:

The floral pink piece of art was painted by my Grandmother, Dee Dee.  More about her later. She was very creative and talented.  It seemed only appropriate to have something of hers in here.  A photo of her is also on the desk.

The wall decor under SewCute (purchased at Joann's) is made of 6 art canvases purchased at Michael's, and I just wrapped and pinned some of my favorite fabrics on them. The peg boards below were also purchased at Michael's (a box of 3, on sale!).  I don't really know what to do with them yet-you know, since I have all those fabulous DRAWERS now!  I will definitely hang more thread on the spool holder.  I also hung a little ribbon with mini clothes pins to hold photos of those for whom I've made quilts!  Fun!  I hope that the number of photos grows and grows.

The things on this shelf just make me smile. (Oops, I see a photo falling sideways!). Almost every item has meaning to me.  I won't bore you about each and every item, but will give a few highlights. The top shelf has a hand-sketched Christmas card from the 50s made by Dee Dee.  The little wooden doll was given to me by my dear mother, and it says, "You Are my Sunshine".  She used to sign every card and letter to me with that phrase. Sigh...

The wooden vase is hand -carved and purchased in the Dominican Republic when I was there as an LDS missionary.  The little framed cross- stitch piece is of the Seoul, South Korea LDS temple, made for me when we lived there in the early 90s by a lovely sister missionary.  I have a few wonderful Willow Tree statues given to me by people I love.  My children's senior pictures are here, and a sign from B that says, "If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you".  I wonder how his new wife would feel about that?  Hahaa...    I cross-stitched the I Heart U sign for hubby many years ago.  I stole it back.

I of course included Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf's statement, printed from a printable on Pinterest, about creativity from a talk in October 2008, 

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul".

Bless this young woman who created this beautiful way to depict that important statement.  I look forward to lots of creating going on in this room.

Can you see the little teeny high-heeled pump on the bottom left shelf?

 That was my mother's.  It's a pin cushion.  I have always loved it.  It still has a few of her pins in it.  She always wore high heels - how appropriate.

Here's the wall on the right.  Nothing too exciting for you, but it speaks volumes to my heart and spirit.

The desks are from Ikea and were super easy to set up.  Hubby put the drawers (all those WONDERFUL drawers!) together for me.  Love.

Ok, on to more spots in the room:

This is the main piece that was inspired from Pinterest and from this blogger.  She designs fabric - how cool is THAT??  Wow.  Anyway, we did ours slightly differently.  I had wanted a longer cutting table than she had. We took two of the Expidit Ikea bookshelves and laid them on their side, and then bought one smaller one for the end unit.  At first we were going to have a big piece of wood-something cut to make a longer board than the one she has in her photo that would have covered the entire top area of these bookcases.  But, after I put my big white cutting mat on this, I liked it as it was.  We didn't push the two long bookcases up flush to each other, but there is a slight gap in between to make the mat fit better.  It is not secured - we will see if I regret that later.  If I do, we will try something different.

The end book shelf is empty for now - I am looking for hanging-folder baskets to fit right in there.  I have lots of files to go in them!  I am having trouble finding them.... sigh.  The basket on top has things in it that I love - little photo albums, Shel Sliverstein books (the best EVER!!), my Wicked program - just things to pick up, browse through, and feel a little joy.  It's my JOY basket, I suppose.

These shelves in a little cubby next to a closet are nothing fancy, and I want to replace a few of the boxes.

The white box on the bottom sits on a two-drawer file cabinet. Pretty boring, but necessary.

Can you tell I have a label maker?  YES, I do.  I love it.

The master-bedroom part of this makeover is not finished yet. You'll have to wait for that. Dang.

While I worked to prepare this room, I found myself thinking of my grandmother (Mom's mom), Ida Mae, who we grew up calling Dee Dee.  Dee Dee walked to the beat of a different drummer during her time.  She was very creative and loved beautiful things, floral things, shiny things.

I also thought a lot about my own dear mother, who patiently began teaching me to sew when I was ten.  Bless her dear heart.  What a gift they both gave me to desire to create, and to have some skills to do so. I think they would both be pleased with this space, and would have loved to sit in it and create with me.

I guess I'll have to WAIT a little while to find out....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Babble About Baby Quilts: the Great-Nieces

Two great-nieces were born within 5 months of each other!   More "hugs" had to be created for them as well.

Here is Abby's, born in May of last year:

The pattern was a free one at Moda Bake Shop called, "Sugar Baby".  Abby's momma didn't want pink.  So, this quilt is mostly yellow, green and red.  I added the huge ric-rac because it seemed unfinished.  I do hope that the ric rac doesn't take away from its cuteness if it folds up funny after washing.  Still, it seemed unfinished to me.... maybe it's the fabric I chose for the sashing.  At least that is what my teacher and dear friend Carrie said.  I do love the binding.  Happy colors!

Yes, I learned to make the back a LOT simpler!  Girly on the back, too - I love it.  And, here is sweet Abby getting hugged in it:

Isn't she beautiful?!!
Abby had a cousin born on Sept 9 - the day before B and B's wedding!  I didn't start Ayla's quilt until a few weeks after all the hustle and bustle.  Her mom wanted it very girlie and PINK.  So, pink it was!  I got the pattern out of a book.  I also learned to photograph it better since I knew I wanted to blog about my quilts.  Yes, she CAN be taught!

I'm blessed to have a friend with a long-arm who is willing to teach me how to use it, and willing to help me!

I love the pattern of the quilted swirly flowers.  

This quilt makes me so HAPPY!  I almost didn't give it up!
But, I did.  Isn't she cute!
I loved making these quilts. It brought me great joy to send some love and warmth to these precious babies. I adore their mothers with all my heart  - as I do all my nieces and nephews, and their spouses, AND the ones on hubby's side as well.  We are blessed.   I hope to make lots of quilts!

I started my 6th one which is a Christmas quilt that will be late....

They will just have to WAIT a little while!

Babble about Baby Quilts - for the great-nephew

Within the past year, I had 1 great-nephew and 2 great-nieces join our family, sent straight from Heaven!  Oh, how I wish I lived near them!  Since I don't, I had to make some "hugs" for them.  Here is the first one I made, which was for baby Ridge and delivered last May (Here's his momma's blog) :

I chose a coin stack pattern for an "I Spy" type quilt.  I found the pattern at Moda Bake Shop. It is very busy and very boyish.  I forgot to get some good photos before I delivered it (ok, well, that's because I was still stitching the binding up until a day or so before I presented it.  I was on a long vacation and took it along with me to finish!).  The photos here don't show how bright it really is.

Being a new quilter (this was my third), I forgot the importance of making the quilt back a very simple one.  Well, this one was REALLY cool.... but became a little lopsided when it was put on the long-arm, which was my fault.  Another lesson learned the hard way.  I LOVE the black background fabric - it's my favorite one.

All wrapped up together!
Big brother stole it!  I guess I need to make him one, too!
 I wish I had been a quilter when each of my little great-nieces and great-nephews were born.  I have several  that I have sent little things to, but I would love to make them a fun scrappy quilt, too.  I just might do that.

They'll just have to WAIT a little while.....