Thursday, April 23, 2015

April Update

I feel like I haven't done much blogging lately- in fact, it's been nearly a month since my last post so I thought I'd do a little update.

Well, I'd like to think that spring is finally here. We had one more snowfall a few weeks ago but that's long gone and now the days are full of sunshine and outside time. Living in Alberta, we put up with a lot of winter. It can snow as early as October and last until the middle of April. Thankfully, it seemed (to me any how) that it was a slightly shorter winter than usual and I am thankful! 

Since the beginning of March, Doug has been working very hard, spending long hours with his work and in addition to a few weekend trade shows, he also spent two weekends away for church related stuff. It has been a long six weeks for us but we survived. Due to the fact that he'd been so busy and consequently physically and emotionally exhausted, as a family, we made the decision to spend Easter at home with just the six of us. We enjoyed suppers together, hung out at home and only ventured out for a Good Friday and Easter Sunday church service. This "staycation" was exactly what our family needed to recover. This busyness also meant that Doug's depression seemed to be more evident than other times. These lows that he has are really hard on me as his wife as my heart deeply desires him to not fight this battle. Through friendships and prayer times, we were able to get through this as well. In fact, the other night he said that there was an improvement on one of the "levels of depression" scales he uses which showed less symptoms than before! We can be so thankful for that!

The older two girls only have another 4-5 weeks of school left before we finish of this year. We are in the process of registering them for the fall. Andrea will begin high school online and attempt an accelerated program which will allow her to graduate in as early as two years. Of course, we always maintain a flexible mindset and she can always keep going for the third year if she needs. She's excited to do this and from her determination, I'm sure she'll succeed! Arianna and Sarah will continue with our traditional style with Arianna in grade 6, with math being grade 7. 

Sarah is Sarah. Her speech is coming along nicely, even her pediatrician and other friends have noticed it. Those improvements are really exciting! She has a really hard time holding a pencil properly and with a relaxed hand. She grips it tightly and therefore her ability to color or write is compromised. I will be getting in contact with an Occupational Therapist in the next little while to discuss this issue. Sarah's EI coordinator from Early Intervention came by for a visit one evening and was able to offer me some ideas as well. The iPad is a great tool for tracing letters and numbers even though they don't make much sense to Sarah yet. Although, the other day she held up two items and said she had "two of dem", so I know she's starting to get it. 

In addition to some of her positive improvements, we've also been going through a bit of a frustrating time with some of her behaviours as of late. She has a good sized collection of Playmobil and I was noticing that she was disassembling every. single. piece. This has not been a lot of fun to clean up so for the time being, it's being put away. She also tends to look for scissors and cut any kind of paper she can. We are now being careful to make sure they are always up high. As I was going through one of my journals, I noticed some lovely sharpie art work on one of the pages. Now that we can be outside more, I'm hoping that her need to look for trouble will decrease!

Joshua is in the homestretch of finishing his first year of high school. He has another eight weeks or so until exam week and then he's done. I think many good life lessons were learned this year and I know he's looking forward to being finished. He's also bought himself a bass guitar and has begun taking some casual lessons on it. He usually enjoys the bike ride to and from school with his friend and I think it's a good time for him to decompress after a long day.

I am doing fine. I still experience heart palpitations but I think(?) they are mostly related to stress. Now that all my testing and waiting is over, it seems that there has been a decrease in the frequency of them. This afternoon I met with my cardiologist... and the results are:

1. I have about 2,000 extra heart beats in a 24 hour period. (That's a lot!)
2. Normal heart function is 55-70%, abnormal is below 50%. I'm in the middle of that. 
3. I get to have another Holter test done in June. 
4. He has no answers to why my heart races. 

This round of tests was to be set up as a baseline. I will redo everything again (MRI, Echo, blood work, EKG, Holter) in a year and then I'll be able to see if anything has changed for better or worse over the year.

Well, that's about all that's going on here, have a great weekend. :)

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