Archive for October, 2009

Downer

Today I had a conference for work and one of the teachers I work with drove me there. She was Gabe’s teacher last year and seems like a nice person. She’s about my age, lives in the same city as I do, and is very friendly.  She knows all about the boys’ ARPKD but does not ask a lot of questions about it nor did she donate to the walk.  Today while we were driving there we were talking about families and different things. I asked her about her sister-in-law.  She said she is a very nice person and she likes her a lot but she’s kind of a downer. She then said her sister-in-law has a daughter with some kind of disease and has a g-tube. Then she said her sister-in-law is “all consumed” with her daughter’s health and that is all she focuses on and is very neurotic about it. Interesting!! Does this teacher think I’m a downer and all consumed? And I a downer and all consumed?  Personally I do not think it is a bad thing to be all consumed about your child’s health. I also don’t personally think you are necessarily a downer just for talking about it. It’s hard to be a parent of a child with a disease and it’s good to focus on it and be an advocate for them.  I just really think before you make a comment like that about what is going on inside someone’s head you should really think about it and think what it would be like to be in their shoes.

October 30, 2009 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment

Awesome

I forgot to mention how awesome the ARPKD webinar was the other day!!  The PKD Foundation sponsored this educational ARPKD webinar given by Dr. Guay-Woodford, who is the guru in the field of ARPKD. And not only is she the guru but she’s the best!!  She really knows her stuff, plus she is so smart, and just really nice on top of that. And is a very amazing speaker. So besides being so excited that the PKD Foundation is now doing a series of ARPKD webinars I am also so excited that Dr G-W is one of the doctors doing them! We (the foundation) are lucky to have her!!!! What really makes it exciting is knowing that in part these webinars are happening because there are so many ARPKD families out there who raise money for the walk which funds things like this, plus research in ARPKD.  I know in 2008 we raised over $200,000 and I’m not sure on our numbers for this year but it was already well over $100,000 in the beginning of September, which was before many of the walks happened! In case you are reading this and were not able to log on for the Webinar it is on the PKD Foundation’s website!! So… even though I wish we didn’t have this disease I am grateful for the Foundation and for doctors like Dr. G-W who tirelessly give their time and themselves to help our children.

October 29, 2009 at 8:27 am 1 comment

Celiac Disease

As far as diseases go it’s very treatable.  But come on… do we need to add one to the list? I really don’t think so. It’s not definite but we saw the GI doctor today and she thinks Gabe might possibly have Celiac. It’s an autoimmune disease that attacks the stomach and intestines and does not allow the body to absorb carbohydrates/gluten. That is an oversimplified definition and what I learned from reading about it from Google U.  She thinks this is a big possibility for Gabe not gaining weight for many reasons. One is that his kidney function is good so it is most likely not related to his ARPKD.  Another is that he does eat a large amount of food and eats a variety of foods. And then there is the family history of autoimmune stuff in our family – hashimoto’s thyroiditis (mom and sis), rheumatoid arthritis (grandma), gout (dad and brother), positive ANA (me and my nephews – although doesn’t necessarily mean anything but an initial blood test for an autoimmune disease)…..  Then there is the amount of times he goes number 2!!  She also thinks if Gabe has Celiac then there is a strong possibility I have it as well. Of course the family history for me of autoimmune but I also have stomach issues (won’t go into details) and then I just found out I have a Vitamin D deficiency which goes along with Celiac.  And then there is my “pregnant” stomach.  People with Celiac have a distended/bloated belly. Last week a nurse asked me how far along I was.  That made my day!!!!!

So of course in the scheme of things and in the scheme of diseases in our lives I’ll take Celiac. But why can’t it just be easy and be nothing??? And then of course if it is indeed Celiac then we cut Gluten out of our diets. Of course I would do anything to help Gabe but really it’s just a pain to cut out Gluten!! And will just add stress to my life. But that’s what my life is all about these days… stress!!!!

October 28, 2009 at 8:06 pm 1 comment

Swine….

To get or not to get the H1N1 vaccine. That seems to be the million dollar question these days. And if you ask 10 people you might get 10 different opinions. Our pediatrician and nephrologist are both recommending it at least for Max and Gabe. But where to get them is a whole other story. No one has them right now. And then if they do get them who knows if they will run out before it’s our turn. Ugh. It is just way too frustrating to me. My nephew who lives out of state and did not get either flu vaccine happens to have the H1N1 flu right now.

There was this really interesting story in the NY Times this Sunday about the H1N1 flu and a pandemic occurring in our country. And what would happen with a pandemic and if hospitals ran out of supplies and medications.  So far most of the cases they talk about are mild but then you hear about those people who die from it as well. Just one more thing for my little head to worry about. Because really I don’t have enough to worry about with the kidneys alone.

Someone had the stomach flu at Gabe’s school last week and I freaked out. They threw up all over the place and the brother of that child is in class with Gabe. I think his teachers think I am insane but I told them to keep Gabe as far away from this little boy as possible and I have been purelling like crazy and using lysol too!  I know I am neurotic but would really like to avoid all illnesses. We have enough health issues around here.

October 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment

Different

We talk a lot about how everyone is different. Everyone has something.  I do this to show the boys that even though their kidneys are “different” everyone is different. I want them to be happy with themselves and to have confidence. But some days it gets me down that they are “different”. I wish they weren’t. Today we had this meeting at our Temple for the fourth grade retreat that is coming up in November. I found out they will be taking school buses to the retreat and it is a 2 hour ride and they will not be stopping at all.  I must have gotten this funny look on my face b/c the director looked at me and asked if that was a problem and then said we would talk afterwards. She is the nicest person so I knew she would work it out with me. But I hate that I have to think about all of these things and that Max has to be singled out. She said it is the bus companies policy to not stop. I am assuming it is a money issue and that is why they are on school buses rather than coach buses. She is actually driving her own car up behind the buses and said Max could ride with her and she would stop for him if need be. She is also going to talk to the bus company and see if they would stop if Max needed them to. I just don’t want Max to worry about it and/or feel singled out.  I know it’s not a big deal and I could always drive him if it came to that. I’ve just been cranky all week anyway and then this just adds to my crankiness. It’s one of those “small” things that could easily push me over the edge. It just makes me feel jealous of my friends who don’t have to worry about every little detail like I do.  And then when I really start thinking about it my heart breaks thinking about how Max must feel when he worries.  And how it must be for him to actually be the one with the medical condition.  I hope I am doing a good job making him feel like it’s no big deal and that everyone has something.

October 25, 2009 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Moody

Max has been really moody lately. He is nine and a half and in fourth grade. Is this just normal boy stuff for this age? Or is it something else.  For that matter Gabe has been pretty moody lately too. He is very whiny and cries at everything. He is three and a half and has always been an “easy” baby/boy!  Is this just normal three year old almost “f-ing” four year old behavior? I wonder about these things and question everything. They have good kidney function so can I equate any of their behaviors to their crappy kidneys even though their crappy kidneys are working okay right now.  The guru in the field is doing a webinar on Tuesday and I saw her powerpoint. One of the slides said something about the fact that kidney function is not necessarily an indication of disease severity. So could this mean that even though my kids have good function as far as numbers go could their kidneys not be working as well as we think they are. And in turn if they are not working as well as we think they are could they be having residual effects of this and could this be making them not feel so great and then be moody! What a long drawn out sentence for how my crazy mind thinks. I worry. I worry about them. Nate is not half as moody as they are. Hmm… I wish there was a magical ball out there that told me why they were moody and what they were feeling. I think Max doesn’t drink enough and then doesn’t realize that he isn’t feeling so great. I think Gabe’s kidneys are really big and he just doesn’t feel great in his tummy. Of course I’m not a doctor and just their worried mom but could I be right?  I hate worrying and then I hate second guessing my feelings. And what I hate more is that they might not be feeling great b/c of their kidneys. And I truly hate their kidneys and this disease.

October 24, 2009 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment

So close

I was this close to being interviewed today by ABC about having children with chronic kidney disease. It was all very exciting. I was even thinking about what I would wear (b/c you know it’s all about me looking good!). But it didn’t pan out. There is this PR person who has a sister in law with PKD. She is doing the Foundation a favor by trying to book PR opportunities in NYC. The Tri-State PKD Walk is Sunday and they are trying to promote it as well as PKD. Then this week an article came out in the New England Journal of Medicine about children with chronic kidney disease and some blood pressure medication slowing down the progression of the disease. So this PR person approached this medical journalist at an ABC affiliate in they city and it was almost going to happen but then it didn’t.

Just the thought of going on tv to talk about ARPKD is exciting.  I was thinking about all of the babies who have died from ARPKD and all of the kids out there right now who have the disease and how being on tv could really help raise awareness and much needed funds for research. I really, really hope we can get some national coverage on this disease and soon. As I think I mentioned I sent out an email to everyone who was registered as “walking for ARPKD” and in return I received so many emails. And many of them were from moms and dads who have had babies die from the disease. There are so many babies I need to add to my remembrance section. I fear the remembrance section could be as long as a whole newsletter. I don’t fear that it will take over the newsletter for the sake of the newsletter but fear there are just too many names of babies who have died from this disease. That saddens me. Of course there are too many people living with ARPKD as well. I kept thinking about being on tv and talking about how there is no treatment and no cure for ARPKD and that the transplant is not a cure….Maybe someday……

October 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm Leave a comment

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