Monday, December 20, 2010

Time to Wrap up the Year

Keeda being innocent under the tree!
She is now almost 8 months old and we've had her nearly 6 months!

As this blog sits here waiting for me each day, life seems to be passing by before I get a chance to update this as often as I would like to - so I thought I'd do another recap of what's been going on the past few months and sign out for another year!

Megan has made it through her first semester of college at St. Lawrence University. I believe it was a wake up call for her in the fact it wasn't everything she had been dreaming it would be- she didn't like the dorm life at all and was very thankful for living just 15 or so minutes away from home so she had to spend very little time in the dorm sleeping and while she had some challenges with her classes not being what she wanted, she made it through those as well and got a lot of requirements out of the way for graduation- paving the way to a happier future there (hopefully)! Just waiting on her final grades to be released in January and enjoying her break- she doesn't return to studies until near the end of January.

Alex is doing much better in school this year and although we have our challenging days it's better than it was last year. My goal is to still get him through this year ( 10th grade ) and then into BOCES where I think he will be much happier for half of the day. His grades are better, he's doing his homework and at least trying this year, so I can't complain to much about that. A few weeks ago he started playing indoor soccer at the Boys & Girls club again- he used to play sports there all the time, but had given it up- I'm glad to see him out and about doing something again! He also still enjoys playing Dart Baseball on Friday nights with his great-uncle and cousins team. He is on vacation until January 3rd and glad of it! He technically has school today and tomorrow but I told him he could take the two days off- it's hard enough to get him to go on regular days, let alone when they are watching movies and having xbox tournaments and such in school- I mean seriously- why bother having school- oh, I know why- that little thing called State Aid the school needs!

As for myself, I have also finished up another semester of college- I won't have a 4.0 average like last time, but still did well considering everything. I know I will get an A in English Lit 102- I have a B+ in Accounting ( not bad considering I honestly learned nothing in that class! ), and B+'s or A's in my business classes- final grades haven't come out for those yet and still missing to many assignment grades to know for sure yet. Over all, I'm just glad to have this semester done with- hopefully Meg will be more settled with school in the Spring, therefore allowing me to be more settled as well with my own studies. I am enjoying the classes though and it keeps the mind working and that is a good thing.

On Thursday the 9th, I started having terrible ear pain in my left ear. Now mind you I have chronic ENT problems, so I really didn't think much of it. I started taking my Cipro that I have several refills on and figured it would go away. However, by early Sunday evening, I was in such pain I could no longer take it anymore- the pain was not only in my ear, but the back of my head and the bone area around my skull- truly one of the most painful things I've experienced- I went to the ER room and they guessed I had a middle ear infection although they couldn't see anything. They gave me drops to instill in my ear for the pain, a percoset for the pain ( which did nothing ) and told me to switch to the Amoxicillian that I had and to follow up with the ENT if it didn't improve in a few days. All sounded well, although I was still in a lot of pain, I continued to just figure it would get better- after all I've been going through this for at least the past 16 years. Tuesday morning, I woke up at 6:15 to get Alex up for school- had a bowl of cereal and was able to eat just fine- an hour later, I went to brush my teeth and when I went to spit, I couldn't spit- it just went everyplace and I felt like my mouth was frozen on the left side like I'd been to the dentist and had it numbed. After getting the toothpaste out of my mouth, I made some facial expressions in the mirror that completely alarmed me and made me think I was having a stroke- it really was what it looked like. I started going through my "ABC's" and "123's", names of family, etc. and the "brain" seemed to be functioning fine- so I was just unsure what was going on. I went ahead and showered and got dressed, and then woke up Ben and told him I thought I'd had a small stroke or was having a bad reaction to the medicine I had been given. We went to the ER and after doing a CT scan, they determined I did not have a stroke and everything looked great on the CT scan. Apparently the inflammation in my cheek and around my ear had gotten so bad that it was pinching on the facial nerves and muscles causing Bell's Palsy to happen- this was very frightening, but looking back at it and I've said it daily since- it could have been a LOT worse even for Bell's Palsy. Most people who develop Bell's don't have any control of their nerves/muscles and it looks just like they have had a stroke- some - most are not even able to close their eye, blink or anything else. I was mostly affected around the mouth area- I'm assuming because it was brought on my the otic nerves / ear problems. I was given Predisone to reduce the inflammation and told to follow up with the ENT. I spent the next couple of days researching everything I could about my new condition and each time I read about it and saw photos, continued to say this is bad, but I could have it a lot worse- thankfully I don't- even if it never improved, It wasn't very disfiguring or confining and I could live with it certainly. Thursday the 16th I went to see my ENT and he put me on Valtrex as well as the prednisone. Valtex is an Anti-Viral medication used to treat viral infections- which they think I have, which caused the inflammation to flair up, etc. - since starting to take that, I have terrible hot flashes/fevers, but I'm going to assume it's working in fighting the infection. The Bell's continues to improve a little each day- as silly as it sounds, I have much more control over "spitting" than I did that first day and while It's not 100%, I'm still seeing improvements each day, so I'm still hopeful for a full recovery. My smile is almost back to normal, I have pretty much the full tastes of foods back and no more pain on the left side at all. Now, I've developed pressure/fluid build up in my right ear though and it hurts to move my jaw - and waiting to talk with the ENT after he is out of surgery to see what to do about that. My right ear has been very sensitive since all of this has happened- noises seem ten times louder to me in the right ear and there has been a lot of popping- it may just be the imbalance between the ears causing the pain- but I'm not going to take a chance and let it go! I don't want Bell's happening on the right side!

With all of this going on, it's hard to believe Christmas is in just a few more days- I've been enjoying the decorations of the season for the past month and will be sad to see them packed away for another year! Christmas day itself is not celebrated out of religious views for my family and I- but it's a time of celebration and giving to those you love- a day set aside to let people know you care- but I have to admit, it was a lot more fun when the kids were little and believed in Santa and Rudolph and we would track the slay and such- although I enjoy the seasonal decorations- December 25th is just another day to me anymore- then again, the older I get, most holidays are like that- I suppose they will be until I have some grandkids to share them with and witness the innocent magic of the holidays with!

I'm thankful for all of my family each and everyday and I believe they know that and that is the most important thing. To everyone in the blogging world- I wish you health and happiness and hope you have a wonderful 2011!!

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