Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Diagnosis (Sorta)

Yesterday, I went for my weird leg tests.

I described my symptoms to (what feels like) the fifteenth doctor (I'll call her Dr. Brain) I've seen since my feet started tingling about eight weeks ago.

She made me jump rope.
She made me hop on one foot (and then, the other).
She made me do squats.
She made me walk on my heels.
She made me walk on my toes.
She made me eat cookie dough. (I wish).
She electrocuted me.  (It wasn't bad).
She poked me with needles. (It wasn't fun).

I know she doesn't sound very nice, but she was very nice and the entire interview and testing process took about 1.5 hours.  I think it was longer than usual because she had to do the electrocuting test twice because her computer wasn't working properly the first time (yeah me - actually, I'm just thankful it wasn't the needle test).  

THE DIAGNOSIS:  A mild form of a rare autoimmune disease called Guillian-Barre.  

Apparently, my immune system is attacking the myelin sheath of some of my nerves causing some muscle weakness in my toes and tingling in my feet.  We don't know what causes GBS, but for most people it occurs after an infection (respiratory or stomach) and usually symptoms go away in three months to a year (please, please let me be the three month version).

The strange thing is that I was NEGATIVE on every test she gave me, including the one for GBS, so it doesn't feel like a really definitive diagnosis.  She just thinks I have a very mild (albeit annoying) case of GBS.   I'm thankful all of the really, really bad stuff (that I read about on the horrible, horrible interweb) was ruled out.

Here is a somewhat paraphrased version of my conversation with Dr. Brain after she gave me the diagnosis.

Me:  So, is it all in my head?
Dr. Brain:  No
Me:  Why, because you see something on the test?
Dr. Brain: No
Me:  Then how do you know it's not all in my head?

Dr. Brain said that the symptoms I have were very classic for Guillian-Barre and that I lost my reflexes, which is also indicative of GBS (alternatively, she said people with MS have super-active reflexes) and also kind of weird.

So, bottom line -  I just wait and hopefully in a year or less (please less), I'm back to normal.  Dr. Brain said that for 99% of people who get GBS, they never get it again.  Dr. Brain also said that so long as I'm able, I should keep running (even if it feels weird).   She said that I'm not causing any nerve or muscle damage by running.  I guess this is good news- if only it felt less strange to run.

Oh well.  I'm sure I'll continue to write about my tingly feet periodically on the blog, but for now the case is (sorta) closed.

Cub got a haircut today.  It's pretty short, but I know it'll grow out again.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Tomorrow I have my super weird leg tests. Not sure if I'll get any results or if I'll have to wait for a doctor to analyze my results.

My new theories:
Today Cub decided that it would be fun to run outside on the asphalt while it was 97 degrees.  The look on his face pretty much sums up my feelings on the outing.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Our family had nice, relaxing long weekend.

Here is my favorite picture from the weekend - we call it the - Cashman Strut.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Today we discovered a few things.

1.  Tarantulas like our house - well at least one does.  Buttin played tarantula golf and flicked it into the green belt.  I made plans to get an exterminator out - ASAP.

2. Our park is gone (they're actually putting in new equipment), but Cub had fun playing in the big dirt pit.  Yes, this is Cub using caution tape as a swing - I'm a good mom.

3.  There are lots of bounce house places around our house.  We've never been to one (they're air conditioned playgrounds with bouncy things), but we did today and Cub LOVED it.  I think it's going to be a new tradition. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Filanthropy Friday

I hate it when NPR makes me cry.

However, this frequently happens on Friday because that's when Morning Edition plays StoryCorps.  The stories have been recorded by real people from across America and even when they're funny, they make me cry.

Today's story was a grandfather telling his grandson how he played Taps to mark the end of World War II.  It's only two minutes long, but it just had me sobbing in my car. 

In honor of Memorial Day - I donated $25 to Vet Dogs.  Vet Dogs provides services and companion animals to wounded (physically or emotionally) and/or aging veterans.  The dogs are provided at no cost to the veteran.  

I love dogs and veterans, so it seemed like a great way to celebrate Memorial Day! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Some Good Stuff

In bullet point form
  • For my birthday this year, I'm taking the day off work and having a spa day with my favorite parenting critic, Liz. 
  • Buttin and I are taking a little vacation this year.  We'll be celebrating America's Independence Day in Canada - more specifically, Toronto.  Buttin and I are still debating the pronunciation (Tor-ron-to or Taronto); however, I was listening to NPR the other day and they used the deliberate three syllable pronunciation, not the one where it runs all together. 
  • Cub had a good appointment today with a new ENT.  He's very nice and he's actually the wife of Ari Brown, the author of Baby 411.  Oddly enough, his wife works at the same pediatric clinic as Dr. Boston (which I knew), so I find it kind of strange that Dr. Boston would have recommended Dr. Butthead Jack-a-tard over her colleague's husband.  I told the new ENT (we'll call him Dr. Calm) about Dr. Butthead and Dr. Calm asked me his name.  I told him Dr. Butthead's real name and Dr. Calm said that Dr. Butthead was extremely smart, but not so great with people.  Dr. Calm said that if his children had serious ENT issues - he would send them to Dr. Butthead, but that any ole monkey (his words, not mine) can remove adenoids.  I like Dr. Calm.  Anyway, we're going to schedule to get Cub's adenoids removed soon.  He said the surgery only takes about 20 minutes and the good news - no pre-op blood work!!!  Yipppe for Cub and even bigger yipppee for me! Dr. Calm does NOT recommend taking out Cub's tonsils since Cub is still so young (as Dr. Butthead suggested).  He said that removal of tonsils is a more involved surgery and that the patient can't really act like a two year old - they have to be able to follow instructions and a two year old can barely sit still for five seconds. 
Even though Dr. Calm was very, very nice - Cub still wasn't very happy.

Here he is after having his nose checked.

 Here he is playing hide-n-seek after the doctor left.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Missed Misfit Monday

Last night I wasn't feeling very well, so I skipped Misfit Monday.

Yesterday, I won the touchdown duck - not for work related stupidity - just general stupidity.  I lost Cartman.  We found him -  don't worry - but he ran away from home (after I left the door open) and he was dropped off by some nice person at the animal shelter.

Buttin actually put up signs yesterday morning and received a phone call from a woman saying "a chihuahua tried to bite my child".  We knew immediately that was our Cart-Cart and he was OK!

Maybe if Cartman had been sweeter - a nicer family would have adopted him.   

In other news, our washing machine broke so we had to buy a new one.  Washing machine shopping is only slightly more fun than tire shopping, but I one dirty pair of shorts away from hobo-chic so I don't really have a choice.  

In other-other news, I think Cash and I played hide-n-seek in some poisonous plants.  We were both pretty itchy for a while this afternoon, but seem to be OK tonight.   

Here is Cub holding my hand on the drive home from school.  He wants to hold my hand while I drive, which isn't very comfortable, but I figure he won't want to hold my hand forever.  

Cub doesn't seem super happy holding my hand, so here he is being happy.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Interesting Idea

Yesterday I wrote about an interesting podcast that I listened to while walk/jogging. 

I'll give you the brief synopsis. 

A long time ago, scientists used to think that when a woman got pregnant - the baby's cells stayed completely separate from a mom's cells. 

Then scientists found out that if you draw blood from a pregnant woman you will find fetal cells mixed in with her blood.  Doctors figured that with the mom's immune system, the cells would only last for a few hours.  However, they discovered that fetal cells stayed inside the mother for DECADES - like forty to fifty years.  It didn't matter if a woman was pregnant for eight weeks or delivered a full-term baby.

After that discovery - Scientists developed two theories about fetal cells and their effect on the mom's body.  
  1.  Fetal cells may cause the increased frequency in auto-immune diseases in women; or
  2. Fetal cells actually help protect women from diseases and damage.
It turns out that fetal cells are a lot more complicated than just good or bad.  As it turns out there's some evidence for both and also some evidence that they have absolutely no effect at all.

Regardless of what fetal cells do, I kind of love the idea that Cub's cells will stay with me for decades and I think that they're helping me. 

Here's little Cub playing outside today.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Pictures

I was going to write a very interesting post about a podcast I listened to this morning while walk/jogging, but I'm too tired from spending seven hours outside in the hot sun with a toddler.  My interesting post will have to wait for another day (maybe tomorrow). 

Here are a couple pictures from our outside adventures.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Filanthropy Friday

Today President Obama will announce new investments in African agriculture.  It's a pretty simple concept of investing in long-term hunger solutions for Africa instead of just sending food aid.

As demonstrated in my many posts about cookie dough, Cadbury eggs and Girl Scout Cookies - I'm very anti-hunger.  

This week I donated $30 to Heifer International for bees.  Bees aren't as glamorous as an actual heifer (they cost $500), but apparently bees are extremely helpful for increasing agriculture production.  I hope the bees sent to Uganda will be nice, productive and sweet bees and not the kind that sting for no reason.  That would be a big Filanthropy Friday failure. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Unicorns, Pixie Dust and Free Vodka

I received a complaint.

Apparently my blog has gotten "too depressing" with all my doctor/illness/injury conversation.

The title of this post is for the complainer, who shall remain anonymous (ahem, Liz).

The rest of this post is not for her (so stop reading anonymous reader). 

Today we went to see the ENT for Cub's enlarge adenoids and snot production surplus problems.

Bottom line: Cub will probably need his adenoids and tonsils removed.

However, the doctor we saw today (who will henceforth be referred to as Dr. Prick the Huge Asshole from Butthole Town) will not be operating on Cub or be seeing him ever again.

He was the most condescending doctor I've ever visited.

Here are a few examples.  Imagine that every time "Dr Prick" speaks - he is rolling his eyes and speaking to me as though I am five and don't understand English.  

Doctor Prick:  So, what seems to be the problem?
Me:  Oh, Cash has been snotty his whole life - you know, sinus issues, allergies and colds.
Doctor Prick:  How do you know it's sinuses?
Me:  Oh, I don't really know, I just kind of assumed snot comes from sinus issues.
Doctor Prick:  Drainage doesn't mean there are sinus issues.  Has he had a cat scan?
Me:  Nope.  I was just referred to you after doing an xray.
Doctor Prick:  Well, a cat scan is the only way to really diagnose sinus issues.
Me:  OK, do we need a cat scan?
Doctor Prick:  I'll determine that need later.

Doctor Prick:  So, do you do anything for his nose to help with the drainage.
Me:  Like wash it?
Doctor Prick:  Yes.
Me:  No, not really. We have him blow his nose and when he was much younger I used saline and bulb suction.
Doctor Prick:  Well, it says here you use Nasonex (gesturing to one of the ten million forms I filled out).
Me:  Yes.
Doctor Prick:  Well, Nasonex goes in the nose - you're putting it in his nose, aren't you?
Me: Yes.
Doctor Prick:  Well, than that IS something that you're doing to help with the drainage.
Me: (Gulp) OK, I guess I didn't know exactly what you meant by the question.  (I felt like saying, well he also puts his finger, edamame and a random straw up his nose - does that also help with drainage?)

Doctor Prick:  So, describe this "stalled breathing" thing that he does when he sleeps, how long does it last?
Me:  About 5 - 10 seconds.
Doctor Prick:  Are you sure?
Me:  I think so.
Doctor Prick:  OK, let's hold our breath for 10 seconds.
Me: (really?  this is patronizing).  OK
Doctor Prick: (Gets out his watch as I pretend to hold my breath for 10 seconds).
Doctor Prick:  OK, is that how long it is?
Me:  Well, maybe closer to 5 seconds.
Doctor Prick:  Well, that's important so you need to observe him more while he sleeps.
Me:  OK.

Doctor Prick:  Your pediatrician did not send over the xray.
Me:  OK, I don't remember the name of the place, but I know it's on Parmer . . .
Doctor Prick: (cuts me off) Well, if you don't know the name of the place it's a waste of time for us to look it up at the five different places where it could be and this appointment is kind of a waste of time.
Me:  OK, let me look it up in my phone.
Doctor Prick:  Yes, please do.

Thankfully, I found the name of the xray place and he was able to view Cub's enlarge adenoids.  Apparently, his passageways are blocked by about 75% and his tonsils are larger than normal, but not huge. 

I am not exaggerating any of the dialogue above - if anything it was worse. 

Dr. Prick also thinks he is humanity's gift to all people especially stupid mothers (like me), but has less bed side manner than Dr. Bitch soaked in alligator piss - and that's saying something. 

The search for a reasonably nice, non-condescending and relatively nice smelling ENT continues.

Here are a couple of non-depressing pictures of Cub.

Eating a healthy vegetable dinner (if potato chips count as veggies).

Excited for bath time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Good Grief We're A Mess

I have dreams that one day I'll write non-illness/injury posts, but today is not that day.

Today, Cub came home from school around noon with a low fever. He was pretty playful all afternoon, but he has to stay home tomorrow.  Thankfully, we were able to find a babysitter.  I hate that I'm paying for DAYCARE and a BABYSITTER, but I guess I don't want him getting other children sick.  

Today, I went to see the chiropractor again.  This time, I saw her husband (who I guess is an ultra-mega chiropractor).  He is pretty convinced that my tingly feet is a RSI (repetitive sports injury), not something to do with my nervous system.   He made very painful things happen in my calf muscles and he said they were extremely tight.   He recommended buying a new pair of running shoes, getting about three very painful massages (they call it "therapy" so as not to confuse it with a pleasurable experience) and to lay off the running.  I'm not sure I'll follow that last recommendation although I like him.

Here is Cub resting on the couch after his nap.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Misfit Monday

Misfits break stuff (a lot). 

Good news is misfits can also fix it.

You engine falls out of your car - a misfit can fix it! 

A fan blade breaks - a misfit can fix it!

A misfit falls through the ceiling - a misfit can fix it! 

Well today, after fixing a very expensive piece of equipment about five bazillion times over the last year, a misift's luck ran out (and so did the company's).  Now we have to buy a new very expensive piece of equipment although we weren't quite planning on spending this money until November or December.

Oh well, everyday there's something new and exciting happening.

Here's Cub today eating a lollipop.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

We had a fabulous day relaxing with the family - Mormor, Dadoo, Bubie, Gigi, Nana, Mimi and Neva.

Here's a little picture of Cub smiling (he was kind of grumpy this afternoon so smiles were kind of rare).

Friday, May 11, 2012

Filanthropy Friday

I had two thoughts - YEAH and DUH.

I honestly don't understand why gay marriage is even an issue - it seems pretty basic that anyone should be able to marry anyone they want. 

Here are things, that I would consider more dangerous than marriage that all people are allowed to do (in some States):
  • Own a firearm (including a flamethrower and lots of other pretty extreme explosives)
  • Drive in a car with a caged bear (uncaged is illegal)
  • Drink
  • Smoke
  • Take prescription drugs
  • Own a deadly, exotic animal
  • Ride a bike in the street
  • Liposuction
  • Bake cookie dough
OK, so maybe some of those things are less dangerous than marriage (depending upon who you marry).  

This week I donated $25 to the Human Rights Campaign - a civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Americans.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Riggs & I Get Blood Taken


He's been having some runny poop the last couple of weeks.  I took him to the vet this morning.  The vet took Riggs' blood (he wasn't a fan) and we discovered that Riggs has a parasite.  We have medicine and he should be on the mend soon.


This morning (after twelve hours of fasting) I went to get my blood taken - ten freaking vials!  I sat there long enough to find out that the phlebotomist has a eight (going on 18) year-old daughter, that she got a divorce a year ago, but wants the man back, but he's already living with another woman and he is not the father of her 8-year-old.  Also, the 8-year-old hasn't seen her father in seven years.  All of this information without any prompting from me - I was just there THAT long.

She said my blood draw was "as complicated as it gets".  I apologized for being so complicated, but she said it was OK because it gave her good practice.  

I also peed in a cup.

My one big observation from having blood taken (both mine and Riggs') - the vet was able to give Riggs' results to me in about 10 minutes, but I have no idea when I get my results. 

This afternoon, after all the rain - Cub decided to run into a puddle and fell on his back into the mud (a la Charlie Brown trying to kick a football).  He wasn't very happy when he fell, but then he thought all the mud was silly.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Neurologist

This morning I went to the neurologist for my tingly feet.

He asked me about a bazillion questions and poked me (with everything from a Que-tip to a tuning fork) about five bazillion times.

Diagnosis:  I need more tests. 

He referred me to another doctor (a neurologist) who is going to do an Electromyogram and a Nerve Conduction Velocity test on me. I'm not looking forward to having needles inserted into my muscles.

I'm also going to have a metric shit-ton of blood work done - everything from ebola to vitamin deficiencies.  I actually sat in the lab waiting room for over 30 minutes before finding out that I need to fast before getting my blood taken.  I'll be grumpy and bloodless that morning - so misfits beware.  

This afternoon, I discovered that my house key was inside the house and that Cub and I were locked out.  We had to call Buttin to come rescue us.  Cash decided to entertain himself by taking hilarious (to me) videos of himself.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Misfit Monday

Strangely enough, no weird misfit stories today.  

We did have a little sales contest in April and one of our misfits won her choice of a puppy or Justin Beber spiral notebook - she selected the puppy spiral.  It's was a pretty awesome prize - she's a lucky misfit.  

One of our misfits started a company Facebook page - I know he's still working on it, but so far we look like a fun company.

Here's Cub today trying to keep me inside. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Movie Reviews & Pictures

Loved this movie!  It was super, duper fun and I smiled, laughed and cheered the entire way.  

This movie was not so great.  There were some entertaining parts, but I really didn't get it. 

And now, for some pictures that Cash will hate (keep in mind, he selected his wardrobe or lack of one).  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Updates

  • One Cubbie cold  - he woke up at 4 AM and came to bed with us and slept in till 6:30. He got better as the day progressed. 
  • Buttin gave me the morning to run, relax and go to a friend's baby shower.  Sweet Buttin.
  • Two Cubbie bumps on the head - a couple knots, but nothing too horrible. 
  • My feet still tingly. 
 Here are  a couple Cash pictures.  

Attacking me with the hose (it's really freaking hot already). 

Playing Hide And Go Seek - he's a little cheater. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Filanthropy Friday

It feels kind of like deja vu from a few weeks ago

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the American Red Cross of Central Texas because the Austin Apartment Association had just completed a super successful fundraiser.  I also wrote about a misfit's mother who was recently diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. 

I guess - good stuff first.

Last night, I attended the American Red Cross of Central Texas 2012 Fire & Ice Gala with Buttin, Liz and Jonathan.  Liz's company, Ultimate Resumes, was a "Be A Hero" sponsor for the event (so she pretty much wins this week with her level of filanthropy).

We had a really awesome time - the food was great, the drinks were free and I even brushed my hair and put on make up for the occasion.   See - look.

This week, I donated $15 to the American Red Cross of Central Texas.

I guess - terrible stuff next.

Yesterday, our misfit's (Bobert) mother died.  I wish there was more that I could do for him. At the office, misfits are coming up with ideas of things that we can do when he returns to work - lots of hugs, lunches and Cadbury Eggs.  

I donated $15 to The Breast Cancer Resource Center of Central Texas for Bobert's mother.  The BCRC provides various support and guidance services to women with breast cancer in the central Texas region.  It feels like the right place to honor Bobert's mother. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

That One

Cub's new favorite thing to say is - "That One".   Usually "that one" involves something he already has, but someone or something else has the same something and he wants it.  Here are a couple examples.

The Protein Bar

Cub loves Buttin's icky protein bars.  Cub will run to the pantry and point and say "bar, bar" in the morning.   I usually cut them in half because he can only eat half at once.  Here's how it went this morning:

Cub:  Bar, Bar
Me:  OK, here's your bar (half)
Cub: puts bar down on chair after taking a bite
Riggs:  grabs bar off chair and begins to eat it
Cub: Bar, Bar
Me:  OK, here's your bar (the other half)
Cub: pointing at Riggs - THAT ONE!
Me:  Cash, Riggs is eating that bar, but you have this new one.
Cub: pointing at Riggs with more determination - THAT ONE!

The iPhone

So, we're bad (or good) parents and we bought Cash an iPod Touch (refurbished) because we were tired of him playing with (and breaking) our iPhones.  We put videos on his Touch (we call it his phone or mini-pad) and we still have some videos on our iPhones (in case the Touch is not available).  Here's how it went this morning in the car:

Cub:  watching Yo Gabba Gabba on his touch notices my iPhone in my lap - THAT ONE
Me:  Cash, you have your phone - this one is my phone.
Cub:  pointing at my iPhone - THAT ONE.
Me:  give him my iPhone
Cub:  Turns on my iPhone and proceeds to find the EXACT SAME episode of Yo Gabba Gabba he was watching on his Touch.

So, now you understand "That One".  He also likes to say "That Way" (when he thinks I'm not driving or walking in the correct direction).  

We had a fun afternoon so here are a few pictures.

Running from a monster (me).

Attacking a monster (me).

Peek-a-boo in our neighbor's yard (we're popular with the neighbors).