Tags: ariel

Ariel Update

We went to the neurologist on Friday.  Ariel's brain scan is normal.  The MRI was done with contrast to show any scar tissue that might be causing pressure.  All good, but that doesn't explain the seizures.  The doctor said that some people's seizure threshold is lower than others.  Not eating, sleeping, high stress, illness, and drinking are all factors that affect the threshold.  Ariel does all the above.  Since she has been on the topomax, she hasn't had any seizures that I know about and her migraines are better.  I think it is possible that she wouldn't need the topomax if she would eat, sleep, slow down and not drink.  On the other hand, the medication is helping her headaches.  We are going to sit down and talk with her about it. 

One would hope that if she really realized the control she had over her own health, she would make a decision to take better care of herself.  But she is taking being 18 very seriously (ie) Parents know nothing; I can do what I want because I'm 18 which includes partying excessively and not coming home for a week at a time; I don't have to listen to you.  After one big behavior episode, we also explained to her, that because she was 18, she could also move out if she didn't like the house rules.

Seeing the immunologist has been a partial success.  For as much as Ariel has been constantly sick for years with upper and lower respiratory infections, she had no anti-bodies built up to the common bacteria that caused the infections.  The doctor vaccinated her and that seems to have helped.  She has been constantly running the roads since May and all she has to show for it is a persistent cough.  I count that as a win.  The immunologist also expressed to her the importance of eating and sleeping regularly - not so much success in that area (see above paragraph).

Part of me is sad that my baby is going away to college, but the other part can't wait.  Going away for a year made a huge change in Chuck's behavior.  He is home for the summer and it is the difference between night and day.  LOL, we very well may just do a kid exchange: Ariel moving out and Chuck moving back in.  He is certainly much easier to live with now.

So, any parently advice from you folks with older/grown kids?


(no subject)

Barely awake, but I don't know when I'll really be stopping this weekend. Well, it's over. My baby girl is graduating high school. We had honors convocation last night. All the girls were beautiful and I don't want to think how much some of those parents spent on dresses.

Today, is Ariel's graduation/birthday party. I'm up and rolling early this morning because I have so much to do before I get to my mother's at 9:30am. Including I realized last night, actually being dressed for a party, not just showing up in shorts and a t-shirt :(

Sunday is the actual day of Ariel's graduation and her 18th birthday. On Monday, she and her BFF head out to Florida for 5 days. I'm very glad they are staying with a cousin of mine and not in a hotel. They'll probably get in less trouble that way. Robert Micheal did inform me, though, that if they wound up in jail, I had to come and get them out, LOL.

Didn't get any writing done this week, just thinking. I have lots of great stuff in my head really wanting to come out and new notes that I need to write. Every time I made plans to sit down to write, something happened, usually an emotional roller coaster because I've had PMS from hell and can't make myself do anything except not cry and not kill someone. All the stuff with Ariel just added to it. Yeah, I know excuses, excuses.

Next week is going to be a short week because we are leaving to go to Kentucky Thursday night. There is so much to do before then. At work, I am transitioning to a new database (which is outdated, and will again be moving my database in a couple of months) and redesigning our web page with a programmer so students can apply, pay, and register on-line in their home countries. That programmer doesn't stop. She makes my brain hurt. And just to make it fun, the web page populates my databases, so everything has to match up. I'm learning a lot of html.

I have test gerbils...um returning students coming in next week to help test it out.

In the midst of leaving, coming, back and getting ready for registration on June 7, I am having to coordinate arrival and pick up for more students than usual, as well as finding people places to live, more than usual. I have a dry erase board for pick-ups and who goes where. I have to leave Alfredo in charge of running pick-up one day that I will be gone. Last time I did that he forgot to go to the airport. I need to find one of my Arabic students to see if he can check in on a new arrival (coming in while I'm gone) and take him shopping for stuff for his dorm room. I'm almost ready to cancel my trip because I don't want to leave with all this going on. Alfredo will be wrangling my Spanish speaking students and luckily the guy from Japan seems to have a good handle on English. And hopefully, nothing drastic happens while I'm gone. Everyone will have my cell phone number, but I don't know what I can do I'll be 12 hours away. Why does this busy weekend have to happen while I'm gone?

This started as a simple email to Tracy explaining why I hadn't gotten a lot of writing done this week and wound up an LJ post :)

Good Morning.

(no subject)

At the neurologist yesterday, the doctor said Ariel's increased headaches/maigraines were from the recent head injury in January.

The grey out/black outs were seizures from her old head injury when she was 10.  These seizures are something that manifest over time because of scar tissue at the injury site on her brain.

The doctor put her on topomax twice a day.  One of the side effects of topomax is decreased appetite.  Great, she already weighs 98 pounds, granted she is only 5' and built small, but she really can't afford to loose anymore weight.  I got up early to make her a protien smoothy, if I can get her to eat it.

We have an MRI with contrast scheduled.  The contrast dye will allow them to see the scar tissue better.  My concern, is the seizures have increased drastically over the last couple of months, along with the headaches.  I really think the recent injury is effecting them too.  If so, I hope the MRI shows some correlation.  The head trauma from January is in almost the same spot as the original one.

That's all for now.

(no subject)

Got Ariel in with a doctor we used to see in the past.  She gave her a shot of toradal and 5 days worth of prednisone to help shrink the swelling in the brain.  She didn't want to prescribe her a migraine medicine because we have an appointment with the neurologist on Friday and the GP didn't know what the neurologist might want to do.  I did find out the the neurologist is a headache specialist, so that's really good news.  I was just going off of a referrel because our old neuro retired.

In sadder news, I put Polgara (P) to sleep yesterday.  She was an old kitty.  P had bone cancer in her jaw.  She started having trouble eating and grooming.  She'd started loosing weight.  It was time.  She was always a little thing, never weighing more than 5.5 pounds.  I got her when she was 5 weeks old, way to young to be seperated from her mother.  The lady lied about how old she was.  She used to hide in my hair all the time and sleep there if she could, until we got The Dog, lol.  It was hard to get her to sleep in the bedroom after that.  She didn't want to sleep where The Dog was.

She definately had cattitude and was a cat only a mother could love.  She didn't like anyone except me until she got old, then she just used people for their warmth.  P was onery until the end.  I loved her very much.  She'll be missed.  We buried her in the back yard next to the garden.  I wanted to bury her next to her old buddy Sammy, but we planted an orange tree there.

Ariel's parting words, said with much love were, "Well, she was a cranky bitch" :)

Ya Think?

Pisces Horoscopes

(Feb 19 - Mar 20)

Tuesday, Apr 20th, 2010 -- Your involvement in health-related endeavors is gradually increasing, as Chiron the Wounded Healer enters your imaginative sign today. Even if you're not an official caregiver, your presence around those needing help is so strong now that you have a positive impact without even doing anything. But this is not a good time to remain silent. Although it's not wise to waste words talking about superfluous topics, saying the right thing can be just what the doctor ordered.


Gustav vs. Brenan

So, yesterday, I finally decided to pay attention to the incumbent hurricane.  When you live under the gun, it's easy to not get exited about such things. They are merely taken in stride, part of living near the coast. 

I went through my mental check list of things I needed to have on hand in case we lost power: propane, charcoal, gas for the vehicles, gas for the generator (which we immediately bought after Katrina), batteries for the flashlights, battery powered lamps (much better and safer than candles or oil lamps), dry goods, non-perishable food, water (luckily, in Louisiana, there is very little disruption of the city water supply or the gas lines but it is still good to have some safe drinking water on hand, just in case), pet food, and extra soft drinks and cigarettes (trust me, I want John well supplied with his caffeine and smokes during a hurricane).

On a good note, it's not winter so we don't have to worry about heating. On the bad side, it's summer which means it's hot and humid and will only get more so if the storm hits, especially if the power goes out.  We didn't have power for 7 days after Katrina. You want to talk about hot! We were sleeping on a sheet on the brick floor in the kitchen because it was the coolest place to sleep in the house.

On another good note, we have a gas water heater so we can still have hot showers.  On the bad side, we have an electric stove which is useless during a power outage so it's a good thing we already do a lot of outside cooking and are completely set up for it. We can cook in the back yard with grills and burners (optimal) or in the garage if the rain drives us there.  After Katrina, I really got in touch with my inner cajun and did a lot of old fashion cajun cooking with the big cast iron pots over the crawfish burners.  

Old fashion cajun cooking = is it about to go bad and needs cooking? Throw it in the pot. Add lots of onions, bellpeppers, and garlic (known as the Holy Trinity around here). Serve over rice or bread.  For that matter, throw some rice into the pot and call it jambalaya.

Last night I tried to get gas for my car so I wouldn't have to worry about it over the weekend.  The station by my house with the really low prices had already run out of regular unleaded.  I tried to get batteries this morning on my way to work, but the Wal-Mart that I went to was out of batteries.  Tonight we are going to make a supply run to stock up.  On the good side, everything we buy is stuff we would normally use anyway.  On the bad side, we wouldn't necessarily be spending all of this money at one time to get it.

LOL, oh well. So, that is Gustav.

Now, enters Brenan.

My 16 year old daughter has a new beau.  He is the best friend of the brother of her best friend.  Yeah, I know, convoluted.  The best friend’s parents have a camp on Toledo Bend which is partly in Texas, partly in Louisiana, and close to the coast.  My daughter goes to this camp frequently, usually with a bunch of their school friends and BFFs family, so she and Brenan have known each other for quite a while.

BFF is not at all happy about her brother and his friend intruding on her social life.  BFF's mom thinks it's all real cute.  I thought it was cute too until I realized that she and Brenan would be going to Toledo Bend together.  Suddenly, sleep-overs at a camp took on a whole new outlook.  I told Ariel if she and Brenan started dating that she wouldn't be allowed to go to Toledo Bend anymore, if he was going to be there. 

She was not impressed, and I did eventually realize that it wasn't something that hadn't already happened before, but still . . . The dating part is new.  Okay, call me over protective.  I reminded Ariel that she had to maintain holy spirit room between them (old joke).

I trust BFF's mom to keep on top of the kids, but still . . . they're teenagers . . .

Well, last night, BFF's mom called to find out if it was still going to be okay for Ariel to leave with them to go to Toledo Bend because of Gustav. I was like, "what?"  It totally hadn't occurred to me that she wouldn't be home during the hurricane.  Hurricane and boy were completely different issues and hadn't crossed over in my mind at all. And it had certainly never occurred to me that they might be happening at the same time.  I laughed and told the mom that I'd been more worried about Ariel and Brenan going to the camp together, my own inner hurricane, then I'd been over the actual hurricane. 

The actual path of Gustav is still to be determined.  By Friday, we might have somewhat of a clue.  But hurricanes are fickle creatures. You never know exactly where they are going to go or how much damage they are going to do.  It could ground out on Cuba or it could enter the gulf, suck up all that warm water and hit Cat 5 in no time.  You just don't know.

While the trip is still up in the air, I think we’d rather Ariel be home during the hurricane where we don’t have to worry about her. We’ll worry about the boy later.