The Balance of Life and Family

Hi all! Today I'm going to write one of those personal posts - you know, the thing I don't typically like to do (hey, there's a big internet out there and people are cray-cray)!

With the princess after her last surgery.

With the princess after her last surgery.

For those of you who know the story of my eldest, feel free to skip this section. :-) My daughter has a heart defect known as Ebstein's Anomoly. Basically, the right side of her heart was too big. Because of this, her tricuspid valve was malformed. I knew nothing about it until she was born. She spent the first 7 weeks and 6 days of her life in the NICU. I didn't hold her for the first time until she was 18 days old. At 20 months old she had her first surgery. It almost killed her. Her second surgery was less than 2 weeks later. She was given a mechanical heart valve and all we could do was wait. For 2 years she did ok, but was never 100%. The valve kept clotting and she was in and out of the hospital getting it working the way it needed to. In 2010, we took her to the Mayo Clinic because the valve was failing. We learned during that surgery that the previous surgeon did quite a number on her. He was an excellent surgeon - just not for her condition. The surgeon at Mayo was actually the foremost expert on her condition. Basically, if we had started with him, she very likely would have only had to have one surgery in her life, but because of the mess the first surgeon made, she has to have surgeries for the rest of her life. Stinks, right? Sigh.... After the surgery at Mayo, she has thrived in regard to her health. Praise God for that. Unfortunately, though, she is starting to struggle in school. She has a hard time remembering what she reads and, based on numerous studies that have been done, we believe it's because of the anesthesia she had as a child (check out more about that here). For the last few weeks I've been working tirelessly to get her the help she needs to get her back on track.

In the meantime, my health has been a bit crazy. From July of last year until March of this year I gained 20 pounds - all while working out 4 - 5 days/week. Of course I went to the doctor to find out the problem and oy... it's been crazy. After a few labs, it's become apparent that quite a few things are out of whack. My kidney tests show that I'm in stage 2 kidney disease. My brilliant sister (a nurse) believes it's because of my high protein diet (I always lose weight on high protein. Well, I used to anyway). My doctor actually missed it on my labs. We just happen to find it while compiling everything together. So I'm trying to figure out what to do about that. And there are other things that are out of whack (hormones, thryoid, insulin..). I got my insulin under control by busting my butt at the gym lifting weights. I've been following a body building program and dropped my levels from 47 (on a normal scale of 3 - 19) to 8 in two months! Woo hoo! But yeah, still haven't lost a pound. LOL. The other stuff, I'm still trying to get worked out. I'm a big diet and exercise person, so I'm trying to figure out the best method to get things back to normal.

And then there is the construction business. We have been super crazy. The job I manage has been tough because I took over management mid-project and I'm trying to get things flowing better. Here are a couple before/afters :-)

Obviously I love the work and I can't wait to see it finished but it's definitely been stressful.

So what is the point of all of this? I'm busy. I'm stressed. I have so many things to do around the house but I just can't seem to find the time. With that, I've decided to take a break from the blog for a bit so I can get the important things in life back on track. My plan is to pick back up after the first of the year. I would say I may check in from time-to-time, but I'm making myself take a break. Hopefully those of you who have followed will still be around next year. :-)

For now, I'm off to clean my house (something else that has gotten out of hand). See you all in a couple of months!