May 31, 2016

Medical Monday: No News

So we have not heard any updates to our recent urology dilemma.  I spoke with the urology nurse multiple times last week, but she had no news for me and like me, she was waiting to see what the doctors decided...still waiting.  The way I see it, the scenarios are this:

(A) They rush us to Orlando to do the procedure we attempted in March before the Orlando doctor leaves July 1st.

(B) They rush us to Orlando to do a larger more complicated surgery to correct the problem, which would call for a longer stay. (if they attempt option A and are unsuccessful they had already said they would then go to option B anyway)

(C) They decide whoever the replacement doctor will be in Orlando will be able to sufficiently handle Clayton's case and they have us wait on the replacement doctor.

(D) Maybe they decide a urologist from another neighboring Nemours can assist with Clayton's case.

All this is speculation.  And regardless, with Dr. Swana leaving, we have to meet and greet with another doctor to decide if we like them.  Which sucks, because we already got aquatinted with Dr. Swana and I really liked him.  After so many years, I've developed a sixth sense as to whether or not a doctor will fit us very well.
The other problem is that the longer Clayton's stent stays in, the more at risk he is for complications.

Anyway, still waiting...

May 24, 2016

Medical Monday: Dilemas

In an effort to be consistent, I think I will TRY and start Medical Mondays where every Monday I post an update on Clayton's medical status.  I'm hoping giving myself a roadmap for posts will make me more consistent.  That said, we had two medical blows in March when routine kidney procedures and cancer scans both threw us a road bump, and rather than process this out loud, I've just been putting it out of my mind trying to enjoy April and May with no medical schedule or drama to be had.  June however, will put us back in the thick of it again...Deep breath...

In March, we did cancer scans and found that the lesions on Clayton's liver that we had been watching had grown slightly and he also had a spot on one of his lungs.  The good news is that while these results showed in the CT, they did not show in the MIBG which is the test that looks for neuroblastoma specifically.  The doctor felt the spot on his lung was likely just from him having been sick in the previous month.  So we had started spreading our scans out to every 6 months, but now we are moving them back up to every 3 months per the doctors orders.  Yuck.  Most people's question here is when are we checking the lesions on his liver again? June.  Why so long?  If we checked it again to soon and it was growing slowly, we might not be able to see that on the scan; giving us a false outlook.  By waiting three months to scan we are giving the lesions time to see growth...if they are growing slowly or at all.  If they are growing quickly, we would likely see symptoms quickly at which point we would know to scan.  So our wait is almost up.  So far, we have not noticed any symptoms that might be indicative of the lesions growing rapidly.

His kidney is another complicated issue.  During the second half of March we went in to have the stent in his ureter replaced.  We came out with the same stent we went in with.  Unfortunately, the doctor was unable to replace the stent as he had hoped.  He was concerned if he was any more forceful he would potentially perforate the ureter causing bigger problems.  So the doctor opted to wait until he could have an extra set of expert hands to help him.  Those would be the hands of the same doctor that came to assist a little over a year ago from Orlando.  Originally, that doctor would be coming here by the end of May and we would attempt everything all over again.  Then we were told that had been delayed due to a conference and it would now be sometime over the summer.  I have been waiting to hear from them on scheduling that.  To complicated things further, when we attempt to replace the stent again, if they cannot get it, then Clayton will have to get a nephrostomy tube until we can schedule a larger more complicated kidney surgery to try and correct the ongoing obstruction issue (which would need to be done in Orlando).  Wait for it...And I just found out this morning the other doctor is leaving July 1st to go to another hospital.  I don't fully know what this will mean for everything yet.  I do know that if that doctor is going to try and replace the stent before he leaves then he would do so in Orlando.  Meaning we could be headed to Orlando in June for either a minor outpatient procedure or a massive way to know until they get in there.

SO, that's what's up with us.  How about you?

May 19, 2016


So last week we lost our rooster.  He was a good rooster.  Skiddish, but plenty nice and I never had to worry about him being aggressive around Clayton.  The weather was so beautiful, that I let the chickens out of the fenced in back yard a few times to scavenge elsewhere.  Well apparently, I let them out once too often, because he was snatched by a coyote.  All that we found of him were piles of feathers.

But he died doing what he was put on this green earth to do which is to protect his ladies and his babies.  And while I felt bad for letting them out and thereby allowing this to happen because we have a perfectly good back yard and a perfectly good chicken run, I felt better knowing it was likely very swift and his final days were absolutely AMAZING weather.

It's funny, last year after losing some of her livestock, my neighbor commented that sometimes she forgets she lives in the wild.  Isn't that true of all of us though?  Our world is their world and we just push animals from their homes most of us thinking nothing of it.  Its hard to hate the coyote for doing what he does which is hunt for food.  We live on untamed property and one of the things I love about that is that it provides a natural habitat for various species whose homes have been taken from them as we push the boundaries of our cities and neighborhoods more and more.  We've relocated a few animals who have been pests and we have shot the ones threatening our chickens in their coop, but otherwise, we try to leave them alone.  They don't bother me (my chickens), I won't bother them.

This past fall, we got George's 14-year old lab set up on the back porch since she could no longer control her bowels and had such trouble walking.  We would bring her in when we went to bed, but earlier in the evenings when it was time for the chickens to roost, the rooster would come keep her company her first few evenings.  It was the weirdest thing...but sweet.
I distinctly remember growing up listening to my parents talk about all the places that use to be different when they were growing up.  Particularly my dad, because his family use to own a good bit of property that he use to hunt right here locally that now you could never imagine has having ever been anything, but back to back houses.  I didn't live with him and when he would come to town he liked to ride around and check things out...I heard lots of stories on these rides.  Now as an adult, I look around and see the same things and think the same thoughts as I'm sure my dad was on those rides. I live in what was once the country.  I live on the same property on which I was born and raised and I travel the same roads I have traveled for nearly 30 years.  I cannot describe how much it has changed.  What was once farm land and cow pastures is now neighborhoods and churches.  It's sad.  Makes me feel like we are an invasive species.  We are aren't we?  At some point, we as a civilization, decided we had the right to conquer everything and we haven't stopped since.  We barely consider how our explorations and population booms have any affect on the land and the animals that call it home.  And for those people that do consider it and try and make a difference they often get labeled as crazies and liberals, etc.  Well if caring about the earth God put us on and the beautiful things that God put on this earth with us makes one a crazy, then count me in.  Regardless, we should all take the time to consider how our actions and ways of living are affecting our planet and the animal that inhabit it and in turn how these things affect us.  The things that we do on this earth have so many health consequences that we cannot even begin to imagine.  Rather than embracing and caring for our natural world we are trying to create a controlled-synthetic environment and in the process causing harm to ourselves, our children and generation after generation to come...All while sacrificing the amazing natural gifts God has provided to us.  But I digress...

Who knew the loss of one rooster could cause such a tangent? I'm going to stop now because this could keep going.

The point is we owe it to them to do better and to be better and to think about more than just ourselves.