Thursday, June 5, 2014

How Changing My Diet Lowered My Blood Pressure

Most of my friends that know me, know I love candy. Easter season, in my opinion, has the best selection. I love jelly beans but my favorite candy is Sweetarts Chicks, Ducks, and Bunnies. This year was the first year I didn't buy any of it. At the beginning of April, my husband and I started the GAPS diet and it restricts all forms of sugar. The diet is very restrictive and after 2 months on it I have seen really great results with my blood pressure. I have even been able to completely stop taking one of them!

I really believe the reason I have been able to cut my medicine back is because I've cut out sugar. The only sweeteners I use is fruit, honey, and maple syrup. I have found some really yummy recipes that use just fruit to sweeten them and since we have been on the diet 2 months I really think my taste buds have adjusted to less sweet foods.

When I researched sugar I realized how processed and refined it is. I knew it would be great if I could stop using it for good. I've never had a medical professional recommend I cut sugar out to reduce my blood pressure, they only suggest salt but since I started the GAPS diet I have been using more salt, eating more bacon, and not retaining water. I don't really miss sugar but now that I've been using salt, food taste so much better!

I've seen a lot of improvement on the GAPS diet and I'll be blogging more about it in the future. If you don't already follow me on Facebook make sure to so you get the updates!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Baby M is 10 months old!

Yesterday, Baby M turned 10 months old. She is growing so fast, it feels like just yesterday she was a tiny little baby in my arms. I even watched her stand without holding on to anything for a few seconds yesterday. She is also taking a few steps behind her push toys, she is going to be walking so soon!

I put her in the church nursery for the first time last weekend and decided to try it again yesterday and she did not like it! I was called to come and get her, and she was so upset, but as soon as she saw me the tears dried up.

At 9 months it's like a light bulb went off, and she decided she likes real food. Her favorite things are frozen blueberries and spaghetti sauce, and she makes such a big mess! We are doing baby led weaning so she feeds herself everything. I delayed introducing grains until last week when I gave her a baby cookie. After she ate it she was so messy, I just had to give her a bath.

Last week, we tried the city splash pad, but she did not enjoy the water raining on her. I think we will try it again when it gets warmer out, and maybe then she will enjoy it more. Bath time is another story though! She loves splashing around in the tub!

It is so much fun watching her personality develop; she is already a social bug and loves to be around people (as long as she can see mom!) I love being a stay at home mom and wife to my little family. Some days are really crazy and hectic, but I know this is where I'm supposed to be. It's by far the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me and I'm so thankful that God has blessed me with my husband and little baby M.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why I Don't Want A New Kidney

I had a friend ask me why I can’t go ahead and get my family tested to see if anyone is a match for a kidney transplant. It’s a great question and one that I have been asked before so I thought that I would answer it on my blog today.

Scar from kidney transplant. Check out this cute blog, she has lupus like me too.

Check out her blog here:FlowonLupus

The quick answer is that while it sounds like a great solution, it’s really a double edged sword. Once I get a donor kidney, I will have to start taking anti-rejection meds for the rest of my life. These meds are no walk in the park and have serious side effects. Also, the kidney does not last the lifetime of the recipient, I know of one person that has had her kidney for 20 years now, but the average is much less.

A lot of people find it interesting to learn that the diseased kidneys are not even removed during the transplant; the new kidney just gets placed (normally in a different location) and the old ones are left. The reason for this is that even if they are only functioning at 5% they are still helping filter blood. As they die and stop working completely the body just reabsorbs them. The surgery to remove the kidneys would also be very invasive.

Currently, my kidney function is around 25% which means that for a person with healthy kidneys their blood is filtered through the kidneys about 8 times an hour and so for me it’s a lot less. In order to be considered for a transplant, my kidneys would have to be in failure, and I would likely have to start dialysis while the search begins. Sometimes, I wonder if my kidneys even know they are sick because most days I don’t feel like I have a serious disease. They are just down there doing their thing at a much slower pace.

The procedure is really tough, requires a long stay in the hospital, and is something I hope I can post pone for as long as possible. In fact, I’m waiting for advancements that will reduce the anti-rejection meds, and who knows how long that will be. Lastly, I'm praying for complete healing.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 26, 2014 Doctor Appointment Update

I’m normally so nervous leading up to an appointment, but today I had an amazing amount of peace and calmness. It’s easy to be nervous when I go to appointments, it’s not as bad as I’m sure it would be if it were a check-up for cancer, but it’s pretty close. I’m always scared that I’m going to go in and hear that my function has dropped and I’ll need to start dialysis soon. I also feel so out of place when I’m in the waiting room and look at all the retired men and women who must be in their 60’s or even older. Many of them have obvious degenerating health but there I am, young and healthy looking (this is how I see myself anyways). It gets even more awkward when they call me back and ask me all the usual questions like: are you experiencing swelling in your legs, feet, ankles, or blood in your urine, or… the list is pretty long. Then they go over my medications and make sure nothing has changed. After I answer all these questions with the nurse I have to go and wait again. I’m sure your thinking to yourself right now, how long am I going to have to wait for this update…

Today, I saw the nurse practitioner and the doctor. I really like the NP, she is nice, soft spoken, and seems to have a really good understanding of kidney related issues. I met her in the hospital after delivery and today was the first day I had seen her since. She said that everything looks stable and it seems like my function has returned to base line for me. When I delivered M my creatinine had jumped to 3.03, it went down about 3 months later and today it is still where it was 3 months ago. The best news is that my protein spill came down to less than 1 gram (950 mg). She said that we can start trying to have another baby as soon as we are ready and everything looks fine to try again. My neph came in next and looked over my labs and said basically the same thing. He added that we would stop the Enalapril at my next appointment and then we can start trying to get pregnant then. He was happy with all the lab results and I’m happy that my protein came down. Even though my function did not increase it stayed the same over the last 3 months and that’s still really good news.  

I’m happy with the results and I feel relieved that my function is stable. We all agreed to talk about trying again in 6 months and for now I am going to try not to think about it too much. Getting pregnant can easily consume my thoughts, but I have more important things to focus on for now.

Kidney updates from last year:

It would make my day if you would "like" my Facebook Page for 2kidneybeans

Friday, January 24, 2014

January 2014 Adoption Update

Last night, I had a dream I came home to bunk beds in the living room and my husband telling me we were matched with a sibling set of SIX! That would be pretty exciting and crazy all at the same time. Then I woke up so I don’t know anything else about my dream family.

In December, our county social worker (all foster/adoptive parents have a social worker) called to schedule a meeting to update our home study but I had to tell her that we needed to put it on hold until the summer. This summer we are moving out of the little house in the country and back into our house in town and so we don’t want to put little ones that have already been through so much through another big life change.

It makes me so sad because what if the perfect kids for us get matched with someone else, but then are they really the perfect kids if the timing isn't right? God knows exactly what our family is supposed to look like, so I just keep praying for our kids because it’s likely they are already born.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Baby M 6 month update

I wanted to post sooner since Baby M turned 6 months on Saturday, but on Friday morning I found out that a newborn baby, born to a mom in my kidney disease support group, had passed away. Her little one was born at 25 weeks and it brought back a flood of emotions since my NICU baby was born and died at 25 weeks also.  Her little one was a twin and yesterday she posted a beautiful picture of the baby being held kangaroo style. I am so close to the mom’s in my group that I knew I would not be able to write a post that focused on Baby M, but now I am glad I can share an update with you today.

Baby M is the best little package I’ve ever received. Being her mom is more awesome than I ever thought it would or could be. Watching her learn more about this huge world she was born into is amazing. She has almost mastered rolling over from back to tummy and from tummy to back, sitting up, and she is becoming an excellent singer.

It’s not always easy to take care of a little 14 pound wiggly baby, but it is the most rewarding task I have ever undertaken. Some nights I have to get up at least every hour to go settle her back to sleep, and that’s hard. Then I remember back to when I was in the NICU with Malakai and I am simply so thankful that she is HERE with me, in my arms, and healthy. Those late night baby snuggles are pretty sweet too, even if I am barley able to walk into her room or we both fall asleep in the glider.

Etsy art, could not find the artist.
Baby M has brought some amazing people in my life too. The ladies that pump extra breast milk so that she can be nourished are amazing. One of them is naturally on a mostly dairy free diet and after a day or so of just her breast milk I commented that she was doing so much better and the other mom said she wouldn’t mind giving up dairy for her too.  My gassy little baby is hardly ever gassy now and if anything made a night of sleep difficult it was a gassy baby. The more I get to know the amazing ladies that pump for us the more I feel like they become a part of our family.

I also could not write a post about my little bundle of sweetness without talking about how awesome my husband is as a dad. Baby M loves him so much and it is evident by the way she looks at him. I also know he loves her so much and he takes great care of her. I’m going to enjoy watching their relationship grow. I have always been a daddy’s girl and I have a feeling Baby M is going to grow up a daddy’s girl too.

Being a stay-at-home mom to baby M and a stay-at-home wife to my husband is the best job I have ever had. Yesterday, I got a call to schedule an interview for a very good job that I had applied for but after hubby and I talked about it I knew I didn’t want to miss out on all the time I have with Baby M.

I love my little family that God has blessed me with, it is better than I ever thought it would be and thank you for caring about us and reading my update.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lupus Flare

Most of the time I forget I even have lupus and honestly if my blood work didn't prove it I would think that I didn't. Except for the past several days. I've had lots of cramping in my fingers and toes. It's not been as bad as in the past but I still noticed it. In the past the cramps in my toes have been so bad I have had to pull my car over and park until it passes. I've also got a huge fever blister on the outside of my mouth, when it was first coming I counted over twenty little blisters all clustered together, and there have been a couple on the inside of my lip.

These symptoms really aren't that bad. I can handle a few cramps, they don't last long and the mouth sores is pretty uncomfortable but with the majority of it being on the outside it has not prevented me from eating or caused any major discomfort, its just ugly. I wasn't even going to post about it, but something prompted me to do it. 

This morning when I read all the Facebook comments that people were praying for me, I knew that was why I felt prompted to post. We all need prayer. Amazingly, my fever blister is on the mend even before it got super bad. Thank You all for reading my blog, your prayers and comments are always a welcome encouragement.