Sunday, January 30, 2011

In Shock

A week ago Saturday (22nd) I was really sore from a workout the night before. But, not only did my back hurt, my skin hurt too. I kept thinking it sure was weird and maybe my mind was playing tricks on me because I couldn't see anything red or irritated looking. Then I thought perhaps all that moving around just caused some chaffing or something.
Day after day it continued to hurt on my left side and my back. Tuesday morning as I was getting in the shower I noticed there was a rash. Well that's why it hurt! Apparently it just took a few days to look like it was feeling! But then Wednesday morning it was looking worse. Some small blisters were forming on the rash. The pain was increasing around the rash and also radiating outward down my leg and up my back. The rash had also grown. It looked like a belt from my belly button around to my spine but only on my left side. During the day I'd also started feeling sick. I was was nauseous, had a headache, and was really tired. I was starting to worry that I was pregnant. I was a bit relieved to get a negative on the pregnancy test though! By the time Joel came home from work I told him I wanted to go to the doctor and see what was wrong.
So of coarse I saw the nurse first and I told her everything that was going on. She was just as stumped as I was but wrote everything down for the doctor. When the doctor came in she asked to look at the rash. She then told me I have shingles. Uh, what?! Basically as soon as the nurse told her I had a painful rash she knew that was what it was. Pretty much all my symptoms are textbook shingles. The rash, pain, flu-like symptoms with no fever etc. I was in shock. Most people who get shingles are 60+. But apparently while it is less common for a younger person to get it, it isn't impossible. Great.
So, the short version of shingles. It's caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Anyone who has had the chicken pox carried the virus dormant in their nerves. If your immune system is weakened it can flare up as shingles. It is mildly contagious but you can't catch shingles from someone with shingles. You can catch chicken pox if you've never had it from someone with shingles. But even then you 'd have to touch the rash/blister to have a possibility to get it.
It is a very painful illness! The doctor gave an antiviral medicine but isn't a cure, just to help it clear up faster and hopefully keep it from getting too bad. On the short end it will last 2-4 weeks. On the long end, months. I read that even after the rash clears up the pain can persist. I really hope that doesn't happen! It is really hard to describe the pain. Since it is in the nerves it radiates inside the body as well as hurting on the skin. I have pain mostly on my left side but not completely. I can feel pain all the way down to my foot and up to my left hand. Occasionally on my neck too. And then on top of that I feel like I have the flu. My head pounds, I feel sick, have the chills, and am tired a lot.
But, I do feel very grateful that my case is only on my lower left side. You can also get it on the neck or face. If you get it in your eye you could have a possibility of going blind. It can also cause nasty scars. And I'd much rather have scars on my side than on my face!
Thank you everyone for your concern and offers of helping me out. I'm just taking it day by day (some are better than others).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

What the kids are up to

Lucy is finally loving bath time. She crawls around and splashes like crazy!

Also, we now need to baby-proof the house. For example: Lucy is already interested in the stairs-yikes!

After being on vacation for 2 weeks, sleeping wasn't going too well for poor Lucy. But, we've almost got things back to normal. On a good day she'll wake up at 8am, nap at 10:30, nap at 3:00, and be to bed at 8pm. I'm always hoping the naps will be an hour and a half but usually if her morning nap is, then her afternoon nap won't be. Sometimes the afternoon one will only be 30 minutes. :/

These two are really starting to be great friends! Emery always wants to hold Lucy, and give her hugs/kisses!

But, Emery still also loves it when his little buddy Bree comes over to play! She follows him around and wants to do everything he is doing. And he likes to teach her how to do things :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowed In!!

Monday morning, we woke up to this....

About 6 inches of snow. With not much snow removal here in the south, we were pretty much snowed in! Joel stayed home from work and we just tried to stay warm!

Emery and Lucy didn't mind!

Lucy just loves playing with her big brother!

And Emery loves to play too!

Later, Joel took Emery outside to play in the snow!
This is the best picture I got-from the back door. There was no way I was going out in that! Brr!

I think Emery's favorite part was eating the snow!

Tuesday wasn't much better. The snow hadn't melted, and overnight we got freezing rain. A nice thick sheet of ice covered all that snow. So, we had another day with Joel home and playing around!

Here is a piece of ice from Joel's car. Yes, Emery is licking the snow from the underside of the ice. Silly boy!

Joel decided to take Emery sledding a little later in the day. We didn't have a sled, but the top part of our wheel barrow worked just great!


Wednesday the sun finally came out to start the melting process. Joel went into work after lunch and Emery headed out back to play some more. I tried to tell him that he shouldn't eat any more snow now that it wasn't fresh but I caught him several times eating it anyways. His response? "But mom, I just LOVE to eat it! It's my favorite!"

Somehow we managed to stay warm enough (our heat pump isn't terribly effective when it is below freezing) with the help of this...

And a few of these...

After days of staying in, we are ready for the roads to dry so we can get out! It was fun to have a little vacation at home for a few days though :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nevada: Part 2

Christmas morning!
Lucy loved to unwrap the gifts she got. But mostly because she liked the boxes. And paper. Oh well, maybe next year she'll actually be interested in the toys!

Emery loved to unwrap as well. In fact, after he opened all his gifts he graciously offered to help anyone else with theirs ;)

This was my 1 surprise for Joel. His very own Angry Bird. If you don't know what that is, google it.

Later on Emery found a nice box to fit all his gifts and candies in to keep them all together (and away from Lucy). Unfortunately the box itself was too much of a temptation for Lucy.

So, we found her her own box :) She spent most of the remainder of our trip pulling up and playing with this box!

Emery wore his new clothes the Sunday after Christmas

And we all got together for a little family picture.

Emery loved having Grandma to follow around, cook with, and read bedtime stories with!

Joel and I always look forward to playing games with Sam and Mary!

And before we left, Emery had to try out Grandma's new hot tub! Pretty nice on a cold snowy day, I hear!

When we finally made it back home, Lucy had one more gift waiting for her. Hopefully it is a little bit better than a box :)

Nevada: Part 1

We made it out to Ruby Valley, Nevada just in time for the annual Neff Family Christmas party. We filled up on yummy homemade soups, breads, candies, pies, and other goodies.

The children all dressed up to act out the Nativity from the bible.

This is the first year Emery has been in it. He chose to be one of the Wise Men.

Lucy got re-acquainted with Grandpa John.

And then Santa Ben passed out a gift to everyone! Emery was his little elf and helped pass them out. Earlier Emery told me he wanted to help Santa deliver gifts on Christmas eve. This is as close as he got :)

We has lots of snow for Emery to play in while we were there!

With the help of his cousins and aunt they made a huge snowman and snow fort!

Ben always loves to play with the kids!

And Emery was so excited to play with Ben too!

Lucy and I had lots of time to hang out together most days. Joel was usually working on the ranch and Emery was "helping" out Grandma Kathy!

On Christmas eve we had the big family dinner. It's times like these I am so glad to be a visitor and not the hostess! We had 21 plates set!

Here is Joel's brother Sam and his wife Mary (holding hands). Also at the table were Joel's niece Vivian and a friend Janie.

Here we have Emery, Peter, Lisi, Ben, John and Janie's dad.

Then there is Bill, Carol, Carol's sister and Grandma Kathy (at the head of the table)-the Awesome chef of the feast!

Lastly, here is Philip, Adam, Julia, Annemarie, and Louise.

After our bellies were full, we opened our Christmas eve pj's!

Lucy was the cutest!

Then it was off to bed before Santa showed up! I thought Emery might have trouble getting to sleep with all the excitement, but he didn't! He was out in under 5 minutes. Lucy on the other hand... sheesh! That girl was all off schedule during this trip!