Fall is Falling!

Hello all!

We are trying to get better at updating this again. Lots has happened since our last blog post. First Derek has been enjoying working with the Young Men at church and did his first camp out a couple of weeks ago. He really liked being able to build a fire because they needed too not just because they wanted too. Heidi is continuing to do well at school and her first Parent Teacher conference went really well. She is excelling in math and ahead of most of the class. JW had adjusted to being home with Mom and is a big helper. Nichole has been called to serve in the women’s organization Relief Society at church as the 2nd councilor. While a new experience she is looking forward to working with these amazing women. She has had some setbacks with her health and is going to have another colonoscopy so the GI doctor can try to figure out why she keeps flairing.

We had some visitors in September as Nichole’s Uncle Frank came for a few days and we had a good visit. He loved playing with the kids and seeing some new country. Derek’s parents also came for a weekend and were able to help us get some projects done around the house and workshop. They drove their camper down and the kids loved taking turns spending the night in there with them.

We took our family photos last weekend up in Santa Fe, we posted some on face book and the rest are in the gallery. It was so beautiful to see the aspens turning and to see the signs of fall and to have cooler weather. We are so great full to be here and to be enjoying the area and the weather.

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We hope everyone is doing well!

Out of the Deep freeze!

Hey all!

We have been a little busy lately so have neglected the blog.  Christmas was really nice, the kids enjoyed having Daddy home for almost 2 weeks. Heidi got a bike and James got a train set from Santa. Lots of smiles and pictures in the gallery. We spent most of January trying to stay warm and even ended up with some burst pipes in the barn. Derek had to replace and repair one of the automatic waters in the barn.

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We do have unfortunate news as Buck passed away in the middle of January from Colic. He was a great horse and we all miss him but we are glad that we had him for a few years and he taught our kids how to ride.

My health has had a little set back as the Ulcerative Colitis has flared up again. After a multi Doctor conference it was decided that I will start a drug called Remicade. It works the same way the Cimzia but they did not want to put me on the same drug again on the off chance it would make me clot again. Other than that things are going pretty good here, glad that our weather has warmed up and we are looking forward to Spring!

Week 21

Hey all!

Just updating the blog about the Dr. appointment that I have last week. It was the Ultrasound to double check my veins and to make sure the stints and filter were still in place and working. It went very well and everything is where it is supposed to be! The filter was clear so no clots were attached or flowing through, which is a very good thing. The other thing was that both of my legs were clear which is the most important. The interesting thing is though that the right leg had evidence of a clot at some point in my upper thigh, but it occluded, which means the thinners did their job and allowed the vein to absorb the clot and allow flow to resume. They think it happened some time while I was in the hospital. So this means that I now have to wear the compression socks on both legs all the time. I admit that I am not as good about this as I should be but I am getting better about it. Since I was pretty much clear I do not have to go back until next year for a yearly Ultrasound on the filter to make sure it is still there and not getting clogged. Other than that things have been going pretty well. I am still gaining back some feeling in my lower left leg around my ankle, though the progress has slowed so I do not know how much more will be coming back.

We also have a visit from Grammy and Papa last weekend. The kids were super excited to see them and we had lots of fun. Papa was still recovering from his back surgery but he was doing pretty good! The kids had lots of fun and were excited to go to the beach. We drove to Mexico beach which is about an hour and 20 min from our house to the south east. It was fun to see a different part of the coast and the kids had fun harassing the seagulls.

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We also got Papa and Grammy to help us take some family photos while they were here and it was nice to have the extra hands! They turned out pretty good considering we had 2 horses and 2 kids to try to keep in line!

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There are more in the gallery so go take a look along with the beach pictures. That about sums up the happenings around here, we are just excited for fall with the weather starting to turn cooler!

Recover weeks 17 – 20

Hey all!

Things have been pretty busy around here with not much going on in the way of recovery so I have not posted much. I did have a follow up with the Plastic Surgeon and he said that my hip was healing up well. I have to go back and see him in December so he can check the progress but he does not think he will be doing any re-sizing surgery on it until February or March. I just have to keep it hydrated with lotion to allow the skin to regenerate so that it can keep the tissue healthy by itself.

My leg is doing better, though I am still having some nerve pain when it gets hit or rubbed the wrong way. I have been riding the horses more and I am still in the English saddle to keep my hip from being rubbed raw, but this saddle is harder on my leg. This means that I am having trouble riding several days in a row. As long as I have a day in between it seems to be doing ok, but it is kind of a bummer since the weather has been so nice that I have to keep my feet on the ground.

Derek has been busy with 2 work trips one to San Diego and the other to Italy. Both for meetings on his various projects that he is working on. He had an enjoyable time though was pretty jet lagged from both trips since they were both done within 2 and a half weeks. The kids have been doing great. Heidi is having fun with the pre-school work that she has been doing and both she and JW were excited to help with the fall garden. We are also getting ready to separate the kids into their own rooms so we have a new desk area in the living room to allow us to get rid of the huge desk we have. We are sad to see it go but it is time for the kids and their toys to have their own space!

I have an ultrasound appointment with the Vascular Surgeon in a couple of weeks so I will post another update after that! Hope you all are doing well!

 

Recovery week 16

Hey all!

Well we have been enjoying some rain free weather the past few days which has made the mornings cooler and we are loving it! I did receive some news this week from the Hematologist about the test results from the blood work he did. He found that I have a clotting disorder called Protein S Deficiency. What this means is that my blood does not have the correct coding to shut off the clotting function in my blood. It basically is over compensating all the time. Coupling this with the May-Thurner syndrome of the veins is probably what caused the DVT. There is not much to do for this other than to stay on the blood thinner which I am currently taking. I do have an increased risk of clotting again even on the medication so I will have to be careful to watch out for that. It is also inheritable so my siblings and children may be at risk for having the disease, so they will need to be tested eventually. There is not much more of a lifestyle change or anything else I will just have to be monitored for the rest of my life. ( Like that is a new feeling with all the other stuff I have ūüôā Over all it is good to know that this is something I can manage and may never have issue with again. On the plus side the symptoms of my UC seem to have reduced so the Dr. thinks this may have been the cause of the UC. That will not be determined until I go back to the Gastro, but it is nice to know there may be and end for some of that trouble. Other than that things are getting back to normal and I am extremely pleased with the progress that I have made over these few short weeks. I know my Heavenly Father has looked out for me and blessed me with this fast recovery.¬†¬†I go back to see the plastic surgeon next week, hopefully for the last time for a while and I am looking for ward to the family reunion coming up in Burley ID. It will be nice to see the crazy Caresia clan again! Hope all is well and I will post again next week after the appointment!

Recovery week 15

Hi!

Well these past few weeks have been going pretty well for me. First of all I was able to shower normally which has been extremely exciting for me! It is so much nicer to not have to worry about the bandage getting wet. While the hip still does have a bandage on most of the time since it is not 100% closed it is getting much better with only a couple of spots that are being stubborn about healing. The donor sight from the skin graft is looking very good, still pretty red but getting much less sensitive and parts around the edges are starting to turn back to the normal pink skin tone. The leg is doing better with the scars starting to turn a little bit lighter. The leg had been giving me some tough nights and I had to go back on the pain pills for a couple of days but I actually put the drop down boot back on at night for about a week and that helped tremendously. I think it helped it to relax and stretch out after walking so much during the day. I am up to about 6,000 steps, according to the pedometer,  before getting too tired which is fantastic considering when I came home I could only do about 200 max. Some days vary being a little more or less depending on what we do. I have found though that standing still for long periods of time is actually more strenuous on my leg than walking longer distances. I am going to have to ask the Doctor about that when I go back in October.

The ¬†most fun I have had in the last couple of weeks has been getting into the pool with the kids for the first time, they are starting to swim by themselves with their arm bands. We had a great time and would have gone more than twice in the last couple of weeks had it not been for all the rain we are still getting. I have ridden twice more since the last post, though both were not very long due to rain. I went back to riding in my English saddle as it seems to interfere less with my hip. After the last post I noticed that the western saddle had rubbed my bandage a bit and caused a little sore spot. Anyway it is probably for the better since it requires more balance and leg strength to ride in the English saddle which will help strengthen my leg muscles. For now we are just waiting to go back to the Hematologist next week to see what he says about the tests and if I do have another issue to deal with. I am hoping that I don’t and that I was just extremely unlucky to get both complications, while being extremely lucky to have survived them both! The kids are growing like weeds and Heidi is excited to start doing the home school pre-K we decided we would do with her this year. Derek is also getting ready to go back to FSU and has returned to work full time since the sequester is now over. We are so thankful for all our blessings in this regard. Hope all is well and I will update when I have some more news!

Recovery week 12

This week Heidi and JW went to the Doctor for their yearly check-up’s and I went to my appointments as usual. Heidi has grow 3 inches and gained 6 pounds in a year. JW grew 2 inches ¬†and gained 3 pounds in the last 6 months. They are both in the 25th percentile for weight and 50 – 60th percentile for height. ¬†The Doctor said they are both doing well and are probably just going to be tall and skinny.

My recovery is going well. I saw Dr. Mockler this week and he said I was healed enough to be able to let the graft and donor sights get wet. This means that I can shower like a normal human being and get into the pool with the kids. I was so excited to take a real shower it was so nice not to have to worry about getting a bandage wet! I do not have to go back to see him for a whole month. The other Doctor I went to go and see was a Hematologist. He took some blood to see if I have a genetic blood disorder that makes me prone to clots. If I do have one of the disorders he is testing for it may explain why I had the compartment syndrome and the hemitoma. If I don’t have one of them, then it was just an unlucky coincidence that I had both of these side effects. The results will take a few weeks so I will be going back to see him at the end of August.

I was able to ride again for a little while on Saturday and loped Emma around for a little bit. It was really nice to be able to do more than just walk around. We have been getting some more rain but did have one full 24 hours without any rain, which was a welcomed relief. Hopefully we will get a few more dry days soon. That is all that is going on here. I will update again when I have some more news!

Recovery week 11

Not much going on this week, we have been able to dry out a little bit from all the rain but we are still getting some pretty much every day. The leg is continuing to get better, though my ankle has been giving me some trouble this week. I have been able to cut down on the pain meds and only use them about every other night. Unfortunately it seems that coming off the meds at night is triggering some insomnia so I have not been sleeping very well. The best news of the week was that I was able to get on Emma and ride for a little bit. I used my new exercise saddle that I got for Valentines day as it is more padded in the seat than my Western saddle. I did pretty well but I know I have a long way to go before I am back in riding shape. My Ankle was what hurt the most, which I think is from keeping my heels down, and forcing the muscles and tendons to stretch.

The hip is doing well and seems to be almost completely closed together. I go back in next week to have Dr. Mockler look at it again and I hope he is pleased with how the graft has taken. The Donor sight is doing much better and seems to not be as sensitive, though it is still very red. I can sit almost normally which is much more comfortable then always leaning to the left side.

JW has been trying out patients as he is learning to sleep in a toddler bed and not in a crib anymore. He has learned the art of running back to the bed when Mom or Dad comes and how to open the door. He is certainly a boy and a trying one at that. Heidi has been doing pretty well and both of the kids have been enjoying getting in our friends’ pool. We hope you all are doing well!

Recovery weeks 9 and 10

So last week due to the extraordinary amount of rain I was unable to use our satellite internet, and by the time it cleared enough to use it there was only 2 days until my Doctor appointments. So now I will be writing both at the same time.

Last week most of the staples came out of the graft site as it had already started to heal. The graft took in about 90 % of the area which is pretty good considering the size. He told me to expose the donor site with the anti biotic covering to the air as much as possible to dry it out and allow the covering to fall off. It still hurt pretty bad but the pain started to get a little bit better. He did say that their may be a few staples left in the graft site and that the skin would just grow over it, and it that happened it would be alright. We managed to survive the 19 inches of rain that we got that made up a VERY wet 4th of July. The kids played in puddles instead of seeing fireworks this year as all the close ones were canceled, due to the local flooding.

This week I had 2 Doctor’s appointments. One with Dr. Shuler for the leg and one with Dr. Mockler.

Dr. Shuler’s appointment went well, he was impressed with the progress of the leg and said he did not think the swelling would have been down as much as it is, which is great. He told me to keep wearing the compression sock, keep it elevated when I can and not to do too much too soon. Easier said than done. I will go back to see him in 3 months for an ultrasound of the leg to check for any clot recurrence and to check on the filter that was placed. We are still on the blood thinner for now which was to be expected. So overall the progress is very good.

Dr. Mockler liked the look of the skin graft as well. He said both the donor site and the graft looked good and to start moisturizing it to allow it to keep healing. He took out 8 more staples that were better exposed after the swelling had gone down. The pain is practically gone and I can sit on it with out much irritation and don’t need a pillow. He said to keep it clean and come back in 2 weeks for a follow up. So I have my first week without any appointments to see any Doctors next week for the first time since going into the hospital. I am really kind of excited about it!

We hope you all are doing well and enjoyed your 4th, we are very blessed to live in this great country and are so thankful for the men and women who serve the country.

Recovery Week 8 :Surgery and Heidi’s Birthday

Hey everyone!

This week has been pretty busy. The leg continues to heal. The scab on the larger wound has almost completely  fallen off and the pretty red scar is underneath. It is going to be a pretty large one but it will make a good story.

Surgery for the skin graft was this week and it went well. The graft was taken from the back of my right thigh pretty much right underneath the wound. The pain has been pretty intense since it is in a new place and it feels more like a really bad burn since it hurts seemingly all the time. We go in on Monday for the Dr. to take a look at it and he will be able to tell me how to care for it. It has impeded my walk a little bit due to the increase of tape but as long as the kids stay off of it, it is tolerable. It is good to be done with surgeries for a while.

Heidi’s 4th birthday was Monday and we had a fun at home party with lots of balloons and Mini Mouse plates. We were going to take her swimming at our friends house down the road but it poured rain and hailed so we ended up going the next day as we had to clean up a couple of trees and limbs that fell. Other than that things have been pretty quite as we keep on going through the summer!