Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Can you SE"E" it now?

            Unfortunately for my sweet little girls, the answer today at Duke was not always a resounding "YES I CAN".
             Kyleigh was struggling to see out of her left eye which is her strongest and we found out that the pressure in this eye is up (glaucoma pressure that is on the optic nerve: nerve in which we use to see). Even though they test Kyleigh using preschool pictures she could see close up but far away she could not tell pictures at even a 300 or 400 scope with her left eye. The pressure for Kyleigh normally runs in the low teens and last visit it was low 20's, today it was high 20's. Therefore, Dr. Freedman found it best we begin her on an eyedrop routine to start interference before we have the pressure go much higher.
             Kaitlyn has been on the fence the past several visits with both the change in her right eye growth in the cataract and glaucomic pressure in her left eye. This time the pressure in her left eye was way up in the upper 30's. A good pressure is around 10 give or take a few numbers. So upper 30s is scary. Dr. Freedman said it has come to the point we have to intervene and do something with the left eye, even though we know she uses it very little for vision we need to save the optic nerve as best we can because we are looking to have to do surgery to remove the cataract from the right eye in the near future.  So we are waiting for them to call us but she will be scheduled sometime in August for surgery before school starts and like Kyleigh it is about a 3 week healing process afterwards with slowly weaning off the patch and eye drops.
             So you know what that means--
 1- Pray for Kaitlyn because she heard surgery and got really scared.
2- Pray for me because the last surgery Dennis was with me as Kyleigh went back
3- We have one month to squeeze out ALL the summer fun we can so LET's do this thing!
4- Pray I have the strength to keep up with my two girls that always have the energy to keep going and going and going everyday no matter what so we can enjoy the month of July together!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Still a Day to Celebrate

          So today I would be celebrating 11 years of blissful marriage with my best friend Dennis Foster, Jr. However, we all know that isn't possible today. So instead of focusing on the negative of today I am choosing to look on the brighter side. You see this past week, and several weeks I have been battling the worst headaches and symptoms. I underwent an angiogram and MRI in one week, experienced stroke like symptoms including paralysis of one side of the body, weakness, dizziness, nausea and severe headache several times in the past weeks. I was expecting and preparing for the worst diagnosis yesterday from my doctor and wondering how I was going to plan the life of my children without me being in the plan. Great news---I didn't have to work on that plan. The MRI was clear and the diagnosis was only complicated migraines. Yes, that means I will still face days of weird symptoms and lots of pain but I am going to LIVE and I will LIVE with my children. That makes me HAPPY :)!!!!
          So today, I celebrate LIFE! The opportunity to live my life with my children. Even when they throw tantrums in public. Even when they act out for what seems to be no apparent reason. Even when I can't understand them, I choose to celebrate that I have this day to be alive and be with my girls. They are precious to me. They are mine. They are part of their father, my best friend that I still cherish. They love to linger by my side at all times. Today, on June 23, 2012 I celebrate that we are still a family and we are making it one day at a time by the grace of God.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Angiogram and No answers

         On June 19, 2012 I entered Moses Cone Short Stay for my follow up angiogram to the repair of aneurysm surgery from last year as well as to maybe find answers to why I was having syncope episodes with headaches, dizziness, low blood pressure, and sometimes facial asymmetry. During the angiogram I was supposed to be placed under twilight anesthesia so that I could participate in breathing in and out and answering questions for the surgeon but not aware of the pain. Unfortunate for me, this time I was more aware of every single part of the procedure. I remember everything from the prep work of the sticky mat they placed over my pelvic area after washing me with ice cold Betadine liquid. Then the doctor made sure he could feel my pulse at the pelvic bone when the next thing I know I feel searing pain stabbing me. No, it wasn't him cutting me but he was definitely placing a long needle into my pelvic area to numb the zone. However, I had yet to receive any medicine via IV to help me zone out of the room into "I don't care what you do to me now world". I was not a happy patient and the entire time I was praying, "God please make me brave", "God be with me right now". Then the famous words of "Please pass me the ... " ....

         All I could think was "Dear God, please let that numbing medicine have worked because I do not want to feel him cutting me.". Thankfully all I felt was a lot of pressure and the actual squirting of my blood being released. (TMI - sorry). Even the doctor squealed and said give me some gauze for this fountain! It was like I was stuck in some cartoon. I couldn't believe I could hear and feel every single thing. The table was cold, the room was freezing, the tube entering my leg was stuck at one point and the doctor told me to relax and it would be a lot of pressure. Then I feel the tube continue up past my upper body and then to my ear lobe. I was feeling a little weird by now but still not "twilight". Every now and then he would tell me to hold my breath and he would release the dye into the tube and scope his camera around. The dye was warm and almost hot at times. It felt extremely strange. Afterwards, I was once again amazed that they had gone from my leg to my brain and used a camera and dye to view my arteries. Wow! Technology has come a long way and is still progressing. The great news was that I was aneurysm FREE! My previous ones are still repaired and no new ones exist!! So relieved!!

         However, this left me with so many questions. Why was I passing out with headaches and having symptoms similar to those when I did have an aneurysm? Why did I have facial asymmetry on Monday on the EMS ride to the hospital? Why do I feel poorly and weak afterwards? Then once home on Tuesday evening after the procedure I had another episode where my face went numb on the right side. Wednesday evening it occurred again where I couldn't smile but on the left side of my face and it lasted less than five minutes. It was really starting to freak me out. We called the on call doctor but they said since it had recovered itself to just follow up with my medical doctor. I saw my medical doctor today and she wanted me to follow up with Tonuzi my neurologist which I had already scheduled to do so for this Friday. He is very concerned about the drooping mouth and paralysis of the face with headaches and has ordered an MRI scan for Friday. I am not sure if this test will give me answers either.

         What I do know is I don't like uncertainty. I don't like not knowing the outcome of my health. I can't drive until we know I am safe at not passing out anymore. I am back at being dependent on others to care for me and my girls when I had worked so hard to be independent and strong. I am weary of fighting the battle. I have several friends that have been so kind and helpful these past few days and I am leaning on them and my faith to keep me going right now. There has to be an answer and I need doctors to stop guessing and start helping me so that I can start helping myself and being a mom again and enjoying our summer vacation.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Status Updates or Not?

           I made the decision to remove my face book account completely tonight. Not because I want to be completely removed from family and friends that live far away. But because I was tired of the I will read and write a post because it is convenient but it is too hard to actual show up and be a real friend. I need real friends. I have found that real friends exist whether I check face book or not. I have had some rough days the past several weeks. I have had prayer warriors, friends calling, friends texting, people mowing my grass for free, hanging curtains, making sure my kids were okay, and so many other amazing things without me even having to ask or come up with the list of "here is what I need". I always hated that, "what do you need?" question because I never knew what I needed until the last minute and people are human and can't physically change their timeline to meet your last minute needs. However, I also know that posting status updates and reading comments or waiting patiently hoping friends will give you reassurance to prayer request or status updates that to you are so important seem now so trivial. If I want encouragement from my friends, I can call them. Most likely they are the ones walking with me daily through the good and bad of life anyways so they know what I am facing and they don't need to read it on Face book status updates. I read recently on a post from Proverbs31.org site called A Widow's Might that

Most widows lose 75% of the friendships they had before their loss.- source unknown
Wow! That statistic blew my mind at first. Then I kept reading on through the post to find out the following--- 
First, that this is normal.Friends that love to be the helper may not have the maturity to stick with you when you climb out of your grieving hole. 
Second, that you can heal and forgive those who scatter. Your friend may simply not be up for the job during this season due to their own life problems and you can't be a good friend right now to help them with their life problem so you both go different directions. 
And third, that you can only heal and forgive when you can truly embrace your life as your own. When you’ve gone through such a loss you see life differently.  You’re not trying to make the perfect friend anymore.  You know to be open to loving people where they are, and accepting love how it comes.
So all this got me to thinking, is Face book really the avenue I want to use to continue to develop and cultivate my real friendships. Sure it is cool to log on and see pictures and read status updates and hit the like button. But, what did I do before Facebook? Oh, that's right, I took the time to invest in calling, emailing, texting, writing my friends and making time to spend "real life" time with them. I was part of their daily lives. I knew their struggles and celebrations and they knew mine. I want to get back to that place where Facebook isn't the only avenue that keeps me connected to REAL HONEST relationships. Because in reality, I believe Facebook has hindered me and allowed me to hold on to "friends" that should have been "de-friended" a long time ago but I felt like I just couldn't hit that button. Now, all 159 friends left on the profile page and 408 on the Support for Crystal page will have to decide if they want to keep in contact with me the old fashioned way via email at mommy2kaitlyn726@yahoo.com or phone or snail mail or text or at church or playdates, etc. Either way, it will take hard work on both ends, mine and yours to stay truly connected. Are you up for the challenge? I hope so. If not, maybe we will cross paths again when you are ready. 
Crystal Foster 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Book

I have finished my book -- my story---- all 26 chapters...now I need to figure out how to edit and publish it. Any ideas????
style="background: url(http://thecutestblogontheblock.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ready-or-nautical-free-blog-background-3C.jpg) center top fixed no-repeat !important;">