Monday, December 25, 2006

Hello, my name is......

We are pleased to announce the arrival of Alistair Park who joins his siblings Eli, James and Amanda. We look forward to sharing the adventures of the kiddos with all of you.
Here's wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's A BOY!

We had our fourth child, a boy, on saterday December 16, 2006 at 11 am on the button. After 11 hours of labor and pushing for ten mintues...our 9 lb 12 oz 22 in long buster arrived!
My OB made it, and spent the entire labor with Brian and I, hanging out and keeping us company. He did me the favor of coming in to deliver me, even though he was not on call that night...brian and I are forever grateful!
The other three are adjusting well, I think. Time will tell definitively though.
Baby boy, will get his name on Saterday, at his circumsicion, and naming ceremony...until then you'll have to wait!
He has his nights and days mixed up, as he had when he was in utero been active between 6 pm and 5 am..he is keeping similar hours here with us. I am hoping he will striagten himself out soon, as I am exhuasted.
Will try to keep up for the next few weeks before my next classes start...
wishing everyone happy holidays.....
check out the pictures of the new bundle in brians blog at down syndrome life...

ttyl, me

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Congratulations.... have been accepted to the Physician Assistant masters program, class of 2009!
These were the words at the top of the letter I recieved from the only program I applied to.
I am so relieved, as I went into my interview 9 months pregnant, big as ever, in a maternity buisiness suit that cost me a small fortune, wearing pantyhose (those of you who have been pregnant know how much of a sacrafice THAT was), and heels! Thank god they were able to see past my pregnancy, although I wasn't too sure they would, as they kept asking questions about it.
Three days after the interview, I got a call at eight o'clock at night from the program director giving me the official news. Which was then followed up by the very official envelope that arrived a week later. Although, it is conditional, I have two more prerequisite courses to finish next term in order for it to be really certain. Oh, did I mention the hefty deposit too? Yes, they want my money starting now. In large quantities....good thing I'll be making a good living in three years, I need to pay off the debt, plus the interest. any million dollar qget rich quick ideas?
So, I had been thinking that the interview was the hard part of the whole process, but now I'm thinking that the program may be. I have heard it is very difficult, but I am up to the challenge. One thing that my special little angel has taught me is to never give up. No matter how hard something may be, be persistent and your efforts will be rewarded. So far so good, now just in case keep your fingers crossed!
The program starts up this fall, so I need to start looking around to childcare arrangements and finalize schooling schedules for my other three kiddos. Life will be busy this year, and for the next couple of years, but we can manage.
I want to express my greatest thanks and appreciation to all my family who have been so incredibly supportive during the whole process thus far. I know I have not been the easiest person to be around, what with all the hormones (I can still blame the hormones, at least for the next week or so). But I truly appreciate all you have done, given up and worked for.
I also want to thank those friends who have also helped me out and been there for me in a pinch and in times of total freak outs! Thank you all for your support, and I promise one day you will see the rewards of your efforts...but not for a couple more years. So hang in there,

Yes, I am still aROUND, no baby yet, but getting there. Contractions, back aches, dilations all the fun end of the term stuff is going on and I am just anxiously awaiting that moment. So, I'll keep you posted on that part of life too.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm not a saint, just a parent

This is a great article that someone sent to me from England. Check it out at:,,8123-2448700_1,00.html

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Still aROUND

It has been a while since I last posted. I have been so busy with school and chasing after the kids and trying to get myself situated for the impending arrival. As you can see (I took a picture of my big ol belly ) I am nice and round, with lots of elbow space....but getting cramped. Lately I have been having contractions up the wazzu, with increased activity levels. Could it possibly be that I am doing too much? Lets see I have class three nights a week, three kids, therapy out patient at a local facility three days a week, in home EI services five days a week, usually twice a day....not to mention the house with chores and erands (food has been scarce in my house lately, cuz I have no time or desire to go to the grocery), homework with my first grader, ot to mention my own homework....nah, I could squeeze in at least three more activities a week, don't you think. (If you cannot detect the sarcasm, you haven't read between the lines well enough). Truth be told I do this to myself, mostly because I know when Peanut turns three in April, she will lose all but three days of therapy, and I will have to find new ways to get her the services she needs. So I have pretty much been grinning and bearing it the last month...but really I am so tired of it...I was so glad that one of her therapists went on maternity leave, becuase it gives me one more hour a week to do whatever it is I do. The fact that I am totally pregnant and hormonal has nothing to do with's everyone else, right? I don't mean to whine, sorry, it's been one of those nights.
Anyhow....Miss Peanut has started pulling up to stand at every surface, discovering picture frames, statues and other fun decorative items that have until recently remaining out of sight out of mind. She is cruising at many surfaces now if we could just get her to stand on her own two feet (get it, ie without holding onto anything?)
We had gone to the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute back in August for the first time and have been back and forth since...they have done amazing things for Peanut and her vision. Including getting the insurance to pay for her lenses. Too bad we are fighting with them to cover the lense fittings now (I am not kidding, they had been paying for everything but the lenses, now they are fighting us on this...CRAZY!) Since we got her new contact lenses, Peanut began to explore her environment more and began to transition more comfortably in and out of different positions. What a huge difference we have seen since. Every week, it seems she is doing something more, building on her skills. I am kicking myself for not going into Cleveland and learn, better late then never I suppose. We have also added outpatient services two days of PT and one day of speech...she seems to be responding to the PT, but the speech is slow..we'll see.
We found Signing times, and Peanut LOVES it! We just need to order it and stop playing the freebees on the website (Yes I am that lazy anymore). It took weeks for me to finally order my suit from's just so time consuming and such a headache.
My oldest, Miss Elle is having fun in first grade, and loving homework...where does she come from....James is a terror at home and the perfect angel at school. He attempted to self medicate the other day. He had a boo-boo on his foot that at night his daddy puts cream on it with a bandaid. Well, James decided he couldn't wait. While a therapist was here, and I was otherwiase occupied he took the desk chair, added two stools and climbed up into my medicine cabinet to get his cream. Luckily I realized how quiet it had become and went to check on him....We have since removed all medications from the cabinet.
I have my interview for the Physician Assistant program coming up in a few weeks. I had to order a maternity business skirt suit for it....a small fortune for something I will wear once being that I will be 9 months pregnant when I do wear it. I told Brian I would wear it every day until I deliver so we can maybe get our moneys worth out of it. (Everyday for two to three weeks, so that's about $ 25.00 a day). It's actually really nice, and I ma thinking about taking in afterward to wear it as non maternity (it's as classic, plain black button down as you can get, wiothout looking like you're wearing a tent, as many of the suits and look when you are pregnant)
Brian has had his own run ins with the medical profession this last month and is making me crazy! When I start my infectious disease class I better hide my books or he might think he has some weird disease......he's been under a lot of stress what with number fours impending arrival, the three kids home with him three nights a week and his wife having to deal with ignorant people....He has been stressed, and I guess his out let is medicine I hope I havent worn off too much, there's only room for one Medical professional in this house, ME! (selfish, I know but, hey we all have our own things we like to be good at on our own, Right?
So that's what's been cooking here, busy busy busy.....I'll try to post again soon, but can't promise when, as I have a C in chemistry and need to spend more time studying.....ttyl.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


I have been so swamped these last few months. I am pregnant with our fourth...had a tough first few months what with morning sickness (should be called 24 hour sickness). School has been a bit more challenging since I am tired and or nauseated. But still going strong in the school department. I'm studing for a final tonight, but thought I post a quick update. Finally looking kinda pregnant, people have cut back on asking me if I've been eating too many donuts. Although I must forwarn you ladys...starbucks Caramel Frappachinos, even without the whipped cream, are VERY FATTENING. I could not keep anything down except the fraps, I gained 7 pounds last month!!!! I'm on a diet more frappachinos for this gal!
Peanut had her second set of tubes put in as she failed her yearly hearing screen. We will repeat the screen in a few weeks. In the meantime she has gotten an ear infection, which she hadn't had one in almost a year. We went for our speech eval, and they did count some of the signs, the ones that they got to see. At least it was better then before. Plus we got speech outpateint two times a week...along with PT two times a Peanut has got work to do!
Rest of the family is well, sick of mac and cheese and pizza, but otherwise in good health and good spirits. Here's to keeping ya'll posted,
TTYL, me

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Annual Evals....aaaargh!

I can't tell you how much I dislike annual evaluations. You know the ones we have to endure to maintain services for our kiddos. The ones thatthey use these horrible tests like the Battele to measure where our children stand developmentally. I cannot begin to tell you how maddening, and upseting they are to me.
We had Peanuts annual eval today. I always prepare myself for these reviews as they are so biased. If a child "ceilings out" ie gets two zeros in a row, they cannot be scored after that in that topic. The thing is, is that many children skip a couple of these levels yet can do the next three. Doesn't matter, because they have "ceiliinged out" so it doesn't count. Let me tell you about Peanuts eval. I was so excited that she met almost all her goals from last year. Only small handful were not met, only because of linguistics (ie she met them, but because of the way they were worded, she didn't). So many things that last year it seemed as if she'd never get, she did. Like self feeding with pincer grasp. Or moving around her environment independantly to play with her siblings (she butt scoots). Even communicationg her needs or wants with others was met thanks to her using 15 signs (10 spontaneously, and 5 with prompting).
The bummer of all this is that she tested lower then I had expected in many aspects, because she ceilinged out in many of the topics. For example, in verbal communication skills, becuase she doesn't SAY two word sentences, she got down graded; never mind that she signs two word phrases, like me bath, me smart. Also she got downgraded on social emotional because she doesn't SAY Hi to an adult or ASK them to play. Never mind that she hops over and waves and says "EH!" or that she brings a toy over to you and taps you on your leg until you pay attention to her.
So over all she tested at a 18 month level, but with ranges from 8 mos to 18 mos in various levels. Frustrating , irritating, yet somewhat endearing that she had come so far. Maddening that we have so much farther to go. Good news is she did great on cognitive and receptive language, bad news is I have a lot of work to do with her. So I guess I better start hopping....TTYL

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Here's wishing all the hard working, dedicated moms a very happy mother's day. I hope you can take the time to enjoy the small things in life this weekend.
I know I will be enjoying every minute with my family (perhaps wishing for a little time alone?) But enjoying the laughs, giggles, screaming, taunting and oh yes the shrieks of delight. Did I leave anything out?
I got my mothers day gift grades form my first term back in school. I got A's (thank god) What better gift then to know that with three kids, a husband, job and life, I still have it in me!
Wishing everyone a great weekend filled with love, laughter and all those special things you hold dear.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Close Call

So I was scheduled to go under the knife tomorrow, but I got out of it. About a week ago, my knee, which up until that point had been absolutely KILLING me, stopped. You heard me it stopped hurting. Crazy, right? to go from barely able to walk to walking just fine. God works in weird ways. I still have a split vastus lateralis, which may need to be repaired at any moment, but for now I am out of the woods.
Elle is turing six, and once again, I am behind on the whole party scene. I always think I have more time then I really do. Surprised? As I seem to be so organized in all the rest of my life...well in this one aspect I am not.
Peanut is turning two and boy has she grown up and looks more and more like a big gril. She is really changing, daily. She plays games, and is so the terrible twos, having fits when she doesnt want to do something.
James is ever the boy, getting into mischeif faster then you can say no. He is denise the menace reincarnate. Scary!
I have been busy shadowing physicians and physician assistants trying to learn as much a I can prior to my program. I am so excited, but really nervous about being accepted. Never in my life have I been so anxiety ridden over being accepted into a program. I have always had the eh, if I don;t I don't attitude. Now, being that I have no other choices for locations of programs, I need to be accepted.
Here's to keeping my fingers crossed (perhaps I should practice crossing my toes too).
I am almost done with my first term of pre requisites, and have signed up for more classes over the summer. I will be pretty busy, but I should manage.
Hope everyone has had a good holiday...ta!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Seriously! It has been way too long since the last time I blogged. I have been so busy studying (which I should be doing right now) and trying to keep on top of the game, that blogging has fallen by the way side.
I have been in class for ten weeks now, and I am proud to brag that I have A's in both my clases! Seriously! I can't believe I have A's, with three kids, work and a crazy schedule of therapies etc. It's nice to know I am able to follow through with my I just have to keep it up.
I have been Ms. Gimp for 5 weeks now, and I have to wait five more before I can have surgery to repair my split Vastus lateralis (a muscle in my thigh). I was on crutches then finally convinced my surgeon to give me a brace, which helps, but I'm still in pain. I am not used to being so stationary that I am having trouble sleeping at night. So it will be more pain for a while now. After surgery I have to be on cturches for six weeks, no driving for a month and rehab three times a week for a while...I guess I have some scheduling conflicts I need to work out. Sounds like fun?! I am worried beyond belief, as Amanda still doesn't wlk on her own, and relys on me carrying her around.
My saving grace is my mom, who lives near by and will be helping us out...she doesn;t really realize how insane my life is, but after a week on my schedule, I think she'll understand.
Peanut is signing up a storm 12 words almost 15. She butt scoots really fast and gets into everything!
James is doing much better in the speech dept, still behind, but making great progress.
MIss Elle is reading! She is figuring out how cool it is to read books and soon I'll have her reading my books and doing my homework! Just kidding!
I have gotten swamped with patients in the last month, having to go into the office ans spending time on the phone. It's nice to make money, only wish sometimes I didn't have to work so hard...don't we all feel like that sometimes?
So that's the news from this end of the planet, busy with life...trying to stay above water. Seriously, life is crazy busy, with mostly good things.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Tales of Two Weeks (or is it Three?)

I have been so busy these last few weeks that time has slipped though my fingers and before I know it I have failed to update all of you once again. So I am taking a few minutes now to tell the tales of the last few weeks.
I have jumped into school and been very busy trying to juggle house, family and school. So far managing pretty well (thanks to my Hubby - BStrong). I managed to get A's on my first two I just have to keep them up. The battle if half won!
Kids are doing great. Peanut is pulling to stand without quing at the bathtub, gets up on her own everytime! Our PT had her baby, a baby girl ( she is such a doll) so we have a new PT filling in for us until Ms Julie gets back. The only problem is that Peanut knows the differance between the replacement and Julie..and is giving us a hard time and not working very well. OH, well. We will keep trying, but we may be given a bigger run for our money then we had anticipated.
I can't believe Peanut will be two in a couple of months! Where has the time gone?
I have kept our family busy by falling up my stairs and hurting my knee. Yes, I had a momentary lapse in memory as to how to walk UP the steps. I apparently did a ggod job on it, as it took me three weeks to get my butt in to see my orthopaedic surgoen, and when I finally went he tells me I split a muscle in my leg (Vastus Lateralis, it's one of the quadracept muscles). Basically I bought myself a ticket to the OR, but oh, by the way, they have no room on their schedule for almost eight weeks! Diod I mention I can't walk? I'm in pain? I'll just keep taking my Motrin and try not to do too much (Yeah right...mother of three here!?). The funny thing is, is that if g-d forbid it was one of my kids I would not hear of being pushed off for that long. I'd be insisting on surgery ASAP. I however, look at it as if I want to be worked on by the best of the best, I wait. The surgeon IO use is none other than Dr James Bradley, Of Steeler football fame. Yes, he is the official head MD for the superbowl winning team...beacause of him, the steelers were able to walk onto that field. So what's eight weeks of Motrin?
James is talking up a storm. He is doing so well, yet still not quite up to age appropriate speech. But aI am just pleased with the amazing progress he has made.
Elle is suppossedly having trouble in school (at least accordingh to her teachers). But I don't belive it, as when I work with hershe knows everything the teacher has just told me she doesn't know. I think perhaps she wants attention.
So that's the update...Been busy, not all good, but mostly good. Hope all is well by you all...thanks for hanging in and waiting fo rupadtes...I will try to post sooner then before...but Im not promising anything!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Steelers Get the Job Done 21-10!!!!!

Ok, I admit I am not that into football, but this season I have developed an appreciation for the finer things in life. At least the last few games have caught my interst. But let me tell you, last night was awesome! I can't believe we won the super bowl (did I mention I was born and raised in Pittsburgh?)
My kids had a blast as they got to stay up later and watch part of the game with their Steeler attire on over their pj's.
The weird thing is that I am older then Roethlisberger, by a few years, and the guy played and won in the super bowl...dream big, and it can be done!
Have a great day...I know we all will here in the great city of Pittsburgh.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Tagged - Twice!

You know you are out of it when you get tagged for a Meme, not once, but twice. So, to redeem myself with those who have tagged me, I am combining two different meme's, one was a 4 meme, the other was a 7 meme, so here goes nothing:

Four jobs I have had:
1. Lactation consultant
2. High school math teacher
3. Human resources assistant
4. Legal assistant
(5 Manager of Grand Central Station ie my house with all the therapists, Doctors appointments)

Four Favorite Foods:
1. Mint chocolate chip Ice cream ( Baskin Robbins)
2. Chocolate
3. Steak
4. Mangos

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch:
1. Greys Anatomy
2. Desperate Housewives
3. Good Eats
4. Unwrapped

Four Places I'd rather be:
1. Hawaii
2. Florida
3. England
4. Venezuela ( Don't ask)

Seven Movies I love:
1. Being John Malkovich
2. Much Ado About Nothing
3. Meet Me in St Louis
4. Singing in the Rain
5. Die Hard ( all three)
6. Girls Just Want to Have Fun
7. Bill Engvall: Here's Your Sign

Seven Places I have Been on Vacation:
1. Florida
2. Delaware
3. Puerto Rico
4. St Louis
5. Connecticut
6. New York
7. Detriot

Seven Books I love:
1. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
2. Trading up by Candace Bushnell
3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
4. Selected Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson
5. The Odd Women by George Gissing
6. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway
7. In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck

Seven Things I Say
1. What.....
2. Benefit of the doubt
3. Whatever
4. Awesome
5. If I have to tell you one more time.....
6. Such is life....
7. Thank God
8. Can you say Antidisestablishmentarianism?

Seven things that attract me to people...
1. Compassion
2. Interests
3. Personality
4. Thoughfulness
5. Intelligance
6. Attitude
7. Sense of humor

Seven things I can't do:
1. sing
2. drive a stick shift
3. ski
4. tread water
5. eat raw meat or fish
6. pass up a good sale
7. Stay up late ( I need my Sleep)

I will not tag anyone, for I fear I am the last one in the planet to have not responded to being tagged yet. Have a great week everyone!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Old Friends, New Faces

Well, this week went a bit more smoothly, then last week. It was back to same old for the most part. Peanut was still under the weather the begining of the week, but is feeling much better now. In fact she had a great week in therapy. She attempted to walk down the steps...don't worry, the therapist was holding her hands so she wouldn't fall. She was not scared, or worried at all, in fact Peanut wanted to walk down vs sit on her bum to go down. Now if only she'd do it on her due time! Peanut also has shown her understanding of up, down, on, off, under and in and out. We have been using Weebles, to have her hold them up (she says "BUP" Yay!) or put them down. She also puts them into contaioners and takes them out with verbal cuing only! Cool!
Today was Tube day for my Elle. we went into to have tubes put back into her ears, and she did great! What a trooper! She also was famous, because we ran into quite a few of Peanuts Hospital friends. The nurses and Np's and MD's who know us from her surgeries. It was nice for Elle to have that I made sure to tell everyone what a great big sissy she is and how she taught her a new game. Yes, Peanut has another new trick, she runs away in tag! YOu roll a ball or toy to her, she grabs it and turns, running ( ie butt scooting really fast) away from you. She stops and looks over her shoulder to make sure you are trying to catch her and then scoots off aagain! It is so cute! Elle was excited to tell all about this new trick. Elle was a little worried about the surgery, but we played Uno and chit chatted with the staff, and before you knew it the procedure was done. Elle asked when she was going to get her tubes in! She didn't realize they had done it already.
We had our favorite Anesthesiologist ( Dr GReenberg) He is so Awsome! Good guy, and great md. Glad it is over, as I did not sleep well last night. Even though I know the procedure is not a big deak, it is still my child going under anesthesia....
Here's hoping for a great weekend with my kiddos,

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Week From Another Planet

I started my classes this week, and I thought things would be easy, at least as I started out. Well, the classes don't seem to be too hard (I have to work my butt off as I get back into the saddle again, but here's hoping for the best), although life at home just wasn't cooperating.
My first class was Monday night. I had a crazy day, as my oldest daughter woke up with an ear ache and the croup. So I let her stay home, but went about my daily routine of therapy, groceries and other mundane errands. The day was busy, but tolerable, until 3:15 pm. While sitting watching my son at speech therapy my phone rings. Apparently Elle was screaming and crying that her ear was really hurting. My Mom wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but Elle was really in pain, despite having had Tylenol a hour before. With no time to take her to the doctor that day, I made an appointment for the following day, but asked if they could prescribe something to tide us over. Knowing my daughter, she only does this when she ruptures her ear drum. When I got home and took a look myself, I was right. Unfortunately, even the doctors who I work with were unwilling to give us something. (darn malpractice issues) So having arrived home at 4:30 pm to make dinner, eat dinner and leave by 5 pm, I just threw my hands up, gave her a kiss and more Tylenol and went to school.
Adding insult to injury, I get to class and realize I switched the days of my classes in my Palm Pilot, and so I brought my Anatomy and Physiology books to my Biology class. So much for being organized!
The class was interesting and there were a few other moms like myself going back to school for various reasons. so I am not the only nut out there!
On to the rest of my week, Tuesday we saw ENT, who agreed with my observation that my daughter had ruptured her ear drum, and we scheduled surgery for next friday for yet ANOTHER set of tubes. The thing that kills me is that once I am a PA, techinicaly I could fill a script to tide her over....another reason to go into medicine.
Wednesday wasn't too bad, except that by the afternoon, I really though Peanut was starting to sound hoarse and was sleeping an aweful lot (sehe slept for 2 and a half hours, instewad of her usual hour). Thinking she was coming down with something, but unsure what, I kissed her, gave her a dose of Tylenol and headed out to class for the second time this week. De ja Vu?! Oh well. Class was fine, got home early and checked on the kids, Hubby did a great job! they were fed (ok, I fed them before I left) , Watered, (ok I did that too), in Pj's ( me again), in bed on time and sleeping when I got home ( Dad gets big BIG point for this, as Peanut is used to nursing to sleep, he got her down, no problems). KUDOS to Dad/hubby for his smooth transition into school mode.
Thursday was a nightmare! My Husband went to Detriot for the day, he drove both ways in the same day...crazy! While left home, I ran like crazy trying to make up time from the rest of the week with errands, studying and life. In the meantime Peanut had woken up that morning with a croupy cough...I mean a REAL croup cough, the kind that is tight sounding and raspy with wheezing in between. Horrible. I tried all day to get to the doctor, but was unable to get there. In the end I ended up in the ER with her that night, as she was really struggling to breathe. That was fun ( i am being facisous here (sp?)) I ran into all the doc's and nurses from last year when we were in with her pneumonia. The fact that they all remembered us was scary, its not like it is a small hospital, and they see so many kids. It was nice though, the recognition, as I was not treated like an idiot. They checked her lungs for pneumonia, which was clear (thank god!), and gave her a shot of decodron (steriod to help loosen her phraynx so she could breathe easier). Then sent us home telling us it would kick in in about 3 hours....5 hours later she finally stopped wheezing.
Oh, did I mention that I burnt my fingers at dinner time? Yeah, mommy had a brain freeze and did a really silly thing. I was boiling water to make pasta, and my flame kept going out. I couldn't figure out why, then I realized that there was water all over my stove top. Apparently someone dropped my pot and cracked it so when you put water in past a certian level, it leaks out. Never mind that, I move the pot over, turn off the flame, and proceed to remove the burner to dry the stove...WITHOUT POT HOLDERS! Did I mention the burner had been on? Yeah, I was not happy, immediatly thrust my hand into my freezer and well, we had leftovers for dinner. My kids heard a comotion in the kitchen, and Elle comes into the kitchen and asksm e why I have my hand in the freezer, innocence is such bliss. My boo-boos (three bug blisters were great entertainment for my kids, and a great demo for why we don't touch hot things, a "Hands on Demo" If you will. Then as we were deciding what to do about Peanut, my pediatrician called back, and told us to head in. So when I got there I had the residents look at my three fingers, the pads at the top of your fingers, well my thumb, pointer and tall man were all burnt. Good 2nd degree burns. Everyone said the same thing. ICE. Ironically when we went into the ER, everyone thought Peanut had hurt her arm, as I was holding an Ice pack on my boo-boo fingers. I ended up with 100 mg of tylenol, and a bunch of free ice packs. No charge...nice huh! At least I burnt my left hand, so I can still tyoe and write and take notes...the silver lining is ever present.
Here's hoping the rest of the term and three years go more smoothly then this first week....

Thursday, January 12, 2006

CDC Report: Down Syndrome More Common

I don't know how many of you have heard about this, but I found it quite interesting:

January 5, 2005 ATLANTA

(AP) -- Down syndrome in the United States is more common thanpreviously thought, at one case for every 733 live births, according to anew government report containing what are regarded as the most reliableestimates yet on the prevalence of 18 types of birth defects. Previously, Down syndrome, a type of retardation caused by a geneticmutation, was estimated to occur in a range of one in every 800 live birthsto one in every 1,000.The report, released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention, also found that cleft lip occurs in about one in every 1,000births, and cleft palate in about one in every 1,500.The report was celebrated by advocacy groups that help families affected bybirth defects. They noted that the new numbers are based on statewide data,while previous estimates were derived from selected clinics and hospitals.''Until now, there's been a real dearth of good, reliable, nationalstatistics on Down syndrome,'' said Suzanne Armstrong, spokeswoman for theNational Down Syndrome Society.The risk of Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother, from anestimated 1 in 2,000 among 20-year-old women to 1 in 100 for women age 40. Many women are having babies later in life, which might explain the higherrate in the new study.But because the new statistics were not collected in the same way as theold, it is not clear whether Down syndrome has really increased, Armstrongand others said.From 1974 until the mid-1990s, the government tracked birth defects througha system that relied on hospital discharge reports. But not all hospitalswere represented, and researchers said it was possible that theparticipating hospitals attracted more or fewer problematic births than thenorm. In 1997, the government collected data from all birth hospitals,clinics and referral centers in certain parts of the country.The new report presents statewide data for Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa,Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. It also has datafrom the metropolitan Atlanta area, the Central Valley in California and agroup southern Alabama counties. The statistics are for the years 1999 to2001.The 11 states account for about 22 percent of all live births in the UnitedStates each year and are a good representative sample, said Joann Petrini, astudy co-author and director of the March of Dimes' perinatal data center inWhite Plains, N.Y.The researchers included only 18 of the thousands of birth defects that havebeen identified by doctors and scientists. Missing are common birth defectssuch as clubfoot, hip dislocation and hypospadias, in which a boy's urinaryopening is on the underside of the penis instead of the tip. Spina bifidawas not included either, because health officials already have what theyconsider reliable estimates.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A New Planet

Just when you were beging to think I have fallen off the face of the Planet....wait a minute I have! I am looking at a whole new planet complete with new cycles and roles, yet I am feeling excited and a little nervous. I will be starting my prerequisites for the Physician Assistant program tomorrow, and have been very busy trying to start reading and get a hold of some information. I don't like going into appointments or classes unprepared. Having been out of school for six years I have to retrain my brain into reading and note taking and study methodology, etc. I read a study recently that said a woman who had given birth was actually smarter postpartum. Apparently the brain becomes more elastic and can better recall and understand information. I will let you know about that one, especially since I put the ice cream in the cabinet next to the bowls yesterday. Don't worry, I found it before it got too melty and refroze it. Hopefully there wont be too many ice crystals next time I serve it.
Over the next few weeks my posting may run a bit fewer and farther between, until I can figure out my schedule, AGAIN (therapies stay the same, we added a new nutritionist and have been so busy trying to get back into the swing of things after the holidays. Now with school, I'm going a little crazy). PLease bear with me while I make the adjustments and accomodations, I promise I will be back on the ball in no time.