Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Return of Erythema Nodosum

Oh. My. Goodness.

The erthema nodosum is back.

Thankfully we were able to get into the pediatrician yesterday.  He agrees with the erythema nodosum diagnosis and has concluded that Christian's immune system is in high gear since getting the Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease last month and the erythema nododum is the result.

He assured us there is nothing to worry about and that the condition won't hurt Christian.   He ran some blood work to rule out a few things and those results came back as a negative.  

Doc also says Christian doesn't need the Prednisone this time around ... WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christian also got a TB test on his arm, and we will get the results of that tomorrow.   The doctor expects it to be negative.  (I mean really ... who gets TB these days??).

Up next:   tomorrow Christian gets an MRI to look at a mass on his leg that has been there for a while (doesn't bother him at all).   He has already had an ultrasound that determined the mass is not fluid in nature ... so the MRI will take a closer look.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!!



Happy children on Christmas!

Hanging out with Grandma Janet!

Mommy and Scarlett working on a bath bomb experiment. :)


Scarlett's new Cardinals shirt! :)

Scarlett and her new pink scooter!

Christian and his cool new scooter from Santa!



Sunday, December 24, 2017

Jennifer's Christmas Gift: A Cardinals Game!

Jonathan's awesome Christmas gift to me this year was attending the Cardinals' final home game of the season!   Woohoooooooooooooooooo!!

It was my second Cardinals game, and Jonathan's first.  He got us seats right at the 10 yard line, which was fun! 

Happily, the Cardinals beat the NY Giants!   It was a shut out game ...  23-0.  The Cardinals first shut out in 25 years!   Too bad the game didn't count for anything playoff wise - ha!!

GREAT CHRISTMAS PRESENT!!   












Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christian's New Skin Issue

Here we go again ... our poor Christian.

He has these mysterious red  bumps only on his lower legs.  Oddly enough, they don't bother him.  They don't itch or hurt him.   But they sure do look terrible ... like he is being abused. :(

I posted this pic (below) in a FB group I belong to, and somebody suggested "erythema nodosum," which I have never heard of.  I googled it and sure enough, sure does look like it!


  • Erythema nodosum is a type of skin inflammation that is located in a certain portion of the fatty layer of skin.
  • Erythema nodosum (also called EN) results in reddish, painful, tender lumps most commonly located in the front of the legs.
  • The tender lumps, or nodules, of erythema nodosum range in size from one to five centimeters. The nodular swelling is caused by a inflammation in the fatty layer of skin.
  • Erythema nodosum can be self-limited and resolve on its own in three to six weeks. Upon resolution, it may leave only a temporary bruised appearance or leave a chronic indentation in the skin where the fatty layer has been injured.

So I took Christian to "The Little Clinic" inside our grocery store and the nurse practitioner had no idea what it was.   He gave us an RX for an ointment and Prednisone syrup.   

I decided to start with the ointment because the Prednisone scares me, to be honest ... and the cream had no affect.  So we got in to see the NP at Christian's pediatrician's office who agreed that it might be erythema nodosum.   She said to take the prednisone.   Sure enough, with one dose, his legs looked better the next day.   The problem is that Prednisone tastes NASTY and terribly bitter.   So getting Christian to take it is a nightmare.   

But the very good news is that this skin condition is not contagious.  WHEW!!!



Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease



It is a Lucero Family first:  Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease. 

Christian had a few "bites" on his hands and wrists ... and we assumed maybe it was a mosquito or a small spider or something.  The next day, the "bites" had multiplied.  We were concerned that something was in his bedding so I washed all of it, got him new pillows and a new mattress cover.   But, the "bites" continued to multiply.

I noticed a few bumps on his feet, and then some redness around his mouth and I just knew it was Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.   Ugh!! 

A quick trip to Urgent Care confirmed my suspicions.  And unfortunately, nothing can be done about it.  The condition just has to run its course.  So Christian now walks around 24/7 with gloves on his hands.   If I take them off, he complains that his hands hurt.  

Actually, I consider our family very fortunate to have only one had to deal with HF&MD.   Daycare centers are notorious for passing it around ... and both kids have been in the daycare / preschool setting. 

Update:   Took a few days, but Christian made it though.  And Scarlett didn't get it somehow - whew!!

 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Diverticulitis AGAIN

I was hopeful that my diverticulitis attack back in July would be my one and only.

Well, a girl can dream.

I got that familiar painful sensation in my lower left abdomen.  I was hopeful I was just ovulating, but the pain lasted too long.  So ... thankfully the NP at my GI doc's office told me that if I can call her during business hours, she can call in a STAT CT for me at an imaging center to determine whether or not I have diverticulitis ... and if so, she can all in an RX for the antibiotics.

So, that is exactly what I did!    Sure enough ... diverticulitis again.  ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She told me she'd check with the doc to see if he wants to do another colonoscopy again in six weeks (after my colon has healed).  I sure hope he says no.   Not in the mood for another dang colonoscopy.

I have joined a Diverticulitis support group on Facebook and wow ... some of the stories I've read are horrifying.  Some people perforations and / or abcesses and then their intestianl fluid leaks out of their intestines into their body - OMG.  There are stories of emergency surgeries, colostomy bags, sepsis, nearly dying, etc.

Nobody knows for certain how to prevent diverticulitis.  I've been told high fiber diet by my doc ... other docs say LOW fiber.  My doc said to stay away from seeds, nuts and popcorn ... and then there is research that shows seeds, nuts and popcorn have never been proven to cause diverticulitis.  

I am learning that there are different triggers for everybody.    And what I can say with certainty is that a couple of days before my first attack in July, I had eaten movie theater popcorn.   And a couple of days before this attack, I drank a chia seed drink.

But I have been eating popcorn and drinking chia seed drinks for YEARS.   So ... who knows.

All I know is is that I am ever-so-grateful that my attacks have been seemingly mild and quickly resolved.  

And I gotta say ... I'm VERY nervous about when an attack of diverticulitis will strike next.  Ugh.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Walk of Defeat


Last year, Christian (10) had Phase 1 of orthodontics on his top front teeth to make room for his incoming adult teeth "one day."

He got those braces off just a few months ago, and was elated because he hated every moment of having braces.

Today we went to the orthodontist to check on his retainer that is holding the spaces open that the braces created.

We got the unexpected news that Christian's teeth are ready for Phase 2 of the braces: a full set of braces on the top, AND the bottom ... For 18 long months. The braces are absolutely necessary, because there are teeth coming in right now that won't fit unless more space is made.

His big day is December 1st.

Our poor Christian is so sad and defeated. He tried so hard not to cry as we walked to the car, and just walked with his head down ... In silent angst.




Thursday, November 2, 2017

Christian Turns 10 (and so does this blog!)

And just like that that, a decade has passed and our sweet little boy is now a big 10 year old! WOW!

We are so proud of Christian and all the things he has accomplished in the past year. He's always got a smile on his face, something witty to say, and a pep to his step. And he continues to be THE Batman, live and in person 24/7!

Happy, happy 10th birthday to Christian!!! We love you so!

(Christian turning 10 also means our blog is 10 ... well, almost 11 since I started it when we got pregnant with Christian.   Lots and lots of memories and smiles to look back on!)

 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Christian Graduates from Occupational Therapy


It has been a long nearly-two years for Christian!   Occupational therapy, feeding therapy, and vision therapy (at one point, he was doing them all each week).   He was finally just down to OT.   He met all of his goals, and they couldn't come up with new ones ... so that means he graduates!

For some time, he's been reluctant to go to OT, so we felt it was time to end the sessions anyway.   He was bored the therapy and just so over it.

So proud of Christian for making it through all these therapies (and proud of Scarlett, too, who had to go with us to all these therapies and just sit there - frequently impatiently - and wait for Christian to be done).








Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Christian's Second Year in Cub Scouts


Christian is now a Bear Scout!

He wasn't too keen on returning, as last year in Cub Scouts (his first year) was rather chaotic with a Den Leader who was way to lax, and a group of hyper 2nd grades whom the leader had zero control over.

This year, his new Den Leader is really into leading this group of boys and she's fantastic!   So we are excited to see what this new year holds for Christian as a Cub Scout!


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Diverticulitis

For the past few days, I've had a sharp pain in my lower abdomen.  I assumed it was my ovary, so I called my OB/GYN who couldn't get me in and suggested I go to the ER instead/

Um ... no.

Jonathan is headed out of town for work and has been nervous about leaving without knowing what is going on with me.  So I finally sucked it up and went to the ER.

Turns out, I have diverticulitis.  Had to have a CT scan to diagnosis it, and then IV antibiotics while at the ER and then a prescrdiption for two more antibiotics to take over 10 days.  Thank goodness we've met our medical deductible for 2017 and this visit only cost me $200.00+

I asked the ER doc what would have happened if I hadn't come into the ER.  He told me I was on the verge of getting really sick.    I messaged my doc here in Verrado, whose "protocol" I am on and asked him if it was okay if I took the two RX antibiotics.  He told me I needed to take them, or the infection will grow, and I could die.   Holy hell!

A few years ago I had a colonoscopy and learned I have diverticulosis, which is when "pouches" form along the colon and have the potential to become inflamed.  My doc didn't make a big deal about it, and so I didn't either. 

I consider myself lucky that I went for several years without an incident of diverticulitis.   But I have read that getting diverticulitis one time makes a second occurrence more likely.    Great.

And I must say I am pleased with my first-ever ER visit!   First, I gotta pat myself on the back and say it is impressive that I'm nearly 45 years old and this is my first ER visit!   I had many ER choices, and I picked a brand new stand-alone ER facility.   It was a slow evening and they got me back quickly.  I was in a room by myself and had DirecTV all night long.   I joked with the nurse (who was missing his sense of humor) that the only thing that would have made my visit better was to have somebody show up and give me a pedicure.  HA!!  

I was offered strong pain meds several times, but never accepted.  In fact, over the past few days I have been in pain and discomfort, but never enough to take something.   I like to avoid taking drugs whenever possible.   If I can tolerate a pain ... I tolerate it. 

Sounds like diverticulitis pain can get really intense, so I am thankful my pain is tolerable.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Welcome Chloe the Boxer

Santa decided it was time the Lucero Family bring another dog into our household.  Jonathan drove to Denver to get Chloe the Boxer and the kids were so surprised!!