My Grandmother has Alzheimer’s

This isn’t new news. My grandmother, the woman I was named after, has Alzheimer’s. The last time I saw her was in 2014, after her husband passed away. We went to the memorial and she did not recognize me at all, or my brother. But she was still a happy woman, she let me take a photo with her and give her a hug. She then told me that the man I was standing near looked like he would be a good match for me (and suggested we should date), that man was my brother…. well we got a good laugh out of that later on. She is a sweet woman.

My Grandmother, Donna Siegwart.

But it’s been a few years and some financial issues have popped up. My Aunt Bev is taking care of grandma now (her mother) and due to some technicalities, she does not qualify for medicare. … I know my Aunt Bev and family were trying to resolve the issue but that leaves my grandma with out proper care. She used to stay in a facility that would care for her 24/7, for Alzheimer’s patients but my family can no longer afford that care. So my Aunt, who is retired herself along with her husband, now take care of my grandma themselves, which is proving to be hard on them.

Her care is costly and they need assistance with this task.

So I am going to pass this link on to you all – and ask that if anyone can make a donation to my grandmother’s care – it would be very helpful to my family and I. I personally donate monthly via her bank account – my husband and I set up a direct transfer to help her out – but my family goes have a gofundme page set up to help her, so if you would like to donate or retweet – or forward this link on, please do.

Click here to go to the gofundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/donna-siegwart-fund

This is my family, my grandma is the one in the middle with the black hat on, and im the one in the black and white striped coat with the blue scarf. This was in 2014, the last time I really got to see her (I live states away)

I hope someday they find a solid cure for Alzheimer’s disease, I have seen a few people who have it and it is hard to see someone lose their memories and functions. It’s hard because I don’t live closer to my family to help them more, and it’s hard knowing they are struggling to let her live out her final years with the help she deserves and needs to much.

Do you struggle with a similar issue? Do you have a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or Dementia?

Our trip to the Albuquerque Zoo

Zoo map from ABQ Zoo

Well I talked my husband into going to the zoo today. We live in Albuquerque, so it’s a decent zoo. They have a ton of construction going on right now, so some areas were a mess, but we should have penguins this coming year! We are really excited to see them once they are here. Last year the aquarium got two otters, which are really cute. So it is nice to see some new exhibits come to our little zoo.

I have lived in a few other states that have bigger zoos. But this is not the worst zoo I have been to. We have a yearly pass – which we pay for every March and then we get unlimited visits to the zoo and bio-park, it’s worth the price! The family plan pays for it’s self with in 3 visits of the zoo!

As you can see from the photos above, my kids had fun. We got to watch the seals being fed, we checked out the polar bear exhibit where the polar bear was playing in the water. We checked out the reptiles, the flamingos, the elephants, the giraffes, you name it we saw it. Also we fed the ducks – one of my favorite parts of the trip. So bring quarters when you come!

We saw these adorable baby monkeys climbing over their mother, it was cute
We even saw baby hyenas ! They were pretty cute too!

The weather was not ideal, it was pretty chilly today but it was nice to get out of the house. If you know me, you know my life gets busy between taking care of my kids, and pets, cleaning the house, cooking, and working.

With the cold weather the apes and monkeys seemed to be indoors and not really visible, but the larger animals such as the lions, and tigers seemed to be very active. We went mid afternoon, so we got to see animals being fed and it was not too busy thankfully. So if you are in town- this is a nice option to visit. You can take the small train from the zoo to the bio-park as well – so you don’t have to drive all the way over to the bio-park to see the aquarium.

http://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/biopark/zoo

Click the link above if you are ever in Albuquerque, NM and you want to visit either the bio-park or the zoo.


FPIES – Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome

Last night my daughter started acting odd. She is generally a very happy baby girl and the only time she gets fussy is when she needs a nap. So I decided to lay her down to see if maybe she was tired. With in 10 minutes she was screaming in her room, so I went in and picked her up. She had a wet spot on her bed, so I assumed it was from crying, shes big on the tears when she does cry.

So I brought her into the kitchen where my husband was and handed her off to him so I could make her a bottle. I was thinking, “maybe she is thirsty again?” And I turned around an picked up a bottle near the sink, then I heard something. So I turned around and my husband was covered in vomit. It was on his face, his shirt, his pants, the floor… and the baby was screaming. I grabbed her up and tried to think – what could she have eaten to make her throw up?

This is my baby and I laying on the couch. She I have the towel and blanket just incase, and this is after we took the zofran. So she was not actively getting sick. But she still felt bad.

She’s got FPIES – and the only thing I can think of is a few hours earlier she was holding a tablespoon that was used to measure my son’s cream of wheat. It didn’t look like it had much wheat dust on it but she did have it in her mouth. I thought nothing of it because it was such a small amount. She reacts to wheat, oats, rice, broccoli. pineapple and corn with her FPIES. So the only think that this could be is the cream of wheat…the very small amount of dust that was left on the spoon made her vomit.

This food allergy is just so infuriating. Lillian is getting to the age where she will grab things from me, or find things that she couldn’t grab when she was a tiny baby. So now I need to make sure this toddler doesn’t introduce foods we all eat, but that she is allergic to. I wrote about FPIES in an earlier post, we are very careful with her foods, we read EVERY ingredient, we make sure if we introduce a new food to her that we watch for a reaction. Yesterday I just didn’t think that the spoon had anything on it – especially not enough to make her sick but that shows how sensitive this food allergy is.

Thankfully I had some zofran on hand from a previous visit with the doctor, when they prescribed it to her for vomiting for this exact reason. Just to have around just in case she gets food she is allergic to. She threw up again on me a few minutes later, and then I remembered we had the zofran. We gave it to her and she stopped throwing up (these vomiting sessions can last over an hour usually, but this stopped it after 10 minutes). We then spent the evening laying on the couch and she only had pedialyte after that so that she could get some tummy rest.

Her reaction usually goes like this: Vomiting 2 hours after exposure to the allergen. She generally vomits for 1 to 2 hours, emptying her stomach. Later she generally has fever like symptoms, she feels warm and looks ill. Her face usually goes very pale and then she generally gets diarrhea all the next day.

So far we had the two vomiting sessions and she started to feel warm. But the zofran helped us minimize the other symptoms thankfully. FPIES is still considered a rare food allergy but a lot of babies have it. I belong to an online facebook group for support and a lot of times doctors just misdiagnose this food allergy because the babies don’t get hives or have anaphylactic shock. But having a baby vomit for hours and then have diarrhea is not safe either. With some foods her reaction is more severe. We are lucky this was a wheat exposure and not a pineapple one. Pineapple was a horrible reaction, probably our worst.

Visit the FPIES FOUNDATION for more information

If you have a baby with this food allergy, know that you are not alone. There are groups and other families going through the same thing. Yes it is frustrating when your doctors don’t know what FPIES is …but its real.


Bonus post – Baby Dress

A cute white dress I ordered online for my daughter

Pictured above is a photo of my grandmother as a baby in a cute dress. Next to it is a cute dress I had made to closely match the dress (as best as we can based off the photo quality). Now the dress is not an exact replica. The dress was made by a woman on Etsy to closely match the dress my grandma wore.

My aunt recently sent a photo of my grandma to me – and notified me that my baby girl looks similar to her. She was correct. The face shape and nose are identical. While my daughter’s eyes resemble my grandfather’s eyes. So I decided to order a dress for her and try to recreate the photo above. I just received the dress and I ordered a white slip to go under it from another Etsy shop as well that I am waiting on. So with any luck for Valentine’s Day, we will have a cute recreation of the photo above.

Here are the links to the places I bought the dresses from, in case you find yourself interested in Crochet Pinafores or baby sized white dresses.

Link to the exact Crochet Dress I bought :

https://www.etsy.com/listing/661416594/special-order?ref=shop_home

Link to the Shop I bought it from:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CrochetGoneCrazy?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Link to the white under dress I bought:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/530234154/infant-slip-full-slip-christening-slip?ref=shop_home_active_4&crt=1

Link to the shop I bought it from:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetLittleAngel?ref=l2-shopheader-name

I love hand made items, the meaning they have is greater than some factory created outfit. After Lillian grows out of this dress, which won’t be too long since it was made to fit her now, I plan to save it for her future children. That way they can have some of her past if they would like.

Going to the Orthodontist with my son

Well it finally happened. My son’s pediatric dentist referred us to an orthodontist for a consultation. Today was our initial visit, and honestly I am not that shocked about what the plan is.

This is a pano x-ray of my son’s teeth. He’s 10, so yes he is retaining teeth and he’s also missing teeth, and don’t forget those canines up top that are not supposed to be that high up.

The pediatric dentist made the referral, I suggested my son to see MY orthodontist…You read me right. I had braces up until 2016. So I am very familiar with what goes into having work done on my teeth. I figured that my son would need work done eventually, since his teeth look exactly like mine.

He had a little fun when they had to take photos of his teeth

As you can see, my son, who is 10 years old is retaining teeth. He hasn’t lost many baby teeth, and if you look at the very top of his x-rays he has his canine teeth ALL the way up there. This is sort of what my teeth did. Except… he is missing his top lateral incisors. Yep. So we have some issues already. But with proper orthodontic care he can have a lovely smile when he gets older.

He is pointing at those canines that are way up there in his mouth

Currently, the orthodontist has decided that we will give my son half a year to see if any of his teeth change or fall out. Which is a good idea since he is only 10 years old. But after this summer, if his teeth have not changed, we will decide on pulling teeth or making any other changes.

The only issue I see us having with getting braces or doing any extensive dental work done is the fact that my son has sensory processing issues and ADHD. He had a really hard time sitting still just for this visit – but in all fairness he did run out of his ADHD pills. We might do better next time around in the summer.

It was great to see everyone in the office again – they did remember me. It was great to know that my son will be in good hands when and if he gets braces or has work done. I would like him to get this done while he is young, so he won’t go through the embarrassment I went through as an adult with braces.

The orthodontist looking at my son’s teeth on the screen
Options options options… I had the metal ones when I had braces, they weren’t too bad.

We are scheduled in July to see where we will go with this. I suggested to them that we might just pull those teeth because I didn’t lose my teeth even in my 20s. I had 4 baby teeth pulled and 4 wisdom teeth taken, and one tooth that refused to come down and had to be pulled down, and one baby tooth that has no adult tooth under it…. so my son’s teeth are not really a surprise.

Oh and get this, I found out that my son’s dad is missing 3 of his wisdom teeth too! So go figure, he is missing teeth! Braces do cost a lot but we can do this.

If you have any issues with your teeth, take care of them. Oral health is important.

ABQ Mom

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@HopelessOptimst

Im just trying to evolve

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