Friday, August 28, 2009

We Made It! - First Full Week of School

Jessica made it through her first first full week of school with classes all day. It started off pretty good. The usual routine is - come home and do homework and get to bed by 8:30. She did take our dog on a short walk down the street (maybe 1/2 mile?) a couple of nights. And one day, she met some friends at Sonic for a cherry vanilla root beer and a short visit - to celebrate a friend's birthday - on her way home from school.

Most nights so far, the homework hasn't been too bad, so we've had a little time to unwind in front of the tv. We've found that we love the dvr! We record our favorite shows and watch them the next night. Why watch them the night they're on when you can watch the following night and skip commercials! That and it makes it easier to make our 8:30 bedtime. Wednesday night we were watching "America's Got Talent" from the night before, when Jessica asked how much longer was left. I realized that meant she was tired. It was just 7:30, but we turned off the tv and got ready for bed.

Thursday morning she said she was tired, but headed on out to school. (So far, she's been waking up with her alarm ok.) I noticed on Facebook a little later that morning that she'd changed her status to "Jessica is not feeling well :(." So, I kept my phone closeby - but she made it through the day. She said that morning at school, she felt really tired, her throat was hurting, and everyone was telling her that she looked pale. She laid her head down on her desk, and her teacher gave her some papers to pass out - telling her that getting up and passing out the papers would help her wake up. Ugh! I did email the teachers explaining CFS, but I'm not sure that everyone still gets it. Jessica dozed off in class the other day, so I thought it was best that they have a little background.

In Jessica's favorite class, Creative Writing, they are writing they're memoirs. Jessica chose to write on her journey with CFS and how her faith has helped her through it. As she was working on her second draft of it last night, she read it to me. I was in tears by the time she was through. I'm amazed at how she has such a good handle on things, her strength, her faith, and her willingness to share her whole story including the ups and downs. They've been reading their memoirs in front of the class. In this memoir, she talks about being healed though "this nagging problem [CFS] will never go away, and I'm ok with that, because I know that the Lord has something better in store for me." I am so very proud of her! And guess what she titled her essay - A Time To Heal.

Overall, it's been a pretty good first week.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time for School!

School has started. It started last Wednesday - August 19th. Why does the summer have to go by so fast?!

Jessica is scheduled for a full day of classes at school this year. We've also put her back in her pre-ap classes. This first semester consists of Oral Communication (speech), Pre-AP Biology, Pre-Cal/Trig, and Creative Writing. Since she missed some classes and credits last year and didn't get any science in, she will be taking two science classes this year, and is in Biology with all sophomores, with her being the only Junior in the class. There was whispering going on in the class, and she was being called the "new girl," so she explained that she wasn't the "new girl," but was a Junior and had missed last year because she was sick. (She gave them the abbreviated version.) Besides taking Biology with all sophomores to their amazement, Jessica seems to like her classes. She loves Creative Writing.

Jessica turned 16 over the summer, and we have slowly been letting her drive alone. She's got my hand-me-down car - a red 2001 Pontiac Grand Am (with over 100,000 miles on it) - but not a bad teenage car. (When I was a kid, I got my dad's Chevette and Plymouth Horizon!) Anyway, she's driving herself to school and driving she and Matthew home from school, since school is just a mile away.

So far school seems to be going pretty good. She's getting to bed by 8:30 every night, which is early for normal kids her age. She's even come to me telling me she's tired and going to bed. But, last night there was a football game, and a friend wanted her to go. The game didn't start till 7:30, so it wouldn't have been worth it with an 8:30 bedtime. We ended up telling Jessica that she couldn't go to the game; I hate that, but let's get at least one full week under our belt first before we try anything else.

But so far so good. Jessica may get a little tired in the evening, but she's holding up pretty well. She likes her classes, and is able to be more normal. It's been good hearing her talk about friends and making new ones and being more interactive this year, since she missed ALL of that last year.

We hope her improved health continues, and the school year continues to go well.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Flu and Swine Flu

Jessica's doctor gave us a prescription for Tamiflu - just in case it's needed. He told us that Jessica shouldn't get the flu shot, mentioning something about Th1's and Th2's. (Evidently not a good idea with her immune system.) He did say the flu mist was an acceptable option for her if it's available.

I'm a little concerned about the swine flu that's going around, particularly with the start of school coming up. I've heard of several church youth groups that came back from summer camp after being exposed to it. People we know that have family members with it. We had our first death in Arkansas from it the other day.

Matthew and Steve and I will get our flu shot, and we will all practice good hygiene and try to stay away from germs as best we can.

On another note, Jessica's been a little tired from our trip. She finally finished her school summer reading assignment and essay yesterday. Finally! She was having trouble focusing to get it done. She still needs to refine the essay a little bit. School starts in a week!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dallas and The Doctor

We had a doctor's appointment scheduled for Monday in Dallas, so we added a few days and made it a mini-vacation. We even managed a day at Six Flags.

The day we left our house for the 5-1/2 hour drive to Dallas, Jessica wasn't feeling well - really tired and her throat hurt - so I wasn't sure how much she could handle. She slept in the car. And the next day, was the best day weather-wise (least chance of rain) to attempt Six Flags, so we went. She was tired, so we took breaks. There were a few times when she said she was ready to leave, but she held out - especially for Matthew. We were in line for one of the boat rides and Jessica said she needed to sit down, so we got out of line and went to an inside country music show. (Jessica likes country music.) She sat while Matthew played carnival games. Etc. There was a free concert that evening with Jessie McCartney, and Matthew wanted to go see it, so Jessica held out till then. We listened to a few songs, and then headed for the park exit. Steve pointed out a dark cloud that he thought looked like a wall cloud. We, along with everyone else, were leaving the park at the same time - trying to beat what looked like a bad storm. I panicked and tried to get everyone to run to the car, but Jessica didn't have anything left in her. So, we walked - at Jessica's pace. Luckily, we made it to the car just before the bottom fell out. It was a rough drive back to the hotel though.

Monday we went to Jessica's doctor's appointment. He dropped her Valtrex anti-viral dosage down from 2 pills a day to 1 pill a day. He told us that we could quit 2 supplements - Anti-viral and Arteminisin - saying they had done the work we needed them to do. There were also 2 more supplements that he said we could step down the dosage of and get off one at a time, and see how she does. (Both of these are for energy production.) He did increase her thyroid medicine a little bit. And he gave us a prescription for Provigil to help with her focusing problem. We haven't filled that prescription yet, because we're still researching. He took blood, and we'll find out those results at our next appointment, which isn't until November. Overall, it seemed like a good appointment.

And Jessica got to sleep on the ride back home.