Day 29, January 29th, 2021
One day back in October, Anna woke up with some significant low back pain. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, it didn’t get much better so I called the doc to see if we could figure out what was going on. Dr. Kelly met with us around Thanksgiving over Telehealth because Anna was in quarantine. She thought it was probably muscular and prescribed some physical therapy and Celebrex. When things still didn’t improve with PT, Anna was referred to a spine specialist in San Antonio. Dr. Bruggeman ordered an MRI and we headed back to San Antonio to get those results last Friday. Dr. Bruggeman said that though Anna’s spine doesn’t look typical, there were no injuries or defects. He concurred with Dr. Kelly that Anna’s pain is probably muscular due to hypotonia (low muscle tone) and the lax ligaments from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. He recommended continuing with physical therapy to strengthen Anna’s core and back.
Day 30, January 30th, 2021
Sweet Scruffy Stuart
Stuart has been part of our family for 5 years. He’s lovingly referred to our as “foster failure.” Texas Animal Guardians had pulled him from the Canyon Lake Animal Shelter for an adoption event at PetSmart back on a very cold weekend in January of 2016. Anna had been volunteering with the group on Saturdays, meeting the team at PetSmart and walking the dogs while they were there. We told them that we would foster Stuart that weekend so he didn’t have to go back to the outdoor pen, then once we saw how well he got along with our other dogs, we agreed to foster him long term until he could find a forever family. Well… two days later, we became his forever family. When we adopted him, he was only 8.5 pounds and a little bigger than Lola. The rescue group said he was approximately 2 years old but over the next few months he grew (quite a bit!) and ended up closer to 15 pounds, so we actually think he was a puppy. Stuart bonded the most with Dominic and is now totally Dominic’s dog. He sleeps with Dominic every night. Stuart has a big personality and established himself as the alpha dog in the pack. He’s a very sweet and endearing little dog and we are so glad he’s part of our pack. (Sorry I didn’t get his nose in focus… I was too close!)
Day 31, January 31st, 2021
A Pair of Perfect Pineapples
Fresh pineapple tastes so much better than canned or even pre-cut pineapple. Even though it’s a pain in the butt to core, it’s worth the hassle to have fresh fruit. Dominic especially loves pineapple, so I’ve been buying two at a time from Instacart. Our wonderful shopper, Deondre, picked a pair of perfect pineapples this week. I was so impressed with the quality, I had to snap a photo of them. They tasted just as good as they looked!
Day 32, February 1st, 2021
Channeling my Mom
It’s been over a year now since I’ve last had my hair cut and colored. I don’t think my hair has ever been this long! I’m still undecided if I will continue to color my hair… I went all natural several years ago but was dismayed by how much it aged me in photos. It is really nice to not have to worry about the upkeep of coloring but I’m incredibly vain about my appearance. It’s something I’m working on, accepting myself without criticism, but it’s challenging. My big Christmas gift this year was a Dyson Complete Airdrop Styler hair dryer. Curtis got a good deal on it but it was still extremely extravagant. I wasn’t sure I was going to keep it, but then I used it and fell in love. This thing is amazing. It dries my hair in just a few minutes and the round airwrap barrels takes each chunk of hair and automatically wraps it to create perfect curls. This view of the back of my head reminds me so much of my mom from a few years ago!
Day 33, February 2nd, 2021
Stuart Smells Anna’s Day
Mom has been picking up Anna for me several days a week. I am so appreciative because it’s almost an hour round trip to drop the kids off in the morning (which Curtis sometimes does for me too). Anna gets out at 3:00 p.m. and Dominic gets out at 4:30 p.m., so all told it’s 3 trips into town each day to manage the kids’ transportation. I don’t mind because it keeps them off the bus and lessens exposure to COVID but having help with one or more of the trips is delightful. When Anna got home on Tuesday, she came in through the dining room slider since she was coming from mom’s driveway instead of ours. The dogs go nuts whenever that slider door is opened and Stuart made a beeline to greet Anna. ::sniff sniff sniff:: Where have you been? Who’ve you been with? Anna patiently waits for the daily dog inspection.
Best Meat Masher Ever
Does anyone else hate chopping up ground beef for tacos or sloppy joes? I usually buy the 2-pound ground beef in the tube packaging which means a lot of chopping when browning the meat. Using a spatula invariably leads to nicks in the bottom of the pan. Well I found the most amazing invention and put it on my Amazon wishlist for Christmas… I think it was Anna who got it for me. It’s a meat chopper, ground beef masher and it works so well! It chops the meat up into smaller pieces and the curved design easily flips the meat while it cooks. The nylon material doesn’t damage the pan and is dishwasher safe too. If you don’t own one of these yet, get one!
Day 34, February 3rd, 2021
Found Dog, Meet Scout
Anna and I picked up Dominic from school on Wednesday. When we pulled into our driveway, Anna spotted a small black dog across the street. We always stop for stray dogs, always. 9 times out of 10, we can catch the dog and find the owner. As soon as we were out of the car, the kids were calling to the dog and it came running right up to us. She was so wiggly and excited, it was hard to grab her collar. Dominic went inside and got a leash then deftly got her corralled. This is Scout. Luckily her tag had a name and phone number. She lives up the street from us and the owner sent her girls down to fetch her. Isn’t she gorgeous? I’m so glad she was reunited with her family and nothing bad happened to her while she was on her jaunt through the neighborhood. Our Labradoodle, Charlie, sometimes gets out (he has figured out all sorts of ways of opening our gates, stinker). If he were out and we didn’t know, I hope a kind neighbor would stop for him and give us a call.
Day 35, February 4th, 2021
PT with Dr. Katie
Dr. Kelly had Anna see a physical therapist in December that was close to her office but we didn’t love him. Since Dr. Bruggeman recommended Anna continue with PT, I asked Dr. Kelly for a referral to Texas Physical Therapy Specialists. Mom, Curtis, Anna, and I have all had PT there before and we LOVE the staff, especially Dr. Katie Schweitzer. Dr. Katie has worked with Anna (and myself) before and she remembered us even though it has been over four years since we’ve been in. She remembered that we all have EDS and was happy to be working with Anna again. She said that she had even thought about us recently then we showed up on her schedule. Isn’t that funny? I can already tell just with the eval and subsequent game plan that she will be a much better fit for Anna’s long term goals.
Thanks for looking!