Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pectus Carinatum

I thought this would be the easiest place to talk about what's been going on with my chest. I have had the condtion known as "pectus carinatum" since I was little. This is basically a deformity of my chest wall where my chest wall grows out (also called pigeon chest) instead of growing flat. It has never bothered me before. I never noticed any growth, never experienced any pain. I felt like the only time it was noticeable was when my clothes were off, and its not like I walk around often with my clothes off.

Over the last year and a half or so, I have noticed a significant amount of growth so I mentioned it to my doctor just over a year ago. She sent me in for x-rays and there was nothing medically wrong, other than the growth of the bone.

Over the last couple of months, I have again noticed growth, and with that has come alot of pain. It is waking me up in the middle of the night, I can't sleep comfortably, and it really hurts when I work out. You know I work out alot, I have been doing kickboxing almost every day since right before I got pregnant with Jackson. There is alot of twisting involved, and I can't even do it anymore because of the pain in my chest when I do it.

With these new developments, I felt like something must be going on so I decided to do some research. "Symptoms" and things I have always considered normal for me are directly tied to the deformity of my chest wall. When I was in school, one of the things we always did was counting respirations. Our teacher told us to just watch our pateint's shoulders and that would be the easiest way. My classmates noticed that they had to watch my stomach and not my shoulders, which is right. I absolutely breathe with my stomach and not my chest. This is very typical for someone with pigeon chest. Also, I have tried very hard to be a runner, and I have gotten alot better, but judt can't seem to run for a long distance even though I have been "training" for over year. My heart starts beating too fast, I can't catch my breath, etc. even though I consider myself to be in great shape. This is also a very significant symptom of someone with pigeon chest. I also learned that even if a chest wall deformity can be "dormant " for many years, it can get worse as the person ages and have serious medical comlpications as you get older. Doctors and insurance companies no longer consider corrective surgery a purely cosmetic procedure because of the long-term issues.

So, I decided to make an appointment with a reconstructive surgeon at Wake Forest. I met with her last week and we discussed my symptoms. SHe took pictures and upon laying me down and feeling my chest wall, she was shocked, and told me that mine was the worst chest wall deformity she had seen. She set me up for a CT scan, which I had yesterday. She told me she will call me once she finds a thoracic surgeon since surgery would involve breaking my sternum, etc. SHe told me that she wants to find someoone very experienced in doing the surgery on adults. So it might mean having it done at Duke or somewhere else.

I am waiting to hear the scan results, but I am feeling optimstic to know what is going on and that it might all be resolved soon.

I'll keep you posted, and answer any questions you might have, You know I'm an open book :)

Day #9

A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most...

My mom!

My mom is my BFF. There was a time in my life that I'm not particularly proud of that she was not. I have always loved my mom and appreciated everything she did for me, but as a teenager, we did not get along. I was too wrapped up in my friends and everything else that I thought was important and I know now that she was only truing to do what was good for me and what was going to keep me safe and happy. She has always and I know that she will always do anything for me. She has seen me through every struggle and every happy time I've ever had. She has never strayed, and I am eternally grateful!

I love you mom!!!

Day #8

A picture that makes me laugh...

Caroline was just over 2 months old in this picture. Jackson crawled into her crib with her and they both started laughing, Love it! And I do laugh every time I look at this picture.

Day #7

Okay, so I need to play catch-up. Why is it that I can't seem to just get on here every day?! I really am trying!!!

Day # 7 is a picture of my most treasured item. This sounded strange to me because I not consider myself the least bit materialistic. I thought maybe I could change it to something I can't live without...

My Kitchen Aid mixer. I know that sounds silly, but I'm serious. I LOVE IT! I can't imagine my life before it. I use it atleast four times a week... pancakes or waffles atleast once a week, pizza dough, bread, icing. I use it shred meat, make mashed potatoes, cakes. You name it, a kitchenaid makes it easier!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

30 Days of Courtney, Day #6

I picture of someone I want to trade places with for a day...

This one was absolutely a no-brainer for me... Brandi Carlile

It is no secret that I am slightly (alot) obsessed with her. I have told my dad several times that I feel like she is living the life I should be. Her music is wonderful... she is doing exactly what she wants to be doing, what she loves. She seems like such a real, genuine person. She's not a sell-out. She hasn't become too "poppy" for lack of a better word. She is making the kind of music she wants to be making. To most people she is an unknown, but has an extremely loyal fan-base.

I wouldn't want to trade my life with my babies for anything, but I think just getting a taste of it would be so exciting.

And it doesn't hurt that she's gorgeous, either.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


So, one of the things I struggle with the most is feeling like I am not the best mom. I read blogs and see all these fun, educational, crafty, creative things that stay-at -home moms so with their kids and feel like I am no where near measuring up to that. It's weird, because I do consider myself creative and fun, but I struggle with patience when it comes to my kids and it is hard for me to plan something and it not go exactly as planned. I'm really bad at that.

I made a cake last weekend, and had a small cake left, and had the fabulous idea that I would let the kids decorate. It is something I love to do, obviously, and Jackson and Caroline are always so interested in it...

We had a blast. We goofed off and made a horrible mess, buy we all workd together and got to eat cake when it was all done.

Jackson wanted blue frosting...

Is that a beautiful blue, or what?!

I promise that my kids do wear clothes occasionally. (In fact, just this week we have been working on staying dressed while we are at home. They usually pick pajamas or a swim-suit, but it is progress.)

This girl gives the BEST little kisses!

We even lit candles and blew them out

Caroline and Jackson

30 Days of Courtney. Day #5

A picture of my favorite memory...

Okay. This one was hard for me and I finally realized that there is no way I could come up with a favorite memory, or even one that was really good, because I remember EVERYTHING. My mom is often amazed at all the things I remember. Even small, seemingly insignifigant details from seeminly insignifigant days in my life are clear in my head.

I love how certain songs or smells can trigger a memory and bring you right back to a specific moment in your life just like it was yesterday. This happens to me all the time. My favorite is when I smell a smell that reminds me of my grandparents house when I was a little girl. I also love the smell of the fair and love when that memory is triggered.

Songs are the best. Sometimes I can hear a song and I literally have to stop dead in my tracks and relish in the monent that I am brought back to. So, instead of a picture, I have a video. It is a song called, "The Song Remembers When" by Trisha Yearwood. It perfectly explains what I have not so perfectly explained, and I can listen to it over and over and over again.