July 29, 2013

Hydrogen Breath Testing FUN!

After 6 months of scheduling and rescheduling due to sicknesses, Rachel was finally able to go to Birmingham to get the hydrogen breath tests. The testing can show malabsorption of different types of sugars - lactose, sucrose and fructose. Because of Rachel's GI symptoms, the doctor thought maybe this was our issue. The tests have to be done on three separate days and involves Rachel eating a very blah dinner of plain potato and chicken breast and then fasting until the test the next morning and through the test. The techs give her a sugar liquid to drink and then over the course of 3 hours, they collect her breath every 30 minutes to see if her body is digesting the sugars correctly. Stephen was kind enough to take her down for the tests.

The results came back negative for any issues with digesting sugars which really surprised us. I was so bummed that nothing was found but the doctor is not giving up and we are proceeding with a colonoscopy and endoscopy with biopsies. I really do think that this will give us some answers. Those procedures will be scheduled soon. Here are some pictures of Rachel during the testing and at the GI docs office. Stephen said she was the star of the hospital running up and giving people hugs.
In a room between breath collections.

Sitting with complete strangers and reading a magazine. :)

July 25, 2013

Botanical Garden Kind of Day!

Rachel is in the midst of the very long awaited hydrogen breath tests. They are used to determine different sugar malabsorptions (lactose, fructose and sucrose). Each test needs to be completed on a separate day so she's had one on Monday and today with her last one tomorrow. We'll have the results tomorrow so I'll post about those more tomorrow. Stephen has been taking her down to Birmingham for the tests so I've had some time with my buddy. Today was the most perfect summer day so off to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens we went!

The morning was cool enough so we were able to meander around for a while before hitting the water features. Charlie had a good time walking around checking out the plant life, pulling the wagon and seeing some butterflies.


"sis?" (what's this?)

Then we went into the Children's Garden and played in the water and sand box.

Overall, we were there for 2 hours. It could not have been a nicer morning with my booger boy.

July 15, 2013

She Said, "Sit Down."

In case you were unaware, Rachel is considered non-verbal, meaning she doesn't communicate by speaking. She communicates with signs and sounds. She uses a lot of the same sounds for different words, like "gah" for dog or dada. She makes a squishy sound with her mouth for cheese or a clicking type sound for cracker or cookie both along with signing. So, any word that actually makes it out of her mouth is celebrated.

Tonight, while I was in another room I heard Stephen say, "Sit down so we can read the book" or something like that. Very clearly I heard a little voice repeat, "sit down". I assumed it was Charlie. Stephen called to me, "Did you hear that??" and I said yes but not with the enthusiasm he was expecting. It turns out it was RACHEL who said that. A girl who hardly ever speaks one word and most certainly not a two word sentence! I only wish I was in that room to actually see it with my own eyes.

What's kind of interesting is just last night I had a dream that I was watching Rachel have a conversation on the phone with her great grandma. She talked so clearly. It was such a beautiful dream.