By rbergman Latest Reply 2009-07-23 11:42:51 -0500
Started 2009-07-12 17:22:49 -0500

It has been quite some time since I've been to the site. I'm positive I've met myself coming and going more than a few times these past few months in the process.
There have been changes in Laura's conditions and diagnosis of new things have come up as well as re-diagnosing of other issues they thought they had figured out.
She is still diabetic, both type 1 and type 2 (Double Diabetic). She still has Hypothyroidism (and always will as she no longer has a thyroid). She does NOT however have Addison's Disease as previously thought, diagnosed and medicated for, she actually has quite the opposite in fact, Cushing's Disease. ( I'm sure some of you are wondering how they could have gotten that diagnosis wrong, believe me I asked that very question myself).
Laura has Autoimmune Failure… this simply put means that at any given time her body can (and does) turn on itself and sends out antibodies that attack normal functioning organs as if they were a disease, that organ in turn can over produce, or under produce whatever its function does and create issues, this is what happened with her adrenal glands that made them think it was Addison's when in fact it was the antibodies causing results to vary to the extreme that she didn't have Addison's but rather Cushings…Still with me? Thats okay if your not it takes awhile to grasp the concept of her body turning on itself and causing so much havoc.
On May 26th further tests showed that Laura has started puberty…she will just be 8 yrs old the 23rd of this month…and that she already had breast tissue developing and armpit and pubic hair growing. More tests were ordered and we were given the option of putting her on a shot a month that would stop puberty or an implant that lasts for a year that would do the same thing… after careful consideration we chose the implant, that was put in place under a local anesthesia and should be barely noticeable when school resumes in August.
The county fair begins August 5 and both her and Wade are very busy right now with their projects for fair and animals ready for show as well. She is still the inspiration that keeps me on track as well as many others that meet her and know her story and if something gets her down she sure doesn't let it keep her down (she gets that from me lol)
Anyway, there isn't much else to say to update you, its farming season and so we are very busy with that and we have 55 bottle baby calves that have to be fed twice a day (another project that seems to be going well thus far even though it is time consuming).
I'm sorry I haven't been around much to comment, give my 2c worth, or post but I haven't forgotten any of you and will stop in time and again when I find the time to catch my breathe and sit a spell with you all. I hope this finds you all well or on your way to being well and I'll see ya soon.

Hugs & Much Love,
Robin, Laura & family

20 replies

John Crowley
John Crowley 2009-07-13 10:51:38 -0500 Report

Thanks for keep us updated. We hope for the best for your little girl. That is just so much to deal with at such a young age.

Hopefully the correct diagnosis will make a big difference in getting the proper treatment.

rbergman 2009-07-17 12:21:03 -0500 Report

Things seem so much better with her once she was off the wrong medication and on the right ones, I know its hard to pinpoint exactly whats going on with her, but I'm hoping her next visit doesn't reveal yet something else abnormal her plate is full enough, as is ours, and it sure would be nice to know we've reached the end of the winding road to recovery so to speak.

Judimar 2009-07-17 12:29:24 -0500 Report

Hi Robin,

My thoughts are with you, Laura and the rest of your family. I am so glad they have figured out they misdiagnosised her and now have her on new treatment. I pray she continues to improve.



rbergman 2009-07-17 23:43:42 -0500 Report

Thanks Judi, all prayers are always welcome and appreciated…unless I notice something wrong she's good to go till September now before she has to be poked and prodded by the doctors again.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-23 11:42:51 -0500 Report

My prayers are UP for your family too! One thing, in this generation, so many children have health problems, more asthma etc than they used to, that the school kids should not be a bother if she has problems. Sometimes if they are included in understanding, it goes easier.
When I was so depressed, the towns' people had all sorts of rumors spreading (being in a small town can have its disadvantages!!) but once I struggled to try and inform them of what was going on within me, my TRUE friends stayed with me, and the others, I AVOIDED Like the plague!!

It seems when folks understand better they aren't so critical, and diabets is fairly common it seems, in children these days. I wonder if a lot of it is from processed foods as that is one big difference in how I eat, compared to what I ate as a child. Anyway, I am sure with your help and comfort, she will do fine, as will the son, as he too adjusts. Pat R

cyncyn 2009-07-12 20:42:41 -0500 Report

So glad to hear about Laura. She is so young, to be going thru all this. At least, they found out what was wrong. Can't believe they confused the two diagnoises!!!
The two of you draw strenght from one another! With that, there is sunshine, at the end of the tunnel!!
I could not imagine bottle feeding that many! WOW I really don't know how you guys do it. My hat's off to you and your family!
Good luck with the showings. Hope you all bring home the Blue Ribbons!
Good to hear from you, and don't worry about us, we will be here for you any time!


Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 20:46:37 -0500 Report

Amen!! They certainly have been here for ME, the new kid on the block! Well, the "kid" part is a stretch, but oh, well! PR

daniel velazco
daniel velazco 2009-07-12 21:00:15 -0500 Report

Thanks for the update, it's such a shame that a girl so young has so much to deal with. We are all here for you
so keep us up dated when you have the time. Dan

cyncyn 2009-07-12 21:00:45 -0500 Report

We all have a little kid in us. My children keep asking me,…"Mom, when are you going to grow up"? I reply with, "NEVER", if I can help it. Kids have fun, and so do I!
I always tell them, to keep a little bit of kid in them, no matter their age!!!


Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-13 11:22:45 -0500 Report

Oh, Cyndi, my funny friend! Has a certain ring to it, doestn't it?! Ha—I tell my friends and family that I haven't decided what I will do when I grow up (still 77 yrs!)but then, I don't intend to grow up, so why worry!

This little girl is so special. I have been thinking that children sometimes handle life's challenges better than we adults. Why is that? Do they subconsiously have more faith, trust and hope?? It sounds like the mom, can't see your name—sorry—-but you have a positive, BUSY attitude, keep your life rolling along with as many positive chores as possible! I still can't get over all of those bottle calves!! BUT let me warn you, take some time out for yourself, be SURE that you can unwind at night to really relax and feel rested, I know when you are on such a rigid schedule one may think it really isn't possible, BUT breakdowns take away your time no matter how hard you try to deny it. Speaking from experience—MAKE time to RELAX for yourself and your lovely daughter and the rest of your family! Best Wishes!! Pat Roth

rbergman 2009-07-17 12:19:22 -0500 Report

Pssst Cyndi,
We don't want blue ribbons, lol, in 4-H a purple ribbon is first place and a larger purple or pink is grand champion so those are the colors the kids are working for lol.
Laura's birthday is the 23rd so she is focusing on that, lol in fact, one of her medications is in a chewable form pill and she actually asked me to call the doctor and see if we could get it changed to the swallow like her other meds, she said turning 8 is too old to chew up pills lol, what a character, but I did call the doctor, she laughed but did change the script to a swallow type pill for her!

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-17 13:02:34 -0500 Report

Oh, man—you moved me to tears—-sounds like our granddaughter at that age and she didn't have any health issues! She took rabbits, her older sister took a steer, so Kyleigh wanted to take one too. BUT that steer just threw and drug her around—-she was in tears later, "Mama, can I go back to my bucket calf next year?" I had to hug her, even tho her dad frowned, he wanted her to "suck it up andhang tough!" But she was only 8 yrs. plenty of time left to learn THAT ONE! ha She went on to show black Angus all over the Us, as did her older sister, she tried so hard to keep up with her, even sur[assed her, but there were a lot of tears. She is now 21 yrs and showed her last heifer and steer at Georgia, this week, Nationals, I think, where they have a cook off, make posters, which they usually excel in (I sure would NOT!!)

So I have a fair idea of what you are up against, but it sure sounds like you are on top of it! Since the boy is older and involved in leading—-that should help him too!

Thanks for showing ALL, sounds like a strong and loving family!

A new friend, Pat Roth

GabbyPA 2009-07-12 18:21:55 -0500 Report

As long as she keeps inspiring you, you will be fine! She is an amazing young lady and how is her brother doing now with all the attention to her? Is that getting better, as I am sure he still has his moments.
What kind of animals do they show at the fair? Calves? I rather imagine, but could be chickens or bunnies. You guys do so much.

Hang in there, and it is good to hear from you! We are always here for a chat if you need.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 18:26:31 -0500 Report

Neat questions, Gabby! As I too would like to know more details as our daughter and her 2 almost grown girls showed black angus for years, started with bucket claves—one year had sheep and pigs, and 3 yrs. had rabbits! I do nOT know how they did so much, and both parents worked full time too!! Puts me to shame! What about her brother?—PR

rbergman 2009-07-17 12:11:41 -0500 Report

With Laura's issues Wade (her 10yr, nearly 11yr old brother) was feeling a bit left out and unloved because of the attention that had to be focused on his little sister and therefore he began acting out and being bad, sort of the whole negative attention was better than no attention syndrome. He has since come out of that and understands better that the attention Laura gets isn't cuz we love her more but necessary for her to live a "normal" life.

rbergman 2009-07-17 12:09:00 -0500 Report

Hiya Gabby,
This year Laura is still considered a Clover Bud, so is not allowed to show anything larger than a goat. soooo she is taking a Nubian doe born on April 1st, She is taking 2 doe Rex rabbits and a 3 rabbit meat pen and her female guinea pig, and has to bake a cake and decorate it for the cake auction. Wade being a bit older is allowed to do cattle so he is taking 1 of our favorite bucket calves along with 2 doe Rex rabbits and a 3 rabbit meat pen, a Nigerian Dwarf wether goat born on April 6th and his male guinea pig. Wade has also qualified already to go to the State Fair as a judge, over the summer months they conducted 2 judging schools and 1 judging competition and he got the highest scores for his age group (8-10) for all 3 of those so automatically qualified to go to state (thats a 6hr drive across the state from where we live so we are hoping he has more State qualified entries with the animals he's taking to local fair).

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 18:01:31 -0500 Report

For pity's sake, your involved situation puts my own little problems into proper perspective! She is a darling little girl and sounds like she comes from a fighting family that knows how to cope and deal with the negativities that life throws at one, and she is so young! But sounds like with, you for a mom, you will both be OK, maybe TIRED!!

How in the world do you bottle feed so many baby calves? When I was a girl I had to feed a few, then bottle feed lambs (don't hold the bottle too high or the milk will run into their lungs, will develop pneumonia and die!) I still can remember that challenge, fear that I would accidentaly kill some of the little fellers. My folks had to bring them into the house as so many of the old ewes would refuse their youngsn' So knowing that life isn't as simple as it may look to others—I ADMIRE your GUTS and STAMINA! Just don't forget to rest yourself, and do take care! A new face on this site—Pat Roth (age 77 yrs.)

rbergman 2009-07-17 12:16:28 -0500 Report

To feed we built "feeding stations" we don't bottle 12 of the calves, we have 4 dairy cows that once they had their own calf we added 3 more calves to each one so they each feed 4 calves until we wean them. The rest of them we divide into 6 per feeding station and Wade, Laura and I bottle 2 each, then move onto the next station for the next 6. Then the last pen has 7, which we trained 1 of them to use a bucket instead of a bottle so she feeds herself while we feed the other 6. We have weaned some to outside pens now and so as of today we are only bottling/cow nursing/ bucketing 21 calves.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-17 12:52:27 -0500 Report

I am impresssed!! However you do it, sounds like great management! You would have to have a good plan or meet yourself coming and going! Thanks for the clarification! I can just see you now—— PR