Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Results Are In...

I got my results back from my physical (I had the CBC and a five-panel drug screen). Here's what I learned:
  • I'm not on drugs (lol)
  • My glucose levels were right in the middle of the range for being normal (YAY)
  • All other levels were normal for my metabolic panel
  • My thyroid levels came back normal

Total Cholesterol: 170

Total cholesterol refers to the total amount of cholesterol as measured in the blood stream. This is the number that most people refer to when they say, "What's my cholesterol?"
In general, a desirable total cholesterol is under 200. Total cholesterol is a measured value, meaning it is determined by chemical analysis of your blood. If your total cholesterol is over 200, you need to know your HDL and LDL to tell if you're doing OK or need further treatment.

HDL Cholesterol: 45

HDL refers to "High Density Lipoprotein" and is commonly known as the "Good Cholesterol." It is called the good one because it helps protect your arteries from getting deposits of cholesterol that clog them. A desirable HDL is over 35, but the higher, the better. If your HDL is under 35, it is considered a "'risk factor." HDL is a measured value.

LDL Cholesterol: 90

LDL refers to "Low Density Lipoprotein" and is commonly called the "Bad Cholesterol." It is known as the bad one because it clogs the arteries and is directly associated with heart attacks and some strokes. A desirable LDL is under 130 unless you have two "risk factors." If you have two or more risk factors, a desirable LDL is under 100!

Triglyceride: 175

Triglyceride is a type of fat transport system in the blood stream. Triglyceride is directly related to what you eat. High fat, high carbohydrate diets lead to high triglyceride. A desirable triglyceride is under 200. Very high triglyceride can cause pancreatitis and other problems.
This is a measure of the sugar (or glucose) level in your blood. High values are associated with eating before the test, and with diabetes.
The normal range for a fasting glucose is 60 -109 mg/dl. According the 1999 ADA criteria, diabetes is diagnosed with a fasting plasma glucose of 126 or more. A precursor, Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG), is defined as fasting glucose levels of 110 - 125. Sometimes a glucose tolerance test, which involves giving you a sugary drink followed by several blood glucose tests, is necessary to properly sort out normal from IFG from diabetes. 
I am so relieved that my levels were all good. I need to bring my triglyceride number down to at least 150 or lower... and that can be done with diet and exercise. It's not high-risk at 175 but it's considered on the borderline high side... so it's something I want to watch and work to bring down. 

I am actually thinking about joining LA Fitness. I was going to join the YMCA, but I saw that the LA Fitness that's literally around the corner from us, is $40 a month! They close at 10pm and I could totally go after we put Gus to bed. I usually feel sleepy after I workout anyway... so I could go to the gym at night, come home, shower and go to bed. 

When we get back from our vacation I'm going to schedule a tour and go in and check it out. I don't know if childcare is included (it is at Lifetime and the YMCA)... not sure that I'd put Gus in it anyway. But it's a $0 joining fee right now and you pay the first month and last month when you sign up ($80) and then it's $40 every month there after. It's an awesome deal (Lifetime is like $100 pp per month and has a HUGE fee to join and then the YMCA has a joining fee and it's like $70 a month or so). LA Fitness is close to us and has all the things that I'd want. So we'll see. It'll be a good way to get a workout in and I can run on the tredmill or I can walk, or I can do some weights... it's full of endless possibilities.

I'm off to bed. Gus and Steve have their physicals tomorrow. Gus's should be easy-peasy and I'm praying that Steve's visit goes as well as mine did.  :-)

Monday, August 20, 2012

8-20-12 Science Fun

Baking soda, vinegar, bottles, and food coloring

This afternoon Gus and I decided to experiment a bit with some things that we have around the house. He was very excited to help me pour the baking soda into the container and then said, "Oooohhhhh!!" when I squeezed the blue vinegar onto the baking soda. It made a fizzy sound and then bubbled and he clapped. :-)

I made the initial squeeze and then he was ready to play with the red, yellow, green, and blue colored vinegar. It was very easy to set up, cost next to nothing, and kept him very entertained for more than an hour. I loved watching him play and react to the sounds and reactions of the baking soda and vinegar. This is one we'll do again and again!!

Touching the baking soda

After it was fizzy he wanted to touch it

So pretty!

Lifting the bin to listen to the fizzing as the vinegar ran over the baking soda!


We were all done and he wanted to add more baking soda...

And was VERY upset that it was time to clean up!

We'll do this again for sure... I'm going to look online and see if there are other things that can be done with baking soda and vinegar and we'll see what happens!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

So Productive!

Our Home Study Packet

This weekend we have been VERY productive. When we put Gus down for his nap yesterday, we sat down and organized all of the necessary documents for the home study process. 

It brought back memories of when we started the process back in December of 2009 for our adoption of Gus. However, in retrospect, the home study process in North Carolina was 1,000x easier than it is in Georgia. 

What's the difference you ask??? Well... in NC, there's a separate process for adopting through foster care and adopting domestically through an agency or attorney. Here in Georgia, it's all the same process and all the same requirements. This means that we had to have a lot more documentation for our home study. Some differences include:
  • 911 Call History reports from all jurisdictions in which we've lived in the past five years. This wasn't a big deal to get this info here in GA, but when I called our local police department in NC, they had no idea what I needed or how to get it to me. I spent over a week trying to contact different people at the HSPD before I finally got in touch with the right person- and even then, she wasn't sure exactly how to help but did the best she could.
  • 5-Panel Drug Screen- We never had to have any drug screens when we started the home study process in NC.
  • Complete and thorough physicals including blood work-up and chest x-ray for TB- In NC, we went to the doctor, they signed off saying we were healthy and that was that. Here in GA, I had to have an extensive physical (and a Tetanus shot) that took two hours to complete!
  • Both FBI and GA BI criminal background checks AND fingerprints- In NC, we didn't need fingerprints at all unless we wanted to adopt a child with special needs. Here, not only do we need GA Bureau of Investigation fingerprints and criminal background checks, but we also need FBI prints (which take 6-8 weeks to get and we can't submit anything until we have the cleared report from the FBI).
  • One reference from a former employer because I worked with children within the past five years (NC didn't care).
So... it's been intense. However, this week I'm going to the JCPD to get our 911 call history and can check that off my to-do list. Steve and Gus have their physicals on Wednesday and then we just need to go and get our fingerprints done (FBI done at the APD and the GBI done at a separate location). Once that's done... we wait for the FBI to send us our report saying that we're all clear and then we can send the entire packet to our home study agency.

Our home study caseworker is getting married and going on a honeymoon soon and she and I talked yesterday (she called our references and told them to tell us to call her because she didn't have our number) and she said that she'll be unavailable until mid-October. Since we're in no rush to get this done, we said not to worry and when she's back and ready, she'll give us a call and we can set up our one visit for the home study. 

That is one REALLY nice thing... because we already have had a home study, we only need to have one visit (in the home) and the cost is significantly less than what we were quoted from other home study agencies. 

I'm assuming that there won't be anything to report until mid-October, but if/when I hear from her about setting it up, I'll be sure to blog about it!! The home study really is the hardest part of the whole process... so I'll be glad when all this is done!!!

Steve is on his way to Texas for the night and will be back tomorrow night. I'm glad we were able to get a lot done this weekend because we leave for vacation next week!! I wanted to have it as done as possible so that I didn't have to worry about it while we were gone.

Now I can go and relax!!