Sunday, May 9, 2010

Family Temple Trip

We took a Sunday drive to the Temple on March 21st. I had fun taking pictures. Dillon took the picture of Dustin and I and then the security guard asked if we wanted one of the whole family. I was excited because we havn't had a family picture in years! I think it turned out great....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Opening Day of Spring Baseball

Opening day of Spring Baseball was on Saturday. Dillon is on the Cubs this year. We are very happy with the team and his coach! They have had two games so far, and have won them both! GO CUBS!

I'm thinking it will be easiest for me to start with most recent and then randomly post some of the events of the last several months. Last Friday I took the kids to M&M World and to the Gameworks cafe. I had a gift certificate from, it ended up being pretty cheap to eat there, and it was yummy too! It was the last day of track break and I promised them I would take them to do something fun. We had not been able to do much because of all the stuff going on with Dustin. We had a great time together! On the way home, I took them to Target where they were able to spend their Birthday money. Dillon bought a new Transformers Wii game, and Ashlynn bought a Hannah Montana Wii game. Samantha actually ended up spending her $4.00 that she received from the toothfairy on some little, tiny, miniature farm animals... right up her alley!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Where I have been.....

Yes, I have been missing in action for quite some time. I feel like this last 8 months or so have been a big blur. As all of you know that even follow my blog, the post about Trent's funeral was the last. For whatever reason, it has been difficult for me to blog since then. Sounds weird, but that's just how it has been. Not to mention, the last 6 months have been spent trying to figure out some pretty serious health issues with Dustin. It has been a situation that you can't imagine unless you have been in something similar. Dustin has just barely, in the last two weeks, been able to go back to work for an entire 40 hours. We have been in and out of the ER, been admitted to the Hospital, and have had countless Dr. appointments, scopes, and bloodwork, all trying to figure out what is wrong with him. I will not go into all of the nightmarish details of the last 6 months, and about how incredibly difficult it has been to find a diagnosis.... but I will tell you that I have had my faith in every way tested, not only my personal, spiritual faith, but my faith in the medical field as well. There are a couple Dr.'s that I would honestly like punch in the face, and then there are those few that have pulled through for us..... and thank the Heaven's above for them.
To make a long story short, Dustin has been diagnosed with 2 things: Celiac Disease, and Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE). Two separate diseases, that normally don't exist in the same person together..... of, course. For those of you who do not know, Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder located in the gastrointestinal tract. Wheat, cross-contaminated oats, barley and rye contain gluten that is toxic to people with Celiac Disease. The body attacks itself, flattening villi, which are hair-like projections in the small intestine. Villi under normal conditions, would allow the body to absorb needed nutrients. But, because of the damage that gluten causes to the the villi, most nutrients are not able to be absorbed, and this can cause an array of problems... which Dustin has had an abundance of. EE is an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus that may be caused by food or airborne allergies. It can cause many symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing, food impaction, heartburn, chest pain, difficulty breathing, all of which Dustin has had. So, between the 2 conditions, he has been so miserable and literally deteriorating before our eyes. He lost around 30 lbs, give or take, and had zero strength or energy. He could not eat anything, with out having some kind of adverse effect. The most frustrating part, I think, was being told time after time that he was "just having panic attacks". We both knew that it was more than that. Of course he was having panic attacks! His body was freaking out because of everything that is wrong with it! I'm sorry, but I will never forget or forgive the Dr. at the ER that looked at both of us and told us "not to come back here. Go to a psychiatrist." Can you say IDIOT!? Sorry, I'm just a little bitter. This whole situation has drained all of us both physically and mentally. We also know that Dustin has probably had Celiac Disease his entire life, but the symptoms were brought into full effect probably by the stress and trauma of Trent's passing. Emotional stress and trauma is a common factor in many people that are diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Now, for the positive... Celiac Disease has one treatment, and one treatment only, and that is to eliminate Gluten from the diet. If you don't know it already, Gluten is found in many of the foods we eat on a daily basis. It is found in things as simple as cream soups (ie: chicken, mushroom, etc.), tomato soup, condiments, spices, it is used as a filler in many things. It is found in pasta, tortilla's, breads, anything made with wheat, barley, or rye. So, as you can imagine, it is a little difficult to just stop eating it. I was totally overwhelmed and didn't even know what to make for Dustin to eat, let alone myself or the kids, because I felt bad eating in front of him. I have since done a lot of reading and research, and am starting to get the hang of it. There are many resources available online, I have purchased a couple books, and cookbooks, and have even started making up my own recipes. I did have to re-arrange my pantry and separate everything out, and I still struggle trying to think of things to make sometimes, but I know that it will get better and easier the more familiar I get with gluten-free options. Dustin has been gluten free for about a month now, and we are finally seeing some improvements. He has good days and some bad ones still, but you figure it took him 6 months to get this bad, it is going to take him a while to regain his strength completely. As far as the EE goes, he is being treated with a couple different medications, and he will be following up with a new GI Dr., who will do routine endoscope's to monitor both conditions, thanks to the awesome allergist (Dr. McKnight) that we were blessed to find. I would like to thank you all for your unending prayers, acts of kindness, patience and understanding. I know that I have not been "myself", but you have all stuck with me.... and I do not think I will be able to repay you for that. I am holding out faith and hope that better months are ahead....
Oh, and I forgot to mention just how genetic Celiac Disease is. The allergist is sending us directly to a Pediatric GI to have the kids tested. The likeliness is high that at least one of them will have it. If that is the case... we will become a completely Gluten Free Family. The worst thing in the world?...... I don't think so.

Monday, August 24, 2009

{The Day of Trent's Funeral}

No idea where to begin....

I really have no idea where to begin catching up... so, I will just start doing random posts of recent events. Sound good? Okay, good.... ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

God Be With You Till We Meet Again....

Trent Stephens Veenendaal
Trent Stephens Veenendaal "Our He-Man" Trent was an angel sent prematurely on September 16, 1982, and passed away prematurely on July 13, 2009 from complications of a liver abscess.Trent had many challenges in his life but bravely he conquered them all. Trent loved teasing, pulling the cats tail, the Simpson's, Mylar balloons, hanging out with his buddies, going for rides, chocolate pudding, and sitting on 700 E. and 9800 S. to watch cars. Trent thanks all of you for the honks. He loved his family, especially his nephew and nieces, Dillon, Ashlynn, Danica, Samantha, and Bryhn. Survived by his parents, Danny and Gloria; brothers, Dustin (Stephanie), and Jeremy; sister, Shalise (Shawn) Benjamin. Preceded in death by grandfathers, George Veenendaal and Reuben Stevens; nephew, Ashton Robert Benjamin; cousins, Marcie Stevens and Taylor Logan Wallace. We have been so privileged to have such a beautiful, strong spirited angel dwell with us in our earthly home. We love you so much, Trent, and you will be greatly missed. Fly high our Angel Boy! Thanks to the many professionals who made Trent's stay on earth better. Thanks to Sandy City Fire Department for Trent's last ride home! Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 18, 2009 at 12 Noon in the Mt. Jordan 5th LDS Ward Chapel, 9331 South 300 East. A viewing and time of celebration for Trent will be held at the Goff Mortuary 8090 So. State on Friday from 6-8 p.m. and on Saturday at the church from 10:45 - 11:45 a.m. Interment, Larkin Sunset Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family would love to see balloon bouquets. "No one is a stranger to me, they are just friends I haven't met." BYE-YA!
Here is a link to the tribute that ABC 4 Good Things Utah did to Trent.... It was so cute..