"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

November 30, 2012

November Instagram

November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving this year was pretty uneventful.  I was scheduled to work at SkyWest all day, but luckily somebody picked it up for me at the last minute so I was off.  I woke up to my girls laughing and playing with each other.  Tala had made a little bed on the floor and they were watching cartoons together, so cute!

Ma and Tea weren't here, they were still in the hospital and nobody had really made any plans for Thanksgiving.  Ova and I were discussing what we were going to make so just our little family could have a nice Thanksgiving meal together before heading to the hospital to visit Ma.  As we were talking, we heard some noises upstairs in the kitchen.....but we knew Tea wasn't here.  It was Ova's parents, they are so sweet.  They came over to cook Thanksgiving dinner for us, and the brought everything.  I'm really grateful for them.  They are always looking out for our little family, especially with Ova being sick.  They're always concerened and worried about me working so much and about trying to find out what's wrong with Ova. 

Ova's mom was in the kitchen cooking and by the time we noticed someone was up there, she was almost done.  She went all out for us too, all the Thanksgiving fixings were there.  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, ham, she made ota ika and talo.....everything was so delicious.  Ova was feeling a little better and was able to get himself up the stairs to join us so we could all sit around the table together.  It was nice and we all stuffed our faces!  LOL  I'm really sad that his family doesn't make a big deal out of holidays anymore....like any holiday, ever.  We didn't get together last year for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and it looks like it's heading in that direction this year.  Nobody came over for Thanksgiving....it was just our little family and Gramma Kesa & Grampa Kina...and Po because he lives with us.

That morning while Gramma Kesa was cooking, I took my kids to the hospital to visit Ma.  When we walked in she was sitting up in her bed and she was so happy to see us.  I was a little afraid of what we were going to see because when we talked to Tea the night before, she was telling us that the left side of Ma's face had lost all muscle control and was droopy.  I know of some people who have strokes and lose the use of one side of their body....I was imagining that that's what I would see when I walked in, but it wasn't.  She looked completely normal, just like herself.  The nurse was explaining to me that Ma had suffered a mild stroke.  A blood clot went to the left side of her brain.  She got really lucky because many times when that happens, that side of the body is gone.....but she was actually getting her muscle strength back in her left side.  With all the issues she's been having with her legs and the thick blood and blood clots, they have told us over and over again that at any moment a blood clot could go to her heart and she would die.  We all got really lucky this time becasue the blood clot passed her heart and went to her brain, which saved her.  The nurse told Ma that if she could start using the left side of her body more, she could go home.  Ma was so cute....as soon as the nurse said that, she picked up the comb to comb her hair.....she started out by using her right hand, but then she put the comb in her left hand to show them she could still use it.  She couldn't quite grasp the comb and it kept slipping out of her hand and falling.  She really wanted to make it work so she took a minute to weave the comb in between her fingers in her left hand so that it wouldn't fall when she starting combing.  It worked.  She's so clever, and made us all laugh.  Then the physical therapist came in and wanted to do some exercises with her.  He made her lift her legs high enough to touch his hand, over and over again.  That took a lot out of her, but she did it!  Then he asked her if she wanted to try and walk.  Walking would only help her go home faster, so of course she was all over that.  She did an amazingly good job and the nurse and physical therapist were actually really surprised and happy with how well she was doing.  She got up and walked all the way to the door and back, she's such a strong woman!  Here's a woman who's almost 90 years old who just suffered a stroke yesterday, and she's already walking today.  Amazing!


Walking less than 24 hours after her stroke
Love their bond.....Tala girl and her namesake!
 After we visited Ma for a little while, we went home and had our Thanksgiving dinner, and then Gramma Kesa and Grampa Kina packed up the leftovers to take to the hospital for Ma and Tea.  The rest of the day was just a family day, we sat around watching tv and spending time just with our little family.  A little later on that night, TiTonga and Kiki came over to visit....they were in town from Vegas for the holidays and they stopped by to visit.  TiTonga took all the kids outside and played a little game of football with them while Ova watched tv and Kiki and I sat around the kitchen table eating pumpkin pie and talking.  It was a very low key Thanksgiving this year.....but in the true meaning of the holiday, I feel like I need to express the many things that I am thankful for.  This past year/year and a half has been very challenging for our little family.  Between baby Katea being in and out of the hopsital and Ova's sickness, we've had our fair share of trials.....but I can honestly say that our blessings far far FAR outweigh our trials and we have so much to be thankful for! 

For starters, I'm grateful for my little family.  I'm so grateful for my husband and the relationship that we have.  I'm so grateful for my kids....they drive me crazy everyday, but they bring so much happiness to our family and house every single day, and I'm so grateful for each and every one of them.  I'm grateful for the faith they have and how they are constantly reminding me of what I should be doing.  I'm grateful for my parents for all their love and support and for being there for me whenever I need them.  I'm grateful to them for loving my kids and for being the best grandparents to them.  I'm grateful the baby Katea is doing so well....she's come a long way and I don't take it for granted at all.  I'm very aware of how blessed we are with her and I'm so extremely grateful!  I'm grateful for my jobs and my health and the ability I have to work so that our family doesn't have to go without.  I'm grateful for my in-laws, they are so wonderful!  Tea and Ma have been with us for going on 10 years now and I'm so grateful for them.  They are part of my little family and I know how lucky I am to have them.   I'm grateful for the gospel....I've leaned a lot on the gospel lately and I know that's why I've been able to keep my composure when I feel like I'm going to lose it.  I don't go to church as often as I should, or as often as I would like to because I have to work most of the time, but my testimony is firm and I know what is true.  I'm grateful for the material things we've been blessed with that make our lives so much easier, like our house, cars, clothes, food on the table.......I could go on and on listing all the things I'm grateful for.  I remind myself all the time how blessed I am, and honestly it's gotten me through some really hard times.  Focusing on the positives and the blessings you have make life so much more enjoyable and I sure do have so much good to focus on!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

November 22, 2012

Blessings / Grandparents / Ma / Prayers

My cousin McAbe blessed his baby boy today, and my kids and I drove down to Payson to support.  That's the first time I've ever met my handsome little nephew.  He looks so much like his dad, it's crazy!  Little Keione McAbe Fatai was born a couple months ago and he's the first grandchild for my Uncle Daniel....that makes for one spoiled little boy!  :)  The blessing was so beautiful, it was given by his Dad, McAbe and it was such a beautiful blessing!  Can't believe my little cousin is married and a dad.  Seems crazy how fast time flies.  I still see him and my little brother as little kids. LOL.  Them being married and fathers make me feel super old.  LOL.

After the blessing we went and hung out and my parents house for a little while.  I've been working a lot lately and haven't had the chance to go down and see them for a while, so it was long overdue.  Today is the day before Thanksgiving and we won't be able to come down tomorrow....so I really wanted to spend time with them.  Sadly, as soon as we got there I sat on the couch and knocked out, just completely fatigued from lots of hours at work and not many hours of sleep....but at least my kids got to spend quality time with their grandparents.  My dad always gets down on the ground and plays and wrestles with the kids.  The little kid in himself comes out when his grandkids are around and it's so cute, I love it!  I took baby Katea with me today, just to get her out of the house.  Poor baby girl is confined to the house and has been for most of her life.....I wanted to take her out before the winter weather hits.  She was loving it!  She likes to go and get out of the house....and I wish I could take her out more often....but I'm so scared for her little lungs.  She's already been hospitalized so many times just since she left the NICU.  I know she needs to be out and about, but I guess I'm having a hard time finding the balance that will allow me to take her out and keep her protected and safe.  One thing that has helped so much was us moving downstairs.  With less traffic and people around her all the time, she's finally able to heal and repair her little lungs!  Anyways, while we were at my parents house my dad was playing with the kids and I captured a couple videos of them playing together.  So cute!

 We had been at my parents house for a little while when I got a text from Ova.  He said "Ma just had a stroke, the ambulance just came and took her to the hospital."  Right when I read it I started crying.  My parents and my kids were asking me what was wrong and I let read them the text.  The made our visit have to end short because I needed to get to the hopsital to see if she was ok.  We said our goodbyes and my dad carried my kids out to the car and buckled them in.  He always does that.  I'm so blessed with such great and loving parents/grandparents!

As we were driving down the road my boys were asking me what a stroke was and if Ma was going to be ok.  I tried explaining the basics to them and told them I wasn't sure, that's why we had to hurry so we could see if she was ok.  Just then we hear a dinging noise....sure enough, my gas light went on. LOL. My kids were asking what that was and I told them we were running out of gas and we had to hurry and get to a gas station before we died.  If you know where my parents live, it's in the middle of nowhere.  Seriously, like 15 minutes through the country....fields and fields of cows....and no light.  We had just gotten on to that stretch of road and Mone asks me "what's going to happen if the car dies mom?"  I told him that they would have to stay in the car while I walked to the gas station to get gas and bring it back (totally joking of course) they were all so worried and then Mone asks me "Mom, can I say a prayer so we don't die?"  I said of course.  His prayer was so sweet.  He blessed the car that it will run forever and ever and not die and leave us in the dark.  And he blessed Ma to be ok.  Of course after he prayed, Lautala had to have a turn.  That's how it goes around our house right now.....prayer time takes forever because each kid has to have a turn.  Tala's prayer was super short all she said was "Heavenly Father bless Ma so she doesn't die because I will miss her, Jesus Christ, Amen."  Then Makai had a turn and blessed the car and blessed Ma and blessed everything else and anyone else you could think of.  We made it safely to the gas station and I filled up the car, and on the way home we were talking about how their prayers were answered and how because of their prayers our car didn't die and leave us in the dark.  I'm so grateful that my kids have a testimony of prayer.  Many many times things like this have happened and the first thing they always think of, before we even bring it up, is to pray.  We have been blessed over and over again because of their faithful little prayers!

When we got back to Salt Lake, I dropped my kids off at home because I didn't want to take baby Katea to the hospital.  As I was getting ready to go to the hospital to check on Ma, Tea called and said Ma was doing ok and that she was finally sleeping.  She told us not to come to the hospital tonight, just to let her rest and come in the morning.  It's been a long and eventful day and we just finished our family nighttime prayers.  It was Tala's turn to pray and of course she blessed Ma again so she can come home quick.  The faith of a little child is so powerful, I learn so much from mine!  Good night!

November 21, 2012

RA Call - Results

Ova finally saw the rheumatoid specialist on November 7th, that was a Wednesday.  The doctor told us that he had a conference that he had to attend and he wouldn't be able to call us with the results from the tests, blood work and x-rays until the next week Wednesday. 

Well Wednesday came and went and Thursday and Friday passed too.  I was trying to be patient because I knew they'd been out of the office for a conference and they were super busy....but I had waited long enough to find out what was wrong with my husband and I just couldn't wait anymore.  The weekend passed and on Monday morning I called to get the results.  The doctor was not available when I called, but his assistant assured me she would get with him and they would call me back asap.  The next morning, I was on my way home from working my graveyard shift and my phone rang and it was the rheumatologist.  He apologized for not calling me with the results but the truth is that he had met with 2 other rheumatologists in his office to go over Ova's case, and none of them knew what was wrong with him.  They were stumped.  He explained to me that his symptoms are very rare, the type of pain he's experiencing is not common and they did see something on the x-ray that concerned them but they just weren't sure what it is.  He doesn't have gout, he doesn't have rheumatoid arthritis, he doesn't have lupus.  He obviously has osteoarthritis, which is just wear and tear of your bones, but that's normal and everybody has a little of that.  He has some other underlying issues that are causing his immobility and pain and they couldn't seem to figure out what it was.

Dr. Kunkle, the rheumatologist, told me that he had called a meeting with the Rheumatology board of Utah just to discuss my husband.  He told me that they would discuss the results of his blood work and x-rays and his history and try to come up with a plan of action.  The meeting he scheduled will be held next Wednesday and he's going to call me with the results on Thursday.

Not exactly the news I wanted to hear.  :'(

They started him on 5 different medications at our appointment on the 7th, and honestly, they seem to be helping.  He still can't walk normally and he's still in pain...but he can get around with a walker.  The mere fact that he's able to put any pressure at all on his feet is a huge improvement.  Dr Kunkle told me to go ahead and get him scheduled with the physical therapist and to get him moving as much as we can.  His immobility is adding to his pain by making the joints stiff.....and then the stiffness makes him not be able to move....it's a vicious cycle.

I cried all the way home after that phone call.  I just felt so hopeless.  We had waited months and months to see a specialist so we could find out what the heck is wrong with him, and now the specialists are telling me that they don't know what's wrong.  They were my last hope and I felt like they shot my hopes down.  I'm grateful that they're not just telling us they don't know what's wrong and pushing us aside....that they're actually trying to figure it out...and they're meeting with other specialists to find out.  It's just so frustrating.  And I'm so tired.  And I miss my husband.

As sad and heartbroken as I was with the call I got, I can't help but think about my dad's special conference and the apostalic blessing that Elder Holland left of all of us.  He blessed Ova by blessing all those who were not in attendance that we have been praying for.  I took that blessing he gave as if he was directly talking to me and directly talking about Ova.  I know he'll get better, I do have faith in that, it's just hard to go through it.  It's hard to see him in so much pain and it's hard to have to do everything by myself that we would normally be doing together.  I will continue to pray.  I will pray for his relieve and that the rheumatology specialists will be able to pin point the problem and fix it.  It's hard not to throw pity parties for yourself when you're faced with tough situations, but I always try to put more focus on my blessings than my trials.  I am greatly blessed.  There are so many people who are going through so much worse.  People who have lost their spouse.  I haven't lost him, he's still here, and for that I'm so so grateful.  I know we'll figure it out and get past it.  The Lord must have some wonderful blessings in store for our little family.  I pray for patience and understanding that I can learn what I'm supposed to and that I can continue to keep my focus on the positives.  And I pray for good news next Thursday!

Here are the results of the tests they conducted:


IMAGING RESULTIndication: E. arthropathy.

Findings/impression: 3 views of both feet show marked periarticular 
osteopenia. There is 
apparent ankylosis of several TMT joints. Periosteal new bone/enthesopathy is 
noted at 
both medial naviculars. There may be a marginal erosion in the right medial 
navicular as 
well as irregularity of the naviculocuneiform joints of the right foot that 

There are prominent first metatarsal bunions without appreciable erosion or 
tophi. 40? of 
hallux valgus is noted on the right. Both second metatarsal heads appear 
There is a mild Morton's foot conformation bilaterally.


IMAGING RESULTIndication:  arthropathy.

Findings/impression: 3 views of both hands and wrists show previous right 
resection and carpal fusion with a dorsal four quarter staple. There is joint 
space loss 
of the right middle and both ring finger PIP joints with apparent bare area 
erosions of 
the right ring finger proximal phalanx in particular. There is marginal bony 
spurring at 
the capsular attachment of the left index proximal phalanx at the MCP. The 
left wrist 
joints are preserved. No tophi are shown.


IMAGING RESULTIndication:  arthropathy.

Findings/impression: 3 views of both knees shows severe osteopenia with severe

tricompartmental osteoarthritis. There are no erosions. There are no visible 
tophi. Small 
effusions are noted.

Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Level

Component Results

ComponentYour ValueStandard RangeUnits
Rheumatoid Factor130 - 14IU/mL

Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibody

Component Results

ComponentYour ValueStandard RangeUnits
CYCLIC CITRullinated PEPTIDE AB, IGG30 - 19Units
INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION: Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide
Antibody, IgG

19 Units or less ................... Negative
20-39 Units ........................ Weak Positive
40-59 Units ........................ Moderate Positive
60 Units or greater ................ Strong Positive

Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP), IgG
antibodies are present in about 69-83 percent of patients
with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and have specificities of
93-95 percent. These autoantibodies may be present in the
preclinical phase of disease, are associated with future RA
development, and may predict radiographic joint
destruction. Patients with weak positive results should be
monitored and testing repeated.

Uric Acid Level

Component Results

ComponentYour ValueStandard RangeUnits
URIC ACID6.83.5 - 8.5mg/dL

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Component Results

ComponentYour ValueStandard RangeUnits
SODIUM137136 - 144mmol/L
POTASSIUM3.73.3 - 5.0mmol/L
CHLORIDE107102 - 110mmol/L
CO22020 - 26mmol/L
CREATININE0.880.72 - 1.25mg/dL
GLUCOSE12664 - 128mg/dL
CALCIUM9.98.4 - 10.2mg/dL
TOTAL PROTEIN8.66.5 - 8.4g/dL
ALBUMIN4.13.5 - 5.0g/dL
TOTAL BILIRUBIN0.70.2 - 1.4mg/dL
AST8716 - 40U/L
ALT1145 - 60U/L
ANION GAP108 - 14mmol/L

Complete Bloodcell Count/Platelet Auto Differential

Component Results

ComponentYour ValueStandard RangeUnits
WBC8.563.20 - 10.60k/uL
RBC5.354.69 - 6.07M/uL
HGB14.314.6 - 17.8g/dL
HCT43.940.8 - 51.9%
MCV82.077.8 - 94.0fL
MCH26.726.5 - 32.6pg
MCHC32.532.7 - 36.9g/dL
RDW13.410.8 - 14.1%
PLTS359177 - 406k/uL
MPV8.15.9 - 9.8fL
SEG %62.944.0 - 76.0%
MONO %5.24.0 - 8.9%
EOS %5.40.0 - 6.0%
BASO %1.20.0 - 1.7%
ABS SEGS5.41.3 - 7.0k/uL
ABS MONO0.40.2 - 0.7k/uL
ABS EOS0.50.0 - 0.4k/uL
ABS BASO0.10.0 - 0.1k/uL
LYMPH %25.314.7 - 42.6%
ABS LYMPH2.20.8 - 3.1k/uL