Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Learning to Design...

I am slowly but surely learning how to design Digital Scrapbooking items. I have been using a trial version of PhotoShop Creative Suite 3 Extended. Technically it has expired so now I have to find a way to purchase it, or something lesser and cheaper! Here is what I have made so far...

A brown wavy paper.

Oops, it looks like I may have some stray shadow at the top, I'll be fixing that.

A brick wall scene.

I envision a graffiti saying next to a photo of my daughter doing something artistic. Or maybe just playing in paint! Actually the only funny picture I have so far is one with her eating a green crayon and smiling with big chunks of wax in her teeth!

Snowman Scene Paper

Let it Snow Word Art

The Snow letters have really cool texture too!

Just a few buttons too.

It's not much but its a small start I guess. I never knew how much you can do with all the tools in PhotoShop!! It's really fun to play around and learn. Plus there are some really great websites out there that offer tons of tutorials on how to make your own stuff!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Working on Part Three...

So, I've been working on Part Three about my daughter with Netherton Syndrome, but I guess I'm finding it a little hard to write because I feel almost like I am complaining rather than explaining. I think an explanation needs to be preceded with a question, right?

It does prove very therapeutic to write my feelings down, and tell our story. I guess I'm just wondering if anyone is even reading it. I would greatly appreciate some comments with any questions you might have about us. Sure, ask anything... about the disorder, about our family, our life, etc.

-Anna Dawn

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Part Two- The Diagnosis

Netherton Syndrome.

Netherton's is from the Ichthyosis family.
Pronounced ick-thee-o-sis.
Don't know what ichthyosis is? Go here:

There is a lot of random information on the web about Netherton Syndrome. Here are a few sites that I have found and know to be the most helpful and accurate.

F.I.R.S.T. Website
(Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types)



EmmaLee was five months old in this picture, but she still looks like a newborn! This is about when we got our final diagnosis. The doctors had been telling us for a few months that it was probably Netherton's Syndrome, but all the research we had done only made us wish harder that it wasn't.

EmmaLee and I flew down to Seattle to the University of Washington - Medical Genetics and Dermatology Department. The Doctor, Virginia Sybert, is said to be the Leading Pediatric Dermatologist in the NATION. We felt like we were going to see royalty or something! She was so nice, and really listened to my concerns and questions. She was able to answer some odd, but valid questions I had that no one else had been able to answer. Such as, will EmmaLee ever be able to scar? Which the answer is No. It was a very validating experience to learn so much about all the things we had been seeing and experiencing while learning how to take care of her. We knew what happens with the disorder from dealing with it every day, but now we knew WHY it was happening.

Short Explanation: EmmaLee is missing her Epidermis (which is the top layer of skin). Your epidermis has many important roles, such as maintaining body temperature, keeping germs and bacteria out of your body, and most importantly holding in your body's moisture. The second underlying problem is that due to a genetic mutation, she also Overproduces skin cells to compensate for shedding them. Combined, these two defects cause her to loose water through her skin, causing her skin to dry very quickly and peel off. Sometimes shedding an entire layer of skin each day. The redness is caused by the lack of the epidermis which also serves as a protective layer for all the many blood vessels that lie so close to the surface. EmmaLee's blood vessels are all but exposed on her face. She scratches and bleeds very easily.

Whew... that didn't really feel like the short answer did it? Well it was. There are so many different complications and effects this has on her body, but that is the basics.


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