Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Together we can do MUCH

March 26th marks Epilepsy Awareness day.Jeremy does not have an Epilepsy diagnosis but every time he has a seizure he is considered in "status epilepticus" so we will spread awareness. Anyone can have epilepsy, there is no cure. Help us spread the word, wear your purple on Tuesday in a show of support. Help others learn the facts not the fiction.


1. You cannot swallow your tongue during a seizure; you cannot swallow your tongue now, can you?

2. Like a diabetic who is misinterpreted as a drunk driver, epileptics can often have a seizure that manifests itself as bizarre behavior, such as: repeating the same word, not responding to questions, speaking gibberish, undressing, or screaming. Jeremy has ABSENT SEIZURES, often times people think he is ignoring them or not paying attention.

3.About 1 in 20 epileptics are sensitive to flickering light, or photosensitive epilepsy. The contrast, or change in light, can trigger a seizure.

4. Seizures have a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning, referred to as the aura, can have signs of the oncoming seizure such as smells, sounds, tastes, light headedness, or deja and jamais vu. The middle, is the seizure itself, whether it be a grand mal seizure, or a simple partial seizure. The end of the seizure is called the postictal phase and is the brain recovering, which can take anywhere from seconds to hours and is usually accompanied with disorientation and memory loss. Jeremy has muscle weakness & usually can't walk.

5.The proper treatment for someone having a tonic-clonic seizure is not what you see in TV shows (multiple people pressing their body weight down on a seizing person). Here’s what you should do: Pay attention to how long the seizure lasts, move objects that they could strike out of the vicinity, simply block their way to prevent them from moving too far (or into water, fall off a bed, etc.). Put them on their side after the episode and don’t put anything in their mouth. If it lasts for more than five minutes call an ambulance. Jeremy  must have 911 called with in 2 minutes because he looses all oxygen from prolonged seizures & can stroke.

6. Diastat, or diazepam, is the medicine used to treat a prolonged seizure or cluster of seizures.

7. Epilepsy is usually not a lifelong disorder, with only 25% of those who develop seizures developing difficult to control seizures.Any body can have epilepsy- no matter what age.

8.Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder after stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. It affects three million Americans of all ages. Approximately 200,000 new cases of seizures and epilepsy occur each year. One in every 10 Americans will experience a seizure at some point in their lives. Three percent will eventually develop epilepsy.
 Yet Cancer get's more Awareness then Epilepsy- let's CHANGE THAT!

9. Epilepsy is not a single entity but a family of more than 40 syndromes that affect nearly 3 million people in the U. S.and 50,000,000 worldwide.

10. The association between epilepsy and depression is especially strong. More than one of every three persons with epilepsy are also affected by the mood disorder, and people with a history of depression have a 3 to 7 times higher risk of developing epilepsy.

These are just a few of the facts about Epilepsy. There are so many more. Please share this BLOG today & share the AWARENESS. Epilepsy isn't contagious , the children & adults are just like you. They have the same hopes,dreams, & aspirations for a long healthy life. Only research, awareness, & a cure can make this possible. Will you WEAR PURPLE today, the color for Epilepsy? Will you SHARE the knowledge you just gained? Will YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Come visit us on Facebook at :Jeremy's Journey 
While we share amazing Facebook pages all day of Epilepsy Heroes.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cycles of Life

Do you ever feel like your life goes through cycles? I know I do & sometimes I feel like I am on the Spin Cycle just a little to long. I am beyond grateful for all our wonderful blessings, but even in the blessings there comes a certain amount of stress. I have been super busy with everyday mom duties lately that seem unending with no break in sight. I don't mind I love being a mom but sometimes it does get overwhelming. Like your being pulled in fifty different directions because each child needs something a little different. Then throw in your little tiny corner of suppose to be a wife too & the spin cycle begins!

Between medical appointments, school activities, dog training, & training for a half while injured , mentally I'm just done. I've laid around in pjs for a day doing nothing but watching mindless tv while folding stacks of laundry, but that didn't seem to help. As a mom your brain just never get;s to turn off. As a mom of a child with crazy medical even when you are away for a few hours it's still in the back of your head that the phone could ring any minute & everything could turn up side down. My feelings were recently hurt when I was told it wasn't a certain person's fault I chose not to relax & take breaks. Well let's think about that, if I am away from home I should be able to relax some, but I am a mom a parent so that comes with responsibility of always being ready for anything. Also as a army wife who has done multiple deployments learning to turn off is just almost impossible. 
My husband went away for a year, he turned off the family business to focus on war, his men, staying alive, his job He had to to survive.Now I envy that he seems to still be able to do this so easily now that he is home. I stayed behind every time dealing with kids, household messes, extended family issues,medical issues, war, single parenting, worry over other spouses losses,& army. It sometimes feels like we get double duty and in doing multiple deployments it get's harder eachtime to learn to relax when the other half of your parenting team is finally home. It's also frustrating when you watch them casually go about life with what looks like the only stress is work, like they are still able to leave for days with no issues about parenting & all the things around the home that still need attending. I wish I could do this but I can't, I need to learn how. 
For now life is in the spin cycle of my world. I have a lot of balls in the air, just hoping none fall causing total chaos. Here is a snap shot of last weeks crazy but a lot of fun as well. I wouldn't change the crazy because then I would have missed out on the smiles from the boys, or the cuddles from the puppies.But sometimes I wish I had a double to help out with the chores-lol

Mail day for Balto & Jeremy, we get a lot of fun things so we try to reply to as many as possible. But it does take time. This is only one letter, I actually had a bag full of items to ship out to our friends.

Puppy Playtime takes up time as well, it's fun but no down time with puppies in the house.I also had puppy training at night the past few weeks. It's a 45 minute drive each way to class :0/

My youngest got asked to go on an all day Science Fair for school. They were short on parents so at the last minute I went to help with Balto. It was so fun, but very draining day with puppy in tow. But I loved seeing Jacob enjoy the congress so much. He thrives on education.

We got accepted to go to the Sturge-Weber Conference & Kids Day Camp in July. The foundation will cover our hotel & registration fees we come up with airfare. I spent hours brainstorming coming up with fundraising ideas. We have some amazing people step up and offer items for auction. But it taking a lot of time to run & brain power. I am falling asleep by 8:30 at night but have to wait to go to bed until 10PM so puppy can go out to potty one last time. I also get up between 5AM-5:30 every morning-YIKES!
We made the appointments for Jeremy to have another surgery in April & spring break over night plans.  All these things done by yours truly, just typing it out exhausts me. Then you throw in trying to get my running in to train for my half with a rib injury that sometimes hurts sometimes doesn't- I'm spinning, round & round. This is why updates haven't been happening as much on the blog. I hope you can understand. But after we get through Spring Break it should settle down.Now I am off to eat & go try to run 5 or 6 miles with out passing out. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Counting Our Blessings

As I type I really do hear the harmony & tune to the song "Count Your Blessings". The words going "Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings see what God hath done. Count your blessings name them one by one. Count you many blessings see what God hath done". That's just the chorus. I'll have to look in a minute on Youtube for a good version in case you can't hear the melody like I can in my head. My dad always leads this song for as long as I can remember in church. Often times I am just as guilty as most of wishing or wanting more & not being grateful for everything I already have been blessed with in my life. 

The picture that started it all

I made one choice & talked with Jeremy about the choice. We took one photo to show our respect for a beloved hero who left for the rainbow bridge unexpectedly . It started a landslide of support & love for Jeremy, Balto, & our whole family that I never could have seen coming. Now with so many amazing blessings coming our way on a daily basis we are moved to keep "Pawing it Forward" as we decided to call it as often as possible.
I can't express the gratitude I have in my heart for all the love from the mailbox as we call it that Jeremy is receiving. He had his laser surgery & Balto posted that Jeremy would love some mail to cheer him up while his face healed. We have had over 40 cards show up, gift cards for him to shop, movies for him to watch, money to go buy an ice cream. Just so  many wonderful blessings that I never expected or intended when I (Balto) posted about getting cheer- up mail. This shows me that there is still amazing kindness & generosity of spirit in this crazy world. That in economic times that are devastating to a lot, people still spend the time & money to cheer up a little boy they have never met in person. My favorite saying is "God is Good" & then to hear someone say back " All the Time". It is so true! We could not have made this second attempt at a service dog for Jeremy with out God. He has blessed us with so many new friends that want to help.

With that in mind each month Jeremy & I will pick a way to help Paw -it-Forward in his honor, in Gabe's memory, & to remind my children that giving is way better then receiving. The joy it brings to us every time we see the smile on the faces of those we help, there are just no words. For March we sold Jeremy T-shirts and made $80 for the Sturge-Weber Foundation. We will be sending a check to them soon from Jeremy & Balto. Today we learned of a pregnant chocolate lab who needs help while she waits to give birth. We have several rolls of paper towels we are donating at their request. It doesn't have to be huge to make a difference folks. It just has to come from the heart. Thank you to all those whom we have never met for making my little boy feel so special & our family feel so loved. Now what can you do to make a difference in someone's life? Just look around, you'll be amazed at all the opportunities.

Look at that sweet face, he loves all the cards & treats from all over the world. Yes, World- Canada & England have sent cards!
This is the exact sound I hear as I sing the lyrics, thanks to my amazing dad.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sweetest Run in America

What a crazy last week we had here in our house. I had been training for my first 15K for a few months now. That is 9.3 miles folks in Seattle, where there are a lot of hills. Well on Wednesday morning around 2AM, Balto the puppy had to go potty, I jumped up slipped on my shoes & took him out. On the way back in I felt hot & could tell I wasn't doing well.
  At this point I wasn't thinking I was about to pass out, but pass out hard is what happened. I managed to get Balto into the kennel, went to sit on the side of the bath tub with my head down thinking i just needed a minute. When it was clear I was seeing stars, hot & dizzy I decided to wake up Paul by heading back to our bed. Well the problem came when I never made it past the bathroom door. I woke up to Paul standing over me scared to death, that he had watched me pass out hitting our bedside table & metal basket on the way down. I woke up screaming in pain as I had landed hard on my left side ribs. If anyone has ever had a rib injury I can only say it feels like giving child birth with NO DRUGS! It was beyond painful to move, to breath, all I could do was cry. Paul wanted me to get to our bed, so the sheer amount of effort to convince me to move was insane- once I got to bed he was amazing. He recognized that my blood sugar was most likely very low and headed to get me oj with peanut butter toast. After a few minutes recovering I convinced Paul to go back to bed that if I still hurt in the morning we would head to the ER.

About 4:30AM I feel asleep and woke up to the puppy whining again around 5:30AM. I tried to get up and yelped in pain rolling on all fours to the floor. I crawled to the kenel opened it, then crawled down the hall way while breaking out in a full on sweat. I soaked through my shirt and had it running down my face. FInally Matthew woke up and helped me get the two dogs out then went to wake up Paul. By that time it was clear something was wrong & I needed to go to the ER. After a quick phone call to my best friend who arrived to help with kids we were out the door. They got us in a room quickly but NO pain meds for four hours! I was so miserable & I had an IV so why no drugs? They kept asking about my drug habits, I am pretty sure they thought we were drug seeking, uggg. If they just took the time to look in their handy dandy computer they could see I haven't been in the hospital in over 4 years for myself. They finally got all the x-rays they needed, gave me drugs, blood work etc. They came back with nothing except I was healthy as a horse. My iron slightly low but nothing to be concerned about. All my ribs were very bruised but not cracked. They advised no running for two weeks- yes folks I said 2 WEEKS! That just was not what I wanted to hear and the tears flowed again a lot.

After getting pain pills to take home and resting like a crazy person all week I decided to head to Seattle with my girls for my run. I thought if I woke up Sunday and could't move I would not run. But it was a miracle! I woke up able to move my left arm over my head for the first time since Wednesday. I still couldn't move fast or tight turns without pain, but I popped some vicoden and headed to the starting line. My whole race had changed at this point & I fully expected to only be able to run maybe a 14 minute mile. What turned out to be an Okay race and a 10:24 pace was a shocker! I trained for hills and this race had them in abundance. I climbed those hills easily, it was the jarring rib shaking going down that made me cringe and almost cry. I popped another half pill at mile 6 & kept going. I know a lot of you think I'm nuts, but my legs felt fine, it was just my blasted ribs! I made it across the finish line in 1:37minutes and 23 seconds. Over my original goal but also a lot faster then I ever thought would happen while running with this injury.

Monday, today I am suffering the after effects of a very sore left side again & nausea. I think the nausea is from all the pain pills I am popping. But my legs aren't tired, but my ribs are back to hurting on about an 8 scale out of 10. I had so much fun with my running girls though & a couple of their husbands. I wouldn't change a thing except for packing while drugged up for a race. I found out at 9:30PM the night before that I had packed two different shoes both left feet :0/  Thankfully a friend lives in Seattle and we swung by to grab a pair of her extra shoes as she was running the next day as well. They fit & worked great!

The swag was a bit of a let down if your signed up for any Hot Chocolate 15k or 5k. The tech hoodie is nice but runs extremely small. That was all you got , bummer. No extras in your bag at packet pick up at all. The cup you get at the end as your finishers mug was not even cermaic like it looks- it's a cheap-o plastic that breaks. The yummy snacks at the end were good, but that's all. All of us 15k's got the same exact thing as the 5k people, so that was a HUGE let down. They should think about getting a finishers medal or shirt for those who run the 15k to make it a little more worth the run. The course was done great and the road closures awesome. I never felt cramped at all, a lot of room to spread out- I would give the Swag a C-, but the actual Run a B+, the experience with my friends an A+++.

 Here are a few fun pictures & I hope no one ever has to run with a rib injury. This week is all about healing I hope and no pain.