In Good Times And Bad

Marriage…..it’s not easy.  I don’t know anyone that can truthfully say that marriage has been easy for them.  Maybe in those good times; but what about the bad ones?  Don’t get me wrong, marriage is a wonderful thing if you are married to the right person.  One who understands you and can tolerate your annoying habits and ways (come on, you know we all have them).  Someone that can love you when you are unlovable and when you don’t always look pretty and handsome!  Someone who knows your many flaws but concentrates on your good qualities instead.  Someone who sees past your bad day knowing that good days are right around the corner.  A supporter in everything you do.  The one person you can share your heart with, your inner most secrets and know that they keep your confidence.  Your best friend…..the one person you WANT to grow old with no matter what life throws at you……they are your life, your love, your heart……your everything.

In the good times, marriage is pretty easy.  Life flows along and you just go with it.  You are happy, your partner is happy; thus life is good!  What happens when life throws you a curve ball?  What happens when everything you know crumbles?  What happens when the perfect life you are living turns upside down and inside out?  Do you grow resentful?  Bitter?  Angry?  Yes, sometimes you do. I have, at times felt all of those things.  How do you react though to your spouse?  Do they feel that directed towards them?  Do you alienate them and make them feel like it is their fault?  OR…..do your trials and challenges pull you together?  Do the difficult times make you stronger?  Do you look at your circumstances and THANK God that you have that person walking this journey with you?

Thirteen years ago today, I walked down the aisle of a church and married my best friend.  Today, he is still my best friend.  He is my biggest fan and even though the last 9 years of our marriage has been a rollercoaster ride of sickness, surgeries, joys and sorrows he has been by my side constantly.  Our first 4 years were a BREEZE…..we had no responsibilities except to work and pay our bills….life was easy, good and FUN!  Then, we found out in December 2004 that we were pregnant and we were both so excited.  On March 8, 2005 our world flipped upside down and inside out when we found out that our sweet little girl who was growing in my belly was very sick. Her heart, we were told, would not beat outside the womb and we were faced with the doctor telling us to either abort her or be prepared when she was born (or even prior to being born) to never hear her cry.  We were told that we would never bring her home and to plan her funeral.  We struggled.  We struggled to make sense of it.  We asked God why and we prayed for a miracle.

The last 9 years have been wrought with struggle but with each struggle Dennis and I have grown closer to the Lord and closer to each other.  Each struggle brought different challenges and each challenge made us hold on more tightly than the last.  Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, each struggle brought new miracles; giving us new hope.  We would have a challenge, then a miracle, a time of relief (usually brief) and then a new challenge and it kept on going.  Like I mentioned, just like a rollercoaster!  But with every up, down, twist, turn and FLIP we clung to each other and to the Lord.

Today I have to say thank you.  Thank you to a man who loves me like Christ loves the Church.  A man who never backs down from a challenge.  A man that no matter how much he is struggling holds onto me because he knows I am about to lose my mind.  A man who has walked a path of very few husbands and fathers…..a path of uncertainty with your child’s health and life and a path of watching your wife give EVERTYTHING she has to the child and has nothing left to give him.  Through so much, he has stayed, been our rock, our financial and emotional supporter and encourager.  He has allowed me to do all that I deem necessary to care for Hannah even if it means putting him on the back-burner more times than not.  A man who still loves me in-spite of my quirks, OCD, germaphobiness (is that a word?), issues, baggage and control issues.  A man who took his vows seriously when he said “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health.”  A man who has experienced better, worse, (not richer), but poorer, in MANY sicknesses and in health and has accepted it, loved me through it, helped me and literally at times carried me through it all.

Today, we celebrate 13 years of marriage and I would do it all over again!  I am praying the next 13 years will be slightly easier; but if they aren’t…..I will be here because he has ALWAYS been here for me!

I love you Dennis…..thank you for choosing me to be your wife and for being the best husband and father!  Hannah and I are so blessed to have you!

Happy Anniversary!

marriage

Until next time……..

Silent Suffering

silent suffering

Silent suffering……we all do it; at one time or another because it is the way we were raised.  We were raised as a society to not complain.  We were raised to handle things, to be thankful in the good and bad times and to press forward no matter what hardships lie in our path.  We are conquerors for pete’s sake, right?

The world teaches that you don’t need anyone, except yourself and the Christian community teaches that you don’t need anyone but God.  In my opinion, they are both wrong.  I think you need God because He is the ONLY hope any of us has but even as a Christian with a very strong faith and foundation, even I want more at times.  I want a friend to come along side of me…..not to judge me but to walk this journey with me.  No one wants to suffer silently and alone but so many of us do. We don’t want to appear negative.  We don’t want to be judged or condemned for the way we do or don’t handle things.  We don’t want to come across as always complaining or hearing “geez, that person is never happy.”  The fact is this though…..sometimes we aren’t happy.  Sometimes there is no joy to be had. Sometimes we handle things the best way that we can; contrary to what others think or say.  The sad thing is so many people are barely hanging on to their already frayed rope, but they are scared to death to say anything to anyone because of what others might say back.

SONY DSC

You know, from personal experience it is nice to hear that people are praying for you.  It is nice to get Godly encouragement but in all actuality sometimes people can be really overbearing with the quoting of scriptures and telling you “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle,” because if you have read my blog for a while now you know I don’t believe that!  I believe that God won’t give you more than you can handle WITHOUT Him.  I do believe you can be sucked in under the pressures of your suffering and fail miserably if you don’t have the hope that we do in Christ.  I believe that sometimes the most well-meaning people can push you off the edge of your sanity, because the fact is they don’t understand and they say things that sound pretty and sweet but make you feel worse; like they could handle it so much better than you are.   Sometimes though even the most Godly person that is suffering  just wants to scream and cuss!  It is a fact…..not everyone can handle suffering, challenges and difficult times holier-than-thou and with great grace!  I try, but  I will be the first to admit that sometimes I handle my challenges and sufferings with a glass of wine, a little screaming and a really good cry!  Who is judging me now while reading that?  That is my point……we all handle things differently but because of the fear of judgment and condemnation, we do it silently.

Heck, you would have not wanted to be in our home last night because this girl here lost her ever-loving mind!  The stress of this past year wears on me……it wears on Dennis and it has worn out my little girl!  Just when we think “it can’t get any worse,” guess what?  It does!  Oh how I wish I had someone to scream with!  I wish at times that I didn’t have to put on that brave face that radiates strength and grace because frankly that is not always the case…..yes, I just admitted at times to “faking it.”  Who doesn’t?  If you are happy all the time then I am truly impressed by your life and the way you handle it because most people I know struggle at some time in their life.  The problem is they struggle in silence afraid of the outcome of reaching out for help………afraid of judgments……afraid of condemnation…….just plain afraid!

struggling

Until next time…….

My Two Cents, For What It Is Worth

I have been so disheartened the past couple of days as I read people’s comments and blogs on Facebook regarding Robin Williams.

The Christian community is the worst in cases like this, yes, this being said by a Believer, but it is the truth.  So many posts and blogs I’ve read made me mad  to the point that I was about to cuss, so I logged off Facebook; but so many people said….”if he had just known Jesus….if he had just been a Christian, then he wouldn’t have taken his life.”  I call bull crap on that!  You can have Jesus and still be depressed.  You can have Jesus and still struggle, feel burdened and feel like death would be a better answer.  I have known several Christians that have committed suicide.  I had a really good friend named Corey that took his life when we were in college!  He was 19 or 20 years old and just didn’t feel like he could live life any longer.  He loved the Lord, but he just couldn’t continue on. Just last week, the 15-year-old son of a preacher friend of ours took his life…..15 years old!  It can happen to ANYONE…..Christian or Non-Christian!  Having Jesus doesn’t stop it from happening!

Depression is a very REAL thing.  Some people cannot get past the depression; heck, even some medications specifically used to treat depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and tendencies!  It amazes me the people who have SO much to say on depression and suicide but have never once experienced it.  I am one of the few people who believes that suicide IS NOT a selfish act.  Yes, it appears that way; but a person that is depressed to the point of suicide actually thinks that are doing the most UNSELFISH thing.  They are thinking they are sparing their loved ones from pain and also, relieving themselves of the pain they live with day in and day out.  Suicide is an act of clear desperation…….that person truly feels they have NO OTHER CHOICE!

I have a child, a precious little girl who is battling a horrible brain disorder.  A lot of the children that battle this disorder talk about suicide!  Hannah is very depressed at times and honestly I think it is a blessing for her that she has Down Syndrome and can’t verbalize her feelings very well.  I am not sure we would know how to handle it if she verbalized that!

The point I am making here is NOBODY knows what someone else is going through.  Some people are tortured inwardly; some get to the point that they just cannot handle it and do the unthinkable! I think it is a very judgmental statement to say that someone wouldn’t do that if they had Jesus; because as strong as my faith is I can see what drives someone to that.  Yes, Jesus is our hope but some people deal with a brain that cannot wrap itself around Him completely!  His grace, mercy and love are everlasting but sometimes, in some circumstances, the brain won’t let you process that very well!  Not that the person doesn’t try….the BRAIN itself keeps them from completely embracing the grace, joy, love and peace that only God can give in our difficult circumstances.

With Hannah’s diagnosis I have seen her do things that she would NEVER do if it weren’t for the inflammation on her brain.  Her brain tells her to do things that she has ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER.  This isn’t just something that the brain does to children as it can happen to adults as well. We need to be very careful what we say and how we judge others when we have no clue the valley in which they are walking.

be kind

It is devastating to everyone when we hear of something as tragic as suicide happening.  Instead of judging someone’s actions, why don’t we look more closely at those around us and pray for those that we know are fighting battles!  Everyone has something in their life that they struggle with; some people though struggle more in dealing with those battles……knowing Jesus or not! Sometimes it truly is a brain thing and not a heart thing.

Until next time……..

Cute Hannah Ramblings

I want to try to document some of the cute and funny things Hannah does and says; unfortunately we get very rare glimpses of that side of Hannah right now but when we do I want to remember them. Here are a couple of the things she has said and done lately:

  • “Uncle Bill come here.”  She says this CONSTANTLY!  She loves our friend Bill Cutts.  She rarely gets to see him because he works out-of-town but she is always asking for Uncle Bill to come here!  Makes us laugh.
  • “Good Morning Henny-girl”  Every morning we get a Good Morning text from Henny with a picture.  Some mornings Hannah will grab my phone and look at it and say, “Good Morning Henny-girl” as if that will make the text come sooner!
  • Her favorite movie right now is Disney’s Brave!  Oh my goodness…..I have that freakin’ movie memorized because she wants to watch it everyday!  She laughs hysterically at all the fight scenes and loves the “mean bear Mordu.”  Maybe that should concern me!  HA!
  • She is still really into Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First.  We have to watch them each morning!  I have about 15 episodes of each saved on the DVR in case they aren’t on TV so we always have them available!  Some mornings she will even sing the opening song of each and it is really funny!
  • She asks every evening to have “salt and peppermint” in her bath.  We give her Epsom salt baths every night and she loves it!  Also, she loves all the oils we are using too and refuses now to get a bath without the peppermint!
  • At night before bed she will remind me to put “labender” (lavender) on her back!  Glad she likes these oils and it isn’t a fight!  Still don’t know how much they are really helping but she sure smells good!  HA!
  • She loves ABC Mouse.com and in all actuality it is the one break each day that I get!  I can put her on the computer and get some chores done.  She can operate a computer like an expert and fortunately it is something she really enjoys!  Funny thing though, she doesn’t ask for the computer she will ask for “ABC Mouse dot com.”  Cracks me up!
  • She doesn’t like Dennis to go to work.  She will say “No Daddy Work” every morning as he is getting ready to leave.  I know it has to break his heart because she begs him not to go.  She will then say, “Daddy right back.”  When he promises to come right back she will then say, “Be Careful” as if now he has permission to go.  She is very quick to tell us both when one of us leaves to “Be careful.”  So sweet.
  • Her prayers at bedtime are priceless but the funny thing is she has one prayer that she prays with Dennis and one that she prays with me.  The beginning of her prayers are the same but then they are different at the end.  I want to document them so here they are:

Prayer with Dennis:

Dear Lord, bless Henny, Hannah, Mommy, Daddy, Mimi, Boompa, Maga, Papa, Grandma, Grandpa, Dr. Brunson, help Hannah fevers go away.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Prayer with Me:

Dear Lord, bless Henny, Hannah, Mommy, Daddy, Mimi, Boompa, Maga, Papa, Grandma, Grandpa, Dr. Kim, Dr. Marvin, Dr. Dabal and his family.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

  • I find it funny that she has a different prayer depending on who is putting her to bed. Another funny (well not really funny) tidbit about bedtime is she goes to sleep MUCH better for me than she does Dennis.  Once she says her prayers and then I start praying, within 2 minutes she is sound asleep.  With Dennis, she will lay there and look at him while he prays for 20 minutes!  HA!  I usually have to go in and tell Dennis to leave.  Once I start praying the child is OUT like a light!  I must have either boring prayers or she just loves her daddy so much that she doesn’t want to take her eyes off of him.  She sees me 24/7, so I guess she is happy to close her eyes with me!

Well, I suppose that is about it.  I try to document some of the cute things that I want to remember. I wish I had documented things when she was younger but I never did and you really just don’t remember a lot.  So, for those still reading this that is the reason for this blog post…..

How about some cute “Throwback Thursday” Pictures?

Who doesn't look cute in pigtails?

Who doesn’t look cute in pigtails?

She loves her camo!

She loves her camo!

Just like her mama, loves her chocolate!

Just like her mama, loves her chocolate!

 

Until next time………

 

 

 

 

The Caregiver

hands-and-feet

I think in many ways we are all caregivers in some aspect of our lives.  Some occupations cause you to be a caregiver, like those of teachers and nurses.  If you are married, you are a caregiver because let’s face it ladies…..men need us whether they want to admit it or not.  If you are a mom, you are most certainly a caregiver as well as those with aging parents, grandparents or family members that need constant care.  So, for all of us at one time or another, we will be considered a caregiver.

What about that person that never gets a break from caregiving though?  That person that cares for a sick loved one day in and day out?  That person that is on call 24/7?  The one that never gets anytime for themselves, no breaks from reality and no “me” time.  If you know me…..I LOVE my “me” time.

I am not talking about myself here though today.  Yes, I could definitely fall in the “caregiver” category but I do, although not as often as I would like, get a break.  My sweet husband makes it a priority when his schedule allows to give me that desperately needed “me” time whether it is sending me for a pedicure, out to dinner with a friend or the respite time I need to go grocery shopping and to Target.  I could certainly use lots more of those times, but at least I get them….so many people don’t.

Today, my heart is heavy for a few friends of mine that NEVER get a break.  They are constantly caring for their sick children; some that are way sicker than Hannah and never get that important time to recharge their batteries.  They have only their sleeping hours to recharge.  My heart is so heavy for these friends.  They are single moms who do it all!  My heart hurts for them.  The two things that stand out with these mom’s though is the love that they have for their child and their faith in God.  These two things drive them; gives them strength, motivation and the ability to focus and get through this.  I am blessed to have a husband that helps but these ladies don’t have that and yet they persevere!  That has to be God’s grace on them!  I know you do what you have to.  I would do what I had to and I know Dennis would do what he had to if God forbid something happened to one of us; but it sure wouldn’t be easy.  These are the things I know about caregiving:

  • It is a 24/7 responsibility.
  • There is no room for error or mistakes (especially with medications).
  • You are exhausted not only physically, but mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
  • You wake up in the mornings (after probably being up a lot throughout the night) and you hit the ground running; never stopping, especially for yourself.
  • Meals have to be cooked and the house has to be cleaned and that falls on you; there is no one to do it for you.  Not to mention the other chores like laundry, grocery shopping, etc.
  • The patient (the child of the caregiver in these cases) needs constant supervision.  There is no getting on the phone or going outside.  Heck, it is difficult just to find time to take yourself to the potty.  Let’s not even talk about the potty habits of the child being cared for.  Trust me, you do not want to hear what I deal with in this area and I know others have it much worse than me.
  • There is no socialization.  These mom’s have Facebook and that is about it.  That is where they pour their hearts out and ask for prayers.  I can also guarantee you that the face behind that computer has tears streaming down it.
  • The caregivers best friend is JESUS….truly because no one else understands like He does and in the dark reality no one else really cares like He does either.  Not that people don’t care completely, as many do; but the reality is people are busy and those that are “out of sight, out of mind,” tend to fall by the wayside.  Maybe not intentionally, but it happens.
  • People come into your life and people go out but very few stay for the long haul.  This leads to a very lonely existence.
  • The caregiver is lonely and they aren’t living…..they are existing but they are okay with that because they are caring for the love of their life.  No matter how difficult; they are in it forever no matter how lonely or exhausted they are.
  • The caregiver has no clue what a vacation is.
  • They can’t trust just anyone to come give them a few hours to themselves.  This has been hard for me.  I have very few people who I can actually leave Hannah with.  It has to be someone who she knows and it has to be someone who can handle her.  It is not an easy task. Not to mention the medical issues (medications, fevers, seizures) and in other’s cases; much more to have to deal with.  Most caregivers I know, including myself have MAJOR trust issues……it comes with the territory and it is warranted!  You can’t just trust anyone nowadays!  Let’s not even talk about the funds in which to pay someone!  This is difficult for anyone but especially those living on a fixed income.
  • Life is hard; there is little joy and happiness.  The moments you get of joy and happiness; you cling to because those moments are so few and far between.

Do you know someone like this?  I bet you do!  I know several full-time caregivers myself.  Can I challenge you to send someone you might know a card in the mail?  Take them a meal (call ahead first to make sure of their dietary restrictions).  Offer to just go and sit with them for an hour and chat.  Offer to run to the store and pick up some things for them.  Can I challenge you to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a Caregiver?  Please don’t assume the person is going to call you and ask for help…..it ain’t gonna happen!  The Caregiver has too much happening and going on to even be able to think about who they could call for help.  Just pick up the phone and offer.

I am going to say something here that is going to come across very harsh and it might sound somewhat bitter on my end; but it is the reality of the day and age we live in…..the church has failed the homebound caregiver!  It is a sad thing.  Three of the women that I am referring to in this blog post have been overlooked by the church.  They have been ignored and they never should have been.  They have been members of a church and NOT ministered to.  I think that is a shame and I think the church should step up, love on and do for these single moms that are doing it ALL alone!

You know what though……you can be the church to a caregiver.  You can minister.  You can reach out and bless someone.  Who knows…..maybe the person you set out to bless; in return will bless you instead!

being-jesus-hands-and-feet-to-the-world-real-christianityUntil next time……….

 

Finding Blessings In My Discouragement

Okay, full disclosure……I am so discouraged today.  Quite frankly, if I was honest I would say that I am discouraged most days.  There are many days that I walk around my home like a zombie.  I do what I have to do because the fact is, no one else is going to do it.  I get done the things that have to get done; but in all reality I have turned into that person I hate, of putting off the things that can wait!  I used to NEVER be like that…..a procrastinator; but I have become just that.  I find myself looking at my to-do list on my calendar and anything I can move to another day, I do!  I know it is because I am discouraged most days…..maybe some depression mixed in there, just a little…..don’t go crazy with that depression word though people.  I don’t need medication and I am not suicidal (although I have seriously had people ask that).  Don’t we all, at one time or another get discouraged?  Don’t we all get sad and dare I say the word again, depressed?  Why is that a shock to people when you use that word……I think we have ALL been there at one time or another and you know what I have learned……it is okay!  It is okay to admit that you are sad.  It is okay to tell the truth when someone asks how you are really feeling and it is okay to express your heartache! Heck, I think it is the people who bottle it all up inside that end up clinically depressed…..let it out people; it is okay!

I didn’t start writing this blog post to get into that, but I did anyway, so now I digress……I have had a difficult day.  Sunday’s for some reason are my worst days…..don’t really know why, but they are! I hate Sunday’s.  I hate Facebook on Sunday’s and I wish each week I could just sleep through Sunday, wouldn’t that be nice?  HA!

I am discouraged……I hate PANDAS, I hate fevers, I hate low immune systems, I hate seizures, I hate watching my little girl regress and I hate being a prisoner in my own home!  I miss my freedom!  I miss the things we used to get to do with Hannah and in my own selfishness I miss shopping when I wanted to, going out to lunch with friends and having my 6 hours of freedom each day while Hannah was in school.  So, yes, it is catching up with me; this past year and I am discouraged.

I am trying to find the blessings in it all though and so I thought I would try to think about the things I am thankful for…..the blessings God has given me in spite of this valley I am in.  So, here are some of those blessings:

  • First and foremost…..JESUS!  Because without the hope I have in Him nothing would matter!  This place is not my home and I long for Heaven daily!  I am so over this life, but I will hang out here until He calls me home!  If you people aren’t ready, you better hurry up and get ready because I pray every night the He will just come get us all!  Not that He is going to work on my timetable but I’m still praying for it!
  • A clean and comfortable place to call home that has air conditioning!  Because for those that don’t know me I HATE Florida and I HATE heat, so I am thankful for my air conditioning! Our house stays at 74 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter!
  • Two vehicles to drive when we do get to go out even though that is usually to doctor appointments.
  • All of Hannah’s doctors and trust me, she has MANY!
  • Health insurance to pay for said doctor appointments
  • A husband who works hard to pay for the health insurance that pays for the doctor appointments.  HA!  A husband who has one of the strongest work ethics I know who is willing to take on extra jobs so I don’t have to work.  He is on night-shift right now; but will go on very little sleep during the day so that he can help me with Hannah.  Case in point…..he got all of 2 hours sleep this morning after working about 16 hours!
  • Healthy food on our table and the ability to cook for my family.  Thankful for my mom who taught me how to cook at a young age.  Even though I get tired of being in the kitchen I am thankful that I have that skill.
  • A little girl who is still here with us even though we were told that she wouldn’t be.  As difficult as this past year has been, she is here and I am thankful.
  • Coffee with french vanilla creamer
  • Wine
  • Chocolate and Cheesecake (although on this new diet both of those are no-no’s)
  • Good neighbors
  • Good friends
  • Family
  • Hannah’s school; the teachers, staff, other kids and their parents!  This group of people have been so dedicated and sweet to us……I don’t know where I would be without any of them.
  • My Down Syndrome Community of moms!
  • My PANDAS community!
  • My computer, because let’s be honest…..it is my ONLY source of communication!  That and texting!  Sad life, huh?  HA!
  • Hannah has slept a week straight through the night (all 12 hours)…..yay!  This probably should have been 2nd on my list right after Jesus!
  • My health even though I have aches and pains; I am healthy as far as I know!  Who has time to go to the doctor!
  • Girl’s Nights Out…..even though they are few and far between I live for and love those times.
  • My television which I am going to go watch right now!  Gotta catch up on my shows since Dennis is working nights.

There are many more things that I am grateful for; many more blessings than just those but it helped to type them and read them…..helps put things in perspective and in all honesty sometimes you just need to read it in black and white to know it isn’t as bad as it seems!

Just because I hate to not include a picture on my blog, here are a couple oldies!

Geez, I looked so young here!  Hannah was probably about 6 months old, I am guessing!

Geez, I looked so young here! Hannah was probably about 6 months old, I am guessing!

 

Hannah and Cletus!  Cletus was my parents cat!  I loved Cletus, God rest his soul!  The only person in my family happy when Cletus went home to Heaven was Dennis!  He hated that cat and well, Cletus hated Dennis!  HA!

Hannah and Cletus! Cletus was my parents cat! I loved Cletus, God rest his soul! The only person in my family happy when Cletus went home to Heaven was Dennis! He hated that cat and well, Cletus hated Dennis! HA!

Until next time………..

Masking The Problem – Ripping Off The Band-aid

One thing I have realized in this journey with Hannah this past year is when you are dealing with medical issues that have no cure you end up masking the problem with band-aids.  In our case the band-aids are medications.  Hannah has been on both prescription and over-the-counter medications now her entire life but none more than in the past year.  Yes, the medications help; but they don’t fix the problem and in MOST cases one medication that helps one thing in turn hurts something else….very much a Catch 22.  For example Hannah is on daily antibiotics to help treat PANDAS but the major side effect to that is horrific tummy trouble.  Yes, you add some probiotics, but in Hannah’s case they really don’t help.  There are so many side effects to medications that in some ways you are almost better off not taking them.  You have to weigh the pros and cons.  In Hannah’s case I know she needs them all right now.  One is helping with seizures, one for her thyroid, 2 for PANDAS, one for inflammation, one for reflux and the list goes on.  I know we have to continue with the medications right now but they are just treating symptoms and masking the problem.  I want to rip off the band-aids!  I want to get rid of the medications and I am researching ways to do that.  Here is what I have found so far:

God gave us EVERYTHING we need here on earth to heal our bodies!  Okay, here comes the “crazy” talk….let’s talk the holistic approach for a second and see if this makes sense.  First, what we put in our bodies…..what we eat and what we drink are huge!  Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and staying away from those delicious but oh so naughty simple carbs like white sugar, four and well, you know all the yummy stuff is so important!  Water, water and more water…..staying away from the sodas and sugary drinks…..now, I am sure coffee is bad for you but fortunately my child doesn’t drink it and I don’t plan on stopping!  Dairy…..yes we need some but not as much as you think; so limiting the dairy is best.  Now, I am not preaching to anyone but myself.  What works for us might not work for everyone but I know what we are having to do for Hannah.  Dennis and I had a chat last night and we are going to do a version of the Maker’s Diet.  It is a diet of just the foods that God gave us……fresh fruits, veggies, meat, whole grains, nuts and olive oil.  So many of the foods we put into our bodies are so horribly bad for us and the more research I do on them I have realized the harm that we are inflicting!  Anything boxed or canned will be a no-no in our home! Hannah is already so sick, why would I continue to allow her to get sicker.  What we put in her little body is of the utmost importance, especially now.

Now, the other thing I have done is a ton of reading about essential oils.  I have done so much research on Young Living Essential Oils and I finally bought some.  I have only been using them on Hannah for about 8 days.  I started mainly because she was not sleeping AT ALL even with the use of Melatonin, Benadryl and Motrin at night.  I was so tired of putting that stuff in her body and to no avail.  So, I read about which oils would help the most.  I started diffusing Thieves, Frankincense and Thyme in her diffuser while she slept and before bed giving her Epsom salt baths and then rubbing Lavender on her spine and neck.  Hannah has slept 12 hours through the night the last 6 nights!!!  Now, is it because the inflammation in her brain has calmed some?  With PANDAS the symptoms will wax and wane so this could be it.  Is it because of the oils?  I don’t know.  Whatever it is, Hannah is sleeping again and as of right now that is a huge part of our battle.  If she gets a good night sleep her symptoms throughout the next day are way more manageable.

I am a firm believer that our diet and the things we ingest can hurt us or heal us.  I so badly want my little girl healed!  I don’t want to keep masking the problem with medication band-aids! Sometimes you just have to take matters in your own hands!  Will I take her off the medications without our doctor approving it, absolutely NOT but I will continue working towards a healthier lifestyle in hopes that this will work and all these MANY medications will be a thing of our past soon!  I know there is NO cure for what Hannah has but I also know that we have to trust our instincts and we have to do our due diligence to make sure we do everything that is in our child’s best interest; that along with LOTS of prayer is all we can do.

I am working on a cure……I am not a doctor, nurse or healthcare professional but I am a mom and if I can do ANYTHING to help my child live a happier and HEALTHIER life that is what I will do. Dennis did ask me to keep a stash of his favorite cookies in the pantry so I will oblige him but other than that the Blankinchip family is going to fight this battle with what God provided for us and you know what…….we are going to win it!

Until next time………..