And God Laughs
I told God my plans and He laughed. So now I am living, laughing, and loving according to His Plans.

For Which There Are No Answers

11:46 AM
I grew up a child of a seriously ill parent. My mom had her first stroke when I was in preschool and has gone on to have five more significant strokes, not counting TIAs. She has Lupus and Antiphospholipid syndrome. Her left knee has been eaten away by arthritis and it is starting in on her hands. Her heart caused frequent issues. I knew how to call 911 before I knew how to dial a friend's phone number. I should be used to medical emergencies. But she is also my best friend in the world, the one person I have who understands me without the need for words, the person who is always there when I need someone, the one who has faced this monster along with me. She literally fought to help me learn to eat again, fought for me to not give up in finding adequate care, fights to keep me walking around the apartment as long as possible, refuses to accept anything less for me. And I fight for her.
So now when she is lying in an ICU bed on a vent with more lines running into her than I can count and an open abdomen from emergency surgery that they could not close due to infection and swelling my heart is breaking and my world is turning upside down. Never before has she been so sick that I couldn't talk to her, and I would give anything to hear her voice. I have cried myself to sleep the past two nights. I have fallen on my knees before God and cried out in prayers, many that had no words to them. She made it through the first two days without going septic, so that is very important. She shows her temper when they mess with her and gets royally pissed off when they move her or change her bandages, which lets me know she is still there. She seems to be calmed by my voice when she opens her eyes in panic, and that means the world to me. Today the doctor is taking her back in to surgery in an attempt to close her abdomen. This is not going to be a sprint but a marathon, and I pray for endurance - for her body and mine. Stress does not do nice things to dysautonomia. I took this morning off (my brother and sister in law are with her) and will go up to the hospital for her surgery. I just want to know why, and I know there is no answer. I want to know if God thought that we didn't have enough to deal with, because I am not strong enough for this. Most of all I need my Mom to be okay.
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Job 8:21

"He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

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Wild Olive

Wild Olive

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Creative Victory

This is Me

I am a thirty year old enigma who has defied every expectation ever placed upon me and refused every definition created for me. My greatest passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs and their families. As a special education teacher I broke all of the unwritten rules to make sure that my kids received the services they needed and had a right to receive. I have never been so proud to be reprimanded before in my life. Now, due to unpredictable twists in life, I am learning first hand what life is like when you rely upon a wheelchair for mobility. I am a medical puzzle with the pieces slowly being identified and put together, and my medical bills alone could fund a small nation. It takes a village to keep me alive. :) However, I am not defined by the genetic misspellings. I am a teacher, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a dreamer, a reader, an amateur photographer, a writer, an advocate, a star gazer, a world changer. I am stubborn, situationally shy, quick to use humor and wit to make others laugh or cope with a situation, sarcastic, fiercely independent, giving, compassionate (sometimes to a fault), protective of those I love, defiant of arbitrary boundaries, perfectionistic, self conscious, self assured (yes you can be both!), articulate and occasionally dramatic. And that is just what I could fit in two sentences! :)

Who's On First, What's On Second, I Don't Know! (Third Base!!)*

Simple Vocabulary Definitions for those who may not speak fluent medical :)

Undiagnosed Progressive Neurological Disorder- This is the diagnosis that is believed to make everything else fit together. It explains my frequent infections, my muscle weakness and dystonia, my dysautonomia, my cardiac issues, my inability to regulate blood pressure, my dysphagia, my ataxia, my severe fatigue, my extreme nausea, my gastrointestinal dysmotility and IBS like syndrome, my unbelievable migraines, my sensory changes in my arms and legs, my vision issues, my hearing loss (so much for blaming medication), and so much more. Going back to infancy and childhood, this would explain the severe apnea, the significantly delayed motor skills, the reason why I could never keep up with my peers in physical activities, the neurogenic bladder, the malfunctioning thyroid, and my frequent illnesses and vomiting. This is the diagnosis now being used since the DNA testing for Mitochondrial Disease came back odd and I can not afford the expenses of a workup at the Mayo Clinic. We are treating symptomatically.

Pan-Dysautonomia- "Pan" means that it impacts many different systems of my body, "dysautonomia" is a failure of my autonomic nervous system or the part of my brain that does all of the automatic things that do not require conscious thought like telling your heart to beat, regulating your blood pressure, adjusting your body temperature, maintaining balance in space, digesting food, hunger and thirst, etc. It is believed that I have had this from birth based upon my history of symptoms, including severe life threatening apnea as an infant, but the cause remains elusive at this time

Dystonia- abnormal muscle tone and spasticity, including painful spasms, that primarily impacts my feet and lower legs and is now starting to be a problem in my back

Ataxia- difficulty maintaining balance and coordinating/executing movements

Dysphagia- difficulty swallowing due to any number of causes including muscle weakness and poor muscle coordination

Adipsia- the absence of a sense of thirst

Other Medical Issues- Lupus Anticoagulant (autoimmune disease that causes me to tend to form blood clots and has already caused two deep vein blood clots and one mild stroke), Migraines, unknown connective tissue disorder, abnormal gastric motility, allergies, history of v-tach and severe sinus tachycardia, changes to my echocardiagram that include leaking valves and a new murmur, low blood pressure, ataxia, untreated PFO (small hole in my heart that increases the risk of stroke), chronic lymphadema in my left arm, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Narcolepsy/Idiopathic CNS Hypersomnolance (believed to be a result of the dysautonomia and my brain's inability to regulate the sleep/wake cycle), mild hearing loss, malformed optic nerves, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies

* Title comes from an old Abbot and Costello routine that I chose to memorize in 6th grade and absolutely love.