Ladybug Secrets

Ladybug Secrets:
Don't let the small stuff bug you. And Spot new opportunities.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

High Heels and Wiggly Teeth

Brooke shows me everyday the joys of childhood.  I watch her play, hear her sing, and listen to endless chatter. I am so excited to watch her grow and change.  Yet part of me wants it to stop right here.  Right were I can still hold her and where an imagination is still ok.  One of the things Brooke loves to do is steal my high heels from my room.  She thinks I am crazy because I do not wear them everyday of my life.  Truth is...I hate heels.  My ankles always crack and fall over when I wear them.  But I will wear them once in a while, and she just gets so excited when I do.  She has been begging me for heels of her own.  This morning, laying in bed all cozy with her, she pushed on her super wiggly tooth and said "Mama, I just want heels to be beautiful like you.  I just like the way they make you look fancy.  Can I please get a pair?"  I smiled and told her I would talk to daddy.  As I lay there I wanted her stay little for longer, to hold onto these moments instead of rushing them.

One of my fondest memories as a child was the moments where I escaped into a reality of being just a kid.  No one was telling me I could not do something...for in that reality anything was possible.  I wrote before about the beautiful willow tree I played under as a child.  I am fairly certain it was not as wonderful as I remember but to a 5 year old, it was magical.  I remember my brother and I turning our beds into cars and we traveled all over.  Normally we were trying to escape some danger, and of course we had to rescue our parents.  To make it even more exciting we had cars that talked and ran themselves.  I remember digging for treasure, mining for gold, and setting up Barbie and He-Man cities that would last for days.  No one rushed us to grow up, or told us our ideas were silly.  In fact my parents always encouraged us to use our imagination.

I guess sometimes I am sad at how fast we want our babies to grow up.  We dress them up in grown up clothes right from the start.  I am so old fashioned...I still like the pinafore dresses and big hair bows.  Adult tv and music are thrown at them in stores and doctor offices.  I have heard from so many parents.."But you do not want them to not know what reality is." or "You do not want to lie to your children." First off, my reality and others realities are drastically different I do believe.  In my reality it is ok for a child to play at child games, and their parents to join in on that fun.  Some of my best memories are of my mom playing pretend with me.  Or of my dad telling his tall tales at the dinner table.  Most would probably say I was sheltered as a child.  And I am ok with that!  Many "realities" escaped me, and some even found their way in a sheltered childhood.  I do not think it is locking your kids up from the world, but teaching them how to fall at their Savior's feet when they can't cope anymore.  For our family the only way we survive so called reality is to know who is in charge and let Him lead us.

Later in the day, over a math paper, Brooke's wiggly tooth fell out.  She smiled at me with a big gap in her top row.  She was so proud and excited.  I smiled as I listened to her excitement over the tooth fairy stopping by that night.  I remembered my own excitement waiting on her to stop in my room.  I was thankful my mama let me dream big and imagine even bigger.  I was thankful for all those times when she let me escape reality to find a fun place to play.  I was even more thankful for her and my dad instilling in me the necessity to trust in God and fall at His feet when true reality became too much.  As I kissed my kids and tuck them in I pray every night for their future.  Not that it will be rich and prosperous, but that it will serve their King.  Not that they will back away from criticism and judgment, but that they would stand firm in who God created them to be! Even if it is in high heels, with wiggly teeth!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Long Distance Friendship

I wanted to post this sooner but of course life gets CRAZY!  Although the trip to Iowa was not a success from a doctor stand was a success in other areas.  I was able to see friends I have not seen in years!  Plus we met their amazing daughters!  It was a very short visit, but wonderful.  After the horrid doc visit it was just what we needed.  Sadly I wish we lived closer because who knows when we will meet up again.  Brooke and Mackenzie became fast friends!  And Cassie graciously walked them around on the pony.  I know "gasp" Brooke should not have been on the pony.  But some days you have to just live a little and pray.  So we did.  Here are some pics of some beautiful kids!

Here we go!

Love this one!  The pony was starting to move faster!

Brooke and Mackenzie and sweet Cassie leading! And of course Chan running like a crazy man! 

Complete Joy!

So much fun!

two beautiful girls and a lovely view!

So thankful to our hosts and the love they shared!  Wish we had more time, but am thankful for the little bit we did have!  Super Big Hugs!

Friday, April 6, 2012

We are home!

The past few days have just been a whirlwind!  I am so glad to be home with all the kiddos snuggled in.  Aidan is   doing awesome!  Thanks to some awesome friends, he has had a fun filled few days.  And the rest of us are tired but safe. 

I would like to make some sense out of the doc appointment we just went on, but words still fail me.  It is hard for me to even verbalize what went on.  And sadly I did not respond to the Doc how I should have.  But I was totally blind sided by what was happening.  Before I got to his office, I had played every possible scenario in my least i thought I did.  I figured he would say: "She is great, no need for collar or more surgeries!" (wishful thinking), "She needs to wear collar, but hold off on surgery." (most likely), or "She needs surgery now." (dreading those words).  But no none of these things were said.  So i will try to explain what happened. 

Before we even went on this appointment, her ped sent reports from her latest MRI and reports from her current neurosurgeon.  I took with me a disc of her most recent MRI that was done at Cleveland Clinic.  When we arrived, the PA came in and started asking general questions about Brooke and her history.  I kept thinking the she was acting funny.  She kept looking around the room, and avoiding eye contact with me.  I brushed it off as she was just not comfortable looking at people.  She excused herself for awhile and we waited.  When she came back, she still acted distracted.  Then the doc came in.  (now I had been warned that his bedside manner was not warm and fuzzy. Which is fine as long as you are honest, and kind to my daughter.) He started asking a few questions.  Again I felt really strange, like he wished he was anywhere but in the room with us.  After general questions, he states that my ped and I were involved in a cover up.  I looked at him funny, and he said that neither my ped nor I were honest, and we should not even be there seeing him right now.  I was very, very confused.  He told me if he had he known who Brooke's nsg was he never would have agreed to see us.  Again confusion.  Then he tells me he can't even tell me anything because he has no reports, and he is just going by what I am saying and i am not a doc.  Again more confusion as i knew her ped had sent over multiple records and they listed who her nsg was!!!  He knew who her nsg was and myself nor the ped covered anything up!  I told him well not to worry because I have every MRI and report ever taken on Brooke.  I pulled out my rather large file. He was not pleased.  They pulled up a few MRI's and he said, "Oh she actually did have a Chiari I Malformation!"  Umm no I am lying and we just had brain surgery for the heck of it!  Then he criticized the surgery, and the choices made.  Told me I should have come to him first.  Told me he really could not help now.  Told me the most current MRI was useless.  But he said the collar was necessary.  He said "Do you not see it makes her feel better?"  I know it makes her feel better. He told us he would wait on fusion, and then said he could not even tell from MRI if there was instability because it was such a bad one.  It was around this point he leaned in close to me and said, "Do you understand what I am saying, are you following me?"  "I replied yes.  He said, "No really do you understand." Ummm yes and then I proceeded to repeat back to him what he was saying. 

By this point I was questioning everything.  Whether he was genuine or just condescending.  He kept saying "I do not know what you want to hear from me?"  I kept telling him his honest opinion about Brooke's condition.  But he would not answer any questions about symptoms.  Then I asked if we should get another MRI, and if he would want to see it and her again.  He told me there was no point in him seeing her again because she already had 2 surgeries and I had not come to him first.  I was beginning to see that he really detested our nsg.  He told me again he would wait on fusion, but then followed it with "but that does not mean you will listen to me and won't go ahead and have the surgery done anyway."  I was beginning to feel like my hand was getting slapped and nothing I said was going to make this appointment go well.  I just set back and waited for it to be over.  He asked me at one point if we wanted him to be our doc, and I answered I did not know.  He asked why I had not come to him first.  I told him I had not heard of him.  He responded by telling me he was the greatest neurosurgeon in the US, and I was not very good at research.  He told me the only reason I chose who I did was because of their PR work and not their history.  At the end, he informed me he was not even sure how I managed to be seen in his office.  He told me there were major lawsuits against my nsg.  He told me he was on a gag order and could speak no more, and just walked out of the room.  Brooke and I waited in the room.  No one came back.  There was no report.  There was no one to say you are done.  We were just left sitting in this room.  I collected myself from the puddle I had sunk down into and we left. 

I left in tears!  My poor mom thought the doc had revealed some really bad medical news.  I assured her no.  I was so blown away and questioning everything!  I really wondered had we made the right choices.  Did I make informed decisions?  Did I do enough research?  I was so sick to my stomach!  Thankfully we had a wonderful visit with friends to distract me.  And Brooke had a wonderful time!  I will post pics tomorrow.

Last night and driving today I thought so very much about this.  To those of you who do not know, yes our nsg does have lawsuits against him.  Tim and I both knew about these.  And I am sure to the people that are involved they are very real.  But reading through them, we were not concerned about the nsg's capabilities.  When you are dealing with Chiari and Tethered Cord each case is different.  We were told with the Tethered Cord surgery there may be improvement, there may not be, and there is a chance she may get worse.  This is pretty typical statement for any surgery.  I am not going to say much more on the lawsuit.  Like I said before, I am sure that they are real to the people involved.  We just understood that this is a semi-experimental surgery and results vary.  We understood there were risks involved.  He explained this very, very well to us. 

When we saw Dr B we felt at ease, comfortable.  My mommy gut felt like I was speaking with an old friend.  I felt like he cared and wanted the best for Brooke.  I do not think this was PR.  Wait let me re-phrase....I know this was not PR.  When Brooke was in the hospital, I have never seen a doc work so hard!!!  And no matter what time of the day, he was kind and as Brooke would say...funny!  When he did her decompression, he took time and made sure he did not cut her c1 so as not to create more instability.  He let me be her mama, and carry her into the OR.  He even personally removed her staples because she was terrified and only wanted him to do it.  With her TC surgery, he waited until we were ok with it.  The surgery did not go as expected, and he quickly realized her dura sac was not in the right place.  He has never made me feel stupid, or like a bad mom.  He has called and emailed just to check up on Brooke.  If I do not understand something, he finds another way to explain...normally by drawing me a picture. :)  Whenever we go to the office, Brooke is thoroughly examined, and they always give me a very in depth report. 

As I write this my mind is at ease.  I do not regret our choice!  In fact, I am now more convinced we are in the right place.  God led us to a doc who would care for Brooke.  I am convinced His hand is still in this.  We will see Dr B in May.  I know many moms, dads, docs may not agree with me.  They may think I am uninformed, and make poor decisions.  I would disagree, and only say this....I love my daughter desperately, and only seek what is best for her. I want her to grow to love her God, and trust Him completely...not any man, women or Doc.  I also know that many of you may have seen the doc we just saw, or our current doc and had a totally different experience.  One thing I have learned is we are all so different.  Our children has various needs, and therefore no one doc can fulfill all those needs.  It is our duty as mama's to seek out the doc who will care for our child with the love and respect they deserve.  And the reality is, we will all choose different people.  The important thing is to fight for more Chiari research and more understanding. 

I am sure this post is all over the place and not grammatically correct.  Forgive me, I am kinda tired.....

Monday, April 2, 2012

Top 4 Prayer Requests

This is going to be a short, sweet, and to the point kinda post!  My mind is spinning in a million directions, and I have so much do accomplish before tomorrow.  For those who are praying I am just going to list some prayer requests.  We love you and thank you for your continued prayers, love and support of our family!!!

1. I am only half packed!  Please pray that I can speed pack, and not forget what we need!

2. Please pray for Aidan!  He is having surgery at 7:30 on his left pinky finger.  We have to be there at 6:30.  I have to drop Brooke and Chan at my mom's at 5:45.  Pray that the surgery goes well, and Aidan does well after!  I feel terrible that I am leaving him!  Although he is staying with Daddy tomorrow, and then a dear friend for the rest of the time.  I know he will be fine....just hate leaving him right after this.

3. Please pray for safe travels! It is a 10 1/2 hour drive.  I will have had little sleep, and much stress.  Plus I will have chan and Brooke to keep happy.  Thankfully my mom is going.  But we can't leave until after surgery, so it may be some night driving.

4. Please pray for this appointment!  We will hear Dr. Menezes give his recommendations on next steps for Brooke.  No matter the news, I pray we handle it with Grace and Courage.

Thank you all again for all you do!!!  I am praying that my body continues to hold out for this trip as I have not been feeling well lately.  I just keep thinking that it all has to be done, and I have to suck it up.  Will keep everyone posted on updates!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt

We were invited to the Wishes Can Happen Easter Egg Hunt today!  The kids were so excited to go, but of course we could not start the morning off with Church.  Oh no, we had to start it off at Stat Care. While at a Birthday Party last night, Aidan injured his pinky finger.  It did not look great last night...but I wanted to wait until morning to see if it was just a sprain.  This morning he woke up with a very swollen, black and blue pinky.  We headed off to stat care to find out it is broke and not a clean break. Boo!! So we have to see a specialist.  I am really hoping we get in, since we head off to Iowa on Tuesday.

On to the fun part of our day, and no broken pinky could stop us!!  We have already been so blessed by the Wishes Can Happen Team!  First an amazing adapted bike for Brooke!  Then an awesome wish trip to Chicago to American Girl!  And now a fun day at Miss Madelyn's home!  She turned her back yard into an Easter Extravaganza!  I could write about all the fun stuff or I could post some pics.  I think the pics tell it better than me!!!

Painting Ceramic Eggs

Mr Cool

Brooke and Izzy the Donkey

Yes sliding with a broken finger!

Brooke loved the Bunnies!!!

Obstacle Course

You really can't go wrong with Cotton Candy!

Even Face Painting!

Chan loved the day too!

Egg Hunt in Full Swing

My little Easter Sweeties!

We have been blessed by this Wishes Can Happen.  We are so thankful for all they have done!  Thank you Miss Madelyn, Miss Lisa, and Miss Sydney for making this a special day, and blessing us with great memories!  It helped to take our mind off this upcoming trip to Iowa!!!