Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Today's blog

Well, it has been since May 8th since I've posted a blog. But, I decided to do one today. Speech seems to still be a struggle. Some days are better than others but if any kind of stress comes on me the speech issues raise up again. Also, I continue to have tremors. But, I had not fallen since my last visit to Charleston even though I have stumbled a time or two at home and thought I was going down, I was able to stop it before hitting the floor. That is until today. Today was my youngest daughter's pre-school graduation so I went to that. My mother is in the hospital so I was dealing with some very emotional issues including realizing that I will probably not have any more children. Especially given my health. Jason is off to boot camp so I worry about him and Cottia is winding down with her first grade year. All of that I think is what led to the fall today. I had gone to the medical center in Swansea because my left knee was a little swollen and painful from the last fall in Charleston. But, I didn't go today. Pain always seems to set in for me after a while instead right away like most people. Today's fall was in the hallway at First Baptist Church where Eva attended preschool. Maw Maw had already gotten her out so she didn't see it which was good because she gets very upset when she sees me fall. So, I had to allow the tremors pass before I could get up and head home. The men of the Church helped me out and I was able to get home and spent the rest of the day not doing anything. I am tired and noticed that I really scraped my left knee to the point of bleeding. There is also some pain in my left thigh but I will see how it goes for a few days and see how it goes. If I am in major pain then I'll go sooner. The knee is a bit swollen but I can bear it.

Eva was so cute today in her dress and the way she sang and did her motions for the program. It is really hard to believe the year is over and my baby is growing up so fast. Cottia is also doing very well in school and I could not be more proud.

Well, that is all I'm going to write goday. I'm tired and sore and just want to rest and hope not to fall again anytime soon. So, I pray God will richly bless you all and give you grace and peace throughout the day. Have a great night and day tomorrow!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I was thinking that 7 years ago my wife and I were expecting our first child. As mother's day grew closer, I really took stock of my life and who I was and the Father I hoped to be to this child. Emily was so wonderful during the pregnancy. She took such good care of herself. I remember buying classical music for her to play to the baby in the womb. They say it stimulates brain activity and calms the baby. She played it everynight. I remember watching Emily laying on the couch with the headsets on her stomach while the baby listened. I also remember talking to the baby myself and telling her just how important she was and how much she would be loved by her parents and grandparents. We had a tape of the ultrasound of the baby that really brought home the reality of being a parent and the responsibility that came with it.

Well, during this time, Emily's grandfather was growing weaker and weaker and we knew his time with us was short. We just did not know how short it was. I also remember thinking how important it was to me that he saw our child before he went home to be with the Lord. We were in touch with Emily's Aunt Linda in Virginia and she let me know that time was running out. So, I had a copy of the ultrasound made and sent to Virginia. I remember riding home with Emily after having dinner or seeing a movie on a Saturday evening. As we approached the exit, I just knew that this was the night Granddad was going home. I didn't say anything and we went home for the night. The next day was Sunday and I came around into the kitchen to find Emily in tears. But, she still had the composure to be taking the vitamins to keep the baby healthy. So, I called some of her friends and they came over to comfort her as we prepared to make the trip to Virginia for Granddad's funeral. When we arrived, I asked Aunt Linda if she had gotten the tape and did he see his great grandchild. What she told me was beyond amazing. On the night of his death, she played for him the video of the ultrasound. He could barely hold his eyes open so Aunt Linda sat with him and held his eyes open so he could see our baby. He would pass a few ours later. I don't know how much he actually saw and it really does not matter. The point was that we know he saw something of this wonderful creation God had given us and I truly believe he saw the baby moving and knew what was going on. On July 19th, our baby girl was born to the most beautiful and wonderful mother she could have hoped for.

Then, I have a second memory of our other child. We found out that Emily has a blood cloting disorder that could cause problems and even a miscarriage. So, Emily had to give herself shots to prevent the clots from forming. I remember watching my wife give herself the shots and how she bruised and thinking how I admired her and the desire she had to have this second child. Since we had found out that there were issues with us getting pregnant, we realized just how much of a miracle our first child was. So, we had to use a fertility clinic for the second. I won't get into specifics but Emily called me from Charleston where she was on a Beta club trip and told me the pregnancy test was faint but positive. So, we went to the clinic and long story short, we were told there was only a 10% chance Emily would be able to carry this baby. I spoke personally with the nurse and she told me that it could be several things, a tubal pregnancy, twins with one in the tubes and the other ok but either way I needed to be prepared to comfort Emily because we were going to lose this child. Wendy, the nurse, was very open and honest with us and we greatly appreciated that. She told us that we would be able to try again, so I prepared for the worst. But, my wife prepared to carry this baby to full term. Well, we were getting ready to go to Virginia for Easter or some holiday I can't remember which but Wendy said she would do an ultrasound for us before we left and even told Emily that she could miscarry the baby herself just to be prepared for extra bleeding and if we needed to that we were to go to the hospital in Virginia. Then, she started the ultrasound. As she made her way towards the womb, I will never forget when she said, "well, it's not in the tubes." Then she told us not to be upset if we didn't see a heartbeating. But, as we sat there and the ultrasound found the baby, we saw the most amazing thing. That little heart was beating as fast as it could. Wendy and I cried but Emily said she knew all along that she would be able to carry this baby. I guess, a mother just knows thses things. Even after the ultrasound Wendy prepared us for the worst. Well, on October 28th, Emily gave birth to our second child. A perfectly healthy second baby girl who is now 3 and will turn 4 this October.

The stories of my children are very different as are with all children but they are mine and while this illness has taken some of my memory and caused me confusion it has not taken away the miracle of  the two lives I have been charged with caring for and the love and sacrifice of the woman who carried them and never doubted God would provide and give us healthy children.

Now, life is filled with baths, ball games, church, trips to Virginia, and other normal things that parents do with their children but most of all, our lives are filled with love and great joy that my wife never doubted and always put her children before anything else. The final thing I will say on this post is I remember Emily looking at me as got close to giving birth to our first child and told me that if things got rough and I had to make a decision I was to chose the child not her. I just give thanks to God that I never had to make that decision because honestly I don't think I could have.

Well, now you know the story of how our two little one's came to be in our lives and the love of a mother who was willing to give herself shots and play music and take vitamins just so her children would be given every opportunity to be as healthy as possible. For that, I am forever grateful that this woman shares my life and loves her children with all her heart. She is the very example of what a true mother is.

Happy Mother's day,


Friday, May 4, 2012

Yesterday I found out that my mom had found a lump in her breast. She is a breast cancer survivor so they take these things very seriously. She had a CT scan and a mamogram yesterday. The doctor called today and said that both she and the x-ray tech think it is a hemotoma (sp) but the only way to be sure was to do a biopsy and they didn't want to put mom through that. Instead they will monitor it and keep a close eye on her.

As for my health, the last two days have not been bad but I get so tired just taking a shower. Yesterday a few of the men from our Church came over and handled some things that I cannot do and we are so appreciative to them for that. Our pool is now open and the girls can start using it for the summer. Emily bought some stairs so I can get in and out because I can't use the ladder so I am looking forward to that.

Today, I picked up my oldest daughter from school and took her to see a movie. It was nice spending time with her. We went through McDonald's for supper and now she is spending the night with our God daughter tonight so she is having a big weekend. But, that special time with my girl is priceless. I hope to be able to do more things like that as my health improves but we still have a long ways to go.

So, tonight I'm home with my wife and youngest daughter. I give thanks for all that has been done and how God is working things out.

Well, that is about it. I am still on the walker and still having tremors but my speech seems to be improving and hopefully it will continue to improve.

I pray God's richest blessings on you all and that his grace will fall on you like rain and give you all peace. Take care and remember to go to Church Sunday!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I haven't posted in a while but wanted to tonight. Today was another session in Charleston. My mom and her husband took me for which I am very grateful. It was certainly an adventure to say the least. On the way down we went the back roads which is the way I like to go but Vance decided to pass a car in Holly Hill and he was pulled. Fortunently the policeman only gave him a warning ticket. Then, as we got into Charleston, I got confused and we got lost which hightened my stress level. Finally, we found the correct building and I made my way in. I had to use the restroom and as I was coming out I was in a hurry so I pulled the door really fast. I don't remember a great deal of detail after that but I hit the floor. Their floors are not carpeted but are brick so it was a very hard fall. The tremors then started and the security guard called the medics. They wanted to take me to the emergency room for x-rays but I refused because I didn't think I was hurt very bad. So, they brought me a wheel chair and my counselor came and got me and we had a shortened session but we did get it in. I have fallen three times including today's since I've seen my Dr. in Charleston so we addressed the events leading up to the falls which I think is very important and so does she. Then as I wheeled out and got out of the wheelchair my lower back was numb. That was a first. I have hurt my lower back but I have never had it go numb. When the medics were examining me they commented that I had some fluid build up in my left knee and as the afternoon went on I noticed that the pain had moved up my leg a bit. It is not unusual for me to feel pain until much after the event that caused the pain has happened. So, I'll keep an eye on it and may go to the urgent care in Swansea either tomorrow or Thursday if it continues. One other thing I would like to mention. I have had to say goodbye to my counselor here in Columbia. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. She was always there for me and guided me with good advice and love. I know we will remain friends and will keep in touch but it won't be a counselor/client relationship so, in a way, it may end up being a deeper relationship than before. None the less, I am forever grateful to her for all she did and my new counselor in Charleston acknowledged just how hard that had to have been for both of us. So, I am going from good hands to good hands all the while God is guiding my steps so I know I am in his will. Thank you Father for allowing both these women to be a part of my life when it is such a difficult time. You are my rock and I stand in the unshakable ground and give you praise and glory for opening a new door and keeping the old door open just with a different path. May your name be forever praised and glorified.

On some more positive notes. My oldest child is riding a 5 game hitting streak on her softball team!! I am so proud of her and our team has only lost 1 game!!

My youngest continues to be a mess. I told her the other night that she was so pretty. She looked at me and said "I know." Well, I really love the self confidence.

My wife continues to be the rock and works very hard as our family continues to go through this. Right at this moment I am sore and tired. But, I have survived another fall and continue to be grateful to God for all he has done. I'm sorry to all those who read these blogs for not blogging more often. I'll try to do better.

Finally, I pray God's richest blessing on each of you and that his mercy will fall like rain on you and give you peace.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

It has been an interesting week. My counselor in Columbia felt it best that I just get treatment in Charleston. I have certainly worked on a lot with her and will miss her greatly. I also feel I have made a lot of progress with her but she was so gracious in the way she handled thing and I know in the end all she wants is the best for me and that is probably going to be in Charleston. None the less it was hard to realize that I won't be going over there to see her weekly or even every other week. So, another chapter closes in the journey that I have been on but a new one has opened up and I am excited about that.

There really isn't a lot more to say about the week. The girls are doing well and Cottia's softball team continues to win even though they did lose a game last week. It was our first loss of the season. I have been blessed to go to the games and sit in the care but I can see all of the action so I don't miss anything. Cottia got a hit and on base in that game and she made a wonderful stop in the outfield to prevent the other team from scoring another run so she is really becoming quite the little softball player. Eva continues to grow and really loves her school. She is making friends and doing well. We were home one evening, I don't remember which one, but she looked at me and said "Daddy I have a booger in my nose." So, I told her to go get a tissue and blow her nose. She did and proudly came back around to my den and showed it to me. All I could do was laugh.

Saturday was my cousin's youngest childs birthday so I took the girls to the party. The had a great time and I had a lot of help and was able to sit most of the way through. But, on the way out of the party there is a drop off from the concret. It is more like an incline. Well, I fell. I really hurt my knees and fell backwards on my backside and it really hurt my tailbone. I think I have aggrevated the tailbone break. But, the doctor's have already told me there is nothing they can do so I just have to endure it.

Last night we took Jason out for supper. His mother came and so did a family friend of ours. We ate at Pedro's the Mexican restaurant here in Swansea. We had them do the little birthday thing they do which entails putting a Mexican somprao on him, banging a can and giving him fried ice cream. We all has a good time and he told us he was going to be able to come to church today which was great.

His mom came with him which was great for him. This mornings service was also unique and very interesting as we had a Messianic Jew conduct the service and conduct the Sedor service which is the Passover meal. I really enjoyed that and learning how it clearly points to Jesus and the Messiah prophisied in the old Testament.

Then came the moment of truth. Jason came out to the car to say goodbye to our family. He really showed the girls how much he loved them and he gave Emily a hug and showed her how much she had meant to him. Then, he came around to me. I felt like a part of me was leaving because I know what he will go through having been in the Navy and going through bootcamp myself. I told him how proud of him I was and how we will miss him. I told him that I could not be more proud of him than I am at this moment. I tried to hold my emotions in but it was hard and I did shed a tear. But, I know we are sending him off in God's hands and this is the best option for him and for his future. So, we let him go and then came home. It was a pretty normal Sunday afternoon from there. Cottia did have practice this afternoon so Eva and I watched a movie and tried to do a few things but it really wore me down and now I am really beginning to feel some pain so I am in my chair and resting.

So, that was it. I go back to Charleston May 1st for my next appointment. In the mean time I will try to stay as busy as I can and do as much as I can to keep my strength. Once again, I pray God's blessings on you all and that his grace will fall on you and give you peace.

Have a great week and God bless,


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today was a day I had been looking forward to for sometime. I had my first session in Charleston. Jason went with me so I did not go alone. He was great company and it gave me the opportunity to be with him before he leaves for bootcamp on Monday. He will be in training over the weekend but we are hoping to get to do something with him Saturday evening. We will have to see if he can get there. He is going to check with his recruiter tomorrow and let us know.

The session went very well. I was having some tremors and my speech started off rough but once I settled down it got better. We talked about a lot of things and I truly believe the doctor down there can do a lot of good for me. One thing she said that was to my advantage was that she did not have to coax me to talk. It was obvious that I wanted to talk and that is always good. She did say that there will be days when I leave mad or frustrated because we are really going to have to deal with some very deep issues and it might get tough. She also said there may come a time when I have to choose between coming to Charleston or sticking with my counselor in Columbia but that is nothing to worry about right now. We will just have to see how things go. That would be hard for me because I really do love my counselor here but also know that the neuro psychiatrist is going to be good for me as well. I believe Charleston is the place where I can make the most progress if it comes to that but I hope it doesn't so we will see how all that turns out.

In the mean time, I will pray and leave that in God's hands and allow him to work. I am glad to be back home. I'm tired both physically and emotionally but it is good to be home and in my own chair.

So, life goes on. But, I do think I am going to see some progress and make some improvements. But, it is going to get dirty and there will be things I don't want to face but God has put me in this place at this time in my life so I can deal with them and heal so I can better serve him.

I pray God's blessings on you all and that his mercy and grace will fall on you all. Have a great evening.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Good evening, Not an aweful lot to blog about today. I took Cottia to school then went and got Jason. He spent the day here and is going with me to Charleston tomorrow. He now has his drivers permit so he can drive if necessary. I am excited to begin my treatments down there and feel this is a huge step towards recovery. I'm not sure what to expect tomorrow but we will find out when we get there.

Cottia had a softball game tonight and I am very proud to say that she got a base hit and drove in a run!! She expects to hit a homerun everytime so I am dealing with explaining that what she did is just as important as a homerun and she should want to hit a homerun but should be happy with just base hits. The ball park has been great about allowing me to park in the outfield so I can watch the games and I let Jason drive to give him some practice. He did pretty good and he will be just fine.

On a sad note, this is the last night he will spend with us for a while as he leaves Monday for bootcamp and then AIP back here at Ft Jackson. I hope we will get to see him from time to time while he is in training but we will see how that works out.

I actually felt pretty good today. I think it is the anticipation of what is going to happen in Charleston over the next few weeks and months. It has given me some hope that I was afraid I had lost.

So, that is about it. I'll try to blog about tomorrow depending on how tired I am. It will be a long day but one that is needed.

Once, I pray God blesses you and all who read this. I pray his grace will fall on you and that you will have peace and grace in your lives.