Friday, December 11, 2015

It's Been Awhile - a story about how I ain't got time for MS

I was reminded's been awhile since I've written a post.

If that Staind song is now playing in your head, you're welcome.

So what happened day, I picked my son up after a soccer game.  When he couldn't produce an answer to my typically elated "how was the game!" inquiry, I realized something was askew.  What, you ask?  Well, he took a ball to the head and couldn't quite fill in the details.  Annnd so we went to urgent care.

Proper use of blanket - affected

He was dx'd with a concussion.  Which is his 2nd one.  Honestly, it's probably his 3rd concussion, but the "first first" one didn't require more than some advil and rest.  It wasn't officially dx'd.  I can't leave out the fact that he's already gone through years of therapies to overcome a brain injury he sustained as a toddler.  And, like his mother, he's a migraineur.  Which makes brain stuff worse.  So. Yeah.

That blanket covered evening was about 3 months ago.  Since then, he's been to an extensive number of medical and therapist appointments.  A couple of weeks ago, he even had a fun little trip to the ER after a particularly concerning day in which he had become extremely confused and complained of a very localized, severe pain in his head.  CT negative, praise God.  Also praising God that there weren't any speed traps along the way as I was driving to the hospital, because that would have added even more dollars to this injury's bottom line.  

People ask if he's getting better.  I really don't know how to answer that, because it's so variable.  Over the course of a single day, his struggles vary from pain to dizziness to irritability to anxiety to visual disturbance and back to pain.  All the while?  He looks completely fine.  And that makes it a little more challenging.

We "invisible symptoms" folk know a thing or two about that...

I've stood by the mantra that none of this is about me.  But this is my blog - my outlet - and so I might just allow myself to take a moment to let it be.

It's been incredibly challenging to get him where he needs to be...when he needs to be...and be where I need to be...when I need to be.  The appointments and meetings feel quite constant.  Because they kind of are.  But I realized something the other day, as I was sitting in the quiet confines of my window tinted car (because my car is my cloaking device), with my eyes closed (because I was too tired to even "look"), quietly thinking to the Lord (because He hears me no matter what), explaining to Him that I was whole thing just...UGH!  I feel so frustrated.  Angry.  Exhausted.  Angry.  Spent.  And let's not forget angry.  Then, angry toward my poor husband, because he's not angry.  Sure, he cares and loves his son.  But he's not angry.  Which makes me angry.  Because seriously?  WHAT is broken in me??

WHY can't we all just agree to be angry on this???

Ohhhhh temper temper, there you are again ;)

I realized - or at least that moment of emotional spewing to the Lord under cover of my cloaking device helped me to see - that part of my intense anger stems from the fact that it's kinda close to home.  I get it.  I get the games he has to play as he navigates through this.  Some of you may also know these games.  They're entitled:

The "Let me put on my happy face and pretend that I'm okay, but I'm so not" game.
The "I can't think straight, but I don't want anyone to know it" game.
The "I'll do those tasks now, because I'm not able to do these tasks" game.
The "I'm kinda worried that I can't do those tasks I okay?" game.  
The "I can't see right and it's freaking me out" game.
The "What's that weird sound in my ear?" game.
The "Is this going to get better, or is it my new normal?" game.
The "No one understands me" game.
The "I just want to be alone" game.
The "I just want someone to reach out to me" game.
The "Nevermind, I guess I really do just want to be alone" game.

There are more, but...

So yeah.  That's what's been going on.  Handling lots of medical matters.  Managing life.  Or trying to.  And being angry.  But trying to hand that over to the Lord.  Truth be told, I'm pretty bad at handing things over.  Work in progress, right?

There are plenty of amazing things that have been and are happening throughout these months that I can focus on.  He has an incredible group of teachers coming to our home to teach him, since he cannot attend school for more than about an hour.  He's able to retain much of what they're teaching him, which is huge!  I've had some help in the way of rides for him and for our daughter, who also has places she needs to be.  He has a friend who reaches out at just the right times to check in on him, which is so helpful in keeping him connected.  He's been open and honest about struggles with panic attacks and I have been able to be with him in support. And surprisingly?  We've paid all but one of the many thousands of dollars in medical bills.  That was the hospital bill, so that's gonna be A. LOT. OF. COFFEES.

There.  I've appropriately ended on a positive note :)


Wishing you all wellness and happiness and blessings and things that are not anger!  Be well, friends!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Coffee Haitus...Let The Morning Mourning Begin

I'm coming off of a month-long virus, which has left me with a nifty souvenir called "laryngopharyngeal reflux".  This new foe doesn't travel alone.  It brings its cousin, laryngospasm.  And that only comes around at night, about an hour after I've fallen into a beautiful, sound sleep.  When I woke up with it the first time, unable to get air and nearly passing out, I didn't know what was going on.  Once I figured out that the best thing to do is everything I didn't do the first time, (like panic and try to breathe in as hard as I possibly could through my mouth, which only closes the throat even more and starts shutting the lights out) I'm finding that I'm able to combat it and stop the spasms in under 2 mins.  Which is good, because my son has finally stopped sleeping with the phone next to him, feeling as if he has to call an ambulance.

It's ironic how the tides have turned over the course of 16yrs.  I used to sleep on his floor, listening for any breathing issues or cries.  He slept in an upright car seat, well into toddlerhood, due to terrible reflux.  It would wake him throughout the night.  I would hear him stir, get into his line of sight, he would spot me, reach out, and I would be there.  Fast forward...I wake up with stridor, look out across the room, and there he is.

LPR.  Laryngospasm.  Legit stuff.  Stuff I gotta get rid of.

Reflux is no stranger of mine.  About 9.5yrs ago, I was hospitalized with bleeding ulcers and reflux.  It took a very long time to heal, but the purple pill + an H2 blocker + a super bland diet brought me back to my preferred salsa and peppers again.  The difference from 2006 to now is...I have discovered numerous issues I have with foods.

Apparently, the Reflux Diet of 2015 does not jive with me and my food situation.  Nor does it allow for my

So what's a girl to do?  A girl who loves coffee the way I do?  Who thinks about it as soon as her eyes open in the morning?  Who looks forward to it as she's falling asleep at night?

She gets up and paces the house, that's what.  She reads through the papers over and over again, trying to find the coffee loophole.  But there isn't one.  Not at all.

Instead, the papers suggest things such as wearing loose fitting clothing (wonder if pajamas are suitable work attire?), eating several small meals throughout the day (which I already do, since I'm in the habit from '06 reflux and also have low blood sugar), to exercise 3 to 4 times per week (which my legs have been arguing with me about), and to stop smoking (which I don't do).

Work with me, papers.  Please.

I read and read and read...and cleared my throat and coughed and felt pretty gross on the whole, just as I've been for a week or so with this.  Exercise kept jumping out at me from the paper.  My legs have been incredibly stiff, but the intense anger I felt when my poor husband casually appeared from the kitchen to say, " didn't make the coffee today?" was enough to send me right out the door.  Because the anger was bringing out my "temper temper" reminder.

I jammed my earphones into my unsuspecting ears, tried to stretch my legs as best as possible, and set out down the driveway for a walk.  About a mile into my let's-get-a-handle-on-our-anger walk (didn't think I could go nearly that far!), I realized that I couldn't stop thinking about the coffee I wasn't having today.  I couldn't sit and watch my husband drink his coffee, because I would want to knock it from his hand.  Instead, here I was...out on a painful, stiff, twitchie trek at 7am, sweaty and punchy and angry.  And then this song came on my iThingie, which was affixed to my hat, like old times:

Can I share the fact that I likened this entire song to coffee?  Is this a "sorry not sorry" thing?  I think yes.  Admittedly, I never really listened to the lyrics.  I have tons of dance music on my iThingie.  But this?  This speaks to me in this caffeine-free moment.  

The taste.  The smell.  The cognition it provides.  Without it, I cannot structure priorities.  Without it, I can barely put my shoes on the right feet.  I have a huge project coming up in about 2 weeks that I'm already nervous about if I can't have my coffee.  I have to work hard at bouncing back by following this stupid diet with this stupid menu and these stupid that I can get back to my coffee.

If you're still reading, I'm sorry.  I can't even organize my thoughts at this point.  All I can do is hit "publish" and hope for the best, because the thought of proofreading is exhausting me.  Come on, purple pill.  You did this for me once!  I know you can do it again.  Get me back to health.  Back to a place where my throat isn't all jacked up.  Back to the times when I could sleep without waking up choking.  Get me I can be here:

"My love for you.  No one else will do."  Especially not you, green tea.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Anxiety Got Me Like... (A story about an upcoming road trip)

That awkward moment when you sit and stare at the blank blog page in front of you, your mind spins in 182 different directions (give or take) and you can't even get your first sentence out.

There.  Now that that's outta the way...

So my son has been invited by a college to visit a preview day.  That happens all the time, right?  Colleges send stuff out in masses to high schoolers, us parents take a peek and toss the marketing media into the recycling bin.  Or is that just me?  Anyway, this was different.  My son has never received anything before, because he's only going into his sophomore year.  To make the receipt of this information even more special is that it was an actual letter.  Addressed to him.  From a school that specializes in his particular passion.  Located in the very city he has his heart and mind set on.  You guys, if you could have seen his face upon reading this letter and accompanying brochure.  Wow-just-wow.  I knew then and there I had to make this visit happen for him.  Before I allowed myself to think too much, I did this stuff...

I told God I felt a little crazy, but I was going to go ahead with this.
I submitted a time off request for work.
I registered him for the event.
I told my son he was going.
I held back tears when I saw his priceless reaction of "REALLY, MOM!?!?!"
I yelled back "REALLY!!!"
And then I started thinking.

Bad move.

As I began to map the drive out, my thoughts immediately began to consider ms.  With a bladder that wishes to empty on a 45-60min 'sitting' schedule, that's 3-4 stops.  Got it!  But wait.  This is a big city, which means big traffic...not the sort we're used to out here.  After consulting family members, I decided to take their advice and book a hotel room near to the city, yet out far enough in "Bumpkinland" for me to feel comfy.  It reduces my drive the morning of.  But wait, the next wave of mailings say that parking on campus is discouraged and to take the bus, then a cab.

Okay no.

"If you do wish to park on campus..." (yes, go on) "please consult the enclosed campus map and driving directions.  The enclosed parking permit will be required for use."

Okay good.

But wait.  Let's take a look at this place on the google map.  Why is everything a one way street?  What's the name of that building?  It's blurry in the street level view, but it sure doesn't look like the name they're citing on this brochure.  Great.  Google map is probably wrong.  I can't tell.  Is that seriously where I'm supposed to park?  And is it one of those parking garages that leaves 2" in between cars or am I going to be able to pull in and actually get out without climbing through the back hatch?  (I've had to do that before, people)  How far is the walk from the parking garage to where we check in?  This day runs from 8:30-4:30.  How much walking is that going to be and are there bathrooms all along the way?  Because I'm on like an 'every 10min of walking' bladder schedule.  The date of this thing is awful close to when I've been getting those wicked cluster headaches for the past 3 months.  If I get one of those while I'm down there, I won't be able to do the tour without throwing up.  That would be a great first impression.  This brochure says you can call ahead for accommodations if you have a disability.  I wonder what accommodations those would be?  Like if I get a headache, will they give me a bucket to walk around with?  Would they come pick me up from the parking garage after I crawl and roll out of the hatch of my car on a golf cart and drive me behind the group as if I were in a parade?  Or can I just send my son off with a group and wait in a coffee shop as an accommodation?  Nice and close to a restroom at all times.  It's been taking me no less than 5 minutes to go.  I can't let my shy bladder get in the way of this opportunity for him.  Tour guide be all, "We've lost a guest."  Son be all, "That's my mom, she has ms.  She pees often and for long periods of time.  Carry on."  Speaking of lost, what if I get lost driving from the hotel to the college?  What if he's late? What if I have to go to the bathroom and I'm stuck in traffic and can't?  What if I get lost, after being stuck in traffic, having to pee, with a cluster headache???????

If you read that entire last paragraph as fast as you can, you will have a glimpse into my mind at 3:28am this morning.  At 4-something-am yesterday morning.  And at 2-something-am the morning before.

Why is it so easy for me to not worry about the matter of "how will this education be paid for"?  I'm not at all concerned with that, just as I'm not concerned with how my daughter will attend the college she has her heart set on.  I have the full understanding, peace, and confidence that, if it's what God would have for my kids, He will provide the opportunities to earn the tuition.  When it comes to the part about my role in simply getting my kids to these places?  Commence freak show.  And yes, I have a prescription?  But I'm too afraid to take the pills.  No, really.  If I told you just half of the reactions I've had from meds, you'd understand.

This morning's early wake up call from anxiety brought me straight to the coffee maker.  As I sighed, turned on the computer, and clicked on my radio station, the song "Greatness of Our God" was playing.  And this song?  Happens to speak to everything I've been feeling.  As I was quietly sipping coffee and singing lyrics, I was like...oh.

Give me eyes to see
More of who You are
May what I behold,
Still my anxious heart.
Take what I have known
And break it all apart
For You my God, are greater still.

Thanks, Lord.  I'll try to stop spinning in my crazy, ms-fueled, worrisome thoughts.  Keyword:  Try.

I'll try to enjoy these moments for what they are...the very opportunities that God provides.  I'll try not to let this stupid disease steal my joy and peace.  I want my life to be about being a mother, not a mother with ms.  Just a mother :)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I'm Already Up Coughing...May As Well Write! (A story about bruises and college and second chances)

To paint the picture...

If you had the misfortune to see me in my entirety, you'd find that I'm more bruises than not.  I've been coughing for about a week, which has done the whole "hey let's inflame everything in her rib cage" deal.  I have some bruising in that area.  In addition, I fell down the stairs earlier this week.  The big ones, not the smaller staircase, because I go big or go home!  Lots of scrapes and bruises to note.  At least my arm is at the purple phase, which we all know means "almost healed".

And sleep?  That's pretty tough.  Between coughing (which brings about the bladder's response) and all over pain from all the bruises, sleep is hard to come by.  You know it's a rough spell when laying still is painful.  

But I don't have time for sleep, you see!  I'm too excited about stuff and being all reflective-like ;)

In just 3 more hours of coughing, my daughter will be checking in to a summer scholars program at a university!  Not just any university, but the one she has her heart set on.  This program is such an exciting opportunity for her, as it speaks directly to her favorite things:  Writing, literature, and God.  She worked hard to get into the program, then worked equally hard to pay for it.  I really can't describe how proud we are of her, as well as how excited we are for her!  The opportunity to attend this program...centered around the things she the school she wants to attend.  Like seriously.  It doesn't get any better.

Wait.  It does, actually.

Speaking of God...

I can't help but feel like this day is a 2nd chance of sorts.  See, back in 1990, my mom took a very anxious me to college.  That awkward struggle of carrying suitcases to the front desk in order to find out where your room is.  The awkward social moment when you walk into that room, bright eyed and bushy tailed, hoping to be met with the friendly face of a person you would be living with for the next year.  Instead, my bright eyed/bushy tailed self was met with a look of annoyance and borderline disgust.  My roommate was a sophomore who made it plain knowledge that she didn't want to room with a freshman.  Meanwhile, there stood my mom, bags in hands, awkward smile on her face.  She showed such kindness to this girl in trying to strike up friendly conversation, offering to rent a refrigerator for us to share.  The roommate rolled her eyes and said she didn't need one.

What wasn't needed?  Was my mom receiving attitude.  But I let that go.

As the weeks went by, the roommate's plan to make my life hell and push me out of the room became more and more apparent.  I tried to reason with her.  Tried to compromise.  Tried to be kind.  Alas, she continued her blatant antics, which escalated tremendously over the course of however long it was until my reasoning turned into...temper temper.  I'll skip the full details, because they're not important, right?  The story ends with me being thrown out of the dorm.

Though I still stand by my actions (one of those "sorry not sorry" moments before that was an actual thing), the part I always wished I could have a redo on was the awkward drop off moment with mom.

Fast forward to present day...

In God's goodness, He brings it all full circle.  This time, I will get to be that mom, dropping her daughter off at college with bursting suitcases (for like, 9 days' worth of classes, but still).  And who will one of the family members standing there with me be?  My mom.  That's pretty neat :)

Scripture says it best:  "See, I am doing a new thing.  Now it springs up.  Do you not see it?  I am making a way..."

Bruises and coughing and lack of sleep can't put a damper on this moment.  The bladder can, but I'm going to try not to think about that.

Oh great.  Now I'm thinking about that.

As I prepare to watch the sun come up over a cup of coffee, I can't help but think back to my college years.  After all, they were some of the most painful times in my life.  Things that go way beyond being expelled from a dorm in my first year.  Now that my kids are looking at schools, I find myself asking God to give them...better.  I don't know exactly what to ask for, just what to ask to "not", if that makes any sense.  I know He has it.  He hears me and translates the mess.

Speaking of messes...c'mon, with me today...we got this ;)

Ah yes.  Time to enjoy this coffee and remember to take the stairs nice and slooooooow...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

When MS Sends You Home From Work...Unexpectedly

MS and I have a pretty good working relationship.  After all these years, it seems that we have an understanding.  And my working conditions are fabulously geared toward compromise.

For example, if ms decides my eyes shall not clearly distinguish the contrast of the font on my computer monitors, I can shut the lights off in my office, which allows me to read my screens with ease.  Well, aside from the black floaties in my right eye.  But still, I'm able to read.

If my hearing is buzzing in and out in my left ear, I can turn music on to overshadow the bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  If my hearing is ultra sensitive, which it usually is, I can turn music on to drown out the sudden noises that take place outside of my office, or knocks on my door.  If my brain is moving like a pinball that's just been shot out of the hatch, I can turn music on to distract it.  Bottom line?  Music is on.  And, since I'm in the room alone, it isn't an imposition to anyone else.  Win/win.

If I'm feeling stiff/sore from sitting too long, I can stand and type.  I have a window I can stretch in front of and stare up at the beautiful sky from.  God bless those who may be walking by as this is taking place.  I can also take a short break to go outside the building and walk around a bit.  That often helps to loosen my legs and refresh my brain.  Again, win/win.

If my feet are tingling and my shoes are strangling them, I can slip those shoes off and hide them under my desk for quick replacement in the event that someone needs to stop by to see me.

I have plenty of space to store my water, Pepsi, almonds, sunflower seeds, etc.

I work as quickly as my brain goes (200mph) and thoroughly enjoy being able to go at my own (ludicrous speed) pace.  Yes, that was a shameless Spaceballs reference.

And?  I have sick time.  Ya know, for when ms decides it shan't work with me.

Today is that day.

Folks needed to do some construction work in close proximity to my office.  The thumping and banging set into my feet.  More banging.  Thumping.  Bumping.  Then lots and lots of banging.  I was vibrating from feet to face.  More and more banging, bumping, thumping.  The vibrations morphed into the sensation of barbed wire, wrapping around my arms, legs, and feet, squeezing.


That ouch became a serious ouch, which became a concession.  It was time for?

(drum roll) 

Sick time.

Fast forwarding to laying as still as possible here at home...with a soft and fluffy kitty cat...who's kinda really good at knowing when I need her to be a nice kitty...the barbed wire is loosening a little...into a mix of sharpness and vibrations...instead of just squeezing stabbies...which, to me, means it's improving.

Today may have been your day, ms.  But?  Tomorrow shall be mine.  Because that's how we do.  We compromise like that ;)

Speaking of compromise, I sent a note to the cute guy with the fancy hat in that picture below to let him know I was on my way home for an ms sick day.  You see, he's the ultimate provider and protector.  And when he loves you?  Really, really loves you?  As he loves this family, and maybe like...2 other people?  He'll move mountains for you.  Tonight, he'll be moving the mountains of laundry baskets around.  Because if he doesn't, he won't have stuff to wear to work tomorrow.  And one of us has to make it through a full work week, right?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Sequel to...REMIX: Temper Temper, A Kid's Soccer Game, And How God Keeps Me Classy

Here I am again, finding myself needing to follow up to the remix of my son's soccer post.  It's like the recurring post that keeps giving, right?  But really.  This is a neat ending :)

To summarize:

Part 1:  I attend a ladies' prayer breakfast twice a year.  I left the last breakfast early so I could attend my son's soccer game.  He had a bad game and was the subject of some very negative, unkind speech from a particular person.  It required every ounce of personal fortitude and newly acquired peace I had gained at the ladies' breakfast to keep my mouth shut.  Wait.  Some of that strength also came from my legs and eyes, because those acted up on me in my fury.  But!  No retaliatory words were had and the world of all that is youth soccer continued to spin.  Imagine that.

Part 2:  A short while ago, I learned my son would have greater interaction with the person in this new season.  My immediate thought was to have him moved to a different team, different age group, heck...maybe a different town?  Alas, I decided to stay out of God's way.  I mean, there are no coincidences in this life.  He ended up on that roster, a roster which a volunteer surely spent a great deal of time working on.  We're all in each other's lives for reasons.  We cross each other's paths for reasons.  It really all ends up being used by God.  So yeah.  I decided to stay out of it and told God, as I often do:

"I'm giving him to you, Lord.  He's yours before he's mine.  I'll let you work it out."

I say that, but don't let me fool you.  My heart doesn't always get that message.  They're all the right words, but I don't have it down to the point where I can actually feel the peace of them.  Work in progress ;)

Part 3:  Today, I attended another ladies' prayer breakfast.  Again, it coincided with my son's season opening soccer game.  But this time?  I didn't leave early to go see the game.  I wanted to enjoy the experience from start to finish.  To rest in the Lord for those few hours.  To shut off the noise of the world around me.  To spend time with my daughter and my friends.  To forget about my health.  To hear the message.  To just be.

When we got back home from this beautiful breakfast, my son was making lunch for all of us.  I - slightly nervously - asked him how his game went.  He was very excited to tell me that it was GREAT!  Great?  No.  GREAT!  Okay, well that's awesome!


I, still that mom who remembers all the speech/occupational therapy homework assignments that he and I have completed together during his early childhood, instinctively went to leading questions:  "What made it great?  Give me one thing."

He began to tell me how the coach honored him after the game by saying he was the biggest contributor of the day and that he wanted him to have a patch for his jersey to commemorate his efforts.

I'm sorry.  What?

"Yeah, he said I tried really hard.  And he said something about getting me a patch." was a really good thing that I was in the kitchen and he was telling me this from the living room, because I was overwhelmed.  Tearful.  Proud of this kid.  Humbled by God's mercy and grace.

All I could think of, back when those awful comments were flying last season, was - if that person could only know what this boy is all about.  To know what he's overcome.  To know how hard certain things are for him and what kind of effort they require.  The great offense I had taken was not because of actual words spoken, it was because I wanted someone to look past outward shortcomings to see just a glimpse of who this kid is.  But honestly, that's a pretty tall order.  After all, it's really just a youth soccer game.  Spectators aren't there to assess the content of a player's heart or appreciate his/her "story" as they're out there trying to kick a ball into a goal.

Well, consider me humbled.  The very thing I was so offended over was reconciled in the first game.

His ways are not my ways.  His timing is not my timing.  If I can just continue to remember to stay out of his way... :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Day My Kids & I Ran Away...

When your computer shuts down on you for the fourth time...
And you're essentially the only person in the building, since it's a holiday break...
And your eyes are working together...
And your legs are at about a 7 on your made up steadiness scale...

You decide to lock up shop and go home.  Home is where your kids are.  Ya know, on holiday break and such ;)

My instructions were:  Get up.  Get food.  We're outta here!  Where?  Wherever! Wherever a little over 1/4 tank of gas and $10 in cash will get us - one way.  We'll then put enough gas in the car to get home.  That's where.

Petting zoo - after 17yrs, it never gets old...

Random lake!

Kids taking panoramics with their phones...

Insert laughter...

Taking in the beauty and the sounds of like...nothing :)

When in a strange land, the native Walmart is all the more strange.

We picked Sia up with our $10!!!

Went to Cabela's, 'cause Cabela's is cool!
They were anxious for my descent.  No worries!  I got this!

Fudge shop!

This is the "take sunglasses off the display and get a picture" picture!

My daughter touching the top of the mountain...

We laughed.  We got a little lost.  We laughed again.  We drove on roads we'd never seen before.  We got a little more lost.  We laughed to excess!  And yes, we had to stop so that I could use a bathroom.  Often.


That's what it's all about.  The hugs I got from my kids that night, once we decided to finally come home, reinforced my theory :)

Taking advantage of the good days...making memories...laughing until we could barely breathe...eating little bags of snacks for dinner...stopping to use random bathrooms...singing...yelling "MOOOOO!" to cows minding their own business in various farm fields...singing again...laughing again...and using more bathrooms.

That sun though ;)

Praising God for that good day...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Taking MS To A College Open House

Here's a little insight in order to set the stage:

My daughter is a highly intelligent, sweet spirited, obedient, attentive, detail-oriented 17yr old.  She struggles with anxiety, but has shown great successes in managing it over the years.  She likes rules.  Rules provide her a sense of comfort.  Rules equal consistency and predictability.  Rules are good.

Me?  I don't do well with rules.  I mean, when it comes to my job and such, sure.  But just general rules?  I find them restrictive.  Constrictive.  Like an MS hug that swallows me up.  Like laying in a closed MRI.  Stifling.  Rules are annoying.  Especially when I'm fighting through a flare.  The only rule I want is like - mandatory nap time.  That's a rule I can get with.


There were plenty of directional signs, complete with celebratory balloons, to properly guide me to the right location.  Did I follow them?  No.  I determined, from the appearance of the main building, that parking in a different lot would bring us closer to where we needed to enter.  It's about conserving steps, right?  Right.  As it turns out, I walked about halfway to the building and realized that I had the wrong building.


I handed my daughter the keys and asked her to go get the car and bring it down into the lot we were standing in.

her:  "No, Mommy!  (I love that she calls me that)  I only have my permit.  I can't drive your car by myself!"
me:  "Oh come on, it's a parking lot!"
her:  "I can't.  I don't even have my permit along with me."
me:  "Are you kidding me right now?  You are not getting pulled over in a parking lot.  Just go get the car and bring it down here."
her:  "No.  I can't do it."

Back we walked.  Me, restraining myself from asking her again if she was kidding me.

You'll be happy to know that I parked the car in the right lot (right where the signs ended...oops?) and we made our way to the registration area.  This area was at the top of a steep walkway.  Important to the story, because "steep" and I don't play well together.  "Steep" invites our friend, Lhermitte, to the party.  And since we were partying, vertigo and twitches and tremors of my entire arm and numb fingers and eye flies decided to join in.  All at once.  


We were greeted by a wonderful group of students who made the mistake of inviting me to ask any questions.  

"Yes, where is your nearest restroom?"

After over 10 minutes of "I feel like I have to, but nothing is happening, wait, no there's nothing in there, wait I do have to go, okay no, false alarm, oh here it comes, do I have to keep going or...?" I was finally on my way to find my child and move onto the next step of the open house.  We found seats (near the door for quick bathroom escapes) in the auditorium and waited for the speakers to begin.  They were quietly playing some of our favorite contemporary Christian songs, pre-speakings.  I looked over at her as she was reading the contents of her registration packet.  I wondered...when did this happen?  When did we get from me going to college to her going to college?  Look at her.  She's already studying, carefully noting each break out session, choosing which she wanted to attend.  Look at her.  She's amazing!  Look at her.  She's so beautiful.  Just look at her.  Stop tearing up.  Stop looking at her.

Thankfully, I had to pee again.  Otherwise, she'd have caught me.

The speakers were each fantastic.  I had ample time to rejuvenate, or not.  We were ready to set out on...a walking tour!


I stumbled my way, trailing far behind the group, throughout the majority of the visit, until I finally conceded..."You go ahead, don't worry about me, I'm just going to hang out right here!"

As I leaned against a steel post and stared across the beautiful ponds, all I could do was think:  How are we ever going to pay for this?  She's so happy and filled with wonder.  We can't disappoint her.  My present state is not very comforting.  This flare has been with me for a long time, just changes its face here and there.  Are my legs coming back today?  Are they coming back at all?  Would this thing in my back stop grabbing me and squeezing with all its might?  The tour guide kept having to stop for me.  Two of the women in our little tour group couldn't stop staring at me.  They probably thought I was drunk.  Hey, maybe they'll give her a full scholarship if they think I came to the open house drunk!  No, don't think that way...that's not funny.  Who am I kidding, that's VERY funny!  But I should probably get a walking aid.  If my son had come along, he could help me.  He could find campus security for a golf cart ride...or a walking stick...or stand nice and strong so I could put my arm around his shoulders and use him as my walking aid.  Hmmmmm, I'll bet this is exactly why he didn't want to come along, because he's my helper dog and he's probably getting burned out.  Yep, I'm burning him out.  I'm a burden.  Just one big burden.  (more tears)

And then - literally then - my phone went off.  It was him, asking what chores he could do and telling me that he hoped we were having a great time... :')  

The leaning and resting was helpful.  I was able to get myself back to the main area and attend the 2nd half of the event.  Well, with modifications...

her:  "We're supposed to meet in the library lobby to tour the science labs."
me:  "But the labs are in this building."
her:  "We're supposed to meet in the library, Mommy."
me:  "We're already in the right building.  Let's go to the lab awhile, I wanna see it!"
her:  "We shouldn't be..."

:::I was already heading to the elevator:::

I was gazing through the window at the lab, imagining all the super cool stuff they do in there.  I thought about the awesome conversation my daughter and I had with the Biology professor earlier in the day.  Science was my absolute favorite subject in school and college...who knew I was a business major, right?  To see the spark in my daughter's eyes as she spoke with the prof was really, like, wow!  Because she was thinking she'd be an English teacher...until she got talking to this woman, sharing with her just how exciting she finds the sciences to be...she can't wait to take a genetics/immunology class next year as a senior, and how the professor was equally excited, explaining how much she'd love their current genetics study with flies!  I saw a little of myself in that moment.  And I knew, as I replayed all of that, that my daughter needed to have that lab tour.

her:  "Mommy.  Seriously.  We HAVE to go back over to the library lobby."
me:  "It makes no sense when we're already here.  We'll just go to the lobby of THIS building.  We're ahead of the tour!  We're overachieving!"

The reality?  I wasn't sure I was making it back over to the library, then backtracking to the current building, then wherever else we had to go before driving home.  

A few minutes later, the Biology professor walked through the lobby doors and gave us a hearty greeting!  She said that she thought everyone wanting a tour was meeting in the library lobby, to which my daughter gave me one of her disapproving looks and replied, "Yes.  I know.  I told her that."  I explained that I really don't do well with rules.  The prof thought that was pretty funny!  My daughter, seeing the response to my level of crazy that I had no reservations sharing with a professor of a college she is highly interested in, shook her head.  I then told the prof I'm "that kind of Christian".  My daughter froze in embarrassment...

The professor stopped, turned to me and said, "the fun kind!?!"

:::a friendship was born:::

Apparently, the rule followers of the group did not add up to a high enough number with which to have a tour of the science lab.  So what happened?  The prof was contacted and told she had no tours coming, close up shop.  But?  She knew the staggering, stumbling woman and her poor daughter were eagerly waiting!  This kind soul gave us a personal tour of ALL the lab areas, the science offices, the study areas, and the equipment rooms.  Also?  My daughter got to see the current experiments, the actual flies with various eye colors, as well as the professor's own studies, under her own microscope.  

Had I followed the rules, I would have had a better parking space.  A better space may have given me more steady steps.  More steady steps would have made me appear more normal.  But I didn't need 'em, because God already worked it out.  Just as the speakers in the very beginning of the event said, God takes our decisions and works them out...anyway.  Anyway!  Despite me and my limitations that I often don't want to concede to.  Despite my bullheaded-ness.  Despite not following rules that I deem unimportant, restrictive, MS hug-ish, MRI-ish.  He works it out.  And if she's meant to attend this wonderful school with this incredible professor, He'll work that out too.

There.  That all feels rather...freeing!

Too pretty not to share :)

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free..." - Galatians 5:1

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ain't Got Time For MS

I'm not sure what it is about today, but ms is taking its "awareness" month to a whole new level.  Sneak attack-style.

I was about 1/4 of the way through the grocery store when it hit.  Hard.  To the point where I nearly fell over.  I then made the mistake of looking down to the bottom shelf (stupid ketchup...that should be top shelf, people) and my legs buckled on me.

Dear Lhermitte's Sign:  Love ya like a hangnail.  You, vestibular disturbance, visual disturbance, and lack-of-caffeine disturbance.

I made my way through the store by leaning my entire upper body on top of the cart handle.  Yes, I smashed my cart into stuff.  Yes, some people stared at me as if 9am was too early to be that drunk.  Yes, one woman whispered to another and both stared.  No, I didn't care - nor did I explain that I actually don't drink, thankyouforyourconcern, and you're mocking a woman who would ordinarily kick your tail if she wasn't trying to live life the right way (and if she could see/stand on her own 2 feet).  Anyway, since both my mother and my husband were working, I couldn't call for back up.  My options were:  Leave the cart.  Finish the task.  People, that cart was the only thing keeping me on solid ground.  I went with "finish the task".

I'm really too busy with blessings and excitement to be bogged down in and/or by ms right now.  I was thinking of those things as I dragged and stumbled my way through the store.  I was thinking of those things as I drove home.  I was thinking of those things as I barely made it into my living room from the car.

These things:

Let me explain...

See, over the next month, there are so many awesome things happening in my kids' lives, which means so many awesome things happening in my and my husband's lives.

Those dress shoes are my daughter's.  She's looking forward to attending her high school prom in a gorgeous dress, which I could have tossed into the picture, but it's bagged in plastic.  I knew you'd understand.  Her prom date is a wonderful, kind, thoughtful young man.  We really couldn't love him more than we already do.  God has His way of surrounding our kids with incredible peers.

The other items belong to my son.  The briefcase contains nearly a full year's worth of hard work and research that he's done on a bill he's written for a Youth & Gov't conference he'll soon attend.  Last weekend, it won rave reviews by his peers and YAG leaders.  Those new spikes are for his upcoming soccer season, which he's very excited for.  And the envelope?  Contains a letter that says, "Welcome to..." our local community college.  He is following in his sisters footsteps by registering as a dual enrollment student for the '15-'16 school year.  He's making major decisions in his education, which we're in full support of.  Sure, we had a choice to tell him he's too young...why don't you wait to do all this...can't you be 10 again?  But the truth of the matter is, it's all a part of his growth and our job is to step out of his way.  Typing that to remind myself ;)

Add these blessings to the upcoming college visits my daughter will be doing (with son along for brotherly approval)...and I really just don't have time to be sick.  Don't have time to walk around with pool noodle legs.  Don't have time to see through a kaleidoscope.  No time for Lhermitte's Sign, ms hugs, or prickly nerve pain across my face.

Definitely no time for that :-)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

REMIX: Temper Temper, A Kid's Soccer Game, And How God Keeps Me Classy

Several months ago, I was led to write a post about my challenge with controlling my ridiculous temper.  A temper, which morphed into some sort of tornadic, inner struggle that could best be depicted by this:

To catch you all up - it was a soccer game...a parent, standing behind me with a small group of fellow parents, was making extremely negative and mocking comments about certain players.  Mostly mine.  Especially mine.  It took every ounce of self-control to maintain myself.  I ended up a physical mess from it.  And now you're up to speed ;)

I am no surprise to myself, people.  I'm well aware of my biggest challenges.  My temper has always been #1.  I've written before about my fight/flight mechanism being broken, thereby stuck on "fight".  With God's help - or at least with what I have turned over to Him - I've made great strides in...keeping it classy.  By His grace.  But there is so much work yet to do...

So anyway, I've just been made aware that my son will have greater interaction with the person I had written about back in September.  Admittedly, as I read this, my right eye began to twitch to the point where I wondered if I had misread the webpage.  Alas, the eye stabilized, but the information did not change.  I could feel that 'thing' I get in my chest start up.  The heat rose into my face.  I turned to look at my son, who was peacefully reading, feet up on table, cat draped on his shoulder.  And the fight switch flipped.

"Nah.  I'm gonna get in between him and the situation.  Totally gonna..."

I began to construct an email to see if I could make a change.  But?  As I typed with "totally gonna" fingers, which are definitely sans dexterity, something stopped me.  Well, aside from the overflow of right hand tremors and resulting typos.

Over the past couple of months or so, my son has surprised us in big ways with stepping outside of his comfort zone in the pursuit of...growth.  No really, he's literally said, upon making a decision (ie. to try out for the school play), "...because it will help me grow."  He is no surprise to himself.  He knows his biggest challenges.  He wants to overcome them.  He has come to embrace the things we've said to him, one of which was, "we don't grow when we stay comfortable".  Comfort, for him, is withdrawing from situations.  So he's been praying for strength, right?  And God is totally setting thing after thing in front of him as opportunities to grow in his faith walk.

But there I was.  Typing.  Typo'ing.  Twitching.  Totally gonna.

...which makes me a hypocrite.

I write this post with great humility and in a spirit of confession - both maternal and "I'm trying to grow in my walk with the Lord" confession.  I nearly got in the way!  It's no accident that things have lined up the way they have.  Even if it goes horribly wrong, because I'm really good at thinking that way right off the bat, God will be in it.  And maybe?  It will go horribly right.  Maybe this person will come to see my son's willingness to try his best out there.  Maybe this person will come to understand that he doesn't particularly like the sport, but he plays it because, and I quote, "it helps me grow".  After every single season, he's told me he's not going to play again.  When registration opens, he tells me to sign him up.  Because?  He wants to grow.

So let him grow, self.  God's in the details.  Stand down.  Step aside.  'Git out the way.  This inner swirl of "fight" that kicks up and turns into something that has to be managed like-stuffing-a-hurricane-into-a-bottle is only appropriate and helpful when it comes to one thing:  Fighting MS.  Aside from that?  It kinda has no place.

"Let the message of Christ dwell richly" is the goal...not "let the big bad wolf (as depicted in son's drawing from grade school, which he drew for one of his evaluations, no less - and boy was THAT an interesting conversational piece with the therapist) step in and right the ship that hath not yet been wronged"

Humbling myself before all of you and the Lord.  Sharing my weaknesses to draw on His strength.  Not ashamed to put myself out there and look pretty silly in the process, because my #2 biggest struggle?  Is anxiety.  And I often get super anxious when I show my vulnerabilities.  And what makes me feel most vulnerable?  MS and the majority of its symptoms.  It all ties together.  In my hole-filled head, at least :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Maybe, Just Maybe...(I've reached the top of this flare? And we can sled downhill now?)

I'm just going to get real for a moment and say...

Yesterday was kinda rough.  Like the roughest over the past couple of weeks.

I'm talkin' "falling asleep in the bathroom" - rough.  Actually, while perched on the throne.  How's that for embarrassing?  Although it could have been worse.  I could have fallen off.  When you have a background in medical coding for an emergency dept, you know just how real the possibilities are...

But?  I did my best to keep my head up and press on through each situation that presented itself.  By dinnertime, I was done.  By bedtime, I felt like I - and pretty much everyone else - would probably appreciate me a whole lot more if I never got out of bed the next morning.  In fact?  I was positive that 'everyone else' wanted that.  February is usually too early in the year for that depression 'voice', yet it was there.  And it was loud.  And it was really trying to beat me down.  And it worked, because I woke up this morning with dried tears on my face and my pocket bible in my right hand.

Waking up can sometimes be an event, right?  For me, I can feel my brain attempting to recalibrate.  It tries to cycle through "what day is it" and "what time is it" and "let's get up and go to work/gym/breakfast (depending on the day)" and "but first, coffee!"  That's what it did this morning...all prior to 4am.  I woke.  I immediately knew it was Wednesday.  I felt the dried tears on my face.  Unclutched my pocket bible.  Fumbled for my cell phone to check the time.  Made my way to the bathroom mirror.  Rinsed my face.  Stared into my eyes and had a feeling come over me that was a lot like this:  "Yesterday is over.  You are not staying in bed.  This feeling that 'everyone would appreciate it if you just went into hiding and never came out' is a lie.  Probably.  Even if it's not, you have to keep going.  Get your coffee.  Get yourself to work.  You can do this."

Well okay then, inner-boxing-trainer-with-slight-measure-of-doubt voice?  I'll choose you over that other one ;)

I was at work before 6am, trying to "outrun" the fatigue.  Wouldn't you worked!  Plus, my hair looked good.  Win/win.

I even got my son to his orthodontist appointment early.  Actually, too early.  As in nervous receptionist calling me to the desk, then following up with a sheepish, "We have you in the schedule for *March* 25th."  To which I said, "'re saying I'm too early?"  But she didn't laugh.  Instead, she began a series of apologies.  Finally, I interrupted with, "Listen, I'm just happy I was early for once!"  C'mon, lady.  This is a medical office and you're supposed to have medical humor.  Get on my level!  Life is short and so is my time between bathroom visits.  Let's laugh this one off, shall we?  My son sure did.  He was already at the door with his hand on the handle and a silly grin on his face.  He announced to the crowded waiting room,  "C'mon, Mom...let's go get you a coffee.  You did your best."

Okay, my dear helper dog.  I'd like that, thanks :-)

I even "almost" made it to the gym by 3:30pm, which was a personal goal.  That was "almost", because I made the mistake of laying down for just a minute, resulting in a 2.5hr nap.  But the mere fact that I thought of going to the gym was a small victory for where I'm at right now.  Progress, people!  I'll take it!

I hope - no, I actually think - yesterday was the worst day of this latest spell of yuck.  I'm looking forward to brighter days, which I know are just ahead.  Days which are beyond dried tear faces and sadness.  Beyond the thoughts that are probably not true, even if they feel like it.  Beyond fatigue.  Beyond fear.  My focus needs to stay on the Lord...on "one day at a time, one moment at a time"...on giving each day my very best.  Whatever that looks like.

And what it looked like today was knocking out a huge stack of tasks and getting my son to an appointment.  Twenty-eight days early.  This gives him yet another story for his "My Life With an MS Mom" book.

Bring it on, tomorrow.  My God is already there...

Yeah, I took this one :)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Embarrassing New Symptom

I don't know if you're at all like me in this regard, but when I notice a new thing?  I play a little game of "Would You Rather".

It goes a little something like:

"Hmm.  I can't stay awake.  It's been a couple of weeks of dozing off in random areas of my house.  I think this is ms-related.  Now 'Would I Rather' have this level of fatigue?  Or something else.  Eh, I guess I'll take this."

As if I have a say.

But I've started with a new thing.  A thing I'm finding to be quite embarrassing.  Writing about it will help me come to terms with it...I think.  As I made my way through the store today, that symptom was all kinds of "HELLO!" and I thought, "Well, 'Would I Rather' have this going on or...(fill in a plethora of other possibilities)?"

As if I have a say?

Anyway, I decided I would tell my husband of my new symptom.  He handled it as he handles anything new about staring blankly and wrinkling his mustache.  It's okay.  I know that wrinkle is done with full support ;)

When I have a new symptom, it seems to slap me upside the head a bit.  Because prior to that, I pretty much just do life.  I "mother", I work, I sleep.  But new symptoms have a way of reminding me that - oh yeah - I have this lifelong thing.  This thing that causes my son to worry and stare at me in fear when I wake darn near throwing myself off the chair I apparently fell asleep on - while sitting straight up.  Or dropping my container of almond milk, because of a poorly timed hand tremor.  As if there's ever a good time.  Or grabbing the wrong set of keys for the wrong car, then wondering why the key won't fit.  Stuff like that.  And I give myself a pep talk.  I say something like, "If this is your new normal, you can get through it."

As if I have a say...

Thanks for reading...if you've endured my ramblings this long.  Maybe by the time I write another post, I'll be over my temporary embarrassment and will openly share.  Y'all can be all, "Oh that?  Psht!  That's nothing to be embarrassed about, girl!"  And you're probably right.  No, you're definitely right.  I suppose I just need to walk out my process.

What runs through my mind at a time like this, in addition to the fact that I serve a mighty God, is the unpredictability of this life.  One minute it's one way.  The next?  It ain't.  In the meantime, all I can do is lean on the Lord and keep loving hard.  Loving hard, to me, means loving others with my whole heart.  Trying to show them that I truly believe John 1:5 and that I will do my best, in all my imperfections, to live it out.  That's something ms can never take away from me.

As if it has a say ;)

Meanwhile, here's a fantastic cover of Oceans...


Sunday, February 15, 2015

February Fatigue Meets Motherhood...Again.

THIS JUST IN!!!!!!!!!

I'm really tired.

Honestly?  I could end the post right there.  Y'all would totally understand.  Like this cartoon I recently found:

February seems to be a very "tired" month for me.  I realized this today, because I thought back to this time last year, when I was too exhausted to bake my husband's birthday cake.  And by baking I mean opening a box, cutting the bag of powdery magic open, haphazardly dumping it into a bowl, and adding my customary 3 ingredients.  But hey, it's all about God's provision and He provided in a beautiful, amazing way that I will never forget.  His cake was made for him.  Yet, for me.  Better than I've ever made it.  And that night will always be so incredibly special to me.  Always :)

See, wintertime is sleepy season.  But those of us with fuuuuhhhhteeeeg know that it's so much more than just being sleepy.  And summertime seems to be depression season.  I don't know which I like worse.  I don't know that it matters.

Anyway.  This past Friday, our amazing "little" girl turned 17.  We had so many plans to celebrate.  My mother had a rare day off, my kids are on winter break, and so am I.  We planned a "birthday crawl" in which we'd have an early breakfast at her favorite place, lunch at her favorite place, a giant family dinner, and maybe go out to the coffee house to listen to some local musical talents late that night.  You guys, I was SO excited for the day!  I woke up at my usual early morning time.  I consumed my usual amount of caffeine.  I sat in my desk chair and took. it. all. in.  17 years.  Where has that time even gone?  I grabbed the baby book and photo album.  I looked through the hospital pics of her in all her perfect beauty.  The smiles on my parents' faces.  I recalled the tears in my husband's eyes as he looked down at me and said, "You did great!"  That was right before my pressure dropped through the floor, monitors started singing, and the lights went out, but nothing's easy where I'm concerned ;)  I soaked it all in, reliving every beautiful memory.  Then, I looked at present day pictures and wiped tears from my eyes.  She's just so...awesome.  She always has been.  Where has the time gone?

No, really.  Where's the time gone...

Because I sat down in my desk chair at 6am.  How did 4.5hrs go by?  And lunch reservations with mom in an hour?  Good job, done missed stop #1 of the crawl.  And you don't even know how, do you.  At least dismount from the desk chair, drag a brush through your hair, and get to stop #2 on time, shall we?

By the time we got in from a fantastic lunch with Mom, I could barely keep my eyes open.  My daughter encouraged me to take a nap, but I was stubborn and insisted I was fine, I'd just watch a little tv.  Two hours later, I woke up?  Apparently, I missed the memo that the aforementioned nap was mandatory.  We made it to stop #3, the giant family dinner, with plenty of time to spare, but the coffee house wasn't happening.  Not even after drinking an entire little pitcher of coffee myself.  I didn't think the musical artists would appreciate the sight of a woman completely crashed out on one of the super plush chairs.

Fast forward to tonight.  My daughter and I spent the frigid afternoon together, running errands and having great time!  Came home and found that the men of the house had not only cooked dinner for the night, but also cleaned and folded laundry!  It was nothing short of wonderful.  Comfort food...fresh towels...perfectly swept floors.  I thanked them from the bottom of my heart and told them I couldn't wait to watch our movie rental, for which my daughter's friend would be joining us.  I went upstairs to exchange my clothes for pajamas.

(a la Spongebob)  Four hours later...

I woke up in total darkness.  Wait.  What time is it?  No wait.  What DAY is it?  Did I miss work?  Or is it morning.  Am I dreaming?  This is a dream.  Wait.  If it's morning, I need to get up and see what time of morning, wait.  It's night.  I remember putting my pajamas on and someone covered me with a blanket.  It was my husband.  Don't we have a movie to watch?  I'm hungry.


I staggered to the top of the steps and asked the question.  My daughter joyfully greeted me with, "Oh hi, Mom!" and I was all, "WHAT TIME IS IT!!!"  My son told me it was 7pm and asked if I "had a good sleep".  I couldn't respond, because I was still slightly panicked.  I asked what time her friend was coming over and she said, "I told him you were taking a nap and I'd let him know when you woke up."

Annnnnd with that, I retreated to the shower.  To cry.

I don't want to be the reason my daughter has to message a friend to say, "sorry you can't come over, because the dogs will bark and wake my mother." - who may or may not be in a coma.  I don't want my son to worry about me.  Lately, that's manifesting in anxiety.  See, I work where he attends school.  He stops by my office a few times each day to ask how I'm doing, but always attaches a "can I have a piece of gum?" or "can I borrow a quarter?"  I used to think he checked in with me - for himself.  I'm finally figuring out (through a teary chat with God as shower water streamed over my head and down my face) that he checks in with me - for me.  Nothing costs a quarter anymore.  And I thought it strange when I saw him stuff the piece of gum in his pocket, because I chew the cubes, which aren't individually wrapped.  Wish I'd have recalled that detail prior to putting those clothes through the laundry.  And he feels like he has to remind me of something over and over, but I got it.  He wants me to rest more, but I got it.  He wants to try to do things for me, but I got it.  Yes, my "having it" may translate to occasional coma naps every now and again, but it's my version of a series of sprints.  And I got it.

Time to get out of the shower so the rest of the night can go on...

I emerged from my tearful conversations with God, having new insight into my son's anxiety, smelling quite fantastic (thanks, Bath & Body!), stared at the bags under my eyes, and yelled out for my daughter.  "Yes?" she asked.

"Don't ever.  Ever.  Let me get in the way of something.  Tell your friend to get over here.  Right now."

And son?  "Yes?" he asked.

"I had a great sleep.  Thanks for asking."

God has given me so much.  He provides for my every need.  And He has blessed my husband and I with incredible kids.  I pray they will have been made stronger from the rough times they had seen as small children, back when I was violently ill from meds, falling all over the place, asleep more than I was awake, and having pseudobulbar crying/laughing spells.  I pray they will never be afraid of the unknown, but entrust it all it's the Lord's hands.  Because really, He's the only One capable of holding it.

No, seriously, because I'm dropping things left and right.