Friday, July 27, 2007

God Speaking

This song touched me during a particularly difficult day recently. I heard it twice that day and really tried to pay attention to the lyrics. It holds a powerful, uplifting message about God's love for us and how He sometimes chooses to show us.

Check out Ronnie Freeman's website to hear this song-

God Speaking

Have you ever heard a love song
That set your spirit free
Have you ever watched a sunrise
And felt you could not breathe
What if it’s Him, what if it’s God speaking

Have you ever cried a tear
That you could not explain
Have you ever met a stranger
Who already knew your name
What if it’s Him, what if it’s God speaking

Who knows how he’ll get a hold of us
Get our attention to prove He is enough
He’ll do and he’ll use whatever He wants to
To tell us, “I Love You”

Have you ever lost a loved one
Who you thought should still be here
Do you know what it feels like
To be tangled up in fear
What if He’s somehow involved
What if He’s speaking through it all

His ways are higher
His ways are better
And though sometimes strange
What could be stranger
Than God in a manger

Ronnie Freeman

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The long seizure- June 25

These past several posts have been flashbacks... can you tell I'm really behind? It's a reflection on my real life; I'm pretty much behind on everything.
I had planned for June 25 to be a super fun day. My sister Christy, my darling nieces Anna and Norah and my Nan were coming for a 3 day visit! We were going to have so much fun playing, eating and catching up on each others lives. It's a rare occasion for us to all be together for 3 days straight at our house.

The day started out with an early morning play date in our living room. Of course all the kids woke at their usual early hour and were itching to dig into the toys. My sister and I were sleepily sitting amongst them watching when we heard all the kids calling out, "Nan, Nan... Nan's awake!" I looked up just in time to see my sweet Nan standing at the top of our stairs waving. In extremely slow motion I then proceeded to watch her loose her hand grip on the railing, skid down a few steps then fall to the floor. Everyone screamed and cried as we rushed to help Nan. It was like a nightmare playing out in real time. You can probably guess what happened in the next several hours. We called 911, they arrived and took Nan to the ER. Christy and I waited with Nan to find out what the damages were and also to get some strong pain meds! After her discharge I drove Nan as gingerly as I could manage to meet my aunt in Chattanooga, so she could recover at home.
Driving back home I was completely drained. I felt sick that Nan was hurting and that we wouldn't be able to enjoy her company. But I was encouraged to think of all those smiling faces running up to me at home. I knew my precious sis was in need of help after keeping all 4 kids alone! (Thanks Chris)

As soon as I walked in the door my poor sister was holding Abby with a very concerned look on her face. I knew something was wrong. Abby was throwing up and I could tell she had spiked a fever as I carried her into our bedroom. While cleaning up her vomit I realized she was also starting to seize. Her temp was 102.5. I watched her for a few minutes, got out the Diastat and called our pediatrician. She continued to seize even after the Diastat had been in her system for several minutes. Called the doc back again. By this time Patrick was home and we were off to the ER.They gave her several more drugs in the ER to stop the seizure. At this point it had been over an hour since she started seizing. Our poor baby looked so pitiful with her glazed eyes, O2 in her nose and IV hanging from her little arm... a scene that has become too familiar.

After much debate about wanting to take her home, the ER doc convinced us to stay the night after Abby dropped her sats several times to the low 80's as we were talking. She rested ok during the night, but poor daddy had to sleep on that hard cot/couch thing they had in the room.

At our follow up visit with her neurologist we discussed her seizure log and the recent event. He suggested considering something called Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy. It would involve implanting a small device in her chest with electrodes wrapped around her vagus nerve in the neck. The device would deliver 30 sec of electrical impulses every few minutes (as programmed by the doctor) so as to interrupt any seizure inducing electrical storms in the brain. We have received some materials on this treatment, and have spoken with a family who has recently implanted their child. He has now been seizure "free" for 26 days since implantation. The therapy also provides a magnet that can be used to wave across the device in the chest to deliver an extra impulse when we see a seizure coming. It is supposed to stop it. We might also be able to wean her off the some of her anti-epileptic drugs... a major plus!!

One more thing to consider for our darling Abby.

"Lord give us wisdom to make the best choice for our girl."

Monday, July 23, 2007

June 21- Sister in History

I remember the first time I read the story of Helen Keller. I was about 11 years old living in China with my family. I started the book one Saturday morning and was so engrossed in her story and so moved by her life that I skipped lunch and kept reading until I finished it.

With a tear stained face and a heavy heart I put the book down, but felt strangely connected with Helen Keller. Her tenacity and ability to learn language, not only English but several others, astounded me! Using her hands she changed the world's view of deafblind people and their role as individuals and their ability to succeed in life.

The weekend of June 21 our family had the opportunity to visit Helen Keller's home. We were there to meet with Alabama's Deafblind and Multi handicapped Association; a group we have been a part of so we can network with other families of children with these issues. After our meetings we toured the place where Helen grew up, where she learned her first word through finger spelling and bonded with her friend and teacher Annie Sullivan. The moment we stepped out of the van and got the kids settled in their strollers I knew this was going to be a special but difficult experience for my heart.

The house was very neat, full of pictures and numerous memorabilia from Helen's family. We saw the famous dinning room where she learned to fold her napkin. Outside we saw the small cottage where Annie took Helen away from her family environment so she could teach Helen alone... hoping to break through her dark world.

Once outside we saw the pump where Helen's mind made the connection between Annie's finger spelling and the meaning of language. I had to fight back tears as I wheeled Abby up to touch it. Our hearts long for Abby to grasp language as Helen did and for some such miracle to happen in our family like it did for Helen's. We lingered at the pump for some time, taking pictures and wondering what that moment must have been like for Helen.

Whenever I've heard people talk about that breakthrough moment at the water pump the focus is naturally on Helen and Annie and their experience together. As I stood there with Abby I couldn't help but wonder how Helen's mother must have felt seeing Helen sign "water" into Annie's hand, knowing that the start of something incredible had just taken place; knowing that her child's mind was opened and communication was a real possibility. I wish I could go back in time and see her face at that moment.

I think I could have stayed there all day, just sitting in the shade of those old trees and feeling connected to a dear sister in history.

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
Helen Keller

Monday, July 16, 2007

We've got a walker! (June 11)

It really happened today... Josiah walked all by himself! I guess he built up enough nerve to take more than 2 steps alone. The look on his face was priceless, we will never forget this wonderful day. He was so proud of himself, grinning and taking in very deep breaths while he practically "ran" into our arms.

Some people have told us that after chasing a toddler around we will wish he weren't walking and running... they were very wrong. Seeing Josiah walking up to us, hugging our legs and reaching his chubby little arms up to the sky has brought such indescribable joy... it's almost impossible to explain. Every developmental step he takes seems like a miracle to us.

We thought we'd post a short video of our "little walker."

We're so proud of you Josiah!