Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It is that time of year again for my annual CHRISTmas drive. For several years, with the help of many of you, we successfully sponsored single parent families for the Holidays. And, I am pleased to share that last year’s Stocking Drive generated over 80 stockings for the Pediatric Unit at Maricopa County Hospital. After some recent experiences, I have decided that I would like to sponsor men, women, and their families who will be deployed over the Holidays.
A dear friend’s 23 year old son was recently deployed to Afghanistan, leaving behind his wife and three month old daughter. Not only will he miss his daughter’s first words and first steps, he will also miss all the momentous moments in her first year. The compensation for his service is under $300.00 a month , an amount so low that the family qualifies for food stamps. While I have always known that there are courageous soldiers who serve and defend our country, I have never before had to deal with this reality on such a personal level.
I now truly appreciate the great SACRIFICE that our soldiers make for our freedom. These men, women, wives, husbands, daughters, and sons will sacrifice the Holidays at home with their families so that we have the freedom to enjoy ours. Therefore, it is with great honor that this year’s project will give back to those who are giving so much. Specifically, I would like to sponsor the young mom and daughter who have been left behind and also send care packages overseas to soldiers without families.
If you would like to help, please let me know. I will be happy to provide you with more information on the family we will be donating to here at home and the care packages that we will be sending overseas. Also, feel free to pass this information along to anyone else who might be interested in our efforts.
Please take a moment to watch the link below.
Thanks again for your support,
Lizzie Palmer, who put this YouTube program together, is just 15 years old!http://www.youtube.com/v/ervaMPt4Ha0&autoplay=1
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Knowing his father would be preoccupied with his daughter and the party I decided to allow David to go hoping he would have the opportunity to connect with some of his family. I also knew that Lilly deserves a big brother even if Hugo (David’s father) doesn’t deserve a son. I dropped him off with my niece who promised to never leave his side. I got to the end of the block and was ready to turn back. By the time I got home I was a crying mess.
I am David’s arms and feet, his voice, his eyes and I had just left him in an unsure situation and I was not there to advocate for him, help him, or protect him. I knew he was in goods hands with my niece but letting go was very difficult. I pulled myself together and went to my event. At the event a young boy spoke about how Phoenix Youth At –Risk had transformed his life. Although his speech was very inspirational he also talked about how not having a father impacted him. How he went through feelings of worthlessness from his fathers abandonment. At that moment I thanked God David was not normal because if he could understand things like a typical 12 year old I would have to explain to him why his father is not around and seems to not care or love him. I anxiously watched my phone all night and left early to go for the kids.
When I got there to pick them up I waited outside for 30 minutes. I kept asking the people outside to let them know that I was there to get them but I guess no one cared. Finally I walked to the back to get them I kindly said hello and then got David and his stuff. His father sat in a chair with his hands thrown back and watched me struggle to maneuver the wheelchair. I eventually got David and his wheelchair in the car with to thanks to Hugo or his family.
I tried not to resent them but I did. I resented the fact that everyday I change diapers, I take care of a 12 year who depends solely on me for everything, I carry a little boy who weighs half of what I do, and I have to deal with a big clunky wheelchair and for the first time in years his father had an opportunity to help me and like always I was on my own.
I was angry that no one could even acknowledge the fact that for the last 12 years I have been David’s mother, father, caretaker, physical therapist, nurse at times, and I have been responsible for keeping my little angel alive. Making sure we keep his seizures under control, cheering him through each and every hospital stay and/or brain surgery.
I could not understand how any adult could place value on one life and not another. Why is it that his little girl deserves a party and tons of gift but, David doesn’t not even get a phone call? As I sat and had a conversation with God and realized that maybe it is not that David and I need them but they need David. His smile, his positive attitude, and his amazing courage.
It just hurts; it hurts to know that we will struggle through his next Birthday and yet another Christmas alone, while David’s father will get his other child everything she wants or need. I guess I was forced to face the challenges that many single parents face. For me it is a challenge I choose not to focus on or deal with but last night the pain of my son being abandoned and left to experience life fatherless was very real.
Monday, October 5, 2009
After four days of feeling like my stomach was being cut open from the inside out I decided to drive myself to the ER last night. I found out I have Gastro-Enteritis which is another name for an infection in the intestinal tract. The doctors say it is a bacterial virus, and they don't know how I got it but it has made my intestines and liver swell. All I know is it is very painful!!!!!!
I am not sure what is going on with my body but for the last several months I have been getting ill with serious sicknesses????? I have actually had to got to the hospital 3 times, and each time landed me in bed for over a week. I feel like I am losing so much time and so many things still need to get done! I can not eat solid food for a week so I guess that makes up for me missing the gym. lol On a brighter note David has been healthy so at least I am staying a little sane. He did have a small seizure on Sat which required valume but not Fire Department or Hospital =)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Outside of a few respiratory problems that landed us in the hospital for a few days things have been great. I figure the hospital stay was just for the sake of tradition because it was my first week of school. Anyone who knows David knows, knows that Holidays, the first week of school, and finals always come with a seizure or hospital stay of some sort! lol By now I know we always survive so it has become quiet humorous. Now when the Doc's ask what is wrong I tell them "nothing it is just the first week of school".
I just want to say a quick THANK YOU to all the Churches, friends, organizations, and even strangers who support us. There are moments that your support carries us through some very rough times. I think it is very important to remind people how what seems to us as little effort can have such huge impact on peoples lives.
My faith and God and Hope for a better future is what pushes us forward so that we do not remain caught up in our current struggles. I pray faithfully and just when life seems impossible God faithfully answers our prayers.
Just recently I met a church who wanted to do some mission work around my house. My mom had just moved in, I also took in my sister in law and two nieces who had no where to go. Stuff was every where and the city had cited me for all the storage on my patio. In addition this was just after David's last surgery. I was struggling to stay caught up with my graduate classes and it seemed as if my personal life and house were falling apart. Then one Sunday about a dozen angels showed up with tools and open hearts. I know they will never know how much their sweat, labor, and the Saturday they sacrificed for my family meant to us. Not only did it relieve me of a huge burden but it reassured me that God indeed hears my late night cry’s and loves me enough to respond.
So my quote of the week is "Pay It Forward" Not only can this be life changing for the ones you help it will change your life as well!
BTW Thank you Hope Kids for the great pictures!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
As my lungs started getting better I began getting frequent dizzy spells. Again I visited my doctor who ran some labs and instructed me not to drive until we could figure out what’s going on. (I am currently working on finding a personal chauffeur lol) Although they did not find anything to explain the dizziness in the labs my liver levels (not sure what that means) came back high so again I went in for more testing. I am waiting from the results back from yesterdays labs and I have an abdomen ultra sound scheduled for next week. We are hoping the high levels are because of all the meds I have been on.
After that appointment I went to the physical therapist to address the pinched nerve in my left shoulder. There are some concerns because of how tight the muscle is. She says that she can work with me on getting better but because I constantly lift David the chances of my shoulder stay well are not great. She then proceeded to explain to me that my body can not handle the physical strain of lifting a 65lb kid around and I needed to start thinking of alternatives. I am not sure what she meant but at that point I got very upset. Now I need to do special exercises to care for myself so I can care for David like I do not have enough on my plate.
The truth is I know I need to begin to face the facts and they are that no matter how much I love David or how much I am willing to do for him, Physically there will be a day that I can no longer lift him on my own. But there are no alternatives for me. Unless God sends me a big buff man or a million dollars so I can pay someone to lift David I don’t know what I am going to do. I do know that giving David up would never be an option!
Insult to injury right before bed David had a 15 minute seizure to top off the day. We called the Fire Department because this seizure was very different from his typical seizure but he was fine and of course smiling by the time it was all said and done.
Sometimes I get tired of being patience; I question God and his timing, and don’t understand how much I need to endure to prove I am a strong woman. Anyway I am done being a winer I am over it! Today’s a new day and I am just going to have to see what today brings. I refuse to fear the future I will excitedly wait to see what comes! =)
Monday, June 1, 2009
I was dwelling on the concept of "what comes around goes around" and "you reap what you sew". I am puzzled because I am far from perfect but my heart is a giving heart and I long to have a positive impact on all the lives David and I encounter. I help people from the goodness of my heart because my heart truly does ache to see people suffer. Why is it that every man in my life cheats on me even though I have never been a cheater? Why is it that people walk in my life, use me, and walk out with no regards for David and my well being? Do I deserve this treatment? Am I unconsciously provoking it or is it as simple as takers love givers so I am an easy target.
I have indeed learned from my mistakes and choose friends more wisely but still don't understand why I am frequently treated unfairly. OK OK I was feeling a bit sorry for myself yesterday and "life just wasn't fair".
I said all of that to say that I got on my knees and begged God for answers and if he could not give me answers I asked that he would at least give me a new perspective. Well, today I woke and started my new job. I could not have asked to work for better people or a better cause. Although, I am still unclear about why or what has or has not gone on in my life I had such a Peace about who and were I am. I know that God has me right were he wants me and even thought our future might means more challenges to come I am completely confident that God is moving in our lives and everything is going to be Fantastic (not just OK).
So at least for today I am hopeful for tomorrow PRAISE GOD!!!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I have grown a lot over the years and now understand what it means to have true friends. It means that even though we may go months without talking it is OK because no amount of time or space can change the love and support shared between "true friends". In the past couple of years I have learned that many people that I would have called true friends at one point, were not, and as disappointing as that has been I have also realized that many people who I never thought really cared, do!!!!!
Some of those people are so amazing that they inspire me even without the opportunity to talk to them as much as I would like. So before I get busy with my new job, school, writing my book, and of course my little man, I just want to make sure you all know how much you mean to me. Even the strangers who take the time to say a prayer for David and I. I value you, I appreciate you, and at times like this I need you!
Just know it is people like you who keep me strong!!!!! It is like the butterfly effect. I pray that one day (soon =) ) God will use David and my story to change many lives. To share hope and inspire others. When that day comes and I have no doubt it will, know that all of you were a part of this. Keep smiling and know that your support impacted and changed two very grateful lives.
Friday, May 29, 2009
I think the new doc was so preoccupied fishing for what he saw in the Cat scan that he missed it. At this point it will remain in David's head unless there are complications or he needs another surgery. His neurosurgeon Dr. Moss says it is not worth it to go in just to retrieve the tubing. Had David's neurosurgeon been notified that David was going in to emergency surgery he says he would have come in to operate. All this mess could have been prevented to some degree because Dr. Moss knows David and his head!!!!!!
David is still covered in hives and still shaking a little but he is recovering. I will keep you all posted but thanks for all the love and support. GOD IS SOOO FAITHFUL!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
David is recovering but has not yet bounced back to his typical smiley self. His smile is what I have always held on too to push me through so I am trying to find his strength within myself but honestly I don’t know how my little champ does it. I have managed to squeeze a few smiles out of him but he is definitely not back to himself.
He is very swollen and at one point he could barely open his eyes. He had an allergic reaction to the meds so he is red and broken out in hives. It is obvious he is uncomfortable has been crying on and off all day. I wish I could take his place = (
In addition he keeps having unexplainable twitching and he has been jittering all day. I pray his shaking/jittering is just a weird side effect that will go away soon!
I don’t remember ever seeing him like this after surgery but, maybe he has been like this after prior surgery’s and I have just chosen to forget it. Maybe this hospital stay is just taking a toll on the both of us????? Idk
Please keep praying I will keep you posted!
David got out of surgery around 2:30. Doctors can not find the catheter (tube) that ran from his shunt to his stomach. The nuero surgeon searched and even had a pediatric surgeon come to assist him. They had to make the incision larger than they liked so now David has a new scar about two inches long in the middle of his stomach. After several attempts they were still never able to locate the catheter. They discussed risk and felt that the longer David was under anastia and his incision was open the higher risk of infection and complications so they deicide to sew him up and run scans in the morning.
At this point they are going to leave the catheter inside of him and we are crossing our fingers that it will not create any problems. The doctor says that he has a lot of scaring and that removing it might also create complications. Once they reconnected his shunts the doctor said that fluid rushed through. I can only imagine the pressure in his little head. Right before surgery we notice his one side of his chest was puffy and swollen. It ended up being the spinal fluid from David’s brain trying to force its way out of his head through his body.
They think that the shunt could have possibly broken because of its location. It has to be were it is now so that it can reach and drain the cyst on the left side of his brain. The doctor who operated says he doesn’t know what we can do if it breaks again which could happen so I hope to discuss that with Dr. Moss today.
In addition they ran a culture on his spinal fluid found some white cells which indicates infection. For now they will monitor him on antibiotics so there is no plan for an external drain and surgery. Please pray that this is not the case because if it is that will be a drain that runs the fluid out of his body for up to 14 days and then at least two more surgeries.
I have had better days with better news and more sleep but I am hanging in there!
Insult to Injury...
They told me I could go back to the OR with him. You see the operating room is a very cold room filled with anywhere from 5 to 10 people all in scrubs, masks, and hair nets. There are bright lights, large machines, surgical equipment everywhere (knifes, scissors, clamps) and everything is covered with blue clothes. They lay David on a table and generally I hold him in my arms place the gas mask on him and sing to him till he falls asleep. (A little less scary than them taking him from me lying on a table, people with masks hovering over him while they hold him down and place a large plastic object over his face). As they wheeled him in the Anesthesiologist said that me going back was “not going to happen”.
As I was rushed to say my goodbyes reality hit me and I began to ball. I tried to be strong but there was just no strength in me. Then the nurse asked if there was anything they could do to make things easier on me and I replied teach your Anesthesiologist some manners. He could have told me that it was an emergency and there just was not time but he showed no sympathy or understanding. I then told them that although to them my son was just another patient they were taking away my world to go operate on his BRAIN!
I don’t know what God is doing but in the last two weeks I have graduated, lost the funding source I have survived on for the last two years, got a job, lost childcare, and am searching for a new church because of some unfortunate situations. It is a bit overwhelming for someone who doesn’t adapt well to change! I am trusting God that he is placing me were I need to be at a very rapid pace for a reason and that in time I will understand it all but, at this time I am lost and very scared.
God I am holding on for dear life but, please send me a sign or something I feel like I am being consumed with fear and confusion.
I am still anxiously waiting for an update! David is still in surgury and has been for over an hour. Still no word but I will update the bog tomorrow.
Friday, May 15, 2009
I was recently asked to prepare a speech at a celebration ceremony for one of my scholarship programs. I just thought I would share it….
10 years ago a degree was a dream even to big for me. Higher education was a possibility way beyond my reach. This morning I woke up a college graduate, proving if to no one but myself all things are possible and no dreams to big. I have to give God the glory for were I am at today and were I know he is going to bring us in the future.
It has been a very long journey for me so I will do my best to sum it up in a just a few minutes. At many points it has seemed more like a roller coaster ride. I lost my father, a good friend, David has had many medical issues (including his most recent brain surgery number 28), and life has remain very complicated for me. But this ride is over and now I will begin my journey on a new ride. No matter how hard it has been we have made it and I am walking away a much stronger better person.
Graduating is bitter sweet because I must celebrate my success with out my father. I know he would be very proud so this ones to you pops. Graduation is much scarier than I expected. As frightening as the unknown can seem I am very excited to enter the next chapter in my life with many of you by my side. I just want to thank my Mom and all of my special friends who have held me up when the burden of life was pulling me down. I could not have done it without your support.
Last but not least I want to thank my son David who truly is the wind beneath my wings. David your smile has kept me going when life has seemed impossible; your courage to face everyday no matter what that day would bring has motivated me to get out of bed even when just the thought of getting dressed has overwhelmed me. Your love has carried me through some of the hardest times in my life and you have taught me so much more than any education could even though you are only 12. So as I go on to graduate school I will follow your example and remain strong no matter what gets in my way, because your are proof that even without words, even with limitation, even while enduring so much, that it is not our obstacles that mold us into who we are yet are responses to those obstacles.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
After loosing my father one semester, and a close friend in a tragic car accident the very next, I can not really remember much of my journey. I do vividly remember both phone calls notifying me that life as we knew it was forever changed. I do recall planning funerals and making final arrangements, I also remember the unbearable pain that felt like it would never go away. It will never go away but people were right it does get easier. In addition to these traumatic events David has visited the hospital at least two or three times every semester since I have been at ASU. Most recently in the last semester of my senior year (dayshaview from high school) David required surgery. Graduation feels bitter sweet! As proud and happy as I am it hurts moving forward without the ones you love. I would love for my father to be there knowing that no matter how hard it got we made it through, and he will, I just wich I could see the look on his face.
When people ask me how I do it I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that although, I will graduate with 9,000 other students I believe my diploma will signify much more than education. Strength and endurance is what has allowed me to preserver. Faith and hope for something more has pushed me forward and when life is so crazy that I can not find those characteristics within myself I get them from my twelve year old, David!!!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
After all of our obstacles over the last few months I decided David needed some "positive excitement"! I had to be creative since my fiances are limited. I decided to write to all of the local sports teams and tell them about my little miracle and his amazing spirits despite adversity. To my surprise I got a quick response back from the Phoenix Coyotes and Suns. Both teams gave David the opportunity to meet the players.
Although David might only comprehend at a three year old level I know one thing he understood real clear during both of these events "he was the man". He expressed this with his ear to ear smile and by beating his chest. I can not thank both teams enough. It is very hard as David's mother to see him grow yet still not be able to do what other kids are doing. For the most part I remain positive but sometimes it gets the best of me.
With the help of the Suns and Coyotes I was able to give David an opportunity that most children will never have! Going into the locker rooms, shaking hands and snapping photos with athletes most children dream of meeting. I know David got this chance because of how special he is and I know he knew that too! So even though he can not walk, and participating in activities that my friends kids do being special also has its advantages =)
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
My fears began to get the best of me and I balled the whole way to David’s school. A million thoughts must have run threw my head during that 20 minute drive.
Could this mean that David’s patterns would continue and that we would spend the next few months undergoing multiple operations or did David just have a virus, which caused the fever, which triggered the seizure, which caused him to vomit????????
When I got to David’s school he was sleeping. When he woke up it was very obvious that he was uncomfortable but he still attempted to laugh while fighting back his tears. After some Tylenol, a few hugs and kisses, and a cleared MRI David is already bouncing around again. I guess my faith was tested but, in the end God came through =)
Wow I am already feeling behind and homework is piling up as well is the laundry. The house is a mess and I just can’t seem to get enough done in one day to get back on track!!!! Now I just lost another day but I know I must remain grateful that at this point it looks like David is recovering and life is headed back in the right direction.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
On the white board in his room I posted a sign that said Beware of Biter ha ha (funny until he get ya)
Please keep us in your prayers it will take 25 days to clear us from the posiblity of infection and only six weeks till I graduate!!!!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
We apprecaite you all!!!!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Until a few minutes ago I have been calm but, now that the tears have begun to fall I can’t stop them. He is taking a nap so peacefully right now. In one hour I will be holding him while they place a mask over his face, he will go to sleep, they will wheel him away and I will wait for updates on surgery and his progress. I don’t feel like I am ready for this but I really don’t have a choice HERE COMES THE STORM!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sometimes I wish there are more hours in the day but today I am content with the 24 hours God has given me. I am running on 3 hours of sleep and I pray that I get a few hours of beauty sleep tonight. (Lord know I need it) One of the hardest things for me to deal with when David gets sick is that our whole world comes to a halt, but the rest of the world keeps on going, sometimes leaving us behind.
Threw the years I have learned how to jump right back in but, that can still be challenging. So for now I will focus on all the cute little random things my son does to keep my mind at ease. BTW David is still caring around his hockey puck and when the nurses ask to see what he has he hides it between his legs as if he is caring a jewel. (I am sure to him it is)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with graduate classes and two internships so keeping this blog updated is the easiest way for me to keep everybody posted.
Just yesterday David was invited by the Phoenix Coyotes to watch them play Hockey. We enjoyed the game from a presidential suite and after the game David was given the opportunity to meet the players. While waiting to meet the players someone handed David a hockey puck, which David immediately became attached to. Our new friend Sarah introduced David to the team as there good luck charm. (because they won of course) David must have felt likewise because he has not let go of the puck since. He slept with it, has eaten with it, and it is now keeping him entertained while we wait for a bed. Focusing on all of the very special friends in our lives which have provided us very special moments keeps me from being overcome.
So for all of you who are reading this and have taken the time to say a prayer for us THANKS. When people ask me how I do it, I do it because I have the love and support of people like you =)