Friday, November 13, 2015

Epilepsy Awareness Month

November is epilepsy awareness month.  It took me a long time to say that Jordan has epilepsy and now I advocate for research and a cure because bottom line is epilepsy sucks.

Do you know what the faces of epilepsy look like?  I do, it looks just like you and me.

Here is a link to some facts about epilepsy, learn something new about the disease.

This is my daughter and she is the face of epilepsy: I love this picture because she is so natural in it and you would never no she has epilepsy.

In an effort to raise money and awareness we are holding two fundraisers.  100% of all the profits will go to the Children's Miracle Network.

First we have the calendar Fundraiser.  These are pictures taken by members of my family.  Jordan has been to all these places and having epilepsy has not stopped her.

The other fundraiser is a TShirt sale.  My middle child designed the TShirt to support his sister.  If you are interested in TShirt sales please leave a comment or email me at

This is the design of the TShirt:

Monday, July 27, 2015

It's Gone

In May of 2011 Jordan developed an autoimmune disorder in her eye.  No one could tell us why although if we didn't get her to the doctor when we did she could have gone blind.  I remember the first time we saw the doctor he said "Wow, you have a high tolerance for pain, if you were an adult you would have been her months ago."

PanUveitis is the eye condition that Jordan had.  Had as in it is GONE! After 3 years of traveling back and forth to Boston, the doctor has released her and she doesn't have to go back for a whole year.  After traveling there every 6 weeks in the beginning and then every 3 months for the following 3 years, we now can wait a whole year before we go back.  I am so excited for Jordan and cannot believe it is gone.  The doctor thinks it was a one time thing and that she won't get it again.  Let's pray for that.

Training has been put on hold.  The same day we found out Jordan's PanUveitis was gone I twisted my ankle.  I was walking the dog and all of a sudden I was on the ground.  The pain was unbelievable.  I saw white, felt nauseous and thought I was going to pass out.  As I sat there I thought can I walk, can I do this.  I said to myself "I can go this."  I got up and quickly realized I could not, my legs were shaking and I sat right back down.  After another few minutes I got up and walked home.

I went straight into my room and laid down with my leg propped up.  As I lay there I assessed the situation. 1. Did anything else hurt? No it was probably the pain that made me feel like passing out. 2. Was my ankle movable? Yes, it hurt like hell but it wasn't broken. 3. Could I walk on it? Yes, although painful I could wrap it and continue with my day. 4. What could I do to help with the healing process? I made turmeric and ginger tea with fresh turmeric and ginger root.  I drank my tea all day and iced my ankle when I got home.

 I have been reading Scott Juker's book "Eat & Run".  He talks a lot about mind over matter and how our bodies can handle more than our minds can. As I was sitting on the ground I knew I had hurt myself but I also knew that I could get through this.  So even though my training has been put on hold I think I am going to recover more quickly than I have in the past.

I am amazed at how well the turmeric and ginger tea has helped with the swelling and how great I feel.  I cannot wait to start running again, I am looking forward to pushing myself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Seizures Suck

Seizures Suck.  Jordan has been very lucky when it comes to her seizures.  In the beginning medication controlled them and the only time she relapsed was when she was off medication.   She has been on medication for 3 years now and they have worked great, that is until January of this year.

I actually think they start back in August of 2014, but no one else was seeing anything and since they caught me off guard I was never fast enough with the video taping them.

Now almost a year later they have become somewhat of the norm.  She only has them once or twice every month, so I cannot complain.  Actually I can complain I know there are people who have more seizures and there are people who have less.  My problems are not bigger or less significant than someone else's, they are mine.

I realized over the past few months that I need to control my fears because it will only make things worse.  She now understands when she is having a seizure and she can explain things to me.  She talks through them albeit confused speaking, at least she is speaking. These seizures are not as scary as when she first started having seizures and I believe as time goes on we will learn to understand them more.

Training sucks.

I have learned that breathing is good when you run, so when you cannot breath you have a problem.  I have a problem.  I practice mindfulness, I understand the concept of breathing using your diaphragm.  I practice this every morning feeling my stomach rise and fall as I breath.

Then I start running and my mind turns to mush.  My body rebels and says it cannot breath.  I tell myself to practice what I know and it laughs at me, mocking me.

How am I ever going to run 13.1 miles if I can barley run 1 mile.

Now I am throwing everything I know about breathing out the window and I am going to try mouth breathing.  Lets pray is works or I am in real trouble.

Go Team Tinkerbell, OT

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I think I am insane

Day 3:

I think I am insane, what was I thinking signing up for a half marathon, I can barely walk 2 miles never mind run 13.1.  That was my first thought the day after I signed up for the marathon.  Then my wonderful team mates sent me an edible arrangements and I remembered I am not alone in this journey.  I have people who will encourage me and won't let me quit.  It doesn't matter how fast I run or even if I walk part of it, all that matters is that I finish.

Yesterday I did not work out when I woke up.  I knew that Jordan and I were going to a concert and I needed the sleep because we would be out late.  I was extremely nervous about taking her to this concert.  Not because it was her first concert or anything, this is her 8th concert, I think.  I was nervous because two days before she ended up in a medically induced coma we were at a Shinedown concert.  This is the first concert she has attended since that one.

As I stood there watching her interact with her friends, looking beautiful and mature, I realized we have come so far.  My fears will never go away, but I am learning to control them and I am so glad that my fear does not hold her back from doing the things she loves to do.

Training for this race is nothing compared to raising a teenage daughter with multiple medical conditions, that just wants to be a normal teenager.

We will both make it through these challenges; having great friends, wonderful team mates and a strong family will make it that much easier.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

It's Official

I am running the Disney Princess Half Marathon on February 21, 2016.  I am super excited and nervous to be running this event.  Since Jordan got sick in 2010, I have put myself on the back burner.  I have not worked out as much as I should and I learned I am a stress eater.  Today starts a new way a life.

I am running under Team Tinkerbell, OT with my co-workers and Baystate Children's Hospital PFAC family members.  I am thankful for the support they have given me and I am looking forward to training sessions and long runs that will get me ready for the race.

Day 1:

I figure I can run 13.1 miles for Jordan.  Her journey had taken her down many hard roads and she has over come them.  She is my inspiration and every time I feel like quitting I think of her.  Lying in a hospital bed with millions of tubes and not knowing if she would wake up, getting blood drawn for the 100th time and knowing how much she hates it.  She tackled most things with a smile on her face and that smile is what I see when I run.

Today, she is a 13 year old bundle of life.  She loves school, her friends, bowling, and public speaking.

Thanks for the support!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Epilepsy, you will not take my daughter

Epilepsy there I said it.  For so long I feared you and all that you mean.  You came into my world with a bang turning my funny, adventurous, outgoing 8 year old into a helpless child who had to be put into a coma.  You rocked our world in 2010 and at the time I would only say Jordan had a seizure disorder.

Epilepsy thought you could steal her from us but you couldn’t.  Slowly she learned to walk, talk, eat and laugh again.  Her brain was winning the battle you set against her and she was thriving.  For 2 years she fought you fearlessly never letting you stop her.  Then the seizures  struck again and my world was rocked all over.

I started to realize it was my fear you were taking. Epilepsy means she will never be able to do anything. Epilepsy means she will be deficient in some way.  You will take her hopes and dreams and leave us with a withering child that we don’t know what to do with.  See how you play mind games with me, see how you get into my brain as well.  It was my fear of Epilepsy that caused all this anguish in me.  My fear that made me crazy every day she went to school or was alone in her room.

Now I have learned to not fear you.  Jordan has shown me that no matter what Epilepsy throws at her, we will handle it.  She is so much stronger because of you.  She doesn’t let you hold her back and she never will.  Jordan wants to be a neurologist because of Epilepsy and what you did to her.  She wants to learn all about Epilepsy so she can help other children like her.  She wants to show them that no matter what you can still get up and keep going.  At 13 Jordan is a wonderful advocate speaking at hospitals, colleges and her school about Epilepsy.

Epilepsy I may still fear you at times but you will never take my daughter from me.  I will not let you have her and she will not go quietly if you try to take her.