New Year, New…Something?

Hello everyone!

Are you all ready for the new year? I am pretty sure most of us are READY to bid farewell to 2016. I myself will not miss it one bit. It was definitely a struggle but I made it through, and would like to think I am better for it.

So, today I am contemplating changing the title/theme/vision for the blog.  I love the Mom Chronicle idea in theory but something about it just doesn’t feel right. You know what I mean? Do you ever get that feeling sometimes that, while nothing is necessarily wrong, something just doesn’t quite fit?? Yes?

I feel as though the title forces my readers to focus on the word “Mom”-and, you see, I don’t like that—that’s just not all of what I am and what I want to talk about….sure being a Mom is a MAJOR part of who I am and what I do but that’s just not the entirety of, well, me.

I don’t know, maybe it is the new year making me all…contemplative.

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Epilepsy Diagnosis…Now What?

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Any diagnosis of a serious illness is terrifying-even the possibility can scare the crap out of you. In some ways though, I was actually relieved.

No, I am not happy about having epilepsy, however I am so grateful to know what is wrong with me. The first three doctors I went to treated me like it was all in my head-like I was some over dramatic attention seeker. Do you have any idea how damaging that can be to a person? It really breaks you down.

Finally when we made it to Jackson and they admitted me right away so they could do tests I was so defeated I cried- I was just so grateful they were willing to actually run tests. Nobody else had. I felt like nobody cared.

As I laid in the testing room after the EEG was completed, with the technician removing the wires from my head, I worried that they wouldn’t find anything. That I would be discharged with more questions than I had when I came in. When the neurologist came in, and told me he found something- l laughed. Yea I was so down and so convinced I’d be turned away with nothing. The relief that washed over me was shocking.

Now as I sit here and wait, counting down the days until I go back to Jackson, I find myself afraid. Yes, I was happy-relieved to get the initial diagnosis but it doesn’t just end there.  More answers are needed, more tests need to be done. I have even more questions. Will I have another seizure even on the meds? What caused my epilepsy? Will I ever be able to drive again? The questions go on and on.

I have no choice but to stay strong, be patient, and keep faith that everything is going to be alright.

I Want

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There is so much that I want this year.

I want to get better.
I want my family to be stable and unburdened with constant medical and financial woes.
I want to be a better mom.
I want to get out of this medical haze and get down on the floor and play with my kids.
I want to make time to do the things I love with them.
I want to read and write more.
I want to cuddle with my husband and watch a movie without the constant discussions of how we’re going to make it through another week.
I want to let go of negativity.
I want to uncover a deeper faith.
I want a truer relationship with God.

I want this year to be filled with success and happiness for us all.

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2015 in Review

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It has certainly been quite some time since I posted anything. I’m sorry for that especially to myself. So much has happened this past year I am not even sure where to begin.

Several months ago my husband  (a truck driver) suffered a back injury that forced him to come off of the road. He has desperately been trying to find work but it has been difficult, to say the least.  We live in a very rural area and any jobs would be 40 miles one way. I tried to help by taking a second job but my health became an issue.

A few months ago I began having episodes at work- after multiple trips to the ER with zero answers Mt husband chose to take me nearly three hours north to one of the most respected hospitals in the state so that I could, hopefully, see a neurologist and get some much needed answers.

While there an EEG was performed and it was determined that I have epilepsy. As overwhelming as that is I am so grateful to have an answer. I was placed on an anti-seizure medication called Keppra-750 MG every 12 hours. For the time being I am not to be left alone for an extended period of time and have been forbidden to drive for a minimum of 6 months from my last seizure.

These restrictions have been very trying-on me, on my husband, and on our children. I was unable to work for several weeks, causing even more financial strain. I’m not going to lie, our family has been under a lot of stress emotionally, medically, and financially. We’ve had to reach out to others for help which has definitely caused a huge blow to both my pride as well as my husbands. By the end of 2015 everything was looking incredibly dark.

But you know what? It wasn’t all bad. In February 2015 I gave birth to a healthy baby boy-though he was 5 weeks early. He is so handsome and fun and full of love and light. He and his brothers and sister mean the world to me. They are the reason why I will never give up, the same can be said for my husband. Failure is not an option.

My husband is doing everything he can to be cleared to go back onto the road and I am doing everything I can to learn how to manage my epilepsy and continue to work safely. It isn’t easy but it is what we have to do.  I refuse to lose our home, I refuse to be defeated by this. Our family is going to come through this surrounded by light and by the end of 2016 we will be stabilized. I know it.

Also, I am eternally grateful to those that have tried to help us and stood by us through everything. Thank you all.

Donate to Help the Dunn Family

Missing You

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I miss my husband. I do. I can’t help it. It will be another two or three weeks before he comes home. I knew this life wouldn’t be easy, I know it is all worth it-but I can’t help but be down sometimes, to feel lonely.

I love our long talks. I hate when we lose cell service. I love our video chats with the kids. I hate the little things he misses. Like one of the kids learning something new.

As hard as it can be, I am so thankful. I am grateful for my husband’s strong work ethic. I am thankful for the stability this career promises our family- I’m grateful for the future we have because of it.

I try my best to stay positive and not let myself get too down. But sometines, I have to let it out. It’s hard, and I miss him. But it’s worth it.

5 Steps to Survive Distance in Love

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As some of you may have read my husband has returned to OTR (over the road) truck driving. Typically, he is on the road for about two weeks then home for a few days or more. Right now we’ve agreed for him to run a but harder than usual because with the kids getting bigger, we desperately need a larger home to accommodate them. It hasn’t exactly been easy thus far, but it hasn’t been horrible either.

I managed to survive my husband’s enlistment well enough, though this time around there are certainly more children to take care of! Really though, I do feel so blessed that I have a husband who is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to give our family what we need-and I am grateful that I am a woman who is willing to manage the home front on my own. 

Though this hasn’t been easy, it is completely doable. You both just have to be committed to the bigger picture and follow these 5 rules:

Rule #1: Remember you are on the SAME team

Just because the two of you may be world’s apart doesn’t mean your intentions aren’t the same. Your spouse is working hard to better themselves and provide for you and your children (if you have them) and ensure the stability of your future, together. What you are doing at home is just as important as what they are doing away from home. It takes two to build a life together.

Rule #2: Have patience.

It can be extremely difficult to effectively communicate with one another over the phone, whether it is speaking, texting, video chatting, emailing-whatever. From time to time you are going to desire a meaningful conversation or you (or they) may have something to talk about that has been nagging at the back of your mind. Timing doesn’t always line up the way it needs to to have a real conversation when you are so far apart. You may call and your spouse is sleeping or extremely busy working. When these things happen remember to keep cool and have patience.

Rule #3: Cherish the moments you do get.

When the stars align and you do get the opportunity to really talk-cherish it. Give your spouse your FULL undivided attention. Mute the TV, forget about social media, don’t check your email. This is your time. It is immeasurably valuable. Don’t squander it, you’ll want to hold on to those moments when the loneliness seeps in.

Rule #4: Don’t be afraid to seek support from family.

Having someone else to talk to when your spouse is unavailable can be really helpful, and it saves you from unloading on your spouse when you do talk. If you are like me, a SAHM without much of a social life don’t count out online support groups. You would be surprised at what you can find online. It enables you to connect with like minded individuals, and helps you to feel even if only just a little less alone and isolated. Try to find ways to get yourself out of your own head-even if all you do is keep a journal. Do something.

Rule #5: Do something just for you.

So many of us neglect ourselves, especially when life gets a little stressful. Part of maintaining a healthy and happy relationship is maintaining a happy and healthy you. Take a walk, read a book, get your hair done-anything that brings you some joy. You can’t be there for your spouse if you can’t be there for yourself.

I hope these rules can help those of you in similar situations. Remember, you are not alone, and no matter where they go, your spouse always remains with you. You carry a part of their heart after all, as they do a part of yours.

Love one another. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Stay positive.

Potties, Teeth, & Pumping Woes

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My goodness! Potty training my two and a half year old daughter has proven to be very stressful yet equally entertaining. We have a potty seat to put on top of the toilet with a stool and a stand alone potty chair.  The first, she doesn’t like because, I believe, she is so high up and her little tush is still kind of narrow for the seat so she doesn’t feel as comfortable. She would still need my help to climb up there even with the stool and ice she sat down she would latch on to me for dear life. Not the best experience.

So my husband and I bought the standalone potty chair. She clearly feels more comfortable on this chair, however it has presented it’s own fun-filled problems. The main one is she wants to sit on it all day. She never actually uses it-she just sits there. As soon as she stands up however she usually has an accident. I do my best not to show her my frustration and I always encourage her without being pushy- I think.  She refuses to wear diapers or pull ups now, so we bought a bunch of those fabric training pants for girls from Walmart. No problem there-except she likes to take them off when she has an accident and run around the house naked like a crazy girl haha. Yesterday, she walked out of her room while I was nursing her brother and, butt naked mind you, said, “Here’s my poopies Mommy. I nakie!” She handed me her doo doo ball filled panties and proceeded to run around the living room squeeling. I don’t want to teach her to be ashamed of her body but I am having a hard time getting her to understand she can’t just run around without clothes on. I know it will all improve in time. Someday.

Meanwhile, the twins are having some serious issues teething. I feel so bad for them. They both have a few trying to come through but so far only one a piece has slightly broken through the surface. They are pretty much cranky all of the time these days, especially with fighting their naps and missing their Daddy while he is on the road. Orajel doesn’t really seem to be helping them. It stinks. I hate to give them tylenol or ibuprofen too often but they have needed it more than once this week. Poor babies. The nap situation I have all but given up on. Sometimes they will take a  afternoon nap now- and their moods are noticeably improved but those days are few. Sigh.

Lastly, my littlest man is getting bigger and loves nursing, of course! He is doing really well with it and I haven’t been having any issues, but he had started to drool buckets and I can see two teeny tiny teeth just under the skin on the bottom row. Truthfully I’ve never breastfed any of my kids after they had teeth come in. I pumped and supplemented with our daughter and the twins unfortunately were formula fed. I don’t really know what to expect. I don’t really want to stop right now. I would like to pump though, but I have been having some issues in that department. Mainly finding the time with the other three running about.

Lots going on in our household! It can be stressful at times but I wouldn’t trade a second. I know we will make it through all of these trials. It just takes time.