Wednesday, February 28, 2018

My Thoughts on Recent Events

I love History-my favorite time is World War II.  That time frame and what led up to it, fascinates me.   But recently I read "Killing England" by Bill O'Reilly.   It's been awhile since I've read about the Revolutionary War.  Of course I studied it in school and in college as most of my generation did and have a basic understanding of the time frame.

But reading this book, reminded me of how brutal the war really was.  As I read of the decisions of  General Washington and other leaders it made me think.   Washington would hang deserters, no appeals...  he pushed his soldiers to the limit, and himself also.   While in most battles, the losing soldiers were often killed rather than taken prisoner.  This war went on for five long years.

Do we have that same kind of strength today to fight against an enemy?  Unfortunately I do not think we do.  If our generation had to make a choice to either stay with an unjust government or rebel, this generation would not have the courage to stand up and fight.  It would cost too much.

When I look around, I can not imagine our younger generation being able to stand up and fight like America did in WWI or WWII.  I see young men who are not growing up to be men but rather just older boys.  It's sad to me.  Oh there are some who are growing up to become men but so many who are not.

This all ties into what I'm seeing in social media following the shooting in Broward County Florida.
For the record, I feel the FBI, the Broward County Sheriff's Office and the Broward County School District are responsible for not stopping this attack.   Sheriff Israel is the absolute worse sheriff and I am glad the Governor has the FDLE investigating his office!   I believe Sheriff Israel with be relieved of his duties!

After the shooting I wrote this on FB

"Y'all know I grew up in the South in the 70's-80's. Every home I visited had guns in it. My home had loaded guns in it and I was instructed not to play with them so I didn't. All my relatives were hunters and they all had a lot of rifles and pistols in their homes. At my school Taylor County High School many boys drove trucks with gun racks full of rifles in them to school. It wasn't even something you thought or worried about. What has happened in these few years to change things?
What I truly believe has happened is the culture has changed-it's not guns. Unfortunately there have been so many changes.
Growing up most people I knew came from a two parent family. They were taught to respect God and most people I knew regularly attended church with their family. Were they good Christians? Maybe not maybe some people had to sow some wild oats but they had a foundation that seemed to keep them from straying too far.
They were taught respect for adults. When I was growing up we might've been doing a few things we weren't supposed to do but we didn't talk back to authority. We respected teachers and Administrators and we respected law enforcement and other kids' parents as well as our own.
There was no one on a bunch of medication. We had PE and recess and after school kids played outside and got out all their frustrations and stress by running & playing. They didn't sit inside on computers or watching television or playing violent video games. There was no double lives being led on the Internet or being in Facebook groups the no one knew of.... There was no isolation-
Everything was out in the open other parents looked out for you & would call your parents in a heartbeat and tell them if something was going on. And your parents would deal with it. If you got in trouble at school there was no coddling or blaming the school - you got in trouble at school you got in trouble at home.
Back then they were clear gender roles. Men were taught by their fathers or other relatives as well as teachers and religious figures on how to be a man and handle their feelings. They were taught what being a real man was and they didn't have such an underlying anger toward society. I think every young man I knew growing up believed that his life was going to be even better than his parents lives were - they were taught to focus on building a life not destroying society.
I feel societies changes are what is causing these type of shootings. Of course the root cause is sin and the devil. But that restraint that was in society for so many years is gone. I doubt it will ever come back.
I am so sorry for the families that grieve. I always worry about my children when they are at school, college, or a busy crowded place. The sad thing is my husband works in a prison and I am often reminded that he is probably safer going to work than most people are or most students going to school!
I think immediately every school needs to focus on Security and training their staff on how to deal with this type of situation. There was a coach yesterday he gave his life protecting students. If only he would have been allowed to carry a gun perhaps he could have stop this before it escalated!! God bless him for his efforts to keep the students safe. The college my oldest son goes to has recently authorized staff who go through a rigorous training to carry concealed in order to protect students. I'm very grateful that the plan is in place as well as having armed law enforcement on the campus.
My hope and prayer is this actually will cause a real conversation not a anti-gun reaction. Guns of been around for as long as this country has been a nation and it's only been the last few decades that this has begin to happen. It's not guns!"

Our society has changed so much in my lifetime.  The fact we are having shootings in schools, churches or stores show a break down in society.  I read a statistic that of  75% of school shooters were from fatherless homes.....     And if I were to guess, I'd guess most of those kids did not grow up in church.  Last night Shad and I watched a documentary on a British citizen who became a fighter for a Jihadist army.  One thing I noticed was his father was not in the home and the mother said she raised her children without any religious training.   But that young man was seeking a relationship with strong men and some type of belief system.  

What can we do?  I guess I don't have much faith that society will change and people become responsible and have respect for each other and authority.  That sounds awful but it's truly how I feel.  

Maybe Old Fashion ideas is what we need & it needs to start in the home.  If it starts in the home, it will become evident in society.  

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Best Christmas Present

If you are a parent you know how every time Christmas or a birthday rolls around you want to get a good present for your child.  You want to get something meaningful not just junk.  Over the years I have really worked to not waste money on stupid gifts that never get used.  It is challenging!

Well this past Christmas, I think overall for all five of my kids I did the best I have ever done.  I refused to be suckered into junky presents or things that would never be used.  But it took some thinking!

For Shad and Steve I (we-I do 99.999 of the shopping for our family lol) got them a test kit from 23 & Me!  Jon and I had done one last year and came to find out we were cousins....JUST KIDDING!  Our DNA make up was so close it was very scary LOL   But thankfully we had no relatives in common:)  If you wonder we were England/Irish with a little bit of other European thrown in.  Interesting but a bit boring.  We figure Steve's will be just as boring.  (his is not back yer)

But we were expecting more from Shad!  Come to find out he is mostly Chinese....who would have thought?   But he also has some Mongolian and Yakut!  AND he has some biological hits!!!!!!!   The closest are 4th cousins but it is so exciting to all of us.  We've made contact with one of his relatives and found out she has contact with others mostly from the Chengdu area of China.  That relative was also adopted.  She has an adopted sister who has found her parents through 23 & me! 

When I ordered the kit, I immediately had reservations.  Of course Shad is only 14 years old, would this be opening something too soon for him?  He has asked questions since he was about 4 years old about his background and family.  Of course we had few answers.

In the last couple of years we found one of Selah's sisters who was adopted in the US and we found Sarah's dad in Ukraine.  He was very interested in both situations.  Now we are on a path to find out as much as we can of his background.

The report came on Sunday so all afternoon was spent on his reading it and looking up things.  It was really cool to hear the excitement in his voice.  He was actually finding out some very concrete things about his lineage.  Then on Monday we got a response from a relative.  the look on his face was priceless.  Now he knows for a fact there is someone who shares his DNA (if only a tiny bit of it).

Boy that present was worth every penny! 

We don't know where this will lead, maybe he'll find his birth parents, maybe not but it does give him a basis of where he came from that he couldn't have had otherwise.

Monday, February 26, 2018

All About Sam!

Well our story continues!  So after my last blog, nothing got any better.  A few days later Sam began having explosive diarrhea and the next day he was  throwing up.  Now I absolutely HATE throw up.  I can deal with anything else but not throw up.  More often than not, I join the child and throw up myself.  Well this throw up deserved a very special place in hell.  It looked and smelled like cat food!  In fact the only way we knew it had happened was our cat began crying and crying in Sam's room!  It was so odd for the cat to go in there that I went to check and walked in on a scene I will not easily forget....  I think the cat was traumatized also!   Dear Jesus.... I put Vick's chest rub up my nose and covered my face with a mask in order to clean it up!

We took Sam to the ER where we were met with the most odious little doctor man.  He absolutely took nothing serious that Sam had been going through nor any of his special needs.  All he did was to give Sam some meds for nausea and try and send us home without even wanting to wait and see if he could tolerate it.  And the doctor kept calling me 'Mama" in an false Southern way....  Rather than go to jail at that point we took Sam home....and of course he threw up 3x before we got in the door.  I called back to the ER and all they said was give him more anti nausea meds.  It did work and about 4 am we all got to sleep.  (And yes you know I registered a complaint against this doctor!)

 We laid low a couple more days.  Then we began having another issue NO poop....for a week and a half even though he was eating normally.  Again we called our doctor and began trying everything he could tell us to do.  Time kept passing but NO poop!  Every so often I could get a little undigested food out with the use of an enema.  Our pediatrician   and I have a great relationship and I appreciate him and his nurses-I called them so many times and they were so gracious to me.  I followed his advice to the letter.

Our wonderful respite care worker has a Mexican grandma who has helped people out with massage.  She came over and massaged Sam's back in a way that helps his digestive system  (She did it for Selah too)  We also tried a remedy their family has used before- Papayas!  Sam ate a half of one but still no poop!

Then I took him in to see our doctor and I just broke down bawling!  I think I freaked him out.  He's been with us through some rough times and I'm pretty sure he has never seen me cry!  Believe me the floodgates were opened....I told him all the strange little things that were going on with Sam.  When you parent a child with special needs who is non verbal, you really learn to read your child and there were so many things out of the ordinary with Sam.  I told him I wasn't trying to be a drama queen but I felt like Sam was dying from something and no one could tell us why all these strange things were happening.  He sent us for x-rays and labs.  He took me seriously.  Of course the x-ray showed  a very full gastro system.  We tried some stronger things with him -stuff that would have adults running to the bathroom- but to absolutely no avail.  By this point he was sleeping with me and would just groan in his sleep which really freaked me out!

So we went back to the ER, this time we had a wonderful doctor who listened, spoke with our pediatrician and did more x-rays.  At that point there was talk of surgery for a blockage.  He was transferred to Orlando.  While we were waiting he did pass some stuff but it was more undigested food and water.

Sam absolutely was wonderful through all this and so cooperative it was unbelievable.  He LOVED the ambulance ride to Orlando.  He kept laughing with the bumps.

The next day they ruled out surgery and did a full ultasound of all his organs in his digestive system due to a rare chromosomal deletion to make sure there was no tumors.  Thankfully that was clear.  The idea was just to give him a different med and give it some time.  Well as we were being discharged he actually did a normal poop!  At that time it had been almost 3 weeks since there was anything normal.  The undigested food was really worrying me.

Since then he is finally getting back on track.  He is taking a liquid laxative and stool softener.  Now things are a little too good LOL  The challenge will be getting his system to work on its' own!

Sam has always eaten a good diet.  He doesn't have a sweet tooth although he will eat some fruit but hates any type of cake or ice cream.  He literally will gag on sweet things.  It's really amazing.  He loves vegetables and  rarely eats bread.  He will eat any type of bean or pea.  The doctors feel it was not his diet but an after affect of the flu.

Again I will tell you I am so glad he had the flu shot last fall!!!!   I believe he would have been so much sicker if he had not had the shot.  He has had a flu shot every year of his life and this is the first time he or any of us have gotten the flu after having the shot.  This year's flu was rough!  So 6 weeks later we are cautiously optimist that we are done with this!  I can not believe all the strange things that have gone along with this.

His room AFTER I had cleaned up everything!

Opening a birthday present

Birthday boy put himself to sleep on the swing

This was the day after he was born... I held him for the first time and he opened his little eyes.  Up to that point no one had noticed our baby was blind.  He showed me.  This picture used to break my heart but now I can say I'm glad I was the first one to notice.

14 years later getting an x-ray

the famous ambulance ride that brought him so much joy:)

Finally he got to eat!  He was so happy

We were able to take him on the roof top garden one day.  It was very nice out

This toy......Sam loved it I MUST find it!

This girl was waiting on me!  She missed MAMA!  she got right in my lap!

Notice the's wrapped around my arm tightly

We sat on the porch for hours on the swing, this was my view.

Sam outside loves a polar pop!

I love this-took it last night.  He crosses his leg and swings his foot like a grownup man:)

Jon and I both were able to be with Sam in the hospital because his respite care worker stayed with Sarah several times.  And our oldest son gave us his whole long weekend to help out.  Thankfully we got home on Sunday and were able to have some time together before he had to go back on Monday.  Both of those young people are such a blessing to us!!!

I feel like Sam is on the mend.  But I still feel a little worry in my heart for him.  As a younger child he was sick so often and it would progress like this, something would happen and it would just continue on and on with no real diagnosis.  It was an awful way to live.  Until he was about 7 years old I kept a hospital suitcase packed for both of us.

Based on what has happened, we have made the decision to withdraw Sam and Sarah from school.  I'm just not ready to take a chance on his health again.  His immune system has never been good but we've kept him from being sick by keeping him home.  These past week have been very scary.  With him, you never know what could happen and it is just not worth the risk.

So I have Sam and Sarah set up for ABA therapy (applied behavior)  It will be done at home.  We are also setting up for them to do horse therapy at a local farm.  We hope to get both started within the next week or so.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

WBC and Sam!

Well we have had a time over here!

Sam and Sarah started school.  Sam did pretty good from the start.  Sarah had a harder time on the first day but then was able to handle it.  They only go for 4 hours a day so it hasn't been too stressful for them.  For ME? Different story.  It was much easier with them at home with me.  But I'm willing to do it if they are learning new skills.  Right now they are working on getting used to the class as we are applying for therapies etc.   I think it will take awhile to see how school does for them.

Then last weekend I noticed Sam was running a fever, we took him to our doctor and he tested positive for the flu.  He had had the flu shot last fall, as all the kids do yearly.  Thankfully he only had two days of fever and that was it.  But he seemed "off" I knew in my gut something was wrong and as my husband and I discussed it we both remembered little things, that put all together worried us.  So last Wednesday I took Sam to our practice's lab for blood work.  There's a whole story behind that....

First let me say I love our pediatrician dearly and trust him totally.  However the practice that he is in is huge & growing.  It's all kinds of doctors and specialties for all ages.  Of course with tremendous growth it is harder and harder to deal directly with our doctor.  It's not his fault it's just how it's all set up.  So with such illnesses going on, I could not talk to a real live person on Wednesday so I just decided to show up to the lab.  (BTW this is all in another town)   I was pretty sure that his doctor had ordered basic labs on him at his last check up before Christmas that I hadn't gotten done yet.    My gut was literally SHOUTING  at me to get to the doctor so we went.  And of course there were no labs ordered but the receptionist called the doctor and bless his heart, he ordered me all kinds of labs.  I want to think he trusts my gut that was telling me something was wrong.   He probably just thinks I'm a crazy mama and it's better to humor me lol.

Unfortunately I was right.  We got a phone call at 9 pm that night.  He told us Sam's White Blood Count (WBC) was extremely low (it should have been high)  and his ANC was life threatening low.  The ANC is what fights infection.  His was at a severe neutropenia level.  I'd only heard of this in patients that had cancer/chemo !  He said Sam needed to stay out of school.  He felt like it would resolve itself in a few days. 

We went back on Friday for more blood work and unfortunately it had not really changed, maybe even a little worse!  We had thought he had to be better as he is acting mostly normal.  Actually we met our oldest son for lunch and was getting Sam a haircut when the doctor called and told us to take him home and stay home!  We went home and I gave him a bath.  Now he is not allowed out at all!  We are keeping Sarah home too.  At first we did because we were concerned that she might have gotten the flu from Sam and would pass it on but no one got it from him.  Now we are concerned she might catch anything and give it to Sam.  I'm also staying home from this point on so I can take care of him and not pass anything on to him.  The biggest concern is that he might catch something while his body is unable to fight it and it could easily be life threatening!  We will be going back every few days for labs until they are normal again.  He will be home bound until this works out.

If you want to read about this copy and paste this link.

This is just an odd thing, I'm so glad that he got the flu shot because it obviously helped him not to be sicker than he was.  Please don't ever let people tell you flu shots are useless!

Here are some pictures from the last weeks

Sarah loves her dada!

Sam sleeping on the swing

Selah almost asleep one night.  I thought she looked so sweet

Sarah swinging

 Steve and Jon
we always think it's so ironic when we eat at this Olive Garden, it's where we had our first date....
LOL I couldn't have imagined then  that one day 28 years later I'd be there with my kids!

I took this picture while on a walk!  I think it's one of the nicest pictures I've ever taken!