Saturday, January 31, 2009

still a learnin'...

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

~Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932)~

I started reading the book of Hebrews this week and this morning when i was reading it (from my Bible at home) this poem/song was part of the devotional and it spoke to me. i know that God allows things to happen for reasons, and i know that i need to listen and learn to what those reasons are. so i am 'back to school' with God and i am going to work at find out what I AM TO LEARN from what is happening in our lives.
i get daily devotionals from Proverbs 31 Women Ministries ( and on Wed this week there was a suggestion from devo. to read Hebrews and to also write out the verses that really touch my heart and speak to me.... so i am. I am on Chapter 3 and have almost a page of verse! (the author suggested on index cards-- but i am more of a scribbler kinda gal).
I have been really enjoying my daily reading and time with God while reading these passages. And they are making me think... which is maybe something else i needed to do- stop worrying and thinking all the time about our issues (ok-- obessing maybe?) and start looking at the bigger picture. so i am going to work hard at this! I have also been reading Max Lucado's book Travelling Light. It is one that is to help with carrying your own baggage--but only what is needed! Let God do what He can do, basically.

Some good news to share! Sam has started 'working out' with the bowflex 3 times a week. He drinks a protein drink and then works out and after 3 sessions dennis can already see an improvement in his strength! we are also moving Sam upstairs to josh's old room so that he is able to have time to himself without anyone there to 'annoy' him (his we are hoping that this will help his moods and his sleeping. We also weighed sam last week on Monday and he is up to 103lbs. i am going to add a sidebar on the site with his weight gains, so we can keep better track of it and he can see it too if needed! We have said he needs to gain at least 20 pounds before we will let him try out for football-- (refresher info-- he was 112lbs the day of the accident and 10 days later he was 87lbs.... ) Some interesting info i learned this week with my websearching for ABI was that brain injury survivors tend to not only have nausea and headaches but with where the bullets hit in Sams brain it may have damaged his sense of taste and smell... so food is not all too appetizing (chocolate is one item we KNOW for sure that he has his moments with...sometimes it tastes like dirt he says!) So we need to find other ways to get him to put on some weight (i have offered him my extra 10pounds but he declined... sigh .... kids...)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

not seeing eye to eye

Dennis and i have not been seeing eye to eye it seems with how to deal with sam and his issues. i am not sure what to do or say about anything anymore. i feel lost in all the information i have filling my brain...lost in the house some days... lost in my head with what has happened. unfortunately i verbally vomited today on 2 people-- one was a lady at work. she came in for some stuff and i happened to be extremely frustrated and it all came out and then when i tried to tell dennis about my day and how it started... i did it again and i am afraid it was not in a nice manner. i am hoping that my sessions with the counsellor will start to help (once i have had more than one session that is) but i thinki am far too good at disguising what is really going on in my head and in our house to share with others who could make a face to face evaluation of it all... and tell me how miserably i am really failing at this all. that is it in a nutshell i guess. i feel like i am failing.
i am failing sam with not getting the help that he needs. everytime i am sent to someone i am failing at asking the questions that need answers so that we can get pointed in the right direction for help.
i am failing the other kids with being so tired both physically and emotionally at the end of the day.
i am failing dennis for the same reasons but all that i am not able to be as strong and supportive as he needs me to be.
i am failing my friends for not spending time with them and being a good friend.
i am failing myself for all the above reasons.
i realize the tone of this post but today... i feel like a complete and total failure... nothing new really... only change is that today i vocalized it.

i am having trouble with this eye to eye thing with dennis. i feel like he is trying to 'fix' things the way that a man would with any other problem. but this isnt an issue that can be fixed that way. i know-- i have tired. raising my voice, getting angry wont work this time. i think it is going to take a much more quiet, subdued manner-- neither of which either of us is the best at. come to think of it-- no one in our house is. i have been on the net tonight looking up all sorts of ABI (aquired brain injury) sites to help with some ideas of how to deal with sams anger, frustrations and moodiness (and i will say now that if one more person says to me about 'ahhhh typical teen behaviour' i will smack them... so fair warning! i am aware of typical teen behaviour-- this is NOT IT!) and the news i got was that 'this is normal ABI behaviour' and it can last a few years to a life time... but no real firm answers, which makes sense, since every BODY is different and every injury is different. so i need to get creative (and patient) and come up with some ideas i guess...
I am hoping to talk to another parent (referred to me by the MBIA in Brandon) about this very thing... so i also need to wait for her to call...(did i mention that i am not good with waiting?)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

dazed and only slightly confused...

that is me after this weeks appointments in Winnipeg. I thought we were going in so that the doctor (psychologist) would talk to Sam about the accident or at least how things were going now... nope.... she didnt talk AT ALL about either with him! Sam told me that they did math questions, drawing (copying), reading, spelling, etc-- basically school work...*sigh* i am not going to complain about this but it does make hme wonder what it was all for! He had already done testing like this before with the occupational therapist! SO what was the point of this now?... I have no idea. I was never given anytime to talk to her without Sam present and I try to not discuss things about his attitudes and moods with him there (I dont want him playing things up AND he gets upset)

She is coming out next week (i hope) to view Sam at school (in my humble opinion) I think it would have ben better to arrange that before he knew who she was--we all know how teens act when they think they are being watched. Then in February Dennis and I will go in for an appt with her (without Sam) to see what the results are of the testings... so i hope it will all fall into place for me then (proverbial penny dropping time!)

As for how our week went, Sam didnt sleep well at all. He snored and tossed and turned all nights and on Tuesday his appt in the morning was cut short when he asked if he could go back to the Ronald MacDonal House to sleep. He was really pale, dark curlces under his eyes and he was slurring his words and was slow moving. This was all fine and after a sleep in the morning, we resumed his afternoon appt with the Doc. and he completed it all. But then he was overtired and going a mile a minute like he had drank a few pots of coffee AND had a big bottle of Pepsi! I took him to Chapters to go look at books-- hoping that this would calm him down ... well not at first... he seemed to go into overdrive when we went to the mall to the pet store (one of sam's all time favorite places to go when in wpg). he was so 'go go go' it was like a 5 yr old on speed! so i took him back to the RMH to relax, eat dinner and make our way to bedtime!(which he didnt fall asleep til 10.45!)

I spoke with the psych. last night and there wont be muchhelp for us with sam at school by what she told me, after talking with my counselor (she is helping me to deal with the stress) I am going to see if i can get Dr. Chapman maybe to come with me or write a letter to the school telling about sam needing breaks and no running or bouncing and how to spot his tired spells. So we will see...

Sunny spots this week: Sam and I spent 4 days together and had some fun! We went to a movie (saw Twilight-- gret movie!), we got sam some clothes (he is growing like a weed on a manure pile!lol) and we walked and walked and walked! The weather was fabulous and even though we spent it all indoors-- we were able to walk to the CHildrens hospital which is only 2 blocks from the RMH!!! It was a good week of time spent with Sam (minus the doc appt's) but i thorooughly enjoyed myself wth him. I know soon he will be 'too cool', 'too old' and 'too uninterested' in spending time with me (so i am told by other parents) so i relish this time with ANY of my kids that want to spent time with me!

Friday, January 16, 2009

glass half full... and other stuff

this week has NOT been a stellar one for our house. (to be honest i cant think of when we last had one...) things have been so unbalanced, so turmoil filled, so brutally negative emotionally that i am glad to say that it is friday and a new week is just around the corner. but with that said it is BECAUSE of next week that this week has been what it is...
sam and i leave for wpg on sunday after lunch until wed. for his psych evalutions. he is not a happy camper about it and it is taking a toll on sam, and the rest of our house. he has been unreasonable with everyone about every little thing it seems, which is starting to grate on everyones nerves. if he is asked to do ANYTHING there is a sigh and a desperate need for the person to brace themselves for the coming onslaught of backtalk, disgust, crying and possibly yelling from sam.
i find it extremely hard some days to keep my temper (and to be sure ... i have lost it a few times with him) and to try to remember that it is not always "sam" talking--some days (most days) it is the injury (or as we 'joke' -- the bullet). I have had my fair share of crying jags this week while on the treadmill, driving to work, washing dishes, working out and just about anywhere you can think of.
I am struggling with trying to stay on top of everyones emotions and moods and not have any feeling that they are being left out or are forgotten in this new life we live...but somedays i desperately want to walk away and not look back. i want to wake up from this 'dream' and have things back to normal and be dealing with normal teens issues. I get extremely frustrated when i am trying to explain how our life is changed and how we now live to family and friends who ask how things are going and have them reply with "well he LOOKS like he is doing great!" I want to say to them (and i have on a few occassions) 'you should come and be at our house in the morning before school or right after school, or when sam is having an 'episode'.... things dont look quite so rosy then, trust me!" but mostly i say " he is doing well physically' and leave it at that.

sam moods and attitudes this week, i think, are due to next weeks impending appts. He gets very upset when he is having to talk about the accident. he will talk about some things of the day in generalities but overall he breaks down crying and sobbing. especially when he talks about one day inparticular...
we had been moved to the stepdown floor (out of PICU) and we had been there a few days already and the nurses had started to try to give sam a bit more independence--so they removed one side rail(now he was able to get up to use the bathroom) well i had been curled up on the chair beside his bed and sam was napping with his scar resting on the other side rail (he liked the feel of the cool metal on it) and he woke up and looked over to me and asked 'who sat on my bed earlier?' ..'no one was here' i told him...'yes' he repplies' they were sitting here' and at that he reached behind him and made a motion to tap the bed behind him but he stopped midair .. as if his hand were resting on something.'here they are' he said.and he rested his hand there for a moment and went back to sleep as i said to him'there is no one there sammi'.... i had a strange feeling come over me when i said that and then almost a peaceful feeling. then i forgot about it until about a month later dennis asked me about it when we were at home (i had told him about the conversation that night when i was talking to him!)

when we talk about that day sammi always gets upset, which now makes me wonder not who was there with us but thankful that they were. we believe that it was sam's angel. i am sure God sent him an angel to sit and watch over him and that day/moment he was so lucid sam could feel and possibly see his angel. it does make me wonder however why it bothers him so much...

today someone pointed out tat we are most definitely a country and a community of people that have very little reasons to complain. we have electricity, water, food, houses, cell phones, wiis, every possible new gadget that you can imagine... yet we do complain. we complain about such a wide variety of topics i am not even going to start. and it made me think... almost 6 months ago, we almost lost one of our children. we came undescribly close to losing something (someone) that can never be replaced... and yet i feel like i am complaining. our outcome in this tragedy could have been so much worse in so many ways other than death too! and here i type, complaining about how our lives have changed. i am going to try to work harder to see the blessings in our lives... a kind of half full glass, if you get what i mean!

**note** i started this post in the morning and i was hit with my 'enlightenment' after thefact of starting this post! i am keeping the beginning of the post still too tho. i do intend to work on the blessings but i also need to be honest and true to everything else... just not so much maybe?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

darn flu bugs

Sam woke up this morning not feeling too good but i sent him to school anyway (what a nice mom eh!) and thought once he got there he would perk up. WRONG. he caled me around 10.15 and didnt sound good. so i went and picked him up and after a brief converstaion with dennis, sam and i headed in to see Dr. Chapman. (it was awesome for them to fit us in so fast!) Because we were told that until spring we are to be on alert for seizures and to be on alert when he has a fever.... but we werent told what to be on a lert for! so off we went to see the doc. and he checked sam out and dr. figured that sam has a bug that is going around... whew! so i have settled sam into bed and i am going to work from home today. and hopefully he feels better soon.
dr. also gave me some good news (well good if you know me!lol)i can go back to drinking my coffee!! the list of 'no no' foods that i gave to him that i found on line about ulcers and acid reflux, he told me to not worry about it!!! whoo hooo! i am still going to try to leave my coffee intake for weekends so i can enjoy them but i was worried i was going to have to go no coffee totally.... sigh... i feel better now! :-D

also, i had a few prayers answered this morning! I am so happy about this and i have felt a large weight lift off my shoulders too. things seem to be heading in a direction with regards to help for the kids. well i have a few leads on things AND an offer from someone to help find the help we need! i definitely feel lighter today than i have for weeks. God is so amazing to know just when to answer a prayer and even answer a few that i wasnt aware i was asking! it thrills me to know that He is in our corner and 'has our back' when we think we are alone in our fights.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

suggestions welcome

Sam weighed in yesterday and is still only 101 lbs. i am worried about him. he isnt sleeping well, he is not gaining weight, he seems ok but not really.... maybe just a bit off (if that makes any sense). he eats but not enough, so i wonder if he is stressing about something. i know he cant gain it all back over night but after 5 months you would think he would be a bit heavier. we have a dr. appt on thursday and i will talk to the doctor about it.
We all sat down the other night and talked about the summer and fall we had and what their reactions and feelings were to it all ... they all sat stone faced and quiet... not saying anything... it made my heart hurt. so ddennis and i started with what we thought and felt thinking it may get them started... no... nothing really came out of anyone, withthe exception of hannah. we dragged it out of her that she is scared to leave us incase something else should happen--something bad... i know that is a normal reaction to stress with kids,but is was hard to hear. but we had to explain that we need to start talking or else we are going to go to see someone to help us deal with the trauma an stress we have been and are still living with... again -nothing. dennis and i are going to try it again once a week for a few weeks and see what happens, if anyone wants to talk. i hope so because at this point i am running out of ideas.
i am finding that my stomach issues are NOT geting any better (note to self- talk to dr about THAT too on thurs). It is to the point that i am being woke up in the middle of the night by Albert (my ulcer) and/or my acid reflux. I am cutting foods out of my diet, taking my meds but nothing is helping and it is to the point where i am always uncomfortable.... if its not one thing it is another.
i am also finding the constant educating of people to brain injury exhausting. especially since dennis and i are both learning alot on a daily basis ourselves! no one day is the same in our house these days it seems. no one episode is the same as the last. we are constantly on alert with sam for signs of tiredness, irritability, childish behaviour and when it appears it needs to be split second disected "is this because he is tired, hungry, confused? is it because of the accident or because he is a teen?how do we approach this one?" it is hard to talk to other parents about issues because i am always wondering if i am whining about a common parental problem or is it something that is totally foreign to them. then add in there the other 3 kids with their own issues... i am always open to suggestions if anyone has any... what would YOU do if it were you?