Friday, December 24, 2010


Somedays I just want to scream! This morning I sat here and typed out my posting for today -- for a half an hour -- and it said it was saving and then it blipped and BAM! my posting was gone! Nothing in the editing area either...sigh... I just wanted to cry.

It was that it is once again Christmas Eve and once I again I am not of any Christmas spirit. Since Sam's accident things tend to get very stressful here. The noise and busy-ness of the world tend to make Sam irritable, not sleep and just plan grouchy...which makes life for not only me but the rest of the house grouchy and touchy...
With society putting more and more emphasis every year on the "holidays" and not the true meaning of Christmas -- Christ's ultimate gift of Life -- we struggle to  help our kids to fully understand this. And it makes things more difficult for Sam who struggles with things anyway.
This year we are doing things a little different and the kids drew names and they are to make a gift of the heart for the name they drew -- make something, give thier time for something for someone else, etc.  They seem to have had fun with this. we also are not focusing on presents-- but on Christ's gift to the world, spending time together as a family and relaxing. So no big turkey (as we had stopped doing that years ago) pizza and pj's instead! I hope it helps to get Sam back into a right frame of mind --- and me too!
We received a letter last week from Winnipeg on another psych eval for Sam. It was just to let us know that they will be contacting us in the near future for an appt... so wait, wait, wait.
Joshua also has been to the doctors of late -- he has been having troubles with shakiness in his hands. He went for blood work last week and we are waiting for those results. If they are clear we will be going to a neurologist for testing -- but something the doctor asked Josh is if there was any stress issues he is dealing with. The last 2 years Josh has started a nervous habit of shaking his hand or his foot --ever since July29/08.
when I arrived at the hospital Joshua told me what he saw happen: He turned to see Sam lift the gun up to shoot, he saw Sam get hit in the head with the scope and then fall over... "and then there was so much blood mom" (I will NEVER forget those words or the look on my son's face) Josh had seen Sam get shot but now does not remember it. We have spoken to him about it (what he saw), what he was thinking, we have had them both walk us thru the day up until that moment and never once does he repeat the story he told me at the hospital. Now he says he turned and saw Sam laying on the ground...he doesnt even remeber hearing the gun go off. we have asked if he and Sam were gooffing around, if they wre fighting, if he made promises to God ... his memory of that day is good until the point where Sam got shot...
So we will be looking in the New Year for someone to help Josh too because we wonder if he has (which would be NO surprise) unresolved issues or something.

I am not complaining here or whining (I hope it isnt going to come across as that anyway!) but just when a person would think that things are starting to get to where it isnt a "big" thing anymore... BAM! I am still struggling with what to say to people when they ask how we are doing, because for the most part all they really want to hear anyway is that we are "fine" so it is easier to tell them that. If I tell them more I get "oh typical teen behaviour" BS that makes me want to smack someone! (I seriously wonder what people say to cancer patient parents when they  talk about their children and their issues with them... are they as cold and callous?  Do they comment that 'oh don't worry! this too shall pass?' or 'oh don't worry they will grow out of it'.... sigh
I have had people ask me how they can pray for my family and I have finally found the answer!
Please pray for psychological healing for us all, for help to be found that will aid in this healing and for people to be more understanding to our situation and not be so lackadaisical in their comments or responses towards us.

Merry Christmas everyone....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My 30 day challenge -- at Day 21

Something I wish I could forget... July 29, 2008
The day my second son Samuel was shot in the head with a .22
It was a total freak accident and he is doing amazingly
but I still wish I could forget
It is so still all encompassing and all consuming of our lives
And will be for the rest of it
This picture was taken on my cell phone about 4 days after
We had just moved to CK-3 ward
The left side of Sam's face was still paralyzed
He was still very tired
We still thought we were in Winnipeg for a long haul
And when he gets really tired and stressed this lopsided smile will return
He doesn't even remember this picture
And I can't forget it
This picture stops my heart and makes my catch my breath and tears come so very readily
I can smell the hospital
I can hear the noises
I can feel the fear that was still in my heart that I may lose my baby
Then I usually look over at Sam now and it all disappears
And he is with us

This is from my other blog andinmycorner ... it is a 30day  photo/life challenge. I found this picture the other day and realized I had never posted it here. So I decided share....

Monday, December 6, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year!? are you kidding me!?!

I think it is the time of year or something... between Sam and his up and down emotions (well that may be because he is a teen with a BI) and Dennis and his highs and lows... then my dad and his irratic moods... I just want to either scream and yell or sit and cry.
I was visiting with my dad last week (like I usually do on Thursday evenings when the boys are at cadets) and when I went in to see him I was not Jodi... again. I was Lois or Millie (his sisters) or some other name of people I don't know. I try to giggle with him about it but some days it just hurts. I want to just cry and yell and ask "Why!? Why don't you ever know me!?" He will recognize other people easily but not me. He will almost always know Dennis... and my mom and his other family members... but not me. I try to tease him that he has forgotten me but really it just kills me. I am his only child.... his ONLY daughter... and he rarely knows my name. He was not at my wedding and he will argue with me that he was NOT there... and yet he was at Dennis' wedding-- but I was not the bride.
That was last week...
And then there is this lovely issue of teen-dom. Stress of things is starting to take its toll on Sam. He has lost 6 pounds, he isn't sleeping well and he is grouchy a lot. With the Christmas holidays coming and our house being busier with visitors, parties (we just had a surprise party for my mom's 60th), Sam's birthday is on the 16th of this month... he seems to be more tired and less happy. 2 weeks ago I got a glimpse of my old Sam (before the accident) and I had to really work hard to not cry when I did. We were traveling to say goodbye to our friends who were out for a visit from New Zealand and Sam and I had the radio cranked and we were singing loudly and laughing... he hasn't done that in so long. We used to always sing in the car -- then there was the accident and the loud music was too much for him, then the music was just too much (different ranges of tones i think) then when he was finally starting to get used to things and settle into his new personality-- he gets a cell phone. The cell phone was bought for emergency purposes but since he is still a teen it became more of an extension of his arm and his ear.
It started to cause a great deal of stress in his life...which in turn caused him to lose sleep, not eat, and now that we have weighed in -- lose weight (I know only 6lbs... but he is so skinny to begin with that 6 lbs is huge on his frame!) Thankfully we were smart enough to only get a pay as you go phone for him and now he is out of minutes and he has no money so his phone will sit on the counter for a long while until he can learn to handle the stress of a cell phone.  We are starting to see glimpses of the old Sam now that there is no extra appendages on his hand ☺ but he is still tired and out of sorts since there is so much of everything else going on too.
I will keep on praying for both dad and Sam...

Brain Injury Essay

The following write up was done by a local teacher (and our past daycare provider/neighbour/friend). She did a paper for her course on Brain Injury. Just thought I would share it with everyone! Enjoy and thanks again Cheryl!!!


Understanding Exceptionalities in the 21st Century: Chapter Fourteen
“Portfolio Submission”
Cheryl Beaumont
Brandon University

Understanding Exceptionalities in the 21st Century: Chapter Fourteen
            Canadian children enjoy sledding down hills, playing hockey, riding bicycles, and riding in vehicles. These everyday activities can result in traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries occur when a person’s brain receives a rapid acceleration or deceleration which results in tearing, bruising, or swelling of the brain (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2011). Although, car accidents are a major cause of serious head injury, children can also fall, get hurt when playing sports, or be physically assaulted (CBC News, 2009). Once someone has had a previous brain trauma, they are more susceptible to more serious consequences if they have another.
            The four main types of traumatic brain injuries include: concussions (a brain injury that is characterized by temporary loss on consciousness with amnesia, weakness on one side of the body, dilated pupils, or vomiting), contusions (bruising, swelling or laceration of the brain), skull fractures (broken skull bones), and hematoma (a blood clot caused by a blow to the brain) (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2011; CBC News, 2009). A brain injury may negatively affect a student’s educational performance.
            As educators, classroom teachers are members of the student support team. The student must be prepared for the demands of returning to school. Many teachers who receive these students are not adequately prepared to respond to their cognitive (decreased attention, memory deficits, poor concentration, etc.), academic (poor organizational skills, difficulties maintaining school demands, etc), and behavioral (social isolation, inability to prevent socially inappropriate behaviors, difficulties with relationships, etc.) needs (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2011). Brain injuries can affect every aspect of a person’s life; however, often without any visible physical symptoms (Manitoba Brain Injury Association, n.d.). This mismatch can lead people to overlook the disability and to misinterpret the behaviors as an individual’s shortcoming.

An unexpected brain injury occurred in small town Manitoba when a boy was injured from a self inflicted bullet from a .22 caliber rifle (Ginter, 2010). The bullet entered into his head and pierced through three lobes of his brain. The bullet remains there as it would be more traumatic to remove it. After surgery, he had a breathing tube, IVs, a pressure monitor, and monitors stuck to his chest and back to monitor his vitals. July 29, 2008 changed their family forever.
Two years after the injury, the parents of this child still have many obstacles to overcome as their child enters into the high school world where adolescents want to fit in and not be perceived as different or special (Ginter, 2010b). It is a time where their son’s tendency to act inappropriately is more than just a normal hormonal teenager figuring out his identity. It is a time of relearning how to act, relearning how to be organized, relearning how to be himself.
It is unrealistic to surmise what this child would have been like without the brain injury. What is important is that all educators being diligent to understand how a brain injury can affect a student’s learning and realizing that each student requires a unique educational plan that plans for success. The educational plan must be conscious of the student’s abilities, talents, and capabilities. Students that have brain injuries require educators to educate them, despite their differences.       
CBC News. (2009). In depth health: Head injuries. Retrieved on December 5, 2010, from
Ginter, J. (2010a). Brain injuries [Presentation]. Neepawa, MB.
Ginter, J. (2010b). Brain injuries [Interview]. Neepawa, MB.
Hardman, M. L., Drew, C. J., Egan, M. W. (2011). Human Exceptionality: School,
Community, and Family (10th Ed.). Toronto, ON, CAN: Allyn & Bacon.
Manitoba Brain Injury Association. (n.d.). About brain injury. Retrieved December 5, 2010,