Friday, December 6, 2013

{just please don't} say anything

It is that time of year again when the Christmas rush is upon us. There are carols being sung, trees decorated, nativity scene set out, food being eaten, cookies baked ... basically memories being made. And once again I am at a time where my heart is aching, tears are always just there
I tried to get into a Christmas-y mood early and set up my Nativity scenes, set the tree up, baked some cookies and had carols and Christmas songs going in November this year --- which is a HUGE change for me. I have been fighting like mad to stay cheery and in what most people would call a Christmas mood. But it is now crashing down around me and I want to sit and cry, scream, crawl into bed and pull those covers over my head until this whole time is over. 

I know every year I struggle and this year is no different -- even with the head start to get into  the Christmas cheer before the Bah-humbugs got me.
But a few weeks ago I found some wonderful pictures of my dad with Josh and Sam just after Sam was born -- this was also the last Christmas (1995) I had with Daddy and  sadly the last time I saw him in person, before SHE and her boyfriend decided to so violently beat him (that was in August of 1996).  I posted these pictures on FaceBook and made a comment to the effect of that as much as I loved finding these pics I wish there were more of him and I together too. This brought comments of "just be glad you still have him" and "at least you are blessed to have him in your life still" and the like. I am sure they thought they were trying to help or that they felt they knew what they were talking about...

But I wanted to scream and rant that I dont have HIM! My dad was taken from me that fateful August afternoon when she and her boyfriend decided to take my Dad's life in their hands. The two of them took my dad from me. They took my childrens grandfather from them. They were able to beat him senseless, cause him to slip into a coma and walk away. Scott free. They both are walking free in the world able to enjoy life and their children and possibly grandchildren....

But what really gets me is that people minimalize my feelings of loss and grief with the assumption that my dad is still 'here'. 

Let me get this out there and set the record straight please.... not just for me but for others who may be living with this too! (I surely cannot be the ONLY one in the world)

When I go to visit Daddy at the PCH, it is only his body that I am visiting. The man in the wheelchair  is just the shell of the man who was my Dad. Gone is the man who had a wicked sense of style, a fabulous sense of humour. His laughing killer blue eyes would literally twinkle when he would tease me. They would dance when he would talk about his grand babies. Daddy's enormous, generous heart is not there. His love for semi's, family and "corny-make-you-cry" country songs is gone. Gone is my Daddy's love for life, singing and playing around with his guitar.
I know I can share all this through my with my kids -- and I truly hope I do, but the hard part is having to tell thim this with him sitting there ignoring me, not knowing me or even worse swearing obscenities at me or swearing very inappropriate things to me. When family/friends (and there arent many) come to see him or talk to him on the phone they are not graced with this kind of behaviour -- so they 'see'(or hear) the best and to be honest, I think Dad probably DOES know them and have memories of them. Dad may know I am "jodi" but the fact that I am HIS daughter is completely and utterly lost on him.
SHE and her boyfriend took not only my dad from us but they took my memories with him.... with him. I am an only child, of divorced parents and my Daddy was my 'bestie'. He and I would spend time in the trucks, shopping, watching tv, playing with toys, visiting family -- it never mattered what we did as long as we were together. I am an only child and I have no one to help me to remember times with Dad. I have no one to share those "Oh remember when we ..." or "Do you remember that time that ..." moments. And even sadder the old memories are now being replaced with the vulgarity he spews at me from time to time (and this is getting to be more and more frequent) and the fact that I am not who I should be to him anymore. His daughter, his partner in crime teasing my gran or my aunt, the one he would phone from work to share a joke with. I have no one to share the work load with (other than Dennis), guilt resides where love should when I cant get to see him and he has had no visitors for a few weeks. Guilt sits where love should when I tell people that my Dad died that day when he was beaten and I am told by others "be happy he is still alive". People who never knew my Dad or knew how our relationship was. How much I loved him and he loved me. How much we talked and laughed in a phone call, or how much was never said but felt as we would sit and watch an old movie or go for a coffee. I tell him now that I love him and his response is "i love you' but then it is his response to everyone from the nurses aid to one of the maintenance guys,  whether they say it to him or not. 
I dont know if I will ever get to fully grieve, because of  these ideas that I am "lucky" to have him. I WAS very lucky to have him as my Daddy but  now he is gone and I am left with his shell and a huge empty hole in my heart where he used to be. 
Ambiguous loss sucks and what really sucks is that no one understands(what I live with is the same as with someone who is caregiving someone with Alzheimers or Dementia)... and the huge irony in this all is that I am living the same issues that my survivors are with the need for education of what we are living. 
If in your travels you happen to encounter someone who may be struggling (or they may not 'seem' to be because they are working hard to keep it under wraps) with loss or grief, please choose your words carefully. You never know what hurts or holes they are trying to heal or deal with. And when it comes to loss you just never know... there are many, many kinds... 
And if you ARE struggling with this horrible ambiguous loss issue,  I would be interested to know how you handle it whether it be graciously or not. Do you have a standard go to answer for people if they happen to belittle your feelings or do you go from the cuff? What do YOU do? 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Unsung Hero

I found this post in my drafts folder! It was started last year -- things must have gotten busy and I forgot to finish and post it! So here it is...

These are a couple of heroes we have encountered at our BI support meetings. Charlie and Peggy...
Charlie is a BI survivor and  Peggy, his wife, is (in her words) the Surviving Caregiver.
This wonderful couple seems to have taken a shine to our Sam and he to them. They are our extended family now.
Charlie was driving a truck that was hit by a train and survived.  Charlie is one of the main reasons that Sam goes to the meetings, I think because  for one, Charlie is in the same boat as Sam. They are both miraculous survivors of accidents that typically people dont make such amazing recoveries with. They both are walking miracles and are living with the reality of "well-you-look-fine-what-do-you-mean-you-have-a-brain-injury" mentality of the public. Reason number two is that Charlie can make Sam smile no matter what his day has been like.

Peggy is SO amazing too! She has been through so much with not only Charlie and his recovery but with all that life throws at you! (she was also a careigver to multiple people, like me!) I so enjoy geting texts and FB links from Peggy -- she always manages to make me smile too, no matter what my day is like. She is a busy lady looking after her hubby, mother in law, cooking, gardening .... life. We try to get together with them at times other than just at BI meetings and there IS a dream for Peggy and I (and another BI caregiver friend) to get away for a weekend 'just us girls' ... but so far we are all too busy to get away! LOL

Both Peggy and Charlie are big advocators for Brain Injury Awareness, volunteering with P.A.R.T.Y programs in the area, helping with the BI walk that our group held in June, getting bracelets out to people, WEARING  bracelets!!! I honestly dont know where I would be the last few years without Peggy and Charlie in our lives to be friends to talk with about Sam and where we are in life! So I just wanted to take some time and some blogging space inthe universe to hold these two amazing people up and let the world see some amazing Survivors and Caregivers who make a BIG difference in lives!!

Thank you Peggy and Charlie!! We love you and you are our heroes!!! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Can I get a WHOOP! WHOOP!?

I had a bit of a shock last week as I was looking thru my Brain Injury Advocate email acct and found a about a dozen or more emails from people who emailed me back in June about wanting bracelets! My heart stopped and I felt a bit sick ... people had emailed me and I had not seen them!! Luckily, I still had bracelets left (not many), so I prayed... and prayed... then I started addressing envelopes, signing letters and filling out some window cards for their envelopes. Then I started playing with the number of bracelets in accordance to the requests... then I started replying to emails and moving them to my "inbox". I was able to get out bracelets to every one of those emails. Sadly not all were the numbers they were requesting but I did get them out! Now after lunch I will put them in the mail and they will be off to their new homes!
So let me state this for the record...
ALL 1500 TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS BRACELETS ARE OUT IN THE WORLD!!! (can I get a whoop! whoop!?)  I am so thrilled to have been able to not only send bracelets to a new country this year (Thank you Russia!)
I have had many beautiful emails sent to me of survivor stories and caregiver stories. I will try to sit this winter and reply to as many as I can on a more personal level. My heart would soar when I would see a number beside my email inbox and see that someone was sharing their corner of their experience with brain injury with me. Some stories brought me to tears and some made me smile but ALL warmed my heart! THANK YOU to everyone who emailed and asked for bracelets, picked them up in the public venues in our town, donated time, money or other things for me to be able to do what I have done for the third year in a row! I am truely blessed to have such wonderful people in my life personal and via the internet! I wish I could hug you all for helping me in spreading this awareness -- because lets face it without you guys sharing, emailing and talking about it... it never would have happened so give yourselves a big pat on the back!!! WAY TO GO!!! 
I am excited to see what next year will bring and I am already working on the campaign, my letter and what I will be using to help spread awareness!! So please stay tuned!!

OH NO!! Emails from June just found on my acct!!
 ACK I HAVE to get bracelets to these people!
envelopes, envelopes and more envelopes all filled with BI Awareness bracelets!
Getting things ready to go to town to the post office!!

My bracelet and awareness basket it now empty... how will I spend my time!? 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Where does the time go!?

It is so hard to believe that yet another summer has almost come and gone.  NOt only has the summer been flying by but so has life  and by life I mean kids growing up! Joshua graduated this June -- sigh. (I am feeling so old some days!) AND he has moved out. ok, he moved into our old house across the road but still, he is not living in our home anymore (although we DO see him more now than when he lived with us -- go figure...) 
Josh receiving his diploma!❤

Proud papa and mama! 

Our graduate and his beautiful girlfriend Dana! {we heart her}

Official "grad pic" He looks like one of The Duckmen! :)
Another Brain Injury Awareness campaign is also {almost} done too..... Well what I mean is I am not mailing out piles of envelopes every week now, but I do still get a trickle of emails with requests for them. I have about 100 left and hope to continue sending the bracelets out until they are all gone! 
This year I had one goal for myself with regards to the bracelets and that was to send some to a country I had not sent to last year! Then one morning in July I received an email with a request for some, so I replied back to please send me their mailing address and low and behold it was somewhere I hadn’t sent any bracelets! MOSCOW, RUSSIA!!!  I was so excited and that prompted me to map out everywhere I had sent bracelets in total! I discovered that I had sent bracelets to 5 provinces in Canada, 42 states in the USA and 6 countries in total!!

 I was shocked!  I still AM shocked! 

That was almost 1500 bracelets out in the world! 

So now I need to work on a goal for next year -- maybe it should be to deliver some bracelets in person ... {grin}

The summer has gone by so quick and we have been so busy with the farm and the kids that it is hard to remember all that has happened.

One big surprise for Dennis and I was in July when we went to Dauphin Bible Camp (where Isaac was working as a work hand) to see one of the teens from our church be baptized). After church that Sunday, there was a baptism planned for 4 people and there ended up being 13 in total when it was over and one of those 13 was our boy Isaac! He felt lead to be baptized as he was walking up to the pool and in his testimony he told how he was wanting to be baptized by our minister Pastor Dean (who moved to Alberta a few years ago). He told how while he was walking up he felt that God spoke to him telling him that it didn’t matter WHO did the baptizing, it was WHO he was being baptized thru in the NAME OF.
We were {and still are} so proud of him! 
Isaac giving his testimony ... ❤

Declaring he has accepted Jesus

Hold yer breath! :D

Born again!! ❤❤ so proud of him! 

It was a big step and we noticed a huge difference in him when he came home that day and while he was at home for the week and a half before heading back to camp for Cabin Leader Training (CLT).  All he could talk about was what he had learned, read and saw, other kids that were there and what they had/have learned! He read the book of Revelation (not my first choice of books in the Bible to read but it is so Isaac! :) ) He was talking about next year and working at camp for the summer already too! He was so excited about working with kids and going back.
We pick up the boys next week from camp and this weekend Hannah heads up for teen camp. Then next week everyone is home and we are getting back into regular life routine and getting ready for ... Ugh... Winter 

This fall school season will see Sam in grade 12 (not sure if he is going to do an entire year as he CAN be done after the first semester), Isaac in grade 11 and Hannah in grade 9. SInce Joshua has now graduated  and is well and settled in our ‘old  house’ across the road AND working full time but also plans on going to get his Class 1 Drivers License for trucking. 

Dennis and I are busy with the farm and life and I just signed myself up for some night courses in photography at the local college. So this winter I will have something to keep me busy now that I am not running back and forth to Winnipeg with appointments. 
As of July Sam is2 years seizure free and this  August he will be one year without medication and back to his ‘normal’ self. I say ‘normal’ as we still have issues with BI moments and then there are those darn hormones that like to throw in monkey wrenches where we don’t expect OR want them! Lol But then if life were too normal, who would want it!?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Just a quick update!

I am going to just say now that we are still without internet in our new home---agggggh! I typed this letter out and waited until I had free wifi to post this! 

I have always known that guilt sucks but this past weekend it really hit hard...

This weekend a beautiful TBI caregiving mom had to make the hardest decision ever to make. She had to decide to take him off of life support. I cannot imagine what she had to go thru to get to that decision and then to not only follow thru with it but sit and wait while the child she gave birth to and raised, nurtured and loved as a baby and then toddler, helped to learn to ride a bike and go to school.... Then to live thru his quad accident in 2008 and again start over with all the teaching all the basics and learning herself how to adjust to a ‘new normal’.

Whenever I hear of the stories of survivors and caregivers struggles with their journey into surviving and continuing life as a Brain Injury survivor I struggle with guilt.
How come our Sam was able to survive a gun shot to the head when most children do not? How come he not only survived but thrives today? How come Dennis was able to survive a major truck/train accident and then go on to marry, have kids and live a life he loves? How come my dad was beaten up and lives but only as a quadriplegic with severe brain damage? 

In the past few months I have had a friend, who as a kid back in the day, was very close to me, lose her young 6yr old son to brain cancer. I have read numerous accounts of others with children who have survived brain injuries to have a multitude of issues to live with on a daily basis! I have heard of stories of people who had lost their children to something that would have resulted in a Brain Injury...

It makes me cry every time I hear these stories. It breaks my heart to know that there are moms and dads out there that have to say goodbye to their sweet babies. How come we were so lucky? I am not saying I want to trade places with others, but why us and not them? 
On a more cheery note:

Bracelets are flying out of our house at a phenomenal speed and I made a post on a FB page the other night to see if anyone else in the TBI world would like some... Well within less than 24 hours I had 82 emails in my inbox and so many more responses on the post! I was OVERWHELMED!  Then I started to read some of the letters and my heart broke and soared at the same time...I am trying hard to reply to emails as I can, but since we have no internet at home it is hard to do and my phone is waaaaaaaay over its limit usage on internet ... I am working hard to get the emails with addresses in them wrote out so I can get people bracelets but WOW! I am just absolutely gobsmacked at the requests! 

I started with 1500 beautiful white and green bracelets this year and as of last Friday (May 31st) I was down to 450-ish. All the kids in our kids school were given one along with a write up in the school newsletter about BI, I have been sending bracelets out in the mail to everywhere, there are local businesses where I am refilling their baskets with bracelets every time I am in town and I have even had my bracelet removed from my arm so that a lovely lady could have one! 

Brain Injury Awareness month has just basically started here in Canada and already 1000 people are becoming educated about BI’s. Now if we could only get it to a more global scale... maybe there would be less moms and dads having to make decisions that are too hard to imagine ... Maybe there would be more parents and other family members walking out of the hospital actually armed with knowledge of what to expect when they not only get home but what could occur in the near AND distant future! I hope that people are taking my challenge and educating themselves (and others) on the severity of Brain Injuries! Time will tell!

Monday, April 22, 2013

they're finally here!!

Well our 1500 beautiful Brain Injury bracelets have landed!!! Joshua picked them up this weekend for me and brought them home last night! Now onto the fun part! 
If you want a bracelet (or a few to share) just email me at:
with your mailing address and I will send them along to you! The bracelets are free but if you wish to make a donation to them that is up to you! You can also donate to YOUR local brain injury association! All I ask is if you take some please take some pictures of yourself (and others if applicable) wearing the bracelet - you can either email me the pictures or friend me on FB and tag me in the pic! I will add it to our FB page Canadians with Traumatic Brain Injuries so that survivors and caregivers can feel the love! (I would love to share where you are from also!)  I only order 1500 this year because I changed the bracelets to painted debossed ones so that increased the price a bit on the ordering end. I have a few left from last year (50 or so) that are the all green with Aquired Brain Injury on them if anyone would like one of those... 
Well I am off to spread a bit of awareness and share my  Monday smiles with people!! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

so excited!!!!!

I hope to have some exciting news to share tomorrow!!! So please stay tuned!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

An inspiration to me...

Now a while back when Duck Dynasty started on A&E I saw it advertised and thot 'what a weird show! Nope I wont watch it!' ...

Famous last words.. of well... yes a fool!

 I dont remember how I came to watch the show but I do remember the impact it made on me as I watched Phil Robertson talk, Willie, Jase, Korie and Miss Kay interact. I was in love with a family that was so much like our own in so many ways and yet .... not.
Then came the kicker from the show that had me hooked from the start of the last scene: this beautiful, fun loving family sitting down to dinner together, hats coming off, heads bowing and Phil saying not only grace but a heartfelt, jaw dropping, simple thanks to the Lord that brougth tears to my eyes. I was in awe!

We have started watching Duck Dynasty (and now that we have found where to find Duck Commander) as a family. Our entire family are fans of the Robertsons and we all have our "you remind me of..." moments while we watch!
I love the way they work together, support each other and work hard to make thier faith and family first in their lives. But there are days where I just want to sit and cry as I watch an episode (or 3- thanks to the PVR! :) ) I wish our kids could appreciate their faith and family a little more. Now without saying any names we have 2 that seem to be doing their best to do the opposite of everything we have taught them and then the other 2 that seem to be doing well with taking advise, talking thru problems and walking in faith. We have had one child tell me that they don't believe and my response was "it jaust makes me pray harder and more for you". There is a lack of respect towards our rules and sometimes our beliefs from the 2 that are seeming to be walking away from us.
We are in family counselling and Josh doesnt come to ANY meetings- he is 18 (almost 19) and doesnt need or want any help... so what do you do?
The other is rude in the meetings: ignoring the counsellors questions, turning to face walls, blaming everyone for their problems instead of looking at their own life choices. This attitude follows us home with expectations that everything is 'owed' to this child because they have gotten the wrong end of the stick with life. (or so it seems like that is the reasons for their behaviour) This child also wants to move into Foster care BUT only if they can move and live where THEY want. Even the counsellor AND their youth counsellor said that is not the way it works.

I know every family has its moments and its different characters that all make up the family unit but how do you deal with the family as a whole when 1 or 2 dont want to be part of this family!? It is so confusing how 4 kids raised in one house by the same parents will come to such totally different ends of the spectrum! Dennis and I KNOW we must have been doing something right somewhere at sometime when we have 2 that are on that faith and family path and working to stay there!

I am almost finished reading Willie and Korie's book 'The Duck Dynasty Family' and have really enjoyed it. But again there have been a few moments of tears with family stories and the closeness of them all.

Dennis and I have always worked to keep our family  close and unfortunately somewhere we dropped the ball but we will continue to work hard to keep our family together. We sometimes talk about how when you think an accident like we have all survived, you would think it should bring ya'll closer together.... apparently not in our case. It is really sad because BEFORE the accident we were a close, tight knit family like the Robertsons.

I would love for our Ginter family to meet the Robertson family in person.  I know all our members would love it! And maybe there would be a residual effect of meeting them to know that there ARE other families that love being a family...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

sometimes I just feel like ....

Maybe it is more of a pity party thing but sometimes it is just a plain and simple I am exhausted from it all.
I am tired of advocating
I am tired of phoning, emailing, reaching out to others only to be let down and ignored (well that is how it feels to me anyhow)
I am tired of watching out for everyone
I am tired of not having others to confide in about everything that is happening
I am tired of feeling so alone even in a house full of people

I have been working hard on getting stuff out there and trying to get some people to listen and possibly help me in some way.... but so far I have had a butt load of people tell me to send them emails with our story and pics of what I am doing and trying to do. I have had them tell me they will get back to me via emails, phone calls, meetings etc. and so far no one has. It is very discouraging and I am seriously tired. I didnt start this part of our life so that I could waste precious time with the rest of my family and friends to be treated like a nobody -- and that is how I feel. I have others emailing me wanting things that cost money that we dont have. I have people emailing me asking me to do more for THEIR cause but no help in return. I have learned to not share any information about the emails and calls I get... but then there is stress built up as I am the only one to deal with it all...

The past few years I have been very busy from Jan to June trying to spread awareness and help educating the public about brain injury awareness. This time has taken a toll on my family  and I wonder if it will be worth it in the long run.
Dennis wants me to focus on one area of awareness- which I have been trying to do. My dad doesnt seem to know or care one way or another and Sam I think would honestly just like me to stop altogether.

I did not start with helping educate the public about brain injury for fame and fortune... I did it in hopes of bringing awareness to the public so that if someone finds themselves in the same spot I was in (with my dad, Dennis and Sam) that they would A. not feel so alone B. know that there is hope C. maybe have a bit of an idea where to start when it comes to looking for help or support

Have I bitten off more than I can chew?

Is it time to throw in the towel and admit defeat?

Maybe the time has come to walk away and let someone else take over?  

I dont know what to do anymore....

Friday, February 22, 2013

tired...again or still?

Sam has been under a lot of stress lately from some 'teen drama' that has made it's appearance in our lives once again. So we have been working hard to get him to keep eating properly, get good sleep, keep handing the stress and the issue to God when it arises in his thoughts and last night we stopped at the CATC and picked up booklets that he worked in last year when he was there to help him to deal with the stress. He thought he had worked in a 'stress' booklet but doesnt quite remember as the time was when he was till pretty high on the meds.
I have been praying for him almost constant and I have been trying to keep handing this to God too -- so I dont get sick myself-- but I am worried about this stress triggering seizures and setting us back to somewhere we dont want to be. I cannot go back to that point of hospitals and meds again.

I know if it happens I can.... I just really dont want too. I am so tired right now from life that I want to crawl into bed and not come out until I am not tired anymore-- whether it takes a few days, weeks or a few months....

Last night Dennis and I got home from a Holistic Financial course and there was a message from Daddy's  PCH. They were informing me that he is sick with an upper respirtory chest infection and has spiked fevers for the last few days. The nurse practitioner had a look at him and he is on zithromax now  and will be for 4-5 days. When we were there last week, he looked like he was getting a cold or something. We didnt get in to see him last night as we were exhausted from being in our course all day so then I felt like garbage because when a resident is sick they spend all day in thier room.... so my dad was all day in his bed, sick with no company and we didnt go and see him. We are going to the course again today but we will not be home again until late (and we are leaving very early in the morning) so we wont see be able to stop and see him. I had planned on not going to church on Sunday so Sam could rest but I might now go so I can go and see Dad...

I am just so tired of being tired.
I am tired of smiling for everyone.
I am tired of pretending I am not tired.
I am tired of feeling like I am failing at every turn.
I am tired of talking to people about BI only to have to tell it to them all over again tomorrow.(and please understand that I am NOT talking about survivors--I am meaning family, friends, the public-- people who just dont GET IT)
I am tired of always feeling like there is a huge dam of tears sitting right there waiting to burst.
I am tired....

Friday, February 15, 2013

this sucks

After last nights visit with Daddy, I called his PCH today and spoke with one of his nurses.
She confirmed that he is regressing...
He IS getting quieter...
He IS not participating mas much as he once did...

...but ....
He IS still eating well...
His health otherwise IS fine...
He is NOT losing weight...

I am glad to hear these last things...

so why then am I sitting here with such a heavy heart? 
I have a ton of tears sitting just behind my eyes and I want to cry but to so that might mean I may never stop...

I tried talking to him last night about what we had been up to this week and the conference we attended...
he just looked past me...
dennis tried to force him to look at me by moving his chair to face me...
to talk to me...
 and nothing, so I turned him around to the tv before I started crying in front of him.
my heart hurts...

i just want my daddy back

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Date night with Dad...

My date nights with Daddy are getting quieter and quieter. He doesn't speak much or even look at me. I find it hard to talk to him about life because when I talk he gives me (what in my mind are) dirty looks or disgusted looks. So I am unsure if I am annoying him or if he is just .... something else.
Daddy in bed on our Thursday Date night...
Dennis has been coming with me more lately and honestly I find it a huge relief- then the pressure is off me and Dad will sometimes respond more with Dennis. For example, 2 weeks ago we were there for a visit and after a half hour Dad looked so tired so I went to find a nurse to put him in bed. He hadn't spoke much and mostly sat with his eyes closed. When I left to find a nurse Dennis asked why Dad was so tired and his response was because he had "been hog tying calves all day."Dennis questioned him on this and Dad was adamant that he had been doing just that "hog tying calves". Now my dad was not a farmer or a cowboy... he was a trucker... so where this came from I don't know- perhaps a dream? Dad also told Dennis that he wanted us to leave because he was tired...But when I got back to the room Dennis told me what Dad had said, I asked Dad about it and he ignored me and wouldn't even acknowledge me, with the exception that he did indeed want us to leave. 
I know I shouldn't take it personally and I should be happy he is expressing himself, but it hurts that he wont talk with me (but will with Dennis) and that he asks us to leave when we come to visit.(this was not the first time he had asked this). 
This past Thursday Dad was already in bed and didn't acknowledge me again. We brought him ice cream and we watched 'The Big Bang Theory', All in the Family and M*A*S*H, yet he didn't speak with me. 
It is really at times like this I wish I had a sibling to sit with and reminisce, laugh, cry, share the responsibilities... someone else that would understand what I am going thru...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Am I getting thru...

The number of head injuries in this house keeps growing and I am getting tired.

Joshua was a work 3 weeks ago (he works for a local farmer) and while they were filling up an inside tire on the hay trailer it blew out. Josh's head just happened to be nearest as he was the one going to take the air hose off the tire. There was nothing 'wrong' with the tire and they didn't over fill it -- it was just one of those freak things. Now, in our area most people know that head injuries are a big thing with us (no kidding...)  and that I personally take them VERY seriously....

.... apparently my oldest son does not realize this. He did not go to the hospital right away (hospital is only 10minutes from his work), I am not sure what (or if) his boss said to him but he drove home 20 minutes after finishing the rest of his shift, a major migraine and ringing in his ears, light and noise sensitivity and just a general 'off' feeling....

major migraine....

ringing in his ears....

light and noise sensitivity....

feeling 'off'....

This happened on a Monday and it wasn't until WEDNESDAY that he went to the hospital to see about it -- due to headaches and ringing still in his ears. The doctor there told him he had a concussion (no kidding...) and no work or a week or so, make an appointment with our doctor and if things get worse go see our doctor straight away.  Joshua saw our doctor the  following Friday and was sent for a CT scan the next Friday (which was the day before yesterday). The doctor will get the results on Monday (tomorrow) so we will wait to see what is happening.  Josh is still experiencing some headaches and ringing every once in a while, too.

After all we have been thru with Sam, Dennis, Dad and Isaac, I would have really hoped that Josh would have taken things a bit more serious and headed straight to the hospital. He is very lucky on quite a few levels in regards to what happened and what the outcome could have been. I am hoping it is mostly just down to him being a 'man' and an 'invinsible' 18 year old one at that... but am I doing a well enough job in spreading awareness and making people realize just how serious concussions and any head injury are!?

Dennis and I sat here one day and in my family alone I have many (seven at last count) family members with head injuries, all ranging from mild to severe.  Am I getting thru to anyone? Does anything I say make sense to anyone and they are taking the precautions needed to protect their brain and their future?!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In case you were wondering...

As the first semester starts to wind down, Sam is staying busy with finishing projects, studying, writing up last assignments and exams.
He is now 6 months med free and doing so well. His tremors have almost dimished 100% (except for when he is tired) and his energy levels are up up UP! He plays sports, has his learners, he helps on the farm and at his grandparents farm. Sam has been doing much better in school too! His marks are up too! Looking back (hindsight and all that jazz) we should have moved everyone to this school when wem oved here 3 years ago! Maybe we wouldnt have had all the issues we did and Sam would be graduating this year!
We have been noticing some fatiguing the past week or so and that is understandable as he is on the basketball team and still in cadets. Today is Sam's last exam and it is history...not his favorite subject but he is bound to get thru it. And then tomorrow he has no exams and has already plans to stay home and get caught up on sleep.
On Friday we are going into Brandon to have eyes checked and it will be interesting to see if his prescription has changed again-- which it seems to do everytime we go!
On a side note (and a bit disturbing)still no word from the epileptologist who was wanting to see Sam in August... makes you wonder some days... maybe he didnt like what we had said in our last appointment? He doesnt even know what Sam went thru last summer and what all lead us up to him getting off his meds! I assume he assumes all is well and there are no worries. But when July and August (then September and October) came and went with no word from hiis office on an appointment or a check in -- Sam took matters into his own hands and as far as we are concerned it was for the best!

I have been busy with some BI Awareness ideas for 2013. I have looked into window clings, bracelets and ribbon magnets. I was hoping to do clings or magnets but the cost per unit is too much (so far)and I am hoping to get as much bang for my buck to get awareness out there! I was also hoping to do something that was light (like the bracelets) as when I ship them to people they are not expensive to send since they are so light and pliable! So I will keep on looking for what I can find. I was thinking maybe white silicone bracelets with green writing so that they would stand out a bit more. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions please let me know! I am still in the looking and pricing out stages!!