Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Me & Mella

This morning I was getting ready for an appointment. I was sitting at my vanity and straightening my hair when Melody asked if we could play house. I told her that I didn’t want to play right now. Usually when we play house she’s the baby and I’m the Mommy. I know, it’s a stretch for me to play the Mommy, but I do what I can.

Anyway, I told her that I didn’t want to play at the moment and she said, “Please? I could be the baby and you could be the teenager that fixes her hair and never talks to me.”

“Okay” I said. “I can play.”

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Change

Change.

It’s in our government.

It’s in our church.

It’s in our school.

More importantly to me…It’s going on all around me.

Don’t forget to breathe Brandi!

The Lord knows that I enjoy change. I don’t like the same ol’ thing all the time. I enjoy things to move & shake, but there’s just too much movin’ an’ a shakin’ goin’ on around me.

Nothing is particularly wrong with the changes. It’s just that there’s so many all at once.

Tomorrow is the last day of school for my kids. After that they’ll be at home all day everyday. That’s five children at home all day everyday. That’s five children trying to tell me something very important all day everyday. I actually enjoy summers with the kids. It’s just a big change in our life.

There’s no more baseball. Spencer’s season is over. I really enjoyed going to his games and even his practices.

My little Melody is graduating from Kindergarten in just a couple of hours. She’s my “Baby Lots.” How can she be big enough is be done with Kindergarten?

I’m not going to have my quiet time with Miles or myself during the day since it will be summer. It’s great for Miles because he has lots of interaction with the other kids, but at the same time I’m so distracted that I don’t feel like I ever get everything done for him that he needs. It’s always a struggle for me to attend to all his needs when I’m constantly pulled in several directions.

There’s no more Life Groups. We had a meeting Sunday where we were told that Life Groups are over. I’m fine with it. I kind of understand the meaning behind the decision. It’s just that Randy and I have been Life Group leaders for the last 7 or 8 years and now it’s not. That’s a pretty big change!

Changes at school have been made for next year. Of course those particular things don’t matter much until the Fall, but they still keep reminding me of their impending plans to mix things up.

I’m now involved with our personal finances. I haven’t been is many years. Randy needs my help now with our personal finances and with the business’. I’ve never been a part of the “paperwork” for his business, but he needs me to be now. This will be sort of like a work at home job for me. I’m excited about this change, but it’s just so far from where I’ve been for years.

Miles is going to have physical therapy at the house this summer because I’ll have all the rest of the kids with me. This means that I won’t be going to the rehab.

Possibly the biggest change, and perhaps the culprit for stirring up all my emotions is the fact that Joey’s last day at Cornerstone is tomorrow. He has outgrown the school. He will be in middle school next year. My first baby that I brought home from the hospital so many years ago is now eating an adult meal from the menu. He’s too big for Children’s Church. He’s almost as tall as me and he borrows his Poppa’s socks.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

Yes, that’s what it is that I feel…melancholy. Melancholy and sentimental.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Opinions Desired

I just read an article (it's attached) about a mom who now has a warrant out for her arrest because she's refusing to get court ordered chemo for her 13 year old son. Oh my gosh do I have an opinion about this!

This is crazy! How in the world can a court order someone to have chemo? How can a court demand a parent put THEIR child through chemo? I think that is totally their decision. I don't think it's the decision I would make, but I'm not in that situation. Their family believes in natural healing methods instead of modern medicine. I personally believe in both, but again, I'm not in their particular situation.

The judge is saying that the parents are "medically neglecting the child" by not getting chemo for his cancer.

For Miles, Randy and I have to prayerfully consider what to do and not to do for Miles medically. There have been things we've felt like is unnecessary & there have been things we've felt good about & there have been things I totally didn't want to do, but felt like we were supposed to do. Those were choices that Randy and I made for our son. I can't imagine being court ordered to do something for him! It totally offends me!

I know that courts and social services are good in situations were there's abuse and neglect in the food, water and shelter area. Those are basic needs that need to be met. I'm not arguing that. I just think that medical situations like this is a personal decision on treatments. I think individuals should have the right to choose treatment or not. Both the child and the parent doesn't seem to desire being treated and I don't think they should be forced to do so.

The mother and son are now in hiding. She's got a warrant out for her arrest and he's sick with cancer. What in the world?

The article says that his cancer is considered highly curable, but obviously not a guaranteed thing. What do you think? Should the parents be legally forced to make their child go through chemo? I totally want your opinion. I don't care if you don't agree with me. I'd just like to hear what you think about this situation.

Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

By AMY FORLITI, Associated Press Writer
38 mins ago
NEW ULM, Minn. – Authorities nationwide were on the lookout Wednesday for a mother and her 13-year-old cancer-stricken son who fled after refusing the chemotherapy that doctors say could save the boy's life.
Colleen Hauser and her son, Daniel, who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, apparently left their southern Minnesota home sometime after a doctor's appointment and court-ordered X-ray on Monday showed his tumor had grown.
Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg, who had ruled last week that Daniel's parents were medically neglecting him, issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for Colleen Hauser and ruled her in contempt of court. Rodenberg also ordered that Daniel be placed in foster care and immediately evaluated by a cancer specialist for treatment.
The family belongs to a religious group that believes in "natural" healing methods. Daniel has testified he believed chemotherapy would kill him and told the judge that if anyone tried to force him to take it, "I'd fight it. I'd punch them and I'd kick them."
The boy's father, Anthony Hauser, testified he didn't know where his wife and son were but had made no attempt to find them. He testified he last saw his son Monday morning, and he saw his wife only briefly that evening when she said she was leaving "for a time."
As of Wednesday morning, the mother and son still had not been found, said Carl Rolloff, a sheriff's dispatcher.
Officials distributed the arrest warrant nationwide. Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffman said Tuesday that investigators were following some leads locally, but declined to elaborate.
"It's absolutely crazy. It's very disappointing," James Olson, the attorney representing Brown County Family Services. "We're trying to do what's right for this young man."
A message left at the Hauser home in Sleepy Eye early Wednesday wasn't immediately returned. But in an interview in Wednesday's editions of the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, Anthony Hauser said he knew places where his wife might have gone though he did not know where she was.
He said he and his wife had a plan for Tuesday's hearing and he was a "bit disappointed" she didn't follow it. "We were going to present a treatment plan to the court. If they didn't go with it, we would appeal it," he told the newspaper.
"I know many people around here who have had cancer, they did the chemo, it would come back," Hauser told the newspaper. "They did the chemo again and again and they are all in the grave. Chemo isn't foolproof."
Olson, the family services lawyer, had considered asking the judge to hold Anthony Hauser in contempt as well, but he said Wednesday he decided against that.
"I'm thinking that he probably doesn't know where his wife and child are," Olson said.
Daniel's Hodgkin's lymphoma, diagnosed in January, is considered highly curable with chemotherapy and radiation, but the boy quit chemo after a single treatment.
The judge has said Daniel, who has a learning disability and cannot read, did not understand the risks and benefits of chemotherapy and didn't believe he was ill.
The Hausers are Roman Catholic and also believe in the "do no harm" philosophy of the Nemenhah Band, a Missouri-based religious group that believes in natural healing methods advocated by some American Indians. Colleen Hauser testified earlier that she had been treating his cancer with herbal supplements, vitamins, ionized water and other natural alternatives.
The founder of Nemenhah, Philip Cloudpiler Landis, said it was a bad idea for Colleen Hauser to flee with her son. "You don't solve anything by disregarding the order of the judge," Landis said.
The family's doctor, James Joyce, testified by telephone that he examined Daniel on Monday, and that an X-ray showed his tumor had grown to the size it was when he was first diagnosed.
"He had basically gotten back all the trouble he had in January," the doctor said.
Joyce testified that he offered to make appointments for Daniel with oncologists, but the Hausers declined, then left in a rush with lawyer Susan Daya.
"Under Susan Daya's urging, they indicated they had other places to go," Joyce said.
Daya did not immediately respond to a call Tuesday from The Associated Press. The court also tried to reach her during the hearing, but got no answer.
Minnesota statutes require parents to provide necessary medical care for a child, Rodenberg wrote. The statutes say alternative and complementary health care methods aren't enough.

Mi Amigas

Today is Mexican Fiesta Day at school for the kids.

I had no idea what they were going to wear, but together, the girls and I came up with a creative idea.

Jocie found her poncho that her Grammy made her a long time ago. Then I pinned a notecard to it that said, "Totillas for Sale." Melody loved the idea so she put on an apron that her Grandma Shirley bought her and had me put a note on it that said, "Tamales for Free!" They looked so cute.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Melody

Melody is graduating from Kindergarten this week!

She looks so grown up in this picture.
I've been noticing how she still talks a little funny. I'm trying to soak it all up and enjoy it while I can because I know she'll grow out of it soon. Jocie's just one year older than Melody but she seems so grown up compared to Melody. Randy and I call her "Baby Lots" because she's our baby a lot of times. (She actually made this name up for herself and it stuck.) Miles is actually the baby of the family, but Melody has a unique situation. She's also the baby of the family and it tends to work out nicely for her! I can't believe she's about to be finished up with Kindergarten. I'm not sure I'm pleased with this! I'm in no hurry for her to grow up. I love who she is right now. I love my Baby Lots.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Best Bag Ever!!!

Becky...I know you're going to love it!

Randy got me this bag although he doesn't really like it. :) He said if he were a woman he would be embarrassed to carry it.

Anyway, it's the best bag ever! There's not another bag out there that would be able to make me as happy as this bag! Where in the world can one go after this bag! I should either savor it and only use it every once in awhile or just go all the way and use it till it's threadbare.

A guy stopped me yesterday at the store and told me his Dad still had a Boom Box just like my bag. He said his Dad received it as a prize for a big Breakdancing Contest back in 1984. How sweet is that? See, the bag is already bringing people together.



Monday, May 11, 2009

Prayer Room

Every since the BFW in April I really had a desire to have a Prayer Room in our house. I thought it would be so great to have a room that was always prepared, clean and a place to go for prayer and worship. I love the Prayer House in Clyde, but it seems to be an ordeal to get there. I don't always have the time for a 40 minute drive, plus time while I'm there. Anyway, I talked to Randy several times about how I really wanted one, and we enjoyed trying to think up how we could do it. While I was gone on a women's retreat Randy made the Prayer Room a reality. It's so awesome! I can't explain to you how amazing it is! I've had it for over a week now and it's been an amazing blessing for our family.

Randy took in part of our office to make the Prayer Room. Almost everything, including materials were donated!!!! How amazing is that??? The materials were donated by Mike & Cherry from the scraps. Brenda Becker gave me a chair that belonged to her Great Grandmother! I feel so honored by that! Sherry Peters donated the material to recover the chair and also some for the valance. Emily Porter gave us an AMAZING painting that she was actually selling for $1000. No, I'm not kidding!!! Melody bought me a candle holder. Randy bought me a CD player for the room so worship music can continuously be playing in there. Also, Randy and Spencer donated lots of hours of hard work to make the room perfect. I feel so blessed!

When I walk in the room I immediately feel the presence of God in there. The world seems to fade away and I can pray without distraction. Everyone has enjoyed the room. The kids have been going in there and praying before school. (They do this all on their own.) Also, they have journals in there where they can pray or draw pictures for Jesus. Miles has taken a couple of naps in there. He sleeps with a little grin on his face. I believe angels are ministering to his body in there!

For Randy and I it's been a place of intimacy with the Lord. I'm thinking that everyone needs a Prayer Room in their house! It's so much easier to enter into conversation with God without all the distractions of this world going on around you. At life group this week we prayed together in there. It was so powerful!

Anyway, Here's some pictures of it.

The first one is of the outside of the room. It's not finished yet. The rest of the room is done! It's so beautiful! I'm very thankful!!!!!!!







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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

8 Things

Hey, I figure if this topic can bring Francesca back to blog then I can surely do it! So, thanks Rachel!

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To Do:

1. Seeing Miles totally healed!
2. Being a part of something that is world wide amazing!
3. Seeing my name & book on the #1 Bestseller's List.
4. Being a Grandmother. ( I know this is far far off, but I'm still so excited to hold Spencer's Red Headed Babies!)
5. Summer with the kids.
6. Not owning any medical equipment at my house.
7. Seeing my children marry Godly men & women.
8. Buying a Medium shirt for myself.

8 Things I wish I Could Do:

1. Go on a responsibility free vacation with my husband.
2. Enjoy vegetables & working out.
3. Go to a spa regularly.
4. Heal everyone with brain problems.
5. Be mechanically inclined.
6. Have my Mom's house totally remodeled.
7. Tell my Grandma Jody one more time how much she meant to me.
8. Never have to sleep.

8 Shows That I'm currently watching:

1. The Office
2. Parks & Recreation
3. 30 Rock, man I hate admitting that I like that show!
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

I will tag...hmmm...Cherith, Cherry & Annie.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Pump Overdose

Where do I begin?

Last Tuesday I took Miles to Ft. Worth to get his pump refilled. That appointment seemed to go just fine. (I posted pictures last week of the appointment.)

Well, Thursday during lunch I got a call from the hospital in Ft. Worth and the nurse that we saw on Tuesday asked me how Miles was doing. At first I said fine, but then I realized that he had been acting a little strange that day. I had taken Miles with me to my hair appointment and the lady that always does my hair noticed that Miles’ eyes looked glazed over. Also, he had been gagging a lot. He kept trying to throw up but he can’t because of he’s had a fundoplication. Anyway, so I told the nurse what he was doing and she asked me more questions when I finally said, “Why? What’s going on?” The hospital doesn’t usually make follow up calls to check up on him especially for a routine appointment.

That’s when she told me that when she refilled the pump she didn’t regulate it correctly. She explained that he was getting a concentrated dose directly to his spine instead of a regulated dose. He received a bolus of baclofen instead of getting it gradually.

She had just realized what she had done, and I was in the middle of lunch so both of us were having trouble deciding what to do. I already had plans to teach at Holli’s women’s retreat near San Antonio that weekend and I had already been to Ft. Worth one time that week so I was not in a hurry to drive up there if it wasn’t necessary. We were trying to figure out when I needed to come up there to get the pump checked up. I told her that the next week I was really going to be busy because I’m subbing a lot, and the first part of the following week she was going to be on vacation so we decided that I would come on the 13th to get it checked out. She was uncomfortable about that so she said that if Miles had any problems during the weekend that I needed to bring him on Monday. I agreed then we got off the phone.

I was eating lunch with Randy and his friend Bryan at that time so when I got off the phone I told them what was going on. Randy didn’t like the idea of us waiting until after the weekend to go there. He told me to call the nurse back and ask her if I needed to just go up there that day. This is so interesting to me because this is major role reversal here! I’m the one that is usually aggressive about Miles’ care. Randy’s usually the laid back one! I’m the one that thinks things are more serious and Randy’s the one that thinks nothing is wrong at all.

I had so many things to do to prepare for my upcoming trip that I didn’t want to take the time for a wasted trip to Ft. Worth. Randy didn’t want to risk something bad happening while I was gone for the weekend so he wanted me to go. I called the nurse back and she was relieved when I told her I could come that day.

I was already in Clyde so I traded vehicles with Randy and we were on our way. As I was making the 2 and a half hour drive Miles’ body seemed to be having difficulty. He was sleeping, but a couple of times he would open up his eyes and they were kind of rolling around. By the time that I got him in the clinic the nurse and doctor were concerned for him. He was so limp you could have balled him up and thrown him across the room. He had a very low breath rate. As they watched him the doctor said that they needed to keep him over night to monitor him.

I was shocked! I had not once thought about the possibility of him staying the night! I was not prepared at all! I didn’t bring anything with me. And listen to this…I have no idea why in the world I did this, but I woke up that morning feeling like I wanted to dress up that day. I didn’t want to wear my normal “mom clothes.” I was getting my hair done that morning so I wore a nice dress, uncomfortable shoes and I’ll admit…uncomfortable panties. Dang wanting to look cute! I went and got my hair done that morning and when Cindy, my hair dresser styled my hair she curled it instead of straitening it. I love when she straitens my hair so when I saw she was going to curl it I almost told her not to, but I figured it didn’t really matter so I just let her do it. She curled it, pinned it up a little bit and then sprayed more hair spray in my hair then I’ve used in my hair in two years! So, I’ve got a nice dry clean only dress on, cute/uncomfortable shoes on, uncomfortable panties and great big Barbie looking hair!

Miles gets put in a room at the hospital and as soon as he’s hooked up to all the monitors every alarm on that thing went off! There was no stopping it. All the bells and beeps were going off and the nurses were trying to set the controls lower so it wouldn’t be going off constantly. I was in the room for just about 2 minutes when the nurse told me that I needed to go downstairs and go to registration to get them his insurance stuff and so I could sign paperwork. That needed to be done before he was in the computer. Also, they told me to get something to eat in the cafeteria while I was down there because by this time is about almost 6.

I went downstairs, got some food from the cafeteria and took it to the car to eat so I could charge my phone a little because it was going to die if I didn’t and I knew I would need to use it a lot. So, I did that and then went in to register. As I was waiting for my turn to do that my name was called and they told me that I needed to go to Miles’ room right away. Let me assure you that this does not bring comfort to one’s soul. I had to make my way across the hospital and up to the 6th floor. Again, those cruddy shoes! When I got up to the 6th floor I found out that Miles had already been taken to the ICU. They tried to find me before they transported him but they couldn’t find me because I was in the parking garage. They decided that they couldn’t wait any longer because all his stats were dropping.

He was getting rapidly worse. Everything was dropping. His heart rate was down to 30 (when he left the hospital his heart rate was 109). His blood pressure was getting lower and lower so was his respiratory rates and his temp was down to 90 degrees.

When I got to the ICU there was a whirlwind of activity.
At the clinic they had already fixed his pump, but there was no way that they could remove the medicine from his body because it goes directly in his spine. If I were to overdose on baclofen then they could induce vomiting to help get it out, but they couldn’t do that with Miles. So they began to try to warm him up with a Bair Hugger and we just had to wait and see.

As his temp started to rise, his stats began to get better. He was still completely out of it, but he began to do better. After a couple of hours of being like that, he all the sudden opened his eyes, smiled at everyone and was his usual happy self. It was like God flipped a switch in him! All the things the doctors were worried about with an overdose came back normal. He was just his normal happy self. God rescued him again! I’m not sure he would have survived the night if we had not gone in to have his pump checked. I would have thought that he was just really sleepy like he gets sometimes and he could have just continued to drop his stats and died. I don’t say that for effect or to stir emotions. I just really think that was what would have happened.

Since his body was struggling so hard to survive he was in a deep deep sleep where I couldn’t wake him up. His body was shutting down and I wouldn’t have known that without him being on the monitors. God saved his life once again. I’m so grateful.

I decided since Miles was stable that I would try to get some rest. It had been a very long day. Let me remind you again of what I had with me…nothing! They did scrounge me up a tooth brush (no tooth paste) and some body soap and a bar of soap. They offered to get me some scrubs to wear but I said, “Thank you but no thank you.” So, I slept in my dry clean only dress with the uncomfy unmentionables and used a hospital pillow that was the size of a maxi pad.

I tell ya what though! When I woke up the next morning I made my way to the bathroom and I looked GOOD! My hair looked exactly like it did when I left the salon the day before! She put so much hairspray in it that it didn’t budge! My hair was still pinned up and looked great! My dress was a wrinkle free dress and it was actually wrinkle free. I brushed my teeth without toothpaste and I looked fantastic! I don’t know why that made me so happy but it did!

All night Miles did great. He didn’t sleep a wink. He was up smiling and laughing. He woke me up laughing one or two times. That morning he continued to do great. The doctor released us to go early afternoon that Friday because there wasn’t anything more they could do for him, and besides that he looked great. They let him leave right out of ICU which is so uncommon that the nurse we had didn’t even know how to check him out of the hospital. Usually from ICU you get moved to a regular room to be monitored, but they didn’t do that for him.

I was so glad too because I already had plans that I was really late for. I drove Miles from Ft. Worth to home. When I got there I immediately ripped off my uncomfortable clothes and threw on a wonderful night gown. I took a little nap while Randy picked up our kids from the school. When I got up I showered, packed and left for the women’s retreat that I was supposed to speak at the next day.

I got back in the car and drove and drove. I got to Comfort Texas about 9:30. The retreat went great. I’m so glad I went. I met some really precious women. I instantly felt welcomed with them. I enjoyed being with them. I also enjoyed teaching. I really am so glad I went. A couple of people thanked me for coming even though I had such major family stuff going on. That made me feel so good. It was my honor to be there.

Saturday night after the retreat I made my way home. At first I had planned on spending the night with Holli in San Antonio that night but after one night in the hospital and then one night at the retreat I wanted to be home. I got home at almost 2:00 in the morning. It was a hard drive but it was worth it to wake up in my own bed.

Randy said that Miles slept a lot that weekend. Sunday he was the same way. He would wake up here and there but he slept 99 percent of the time. During the day on Monday he was acting the same way. He was also having sporadic breathing. He was in a really deep sleep where I couldn’t wake him up. I didn’t have peace about how he was doing or how he was looking so I took him in to see the doctor. I’m scheduled to sub three times this week so I wanted to know if he was okay or not.

Well, he wasn’t okay. His heart rate, temp, blood pressure and respiratory rate was all low again. Actually his temp was at an all time low at 84.6 degrees. That is crazy! Miles was put back in the hospital on Monday and he’ll spend another night while the doctor figures out what in the world we need to do. This time though, I’ve got toothpaste, pj’s and I’m wearing panties accordingly. Fool me once…