Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our Way of Dealing with Stress

The girls and I have decided they need super hero names. Emma is (drum roll, please) Concussion Girl, which leaves Alta only one possibility; Seizure Girl. I've talked to them, and they're in complete agreement. So far, we've got a couple super hero powers for each girl. Concussion Girl can confuse her enemies, make them forget where they are and what they're doing, or even knock them out with one thought. On a good day, she can make them forget who they are, thus stopping bad behavior. Seizure Girl can make the ground under the enemy quake. She silences her enemies by immobilizing their tongues. It's a great interrogation technique. She can ask questions, and they can nod yes or no. She also has the ability to bring unconsciousness on with a thought. Help us out, what other super-hero powers can we give these two?

Because I need to Laugh. On The Rocks - Bad Romance - 4/23/10

Seizure Update

Alta had a great morning. I think we were all excited about it. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and was in and out of sleep. Every sound I heard I opened my eyes, looked at the clock, and waited. Would there be more? Which child was moving around? Would she have a seizure without making sounds? How would we know? Instead of giving into the questions and fear, I stayed in bed. Just because I couldn't sleep didn't mean I should wake her up. When those moments of fear or frustration creep up, and tears threaten to spill. When I want to run to God crying and asking why, I remind myself that it's not really that bad. Yes, it looks like she has a seizure disorder, but it could be worse, there are many, much more severe seizure disorders that what she may have. I'll be thankful for whatever good I can get. I remind myself, that when I feel like crying, that's the perfect time for praying, it's much more useful for my family. I also remind myself that when things get tough, we just need to get tougher. No one accomplished anything by giving up. We have this country I love because ordinary people got tougher when life got tough. I look at my ancestors and all the adversity they went through. I have a wonderful legacy to draw strength from because when life got tough, these people got tougher. I have a very firm belief that God won't give me things I can't handle without him. I may flounder a bit, and success might not be pretty, but we will get there, and we'll be all the better for it. Maybe this is the legacy our family passes on, and lesson for my children. As for the immediate future, she has an MRI appointment scheduled for next week, still waiting to hear about the EEG. Began researching the two medications the doc mentioned yesterday. Thanks for stopping by, and for all the prayers. Our family really appreciates it.

Writing Updates

I'm starting with this today, because it's quick and easy. I have no updates, other than my cursor is working correctly again. Yay! I found out yesterday that all the work I did on Monday is gone, I've been told by other writers, that it's only words. They can be re-written, so that's what I plan to do today. Couldn't do it without a working cursor though :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Writing Update

So, things aren't working so well for me this week. My cursor's jumping all over the place, making it difficult to write (a restart did not fix this problem..grr-that's supposed to fix everything). But, more upsetting than that, all the work I did yesterday has disappeared. I know I hit that stupid save button, I have no idea what happened to it, but it's gone. I made changes in a critiqued document that was sent to me. I have the original critiqued doc, but not the one with all the changes I made. So, joy of joys, I get to start all over. It better be better than it was, but we'll never find out if my stinkin' curson doesn't stop jumping around and screwing me up. I'm a little stressed-can you tell? It might just be a reading day, but then I'm two days behind tomorrow instead of one.

Seizure Updatee

I heard from the neurologist herself. I thought the nurse would call, but the doc did instead. She's leaning toward Rolandic seizures. Rolandic is the area of the brain that controls the facial area, mouth, tongue, etc. It looks like it's starting there and working its way out to something bigger, like a grand-mal. They're going to move her up on the list for the EEG, as well as schedule her for an MRI, just to double check head ct she got during the ER visit. If it happens again, before the tests, we call and let them know. Dr. Hashmati may put her on medication at that point, because of the frequency. So, seizure update, there you have it. My writing rant is coming up next.


There was definitely another one this morning. Our friend, Ashley, let us borrow her baby monitor and we were able to hear Alta's sounds, Paul raced in there (he's closer to the door) and found her still seizing. This is important because it's the first time we've had a visual confirmation, which docs like to have. So, there was one a little over two weeks ago, possibly one yesterday, and most definitely one today. Called Neurology this morning, trying to be first on their list of call backs. I'm concerned that it's two days in a row. Unfortunately, we still don't know if it's both sides of the body or not, she was cocooned in her comforter and already on her side, but we know that her right side was affected, Paul said her whole torso was shaking. Our seizure expectation window so far is from 5am and 7:30 am. They say kids can grow out of these, hope it's soon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Writing Updates

I've gone through chapters 4-6 and realized they no longer belong. Chapter four is completely gone, there might be a paragraph from chapter 5 that shows up somewhere else, and maybe a couple paragraphs from chapter 6. Chapter 7 I need. Over the weekend, I also joined a critique group. This is a really big step for me, because I still have thin skin, and at first act defensively and get discouraged. It takes a few days for me to process it and come up with productive questions and different ways to do things to satsify myself and my crit parter. Now, I'll have even more. And I think the rule is to be brutally honest, it's better to have your crit group point something out than an editor or agent. Not only can receiving brutal honesty be an issue for me, but so can giving it. I'm always worried about how other people feel. Guess I'll learn to get over it, or I'd better just toss in the towel now, which is not what I want. Adaptation to brutal honesty it is. Todays writing goals: 1. Create a chapter four that bridges chapter 3 and 7. 2. Gather good, productive questions to ask about the critique I got back last week and move forward. Non-writing goal: leave the yummy peanut butter cookies in the kitchen alone. One for breakfast is enough. Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

Maybe? Possibly? Another One?

I dropped the kids off at school this morning, and my oldest daughter tells me, as they're getting ready to get out of the car, "I think Alta had another one." I'm confused: Another cookie? Another bowl of cereal? Another what? She tells me, "Another seizure, this morning." Em says she heard the strange hiccuping/drinking water noise this morning. She looked at the clock and it was 5:38. It lasted under a minute, she guessed around 10 seconds. Why didn't she come to get us? She wasn't sure, and she didn't want to scare her sister if she was wrong. So, maybe she had another one, maybe she didn't. We probably would have been able to tell if we'd known to check on her, Emma knows know to get us, either way. I'm happy she's in there to give us a heads up though. I tried using our old baby monitor, so I could hear, but it doesn't work. Looks like I'll be borrowing one from a friend. I'm replaying last night's events in my head looking for signs or indicators that something was off. The neurologist said that with one of the seizure possibilities, the kids feel kind of off, and may even come and complain they're not feeling well. There's the possibility of twitching in the face, or odd mouth movements. I need to know how far in advance those signals can show up. Around 9pm last night she came down complaining that she didn't feel well, that she had a headache. I gave her some Tylenol and sent her back up to bed. Because I'm paranoid, I took her temperature, it was fine. I know sometimes high fevers can trigger a seizure, so I checked. It wasn't an issue. Where does that leave us? The school nurse is trying to find out from Emma if she heard any movement - I didn't have a chance to ask her before she was out of the car and in the building. Once I know that, I need to call the neurologist back and report the possibility. I don't think that will change anything at this point though. She still scheduled for an EEG in July, and if it's the type of seizure the neurologist is leaning toward, they don't really treat it because it happens during sleep and the kids usually grow out of it. We'll have to wait and see. Isn't parenthood fun? Definitely not boring!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Results and Resolutions

Okay, busy week, full of results. First off, medical results: The dog: This is the easiest place to start. Last year he almost died, a couple times, now he has one kidney. He went in for his check up and "looked good" but we did lab work to confirm. Doc was pretty certain my dog wouldn't weigh 81 lbs now if he wasn't working right on the inside. Got the new back today, and the results for Sirius are good. But, I need to give him benedryl, he may have some allergy issues... Alta: she had an early morning seizure a week and a half ago, her follow up with the neurologist was today. We're still at the same spot we were before - they don't know what caused it. We do, however, have an EEG scheduled, that's the only test they didn't run. I mentioned the scented oil, and the idea was pretty much dismissed, although the doc did write down the websites I gathered the information from, so who knows. I just think it's a HUGE coincidence that she had a seizure when I was on my 5th migraine in 10 days - which has never happened to me before, and that oil was my trigger. Anyway, the only way to know if she's going to have another one, is if she has another one. Emma: still dealing with headaches, nausea, and vision disturbances form her concussion in February. Her doc referred her to the neurologist for re-evaluation. This was the same neurologist that saw Alta this morning. She said headaches like this are part of the concussion syndrome, that it could be 6 months before the headaches go away. If she's already susceptible to headaches, the concussion can irritate that and make them worse. It can also be that she's not getting enough sleep, and that's feeding into the problems already caused by the concussion. So, they're treating her headaches like a migraine, and using preventive medicine. Hopefully this will help out with the pain and she can enjoy things again, it should also help her sleep better, which should help too. So, medical wrap up: dog's good, nothing new with Alta, and Emma has different meds. Other updates for the week: We got out couch :) We've been married for almost 16 years and this is the first couch we've ever bought. We like it...but it's looks a lot bigger in our living room than it did in the show room! And because of the couch, we HAD to make the tank switch this week. We (mostly Paul) moved things from the 75g to the 180. The 75 and it's stand were right where some of the new furniture went. Unfortunately, not everything is set up, we have our fancy schmancy light hanging over the tank, but can't use it because the plugs are odd. We're waiting for the adapters to come in still. We also need two bulk heads for the 37 gal we're setting up so we can empty the 30 gal tank and get it moved out of the living room. All in all, though, things are doing pretty well. So, this week: 2 vet visits, dog needs benedryl, 1 downtown meeting with Paul, new couch arrived, old tank gone, 2 neurology appointments for 2 different kids, some answers, no answers, and a school carnival tonight. How was your week?

Friday, April 16, 2010

We're Odd, but Wonderful Creatures: Migraines and Seizures

I'm pretty convinced that the scented oil in the reed diffuser in the bathroom caused 5 migraines in a 10 day period this month. It was crazy, and now the doc has me on midrin, for when they hit. The bottle's been out for a few months, so it took me awhile to think of corking it, but I did on Saturday evening and haven't had a migraine since. In fact, I've been relatively headache free, it's amazing. Looking back, I can see that I've been dealing with headaches more frequently than before, and it's been the last couple months. I think the scent caused the headaches, and built up, or overwhelmed me after a time leading to the migraines. Almost like allergies. You're okay during spring for a while, then bam, out of no where, you've got allergies. Your body just couldn't handle the barrage of stuff thrown at it anymore. Now, the interesting thing is timing. Alta's seizure was on the heels of my fifth (and final) migraine. I asked the ER doc if it could be environmental, but the only thing they could check for was carbon monoxide. But now that I'm fairly certain the scented oil is what messed me up, I did some research. I wanted to know if there was a link between scented oils and seizures. The epilepsy foundation in Ontario, Canada has a list of essential oils to avoid if you have a seizure disorder...they can trigger seizures. Unfortunately, the packaging for the diffuser and oil is long gone, and there's no label on the bottle, but I will be making a trip to the store to read the ingredients and find the manufacturer and see what I can find out. I'm curious too, if it has some of those known seizure trigger oils, if there's a label. I'm not interested in suing anyone, and I don't want to leave that impression, but if there's no warning, I think there should be. It wouldn't have helped us before, but it can in the future. I feel like the canary the miners used to monitor air quality before technology stepped in. If the canary died, they knew the air was dangerous. Unless Alta had seizures that we don't know about, then I had a severe reaction before she did. I'll be the canary from now on. If a scent gives me a migraine, it's gone. I'm not letting her get to the seizure point again. I'm relieved to have found a possible trigger, I feel like I'm redeeming myself...I keep flashing back to that morning and going over what I should have done vs what I did. Paul tells me I did fine, and I have to trust him. But this helps, finding a connection, a reason, a trigger almost makes up for it. At the very least, it gives me somewhere more positive to focus. I never thought I would be thankful for migraines, but if not for that, I wouldn't have gotten rid of the scent, and it could still be affecting her. They were definitely worth it in the end.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Waiting and Writing

I've left a message with Children's Mercy Hospital's Neurology department, I'm waiting for them to call me back. Emma's had a referral (and approrpriate paper work in) for 3 weeks now, and I haven't heard from them. Today they heard from me (nicely). Also left a message for them about Alta's referral from the ER yesterday. Hopefully, I can take both girls in at once, we'll see. Logic whispers a warning: Don't count on it. So, while I wait for neurology to call back, I'll be reworking chapter one, using the suggestions, ideas, and comments from Saturday's critique session. Some of them were very helpful. These changes should help me make chapter one as good as I wanted it to be. I'm learning, writing is journey. It's filled with twists and turns, and ups and downs. It's fun.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Today was the monthly HeRA meeting, HeRA is a local chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America), and I did something that scared me. For those who know me, I'm usually okay in front of crowds. I'm friendly, I'm easy going, I'm fun (no, this is not a personal ad), but when I stood in front of people I've only seen on two other occasions, and read the first 6 pages of my first book, I shook, I broke out in a sweat, and I worked to control my voice. It's not the crowd, or the reading outlound that got me, it was sharing of something that I've put so much work into, wondering if it was good enough, how it would be perceived and welcomed. One of the ladies put it very well today when she said it's like your baby, and you don't want people to tell you it's ugly. The women who commented left me feeling capable, not crushed. Yes, there are things I need to change, but they were also complimentary, and that made all the difference for me. I'm still working on developing a thick skin -which I've heard is one of the best tools in a writer's arsenal. So, come Monday, when it's time to get back to work, I'll be taking their suggestions and putting them to work. Thanks ladies!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday Writing Update

I have almost no writing to show for the day. I feel…stuck. I'm a page into chapter three and don't love it. I need to change that, but today I'm tired and it's just not flowing. But I found the best thing for that is to just write, just get something started and let it morph. Right now, there's a small lull in the story and it feels boring. I'm trying to figure out how relay this bit of info without making the reader think that chapter three is a good place to take a break.

Another problem, my house is too warm, I think that's contributing to my sleepiness. Still have a bit of a headache, but certainly better than last week, and there have been times today that it's been gone. That's my good news. Now, on to make things interesting.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Writing Updates

Much happier with chapter two now. Changed it up a bit, more action, and changed POV. Much more comfortable heading into chapter three now J Ahh…better.

Monday Musings - Still Fussing With Chapter Two of Claimed

Happy with prologue, I like it. Love chapter one. Chapter two? Eh. Definitely *not* how I should feel about it, right?

This weekend I read Destined For An Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost, loved it, it was hard to put down. That's how I want my writing to be, and chapter 2 isn't doing it for me. Here's one place I'm struggling. World building in a non-info dump kinda way. The building has to be done, rules have to be known so you know how things work. I have to know this to know what my characters are capable of. The trick, for me, at least, is relaying that information in an entertaining way that doesn't slow my story. I want this hard to be hard to put down. I want you sucked into the book, so when you close it at 3am, you wonder how you never noticed the time slip away. I want something always happening, the reader always wondering – what now? Or what next. Jeaniene Frost's book left me feeling that way, so today, her writing style is my inspiration, which is great, because that's always how I wanted it to be. She just reminded me.

Thanks for stopping by! I've got chapter two printed double space, just waiting for me to slash through it.