Wednesday, July 28, 2010

South Korea Update.

Praying, wishing, hoping, crossing fingers and knocking on wood did not do us any good. Jeff did not get the 2nd grade position at the school here in town, making it official that in less then 2 weeks he will be on a plane heading for Daegu South Korea. I know that I had previously posted that I was excited for this opportunity, and I still am, but expenses are starting to get the better of us. Because the school can not afford to fly every new teacher's family, they are only paying for plane tickets for the teachers themselves. After buying all of Jeff's supplies to get him by for a few months, along with paying for a costly trip to Florida in December, along with Tyson and I trying to keep a house running here, we are not sure that we will be able to come up with the money needed to fly Tyson and I over in December. I can not even begin to put into words how stressed I am, or how sad I am that this is not coming together as planed. I know this is what is suppose to be happening because a few days ago I asked God to put it in his hands and what ever happened, I know it was meant for our family. I just hope he can convey the rest of his wisdom to us and let us know where to go from here. So, with my knee surgery only 2 days away, I need to get busy and pack everything Jeff will need to get him through a year in Korea. Or at least get him by until he can learn the lay of the land and where to pick up things he needs. It's going to be very hard here without him, but I am so greatfull for my family and friends who will be close by to keep us company in his absence.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tyson's Second Adjustment

Tyson had his second appointment with his chiropractor today and once again everything went great. He climbed right up onto the bed and was done before he had time to get comfortable. This time he seemed much more relaxed when it was over and not nearly as uncomfortable. I know it must have helped not having a headache this time. So far we have not seen any huge improvement, but the headache he did complain of did not seem as bad as before. Hopefully as the adjustments continue, we will finally notice him going longer periods headache free!!!

Surgery is schedualed

My 17th surgery is scheduled for July 30, only 10 days before Jeff heads off to South Korea. I am nervous and sad that I have to spend our last days together recovering, but I will be happy when it is over. I pray this one goes smoothly and I will be up and running, pain free, a few days post-OP. Until then, I am going to do as much walking and playing with Tyson as I can!

Day On The Water

Something I really wanted to do this summer was to go camping with Jeff, Tyson and my parents up at our favorite point on West Sebois Lake. Unfortunately due to everything going on, this is most likely not going to happen, so we all agreed the next best thing would be to try and escape some of the heat in town by packing up a picnic lunch and head up with the kayaks for the day. The start of our trip did not go quite as smoothly as I had hoped because when my parents showed up with Tyson (he had slept over the night before) I knew something was not right by the look on my father's face as he was caring Tyson into the house. As soon as got into the door and saw me he started crying and screaming that his toe was gone. My mother explained that he had somehow gotten his foot caught in my father's truck seat and when he went to lift the seat, something caught his toenail and ripped it off. By the time I got him to calm down enough to let me take his shoe off, I could clearly see his toenail hanging by just a tiny piece of skin. Whatever had ripped it off had done it so fast that it took all the skin around his nail and almost to his knuckle with it. After some debating if he should be taken to the hospital, we finally decided on some Ibuprofen and a bandage, along with the magic Iron Man ice pack that makes everything better. Once he had calmed down, we returned to our plans of going up with the kayaks for the day. By the time we got to the water, he was already running around begging to go swimming. He may cry more when he sees his mommy, but he is still one very tough little boy! Once on the point, everyone but my dad (feeling very upset over Tyson's toe) went into the water for a swim. Jeff stayed in for about an hour and other then eating lunch, my mother, Tyson and I never came out of the water until it was time to head home. I really hope this is something we will be able to do again before Jeff heads off to Korea, but if not, at least we had one great day there.

Back to the knee doctor.....

Today I went back to my doctor to discuss the pain I have been having in my knee, along with the fact I sound like a walking bowl of Rice Krispies. Even though I am not thrilled about it, I was not surprised when he said he wanted to go in with a scope and possibly do a lateral release to try and finally put an end to this ongoing problem. We had discussed this possibility when he tried the steroid injections back in February, but actually being told your going to have to have another surgery is never easy, even if this will be the 17th time I have seen the inside of an OR. Even though this is a simple surgery and I have already gone through it back in High School, I have experienced first hand what can go wrong with a "simple" surgery. I have put together a photo album of my experiences with my knee over the past year. I STRONGLY suggest that if you have a weak stomach, DO NOT look. For those who do, maybe you will understand a little more what I have had to endure and why I am honestly scared to once again go under any kind of knife.

Click to view all the photos

My Grandfather's 90th Birthday Party!!!

On July 10th my Grampy turned 90 years old and to celebrate we planned a huge surprise party for him. How everyone was able to keep it a secret from him I still don't know. For over a month we planned everything, almost always he was just in the other room or obviously sitting right in front of us, watching whatever game he found on TV. After my mother and I finally got the guest list from my Nana, we went right to work sending out invitations to all of the people that love him. We sent out well over 50 invitations as well as having the party announced at church (My Nana made sure they were not there that day). I don't think there was one day that someone didn't ask if they could bring someone or invite someone they though we had overlooked. I think we were all a bit nervous not knowing just how many people were going to be there to celebrate his special day. So, we set off making to do lists for everyone in the family. Everything from decorations to food to the cake was assigned to someone in hopes of making it a bit easier. My mother and I started off with a trip to Bangor to pick up all the food, decorations and everything I though I needed for the cake. My mom, dad and sister made most of the food while I made 4 dozen brownies, 2 watermelon fruit bowls along with the cake. As soon as I found out we were going to be having a party for my Grampy, I told everyone that making the cake for him was something that I really wanted to do. I finally decided on making a hunting and fishing cake out of fondant, something that I have never worked with before. Once I got the design down on paper, I figured the actual making of the cake would be a breeze. I can not even begin to say just how wrong I was!! By the time I finally finished making 2 big batches of butter cream icing, 3 large batches of marshmallow fondant, two 12" cakes and 2 6" cakes it was almost midnight. After the cakes were finally cooled, I got them frosted and stacked around 2am. I figured the hard part was over and I would start putting the fondant on in the morning. After all I have watched hundreds of those cake shows and it looked so easy (Again insert wrongness here). I started at 9am Friday morning (party being on Saturday) decorating the cake. My first attempt at putting on fondant on the 6" cake when bad but I knew what I had done wrong. The second attempt, well that one put me on the couch in tears lol. I then began to panic thinking there was no way I was going to be able to figure out how to make this cake and he would not have anything to blow candles out on. So Jeff being loving and supportive ran to Lincoln for me to pick up pre-made fondant and more icing. While he was gone I went to work coloring and making the pieces to add to the cake.

The trees and cat tails are made from gum paste, the deer, ok so those are plastic.

By the time he got home I felt as though I had accomplished something and was feeling a tiny bit better about having something finished for my Grampy. It was not until my Mother and sister came over to give me some emotional support that I finally got a cake covered. I have to say, covering the 12" cake was so much easier then the smaller one. After they left I went to work on rocks, the logs for the camp fire, the cooler and fishing gear. I was so stressed about not getting things finished that Jeff offered to make the boat for me. Now I love Jeff but he is the type of man that can not even draw a recognizable stick figure. I gave in and handed him a ball of fondant and told him to do what he could. If he messed it up, I would just make a new one. I was thrilled to see how good he did and with very little help, here is his boat.

Jeff's fondant boat.

After the little details were just about finished, it was time to stack the cakes and add the decorations around them. Cutting out the small hills and trees to go around the cakes took so much longer then expected, but once they were done and on the cake I was very happy with them. After the cakes were all done, I started adding the rocks, cat tails, lake, trees and other decorations. When it was just about finished I though of one more thing that I just had to add and off to work I went on making a container of worms. Anyone who knows my Grandfather knows how much he loves to go digging for worms. After that was finally finished and added to the cake it was 2am and I decided I was done.

My finished cake

The next morning however I decided to add the fish in the lake along with a green tent, just like the one my Grandparents use to go camping in. After the cake was officially dine it was time to make the watermelon fruit bowls, something else I had never done before. Finally we got everything and everyone up to the snowmobile club to get ready. After quickly assembling sandwiches, platters and getting out the drinks, it was time for the man of honer to arrive. I still can not believe that my Nana told him they were going to a Anniversary party for his friend there and he ran out that morning to buy a card, complete with a fresh 20$ bill.

My Grampy holding the Anniversary card walking into his surprise party.

Nana and Grampy with their kids. (My mom, Uncle Ted and Uncle Paul)

All the Grand kids and Great-Grand kids (the girl in the green shirt and the kids in front of her are not related but her youngest twins, Riven and Meadow are my cousin Brandon's babies.)

Me finally bring out the cake. I was begging him to blow out the candles, it was so heavy!!!

The funny part is, both my Nana and Grampy refused to let anyone cut into the cake to eat it. It was not until the next day that I found out that they went down to the local hardware store to buy cans of clear shellac to preserve the thing. My Nana said they want to keep it forever, or at least as long as their alive. I told them that it was creepy and I could always make them another one! If I have ever thought they would not eat it, I would have made it out of stiraphone. Thank goodness my cousin Kristen worked so hard at making 3 other cakes for people to eat and enjoy!!

Tyson and his Great Grampy
It really did turn out to be a wonderful day, and it made all the hard work and stress worth every second when my Grampy told us that night that it was truly the best day of his life. Later I made fun of my mom that the birth of his kids was second to his party, along with all the other parties she has thrown for him.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

4th of July

This 4th of July we decided to skip out of Millinocket and finally go somewhere new to enjoy the festivities. This is something that we have wanted to do for the past few years but it seemed something always stopped our travels. This year with nothing holding us down, Jeff, Tyson and I, along with my parents, took a rode trip down to Old Orchard Beach. We woke up early, packed into my parents truck and headed down. The 3 and 1/2 hour drive went by very quickly (seeing as I slept most of the way) and upon our arrival we were greeted with a beach packed with people as far down the beach as we could see, along with a 110 degree sun beating down upon us. After we finally found a place to park, we packed up Tyson's bike trailer and headed down to try and stake out a spot upon the sand. After crawling around people, we finally found a great spot right next to the water. It was then when we realized that someone should have packed an umbrella. After about 30 minuets of letting Tyson swim and play in the sand, we decided that the nice shady picknic table we saw back by the truck would be a much better place to be sitting.

Tyson learning quickly that ocean water does not taste as good as the lake.

Another quick drink to wash the saltwater out of his mouth.

So we packed up the bike trailer and headed back to the grassy picknic area. There we all enjoyed a nice lunch and a much cooler place to just relax. We were there a bit over an hour and before long, Tyson was begging to go back in the ocean to swim.

Before heading to the beach, my mom suggested that we try and find a spot under the peir where it would be a little cooler, so off we went. I never imagined that so many other people would have had the same idea as her, but once again we were able to find the perfect spot. Large enough to spread out a blanket and some chairs, but close enough to hear the drama from our neighbors. Who know we would get a live soap opera showing while enjoying the beach. The first thing Tyson asked to do in our new spot was to get burried in the sand. He had so much fun but with the large amount of people walking around I was afraid he might get stepped on. After a few quick photos it was time to head back into the water.

He really did have fun being covered in sand, I just didn't have time to get a good smile.

Even though the water was quite chilly, he had a blast. I have never seen him stay in cold water that long, but I am glad he had fun. After a few hours the beach finally started to clear out slightly and we were able to move to the edge of the pier where we were still in the shade, but right out next to where they would be shooting off the fireworks.

Photos from the rest of our day

The ferris wheel

Amazing fireworks

It really was a great day and I hope that we will be able to do it again next year. That is if we are home from Korea by the 4th.

So behind, again!

Ok so time to play catch up once again. I am trying so hard to keep this blog updated, but life keeps us busy. Ok so let me start where I left off, or at least where I think I did. Tyson's last test to try to determine what is causing his headaches was the sleep study his neurologist ordered. After a lot of waiting and many, many phone calls we finally got the results. Everything was perfectly normal, crossing off our last grasp to find a reason for his suffering, or at least this is what we believed. Through some strong recommendations from our friends, Jeff and I decided to take Tyson to our local chiropractor. His first visit started off with a long list of questions, paperwork and a physical exam. It did not take long for the doctor to find what he believes is the cause to his migraines. To quote his medical terms, Tyson's head is literally not on straight. He believes that sometime during Tyson's semi traumatic delivery, the pushing and pulling on his head and neck to welcome him into the world, misaligned his neck from the base of his skull. When he had Tyson stand straight up and look forward, from the back you can quite easily see that one of Tyson's ears is much lower then the other. The doctor explained that once Tyson became mobile, most likely learned to walk and run with his head tilted slightly. I asked him why we hadn't noticed it and he reassured us that it is such a slight tilt of his head, unless we were looking for it we would not see it. When he is running around or looking down (coloring, reading, or doing schoolwork) he is putting pressure on everything that supports his head, causing the headaches. Depending on how much pressure is placed on the nerves, muscles and such determines how bad his headache. He assured us that he strongly believes that with a few visits a week for about 6 weeks, he should see a remarkable difference in his pain. Hopefully he will for the first time in almost 2 years, be headache free!!! His first adjustment went well, but he was a bit uncomfortable. He had been having a headache for almost 3 days in a row and having and adjustment with a headache left him a bit stiff and not feeling 100%, I am thrilled to say that since that last headache finally went away, he has not complained of another. I am not saying just yet it is because of the adjustments, but I am crossing my fingers and praying to God this helps. I will admit that after we left the doctors office on that first visit, I did break down and cry. I was just amazed that in a few months time we went from one doctor telling us Tyson showed every signs of having a brain tumor or hydrocephalus to he just needs some simple adjustments. I am so thankful to God that we have fond what may be an answer to everything and that it is so simple to correct. I can not help but to feel so guilty for all the tests we had to put him through. The CT scans, MRI's, being sedated, the EEGs EKGs and his uncomfortable night at the sleep study. I know they were necessary to rule out anything more serious, but I just wish that somewhere along the lines his pediatrician would have made the suggestion of taking him to see a chiropractor to see if he could help. The months of pain we could have saved him, all the medication he would not have had to be given and the many, many nights he could have slept peacefully. I am doing my best to put that all behind me and just look at the blessing we have in front of us and the possibility of finally making him better.