November 29, 2011


this is taylor's P.U.S.H story.

it's been a long while since i posted an update about taylor and his fight with lyme and bart. there is a reason. he asked me not to. he wanted to share his story in his way when the time was right. 

TRUST - Taylor's first tattoo 
several weeks ago, he indicated to me that he was ready to share where he is at in his journey and what God has been doing in his life. before i impart to you what he wrote for me to share here on my blog, i wanted to share a little story i read nearly a year ago. at the time, it stuck with me because it reminded me so much of taylor...little did i know just how parallel his own story would end up being.


"One night, a man was sleeping in his cabin when suddenly his room was filled with the light and the Creator appeared.

The Creator told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Creator explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.

The man did the same, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain...

Since the man was showing signs of discouragement, the Adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man's weary mind:

"You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't budged. Why kill yourself over this? You can never move it," thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. "Why kill myself over this?" he thought. "I'll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough." And that is what he planned to do, until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Creator. "Creator," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"

The Creator responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push." "Now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But is that really so?

Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back is sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith in My wisdom. This you have done. I, my friend, will now move the rock." 

At times, when we hear a word from the Creator, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what the Creator wants is just obedience and faith in Him.... By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still the Creator who moves the mountains. When everything seems to go wrong ... just P.U.S.H.! 

P.U.S.H. - Pray Until Something Happens

 taylor spent 16 months undergoing intensive antibiotic treatment for lyme and bartonella. during that time, he underwent great suffering, experienced the isolation that comes from living with a disease that is poorly understood and felt the hopelessness that comes from battling an enemy that has been deemed medically incurable. he has now been off of treatment and all antibiotics since may 2011. he is well and he is symptom free. nothing is impossible with God...not even the incurable. prayer works. our son was healed through the power of it. Praise the Lord!

God is enough
(and mom thinks that's enough tattoos!)

Here is Taylor's P.U.S.H story in his words:

"Two years of my life was essentially wasted by Lyme. At least that was what my young naive self thought for the majority of the disease. At sixteen, I had a vision of what I wanted in my life. By 17, I was already a reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces. If I had it my way and my life had gone how I had planned, I would already be on, or would have already finished one tour of duty as a Canadian infantry soldier. But reflecting on what has occurred over the past 2 years and how I've grown, I know why it has happened. Most evidently, I never would have learned about Special Forces in the United Kingdom where I now have my heart set on going and am in the middle of the recruitment process.

As it has been left unknown under my request, I am no longer sick with Lyme and have been sickness free and symptom free for SIX months now. The reason I requested that nothing be said is because i wanted to be sure that lyme was really behind me and it is how I believe that I was healed that makes it special.

It all happened with one final night of hopelessness where I spent the night upset and broken. I had no hope left for my life. I thought I was destined to be sick. I thought all my hopes and dreams didn't mean anything to God and in a final cry for help I prayed. It was a prayer that I've never prayed and I just thanked God for life and for what he blessed me with in my life. My family, my friends, my passions. And I laid it all on the table. As my prayer went on longer, I voiced my frustrations, my worries, my anger, and let God know that I had had enough. After praying for about 1.5 hours, I started to feel like I was spinning. I knew I wasn't because I was sitting in my car and I could feel my friend Mara beside me. But as soon as I finished my prayer and Mara finished hers I opened my eyes and no longer felt that way. Over the next several weeks, I felt the meds having no effect on me and as time went on, I felt no symptoms and ever since then I have been fine. Call it what you want but I give God all glory and praise for my health.

As you all know I'm a big fan of tattoos. I have a lot (total of 5 currently) and a lot more plans to get more (don't tell my mom!). Shortly after I experienced God's healing, I got a tattoo on my forearm.

Lyme behind & New Beginnings
The paper airplane represents a fresh start. I now have a new lease on life with perfect health and my career starting with the Royal Marine Commandos in the UK. The green jet stream represents that lyme is behind me. The sun represents God and that He is always watching over me, surrounding me and guiding me even in the midst of darkness. The black clouds around the perimeter show that nothing can hold me back and that with perseverance and faith, I can get through anything.

Thank you to all of you for all the prayer and support. It has meant the world to me. For those of you who can't see an end in this, keep fighting and persevering. Don't lose hope and don't give up!"
                                           -Pte. Taylor Goertzen

November 28, 2011


in early spring of last year (2011), i was a mishmash mess of neurotoxicity and active infection deep within my brain. it was a real humdinger of a nightmare to live with and presented quite the challenge for my doctors to treat. the most complicated part of it being determining how to go about balancing detoxing me while continuing to fight the infection. this was further complicated by the fact that this all came to a head between scheduled trips to see DR H. (doesn't it always!). DR H wanted me seen in office - obviously an unscheduled, last minute trip to SF wasn't possible, so DR D fit me in. she is only a 2 hour drive away - easier trip to manage - especially when one is a basket case of neuro toxicity - not to mention that we had to make multiple barfing pit stops. rather barf on a curb than in an airplane bag. 

i saw DR D...and after examining and assessing me, she spoke directly with DR H. between the two of them, they came up with a plan. the first order of action was to try and detox me as efficiently and effectively as possible.

detox is not something my body has ever done well. never ever. it's been something that has been immensely frustrating to all of us (me, DR H & DR D). during my appointment with DR D, she came up with a combination of homeopathic meds etc. that she felt were best suited to my body and it's notoriously uncooperative detoxing nature.

of course, detox constitutes a round of multiple homeopathic meds and lots of tinctures and lots of needles and a degree in physics to incorporate it all into dosing schedule.

take this with that. mix this one with that. take that one on an empty stomach. 20 minutes after that drink this. take this one with food. take this one 2 hours away from food. stand on your head when you drink this. pat your head, rub your tummy while simultaneously swishing this one around in your mouth. alright, that part i'm kidding about. but you catch my drift. detox is a full time job that requires a certain ingenue to figure it all out. fortunately, DR D is really good about helping iron out the nitty gritty of dosing schedules.
scheduling mayhem aside, some of the oral detox meds they had me taking were probably among some of the foulest tastes known to mankind...but i could handle that - even without complaint and i was more than happy sticking myself with a needle thrice daily despite the re
sulting myriad of blue and green hues spreading across my belly. happy. more than happy to deal with that all. the part that i was not happy to bear, the part that was by far the toughest, roughest part of the detox protocol was the part that DR H prescribed:

5 straight days of massage
that was a real chore to endure
yes, that's right, i said ENDURE.

i know - i am probably the only person in the world that would describe a massage as something to endure.
but hey, it's the truth.
the very thought of it makes me cringe
call me weird. i get it. i know. i am weird.

DR H wanted me to do a very specific type of massage therapy - ayurvedic. i had heard the term "ayurvedic" before but i had no idea the history behind it. i thought it was some new chic term spas invented. not at all. aryuvedic medicine practices have been around for about 5,000 years. it's pretty fascinating. the more i read about the specific type of ayurvedic massage, DR H wanted me to do, the more amazed i was that my medical doctor knows about stuff like that. blows my mind the level of information that man has stored in his brain. he's priceless. it is so scary to get so super sick and not have your doctors close by - hek, they don't even live in the same country! - but even so, we are so fortunate to have the medical team we have. 

the 2 types of massage DR H wanted me to do were:

abhyanga and shirodhara

they sounded completely foreign to me and i might add, a little spooky and little off the beaten path. he told me that shirodhara consists solely of a practitioner dripping warm oil over your forehead. he told me that he wanted me to have that done an hour at a time for 5 days straight. apparently it's supposed to help balance out the brain. i thought it sounded reminiscint of chinese water torture. abhyanga is similar to lymphatic drainage massage - except it's done with warm medicated oils.

first we had to find a place that practices aryuvedic medicine and one that also did both abhyanga and shirodara massage. it took several days to find a place. once we did, i was booked for back to back appointments for 5 days straight. i was so super freaked out about it - 
more nervous to go for this than i was going for my first colonic. no lie. i didn't know how my body would react (what if i barfed right there on the massage table?) and i didn't know what exactly to expect.

the massage started with the abyhanga massage. first, the practitioner would pour oil on the back of my head and than VIGOROUSLY massage. this part felt more like a flogging if you ask me. there i lay, face down on the table, oil being vigorously rubbed into my head. so vigourous my head would bounce up and down on the table and i was worried i wouldn't have any hair left by the end. the rest of the nightmare consisted of warm oil being massaged into my body. long, fluid strokes followed by more pelting and pummeling. i guess it would be best described as kind of like a combination of swedish and lymphatic massage. i'll admit that the foot and hand massage part of it was nice but that constituted about 5% of my time on the table. the rest of the time i just endured. i would get super nauseated about 30 minutes in. and 60 minutes in, i always had to go to the bathroom. what a nightmare.

"excuse me sir, can i get up to go pee?" i would timidly ask 
(oh yes, did i mention my practitioner was MALE?)
back to having to pee halfway thru the treatments. keep in mind, by that time, i was one ginormous grease ball. i'd have to get up off the table, body basted like a turkey, hair slick with oil and bedraggled and have to slip and slide my way to the bathroom. what a sight for sore eyes.

then it came time for shirodhara. warm oil dripping over your forehead. i read about it and it is described as a pure bliss experience. not in my world. more like chinese water torture, if you ask me. at any rate, i was pretty nervous. i was arranged on the table and this pot was hung above me and then the next thing i knew i was being blind folded. i nearly had a coronary. then i had to lie there while a steady stream of oil relentlessly dripped across my forehead for one long hour. 

the shirodhara torture chamber
it wasn't horrible but it wasn't this luxuriously fabulously relaxing blissful experience that it's cracked up to be. of course, maybe it's just me. sickness and detoxing aside,  i've just never been a "spa" sort of person. this wasn't exactly a spa thing but the general concept of it was the same - doing relatively nothing for an extended period of time. i don't do that well. and i don't find it enjoyable. i can't relax because i can't turn off my brain. i just lie there thinking of all the things i should or could be doing. mental to do lists just pile up in my brain no matter how hard i try to just chill out. once the massage began and the practioner started massaging my arms and legs, all i could think of was that this was costing me an arm and a leg. then when the practitioner started massaging my feet and toes, i lay there worrying about whether or not i had toe jam. then of course was the bladder issues. how relaxed can one get when they have to pee every 30 minutes during a 2 hour treatment. no matter how hard i tried to get into a zen state of mind, i just couldn't. this grease ball could not chill out. period.

chill out, grease ball!
anyhow, on the third day of this 5 day ordeal, the theme song from titanic softly wafted in over the speakers and all i could hear in my head was my own ad-lib version of this epic song,
"how long will this go on? i'm here, there's everything to fear. i gotta go pee. i am stuck on this table, this just goes on and on and on. i am nauseous now. i fear i might barf. there is no end to this. it just goes on and on and on..."

anyhow, i survived the entire 5 day ordeal.
on the last day, all i could think was thank goodness it's over.
i've never been more relieved in my whole life.

November 27, 2011


i must preface this post with a warning. i'm not a doctor. (there's a shocker) so please don't try any of the products or implement any of the therapies mentioned here before checking with your doctor first. 

i have often found it super helpful to connect with other lymies on different sites and glean information from them on what has helped - or not helped - them in their battle with LD. i've learned a lot from others. shared information can be of huge value. i've also learned that everyone responds very differently to different treatments. what works for one, doesn't necessarily work for another. we are all unique. so true. on the other hand, at other times, what has worked for some one else has tremendously helped me or parker or taylor. 

so i thought it would be fun to list of a few of my favorite things. and then i looked thru the list i started and some of it sounds near torturous and down right diabolical...and i've titled this post favorite things? yikes. i'm sure my favorite things list is very different than oprah's favorite things! (so the show is no longer on...but it was when i first started this post.)

can you imagine oprah debuting some of my favorites on her favorite things show?

now folks, my all time favorite thing is ....
(sense the crowd's building enthuisiasm, breath held, cheeks flush with anticipation, heart's pounding) 

wait for it..wait for it...wait for it

and your all going home with 10 free sessions!

crowd goes know the jumpers, the head holders, the screamers, the fainters? 

i can just invision it. the blood curdling screaming, the frenzied panic, followed by a stampeding charge out the nearest fire exit. talk about a clearing a studio -

yes, it is true. the first thing i thought of when i started listing my faves was colonics. i realize that is bizarre. so let me state for the record that i don't particularly find colonics "fun" they don't top my list of "favorite past times"... but they top the list because they really did wonders for my body.

1. COLONICS - yup. LOVE 'EM. run shrieking. it took a full year of dr h telling me i needed to do this before i finally took the plunge. read about it in- fluffy-fluffy and the unmentionable - it was not as bad as i expected, anticipated or every imagined it to be. albeit, my family has been traumatized by them. after every appointment, they were regaled with stories of what had been encountered that time. it grossed them out. i'm sure several have gagged as they read this. me? no way. i'm mesmerized by this one. hands down, bottoms up - it is one of the best things i have ever done for my body.

2. MASSAGE - i hate massages. yes. you read that right. i would choose a colonic over a massage any day of the year. yes. you read that right again. i endure massages for the greater good of my body. that's right. massage and endure in one sentence. only in my weird world. dr h made me do these too. i've endured both lymphatic drainage and aruyvedic massage. i have to admit it both have been super beneficial. 

2a. LYMPHATIC MASSAGE - i've blogged about these the 3rd person as a character called fluffy-fluffy - meet fluffy-fluffy. read about more of fluffy-fluffy's adventures she loses it here and drives dr h crazy here.

2b. AYURVEDIC MASSAGE - specifically abhyanga and shirodhara. underwent these about a year ago. i've not before blogged about my experience - didn't have the to courage to relive it and neither did fluffy-fluffy but i'm stepping up to the task for the greater good of the masses. i'm working on a more detailed account of it in a post that'll be titled 'chill out, grease ball'. stay tuned.

for now, i'll say that abhyangha and shiradawa massage are not your run-of- the-mill standard massage. while it is true that i didn't enjoy them, they did do wonders for detoxing me at a time when i was impossibly and scarily chock full of neurotoxins.

abhyanga is a full body, hot oil massage. sounds heavenly... feels like hell. why? it includes what felt like the equivalent of a full body flogging.

shirodhara is hot oil poured over your fore head in a continuous stream. often lasting 45 -60 minutes. it is supposed to be very soothing and helps to balance the nervous system. all i thought during it was chinese water torture.

during my first collective ayurvedic massage experience, the theme song from titanic came on. you know the one - my heart will go on by celine dion. catchy tune, right? everyone knows it. sing along...i did. i silently sang my own ad-libbed lyrics  "how long must this go on? how long must i endure? i'm here, there's everything to fear! i have to pee, i am nauseous. how long will this go on? it just goes on and on and on and on..."

3. MUNDIPUR - actually any of the products from bioresource/pekana get an a+ in my books. their entire detoxing line - itires, renelix, and apo-hepat have been of great benefit for both parker and i. they are all homeopathic liquids. add them to a couple ounces of water. then down the hatch. i prefer mine in a martini glass.

4.APPLE PECTIN TABLETS - i've had a major issue with detox. most of the standard detoxing binders have done squat for me. these little gems have helped mop up that toxic feeling. interesting side note: apparently dr oz featured these little gems on his show. i believe they can be used to aid in weight loss. i'm not entirely sure. i don't watch the show. it annoys me. now i'm doubly irritated b/c once he mentioned them on his show, they flew off the shelves of every health store and suppliers were back ordered. i had a dickens of a time getting my hands on a bottle after that. thanks a lot oz.

5. LYMPHOMYOSOT INJECTIONS - (heel product) 

again thumbs up for being decidedly overjoyed by a treatment that requires i inject myself into my gut 3xday. lovely. my frustratingly sluggish lymph was decidely supported by this one. feel free to read about fluffy-fluffy shooting up

6. GARDEN OF LIFE GREENS - it's so energizing, it's like crack in a glass. it tastes how lawn clippings smell. yum. i eventually got used to the taste. after a while i even enjoyed it. probably because it appealed to the cow in me. i must have been magnificently deficient when i first started this one, it is one of the only supplements i have ever taken where i actually FELT an immediate response in my body. i could feel it doing the happy dance. again, it was most likely my inner cow coming out.

unfortunately, i am no longer able to tolerate the greens. now that i'm allergic to veggies, this one is a no go. sad. this cow is not happy about that.

7. ALKA SELTZER GOLD...plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is! this is my latest and greatest favorite thing. i'm addicted. dr d started parker on this ages ago. he's not such a huge fan but it is a great alkalizer and an alkaline body is a good thing. parker gags it down when he is herxing. he can't stand the taste but knows that it helps his body. me? i can't get enough of the stuff. super, duper delicious! i enjoy it on the rocks.

LD has grossly limited my drink repertoire and now thx to my fruit and veggie allergies, gone is lattes, gone is smoothies, gone is juicing, gone is green tea, gone is any herbal tea, gone is green goo, gone is wine, all gone, gone, gone...but i have alka seltzer. plop, plop, fizz,'s my specialty drink.
important note: use only alka seltzer GOLD. this one contains no aspirin.

8. ROCEPHIN - this is one of the big gun IV abx used to fight LD. it's the preferred drug of choice among llmds. it has done wonders for my body and my brain. prior to rocephin, i was lost in a haze of pain and brain fog. i couldn't recall my kid's names, i had no idea how to sign my name and if i ventured out of the house, i often couldn't find my way home. when i think back to those early days of treatment, it is nearly impossible. i've come along way, rocephin has been my faithful companion along the way.

9. OREGANO OIL - interestingly tangy, zinger of an herbal remedy. can you tell i'm flavor starved? i take it straight - shaken but not stirred and definitely not watered down. 5 drops at a times directly under the tongue. oh yeah, feel the burn baby! this beaut of a remedy is a powerful viral, fungal and bacterial fighter. i had great success with it when i developed a difficult to treat case of thrush. oddly enough, i really enjoy the after taste of this one. who knew little oregano burps would be so pleasantly enjoyable?

10. SALLY HANSEN NAIL POLISH STRIPS - ok, so totally unrelated to treatment altho' pampering oneself is a good thing. i have to plug these sweet little nail coverings. they are so cool and super durable. they are fairly simple to use as they are basically glorified yet super adhesive stickers.  the bonus is there is NO drying time! the effect is phenomenal. avery and i had a lot of fun with these this summer.

November 21, 2011


we secured one of our first ever antibiotic (abx) prescription from BCCH yesterday
it only took 7 hours
it was for the one kid that we DON'T want on abx!

thursday nite she said that her ear lobe was a bit sore 
friday nite i noticed that it was swollen
i cleaned it and puss came out

sat morning it was worse
the front of the stud was less visible
graham took her to a walk in clinic by our house
doc there prescribed abx cream
sunday morning the front of the earring had been completely engulfed
graham took her back to the clinic
they sent us down to BCCH ER

it was an absolute gong show in the ER 
there was a line up 8 people deep just to sign in to triage
what else would one expect on a sunday afternoon in the middle of flu season?
we hunkered down
knowing we were there for the long haul
way down at the bottom of the priority list
an infected earring is not particularly a pressingly urgent issue

albeit we figured if the wait was long enough, her ear could fall off
she'd spontaneously recover
we hoped for spontaneous recovery
that did seem somewhat plausible
after all the earring had retreated so far into her ear that the backing was actually dangling down behind her ear

1 hour into our wait we were going a bit nuts
we were getting desperate to get out of that germ infested, over crowded waiting room
we started to devise plans to get ourselves out of there
possibly delirium was setting in at that point because we thought that it might be possible to get the earring to just fall out
who knows? a bit of jarring might be all it took!
it was worth a shot
so yes, we made her jump up and down
up and down
up and down
up and down

nothing doing
our next strategy was to have her run around outside the ER
try and jostle that dumb earring free
no can do

now we were 2 hours into our waiting room marathon
we contemplated a new strategy
that one included a trip to home depot
pliers and a drill
avery wasn't down with that idea

finally, we got called in
doc came in 
took one look at it
told us that they would need to cut it out

um, can you say ouch?!
her ear was already bleeding and raw and swollen
i'm sure it was hurting something fierce
gosh, it was painful just to look at
poor thing
she was super upset and scared and hearing the doc say they'd need to cut it out pretty much sent her over the edge
given her anxious state and the fact that they intended to cut the earring out, the decision was made to sedate her

about that time, friendly, familiar faces appeared in our room
our friends jon and patti
admittedly, my first thought, upon seeing them, wasn't a good one.
my stomach lurched
i thought, 'oh no. something is wrong with geli.'
their daughter, angelica, is magnificently battling and winning a fight against leukemia (click on this to read about their journey) 

turns out, everything was ok
they were there to drop their daughter off for a social event and had just happened to see my FB post about us being there too
amazingly thought to do something for us
they showed up with coffee, hot chocolate and donuts. mmmm, donuts!
not sure how they found us - i suspect the blood curdling, ear piercing screaming probably alerted them to our whereabouts

their timing could not have been more perfect
they arrived just prior to avery being sedated
i was in desperate need of a distraction
avery was in tears and i was on the verge
had they not shown up, i might have mugged the nurse for avery's sedative
but rather
i got in a nice little chat with some awesome people and once they left, i retreated to a corner with the box of donuts

while i sedated myself with the sugary, deep fried goodness of donut holes
avery's medically induced sedation kicked in
it became very clear that it had launched her into outer space

a new doctor came in to check on her
when she entered the room, she seemed to kinda stop short and give us a long, hard look 
it wasn't a bad look, 
just a 'i think i recognize you but i'm not sure' look 
i thought she looked familiar as well
'oh no' i thought

naturally, i assumed it was probably one of the docs we've come into contact with over the many ER visits and hospitalizations we've had with parker
'oh no' i thought.

this new doc examined avery's ear
she thought she might be able to get the earring out without cutting into the ear. she said it was worth a try. 
it worked! she was able to get it out. no cutting involved.
that was so awesome.
she also said the ear was so badly infected that the local anesthetic they were going to initially use would not have taken. that made us super glad and relieved that we had gone the sedation route.
we were then told that we would not be able to leave until the sedation had worn off and avery was able to walk on her own.

avery was somewhere over the rainbow 
she was high as a kite and it was clear it would be sometime before she floated back down to planet earth
we settled in for the long haul. again.

we waited
fortunately, we had great entertainment
we popped the movie, monsters inc. into the dvd player
avery stole the show
she was the chattiest space cadet ever.
and was more than happy to keep up a running commentary on her space odyssey. as she orbited through outer space she became convinced that she had 2 thumbs on 1 hand.

"how come i have 2 thumbs? why can't you see my other thumb? it's right there!" 

the most popular sighting was the alien with  4 eyes, 3 noses, and 2 mouths. that was me. she wasn't scared by it. she was just so super funny.
"mom has 4 eyes!"

"mother, you have 4 eyes. how'd you get 4 eyes? why do you have 4 eyes?"

parker had a million nostrils and floating eye balls

graham appeared normal. fancy that.

the doc came in to check on her about an hour after the procedure
doc said, " how ya doing?"
avery took one look at her and said, "wow, you like have 4 eyes. are you ok?"

obviously, not quite ready to leave yet.

once she was somewhere near our galaxy, the doc came in to release her.
she had a rx for antibiotics in hand
we hadn't even asked for them
funny, how simple it can be.
however, avery is the one kid that we didn't want on abx

while the doc was explaining after care to us, she gave us 'the look' again
then she said we looked familiar. 
'oh no.' i thought again. 'i knew it! i knew i hadn't imagined the look!'

naturally, we are paranoid. we have been thru the ringer there. we have had to stand our ground and advocate for parker, time and time again.  we suspect that our presence there sets off warning bells. sometimes we wonder if big brother is watching and telegraphing big red flags to mystery men in hidden booths somewhere in the bowels of the hospital, 'crazy lyme people approaching. crazy lyme people approaching'
we can just imagine!
ok. so little paranoid? yup.
we are sure there is an internal write up about us somewhere.

before i had too much time to get myself overly paranoid, the doc went on to say that avery's name really rang a bell for her
avery! not parker! phew!
that narrowed things down as avery has only been to BCCH one other time. 
that was 5 years ago when she broke her leg
and then it dawned on us all at the same time

this was the very same doctor avery saw way back then! how ironic! 
obviously thousands of kids pass through BCCH with broken bones but she remembered avery so clearly because avery had been in a study where they were splinting kids rather than casting them.
she remembered avery because avery's case had been a pivotal part of their study
she had written avery up.
(see? not so paranoid, am i? they do write people up) 

November 14, 2011


it was quite the weekend.

i think we racked up more activity in 3 days then we have in 3 months.

we went to a movie
went to church
went ice skating...

eyes alight, bodies moving, smiles glowing
tentative first steps, arms flailing, knees shaking, balance found, then off with great gusto
the crispness of the frosty air,
feel its invisible flow across my cheeks and through my hair
jittery nerves, must breathe deeply
inhale that stale icy arena scent 
warmth from movement gently easing away sedentary chill 

parker zipping by,
avery delicately gliding past
both beaming with the exhilaration of the moment
"look at me, mom! look at me!"

graham, mr photographer extraordinaire, racing ahead to capture the moments
romantically sidling up beside me
hand in hand, round the rink we go
we're doing it. together. 

i nearly lost it as i glided slipped and slid my way across the ice
being there
in the moment
fully embracing it 
proved to be a much bigger challenge for me than staying upright on the ice 

there is part of me that is always waiting for the other shoe to drop
it's a learned behavior now
after all, the better days, the able days, the days where the light at the end of the tunnel seems close at hand, those days have never lasted.
the inevitable crash would come,
often in the blink of an eye.
sweet victory hacked off at the knees 
hopes raised, hopes dashed
hope falls prey to ruthless loss
unmercifully ushered in on a torrent of gut wrenching grief
bid farewell to doing, to being, to living again and again and again.

these repetitive losses have tainted my ability to be fully engaged 
they gnaw on my shoulder, grasp my belly and tiptoe through my heart 
i so fear the agony that comes when that tentative sense of well being is ripped from my grasp that i am scared to fully embrace the joy of the able bodied moments
to hug it tight, to whoop it up, to shout it from the mountain top
to sink into the joy and lose myself in the exhilaration of it

the protector in me, the survivor whispers cautiously;
spare yourself some grief
celebrate from a distant place
hold utter exuberance at bay
guard your heart
for tomorrow
this could all fall apart

this weekend, in that rink, it dawned on me

the grief is fully felt; even if the joy was not

this weekend, parker's wheelchair sat empty
tomorrow it may not.
i will not allow the fear of tomorrow to over shadow my joy in today.

i will fully embrace the joy of this moment without fearing the pain that the loss of it will create.

i will celebrate this moment with every fiber of my being
i will allow myself to embrace it with whole hearted gusto
i will cry, i will laugh, i will move, i will breath
i will not worry about what tomorrow will bring
come what may. come what might.

after all, i've survived every loss and fought my way back to victory every time. if i have to, i'll do it again. and again. and again.
"you gain strength, courage and confidence 
by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. 
you are able to say to yourself, 
"i have lived through this horror. i can take the next thing that comes along." 
you must do the thing you think you cannot do.
                                             -eleanor roosevelt

November 11, 2011


today is remembrance day.
in my opinion, remembrance should be a part of our every day.
yet it rarely is.
often, it is just another observed holiday that rolls around once a year. there is often more enthusiasm over the fact that this 'stat holiday' earns us a day off rather than there being a sense of solemnity and deep sense of gratitude attached it. this day is representative of sacrifice, bloodshed and great loss. if one really reflects quietly on it, remembrance (day) is a staggering, gut wrenching thought.

i'd challenge every one to make remembrance a part of every day.

our family has a very personal connection to the military since our son swore in as a private in january 2009. having a son who is a soldier brings war close to home. it impacts all of us deeply. remembrance day is no longer just a one day, once a year holiday that is observed in our home. it is a part of our every day. it's interwoven into daily living - reminders of his choice to pursue a military career are scattered throughout our home. i think the mess in his room would give his second lieutenant a coronary - yet, it is not the mess, but the military gear and uniform scattered within it that gives me one. 

fatigues mixed in with mess of every day life
once a week, he suits up in full fatigues and leaves the house to head to training. i'm blessed that he is still here in canada. i expect that one day that will change.

during supper this week, our family was discussing the upcoming remembrance day ceremonies. our conversation became the jumping off point from which this post was formed. taylor mentioned how fed up he was with hearing about kim kardashian and the media firestorm her 72 day marriage created. he went on to express his disgust with the fact that her divorce was breaking news and drew worldwide attention for days and days on end. 

coverage of the loss of our military is often a 15 second blurp at the beginning of a news broadcast. sometimes, a soldier's repatriation ceremony and funeral garner coverage...yet that coverage pales in comparison with the furor that celebrity incites. is that because it fails to illicit the widespread, grand scale public interest that celebrity does? what a sad commentary on life - that celebrity "news" trumps and/or overshadows the things that hold meaning and value. loss is lost in that shadow.

at the end of october, kim kardashian,30, ended her marriage.
at the end of october, master corporal byron greff, 26, was killed in a suicide bombing in afghanistan. he left behind a wife and 2 young children. 

what "stat" is newsworthy?
i hope that makes people pause and reflect.

in the line of duty: canada's casualities
remembrance should be a part of our every day.

this week, michael jackson's physician was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. the death of michael jackson and the subsequent court case has captured the nation and the media's attention. it is a terrible thing that michael jackson died the way he did. i'm not here to dispute that. nor minimize his creative genius or suggest that his contributions to the music world were not sizable or impressive. his death is sad and his children have been orphaned.

but there are many military men and women who have and who will lose their lives protecting our rights and freedoms. and their children will be orphaned as a result. how much coverage and attention is given to their tragic losses? 

should those losses be remembered only one day a year?
remembrance should be a part of our every day.

becoming a soldier is a calling. it is not a casual afterthought. we have a son who has chosen to make this his life's career. it is what he wants to do with his life...even if it costs him his life. i can't fathom that. that is with me every day. it is with our family every day. his decision impacts our family deeply. we support him, we are fiercely proud but we worry where this calling will take him - and if it will take him from us.

"A soldier must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. War leaves no soldier unwounded."

soldiers go to war and if they come home, they come home changed. you can make a difference in a wounded soldiers life today and every day. visit wounded warriors to find out how.
remembrance should be a part of our every day. 

"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die."

our military live that as an oath...on our behalf. 
we salute and honor your courage. we thank you for your service and sacrifice. yesterday. today. and tomorrow.

in our home, remembrance is a part of our every day.