Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Willow's story

Today, I am going to cross the lines in my blog a bit and share with you all, my six-year-old daughter's story. You may have heard it, or follow the blog I keep for her (Willow's Wishes), but today I am going to share on my personal blog.

Willow is our fourth child, and my pregnancy with her was not an easy one, but I am not so certain that all of the complications I had led us to where we are today. We will actually never know, but it isn't the part of the story I really want to focus on. You see, Willow was born Christmas Eve in 2010, and while I wasn't happy about having a baby so close to Christmas, you have to know her, to know that she is full of spirit! That was totally the right day for her to be born. She passed all newborn screenings, and was only 10 days early and had no need for any interventions. We stayed until the 26th and then were sent home.

As she grew, we started to notice a quirk she had. She had this head tilt that seemed awfully awkward and hard to imagine as it being typical newborn.

So at 2 1/2 months of age, we started a journey that we had never even heard of, knew nothing about, and sure as heck, was not prepared for.

Willow's story is quite long and involved, but I would like to keep it short and concise as I can. Please know you can go back to the link above and follow her journey more in depth at her blog (just start here). Willow was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at 2 1/2 months of age. Actually, to be more accurate, we were told she had no brain. In that little, tilted head above, is all fluid and no brain matter. At least that was what the first MRI showed. At four months of age, things changed and she had her first brain surgery. That is the only way to fix hydrocephalus. There is no cure, only brain surgeries to fix this condition. From the age of four months to the age of 16 months, Willow and I lived in the local children's hospital. During this time, she would average a surgery a month. 12 brain surgeries by the time she was 16 months old. Instead of walking, saying mama, dada, she was dealing with brain surgeries and a shunt that was supposed to be helping her, only instead it kept failing her.

We then had a great break and almost made it four years surgery free! This time allowed our family to grow into a new normal, allow us to be with our older three children again, and really live life. But shunts are unreliable, it is only a machine after all. Machines fail outside of the body all the time, why would this be any different?!  Hopefully, you can catch my frustration here. Shunts have a 50% failure rate within the first two years of placement, hence so many surgeries on our little girl. Not only that, she is actually allergic to the silicone that the shunt is made of, and so needs a special one to be placed in order for her body to not reject it. How special for our little girl.

Willow is now six years old, and not to jump too far ahead in our story, but she is up to brain surgery number 17. This doesn't count how many times she was placed under for tubes to be placed in her ears, tear ducts probed open, MRI's as a baby, future dental work (well, it's done now), etc. A few years ago, she started to wake up during a routine MRI, and they had to use emergency anesthesia. What happened was her body had become used to the dosage used at her weight, and she woke up. :( Those are some of the things that worry us, as well as how many more surgeries she will have.

Now, Willow is doing amazingly well, and we are so very proud of her. She has overcome so many odds, and her story may not be typical of what a child with hydrocephalus looks like, but it is her story. 17 brain surgeries and counting, just finished kindergarten and looking forward to an amazing summer.

Now, this really does give only a snapshot of all that she has overcome, it doesn't discuss the therapy she received all those years to get her where she is, it doesn't talk about a lot of the issues faced within the surgeries, etc. But again, if you want to know more about her personal journey, check out her blog. Just know that all of this led to our journey, where we are working with the PHF and I am a director here in Michigan. 

The PHF is a non-profit organization and you can learn more about that here. We host a walk in August to raise funds for the MI PHF that are then given to fund research grants for better treatment and better shunts. Information on our walk can be found by following this link, where you can also make a donation or register to join us. This year we are also going to DC to speak to congressional reps to raise awareness of the condition there as well. The more that is known, the better the chances are to find a cure. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Spring Break

I want to start off saying that for me personally, this was the BEST spring break ever!
We did not go anywhere out of state, or to some incredible water park. Nope, we stayed in the GR area the whole week. So what, you may ask, made it so great?
My attitude. :)

I have struggled with depression, seasonal, post-partum, whatever, for years. I had a lot of anxiety, stress, unhappiness, built up inside of me. But I have been working on myself for months, and this week I feel I conquered those things that were holding me back.

As much as I love my tiny (not so tiny) brood of children we have created, they were a source of my most intense stress and anxiety. I could not be with them for 24 hours, multiple days in a row without flipping out. And I mean FLIPPING OUT. I would use words not meant for children's ears, or I would not go anywhere for fear of how they would behave or worse yet, how I would react to their behavior. This week, was a complete difference and I LOVED IT!

We started by going to the movies to see Sing. Now, there were a lot of factors that led up to even getting us to the movie theater that day. Jonathan had driving practice, I forgot we had a meeting at 5 pm, had to run home to get driver's ed books, so that meant late to movie. They didn't have 6 seats next to each other, normally I would say nope, change of plans. Instead I rolled with it, and made it work for us! And it was GREAT! Made it to meeting, quick fast food stop after (traffic could have made us late, we found alternate route), made it in time to Jonathan's driver's ed class.
That was just Monday!

Tuesday, we cleaned house, went to the library with the littles, made brownies (with some essential oil flavor boost) and just enjoyed our calm day. Wednesday we chilled out in the morning, relaxed and stayed in jammies for a bit. Then went to the mall!! Yup, I took 5 kiddos to the mall, for no reason at all! Well, other than the oldest was meeting some friends, and since weather wasn't the greatest, we stuck around. Not everyone wanted to, but we made the best of it. Now, there were things that happened here that would have in the past would have sent me over the edge and running for the hills (after many more curse words left my mouth). I will spare you the play by play here with this. Instead, I rolled with them! I made jokes with the kids about them! We enjoyed our day, none the less. :)  It was amazing.

Thursday was spent with appointments for Willow. She had an MRI and a follow up from surgery with the neurosurgeon. I had all five kiddos with me because Jonathan had driving practice again right before. So, we ate lunch out and made it to the appointment in time. Then thankfully, we were able to be seen right after the MRI at neurosurgery, which got us home a little bit earlier. We were treated by a visit from a dear friend whom we hadn't been able to chat with in a while, and then dinner and driver's ed again. We ended this night with a trip to our favorite ice cream store - Frosty Boy!! (This may or may not have been our second time there since break started).

Then Friday, the official last day of break, because well you always get a weekend off, so the kids don't count it. LOL    We spent Friday..... ROLLERSKATING!  I even put skates on and had a blast! I want to go more often with the kiddos. :)  The best part, was that one; I did not fall down once while I had skates on! Yeah me!! The second thing, I freaked my kids out! Evan saw me doing circles on skates, and said it was 'witchcraft!' because he could not figure out how I was doing this. People, please, I am a child of the '80's we spent our days on wheels!! LOL  Well, I did anyway. :)
I had as much fun as the kids did there.

So, every day this week I did something that in the past would have pushed my anxiety through the roof, my stress levels, my fondness for my kids would have been right out the window. So, how did I get through the week? A lot of prayers, self development in the past year, and essential oils. I made sure every day, I started the day giving my worries to God, giving my need to be in control over to Him, and asking Him to guide my day. I made sure that while I was drinking my coffee, I put on my favorite oils (patchouli and spearmint), and then Clary Calm on my ankles. :)  I also did something that I don't ever do. I have this little card on my desk, and it says, "Put down your shield and stand in the rain of blessings". I did THAT this week. I am forever greatful for this week with my kids. They may not see it as the best spring break ever because we didn't officially DO anything (go on vacation); but for me, it was a HUGE win. I am forever thankful for.

Construction Worker Orion

Airline Pilot ready for take off! 

Carosel Ride at the mall (me, Orion, and Willow in back!)

New hat purchase at mall

New hat as well :) 

MRI imaging to check ventricles after shunt surgery. 


I can't believe how well he did! This boy is a natural! 

Yup, I took all 5 of them with me :)  We had a blast.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Emotions and oils

February is a great month to be reminded to care for oneself. According to mass merchandisers, it is a great month to spend a bunch of money on the 'love of your life' and spoil them like crazy. But, there is something I have been learning lately, and working hard at as well - self care.

You can't really care for others if you are not caring for yourself first. Self care looks so different for everyone, but at the bottom of it all I feel, is your emotional well being. What do you know about essential oils and emotional well being? Did you know that emotions are processed throughout the whole body? Your mind, your heart, and your gut ( called "The 3 brains"), all work together or communicate with each other to regulate and influence your emotions. Emotions also impact our cells, and it is in this way that essential oils can help us regulate our emotions and take control of our self care once again. Did you know that 90% of your body's serotonin is produced in your gut?! Serotonin, if you don't know, is associated with your 'feel good' emotions.

This month, I am teaching a few Facebook Live classes about emotions and how essential oils help. Tomorrow I will be starting a 7 day challenge about emotions and essential oils. I would love to have you!! Check out my page on Facebook at Daisypoet's Oils for more information on those online classes.

doTerra is also running a promotion on one of the emotion oils: Passion oil is 10% off this month, and then if you place a 125 pv order by the 15th of this month you will receive the aromatouch oil for FREE!

If you have any questions about any of this, please feel free to message me on FB, or email at: flower97_02@yahoo.com and I would be happy to help.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Daily maintenance

Well, a lot of people have been asking how can one really incorporate essential oils and our other products into their daily routine. Well, it has to be a decision made that you want to live healthier in order for you to actually make this a routine and not some once in a while type of thing that only happens when someone suggests it; or you remember that oh yeah I have oils here!

So, a typical day for me starts with the toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, moisturizer, chap stick (a must have this time of year) and I am only dressed at this point! LOL
So, then comes the coffee and let me share that I have recently found that adding a drop of peppermint oil to my coffee is so much better than creamer! My kids all have their own rollerballs as well and they each have their own favorite oils or blend to put on their feet, neck, wrists or spine before school starts. I have my diffuser on my desk in our dining room; and I generally will turn it on after my school runs are done and I come home to work. Lunch time has me taking my daily vitamins and probiotic for maintaining gut health; which is important for overall health. I make sure to have the diffuser running just before the kids get home in order for them to focus on homework. Each night we end our night with our calming blend before going to bed.

That is a day that doesn't even take into consideration cleaning or when we feel under the weather or extra stress or any other somethings. This is just a typical daily maintenance. We will get the extra's another day.

Here are some links and pictures of products we use in our home regularly.  Again, here is the link to my site, and here is my Facebook Page
I hope you have a wonderful week!

DaisyPoet's Oils