Come What May and Love It

June 30, 2011

"...every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don’t sing and bells don’t ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result."
-Joseph B. Wirthlin ("Come What May, and Love It")

June 2, 2011 was a day that changed our family's lives forever. Our faith was tried, we experienced one of the scariest things ever, and we also grew closer together in our marriage and as a family. 
About 2 1/2 years ago Mike started having “episodes” where he would feel an aura and his heart would race. After this funny feeling, his whole body would tense up and he would stare and basically be in another place for about a minute.  Then these feelings would go away and he’d feel fine, sometimes tired since they would exert so much physical energy, and often he wouldn't remember too much about them. Looking for answers, Mike searched online and came to the conclusion that these episodes had to be panic attacks. We went to the doctor, Mike told him his symptoms and what he thought they were, the doctor agreed and prescribed an anti-depressant hoping it would take care of the problem. Things didn’t get better. He would have these episodes at work, home, anywhere. Finally we took the next step and Mike began meeting with a Psychologist to learn tactics to deal with these “panic attacks” and hopefully get rid of them all together.  After several months, things still didn’t get better and it seemed like they weren't making any progress.

Then, on the morning of June 2nd, 2011 everything changed. At about 6:15am, I heard the alarm clock singing. I rolled over to tell Mike to turn it off and closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep. My eyes opened again a minute later to see Mike sitting up on the side of the bed, getting ready to get up and get ready for work; I closed my eyes again and nodded off. The next thing I knew, Mike was laying down in bed and having a grand mal seizure. I leapt over to his side of the bed to see what was going on or try to console him or anything. I didn’t know what to do. I ran for my cell phone and dialed 911. When the paramedics finally got there, Mike was unconscious and they couldn't wake him up. He finally came to when we arrived at the hospital but he had no recollection of what had even happened as amnesia is a common side affect of seizures. They got him checked into the hospital and started running tests to try to find out what had caused this seizure (when he had had no history of them in the past). 

We spent a total of 3 days in the hospital while they did a CAT scan, MRI, EKG, EEG, and numerous blood tests. Of course in these situations your mind goes crazy with all of the what-ifs and maybes. I remember talking to Mike about what could be wrong and he said, "It doesn't matter. Whatever it is, we will get through it and we will be happy." That thought has stuck with me and looking back, it seemed to be the theme for the entire experience. No matter what, we will be happy. 

We spent alot of time together, just the two of us, over those three days. As crummy as the circumstances were, it was nice to be able to be together and just talk and laugh. The girls went and played at friends' houses during the day and then I would bring them up to the hospital at night to give goodnight kisses to Daddy. I know it was always the best part of his day :)

All of the test results came back normal which was, of course, a huge relief, but also left us wondering. It wasn’t until we met with the on-call doctor (and later the neurologist) that we finally started getting some answers to questions we had been asking for 2 ½ years.  It turns out these “panic attacks” (as they were misdiagnosed so much earlier) were actually complex partial seizures (it's no wonder the other medication wasn't working). We always felt like the "panic attack" thing didn't really fit, but it seemed like the safe answer so we went with it. Looking back though, it is completely clear that these have in fact been complex partials. We learned that they have been happening because of a little something firing in the left frontal lobe of his brain. We don't know why, what triggers it, or how to stop it but we are hoping the medication will help.

This was certainly a trial that we never even imagined would come our way but we are glad to finally have some answers. We have certainly felt the amazing love of our Heavenly Father throughout this entire experience. We know that there is nothing too big for us to handle as long as we lean on Him and trust that everything will be okay. 

Mike is now on anti-seizure medication and we are told it will eventually make these complex partials go away completely. When people ask how he is doing or feeling, he always says he's great, never been better! He's still the same funny, compassionate, outgoing, and good looking guy that he's always been, and really he's been dealing with this for 2 1/2 years, we just didn't know what it was until now. He's my rock and I am so grateful for him. I am so grateful for tender mercies and for the love and blessings that our Heavenly Father has poured down upon our family.
"I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it.

As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say... 'Come what may, and love it.'"
-Joseph B. Wirthlin ("Come What May, and Love It")

Through it all, when I was putting on my brave face and trying to be strong, he was still smiling.
Looking oh-so-cute hooked up to the EEG machine.


Hot Hot Hot

June 24, 2011

Seems to be the theme lately... Like I've mentioned before, we are trying to keep cool around here and have been spending most days either inside in the air conditioning or outside in the water. To try and beat the heat we went and played at our local splash park. It was pretty awesome. Both of the girls had a ball. We couldn't get either of them to sit still, they were too excited about the jumping water coming out of the ground and the puddles to splash in.

There's nothing better than and ice cold fudge-sicle after an afternoon of running through the fountains and playing in the sun.




June 20, 2011

Summer is here! Oh man, is it ever! This summer has been one of the hottest summers I have ever experienced, and I'm not exaggerating. We have already broken so many heat records and we're only a few weeks in. Mike and I were talking the other day about how we never really got a Spring season (one of our favorite seasons). It went from freezing cold to two weeks of rain and tornadoes and then blistering heat. It's been crazy! (But it makes me wonder, would I prefer this unbearable heat or the long cold winters in Utah...? I guess we'll see...)

We are coping with the heat though, and trying to make the best of it. We rarely go outside in the middle of the day but instead, save our playtime for the late evenings when the sun sinks low and the weather is tolerable. And if we're lucky, every now and then we'll get a very slight breeze.

Kylie is Daddy's little buddy. She loves to do everything Daddy does. It's my favorite thing in the world, seeing the way my girls look up to their Daddy. We have a basketball hoop outside our house, (that we don't play with nearly enough) and went out to shoot a few hoops on one of those rare, cooler nights. It was pretty fun, and one of those "This is the life!" moments watching Ky play ball with her Daddy in the late evening sun. It's a simple life and it's a sweet life and I'm so glad it's mine.

Em and I sat on the sidelines and were their little cheerleaders. I think I was the more enthusiastic one of the two of us :)
Emily really wanted to play, but no one would pass her the ball. Haha. Maybe when you get a little taller, Em.


Memorial Day

June 7, 2011

I'm pretty sure it's an unwritten rule that you have to go swimming on Memorial Day. It's a rule in our house at least. We pulled out the 'ol inflatable pool, slathered on a half a bottle of sunscreen, and had a blast. Kylie is such a little water baby. She loves to play in water, not so much swim, just play and pour and spray and splash.

We barbequed some burgers, ate potato salad, watermelon, and corn on the cob, and kicked the summer off right. I just adore summer! (I just wish it wasn't so darn hot here! :)

Notice the sweet patch job. Remember that, you'll see it again later... This is how she poses when I ask her to smile for a picture. Cracks me up.

She's such a ham.

Gol' he's good looking...

Is she mine, or what???

I think this is my favorite. Yes, yes it is.

"Mommy, take a picture of me smiling like this... CHEEEESE!"

Remember our redneck patch job? It didn't last. This is what our pool looked like the next day, and yes, we still played in it. We called it the "puddle." Haha! And even more redneck, Emily is chilling in the puddle in her onesie. Oh boy, we may not be perfect, but we are having a great time!
[Now, let me just tell you that this is the scariest post I have ever posted because it shows me... in a... swimsuit... (gulp). Something I'm sure many people, including myself, would never even think about posting. But I love the memories associated with these pictures and I want to remember how Kylie and I laughed and played together, because in 20 years, when I look back at this, I wont notice all of the things I wish were different now, I will only see how we laughed and how we love each other.]