It’s Been Too Long

Hi everyone! It’s me here, Tiffany! You’ve probably long forgot that I even have a blog 🙂 That’s ok, I forgot for a long time that I had a blog too. Not really but my mind wasn’t well enough to write.

You see, after I had Pippy, I thought the hard part of having a stroke was over. I had really recovered well from it. No physical side effects what so ever. That to me was the hardest battle of having a stroke and to many people, that’s what they think too. I’m here to tell you it is not, unfortunately.

Most people think a stroke victims major recovery is the physical, and with some strokes I suppose that’s correct. With me, and a lot of other “mild” victims it’s the mental part that gets you. For me that has been the hardest part of recovery. And I’m still not there.

After Pippy was born and after a few days my physical side effects went away. I had my strength back, could walk and talk normal, and seemed to be a miracle to many people. What you couldn’t see is the turmoil I had inside. The part of the stroke that no one can see. I felt like I couldn’t capture my thoughts and verbalize them. I would get tangled with my words. I felt sometimes, and still do, as if all these thoughts and things I want to say are there but they won’t come out! It’s frustrating.

Then comes the depression. Oh, the depression has been rough. At first I thought I was just dealing with the baby blues that has accompanied many of my births. No, this went way deeper, and has lasted much longer. I almost feel robbed of my babies infant-hood if you will from the severe depression I was in which was a side effect from the stroke.

I want you to know, It’s not just the physical, the mental part of recovery is way harder. I went to the doctor time and time again seeking help. I needed to feel better. To feel in control. It wasn’t until I really grasped that the issues I was having weren’t going to go away. That what I was dealing with,This monster of depression, was the new me, that I started to feel better. And let me be honest, that just happened recently. Thirteen months I’ve been in this pit. It’s enough to drive a saint insane. I just kept pushing on, trying my hardest to live and thrive but surviving the day was more what I was doing.

My husband, God love him he’s the best, prayed, and stayed right by me, encouraging me, lifting me up, picking up the slack. I don’t know that I could’ve gotten through all this with out him. He has been my rock and my stablizer. He has went through many of dark days on my behalf and still faces the next with a smile. He loves me. That’s really all I can say. When I wanted to give up, throw in the towel, he was right there to lift me up, and carry me on. I love him so much and am so thankful for his spirit, determination to get me better, and guiding prayers through this journey.

I’m hoping to be writing here more often. It’s a release for me. I enjoy it. And it’s a place where I can be me. The new me, post stroke, fleeting thoughts, stumbling sentences(I’ll auto correct them for you all though) and all.

If you’re still around and reading, I thank you. Here’s to a new start!

Blessings,
Tiffany

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Our Birth Story

As told in my last update… Baby Pip didn’t come without a few complications. We started out our morning on August 21,2013 expecting to have a normal labor and delivery. What actually happened is anything but normal.

We were scheduled to be induced two days after my due date. I was miserable and BIG! I hadn’t slept in months for more than a couple hours at a time. I was ready. We started out the morning getting up and ready. I kissed all the kids good bye and we headed to the hospital. My husband and I prayed the entire way to the hospital. It’s through those prayers that what lie ahead turned out to be ok.

When we arrived at the hospital, everything went as planned at first. They gave me a pill to induce labor around 7 am. MY
plan was to have a few contractions, ask for an epidural, and then sleep for the rest of labor, since I hadn’t slept in months. All went as planned at first. I got my epidural around 8:30 a.m. The entire time I was getting it I felt like she was pushing a rod into the back of my neck, and into my head. Now, if you know anything about epidurals they put the needle in and then thread the tube down. There was nothing going into or even near my head! Just felt that way! I soon began to feel relief and decided to take a nap. I just laid there for a while chatting with my husband and mom. Since we already have 6 children, my husband really wanted to stop after this one. I kept insisting that we have as many as God had planned for us. Through some prayer, he finally stated during labor,

I prayed and told God as long as he keeps me able to provide, I’ll have as many children as HE wants us to have!

Little did he know God would give him the answer to that prayer shortly after.

It wasn’t but a little while after that I sat up in the bed and told my mom my eyes felt numb. I complained about “the rod” in my neck too. There wasn’t a rod in my neck but it felt like there was. I laid back down and said my chest feels heavy and immediately started panting. That was when I had my stroke!

The rest of the story is from faint memories and from what others tell me. I don’t remember much. Mom says that I had a blank stare on my face, eyes wide open, but no response. She looked at the monitors and my blood pressure shot to 195/105 and my heart rate jumped to 198. She knew right them I was having a stroke. It didn’t take long for the nurses and doctors and anyone else they could round up to come into the room. They began examining me and trying to wake me. My right side was completely numb with no movement at all. They summoned to a neurologist but he was busy so my doctor went down to the emergency room and got the attending down there. He came and knew right away that I had had a stroke. He said the drugs that they give stroke patients would kill the baby and myself so there really wasn’t much they could do but wait it all out and see what happened on it’s own. The anesthesiologist came in and turned off the epidural. The doctors kept telling me to open my eyes. I couldn’t. I could hear what was going on but couldn’t respond to their requests. It was frightening. It was as if I was in a bad dream.

I remember the moment I opened my eyes. My momma was standing at the end of the bed, nurses and doctors everywhere in the room, my husband was at the far end of the room. I thought to myself, why is my Mom crying, I was only taking a nap. I had no idea what was actually happening to me. They started to ask me questions and I couldn’t speak. I tried but nothing came out. They told me to raise my hand, I couldn’t. It was then I started to blink once for yes and two for no to some simple questions. First was, do you know where you are? Of course I knew!

Not so long after I began to speak again. The first thing I said, while patting my belly, was BABY! They all assured me everything with the baby was fine. That was a relief….

I was rushed down to radiology for a MRI and CAT scan. NOTHING was there. As this was all happening my labor was still progressing. I was then dilated to 5. At this point the contractions were starting to kick in as the epidural had been off for a while. I remember the neurologist checking me out. Trying to get me to lift hands, and legs, squeeze and so forth. My right side still had nothing. I listened after his exam as he told my husband,

You already have 7 mouths now to feed, if I were you I wouldn’t have any more children. You wife my not be ok after this.

I was shocked! In disbelief! Scared! How could a small nap, and what felt like the epidural being to much for me turn into NO MORE BABIES?!?!?!?!?!

I delivered little PIP at 12:15pm. They didn’t want me to push because they hadn’t figured out the “cause” of the stroke, so they suctioned her out. She came out all cheesy looking and with a large round suction cup cone on the back of her head, but all else was fine with her! I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief. With all that was going on with me, the only thing I really cared about was if the baby was OK!

I started to be able to move again on my right side shortly before her delivery and gradually got better afterwards. I was not nearly as strong on the right side, but I could move and squeeze and point my foot like they asked me to. I nursed little PIP shortly after delivery then they took her away for her clean up and stats and such.

At this point my Husband, God love him, says

I need to go into the bathroom and loose it, I can’t be strong anymore!

He had kept it together this whole time with everything going on but it was time to release and cry! He and my mom kept trying to explain to me that I had had a stroke but I kept insisting it was just the epidural. I was in denial I guess.

That night after my hubs went home and got the kids and brought them up to see me did I realize something wasn’t right with me. I couldn’t speak right. I kept stuttering, couldnt’ remember things, and was weak. It was the side effects from the stroke. I remember Dexter crying and saying honey whats wrong. She was sad but come to find out later she was devastated and scared. She knew something was very wrong with momma.

It took me only a couple days to get my strength back and PIP was doing great. We went home that Friday, just two days after delivery with instructions to follow up with the Neurologist for the stroke. Those words penned on my discharge papers was the point I came to realize it wasn’t just the epidural as I had thought, I had a STROKE!

Now, I had EKG, ultrasound of arteries, and all kinds of other tests. THEY FOUND NO BLOCKS or BLOOD clots!!!!! I still to this day think what happened was something went wrong with the epidural, an air pocket or something, and THAT is what caused all of this! It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. It’s what I know in my heart to be true.

I do still have some side effects from all of this. Sometimes my thoughts are jumbled. I get frustrated easy because I cant’ think straight. I get overwhelmed so easily. I am able to function, have complete strength back but the internal side effects are difficult to deal with. My husband continues to help me learn to give myself some grace. I CAN”T do it all anymore. I’m not the “SUPER MOM” I once was, and I’m ok with that! I’m learning to be a new me, a me….. POST STROKE!!!

MUCH love and blessings to you,
TIFFANY

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The Joys Of Pregnancy

So I really didn’t fall of the face of the earth! I promise! I’ve been right here at home dealing with this pregnancy. I say it like that because that’s how I feel right now, that I’m just dealing with it. It has been a rough couple of weeks. Actually, that is a dramatic understatement! I’ve been horribly ill, thinking I’m dying, balled up on the couch kinda ill. Morning sickness is a joke! It’s all day sickness non stop for the past 14 days! AHHHH, but I’m feeling much better today so I write to you!

It started off with just the little bit of nausea that’s to be expected with pregnancy. Then, I go to a “confirmation” appointment and the nurse tells me it’s better to stop taking my Celexa meds. Ok, she’s a nurse, I’ve never had to take them with the other pregnancies so I stopped. BIG NO NO!!!!!!
What I thought was just a bit of morning sickness turned into violently throwing up, chills, sweats, no energy, completely feeling exhausted all the time, sleeping 18 hours a day. After praying and crying and screaming for help a friend suggested some ginger tea. I took myself to the store, which was a huge deal, and got some. It did help with the nausea a bit but the trade off was my acid reflux was horrible with drinking it. Then a girlfriend brought me some ginger essential oil. God love her. It too helped a bit. Then another girlfriend brought me some peppermint and lavender oil because at that point everything smelled funny to me and it was driving me crazy.

I stayed in my pathetic state for almost 2 weeks before my husband, God love him he just wanted to make me better, researched my symptoms and VIOLA! I had every symptom of withdrawals from the Celexa! I started taking it again immediately and it took about 3-4 days but I’m much better! I took it upon myself to research whether it was safe to take during pregnancy and it is one of the ones listed to take. Until I see my OBGYN, the real thing, not a nurse, I’m going to continue to take it. I’m not sure how many others have stopped taking meds like that before but it was my first time and definitely my last. If I choose or no longer feel the need for Celexa I will definitely ween myself off of it. Quitting cold turkey was brutal and I wouldn’t wish feeling like that on my worst enemy.

I think I can officially say I can relate to someone coming off a drug addiction. That’s exactly how my body, spirit, soul felt. It was just like the movies. Mom laying on the couch bundled up with that nothingness look in her eyes! That was me for 2 weeks!!!!!! My whole family suffered. I cried more than I ever have in that time frame. Even my mom asked me if I was ok. She said honey your eyes are so empty. I just told her the truth, I feel completely empty!

I want to thank my friends and family for praying for me. And God especially for giving my husband the discernment to look up my symptoms. Who knows how long I would’ve laid and suffered…… probably until my next check up which is 3 weeks away!!!!! The thought of that sends a chill down my spine.

I just wanted to let you all know that I was still alive and hope to get back to writing, sharing, and encouraging you all! Thank you for sticking around!

Blessings,
Tiffany
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Expecting Baby Number 6!!!!

So the time has flown by and I haven’t had a post in almost three weeks! I miss writing. I miss sharing. I miss being here, with all of you guys.

I found out on the 13th (the Dudes 5th birthday) that Baby #6 will be here sometime in August! The news is exciting and scary all at the same time. I LOVE babies! That I can’t deny but adding another member to the family is a bit scary. Things are going so well right now and I’d hate to throw that off but God will somehow make it all work. He always does.

While all the girls are pretty excited, The Dude is not. He’s been the baby for 5 years now and he knows it and somehow I think he knows what will come when baby arrives for his mommy and me time. I’m sure he’ll adjust just fine. Plus, we have about 34+ weeks to prepare him for his new role as BIG brother!

Another concern is the room. We are literally BUSTING out of this house. 1200 sq. feet an 7 occupants makes room tight. The market in our area is not good and there will be a few things needed to be done to sell the house if we choose to go that route. Then the other part of my brain says, we can stay cramped a few more years and then kids will start moving away for college and such and there will be more room then we know what to do with. OH, the decisions!

I really couldn’t of asked for a better Christmas gift this year than the gift of being a mother again! I love how God has in trusted me to keep all these little ones. What a blessings!

Well, that’s the news for now! Sorry this post is a bit random and not well written. I really haven’t been myself lately:)
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Blessings,
Tiffany
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Celebrating Birthdays

We recently celebrated Wild Bills 11th birthday. I can’t even begin with how I miss my babies being babies. Wild Bill, then Magic Bean, and the Princess are only 14 and then 15 months apart. My excuse and reasoning back when they were little was, ” I have the babies”. It seems like just yesterday but yet they are now 11 almost 10 and almost 9! Not quite babies anymore.

We don’t do the whole commercial birthday thing. We usually make our own cakes or cupcakes or brownies, whichever the individual child wants, and do a family birthday party. Sometimes grandma comes over and sometimes Aunt Sheri and family but we never rarely ever have a hoop-la party. These are the cupcakes Dexter decorated for Wild Bill. We call her B a lot of times so she did Bees on the cupcakes! She’s becoming quite the cake decorator:

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We feel it is important for the birthday child to have a meaningful family birthday. They get off their chores for the day, get to pick what’s for dinner, and always have a date with Dad sometime during the week. Usually they go to dinner and go somewhere they choose. It means a lot to them and they’ve come to anticipate their date with Daddy!

We also have a 24 hour rule in our house. When a child gets something new it is ALL theirs for 24 hours! Once that time is up, it’s time to share. That way they get to have special time with just that item. There are some things that are just theirs forever, favorite blanket, special jewelry, things like that. When the 24 hours is up and it’s a toy item, I refuse to break up the “it’s mine” fight that seemed to occur before we instilled that rule. Now it’s just normal around here and they know. We have too many children and too many toys and such to go through the ‘”he/she has MY things”. Plus it teaches them to share in everything they have. All we have is a gift from above and it’s a real life lesson to pass that on by sharing everything we get with someone else.

I love to make each child feel special and I certainly don’t wait for their birthdays to roll around to do it but this is how our family celebrates our birthdays!

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My girl is growing up, much as I’d love to keep them all babies, she’s growing up!

Blessings,
Tiffany

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DIY Wood Snowmen

This is the easiest snowman I’ve ever made and it required NO SNOW:) So here is the finished product and then I will explain how I did it. I can’t help show you the end first! They are so darn cute!

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You know how I did up the “pumpkin patch” for my fall decorations? I used the same concept and idea here! I had the hubster bring home some wood pieces that he has laying around at work and sent Dexter outside to paint them white.

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Then I really just let her have at them! She knew what Momma wanted so she got to work painting on there eyes and noses. Next she used some pom-poms we had in the school room and found some mismatched socks above the dryer. She coordinated the socks with the pom-poms. How smart right?!?!?! For the daddy snowman she used some checker pieces because we didn’t have black pom-poms and it HAD to match as she said. She tied some ribbon around the socks at the top of there “Hats” and then cut some strips of old fabric from shorts into the scarves.

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And VIOLA! Instant, no snow required, snowmen for the front porch!

Aren’t they darling?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

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Since we finished them it kind of motivated my genius man to hand the christmas lights. Or maybe it was the 60 degree weather in November? None the less, the lights are up!

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And here is the front flower box with my lovely sledding snowmen! Did I mention I really like snowmen?

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That’s it for us this year unless I find some great deal I just can’t pass up on outside decorations! Oh and I will be using mysuper simple ornament wreath On the side door into the kitchen!
I’m so excited for the holidays and all that I’ve planned! I can’t wait to share them with you here!

Blessings,
Tiffany
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A day at the E.R.

We spent 10 hours in the Riley Childrens Hospital E.R. not too long ago. Wild Bill, who is our type 1 diabetic, went to bed with a small tummy ache. We tend to pass things back and forth and some of the other kids had had a bug so I sent her to bed thinking it was just that, a bug that would pass. The next morning around 4:30 a.m. I’m awaken to the sound of hurling in the living room. I jump out of bed to find Wild Bill with a small trash can getting sick. I helped her the best I could, took her temp, gave her some luke warm water, and tucked her in on the couch. We checked her sugar and it was 430. That’s pretty high so I encouraged her to check ketones in the bathroom. Sure enough she had large ketones. That is not anything new when she’s sick so I adjusted her insulin a bit and sent her back to the couch.

Every time the poor baby drank even a sip she was throwing it right back up. This went on till 9a.m. At this point you could tell she was getting dehydrated, her sugar was now at 495 even with the increase of insulin, and the vomiting wasn’t stopping. I got ahold of her nurse at Riley and asked what next. She informed me that we needed to take her to the E.R. to have her checked out and if nothing else get her some I.V. fluids.

She couldn’t even get up to walk to the van she was so weak. Dexter helped her in the van and we snuggled her with a blanket and a small trash can to hold on to for the ride. She went the longest, 20 minutes, without throwing up in the van, but by the time we arrived she was heaving again. Dad met us at Riley Children’s Hospital and when I got there he picked her up from the van and carried her inside. By the time I made it from the parking garage with the rest of the kiddos to the e.r. room they were already starting I.V.s and trying to figure out what was going on.

After they got the fluids going they started getting ready for blood draws. Her numbers were not good. Her sugar was in the 500’s by now and I watched as my little girl looked to be dying. I can’t even express the fear I had watching her deteriorate so quickly right before my eyes. I only kept praying God you spared her once, please spare her again. I prayed and thanked God for having his hand on her the entire time! They started the insulin drip, which is only administered in the e.r. or in ICU, not long after we arrived. She was right on the verge of ICU but they wanted to see if they could help her in the e.r. first. They did test after test and couldn’t figure out why her sugar had skyrocketed and why she turned so quickly. She continued to vomit for a while until they gave her some anti-nausea meds which worked almost miraculously! I was very glad for that.

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With in a few hours she was starting to feel better and her sugar was coming down. When we investigated further, we realized the port which her insulin goes through(she wears an insulin pump) was bad, thus causing her to not get the proper insulin. That would explain the high sugars but she’s had high sugars before and not gone into Ketoacidosis before.

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She started to watch some videos on the IPAD and laugh a little at her brother and sisters. I was so relieved when she finally asked for something to eat! I knew she was getting better at that point. Her E.R. doctor couldn’t believe it when he came in and she was eating! He had told us that we should prepare for a day or two stay in the ICU because she was so sick and now she was eating McDonalds and watching videos! He honestly couldn’t believe how good she was looking. We spent a few more hours in the e.r. but with her sugar down to 200, her ketones gone, the vomiting stopped, and her demeanor back they said we could go home.

I still have no idea what caused all of this which kind of scared me but I know that my little girls life is in Gods hands and HE controls her future. She spent the rest of the weekend being her regular old self but with a scratchy voice as all the vomiting caused her voice to change. But other than that by Saturday night you couldn’t tell she was ever sick! I thank God for that! I thank God for her! And yes, I thank God for diabetes! You can read our full testimony of her diagnosis and why I thank God for diabetes HERE

I thank God for you too, my readers and family! I love you all so much for this journey we call life is just a little bit better with all of you in it!

Blessings,
Tiffany

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Me and Wild Bill the night of her birthday just 1 week from the E.R. visit!!!!!

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