Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good Changes

Things have not quite been the same, over these last couple of months, but in my heart I know, they are good, maybe working towards being even better than before!

At first, when I came home from the hospital, Alyssa seemed a bit mad at me for my month away.  My first interaction with her was at school.  I joined my mother-in-law to pick Alyssa up from school at the end of the day.  We had ample time.  I couldn't wait for the bell, so I went into the school to look for Alyssa.  There she was, strolling down the hallway, tight to the wall, feeling any and all textures, as she passed them by.  I went up to her, knelt before her and said, “Hi Alyssa, its mommy.”  She looked at me and in a real deep tone said, “hi mommy”.  Her grumble told me, I was in big trouble!  She gave me a hug and went on her way.  That night, she was wound up, yet distant, and in her own world.  It took about three days before she started getting close to me.  It took even longer for the special moments, like sitting on the couch together. 

Over the holiday break from school, when Alyssa did not have her friends to engage with, I noticed she seemed different.  I was, and still am, on driving restriction, so over the two week break I wasn’t able to take her anywhere.  That time was also a time of needed rest and recovery for me, so we didn’t have friends over to our house either.  I felt bad we didn’t do or plan more entertainment during that time, but realized certain limitations applied and those limitations would be temporary. 

Here we are, the end of January, Alyssa had her first opportunity to go to a friend’s house, after school yesterday.  Last night, there was a change, a good change.  Alyssa seemed genuinely happy last night.  She giggled, smiled and was engaged with both mommy and daddy.  Her hour with her friend, made a difference.  It’s kind of funny because Alyssa and her friend did not sit down and play together, per say.  Alyssa roamed the environment and explored all the different toys.  She went from room to room and scoured each location for desirable items.  She found many things, including a necklace that caught her eye and entertained her for a long time.  It was really neat because you could see she was enjoying herself, just by being exposed to all the new and different things.  I find it interesting how just being in a different environment made such a difference for her.  I can only hope we get more of those opportunities, to intrigue and inspire something new, something different.  

Over these next months, I hope we can reach out more, embracing change, while seeking new good experiences.  For me, to see Alyssa happy is the best experience ever.  And, I have been graced with more time and the chance to see her happiness.  This is absolutely beautiful!  I thank Alyssa’s friend for making it happen this time!  I look forward to the next.       

Thank you for reading and have a great week!  Angie

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Painful Layers

As you may know, I had a brain aneurism rupture in November 2011.  I haven’t been writing much while in recovery.  My heart wants to share so much, but my mind has difficulty putting together what I might write to you.

I find myself feeling incredibly fortunate, yet scared and confused.  There is a pain in my body that reminds me, I was in the hospital and had brain surgery, but my real pain is found in my emotional places. 

Returning from this experience, it took some time for Alyssa to reconnect with me.  I feel so bad; there hasn’t been a way to explain all of this to her.  I wish I could comfort her and she could understand why I was gone for a month and why I have limitations with her now.  There are times, she will give me a hug and I become emotionally overwhelmed.  My emotions play tricks on me and I can fall into a feeling of what it might be like to not be with her.  Then, I fall apart.  I realize what a gift life is.  Not that I didn’t before, but now, there is a side of me, emotionally feeling the pain, of what it would be like to lose the opportunity to be with those I love. 

I think back to the evening this all started.  There have been so many of you have asked about my experience.  I thought I would share it with you today.  It was Wednesday, November 9th.  I went to take Alyssa upstairs to get her ready for bed.  At the bottom of our stairs, she reached up to be carried up the stairs.  Loving this special moment, I carried her, like I did most nights.  As I approached the top steps, I felt “odd”.  I knew something was significantly wrong.  There was no denying the feeling; I knew I was going to need medical attention.  I walked Alyssa to the bedroom, quickly readied her for bed.  I began to lose my balance, but used my arm like a kickstand to hold myself up.  It’s a bit foggy if I put Alyssa in bed or if my husband did.  I remember feeling ill and sitting down on the floor.  I yelled across the house to my husband to come quickly.  As he arrived, everything was very confusing.  Had I fallen?  What was wrong?  He led me down the stairs on my request.  I called our neighbors to see if they could come over, as we would need to go to the hospital and have someone at the house for Alyssa.  I could hear my husband calling the paramedics.  I leaned over the kitchen sink and became very sick.  A few moments into vomiting, my neck stiffened and I had a wall of shooting pains from the base of my neck, up and over to the front of my forehead.  This pain, this awful pain, was worse than anything I have ever felt before.  Woosh, my head was engulfed… a migraine would be an understatement as to the intensity of the pain.  It was more like an explosion inside my skull.  I remember a paramedic arriving and standing behind me offering me relaxation because he had medication to offer.  Being placed into the ambulance was my last memory for the next 19 days. 

Looking back and thinking about this whole experience, I would have thought the woosh, the shooting pains, were the worse thing I could ever feel, but I was wrong.  Waking up from this experience and knowing I could have died and lost the opportunity to be with all of you, my friends, my family, my sweet Alyssa… oh how that pains me more than anything.  I believe I can rejoice in my existence!!!  Yet, I have to be honest, I am not relaxed about the rejoicing, I am still scared, frankly scared.  I am sure this experience is like that onion, peeling off the layers, until the fears are all gone.  I trust in God and believe there is more I haven’t learned from this yet, so I will do my best to let go for now and try to celebrate, as I have every reason to!!!  I am trying to enter each day, one day at a time and with an open heart and mind.  And, I find myself feeling incredibly fortunate to have Alyssa’s smiles.  She guides me into the celebration!

I don’t know where we would be without all the wonderful people in our lives that have been helping us through this time.  I can only tell you, I am more appreciative than ever.  I do not have words to express the mountain of our gratitude, but I want everyone to know, your part, no matter how big or small, has been huge to us.  Thank you! 

As always, thank you for reading and have a GREAT week!!!  Much love, Angie

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year

I will be the first to say, "yes it is".  This is a very happy new year for me.  I am incredibly fortunate, blessed and thrilled to be entering into 2012!!   

I am not one to make resolutions at the beginning of each year, rather I like to have ongoing goals throughout the year.  I will share, my current goal is to do my best to take it easy and be patient with my recovery from the brain aneurism rupture.  I cherish every moment with my family and friends, more than ever!!  Again, I feel so blessed!

For those who have been reading my blog for some time, you must know, Alyssa is our "everything".  She is an angel.  To start off the new year, I thought I would share some new pictures taken just last week by our talented friend, Kara, from Kara Wright Photography. 

I am full of thanks to all of our wonderful friends and family who have been a part of my recovery.  Thank you!  THANK YOU!!  Much love, Angie