Thursday, July 28, 2011

Crazy Days

Here we are in the middle last part of summer and I am overwhelmed with the amount of things going on.  A lot has been accomplished, but we have a lot packed in to the last few weeks of summer.

This Last week is was VBS at our church. (How bad is that?  It took me more than a week to type this much!  Holy cow...I'm too busy!)

Well anyway...We had VBS.  Luke is on a mission trip this week.  Next week is Steve's parent's 50th wedding anniversary.  We have a family vacation coming up.  Then, it's back to school for Cupcake.  Two days later, we will move Tim back in to college.  Oh, that's right...we have four birthdays to celebrate in our immediate family in the month of August. (Luke on the 2nd, Cupcake on the 13th, Steve on the 23rd, and Sugar on the 28th.)  No kid parties will be had in August.  I just can't do it.  We'll see how Cupcake handles that...

I have so much I want to blog about, but my time is just tight right now.  So I will leave you with a few pictures of VBS. 

Sugar was a preschool leader, but I have no pictures of her.  :-(  They are on a friend's camera.

I didn't get permission from everybody, so some faces have been smeared.

Cupcake had already done Pandamania VBS at Grandma's church, so she knew all the motions to the songs.  Consequently, she got to lead the songs at our church!

She also got to hold lots of toddlers every chance she got.

Blessings to you,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Did I Say?

From the website

Trigeminal neuralgia is a disorder of the fifth cranial nerve which causes episodes of intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve are distributed - lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw, and lower jaw. The disorder most often affects one side of the face, but some patients experience pain at different times on both sides. Trigeminal Neuralgia is considered to be one of the most painful afflictions known to medical science. 

Did I say, "Aleve doesn't work as well for this pain."?

What I meant was, "Aleve is completely worthless for this pain."

As for good news:  Last night was the first night in 3 weeks that I didn't wake up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain and need an ice pack just to survive.  The pain was mellow enough that I slept all night.  It felt so good to wake up refreshed this morning.  :-)  Thank you, God, for medicines that do work.

Blessings to you,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Freeze Wrestling

We have a fun game that Cupcake loves.  I like to play, because I have the easy job.  :-)

It's called Freeze Wrestling.

Equipment needed:
1 Strong and Playful Daddy.
1 Wild Child.
1 Keeper of the Light (That's me.).
1 wrestling surface.
1 dark room.
1 flashlight.

To giggle as much as possible, while expending enormous amounts of energy and building attachment.

Game Play:
Dad and Child take their places on the wrestling surface.  Mom turns off the light.  Wrestling ensues.  When Keeper of the Light shines the flashlight on wrestlers, they must freeze in the position they were caught in.   When the flashlight goes off, wrestling commences.  Game is over when Daddy is tired.  Everybody wins.  (Except maybe Daddy, who's exhausted.)

Enjoy our fun. For these shots, we played with a camera instead of a flashlight.


This one was after the game, right before the body slam...
Blessings to you,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trigeminal Neuralgia

So that's what I have.

I haven't shared much about my dental woes here, but boy, have I had woes lately.  It's been hard (literally) to smile for months. 

That's not the best thing for therapeutic parenting either.

For you newbies, I have genetically inferior teeth. My mouth has more silver amalgam than teeth.  Most of my fillings were done in childhood.  That means they are 35-40 years old now.

This is how it went down.  (This post is more for me than for you. It's a record of what happened.  You know, like history.)

Short version:  

In the past 3 months, I've had 3 separate toothaches, 1 root canal, 2 crowns and severe pain on the left side of my face.  Went to the Doctor.  I have TMJ and the nerves in my face are screaming.  I'm on meds.  Hopefully, relief is on the way.

Long version:

At the end of March, my lower right molar screamed every time I ate something cold.  I used ibuprofen a couple times a week.  Mid-April, I had my regularly scheduled cleaning.  I told the hygienist and she was super careful around that tooth.   She noticed my upper left molar was in very bad shape and needed a crown ASAP.  So I made an appointment to have it fixed mid-May.

Unfortunately, the sensitive tooth went ballistic and I used my May appointment to have a root canal and crown on the lower right.  We scheduled the upper left tooth for immediately after my dentist's maternity leave - June 22.  Before I even had the permanent crown on the first tooth, in mid-May, the second tooth was going crazy.  I continued the ibuprofen in higher and higher doses, more and more often just to make it through each day. 

Got my new crown on tooth #2 in June and it was a rough one.  The novocaine didn't quite cut it.  They had to shoot me up again halfway through the procedure.    My jaw kept locking open.  My mouth was pretty torn up.  When the numbing wore off, the air blowing outside felt like ice cream on a sensitive tooth.

Time passed and my teeth and jaw still hurt.  After a week, I went back to have the crown adjusted because it had a high spot.  The trouble:  The high spot was pummeling a very weak, cracked, falling apart molar on the bottom left. 

You know what's coming...Bottom left needs a crown. 

But I was still having a lot of pain and they couldn't do the crown until my bite is right and I'm pain free.  Meanwhile, I was taking prescription strength ibuprofen every six hours and the pain was still breaking through.  It felt like the "top" of a throb in my jaw, under my teeth (upper and lower), traveling up my eustachian tube, in my ear, and into my temple.  It's like someone drilling into your brain, blowing a horn directly into your face, and smacking a gong inside your head.  Not fun.  

I went back a week later and had it adjusted again.  No relief. 

Switched to Aleve this weekend.  It doesn't work as well for this pain, but I had to get off the ibuprofen after more than 3 months on the stuff.

Today, I went to my doctor just to check for an ear infection that could be complicating matters.

After giving him the scoop, he tells me I have Trigeminal Neuralgia.  Basically, I have TMJ.  The jaw joint is the circuit box for the nerves on that side of my face.  All that dental work traumatized my jaw.  Those nerves are not happy.  I'm on meds to help them calm down. 

I got home and looked online.  It confirmed what the doctor said.  I'll be doing a little more research, but I'm so happy just to know that it has a name and it can be treated.  

Hopefully, I'll be smiling again soon.

Blessings to you,

PS.  I like my dentist and she does a really good job.  She's very gentle and precise and is very sensitive to patient pain.  I just have really bad teeth and a small mouth that's hard to work in. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fun and Braids

I didn't want you to think that everything is difficult and serious around here.  We've managed to have some really fun times lately...only a few pictures, though.

I'm a little late posting about the 4th, but we had a nice time watching the fireworks very close to home this year.  It was pretty fun.

 There's the world's best dad.

All four picture...amazing and rare!

My beautiful baby.

Waiting and texting.

My  beautiful young lady with a flare for drama.

This past week, Steve and Sugar were away at our church's Childrens' Camp.  Cupcake and I had lots of good enjoyable quality time together.  Thursday evening, I braided her hair while we watched some TV.  It turned out really cute and it lasted until after church today.  I'd like to try it again sometime now that I've got the hang of it. I ended up putting 18 braids in.   It took about an hour and a half.  Cute, huh?

Blessings to you,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Our Two-Sided Rage

I try very hard to strike a balance between being real and transparent, and protecting our family’s privacy, while always honoring God. 

It’s hard when reality doesn’t honor God, and when being transparent means being vulnerable... 

So, here goes...
I will be honest about my struggles.  I don’t want to portray that I’m a perfect therapeutic mother, and only my child has “issues”.   

So, I'll expose my faults.  

They say you're only as sick as your secrets.

Those who know me in real life would probably characterize me as laid-back, easy-going, flexible, patient, and friendly.  They might say I have a sharp tongue or haughty eyes, but I don't think anyone would say that I have a fiery temper or a short fuse.


I’d be lying if I told you that I never had intense feelings of rage toward my little sweetheart.  There are times when I’ve thought the words that "Other Mother" said.  Once in a while, I mutter some of them under my breath.  Sometimes, in anger, I say things I regret. At times, I can be downright scary.

This deep, intense rage...It's different from anything I've ever known.  It comes bursting up from seemingly nowhere in the heat of battle pulsing through every fiber of my being...Just when calm and therapeutic would be most helpful.

So, what does this mean? 
  • I'm human.  I fall short.  I have rotten days. 
  • Sometimes, my stress level is through the roof.
  • Raising a kid from hard places is way more demanding than raising most home-grown kids.  
  • My precious child is uncovering layers of me that I did not know existed.   
  • I have rage in me.    
That means that I have to work on me if I want to lead Cupcake into healing.

One thing that I picked up from Empowered to Connect was that we adoptive parents want to make this all about healing our kids from their wounds.  But, in reality, their trauma brings our unresolved issues and our weakness to the forefront.  And, actually,  their healing is very dependent on our healing.  

Our kids were put into our lives for a purpose.  They challenge us to become whole.  The journey to wholeness is painful, exhausting, and scary, yet totally worth it.  Finding wholeness requires us to truly examine our own lives.  We need to look into not only our past, but our expectations, our worldview, our framework for parenting, our pride, our character...everything has to be pulled out and evaluated.  We must make changes if we are going to make progress.

One thing for sure, Cupcake has revealed the true me to me.  

Sometimes, I don't like her very much - the true me, that is.  

It's amazing how little I know about myself.

I ponder where all my rage is coming from.  Perhaps a lot has to do with my pride, the god of convenience, and my fears.  I really like to be right, to look well put together, and for things to be smooth and easy.  And my fears...I could easily write a series of posts on my fears.

But then, I must remember:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

                                            2 Tim 1:7

I truly believe that God is using this to sand off my rough edges, to make me whole, and to exercise my trust in Him.  

It would sure be easier if I were perfect.  :-)

Blessings to you,