Home » Archive by category "Challenges"

The Fine (and Essential) Art of Procrastination

I am totally avoiding things. On the upside, my house has never been more organized and I have sorted, books, papers, receipts, clothes and toys that have been lying around for years. On the downside I have a lot more to do, and the more I get rid of or sort out, the more I seem to have to do. One of those things is an update on my son. We went all the way to Stanford yet again. He’s ok. They don’t want to do surgery if they don’t have to. We did full scans of his back and saw a geneticist and returned home with a solid meh. They don’t seem to really know how to help him. It’s a lot of wait and see if he gets worse, since he’s basically stopped improving. Exercising helped many things, but solved nothing. Medications for migraines are the same. Ultimately...
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Benjamin Update

Benjamin has now been to Stanford twice and we are in the midst of paying for, scheduling and preparing for his next trip in two weeks. It’s a lot. I am overwhelmed and quite discouraged. His pain management team has been unable to truly help him. He is dislocating his ankles, knee, shoulder, and sometimes hips and others. His stomach issues have escalated to needing Zofran regularly to keep food down, and he is back to having migraines most days of the week. The Depakote helped for a while, and it is keeping him from passing out, but that means he probably is/was having seizures. They told us he was severely deconditioned and to avoid having to place him in a residential treatment program we have had to do a lot of exercises and walking. He has responded to that and is doing better in that area, but he still...
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Stanford Consultation Results – Ben Update

Two weeks ago Ben and I drove to Stanford with an amazing friend in her RV. It may not have been the best way to travel in retrospect, but with what I knew about Stanford (nothing), my anxiety and Ben’s, and our needs it was best at the time. First – my friend was absolutely amazing! She was the patient with a surly, sick teenager, and understanding of his autistic moments and needs. She drove us safely all around the area and was a great support for me as she has endured many of my same illnesses and has had surgery to correct Chiari Malformation. Her service dog, Moby, was calming and distracting for Ben at important times, and an example of how amazing service animals can be. Everyone loved him everywhere we went and his behavior was perfect.  I don’t know how to thank her enough! Second – Stanford...
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I Don’t Know How To Do This – My Son Needs Brain Surgery

I have written this post in my head for weeks. This is so much harder than I can describe, but I am going to try, because we need help, and people need to know what this is like. I need to be able to find others who have had this experience. I need other mom’s who have walked this path and can help me walk it. I need to know that you can survive this as a parent. That my heart won’t break, and that if the worst happens, we can endure. Maybe I can be that person for someone else in the future. Please follow the link below to donate to my son’s GoFundMe Account if you can! Click to Donate Now! My son, Ben, is sick. He has autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression and asthma since he was born. This was hard enough. This was enough to make me...
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I’m Back – I Think – Life is Hard and then you Die.

My blog has been the target of multiple issues, attacks and locked down for months. I finally figured out how to use it again! Hurray! It is an outlet for me. I need to write. I need to do weird giveaways, review movies and books and generally engage in life in a different way. I try to keep this blog positive, but I am struggling to find the positive in my life or to be a positive type of person. I have also been really sick all year. If I don’t have bronchitis, it is something else. In May I had a routine (for me) procedure on my neck that resulted in severe migraines, and unbearable pain. I tried everything, my doctors tried everything, and I ended up in the hospital for four days. The first night I was admitted I fell in the bathroom. I hit my head and...
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Worst Workout Ever

After two doctors told me that my “condition” could not be helped by medication or other measures, and that I just needed to exercise, I went and joined a local gym. It is a cost that I cannot afford, but I needed access to a pool and something that was close. We have a new, really awesome gym that just opened nearby, so I took a tour, and signed up. I told my husband afterward, and he is all for it. In fact, he encourages me to go to the gym every day, which is nice. His support has made a huge difference. The actual workout is really good for me, and doesn’t tax my system to overload, like most workouts do. My pain management doctor advised me to walk in water that is chest high and just do that everyday for a month and then let him know how...
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How to Kill a Blog! OR Where oh Where Have my Readers Gone?

I tell my husband that I need to blog everyday, but I cannot do it everyday. There are apparently rules for effective blogging, and I follow none of them. Here are some things I learned on Pinterest about blogging that I totally fail at. 1. Blog consistently. – I have a chronic illness. I never know what the day will bring, and I suffer from anxiety, meaning some days I cannot put myself out there. It’s too hard. I’m too worried about what people will think or say. Recent newsworthy events show me I am not alone in my struggles with anxiety and depression, but there are many that think I should keep it to myself. 2. Use visuals. – I suck at drawing and have no clue how to create graphics. It is something I am learning, but I don’t even know how to use my camera well. I...
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Sleep and Fatigue

Nature’s Sleep is having a promotion! Use the code BEARS50 to get 50% off the entire site as well as free shipping. I am saving up for one of their fabulous mattresses. Hopefully it won’t take too much longer as our mattress is getting old. My son could really use a new mattress too. So, I bring up mattresses cause I think they’re cool and because fatigue is a huge part of my life. Sometimes there are nights and days where I cannot sleep because the pain is overwhelming and/or I am just to wound up. I have tried several types of sleeping medications, and techniques. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. It just so happens that I have all kinds of sleep issues. I have trouble falling asleep. I wake up every morning between 2-4 and have a hard time going back to sleep, and then once I’m asleep...
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When Depression Wins – Warning not Light Reading.

I suffer from Chronic Major Depressive Disorder. It isn’t fun, happy or good. Everything I try to blog about is contrary to how I feel and live. It has made me feel like a fake, so I will be blogging about my depression too, because somehow it has to fit in with the happy, fun and good. Somehow, I have to live. Lately I don’t want to. I also struggle with pituitary failure, and Arnold Chiari Syndrome. I have chronic migraines, am allergic to gluten, and struggle with asthma. Because of my pituitary failure I have no immunity, no stress response, and I have to take a LOT of steroids. These have made me gain weight. So basically I am overweight, bedridden, sick all the time, in intolerable pain, and depressed. It isn’t a pretty picture. Last month it got so bad that I wasn’t able to sleep for days...
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Best Laid Plans

This is a terrible picture. It is one day after brain surgery, the cape is for my son. You don’t see the bruises from the many tubes, or the back of my head, which has a 4-inch incision. I was lucky the surgery was perfect, and I went home the next day to recover for 6 weeks. So this was me last February. I found out I had an Arnold-Chiari malformation, and within a month had surgery to correct it. In so many ways life is 100% better now, but it is far from perfect. I still have a failed pituitary gland, due to the high pressure in my brain that the surgery corrected, and I seem to have damaged nerves all through my body that are starting to heal, and that is painful. Now I have chronic migraines. Separate issue from the brain thing, but still brain related, and...
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Life Keeps on Rolling

Follow my blog with Bloglovin So there are a LOT of giveaways and very few posts or updates. It’s because my life sucks in many ways, and writing about it just doesn’t seem to fit what I want for this blog, but life is life, so I will share. My health has been quite tenuous lately, as has my weight and psychological well-being. I have been extremely depressed, anxious and unable to blog or even leave the house some days. I hate this person. It is not who I was or am or want to be, but it is my current reality. To illustrate some of the struggle, I have included pictures of my physical changes over the past 8 years. Most of them have occurred in the last 3 years. I started extremely underweight, even emaciated, but that has been fixed, and now I am two wardrobes bigger, and...
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Whole Foods Book Bundle and Health Coaching Offer

News Wahl received one or more of the products mentioned in the post below free for evaluation purposes, received compensation, and/or is an affiliate of one or more of the products, links and banners you will see on this site. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% genuine. This is disclosed in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. Thanks for reading  Natalie.   I just discovered a great way to get books on homemaking, cooking, parenting and many other topics at a greatly reduced rate. I love it. It is called Bundle of the Week, and each week, this company puts together a grouping of fun books around a theme. I have purchased a couple of these bundles and have yet to be disappointed. Often, they will come with great extras that are also fun. This weeks bundle...
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New DIrections and Goals

I am officially certified and licensed as a Health Coach. I will be building my website and offerings within the next couple of weeks, and am super excited to enter a new phase of health and wellness. I have a lot of experience with illness, and am determined to shift my focus, and my life to one of wellness. I may never be perfectly healthy, but I can still be well, and I am passionate about helping others. So much of what I learned was how our diet and lifestyle can affect our health, and that making simple changes can save our lives in a very literal sense. I love writing, and I love public speaking. I want to share what I know everywhere. Secondly, I have decided that I need to take my passion for blogging to the next level. I will continue to offer giveaways and fun things...
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So I had Brain Surgery

I believe in miracles. I went to my endocrinologist, and he had a new Physicians Assistant. She had worked for a brilliant neurosurgeon who happens to practice in Las Vegas and treats a condition called Chiari Malformations. She looked at my history, and thought it would be worth a call to her old boss to see if my set of odd symptoms fit into this chiari pattern, which they do. Two days later, I was in front of the neurosurgeon. Two days after that I had the advanced and very technical MRI that showed significant pressure increases in my brain and a congenital brain defect called hypoplastic posterior fossa that put pressure on many parts of my brain and may have had a key role in my pituitary gland failing. At this point, the surgeon, Dr. Seiff, decided that I was a candidate for this surgery. His first question was...
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Getting Myself Organized

I have big plans for this year. I have found that I adore blogging, and have made several great associations that will help me become a better blogger. I also have made some agreements to guest blog at other sites to improve my skills and allow me to focus on topics that I am passionate about. I am super excited to blog daily, and grow my knowledge and abilities this year as a blogger. Step one will be putting together a work station. I need a desk with great lighting. Nora lighting has some great desk lamp options that I love, and I will have to find or build a small desk with lots of cubbies and drawers to hold all my supplies. It should be a fun project. I just have two problems. One I have to stay healthy, and so does my family, which most days is okay,...
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2013 Goals

Rather than overwhelm myself with a years worth of goals, I am going to go month by month, and hold myself accountable via the blog. I divide my goals into categories, and usually like to have a written plan in my planner, and set deadlines, as all the wonderful experts suggest. The good news is that I am very driven and tend to achieve my goals. The bad news is that I often try to do too much. Family – Get  therapy and other interventions in place for Benjamin. Make family time “fun” therapy times. Establish weekly date nights with my husband. Spiritual – Read the Book of Mormon Pray out loud at least once daily. Physical – Exercise daily – I have joined a Dahn yoga studio and need to go everyday. We also have a Disney dance program for the Wii that will be awesome, and I need...
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Family Finances

I married a school teacher. I knew we would never be rich, and that we would always have to buy supplies for his students. I knew that we would live a simple life. I knew that he loved children and so did I, and teaching is his calling and who he is to the core. I love that about him. I love our simple life. I do not love our struggle with money. You see, things always crop up that exceed our budget. At first, it was car repairs, and school expenses. Then there were the medical bills, and the increase in cost of living. Now there are medical bills, car repairs, and the cost of adopting. Somehow we became a family with debt. In the past two years we have taken major steps to end that cycle. The credit cards are gone, and we have a lawyer working with...
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Challenge: Be Grateful and Kind and Tell me How, Maybe you’ll win a prize:)

I love life and being busy, but I have a tendency to make mistakes, and sometimes I over book myself, or forget important things. I am human. It seems that the world is a lot harder on people now. We don’t give allowances, screw up at work and you get yelled at instead of corrected and allowed to try again. We are anxious to sue others if they make a mistake, and rarely apologize or take responsibility for our actions as that may appear as weakness or an admittance of liability. I hate this. I long for the polite society in books, where wrongs were forgiven, or dealt with swiftly, and others were quick to apologize and take responsibility. What happened to that world? When did we all become so calloused and self-serving? I work with children and have a son. He is showing signs of thinking he is entitled...
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