Category - Health

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Epilepsy
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Are You Happy? If Not, Why?
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Dear Parent Of A Newly Diagnosed Child…
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Turn Around—”Metanoia” That Conflict
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Why mindful? And what does that even mean anyway?

Epilepsy

Sometimes I forget our daughter has Epilepsy. But only for a second. We’re incredibly lucky her seizures are suppressed by medications, but it’s impossible to forget the traumatic years when they were not.  Avery’s first major seizure happened when she was three and a half. I shared the story of what happened in every painful detail. I’m sharing the link again HERE. Even after all this time, I find it difficult to read. Even though it was nearly eight years ago now, those seizures just before Avery turned five were brutal.  Every year since she has an EEG to assess the seizure activity in her brain. And every year while we wait for the results we hope for the news that there is no seizure activity or that the electrical abnormalities remain unchanged, in equal measure.  It may sound odd to hope for no improvement, but if her brain activity appears normal the neurologist will take her off anticonvulsants. And this could mean more horrifying seizures.  When neurons discharge inappropriately they cause abnormal electrical impulses in the brain. This results in seizure activity which can lead to abnormal motor activity or convulsions, and loss of consciousness, and if not controlled as soon[…]

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Are You Happy? If Not, Why?

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. What, no clapping? Aren’t you happy?!  Well, don’t let that make you sad because not many of us are consistently happy. According to the studies anyway. Science has us pegged as a sad sack of SOBs just trying to make it until cocktail hour.  My daughter however, she’s perpetually happy. She gleefully claps her hands all the time for no apparent reason. It’s like a happiness explosion where her joy just can’t be contained and the sudden burst of happy claps is a way to let it out.  I consider myself a very happy person, but I can’t say I feel “happiness explosion happiness” in adulthood very often. But alas, nobody is as happy as Avery. She doesn’t fit the typical mould. She doesn’t worry. She doesn’t know fear. And there’s zero hate in this kid’s world. It just doesn’t exist for her. I’d say she’s 90 per cent happy—9 per cent ‘meh’, when she’s tired or told, “No, you can’t host a play date right now.” And 1 per cent legitimate sorrow, usually when she’s missing a loved one. The rest of the time, bliss.  I get the sense[…]

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Dear Parent Of A Newly Diagnosed Child…

The early days when you suspect something might be wrong with your child completely suck. Literally—the fear and worry sucks the life out of you to the point where you wonder if you have the strength to actually go on. But the day you hear the words, the actual diagnosis, is the worst day. It’s indescribably (though I’ll try) horrendous.  When we got the phone call that confirmed our daughter has a chromosomal disorder I was dumbstruck. I couldn’t make sense of  what was happening. There was a loud ringing in my ears that made it hard to think. I fled outside and gasped for air. I couldn’t breathe. I eventually came back in and sat quietly on the couch beside my husband and we cried.  A few months later our daughter ended up in hospital which is a despicable story in itself (doctors are wonderful people, but they don’t always see what you see. When a medical professional tells you that it’s all in your head, listen to your gut and do what needs to be done.) This is when further genetic testing revealed the extent of our child’s chromosomal deletion/duplication. The first few weeks with this new knowledge[…]

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Turn Around—”Metanoia” That Conflict

Conflict turns my stomach, tightens my chest, and quickens my pulse. I feel legitimately sickened by it.  I avoid arguments and negativity and pot stirring and drama as best I can. Not because I’m a high road walker—it’s more about self-preservation. I wasn’t kidding when I said conflict makes me sick.  As a sensitive over thinking soft hearted earnestly reflective people pleasing peace maker, I struggle to let it go. Why can’t I be more like Elsa?! I take hurtful words or actions to heart. I absorb them and replay them in my mind. That’s the tricky part about being a “highly sensitive empath“. It eats me up.  Instead of spitting an insult back at the insulter, I swallow it. This is not to say I swallow people’s spit. Only my own.  Somebody told me once that this makes me weak. So I slapped her hard across the cheek and kicked her squarely in the crotch. Not really. But I really gave it to her in my head. Don’t get me wrong, if you mess with one of my kids or cross somebody I love, I will lash out. A full-on hard core lashing. I’m not a wimp when I’m[…]

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Why mindful? And what does that even mean anyway?

I thought I was perfectly happy living in the past and contemplating every conceivable permutation for the future, oblivious to what was going on around me in the present. This whole being mindful and “living in the moment” concept was foreign to me. I like to hang onto things—to cling to past experiences and their corresponding feelings (good and bad) like some kind of memory hoarder.  At the same time, I enjoy time travel into the future. If only I had a functional crystal ball I wouldn’t have to spend so much time guessing and imagining what lies ahead. I like to know how things are going to play out so I create possible scenarios in my head. It’s a crap shoot really. About 90% of my predictions are wrong. Or more often, by the time the future becomes the now, I’ve long forgotten what outcome I was trying to orchestrate in the first place.  My husband started learning about mindfulness years ago, long before it became a trend. And man, has it ever become a trendy. These days you can’t swing a yoga mat without hitting a millennial meditating or a #mindful hashtag.  Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon[…]

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