A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

The last 30 days of my life have proven to be the most difficult.  When it rains, it pours and the second week of November brought about a monsoon! I totally bombed the wedding I officiated, my Mother in Law was in a terrible car accident, I was wrestling with the surgery that was fast approaching and then, on November 13, something more horrific than anything I could ever have imagined happened. A blood clot had made its way to the brain of my Mother. By the time Nick and I got to the hospital she had been intubated. My Mom, whom I had talked to just a few hours prior, was on life support. No one could tell us what was going on. The week leading up to this night had been a total train wreck. I was on the verge of a complete meltdown and now, here I was, standing in the ER trying to wrap my head around what was going on. I was convinced that this was it. I would never see, hear, speak to my Mom again. This was the end and there was nothing I could do. At no point had I ever put any serious thought into what it would be like when I lost my parents. I cant say that I know anyone who has. The initial thought of it is nauseating and the pain that comes from really thinking about it is indescribable. I have felt physical pain in a way that would break most people but this, this was something was on a whole new level. The CARE flight...
A 29 Year Old Wife and Mother of 2 Young Boys

A 29 Year Old Wife and Mother of 2 Young Boys

The last 2.5 years of my life have been a living hell. Every moment, of every day, requires me to pull on an inner strength I did not know existed. Waking up each morning knowing that just getting out of the bed will hurt bad enough to bring tears to my eyes. I manage to keep the floodgates closed, get dressed and do everything in my power to be the best Jessika I can. There have been close to a dozen surgeries/procedures. Each one bringing about a great deal of faith that this hellacious journey would soon be over. Only to leave me as broken inside, as out.  Hanging on to every word, from every Doctor that this next procedure would be the ONE – the one that would take the pain away. While going through all the rigmarole of bringing about some relief if was discovered that there were bigger issues than the pain at hand. Being a 29 year old Wife and Mother of 2 young boys is hard on its own. Being a 29 year old Wife and Mother of 2 young boys AND a chronic pain suffered is almost impossible. Being a 29 year old Wife and Mother of 2 young boys who suffers from chronic pain and lives under the constant threat of paralysis, that, is enough to break anyone. All the months of pain management, all of the medications, everything we have done up to this point to relieve the pain has been pointless. Before any further pain relief can even be considered my spine has to be stabilized. Listening to the Surgeon...
To tattoo or not to tattoo ……

To tattoo or not to tattoo ……

For as far back as I can remember, my Mom has always said that tattoos are trashy. People with tattoos cant get real jobs and if I ever thought about getting one she would disown me. She wasnt being serious about disowning me, after everything I put my parents through, tattoos ended up being the least of their concern. Just to spite my Mother, on my 18th birthday, I went down to Randy Adams Tattoo Studio in Fort Worth, picked something off the wall and about an hour and $200 later I had a tribal cross tramp stamp. I have gotten several more tattoos as the years have passed. Each one has a story, a meaning, a significance to me.  I often forget about the terrible tattoo on my lower back but the story is one that sums up my attitude – tell me I cant do something and I will. But this post is not about my hard headedness. When we first starting potty training Maxwell we used a reward system. He went potty he got a prize. The prize was a temporary tattoo. After the first few weeks Max looked like Billy Badass, he had tattoos covering his arms and his chest. We would also let Jack ordain his body but his school does not allow tattoos or body jewelry so he couldnt be as expressive as Max. Over the months we have slowed down the rewards. He is totally potty trained and we dot need to incentivize him any longer. He asks for a new tattoo every so often and I oblige. Last week he got...
Mommy & Max

Mommy & Max

I have been neglecting my blog lately. I havent really been any busier than normal so Im not sure why. A lot of progress has been made since my last post. I have a consultation with a surgeon set for next week. The mental strain of realizing that I am going to have this surgery has been exhausting. Its been talked about for 2.5 years but I always thought that somehow I would be able to avoid it. I feel defeated, like I lost the battle royale. My consolation prize is the shot at a lifetime without anymore pain, so why am I bogged down with feeling like I lost? It makes no sense to me. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. The reason is not obvious most of the time, sometimes it takes years for the pieces to come together. As I lay in bed with Maxwell for our noon nap I had an A-HA! moment. Prior to his birth, I had no real pain. Being pregnant with a massive baby seems to have been what irritated, what we now know, is a congenital defect with my spine.  We spent a year trying to conceive the baby that would ultimately destroy my body. I know ALL woman say pregnancy destroys their body but mine actually did. I would gladly trade saggy boobs for being a cane totting cripple in my late 20s any day! Anyway, it was 5 months after Max was born that I had my first MRI. What followed the MRI was dozens of appointments with Doctors in all fields. Not one...
Crying over spilled soy sauce

Crying over spilled soy sauce

Yesterday was a pretty fabulous day until 7 am. I got up at 630 , had a cup of coffee and got dressed. While I was pulling my shirt on I heard the kids scream. I walked into the kitchen to find every condiment you could think of out on the tile. Bottles were broken, there was marinades, soy sauce and pickle juice aplenty. I had an 845 Doctors appointment and still had to get Jack to school and Max to Pas house. As I (quickly) attempted a clean up job I slid through the soy sauce. I caught myself before hitting the ground but managed to pull off some pretty impressive moves before I came to an abrupt stop. Ive got to keep my pace so we loaded up and headed out. I got the kids to school and the little one to Grandpa. I made my way to the office and managed to get there 13 minutes early. THAT is impressive ! While I was waiting I made my 387th attempt at Candy Crush level 201. One day, maybe one day soon, I will beat it. I found my way into the waiting area and signed in. I was there for my 1 week post op appointment. I didnt bother sitting down, I had the first appointment of the morning and didnt want to embarass myself when I had to get up.  5 minutes. 10 minutes. 15 minutes. 20 minutes. Its close to 930. As she approached me, the nurse could see I was not impressed. I have been coming to this office for more than 2...
7 Days

7 Days

After waiting for what seems like an eternity on minimal activity orders, I finally have a date for my surgery! I say surgery, procedure might be more suiting. Never the less, I have a long awaited date. It is very strange for me to think about how it will be after the procedure. I really cant imagine NOT having this pain. Every minute, every activity, every breath for the last few years has been dictated by the white hot pain that runs through my body. Now, it will just end. It will cease to exist. I refuse to let myself toy with the idea that this will not work. It absolutely has to. I have people around me telling me how strong I am but really, thats not true. I am not strong, I have been put in a position that I NEVER would have chosen and forced to make the best of it. I have been robbed of so many experiences and opportunities that I will never be able to relive, and there is a bitterness that comes with it. Next week, the pain will be gone, but that doesnt give me back any of the time that I’ve lost. Someone asked me “What if this one doesnt work?” I wasnt sure how to respond.  Failure is not an option here. I can not, will not, tolerate this pain for very much longer.The idea of this soul crushing pain finally meeting its match is almost too intense to understand, the idea that this will not impact the pain is definitely too much to handle. There is no way...
Paved the way for a Great Day

Paved the way for a Great Day

This weekend Nick and I attended a very special BBQ. This particular BBQ was thrown by DFW NORML &  UNT NORML and was held at the VA hospital in Dallas. The NORML family fed around 250 Veterans that are currently admitted into the hospital. There were all sorts of delicious foods and $150 was raised to award these Vets in BINGO. I have to admit , when I initially heard about the BBQ I did not want to go. I do not enjoy being out in the heat and my body has been  fighting me lately. I did decide to go and I am so glad I did. Even though I am technically not a member of NORML I have attended several events, enough to be able to put names with faces. There are some really amazing people that are part of this awesome organization. On this particular day one specific member really made my day. Within minutes of arriving Ed came up to me grabbed my hands and asked how I was feeling. I was a little taken back. Ed is everything Rock’n’Roll and a tad bit intimidating, but here he was holding my hands and sincerely asking me how I was today. I gave him an honest, slightly humorous answer. I try my hardest to infuse any talk of my suffering with as much humor as possible, it makes it less awkward for everyone. Then, in a completely unexpected turn in the conversation, Ed told me that he has been following my blog. This very blog that I am writing on now. Whoa! Ed is the coolest...
The Punisher

The Punisher

Jackson is my oldest son. He is 8 years old and everything a Mom could want in a little boy. He is smart, funny, intelligent and has a heart of gold.  He is very well behaved and has excellent manners. Recently, he made a bad decision (as we all do) and had to be punished. Unfortunately this was a BIG time lapse in judgement that left his little brother with a bloody nose. After we were able to get Maxwell calmed down and cleaned up I went to go talk to Jack. I asked him why he would so something to deliberately hurt his brother but he didnt have an answer for me.  He looked me in my eyes as I talked to him, I told him how we have to teach by our example, do unto others yadda yadda yadda. He listened to what I said and responded with a simple Yes M’am. Bedtime. The following morning, before there was an opportunity for any further incidents, I sat next to him on his bed. I reassured him that no matter how mad I was that I still love him, even though I was very disappointed in his actions. I let him know that I do understand how annoying a little brother can be but that under NO circumstance is it ever ok to hurt one another intentionally. It was a hard conversation because I wanted him to know that I was forgiving him but he was still facing punishment. Aye aye aye, I hate THIS part of being a parent. A level of punishment higher than timeout does...
I dont know how you do it

I dont know how you do it

“I dont know how you do it.” I hear that so often it makes me want to scream. I know, most of the time, when people say it, that its meant to be encouraging. Its a form of praise, wow you are doing something that I couldnt! But it still annoys me to no end.  I stay at home with 2 very rowdy little boys, I have a constant level of pain most people could not imagine and Im always on my hustle. I do do a lot and for the most part, I do it well. I dont need people to point that out. Actually, what I need is for people to start THINKING before SPEAKING ! My children are always fed, bathed and nurtured. They want for nothing. I have a successful eBay store and I source content for 3 other websites. My house is always clean and the laundry is always done. 5 out of 7 nights a week I have a wonderful dinner full of wholesome ingredients prepared for my family. Very rarely do I let the pain stop me. There are times when I cant do it. When the pain is just too much that I have to stop for a few minutes. I have to take the time to regroup and regather before I can press on. In the end, it all gets done, sometimes it just takes me a little longer than others. When I hear someone say “I dont know how you do it…” I want to respond in a very blunt , yet honest tone “What option do I have?!?”...
Learn to live with a broken heart

Learn to live with a broken heart

This weekend, everyone in the DFW area was shocked to learn that long time radio DJ Kidd Kraddick had died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. Whether you enjoyed the show or  not you knew who he was and all about his Kidds Kid charity. There are always so many questions when a seemingly healthy person dies so suddenly. Although the cause of death has been confirmed it doesnt take anyway any of the shock. Listening to his co-workers talk about losing him , on the air this morning, brought me back to unresolved feelings I have from similar situations.  Even at a relatively young age I have lost several people who were very close to me, without warning, without a chance to say goodbye. Death is hard. It brings us face to face with emotions we’d rather not deal with. There is a feeling of helplessness in mourning, when you realize that nothing will take the pain away. Some people find comfort in religion, believing that the deceased is enjoying some sort of eternal paradise. Sometimes people feel relieved that the suffering has ended. But when there is no evidence death will soon be knocking, it makes the emotional hurricane much more intense. About 2 years ago, my family experienced a loss that I wasnt sure how we would ever heal from. Although, time has passed, the hole in our hearts is very much still there and the circumstances still very fresh in our minds. Even when the pain still seems as fresh and new as the day it happened , life has continued. Somehow we have picked up...