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I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday last week! Here are a few shots I was able to take after one of our dinners. My niece took family pictures, but I haven’t gotten those yet. I can’t believe Christmas is just a couple weeks away!

After dinner

 


It’s been several weeks since I’ve posted an update and so much has happened; none of it very good.  The last update I had, I posted about my husband undergoing a heart catheterization and finding he has artery spasms and blockages (not bad enough for stents, thank God), which is one of the reasons why we have decided to go totally organic after the holidays.

Shortly before my husband’s procedure, I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in the c5-6 level (owie!) and Chiari 1 Malformation (pronounced Kee-AH-Ree), which is a condition which brain tissue extends into your spinal canal. Apparently, I have had this my whole life, and none of my doctors or radiologist have thought to inform me of it until recently. After reading up on the condition (my symptoms are making sense now…apparently it is one of the most misdiagnosed disorders out there, and I know that first hand now) and finding out it can only be diagnosed through MRI, I went and got a disc of all my MRIs of the brain from present back to 2002, when I first started having them due to a strong family history of brain aneurysms in my family (at the urging of my aunt’s doctor’s for those of us that suffer from migraines and headaches). Sure enough, the Chiari can be seen on the 2002 MRIs. And I was never told. This is a serious condition, and since my symptoms have gotten so much worse in the past couple years, especially the past year, I could face brain surgery sometime in the near future. I’ve had that to worry and chew on since October 10th.

Nearly two weeks ago at my first appointment with my new neurologist, after finding out about my family history of aneurysms (my brother had one that he had coiled, my aunt had one rupture, had brain surgery and has several with stents/coils, my uncle died from a ruptured aneurysm) and after an eye exam, my doctor sent me downstairs for an MRA and back to his office to await the results, where we found out that I do, in fact, have a brain aneurysm behind my left eye (yes, he apparently saw that during the eye exam).

I will be spending the weeks before Christmas, in between shopping (thank God I can do some of that online), in and out of the hospital, getting this aneurysm taken care of. The first appointment is this Wednesday when I go in for the cerebral angiogram, where they basically map out my brain and see if I have any other aneurysms.I am assuming I will be getting it coiled a week or two after my angiogram. Not gonna lie, all of this kinda freaks me out. Even the angiogram.

In between all of this, I am having sleep studies, because my doctor thinks I have sleep apnea (which is also an associated condition of Chiari), my twelve year old is now seeing a pediatric GI and nutritionist and I won’t even go into the problems my son has been having. I’ll just say that they are not medical, they are behavioral (which is not new, it’s been escalating for several years).

On November 4th, we were also informed that my stepson’s cancer was incurable; that he needed a miracle. To date, Tyler has went through a total of five rounds of chemotherapy and a tandem stem cell transplant with high dose chemotherapy; all have failed. Dr. Einhorn put him on Etoposide, which is a chemo pill that is meant to maintain his HCG numbers (this is his main tumor markers), to keep them low for as long as possible. We are praying and believing he will get his miracle.

To say that my family is going through some hard times is an understatement. We could really use your prayers. Please pray for my family’s health, and please pray for my stepson, that he receives a miracle healing. This is what I want for Christmas: my family and I to be healthy. I want a Christmas Miracle.

If you have teenagers, you know how scary it is to let them drive off for the first time (or any time), whether they are just going down the road to their friend’s house or to the store for a gallon of milk. It’s even scary to let them go off with a group of friends to the mall or an amusement park (what if they get separated from their group?) There are so many dangers and a lot of crazy people in this day and age. Just turn on the television to see what kind of world they are living in.

In the past, I have written about the dangers of children having smartphones, but there are also good reasons why they should have them. One very good reason is for their protection; so that you can track them by GPS. I’ve come across an awesome app made for iphone and android called React Mobile! It can turn your smartphone into a life saving device with the push of a button…and it’s FREE!

Once you install the app on your phone, register then put in your trusted contacts. The app has a wonderful “Follow Me” feature that allows your trusted contacts to track your whereabouts in real-time whenever you’re concerned for your safety. Just push the “I’m safe” button after arriving at your destination. Not only will this come in handy for my children, but for myself as well. I don’t know how many times I would have loved to have had this app when buying and selling on Craigslist or being out late shopping. I’m thankful it is on my phone now!

   

You also have the “SOS” shield on the app to send out a panic alert via text and email to friends, family and authorities that contains a link to your GPS location if you are in real danger or if you want to report criminal activity. You also have the option to send out your “SOS” via post on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve tested these features out myself, including the “SOS” (minus the phone call to police), and it does work! My husband got a text message on his way home from work saying his wife was having an emergency and it contained my GPS coordinates. Luckily, he knew I was in the process of writing up this review…but he did call to check up on me…just in case. 😉

 

Check out the video for more details:

And, since I can’t show you my phone, here is a video showing you a demo of the app:

Once again, React Mobile is available for iphone and Android (on select smartphones) free in the Google Play Store

This is a sponsored post. All opionions are 100% my own.

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