On being forged into a warrior mom

If I could summarize our journey from Hell to HOPEISM, it would be in my faith, which I call HOPEISM. It has been my weapon of choice to get me through each battle I have had to fight in my mission to win our war called life with autism and seizures. Vaccine injury to be more specific. It would also be in committing to heart, soul, & mind the words and motto's from Forged, NDCQ, the Lone Survivor, and Levi Lusko in his book, "Through the Eyes of a Lion." I will be forever grateful to the inspiration, encouragement, and mental fortitude found through all of them collectively. Because of that, I am not allowing this tragedy of vaccine injury that has come into our lives to be an obstacle to being used by God. I am instead turning it into an opportunity to be used like never before!

This blog is dedicated to Brandon. His life has been forged by difficulty, obstacles, & all too often because of seizures - pain, blood, broken teeth, & broken bones. Yet through all that he has shown such fortitude. The bravery, strength, & resilience of a true warrior. He taught me that having strength through adversity means that even if you lose every battle, like the Lone Survivor, you never quit fighting until you win the war. That in the words of "NDCQ," you keep "dreaming," keep "daring," & keep "doing." As Team Guppy has yet to be able to escape vaccine injury, we have no choice but to as Levi Lusko writes, "Run toward the Roar." God has indeed given us such incredible power in enduring such impossible pain.

Some days the HOPEISM in that simply takes my breath away.

April 30, 2013

Provision: Then, and now...

Brandon’s Helmet – and how God, through my son’s teacher, ---  provided.

I am mom to Brandon – my 9 year old son who has Autism, Mental Retardation, and now – a seizure disorder.     To have a highly mobile child who loves to climb and does not understand danger, suddenly develop seizures where he blacks out and falls, has been interesting to say the least – not to mention challenging.  But what I have come to realize through this, is that God provides.  Psalm 23 tells of the “Lord being our Shepherd”.  He knows my son, he created him….  He knows what struggles we will face before we ever face them….  And He provides the direction to get through our struggles – just like a Shepherd who leads his sheep out of danger. 

Before our son developed Autism, he would wear hats.  We have baby pictures of him in cute little hats to match his outfit.  I have a picture of him at 14 months hanging on my wall – of him wearing a hat.   It’s the last picture I have of him in a hat.   When he developed Autism – he could no longer stand the sensation of ANYTHING touching his head.  We would try to put a hat on him – and within a microsecond – it was flung across the floor followed by a rather loud shriek of protest.   It was a challenge to brush his hair, brush his teeth, or wipe his nose!   Let’s not even get into what a challenge it was for the Pediatrician to check his ears!

So, we gave up on him ever overcoming the sensory issues related to his head.  We just did the things we had to do, and left it at that.  Bigger issues to tackle we figured.  

Time went on, and one day his teacher at school decided that she wanted Brandon to learn to wear a hat like the other kids do.  She asked if she could write that in as a goal to work on – and I said “Go for it” – thinking that inspiration would last about a day when she found out how hard it would be!  But, she stuck with it.  “The patience of Job” is how the other classroom teacher describes Nancy.    With determined tenacity, she did desensitize him.  First with the hat on only a second at a time, then longer, then longer.  Soon Nancy sent home a picture of Brandon wearing a hat, with a note that now Brandon will walk around the halls at school with his hat on ----  just like the other kids….   I was duly impressed.  At the time, I didn’t really see the huge importance of that, and secretly thought of other goals I wished it was that he had mastered.   But, wearing a hat is an accomplishment, it IS a big victory for Brandon. 

Three weeks later – Brandon developed a seizure disorder that causes him to fall suddenly, and hard, usually face first.  One of the first things the Pediatrician did – was give me a prescription to go have Brandon fitted for a protective helmet to wear to protect his head and face when he falls….   Now if I had had to go through the long tedious process of getting Brandon desensitized to wear a helmet --- while dealing with the seizures, the doctors, and the shock of it all ---  I would have been ready to count the flowers on the wallpaper of my padded cell in the nut house! 

Brandon actually seems to like wearing his helmet!

Some may call it purely coincidence that Brandon’s teacher taught him that skill at that time – but I call it pure provision.  God, being the Shepherd he is, knows our needs and and provides for them.  He is our creator, our shepherd, and our provider….  I wanted the teacher to teach my son something more important and more academic than wearing a hat – and God knows my son needs to learn those things too --- but first – God knew Brandon needed to learn to wear a hat……

Perfect timing, from a Perfect God, who perfectly Provides.

Written in 2003 by Michelle M. Guppy

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That was then, this is now...2013.

Exactly a decade later.

During that time we've had many cycles of seizures to deal with.  More stitches, more staples, more broken teeth that had to be repaired.  Another fitting for a bigger helmet.  More moments of him defying death in falling from places that should have killed him, but didn't.  More heart-stopping moments when Brandon did stop breathing and needed to be revived by CPR.

We've rejoiced in the few years that were seizure-free during that time.  Oh how precious they were.  Those years when we were allowed the luxury of just dealing with autism.   Crazy without the chaos. 

And now, during the last three years of the relentless seizure-cycle he has been in, we've once again experienced how God provides.

This past seizure-cycle has been epic.  Oh, allow me to stop for a moment and just savor that.  This. past. seizure. cycle.   Past.  Whenever we go more than a few weeks without a seizure, we officially retire that seizure-cycle.  The great seizure-cycle of 2010 is now over.  Done.  Past.  History.  And with good riddance.  It has taken the greatest toll on him, and us, simply because of the myriad of other health issues that have been going on at the same time.  Chronic viral issues, chronic yeast issues.  Flare-up's from the chronic gastrointestinal issues.  And as is always the case with autism, who knows what else is going on that we haven't figured out yet.  I hate to admit having had such thoughts, but I have had dreams where I had to try and find the words to share with those who have prayed so hard, tried to help us so much, that Brandon did not recover from a seizure.  That's how bad some of those seizure clusters were.  But as I wrote about in my "Letter to satan" -- with each of those very bad seizures, God said no.....  It wasn't Brandon's time yet.

As we do with all other seizure-cycle "exit interviews" - we now pause and reflect on just how great God is.  Just how much he provided for us, though not in the form we had hoped in him stopping the seizures.  When we wanted.  How he was there with us each step of the way.  From the abundance of prayers from faithful family and friends, the bountiful harvest of support from our autism community, the advice, suggestions, --- all of it making us feel that our son was their son too, - to realizing just how strong the bonds of our faith are, in at times being the only thing that held our marriage and our sanity together through a very, very tough three years. 

With the seizure-cycle from the above story from 2003, God provided a teacher for Brandon who would get him ready to wear a helmet.  For nine long months, summer months at that, Brandon had to wear that helmet every waking moment. 

With this past seizure-cycle, God provided a physician for Brandon who would help implement the treatments necessary to help his body heal and not have to react with seizures.  And he provided a friend even more bold and relentless than his seizures -- who would bring Brandon and that physician together. 

Once again, perfect timing, from a perfect God, who perfectly provides.

I just have to marvel at that. 

And at how prayer always - always works like a pebble thrown in a pond.  It's ripples extending further and further and getting more powerful - finally ending in provision.  In one form or another.

For us last time, a helmet.

For us this time, a physician.

For us each time, God's provision.

Just as he promised.

And just as he has always delivered.




Written in 2013 by Michelle M. Guppy

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