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.

March 19, 2017

Of sparkling, sweating, and surviving...

Cue Rocky music while reading... So... in my ever-present quest to pretend I have a life or can achieve personal goals outside of caring for my son who is vaccine injured - I decided to not just do my usual lap swimming at the YMCA this afternoon; but to venture forth and try a muscle conditioning and boot camp class. I mean, why not go for a total body breakdown in doing two classes when one would have done me in just fine? That I haven't done a group exercise class since what seems like 1974, is of no consequence. It's like riding a bike, right? You never forget how to do it... Well, apparently you may not forget, but your muscles do. I probably should have listened to my gut instinct to run when the instructor noticed my "Spartan Finisher" shirt I was wearing and said, "Oh, you were there too? So was I! After the race my buddies and I stayed and did the Hurricane Heat and pushed out cars that were stuck in the mud-pit that was the parking lot!" People like him who do Spartan Races are actually fit enough to truly do Spartan Races. I merely try to push myself, overcome fears, and do what I can and finish without needing surgery. Even that didn't go so well last year when I indeed needed surgery after and epic bad landing going over the Warrior Roast fire jump. But... I watched what everyone else was doing and I did my best. The instructor was great about giving modifications for those moves that not everyone could do, but I knew I was the odd fish out when he seemed to be looking at me when he shared about "alternative" moves altogether. I'm thankful that vaccine injury and Brandon taught me long ago to not worry about what others think of me. I mean, I've been in Wal-Mart at Easter with an open bag of jelly beans trying to 'appease the beast' by giving jellybeans to him one by one so I could get out of there for once without leaving a full shopping cart behind and had Brandon decide I wasn't giving them to him fast enough and proceed to grab the bag from me sending an entire bag of jelly beans bouncing all across the main aisle. Being in that class today was much like being in the middle of the main aisle of Wal-Mart waiting for the jelly beans to stop bouncing so I could run from the store... But I digress... As hard as it was, it really felt so good to do something new. Something for me. As painful as it was, I enjoyed it. It was a sense of accomplishment. I work hard for Brandon, for advocacy, in trying to keep our home from being condemned by the health department, and somewhere in there I do try to give attention to my husband. But often those things never seem finished. It is a never-ending process. The vaccine injury and working to heal my son or help him the best I can is something that will never be done. They are things where the rewards are few and far between. Things where I have to squint really hard to find the rewards at all. I guess that's why Todd and I love to do the obstacle course races we do. At least there we get to cross the finish line as a reward to all the hard work, challenges, and endurance. For me to even get to go to these classes, to swim, means that Todd has to be with Brandon. We can't even be like the couple I followed in the class who dropped their child off at the Child Watch Center and then went to class together. There is no "Child Watch Class" for 23 year-old's who need assistance with toileting. It was a downer realizing all that vaccine-injury has taken from me. I was jealous of the woman on the front row with the heavy weights and no modifications. I bet she didn't have to spend every spare moment caring for her adult son or researching ways to help him or advocating for him, or trying to find a day program for him or help on the weekends so she could have an actual "weekend" with her spouse. It's hard facing what you could be if only vaccine injury didn't happen and change everything. I mean, everything. I tried to boost my self-worth by imagining myself asking the elite in class if they could do those weights with no sleep for a week, if they could clean up leaky-gut episodes without vomiting, and if they would dare put their bare hand through a bathtub of diarrhea-filled water to pull the plug out. I wanted to ask if they could survive a meltdown on a full moon or endure yet another service door slamming in their face. Sure you can do power squats with a thirty pound bar on your shoulders, but can you walk through each day with the weight of your child's entire lifetime on your shoulders? Can you listen to HMMMMMMM, HMMMMMMMMMMM, HMMMMMMMMM all day and night and not go bat-shit-crazy? "Yeah, I thought not!" So I went on with my bad-self and all my modifications, determined to stick it out and cross the finish line. Numb arms and jello legs. I did have one thing going for me to be proud of. I invented a new move to replace the burpee. Warriors like me who have vertebre on the verge of touching each other because of the years of awkwardly lifting a dead weight brick of jello off the floor after a seizure have no business doing a burpee that puts extra pressure on the spine. So instead I did a squat and jumping jack as one "burpee-like" move. "The Squack" I called it. So when that move becomes the new burpee-alternative on the Spartan course, remember that you read about it here first. Mercifully that class ended, and for the Boot Camp class we went outside to the fields. For the warm up the instructor pointed to a fence that seemed like an entire football field away - and said to sprint there and back. I looked at him and laughed. The only time I sprint is if I'm in one room and Brandon is in the other and I hear him start to have a seizure and sprint there to catch him before his head hits the deck. I wanted to tell him that for this class, the only way he would see me sprint is if he told me the cure for my son's seizures is at that fence line and the first one there gets it. I can live with autism, that's nothing compared to seizures. But give me a cure for seizures and I be like, "Get outta my way boys-n-girls and let me show you how sprinting is done!" But, ..... I just groaned and did my slow jog of shame and made the rest of them look good. (ok fine, power-walk) I mean, didn't Jesus say in Matthew 20:16 that "many who are last shall be first?" All and all it was a great day of new beginnings. I can only get better from this point forward. It is that warrior mentality that helps me get through each sucky moment of autism or seizures. And to the woman in front of me with the "I don't sweat, I sparkle" shirt? I may not have sparkled today, but I survived. And in my life, with all the trips From Hell to HOPEISM that I've had to endure, -- that is everything.