Archive for October, 2010

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month.  The Epilepsy Foundation is launching a nationwide campaign to make 1 million Americans seizure smart this November.  We need you to help us spread the word!

The campaign is called “Get Seizure Smart.”  More information can be found at http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/neam/ Take the quiz and see how much you know about epilepsy

For those of you that have followed me either on Twitter or Facebook, this is old news.  For those of you that are new to me Epilepsy is a very important topic in my life.  My son, J.O., has epilepsy, along with a number of other health issues.  He was diagnosed when he was 3 1/2.  It was a terrifying event for both of us.  For the next 4 years we struggled to get any type of  relief from the seizures, which had been occurring multiple time every day.  We saw many specialists and went to multiple clinics for evaluation, including Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, Cleveland Clinic, OH, Mayo Clinic, MN and Minnesota Epilepsy Center which is in St. Paul.  The neurologists tried many different antiepileptic drugs for the purpose of gain some control of the seizures.  The drugs were scary and had major side effects.  In 2004 J.O. had surgery to implant a Vagal Nerve Stimulator (VNS) for the purpose of either stopping seizures or lessening their severity.  After a few months it was successful in eliminating his most severe seizures.  Yet he was still having myclonic seizures.  Finally our neurologist found a combination of drugs that almost eliminated the seizures.  Occasionally J.O. will have one, but now the instances are one seizure for every two weeks or so.  What an improvement?

So that is where my passion comes from regarding epilepsy.  For the next month I will share some facts about epilepsy and you can be one of the Americans that are seizure smart.

More to come . . .

If you have been following my previous posts,  I am continuing with a description of how J.O., my son, came into my life.  Read my previous posts to review the story from the beginning.  Also, sorry for the brief interlude where I took a little turn off the main road for a moment of passionate opinion.

So, in about a month I ended the consulting project that I had been working on and made an appointment with the specialist, which was in about 2 weeks.  Finally the meeting date came.  I was so anxious.  I was very determined to have a child, but I also did not really know what it meant to do IVF.   In our first meeting with the specialist he introduced himself and said, “So, you are interested in in vitro fertilization?”  I responded, “We are not interested in in vitro fertilization.  We are going to do in vitro fertilization.”  I immediately got his attention and he could see that I was a very determined woman.

In those days, and maybe it is true today, typically there was a hierarchy of steps that you had to go through to address  infertility. Typically you could not just jump in and do IVF.  Other fertility methods had to be tried first.  I am not sure why it was this way or if it is still that way today.  Perhaps it was a convenient way for the health care industry to take advantage of desperate situations and make more money. Cynical?  Not really, just very observant. 

So once the specialist heard about my history of eptopic pregnancies, there was no problem moving straight forward to the discussion of  IVF.  The specialist described, in detail, the entire process and the risks associated with the process.  During this discussion I asked the specialist what were the chances of us accomplishing this.  His response was, “Well, your old and you smoke.”  He continued to explain how age and smoking negatively affect the process.  Well there wasn’t anything I could do about my age.  I had just turned 40 years old two weeks earlier, and there is not much more I can say about that issue.  But his statement about smoking caught my attention.  I quit smoking that very day in that very moment.  I had smoked for over 20 years.  I had tried quitting many times, but it never lasted.  It is funny how circumstances in life can change your motivation to do things.  That concept seems to be a prevailing theme throughout my life.

More to come later. . .

Considering what I have been describing in my recent posts, a situation that has been in the news in the last year comes to mind.  Yes, I am talking about the Octomom.  Many of you may be sick of hearing about it, but I just have to say my two cents worth.

I really can’t find anything good to say about the whole situation except,  any child brought into life is a cherished moment, and the children of the world are really gifts to all of us.  But .  (Dramatic pause) You know there had to be a but here.  But what kind of life will these innocent children have? 

I first of all believe the doctor who was involved was totally irresponsible,  and he should have his medical license revoked.  He was careless.  He implanted 12 embryos into Suleman. We should have the confidence that he can no longer repeat this type of situation.  In addition he should be forced to help support what he created, which was eight innocent children.  I believe he should support the children to give them the best life possible considering the circumstance and  especially since he played the role of  “master chef.”  He doesn’t deserve the title of doctor any more.  I also believe the doctor’s main motive for this whole situation was “show boating.”  In his sick little mind he assumed this situation would be regarded as something that is remarkable and become a notorious event.  Notoriety would then mean more publicity, which in turn means more patients, wich means more money in his pocket.  Vanity and greed are close companions  What a disease.

Now we come to the Octomom herself.  I really don’t understand her motive other than the same motivation as the doctor.  Eight babies bring notoriety, which brings new opportunities.  The new opportunities then evolve into more money in her pocket.  She definitely was not in the circumstance of being desperately wanting a child.  She already had children.  I also think we need to stop using the reference of “Octomom,” because it is just adding to her notoriety.  Instead use her name, Nadya Suleman, and she will soon be forgotten. 

I really don’t have any sympathy for her.  In fact I am somewhat enraged about her.  She has created a hopeless situation for those eight children.  Let’s also stop referring to the children as “the eight children” or the octuplets.  Their names are:  Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariya, Makai, Josiah, Jeremiah and Jonah.   Their lives will be affected forever.  And then on top of it all,  there are Joaquin, Diego, Wesley, Willow, Aria and Caleb who are the six siblings of Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariya, Makai, Josiah, Jeremiah and Jonah whose lives will also be heavily impacted by these circumstances.

Did she have a plan?  Sure.  How much money have the tax payers contributed to paying the expenses of this family? How much donations and assistance from volunteers did she use that could have been used by others that are in need.  And then there are the appearance on TV, product endorsements and who knows what else.  It really makes me angry.  But.  ( no dramatic pause) Didn’t expect that one.  Did you?  The children are here.  They don’t deserve the situation they are in as a result of decisions that were made by an irresponsible doctor and a sick woman.  I truly wish there was a way that the Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariya, Makai, Josiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Joaquin, Diego, Wesley, Willow, Aria and Caleb could be helped without helping Suleman.  That would be the best punishment for this woman (formerly known as  Octomom).

I need to take a moment to vent about Jennifer Mee, also known as the Hiccup Girl.  Her attorney is claiming she has Tourette Syndrome and is using this condition as a defense against first degree murder.  The  police said she lured a 22-year-old man to a meeting where he was robbed and shot.  If  you haven’t read about this, check out this article from ABC News:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/hiccup-girl-lawyers-defense-tourettes/story?id=11975237.  Here is also a link to a statement made by the Tourette Syndrome Association regarding this issue:   http://bit.ly/8ZGsGN 

Tourette Syndrome is constantly sensationalized by the media, talk shows and entertainment shows.  Go to Twitter some time and do a search on the word Tourette.  Ignorant, inconsiderate people are continuously making fun of the condition.  I think this trend needs to stop.  The general public needs to raise their awareness of this devastating disorder.  A great site with information about Tourette Syndrome is the Tourette Syndrome Association web site at  http://www.tsa-usa.org/.

And finally,  please don’t let Jennifer Mee be a representation of people with Tourette Syndrome.

 My husband and I wanted children really bad.  Out of the blue, circumstances kind of fell all into place.  We knew that we needed to rely on medical technology to help us accomplish this.  We were out of time and the old-fashioned way of getting pregnant  was obviously not working.  Coincidently, there were a number of factors that had occurred which made having a baby more of a reality rather than a wish. 

We knew we had to do in vitro fertilization, which was very expensive at the time.  Coincidently, my husband had just accomplished getting our income into an upward swing.  One road block had been removed.  We knew we could afford the procedure.  I should say we knew we could afford to have the procedure at least one time.

We had also just moved to a small town and my husband had developed a friendship with a gentleman whose daughter had just done IVF and ended up having twins.   This gentleman referred us to his daughter’s specialist in a nearby city.   

Road block two had just been removed.  We now had a specialist identified to do the IVF.

More to come later. . .