Friday, February 06, 2009

Blog Book Update


I just wanted to put an update on here about Blog Books. I sent an email to http://www.blurb.com/ they are definitely the superior blog book company. I asked them if/and why they weren't compatible with blogger. I got a response right away letting me know that they are compatible once again. YIPPEEE! I'm glad I haven't printed my book yet. The other company is good. But Blurb is GREAT! Fun! I'll send my book off to the printer by tonight:)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

IT'S A WINNER!


Tonight I downloaded all of the new pictures off of my camera. This picture was by far the BEST! It made me laugh so hard now I can't get rid of the horrible Hick-Ups!

Leif went to the dentist and his whole mouth was numb! It was Great!:)

A Sweet Surprise!

Last night I had to go to the Young Women's activity. I was feeling alright, but definitely not completely up to par. Leif knew this. When I arrived home after the activity, this is what I found.
Leif took Jakob and Caleb (all wearing silly hats -wish I got a pic of that!) to the corner store in town and bought M&M's and Marshmallows to make Rice Crispy Treats for me.

When I walked in they were so excited to show me the treat they had made me:) Leif knew that chocolate can make all of my worries melt away for a little while. It was a VERY thoughtful and sweet treat!!

Love My Precious Boys!!!

A Letter To Lena From Lena: Life Without Meds

Dear Lena, February 4, 2009

This is a letter to yourself to help you remember what it is like when you are not taking anti-depressant medication. This was an idea that came to you after receiving a priesthood blessing full of guidance relating to your mental health.

When you are not taking medication regularly your mind is foggy and literally weighed down. It is hard, to near impossible to make decisions. Your patience level is at an average of a 3-5 on a scale of 1-10 (1 being no patience.) It is not uncommon to drop to 1 within seconds after being disobeyed or irritated.

Your energy level is at a 3. It is an accomplishment just to take a shower. It is a triumph to take Jakob to dance class and do a mandatory grocery trip. It is near impossible to wrap your mind around the idea of going outside and actively playing with the kids. Sitting on the steps is as good as it gets. Cleaning the house is a weeklong task.

Fear and anxiety are close companions. Fear and dread of the trials of the future are among the most frequent thoughts of your day. Anxiety while driving is not unusual. Despair over the fact that Leif will be working and going to school with Very Little time for you brings you close to despair.

You tend to move into an egocentric state of mind and being. It is hard not to focus on how miserable you feel mentally and physically. You are tired, weighed down, and physically sore.

There are some things that for very brief moments, you enjoy more then life while on medication. It is nice to have a strong desire for Leif. However, it is such an emotional response that if Leif is not able to respond for some reason, it is a devastating event. It is also nice to have the emotional responses such as crying while feeling the spirit or crying due to sadness. However, the emotions are very exaggerated. The highs are really high, and the lows are really low.

When you are not taking medication, you are not able to carry your part of life’s responsibilities. So then, it weighs on Leif. That can’t happen because he already has way too much to carry.

Medication is a blessing in your life. The side effects are irritating and wearisome at times. And the bit of anxiety felt about passing the medication to the baby is not fun. But the benefits of taking the medication just simply are obviously much better then not taking medication.

Always Remember This Lena! Father in Heaven told you last night that there will be times that you will NOT be able to rely on anyone beyond yourself and Him. This is a terrifying thought to you when you are off your medication. But when you have the medication, this will be bearable.
STAY ON THE MEDICATION LENA!

Mama's Back!


I'm Back! I wrote myself a long letter yesterday morning. I told myself in detail what it was like when I didn't take my meds. I seriously can't believe the difference after just 10mg. Amazing!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Leif's Update

Life for Leif has been crazy lately. Honestly, things won't really be letting up from this point on for the next 8+ years. This is what we are still trying to wrap our brains around. I know we'll survive. But WOWSERS!

Leif took the Nursing School Entrance Exam a week or so ago. The national average score for the test is around 60%. His score was 90+%. That is very comforting to me. It is a blessing to have an intelligent husband! I'm very proud of him!! He's working on gathering all of the paperwork and things to apply to the MCC Nursing Program. I'm not worried about him being accepted. This is another blessing!

Right now he has retreated into a fantasy book. But he Most Definitely deserves the reprieve!

25 Random Things About Me

I was Tagged on Facebook several times to write
25 Random Things About Myself. This is what I came up with:


1. I HATE talking on the phone. Once I am talking to someone I'm fine. But my family members are the only people that I talk to on a regular bases by phone. This weird phobia started after my girl’s funeral and someday I guess I’ll have to overcome it. Until then, I’m grateful for the Internet.

2. I failed in school from Elementary through High school.

3. I live in a 700 square foot makeshift apartment (AKA “The Barn”) with my hubby and two kid’s, and I Love it!

4. I must have a clean house in order to happily function. But I avoid doing dishes like the plague. The environmentalists’ would hate me for filling up the land fills with paper products.

5. I try to live a healthy lifestyle. But I don’t think I’ll ever go completely “holistically healthy” (even though I’m studying to become a Holistic Health Practitioner.)

6. I know that if my husband dies, I will NEVER remarry because I will not find anyone as perfect for me as he is.

7. I served 10 months of my mission on the Great Lakes Navy Base in Chicago (Navy Boot Camp and Navy Training Center)

8. I was serving on the Navy Base on September 11th.

9. I have been a nanny for 24 children. The oldest is already in college. That makes me feel OLD!

10. I Love to travel! I love to tell my son stories about things that I experienced while living in several places all over the country.

11. I have a set of twin daughters in heaven.

12. I really like jackets, coats, sweaters, and accessories. When you have boxes of coats in storage you know you might have too many (but I have also been many different sizes throughout the years ;)

13. I have discovered two new passions in the last two years: writing and health research.

14. I Love to read! I read a new series of books during the first trimester of every pregnancy. The next will be the “Faith of Our Fathers” series about the Civil War.

15. I have a few weird OCD issues: I hate having cupboard doors and drawers open if they are not in use. My husband has to shave his facial hair if it gets to the point where he can twist it in his fingers or I’ll go nuts! I have taught my 4 year old about avoiding germs to a fault.

16. I have OstioPenia (one step better then Osteoporosis) in my spine.

17. If possible, I try to sit at the end of a table while eating a meal with several people. This stems from where my seat was at the table as a child.

18. I don’t have very many secrets; almost to a fault. I have to be careful not to share too much about my world with people.

19. I follow politics and the news of the world.

20. We do not have public or cable television in our home. The only show we watch is Extreme Makeover Home Edition on ABC.com

21. I had a fear of driving and did not get my drivers license until I was a junior in High School. I still don’t like to drive.

22. I was the owner and director of a national Nanny Agency.

23. My husband was my first kiss. ;)

24. I have toured an active Navy Battle Ship.

25. Unless it is required otherwise, I have to use a Blue Ball Point pen!

My World


I absolutely LOVED this picture when I found it!
This is how I've felt off and on for the last few days:)

My brain is still foggy, but I'll try to put some thoughts down. I tried reading my book, but Caleb decided to gag on some paper and the book was getting too intense for tonight anyway, so I retreated to the computer where I can still pay attention to Caleb and be entertained.

Anyway, well, if you're wondering why I've been flighty lately it's due to some crazy meds changes and all the joys that go along with that. I'm not sure how it's all going to end up, I've asked Leif to give me a blessing tonight. I finished the books about anti-depressants yesterday. A lot of it was a review and confirmation of what I already knew. But one of them had a few quizzes and questionnaires to help a person define more of what their particular struggles might be based on. Once again my results weren't too surprising. My depression/anxiety is hereditary based with a touch of life's events intermingled in to mix things up even more. I have low serotonin and high dopamine. So SSRI's are the only meds that really work for me. And Wellbutrin should only be taken in the smallest amounts if at all... complex carbohydrates, fruits, veggies and very minimal animal protein and NO Sugar is the best diet for me. Restful and energetic exercise should be alternated every other day, and writing and music makes for good therapy for me.

It sounds like I should have it all figured out huh? Leif put it perfectly when he said, "you can tell that you're off your meds just by the fact that you are confused by all of this."

My frustration is that I am weary by the many many side effects that come along with the meds. And I don't know how the Doctor who wrote about the health and lifestyle plans for depressed people ever got a depressed person to actually find the drive to FOLLOW those plans.:)

The word depressed has become SOOO broad now days. I am actually not a really "depressed" person, I end up more on the no Patience melancholy type.

But anyway, I don't really want to make this a subject of discussion, I just thought I'd update on why I haven't been my usual "ever-blogging" self lately, and get things written down for the record.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Trying To Find The Ummph


I actually have had several things to write about over the last little while. But life has gotten in the way. And when I do have a moment, the weight of life makes my mind swirl. So, I'll just try again tomorrow to get the ummph enough to write...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Get Makayla Shannon To The Mayo Clinic

I have a precious cousin named Makayla who is very sick. Her mother, Karin, and I grew up together and in many ways feel like sisters. Karin had many health struggles that made life very difficult for a long time. However, Karin was healthy for the most part while we were little girls. Makayla is not. She is 7 years old and very sick. Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of the struggle is that the doctors can not define exactly what the problems are. This makes it very hard to solve the problems.

After much prayer and initiative on her parents part, Makayla has been accepted for an appointment at the Mayo Clinic. This is a great blessing. However, it is one that comes at a great financial cost. This is where we all come in.

As family and friends we have wondered what we might do to help Makayla. We have finally been given a tangible chance to help. We can send a little blessing there way by helping Makayla's family pay for her treatments at the Mayo Clinic.

I have set up a Facebook Group called "Get Makayla Shannon To The Mayo Clinic" this is just a way to keep things organized a bit. We are going to collect as much money for them as we can and hope to show our love by giving them the money on Valentines Day. We thought that day was appropriate. If you are interested in helping Makayla, please let me know, or join the Facebook Group.

We truly pray for you Makayla! Your light has blessed our lives. Keep holding on, little one!
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