Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heads Up on Brain Injury

As a school nurse who deals with head injuries on a daily basis, and a mother of a child who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, I jumped on the opportunity to spread awareness about concussions and proper response.  The importance of knowing the warning signs and responding appropriately can save the life of a child.

In Luke's case, he collided with another student in PE which caused him to fall backwards and hit his head on the gym floor. He did not start developing symptoms right away. In fact, we even took him to the ER and had a ct scan which did not show the brain bleeding at that time. The headaches continued, and over a month after the injury he developed double vision. It was then we took him back to the ER where they found severe pappilledema, severe intracranial pressure, and his brain was bleeding. He underwent two brain surgeries within a two months, and by the grace of God is doing amazing.

Each year, traumatic brain injuries contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. Data shows that, on average, approximately 1.7 million people die, are hospitalized, or are seen in an emergency department for a traumatic brain injury annually. Almost half a million emergency department visits for TBI that occur each year are among children aged 0 to 14 years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has started a Heads Up program in order to inform parents, teachers, school nurses, and coaches about head injuries and the risks and threats associated with them. This is a great tool where you can learn more information, but here are also some important things you need to know!

So what is a concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can literally cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain. What you might not know is that these chemical changes make the brain more vulnerable to further injury. During this window of vulnerability the brain is more sensitive to any increased stress or injury, until it fully recovers.

How can parents recognize a Concussion?

Check for any difference in the child’s behavior, thinking, or functioning. Here are some warning signs:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired speech
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unequal pupil size
  • Delayed verbal and/or motor responses
  • Unusual irritability
  • Poor coordination
  • Sensitivity to light or sound                                                                     
It’s important for parents, athletes, and coaches to know about concussion. So what should you do if you think your teen has a concussion? CDC developed the following 4-step Heads Up Action Plan to help you protect your child or teen if you suspect they have a concussion:

1. Keep your teen out of play. If your child or teen has a concussion, her/his brain needs time to heal. Don’t let your child or teen return to play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says he or she is symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first—usually within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)—can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and even death.

2. Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child or teen to return to sports.

3. Teach your child or teen that it’s not smart to play with a concussion. Rest is key after a concussion. Sometimes athletes wrongly believe that it shows strength and courage to play injured. Discourage others from pressuring injured athletes to play. Don’t let your child or teen convince you that s/he’s “just fine.”

4. Tell all of your child or teen’s coaches and the school nurse about ANY concussion. Coaches, school nurses, and other school staff should know if your child or teen has ever had a concussion. Your child or teen may need to limit activities while s/he is recovering from a concussion. Things such as studying, driving, working on a computer, playing video games, or exercising may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse. Talk to your health care professional, as well as your child or teen’s coaches, school nurse, and teachers. If needed, they can help adjust your child or teen’s school activities during her/his recovery.

We now take several precautions as a family to prevent any further head injuries.  Helmets and face masks are worn in every contact sport.  Helmets are also worn for bike riding.  We are careful to keep the stairs clutter free, and bath rugs with rubber bottoms are placed in the bathrooms.

As a school nurse, I am much more aware of signs and symptoms.  Luke is able to participate in PE and recess, but I am very particular about which games and sports he plays, and also the supervision he is getting.
For instance, on Fridays his entire first grade is usually in the gym playing.  On this day, he does not participate

More information can be found at the following links:

Health Care Professionals:
Sports Coaches and Administrators:

School Professionals:

To learn more about the Heads Up initiatives and to order your own materials, visit

You can also share your stories and ask the CDC questions at

I wrote this blog post while participating in a SocialMoms blogging program for which I may receive a thank you kit.” For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Wordless Wednesday

This is the life!

Friday, April 22, 2011

To share some excitement.....

I can't believe I haven't mentioned our Disney trip on here lately.  All of you know what a disney fanatic I am, and how excited I get when I get to plan a trip!  Anyhow, I received a little bit of Disney in the mail yesterday.  Just a few things for our upcoming trip in December, and it got me a little excited!

The trip is still a surprise for Jolea, Luke, and Luci.  I had to tell Breanna, and she's excited to be a part of the surprise.  I'm still brainstorming on ideas on how to surprise them either the day we leave, the night before, or I may not even tell them until we get there, so If you have any ideas please email them to me or just leave them in the comments!

The kids are already begging us to go.  All I hear is how they don't want to go to the beach, they want to go to Disney!  They will be so excited!

We get to make all of our dining reservations in 1 month!  This year we are splurging and getting the deluxe dining.  We want to try out some new places, see some shows, plus hit all of our favorites.  I pretty much have down exactly where I want to eat, but I'm just waiting on the calendars to come out so I can plan when.  I love Disney dining!  I may come home 20 lbs heavier!

We are also getting tickets to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.  It's pretty amazing.  The last time we went at Christmas time, the haze was awful and we weren't able to see the fireworks so we are hoping for some better weather this time!  Even without the fireworks, it was a great party with lots of character interaction, hot chocolate, cookies, and snow!

I'm just too excited, and can't wait to experience it again with our children, and to experience Luci's first visit!
I have no doubt she'll love it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The strep monster!

I'm now in my 3rd week bact to work, and let me tell you it has not been easy.  Can you traumatize a 3 month old going back to work?  If so, I think I have!

My sweet Luci has just not been herself since I started back to work.  Soon after I came back she quit sleeping through the night.  Not only was she not sleeping through the night, but she wasn't napping during the day either!  She also had broken out in a rash on her stomach and arms.  The rash would come and go, and it is not uncommon for infants to get rashes so I thought nothing of it.  Well now, after almost 3 weeks of no sleep, I finally took Luci to the Dr. Thursday thinking maybe she had an earache or something. 

Her ears were fine, but....yes, here it comes....she had strep throat!  Not only did she have it, but I had it too!  I had been dismissing the sore throat thinking it was allergies.  I felt like a horrible Mom!

They gave her a shot and meds for me too, and she is already feeling much better.
I do have to say a big THANK YOU to my amazing husband.  When she isn't sleeping good at night, he will also get up and give her a bottle so I can get some sleep.  Several nights of no sleep can be hard on a working Mom!

On a happier note, we only have 6 weeks left of school until summer and then I'm off for another 3 months!

Now enjoy the eye candy!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring is here!

Spring is actually one of my favorite times of the year.  It symbolizes new beginnings, new life, and change.  Our family has taken on a huge life change with the birth our little Luci.  She is such a joy to our family, and I can't imagine our life without her! 

We are really looking forward to the months ahead.  There are so many exciting things coming up for us!  Our daughter Brea is going on her first mission trip this summer as well.  She will be going to Arizona with our church, Faith Bible Church, and will be ministering on the indian reservations.  She is extrememly excited about it.  She has formed some amazing relationships with her church youth group. 

Breanna has had a rough time in regards to friendships the last two years.  She has finally realized which types of friendships are worth investing in, and those are the ones where people support her calling and her walk with Christ.  Sadly, she's had to learn that the hard way.  She is realizing that the "world" is going to hate her because she is not of this world, and that is ok.  She knows that if her friends classmates are not encouraging her in her walk then their words are not of God , but of Satan. 

She is building new relationships and she has some amazing girls and boys in her life that attend church with her.  Some have been lifelong friends, and some are new, but these girls and boys continue to lift Breanna up in spite of her failures.  They accept her for the silly girl that she is and do not judge her nor condemn her.

With all that said I want to introduce Breanna's new blog!  With all the issues that teenage girls face, including herself, she thought it would be a great thing to write about how God is moving in her life.  It's also a great way for Breanna to minister to other teenage girls who go through the same issues.  So please go over and follow Breanna into the mission field and also support her in her Journey at her new blog Journey to Eternity!

She is not perfect, but she is right where God wants her to be, with the people He wants her to be with!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Design!

I guess you noticed the new blog design?!! I was so excited when I saw that it had been installed!  Is it not perfect?  Most of you who know me, or have been reading my blog know exactly what the header symbolizes. 

The design was done by Shannon over at Sweet Bean.  So, if you're looking to spruce up your blog head on over! 

I'll be adding Colt's story and also Jolea's story to their links this week so be sure to check back! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

3 Months!!

My sweet girl :) You are 3 months old!  I absolutely love this stage of your life.  You are the happiest baby.  All it takes is someone talking to you and your little face just lights up! 

So what are you up to these day?!!!
  • You are somewhat on a routine.  You take pretty good naps during the day, and you are still getting up to nurse in the mornings around 4:00.  You go right back to sleep after you eat which is soo nice.
  • You love to stand up in my lap like a big girl, and you are so proud of yourself when you do.
  • You're such a happy girl.  You just laugh and coo, and it is sweet music to our ears.  You still love talking to your Daddy, and ya'll have some pretty funny conversations.
  • You love your bath, but you do not enjoy getting dressed and lotioned afterwards.  It usually sends you into a fit.
  • You also still have a spell of crying around 8:00 almost every night.  You just get so tired that you will fuss for about 30 minutes until you drift off to sleep.
  • You are still wearing a size 1 diaper and 0-3months clothes.  They are getting a little short and snug so we've started putting you in some of your 3-6 months.
  • You still take your pacifier, and you also have a blanky now and it is a must when you're tired.  You  love to snuggle up to it, and hide your face.
  • When you don't have your paci your fist is in your mouth.
  • You are starting to reach and grab at your toys now also.  You have a little elephant on your carseat, and you love to grab ahold of his feet and pull on him.
Luci, you are just growing so fast!  We are enjoying and soaking up every moment with you!  We love you!


Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Yeah! It's Ultimate Blog Party Time!  Last year was my first time to join the ultimate blog party and I have to say that I'm so glad I did!  I met some amazing  people with some amazing blogs!  If you have a blog and would love to join the party, click on the party badge above and get all the details!  You may even win some prizes.

I started blogging back in 2006 during the process of adopting our daughter from Vietnam.  Since then it has become a passion.  I love being able to share all of our adventures, struggles, and crazy happenings!  Being a Mom to 4 little ones at home is really quite a journey!

If you are visiting from the party WELCOME to My Wish For You!  I'm so thrilled you stopped by and I hope you enjoyed your visit!



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