Monday, May 29, 2017

Have I told you?

Have I told you yet, how much head injuries suck?

They do. 

I don't live the brain injury but I live with the brain injury. And honestly, sometimes I wonder what's worse. It's tough and I hate that these things happen daily and families need to live this. It's hard everyday and what is  worse is that is usually gets worse before it gets better. Troy and I have really tried our best to journey with people who are entering the brain injury world. We have made many trips to Spectrums Neuro floor, introduced ourselves to strangers and really tried our best to love on as many people who get to join the "Brain Injury Club", 

A few days after Troys accident I had a couple come to visit. I had never seen or heard of them before this. I actually told the nurse they were at the wrong room :) Both of them, along with their son had been in an accident and all suffered severe head injuries. They came and just offered to help me on my journey whenever I was ready. They left their number and I never called. However, I talked about their visit for days. I told everyone about them. They gave me HOPE that there was a future for not only Troy but for me and for us. Just seeing them and hearing their story gave me more than I ever could expect at that time. That is the moment I decided I was going to be them. I needed to be that for everyone who needed hope when they feel like there is none. 

As we started visiting we realized how truly frightening it was to visit a family who is new to this TBI journey. For many reasons but mostly because of the unknowns. I feel anxious thinking they might not want me there or they may feel like I gave them false hope if things don't turn out as good as what's a Troy's did.. So many thoughts go through my head.. I'm so acutely aware of the high  emotions that run wild in times of trauma. It took many months of therapy for me to balance myself again. Trauma breaks you; emotionally and mentally. There's the question of, what's too much information?. I'm always so careful to stay focused on the now. For me, my story got worse before it got better.  I went from literally willing to give anything for an eye to open to literally willing to give anything for one eye to shut, just for one minute! But is that the worse part or was it when he said "I hate you for letting me live. You did this to me." 

Have I told you yet, how much head injuries suck? 

They do.

What's too much? What's not enough? I look back and try to think if I really wanted (my) full story when I was in their shoes. I don't think I would have. It's too much and really quite overwhelming to think that your situation could be any worse then it was at that exact moment. Also, who's to say that every person with a TBI will act the same? They may never need a posey bed or restraints. They may never blame anyone for their injury. It would be unfair of me to "warn" them of a future that may not be theirs. 

Also... what are the right words to say? I wish I knew. Having lived this I should know. Which leads me to believe there are no "right" words. It is what it is whether you say your sorry for me, whether you try and crack a joke or talk about the weather. Hugs. Hugs will do. 

There is so much that goes into this. It's a journey that isn't measured in days or weeks, but rather, months and years. And that's something I'm just now understanding, two and a half years later. I prayed so hard for time to fly. At that point I was desperate, desperate to know the outcome. Desperate to not feel the way I did. I just wanted everything I couldn't have then. My thoughts were killing me. I asked myself every possible question under the sun about my future. I'm sure I didn't miss one. It hurts me to know this though. I can almost see people's wheels a turning when we visit; Will I ever see my daughter or son  get married? Will I ever sleep next to my husband or wife again? Will my kids ever know their father or mother, sister or brother? No matter what the circumstance, piles upon pile of questions are being asked. And they don't need an answer, or opinions they just need to pass through your thoughts here and there. The biggest thing that has changed for me is that I rarely ever leave Troy while either of us are upset. That was one of my biggest questions: When was our last fight and what was it even about? Stupid, I know but you have a whole lot of hours to sit and drown in your thoughts . Whatever it was, it wasn't worth it knowing it may have been the last time I talked to him. Yes, i think that way and still do at times. Some say it's that crap called anxiety. I like to call it a new appreciation for life. I got a second chance. I may not get that again.

I  often times give the people we visit, a journal. Writing for me was therapeutic. It helped take my mind off of all those questions. You never know how much it will effect you when you are no longer able to talk to a loved one. You miss them, immediately. I started talking to Troy through writing in my journal. I left nothing out. The good, the bad and the ugly. It became like homework. I took notes throughout the day just to be sure I had everything right for my journal entry for that day. I'd date and time each time I started and stopped. There were times I'd laugh thinking of how Troy would react if I had actually been telling him these things. Anything to help the days go a little faster. It's hard waiting for something, let alone not really knowing what that "something" is. 

So, hows that for a jumble of thoughts for the night?

I usually go back and try and piece things together so it makes it look like my mind works in an organized fashion but truth is, it is what it is! No true direction with this post other than reminding you how much head injuries suck. Because... THEY DO! 

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Moving into May!

Good morning!

So a little update on us.

We have been incredibly BUSY. Is it just this time of year? It always seems that spring comes and all of the sudden the "to-do" lists triple. Hey, I can't complain. I've been so impatient waiting for this sun!

Troy is just finishing up a project for work that has taken a pretty good toll on his attitude. He has been pretty hard to live with these last few weeks (This will not be news to him). He handles stress very differently now and the control he has over his emotions are... well, minimal. Most days he comes home and just completely loses it. It's really hard to have to handle that everyday when he comes home. I'll be honest, it's draining because those emotions then flood into home life. Troy is known to have unrealistic goals which, at times has been good for him. It's helped him get this far recovering from a brain injury. However, when it comes to work, it's hard to tell him to just take a breath and slow it down, not to worry and just to do his best. Mostly because I don't think the words, "slow", "breath" and "best" ever fall into the same sentence for him. I love him for his drive and appreciate his work ethic. He is an incredible electrician but his brain is often times his worst enemy in more ways than one! His personality to the core is still the same Troy I met years ago. There are just things that are different now. Emotions running wild is one of them. Tack on stress to that and we get a mess. So, if you wouldn't keeping him in your prayers to ease his mind and emotions. He could use a little uplifting :)

As for Brody, he is a handful of perfection. I'm so obsessed with him, I'm sure other moms can understand! Each stage I love more and more. He is so curious, loves to read books, play with his tractors, watch movies and the latest, playing outside. He is the sweetest little boy. I just want him to stay this little forever! He has been getting better with his words. It's crazy to me how quickly they learn and catch onto things! We have the word "tractor" down. It's tractor, everything! This week we have been working on our animal/vehicle noises. My kid is a genius (said every parent, ever). HA! Brody has one speed everywhere he goes and it's always 100. There is nothing I love more then the sound of his little feet running back and forth through our house, often times with a giggle. Brody has taken a liking to Benson. He enjoys sitting on Benson and violently "patting" his head (still working on petting nicely). Benson loves to reciprocate the violent pats with "kisses" all over Brody face which Brody thinks is the funniest thing! Those two... best buds! We are looking forward to summer and spending time at the lake. The kid LOVES water. Shower, bath, washing hands, brushing teeth, truly any form of water involved activity is his favorite.

I don't feel like we live a very exciting life right now which is just fine with me! I've learned, boring is good! Troy takes the cake for making life exciting for us. Just a week ago I got a phone call from him that stared with "so....." in which I usually respond with "what happened?". Typically hearing his voice calms me down enough to still think straight but I knew something happened. This time, he hit a deer. Ok, he hit a deer. Not really that big of a deal but he had just made it a year with no accidents. Can't say that anymore! He had to remind me earlier this week that he "almost died 10 years ago". (He was in a pretty severe car accident when he was 16) Yeah, he's  truly almost died many times. Troy and his nine lives. He's getting to the point where a bubble needs to be made to preserve his last 4, or whatever it is he has left. He has given me my fair share of  gray hairs in the last (almost) five years of marriage. Yes, five years. Time sure flies when your wrapped up in life!

We have been in the painfully slow process of selling our home and getting into our new home. This whole process started in February. To say we're ready to be out of our current home and into our new home is the worlds greatest understatement. We're very excited to finally be settled and enjoy the summer with a nice big yard to play in. Living out of boxes is tough, especially with toddler who loves to unpack!


That's all on our home front! Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November Update

Earlier this week I received a phone call from Mary Free Bed, reminding me I had to schedule an appointment for Troy. I couldn't help but think, where has the last year gone? Our physician, Dr. Vandenberg has been on a six month sebatical and plans to return beginning of the year just in time for our annual check up. It's quite amazing the relationship we have created with Dr. Vandenberg. We have been through a lot with him. He has stuck with us through our every struggle in this journey. There were times where I wanted to drop kick him but he has really done so much in getting Troy to where he is today. For that, we are so grateful! 

As many of you know, Dr. Vandenberg didn't ever promise us Troy would go back as a journeyman electrican. In fact, he let us know many times that it may never happen. (That was one of those times drop kicking him sounded real good) Today, Troy has been working as a journeyman electrician for several months already. Even running the job at the new Golden Corral that is currently going up in Holland. I wish I could explain well enough for you to understand how much goes into a job like this. Many, many hours of planning and prints that just look like a a big headache to me. Doing this has been a dream of his for as long as I've known him. When he works he puts in 110% and still comes home frustrated he couldn't give 120%. This has been a huge growing experience for Troy; physically, emotionally, and mentally. I can't tell you how many days he has come completely overwhelmed and mentally spent. I often times have to remind him that his expectations are usually unrealistic for any normal person, let alone someone wth a TBI. He can be extremely hard on himself. He likes perfection and even more so, likes to make sure others see him as good enough as well. This leads to lots of long pep talks after work. I'm turning into quite the therapist over here :) 

As far as Troy goes in his recovery we have noticed huge gains even in the last year. One  thing Troy has struggled with is exhaustion which leads to twitching episodes. We seemed to find a fix for the tiredness by having him go on Concerta. That has been a major life saver for us. The twitching episodes are very sporadic and come and go throughout the day as they please. It seems to me the more tired he is, the worse his episodes are. However, they have improved greatly from what they were before. He has gone from full body twitching spasims to a hand twitch on occasion. What a relief to have that somewhat resolved! He is much more present at home after work now  a days. It was always tough having him go right for a nap when he got home when I wanted him to spend time with Brody and I, or take Brody off my hands for a bit. Troy is much more involved with life and it's so good to have that back. 

Since Troy's accident we have made it our mission to walk along side others who have to journey through this life experience of a TBI. We have met some pretty incredible people and what a huge blessing it has been to be able to share our story with others. This past August we introduced ourselves to a family who had just entered the TBI world. For some reason, this was differentt. I tried introducing myself to his wife but couldn't fight back the tears as all the emotions crept back in of how I felt after Troy's injury. There really are no good words to say and I knew that. I knew I had come to "help" but quickly realized I couldn't really help with anything at that time.  Since that day we have met up almost every week and really become good friends. I think as much I'm "helping" her, she is helping me. She knows and understands like no one else what I went through with Troy. It's so therapeutic talking with her because we both GET IT. I haven't had that and what a breath of fresh air it is to finally feel like I'm not alone in this. She holds a special place in my heart and I'm so very thankful for her! 

In other news, Brody is turning one this weekend. How this happened so quickly, I have not one clue. He has been the definition of a perfect baby. I would sit here and tell you every thing he does that makes him the perfect baby but we would be here for days. He is so happy and full of smiles everyday. Popping through teeth like they are nothin', 6 now and working on the 7th. I'm not sure I've ever seen a baby drool more than he does. My word! Buckets and buckets of drool! He loves playing tractors and has the truck noises down to a tee. He has been walking for a while now, his latest adventure is trying to run, mostly away from me. That had ended in many bumps and bruises. The kid is non stop, on the go. We hear a lot that he looks and acts a lot like Troy. Which couldn't be more true. Those two... I'm going to have my hands full later on in life with those mischievous boys! I'd like to say I see some resemblance of me in him too but so far, our mutual hate for vanilla yogurt is the only similarity. 





Drool 
Halloween 2016
Loves watching the wash.
Frosting!
Riding in the combine.

Checking out dad's job.
Mowing the lawn.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Psalm 23 
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

 This verse has gotten me through the most challenging days of my life. I find myself reciting it here and there when the tough days come. What a huge burden it lifts from my heart when I am once again reminded of Gods grace and abundance of love He carries for me. 

I came to this verse again tonight after a surprisingly tough recertification in my CPR training course. Note: I've taken this course many times, done actual CPR many times and yet tonight just brought it all back. As I sat in this class, watching "real" scenarios of emergencies/cardiac arrests in adults, children and infants I began having some much NOT needed flash backs of a night I rather not remember. Sinking into my seat, I began talking myself through every next breath. Seeing the reinactments of something I have experienced hit every possible emotion. That horrendous snoring sound that I wish every day to forget wouldn't get out of my head. The AED pads being places on his bare chest. It took everything in me to stay in that stupid chair. My heart hurt, so so badly remembering the events of that night. 

It's been a year and a half. There are days when it feels scabbed and left alone. Things such as this class scratch off that scab and expose the tender, sensitive skin hiding underneath. And gosh, does it ever hurt! 

Im still waiting for the day that it heals into a scar with a story that hurts a bit when bumped but for now it still stings. Even after all this time there are still firsts that hit my heart in ways I never thought possible. 

This journey of healing has been a roller coaster. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about it. I often wonder if it will ever go away. As much as I beg myself to forget the details I don't want to.

Life is unexpected and I'm learning day by day not to fear that. Easier said than done. But, as for today; I'm thankful for second chances, for grace in moments of weakness and for the peace He covers us in during life's battles.







Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New beginnings

Where to even start. 

First off, sorry for the lack of updates. I have been obsessively hanging out with my kid because well, I'm obsessed with him. I keep telling myself that I have to get it out of my system now before he is a teenager and wants absolutely nothing to do with me. But that won't actually happen because I'll be his best friend forever. 

Seriously though, if there was an award for best baby ever, Brody would get it. The kid is so laid back! Sometimes I feel something must be wrong with him. I woke up to him this morning pulling the blanket over his face and then laughing uncontrollably, at 10:15AM! I'm very seriously considering being done at one. Just kidding, but kind of not. 

Brody is 6 months old already, I don't know when or how that happened but it did and now I want to cry. I've always felt that as I've gotten older the years go by faster. But then you have a kid and it literally is like living life in fast forward mode. Someone press pause already, I feel like I'm missing everything!! 

He is just beginning to sit up on his own. However, when he gets excited he loves to throw himself backward. Lord knows we already have one too many head injuries in the family so mom/pillows  are always close behind. He has become a major chatter box. A lot of "dadada" which I very closely follow with "no, say mamama". This past Sunday, also Mother's Day, was the first time he said "mama" clear as day! In church, so the Lord and all His people as my witness! Best Mothers Day ever!!

He always sleeps through the night, has two teeth, has started on some baby food which he is getting the hang of. He puts everything in his mouth and chews on your fingers. Loves watching TV and listening to the Disney channel on Pandora. He giggles constantly and eats his toes. He's growing out of his clothes faster than I can buy them. His legs are forever long and none of his pjs fit his feet. He splashes all the water out of the tub during baths and pees in the tub every single time. He could not be more perfect. We just love him to pieces! 

As far as things go with Troy it's been quite, do I dare say? Uneventful. For the first time in a very very long time I feel like we have kind of reached our new "normal". At his last appointment he was let go of any lingering restrictions. He is back to being a Journeyman, working  10+ hours a day and some Saturday's. That's still a lot for him, as it would be anyone! There are some things that have stuck around like his twitching when he is tired. It's usually just his left hand that goes a little crazy. Whereas before it would be a whole body fiasco. He still has trouble word finding which can be quite entertaining. I find him more of a genius for the words he comes up with for certain things! Now I'm wishing I remembered some examples. And who is the one with the head injury? 

I have recently battled with the comparison game. What is different about Troy now? What do I miss about the old Troy? It really became quite consuming in my head. It was very frustrating for me not remembering how things used to be before the accident. I only remember the Troy now. Then I read a quote that put everything into perspective. "We never stay the same, head injury or not." I then began switching my train of thought. I'm 100% sure I'm not the same person I was before the accident. The following year was the hardest year to get through. I struggled with who I was and what my purpose was in life and really did some damage along the way. I pushed people under while I was trying to keep my head above water. 

Troy has also had a rough go of it trying to find his identity. He felt he no longer was good at the things that made him who he was. After an injury like that it's hard not to become your own worst enemy. You find faults in yourself that no one else sees and you hold onto them. In your mind your damaged. In everyone else's your a miracle. Were really working hard to hold eachother up in this journey. We have both come a long way but we also have a lot of areas that we can better ourselves and relationships! Our journey has been rough at times but I truly believe it has put us in a much better place and taught us so much! 


2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


On a lighter note. Look how cute our kid is. 










Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Love

It's incredible how we can harbor so much love for such a small person. The kind of love that literally oozes from every pore. No one can prepare you for the ridiculous amount of love you will feel for your children. A love unlike any other.

Becoming a mother has been the absolute biggest blessing of my entire life. I have always dreamed of the day I would welcome my own kids into this unpredictable world. There is no accomplishment greater for me, than my son. He is my world. Life has surely changed the last two months and although there are occasional sleepless nights and endless crying. I wouldn't change one single second. The moments seem to quickly slip away and time goes by too fast. One of my biggest regrets after Troys accident was not having enough pictures and videos that I could watch during those long days. I'm finding myself capturing as many moments as I can of our sweet boy. Each stage of life brings its excitement and challenges. I want to embrace them all as much as I can. 

Brody has been learning and growing so much the last two months. The thought of leaving him to go back to work soon makes me sick to my stomach. I want to spend every second with him so I can smoother his sweet cheeks with an abundance of kisses. 

He has been holding his head up, finding his voice by cooing and grunting, smiling, eating great (5 oz every 3-4 hours), kicking like crazy (future soccer player),  and sleeping great (most nights). We are beyond spoiled with such a well tempered little boy who has the personality of his daddy; easy going. Although the overload of snuggles has made him quite needy for mamas arms we still find a way to get things done around the house (thank the Lord for the ergo carrier). He loves listening to the Disney channel on Pandora and being sung too. 

He made his way to church for the first time on Christmas. Unfortunately he was born during the peak of cold and flu season. According to the pediatrician church and meijer are the big "no-goes" for newborns especially during the winter months. Being able to go on Christmas was an experience that meant more to me than I really thought it would. I quickly became aware that it is our responsibility as Brody's parents to introduce him to Jesus and to raise him to love and serve Him just as our parents have done. What a huge responsibility! I'm so grateful for the family I have to help guide him (and us) along on his journey of faith. 

His has his two month appointment coming up and to my knowledge, that means shots. My mom always told us "if I could take your pain away by having it for myself, I would". I completely understand now. There is nothing that hurts a mamas heart more than your babies hurting. Can't wait for the shots to be in the past! 

As for Troy. He has his second neuro pysch test scheduled at Mary Free Bed coming up February 3rd. Thankfully, we were scheduled with the same Doctor, Dr. Sara Strong (not the OBGYN:) ) this means it will be a shorter test! Six hour was way too long last time so we're grateful for that! It shouldn't take long before we can review the results with Dr. Vandenberg and we can see what the next step is. Troy and I are really hoping for good enough results that the doctor considers him going back to Journeyman status but we have learned patience is key and to not expect anything. Prayers would be appreciated for Troy in the weeks leading up to this test for him that his nerves calm and he is able to thinking clearly and concentrate. As always, we will keep you posted on the results of the test and any other happenings of the Bosch household. Hopefully there are few, we like to be low key and boring. We have had our share of excitement to last us a lifetime! 

A few pictures of our sweet boy, because how could I not? 
I could just eat him right up! 






Sunday, November 29, 2015

Brody Bosch


I've been a bit behind in updating. To my defense, life got a whole lot busier after multiple hospital stays  and then finally welcoming our son, Brody Lee into the world. Between nap time, feedings, diaper changings I found a blog wasn't high on my to do list. 

We will start with the more important topic; Brody! 

He was born on November 5 at 12:06 pm weighing in at 8lbs on the dot and 21 inches long. He is absolutely perfect. We couldn't imagine life without him. We are head over heals in love! 

After struggling with high blood pressure for a few weeks I started having symptoms of pre eclampsia and was induced on Tuesday, November 3. I had just been at the doctors office for my weekly non stress test and was told to go in for blood work. This happened to be a weekly occurrence and I was getting pretty sick of the overnight hospital stay to be monitored so I was happy when I thought I had talked them into just getting blood work done and heading home. Well, when I got home Troy was in a panic with bags packed saying we needed to go to the hospital to have a baby. I was a bit taken back because I didn't believe him, I thought he had his facts mixed up. But, I called in and sure enough they wanted me to come in ASAP. We finished packing our bags and headed in. I didn't have a whole lot of time to process everything so I was just rolling with it. 

As I walked into a room in labor and delivery the doctor was waiting. She said, "I don't really care what the lab work says, were getting this process started because were not going to chance it anymore." I was started on Pitocin and Magnesium Sulfate (aka worst drug ever). We were warned that the combination of these drugs sometimes makes the labor process longer. And they weren't lying! Wednesday morning came and so did the worst headache of my life. Never have I considered a head amputation but I did then. I was so miserable, nothing was helping and the doctors were giving me the free card for a c section. A c section wasn't my first option but I seriously considered it for a while. I thought, if I can just make it a few more hours maybe I'll feel better. I said that a lot and it never got better. They finally gave me a drug that knocked me out for the remainder of the day. Best sleep I have had probably, ever!

 That night they broke my water and not much longer after that the contractions really kicked in. Might I add, they are NOT as bad as they portray them in the movies. On the other hand , I may have been so sick of waiting I didn't care about the pain! One thing I had planned early on was getting that epidural. I ended up getting one later that night and that was a nightmare. Apparently the lady couldn't figure out the anatomy and poked 4 too many times. It's a good thing my contractions were as bad as they were and only a few choice words were said. I was one missed poke away from doing it all natural. A bruised and (still) sore back later she finally got it. 

Thursday morning came around and I was SO ready, I had been limited to only water and ice chips this entire time, since Tuesday. I was starting to have some crazy cravings which I had hardly any of throughout my whole pregnancy. Chinese and peachos were too be had as soon as this baby was out of me. I don't remember the whole time frame of Thursday but I didn't push for long and out came our beautiful baby boy. Seriously guys, best day of my life. If I could do it over again I would right now. For all you nervous, first time moms, enjoy it because it really is the more incredible, indescribable experience I've ever had. Poor Troy wasn't thrilled when I told him he was in trouble, I would have 12 kids if he let me :) 

Unfortunatly, with being a bit early he had some bilirubin issues and we ended up spending the first two weeks of his life on and out of the hospital. He also had a hard time eating at first. All has corrected, even his eating. He eats like his dad. He will eat until he pukes, stinker! 

Were adjusting to life at home great. Troy is so helpful and I can't imagine there being a more helpful guy. He has gone above and beyond to be the biggest supporter of both brody and I. Were so lucky and totally spoiled by his love. 


Introducing, the cutest little boy alive; Brody Bosch.