Standing for my Faith, my Family, my Freedom


Friday Flyer

Friday FlyerMabel had her spay surgery yesterday. She’s doing well. So far we haven’t needed the cone of shame.

Mabel surgery 4.10.14


Rounding and Estimating

Although my 12 year old daughter’s functional challenge is a mixed expressive/receptive language disorder, in school it is math that is her biggest challenge. While progress is being made – quite well in many math functions – the two “messy” math functions of rounding and estimating are an ongoing source of struggle for her.

My daughter is a very literal and concrete type of thinker. Gray areas and fuzzy numbers seem useless to her in the subject of math. If I say to her “we need ‘about’ 5 cups of water”, the word “about” will confound her every time. In her mind, we either need 5 cups or we need 4 or 6 and we should be precise.

As for the concept of estimating how many, that is even less precise and less understood by my daughter. To look at a picture of balloons in a bunch and asked to estimate how many, will befuddle her every time. “Mom, why can’t I just count them and tell you for sure how many?”. She can figure out the perimeter of a room or calculate linear inches, jellybeansbut she can’t begin to estimate how many jelly beans are in the jar at the dime store.

With the concept of rounding, I think we made some progress yesterday when I introduced a “team concept” to her …. number 1, 2, 3, 4 are on “Team Down” and “5, 6, 7, 8, 9″ are on “Team Up”.

As for estimating, I am as befuddled as she is with how to teach this fuzzy concept to her. I suppose that is why I have never entered a “guess how many” contest.

Recommendations and teaching concepts would be most appreciated.



Journey to darkness?

In November 2012 I wrote about a new problem in my vision that would likely take up to 2 years to improve. Here’s a quick synopsis:

  • Detached retina in 2004
  • Cataract (result of the retina surgery in 2004) in 2006
  • Shadows but decent vision from 2006 to 2012
  • Sparkles and blurriness in 2012
  • Central Retinal Vein Occlusion – 2012
  • Two ophthalmologists “assumed” the CRVO caused by high blood pressure and diabetes (they actually said to me “it’s because of your high BP and diabetes”) without any testing or checking medical records. I have neither.
  • CRVO related to autoimmune disorder and possibly made more likely because of the detachment and scleral buckle placed around my eye in 2004.
  • Monthly visits with ophthalmologist 3 hours away since November 2012.
  • New tears in the retina in the other eye. Retina holes and tears were the precursor to my detachment in 2004. People who are myopic (nearsighted) are much more likely to have retinal tears, holes, and detachments. I have been myopic since I was a little kid (glasses at age 8, but likely needed much before that). Tears being lasered and monitored.
  • Floaters in one eye from the tears. No improvement in the other eye. Doc said there may be nothing that can be done.

So that brings you up to today. I have fluctuated between learning to manage, being afraid, and being angry at docs for treating patients like cattle and running everyone through the same process and identical treatments no matter what. I will see my doc in a few weeks, but will be mailing him some information I found from a doctor at the University of Iowa who after 30 years of research recommends against many of the standard (cookie-cutter) methods being used today to treat CRVO. This doctor also found that there is a group of patients who have considerable visual improvement through ongoing use of oral Prednisone. Reducing permanent changes/damage to the macula while the CRVO runs its course. The University of Iowa doctor found that patients who responded positively to the oral steroids would see improvement almost immediately and if there was none, he would stop the steroids after two weeks.

I’m going to ask my doctor if we can give the Prednisone a try. If he says “no”, I am unsure what I will do. Living where we do, we are so isolated from easy access to choices for medical specialists. Having my husbands elderly parents still living in our house does not make travel any easier (or cheaper as we must pay for sitters for them every time we go anywhere …. with both at different stages of alzheimers, I cannot begin to tell you how miserable my home has become over the last 14 months).

Though it has been a very long winter, I now find myself dreading days of sunshine as I am unable to see much of anything in such bright light. So far, I have not found sunglasses that can help me function in the sun without looking like an 80 year old who just had cataract surgery. I withdraw more and more as I struggle with all of these things.

2nd Corinthians 4:6 – For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.


Spring Flowers 2014

I recently added a lesson about flower identification to Hannah’s schoolwork, which has been part of our quest for Spring this year. Hannah loves to draw, so I found her an app called How to Draw: Flowers. Here are her first attempts (she drew these on her tablet):

We hope that we may find some real flowers growing outside soon, but until then, Hannah is enjoying learning about and how to draw flowers.



Remembering Nell-Dog

It is hard for me to believe that today marks one year since our precious Sussex Spaniel Nell, left us unexpectedly at the age of 13 1/2. She was only with us for 5 1/2 of those years, but I do think they were her best years.

Despite all that Nell had been through before she came to us, she was the sweetest, most patient dog. She was never cross. Her favorite thing was to lay across my legs and have her nose petted. 

I will always miss the Nell-dog (who we also referred to as our “brown-dog” and our “chocolate-dog”), and I will always be grateful that we were so fortunate to have her as part of our family. When we returned home without Nell, I was looking through pictures of her on my computer and listening to the following song – it’s called A Song for Rome, but I call it A Song for Nell. 

We all miss you and love you Nell-Dog … OneMom

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