Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Almost Summer

Hello again, Friends! I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. We kept things pretty quiet around here. 

Just two weeks of classes left before Rachel is free for the summer, and we are all ready for that break. Rachel has done a great job of staying caught up in her classes, and her grades reflect her efforts. She'll be a Senior next year, and there will be more challenges, but we feel like she's more up to them now than she has been in years. Online education is definitely a good thing for her, and we don't regret making that change for her.

I am so happy to share that the donation thermometer took a big jump today, with donations received in the last few days which total over $600! The largest portion of that was an incredibly generous gift from my brother's girlfriend. We are so grateful to all of our donors for their support and friendship.

I apologize again for not keeping up to date with this blog the way I should, but there is so much going on here with our life, school, and family issues that it's been difficult. I'm hoping that once school is out I'll be able to devote much more time to both fundraising and updating. 

Rachel and I have made a commitment to my cousin's dog rescue, to help her out with some events this summer, so that will be another thing to keep up with, but definitely something we feel called to do. 

Thanks again for being here for us, just following along with our story, sharing our story, and giving support. You really are integral to our success, and we appreciate you all so much.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hoof In Mouth

Oy. It's been brought to my attention that in my last post, I made an unfortunate juxtaposition of statements, regarding donations received, immediately followed by us taking a short trip.

To be clear: Monies donated for Rachel's dog, either directly to Paws, or to our Paypal account, are never, ever used by our family, for anything other than Rachel's dog. We can't access money sent to her Paws account, and any checks or cash given to us directly is almost immediately donated to Paws by us.

Many of you don't know us personally, so don't know what we're really like, but there is no way in the world we would ever do anything to risk Rachel's chances of getting her Seizure Response Dog in a timely manner, and it would just be skeevy to use money donated for the purpose to take a trip to the coast.

I am embarrassed now, and sort of feel guilty for taking that little trip, but it was a special occasion, and we really don't ever spend money on ourselves. I hope this hasn't turned you off completely to our cause. We've been so fortunate to have so many people who support us, and would never intentionally do anything to destroy your faith in our mission.


Oregon Short Break

I'd like to thank everyone who chimed in on the topic of how much is appropriate to share regarding Rachel's panic attacks. We've discussed the topic with Rachel, and she assures us that she's very comfortable sharing her experience, as long we don't share 'gory details'. She's a wonderful advocate, and feels it's important to let others know what she lives with, as a way of letting those who live with anxiety know that they are not alone.

Since our last update, we've received a couple of donations, and took a little 3 day trip to the Southern Oregon coast. We don't really take vacations anymore (who can afford it?), but we love experiencing what Oregon has to offer, and can usually cover quite a bit of ground in just a few days.

We made our way to Bandon, making stops at a few places I've always wanted to see, including Shore Acres State Park. This is a photo of Rachel next to the pond...

We also visited West Coast Game Park, and the beautiful beaches at Bandon, investigating the tide pools at low tide, and finding lots of wonderful sea stars...

We came home with lots of pictures, cool rocks, and wonderful memories of a great family weekend. It was technically the celebration of Brett and Kelly's 25th anniversary, and Rachel had volunteered to stay home with her Aunt and Grandmother, but we really enjoy her company, and if she didn't travel with us we would just worry about her the whole time, and that's no fun.

So, there's not really much that's new, and that's just fine. No news is good news sometimes. -Kelly

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How Much Is Too Much To Share?

With this post, I'm requesting input from our readers. I generally try and keep things fairly light, and mainly talk about things like the fundraising, and the more serious seizure activity, but Rachel also lives with what was once a very debilitating panic disorder and it still rears its ugly head on occasion.

For example, yesterday she was having some trouble with one of the metal bands she has on a molar, used to anchor her braces and future appliances. We made a quick trip to the orthodontist to have it checked out, and he found that there was some bit of food stuck up in the gum, which couldn't get out on its own because of the band. He had to use a tool to dig up in there just a bit, which was painful, and caused Rachel to have a panic attack.

Now, there are some pretty specific and detailed things that go along with one of these attacks, and they're not terribly glamorous. Fortunately, this one wasn't as bad as some she's had in the past, and was over in about 5 minutes with the help of some meds I carry with me at all times. We both felt bad for the orthodontist, who kept offering water, juice and treats. Rachel bounced right back, but he may be scarred for awhile.

There was a time, just a year or so ago, that she couldn't go into a large store without having a panic attack, and needing to leave immediately, or have a full meltdown right in the store. I can't tell you how many times I had to leave a cart full of groceries, or only pick up the most needed things, just so we could get out of the store quickly.

I guess my question is how much detail do you want about these things that Rachel lives with? Are you at all interested in what it's really like for her when she has a seizure and/or panic attack, as they do often go hand in hand? We very much appreciate your interest in our blog, and your continued support for our efforts, but wonder just how much you really want to know about our life, and Rachel's conditions.

We know that the dog she'll be getting will be trained to respond to the seizures, and we hope that it will also be a comfort to her, and her anxiety will be reduced, but there's no guarantee of that, of course.

All comments are moderated, and I won't post yours if you request that I not, but I would very much appreciate your input on these matters. As always, thanks so much for your caring and support.:)