fear on the horizon

In ALL, ILLNESS, SNIPS & SNAILS by Stephanie Klein51 Comments

When it’s me at the doctor, for my own body, if there’s any bad news strung in with hope, I’ll cling to the bad, certain I’ll meet my doom.  But when I left Lucas’s neurosurgeon’s office, every warning about the possibilities of what might happen, or could happen, was pretty much ignored.  One in ten kids with hydrocephalus might get epilepsy.  Not Lucas, I thought.  Most continue to live completely normal lives, and he’ll most likely be able to do exactly what any other kid can do.  He’ll graduate from college.  These are the things I heard.  He just won’t be able to play football, hockey, or wrestling.  No contact sports.  No boxing or karate.  No kicks to the head.  "So I guess that means he can never get in a fight," Phil says to me later.  "I mean, that sucks.  I don’t care that he’ll miss out on some organized sport, but guys roughhouse.  And it’s going to be up to him at some point to choose to be left out." 
"Yeah, if that’s the worst of our problems, we’re doing fine," I say.  "And we have years to figure out how to handle it.  In the meantime, he’ll get tennis lessons."  And there’s always basketball, soccer, track, swimming, baseball, and golf.  "He can do ballet," the neurosurgeon says.

The soft spot on the top of his head, his fontanelle, is quite small.  It’s still there.  The bone has not yet fused together, but I ask what this means.  "It’s not good.  It’s not bad.  Every kid is different. It doesn’t mean anything."  Yes, but the neurosurgeon we saw in the ER the other day said it was a sign that Lucas couldn’t have been suffering with this for very long.  If he had, the fontanelle would have grown bigger to accommodate for his expanding brain as it filled with fluid.  "Yes, that’s true."  So that is a good sign.  It means this was sudden and we caught it early.  But no one really confirms this; it’s just what I take away with me. 

We looked at the comparative cat scans and x-rays of the shunt, which were all very encouraging.  Lucas is out of immediate danger, so long as his shunt doesn’t malfunction or get infected.  It takes months for the size of the ventricles to decrease, but they already are (albeit slowly).  The doctor checked Lucas’s tone, his muscles at rest to see if they are rigid or too relaxed, and it was fine.  All good signs.  The jerking movements, the neurosurgeon says, might have to do with the decrease in pressure of his brain.  That she’s not concerned right now about them.  We’ve scheduled an MRI for Lucas before our next follow-up visit, in a month.  We’re going to see our pediatrician then see a neurologist.  They suggest waiting a bit though, a week or so.  But I don’t want to wait.  Phil has me in a panic.  He’s researched and googled and thinks Lucas has infantile spasms, which ain’t good.  But Phil’s no doctor, thank God, and no one has mentioned this possibility to us yet.  I hate self-diagnosing.  So now we have to check this out, by hopefully getting to a neurologist soon.  I want to take Lucas to a neurologist in the next day or so, if only for my own piece of mind.  I hate being this concerned, this frightened.  Phil tells me there’s a 75% chance of mental retardation linked with infantile spasms, which of course leaves me beside myself.  And no one has even told us Lucas has this!  Though when I read the symptoms, it does sound exactly like what Lucas has:

The initial manifestation may just be a minor twitch of a single limb or eye. However, there are often associated symptoms. Many children who develop infantile spasms also have feeding difficulties and develop reflux. (This would explain his recent vomiting while eating). Arching backwards while feeding is an indicator for infantile spasms. (He doesn’t do this).  Many children who develop infantile spasms also have sight difficulties, and failure to focus and track visually is another indicator.  (He actually can focus and does visually track).

They say the onset of myoclonic spasms happens between 4-8 months, which is where we are now.  And it all makes me ill.  I want answers. I want them to rule things out.  To tell me even if that is what Lucas has, that it’s the second kind of myoclonic spasm, "the twitching of one or     more muscles, associated with a spike wave EEG. This is usually     associated with various benign epilepsy syndromes – benign myoclonic     epilepsy of infancy, juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, etc. Children usually     grow out of these forms of epilepsy, with little or no ill effects."

I need to calm down and take things as they come.  But this panic doesn’t just go away with each appointment.  There is always a new fear on the horizon. 

And I hate that once upon a pregnancy ago, I titled this category "babies on the brain." 

Comments

  1. Oh, Stephanie.

    I feel for you. A wise woman once said to me while I was in the middle of it, "Sometimes the worst thing *doesn't* happen." Cling on to hope!

  2. Stephanie – one of my closest friend's brother has hydrocephalus and other than having his shunt replaced as he grew (and boy did he grow – he's now 6'5!) and some trouble with headaches, he has led a comlpetely "normal" life. He is now 35, the executive chef at a hotal in Victoria and welcomed his own baby boy into the world last March.

    Sending you all happy thoughts

  3. I am so glad that Lucas is showing good signs and that you are feeling positive. Go to the neurologist quickly, it will further ease your mind. Getting good medical care and staying on top of doctor visits is the first step to managing all of your recently-learned information about hydrocephalus.

    Sending more positive thoughts your way.

  4. Self diagnosing SUCKS! You should know that in the past year & a half since my divorce I have had MS, ovarian cancer, lymphoma & IBS…without actually having any of them. "It's just stress" they say after a battery of tests.

    Even more relevent:

    My youngest has 3 cafe au lait spots on her body. They are light brownish "birth marks" that develope AFTER birth. What does that mean? Well, it could mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING at all or it could mean NEUROFIBROMATOSIS.

    "So how do we find out?"

    "Can't. There is no test. It's a wait and see thing."

    Stephanie, trust me when i tell you that I am not a wait and see kind of gal. I've been beside myself for months now.

    I so get what you're going through.

  5. Oh, do I know the feeling. If I could take every ounce of pain, every moment of hurt, every twinge that caused discomfort for my babies and heap it upon myself, I would without hesitation. I would lay down my life to save them.

    That being said – I can't. You can't either. But you can do what you're doing, loving him every moment of every day, and you're doing a great job. He's going to be amazing – it's wonderful that he can't play football or get kicked in the head. My sweet boy is almost 17 and I can say gratefully that he's never been in a fistfight. Men don't have to batter one another to be manly.

    Google is a blessing and a curse – too much information is a terrifying thing – especially diagnosing things from the web. Not what you need right now.

    It sounds like all the signs are positive, that he's responding well to treatment – that the courage and strength from around the world is helping.

    I'm sending some more.

  6. I'm praying for you and you family Stephanie,i wont say dont worry because you will but just know there is somene out there who doesnt even know you who will include you in her nightly prayers,be thankful you are so aware of your kids, be thankful for Phil and know that Abigail is pulling for her twin. Love, Jennifer

  7. Remember at the beginning of your post when you said you try to ignore the negatives? That was what your gut told you, so try to go back there. The internet is a good source for helping you raise questions, but don't let it send you into a panic. Everything you read about medical ailments on the internet is worse case scenario. It sounds to me like Lucas is reacting like a champ. Believe in his strength and everything should be fine. Deep breaths.

  8. Your instinct is what spotted symptoms in the beginning of his illness. Your instinct, when you left the doctor's office, that Lucas will pull through this will also prove correct.

    Invite your fans to his high school tennis matches.

  9. I hate those panicky feelings. I am so sorry that you two have to deal with this. You have every reason to feel anxious but please don't let it overtake your life. Thanks for the update.

  10. First of all, take a DEEP breath. And then, go and ask your doctor directly about the spasms. If you get a clear answer, it might help you to feel better about it all.

    Google, WebMD, and various other sources of self-diagnosis are never a good idea. I had myself convinced I was minutes from miscarriage earlier this week doing the same thing. In the end I was (and remain) just fine.

    So go – ask a doctor that you trust and go from there.

  11. Honestly, you are the mom and you SHOULD be questioning doctors. They are not infallible. Whether it means seeking second, third or fourth opinions, self diagnosing, research, etc. That is the smart and prudent thing to do. Don't feel like your freaking out about every little thing! You guys are doing all the right things!! Sending our prayers from NY.

  12. Someone once told me "Fear is a Liar".

    I believe it, and repeat it often.

    So happy to hear Lucas is doing better.

    God bless, Steph.

    B.

  13. I am just catching up on the last few posts and am so glad you called out that dreadful 'Holland' poster, as well as the other posters with heavy handed advice and idiotic stories. What good is a blog for if you can't exorcise your anger by flaming provocative commenters? Holland indeed…

    On a more serious note, I'm keeping Lucas in my prayers.

  14. So I'm at work, which sucks, but I have a great view of a 14,000 foot mountain and as I look at it, I'm sending supportive thoughts to you, your family but mostly to Lucas [or Luc ;)] It's a kind of Rocky Mountain version of wishing upon a star. For some reason I think it works. So here I go again
    "get well little lucas… get well little lucas… get well little lucas… get well…"

  15. I don't think you should wait to try and get in to see a neurologist. Not because I think anything is wrong, but getting in to see a neurologist could take more time, meaning it's not always easy to get in right away. I would at least call around to see how booked out appointments are. And ASK Questions! Always! Make a list when you are at home and bring that list with you. I always forget crap when I am actually sitting in the dr. office…

    Sending you strength. I know it's super hard.

    FROM STEPHANIE: We're on it, putting calls in. And we always go with a list of our questions, always. Thanks.

  16. I wish I knew a pedi neuro there. I could get you into Weill Cornell here, but that isn't exactly helpful. Unless I call the Weill people and make them call someone there. Hmmmm….

    Keep us updated.

  17. I haven't been following your blog very long, but I just wanted you send you some good thoughts. I'm a speech therapist that works with kids, and I've encountered a lot of kids who had hydrocephalus that have turned out great. The fact that he's able to focus and visually track is a great sign. Besides, playing football is overrated:P

  18. You might also try sending detailed faxes to the doctors you want to see. I find that I get a much faster response that way than when I simply leave messages.

  19. wishing the best for you and lucas. wanted to say two things- 1. i work at an epilepsy center and there are so many people who are living with and thriving despite epilepsy. i would make an appt with a pediatric epileptologist who will have the most experience with seeing different manifestations of epilepsy in children and know what to look for. 2. check out the show "little people, big world" on tlc. one of the sons (zachary i believe) is a dwarf and needed a shunt to deal with symptoms of dwarfism. he is on the soccer team and is living a full healthy life.

  20. no, no, no. i don't think he'll have mental retardation. it looks as though he is responding so well to other things, such as the tracking, muscle development, etc. as i said in an earler post, my daughter had the spasms too. and she's seven years and doing really well now.

    i know how the waiting feels. her neurologist told us when she was about 18 months that she may have spinal muscular atrophy. she had blook taken, the only place they run the test is boston, and takes six weeks to get back. not fun. but she didn't have it, and is ok, just as your sweet boy will be.

  21. Stephanie,
    It's GREAT to hear that Lucas is already responding positively to the shunt. Awesome news on that. And, I agree with two other things people who've commented have said: Self-diagnosing can make yourself crazy *AND* keeping your list of self-diagnoses and making sure to bring them up with the neuro is DEFINITELY the way to go. A few months ago, I got some spots on the back of my throat and went to see the doc. He tested me for strep and asked if I thought it might be mono, which had never occurred to me. I said, "No way…I'm married and not off kissing jr. high boys!" A week later, I was so fatigued that I went back in and got the blood test and it turns out it WAS mono. But then, I stopped being able to grip things tightly and I started tingling in my hands. If you look up those symptoms in WebMD or Google, you'll come up with MS or ALS. So, back in for more tests…–and it ruled all of them out–. Such a load off of my mind, but I know that fear/anxiety you're feeling when you just don't know.

    So, since you've already done the research and you know what's out there, you're definitely being smart by asking about the infantile spasms. It never hurts to ask MORE questions of a doc. They can help put your mind at ease by running the tests and noodling on it themselves. And, overall, that will help YOU guys get through this time of fear and expectation that something else might go wrong.

    On my end, though, I will be sending lots of thoughts your way and just *feel* it that nothing else is going to pop up and Lucas is going to lead a healthy, happy life going forward, along with his happy, healthy sis!

  22. ay yi yi!
    i don't even know you and i have checked your blog like five times today for an update. and now finally. give him lots of hugs and try to get by between appointments. stay off the internet and preserve your optimism–otherwise he WILL know you are worried for him.

    good luck! and good thoughts comin' to you all the way from london!!!

  23. The dreadful holland poster was awakened early one morning several years ago to go to the hospital. the dreadful woman's niece had a brain tumor.

    the dreadful woman sat as her sister called their father, "dad, they think sam has a brain tumor". the dreadful woman had to think of something to say to her sister after that conversation.

    the dreadful womans niece had the tumor removed, and after the surgery had communicating hydrocephalus, which required a shunt.
    the holland woman saw her tiny, ten year old niece getting spinal taps, scars, a burr hole drilled in her head, her younger brother so scared, he bust out crying in the waiting room.
    the holland woman had to think of something to say to him too, what words can you say. Do you know, T?
    can you find the Hallmark card that covers "gee sorry your kid might die?"
    The dreadful, provocative commenter (btw, t, is your name biff, blake or fifi?) sees her niece going in the hospital too many times to remember because of her shunt.
    people arent meant to have a piece of plastic in them.
    the shunt drains too much, not enough, gets infected.
    the holland womans niece is rushed to the ER, almost died from septic shock.

    the holland womans niece cant go on roller coasters, usually cant even go to school because of the headaches.
    the holland woman learns a foreign language (her fourth). she learns CSF, diabetes insipidus, cortef, spinal lumbar puncture, craniopharyngioma, rathkes pouch cyst.

    the holland woman sees her niece have over 30 surgeries in three years.
    the holland woman sees lucas is getting a shunt. she knows that this is a high maintenance device. she knows as lucas grows there will be surgeries, concerns most other parents dont have to worry about.

    she sends the story, with these exact words.

    hi stephanie. my niece has a shunt. it has caused her alot of problems. one boy she sees in the hospital has had hundreds of surgeries for his shunt. I dont mean to discourage you, but its something we have been living with for over three years now.
    she has learned to make fun of it, she even has replaced the words of a rap song to be about her shunt.

    i am sending this, which i see alot on sites about kids with medical complications in their lives..

    people read it and tell her to fuck off. people read it and assume she is verbally consigning a baby to a life of autism, retardation, sitting in a wheelchair.

    if you just read what she wrote, this dreadful holland woman, she said its because her niece has a shunt. not because shes retarded, autistic, has a disability.
    the question, after all of this, is why is it so easy to hate? why are people always so eager to jump the fuck all over someone else? why is it always so easy to get people worked up into a frenzy about blaming someone else?
    do you people log onto this site, looking for someone to rag on?

    all of you , unless you have been in her shoes, are nothing more than tourists in this –so get off my fucking back already. you dont know what you're talking about.

    The dreadful holland woman.
    BTW stephanie, if i upset you , that was not what i intended. i had no clue people were going to read into that passage the things that they did.
    i cant control how people interpret things.

    as for all the haters out there, i do know what to say to you. GET A LIFE!!!

    FROM STEPHANIE: First, I know you were only trying to comfort me, so thank you. Seeing "mental retardation" and a story about accepting life as a caregiver to a disabled child, isn't something I'm ready to deal with yet. When someone tells me that's the case, then I'll love the Holland story, but right now, it raises my anxiety. It doesn't soothe or comfort me. I'm sure you can understand that. I'm sorry, too, for what you've had to witness and endure.

  24. While you're fretting over calling this section Babies on the brain…I'm thinking to myself…and hmm…I mentioned just a few posts ago that soon this would all be behind you and you'd be watching him win a golf tournament or something. odd. But not Karma. nothing the psychic hotline would even charge to the phone lines.

    Don't second guess ANYTHING, or read into ANYTHING. Just hold on to the positive outcomes and scenarios they have given you! Every kid is different, and we already know one undisputable fact. Lucas, is a fighter, from the get go. You gave him that strong spirit, and thats a great thing to have in his corner :)

  25. what a mess stephanie. i was sending that passage about the shunt. i thought my intro would have made that clear. the italy/holland metaphor does describe my niece's situation, our familys situation. You dont have to be retareded or disabled to end up somewhere you never thought you'd be, which in her case, is the hospital, alot of the time.

    i'm so sorry thinking i could have made you feel worse, it makes my stomach hurt. i love your sweet little babies as much as any stranger can, like i said a while ago,i am an abigail/lucas junkie, just signing on looking for pictures of them.

    you have to find something that works for you stephanie, to keep the what ifs at bay.

    what works for me and my son is so simple– its BT. at the end of the day, if i have BT, i can make it.

    That means Breathing and Together. As long as he and i are Breathing and Together, everything is 90% ok.
    and i can live with that.
    that might sound stupid but it works for me. you will have to find something that will work the same for you.

    BTW, you dont have to post this if you dont want. Its just for you.

    Find other people in this situation, also this will help lucas to meet other kids (as he gets older) who know what its like living with a shunt.

    God bless you and your family, and i'll be praying for your chubby cheeked angel.

  26. to good_vibes-to see someone in London using ay yi yi-definetely put a smile on my face while reading comments..
    to Stephanie, continued prayers going your way from Pflugerville..

  27. Being proactive and not taking the first answer you get is the best thing you can do. You're not overreacting – you're being a parent.

    Personally, It took me almost fifteen years before a doctor took me seriously regarding my own medical situation.

    And as an observer, my brother and his wife did not take the first doctor's advice that everything was fine with my nephew. They fought for a doctor who actually listened and it made all the difference.

    In a scary medical situation go with your instinct. Find a doctor you click with……….it will help with everything.

    I'm glad things are going better with Lucas.

    Can I send you some comfort goodies from New York? Say the word and they'll be on their way!

  28. Best advice I got from my doctors at Stanford was 1.DON'T EVER GOOGLE medical conditions. 2. Always ask as many questions as you want 3. Follow your instincts. You know what's going on.
    We're going through endocrine problems with my two year old. I've been wracking my brain looking for signs that this was coming on sooner. Helpless and overly anxious is what I'm feeling. We'll get through it though.

  29. I just re-read the Holland post and it wasn't that bad, quite sweet almost, because life doesn't always turn out the way we expect it to.

    On the other hand, we come here to sort of have a conversation, a blog is a dialogue. There are some things we just can't say to people, even if we are right, want them to open their eyes, or whatever. I am not thinking about the bean in that context, just stuff generally, we have to show some sensitivity don't we; to our friends, family, bloggers?

    To do so is just too unkind. Holland is lovely but Stephanie is still en route for Italy.

  30. Thinking of you . . . I caught up on all of these just yesterday and now keep checking in for updates. This latest one does sound very positive, hoping for more and more good news for your family. You are doing a great job, hang in there.

  31. Sudden vomiting is also a sign of increased intracranial pressure so that may stop now that he has the shunt. Also, lots of kids have reflux and do not have infantile spasms. Don't trust the internet, it exists only to create doubt.

    Also, I used to work on an adult neurosurgery floor and have had patients with long-term shunts who were just fine.

  32. Hi Stephanie. I've spent the last hour reading your blog. I am praying for you and Lucas and Phil and Abigail. Keep talking to God. Keep praying. It's gonna be fine. You look beautiful. Lucas is going to be fine. Ask everyone on your blog to pray for Lucas and think happy thoughts, and send him lots of love and energy every day for an hour. I'll do the same. FIRE THE GRID. It's Shelley Yates. You can watch her on youtube.

  33. Also, I would change the subject heading: FEAR ON THE HORIZON and change it to something else. There is only love and healing on the horizon. Stay positive. There are no bad things on the horizon, only good things. Stay happy and energetic for Lucas. And I'll do the same. Best wishes, Lisa

  34. Wow, you are dealing with so much. I can't imagine anything to say to convey all the thoughts of care, concern and hope for you, Phil, Abigail and Lucas. I always thought you lived such a charmed life with things working out great for you in such a short time but even the charmed are human and deal with life's challenges. take care.

  35. I am a long time reader, but due to some of my own personal problems haven't been able to read in some time. Now that I'm caught up on the current situation, I wanted to extend my thoughts and prayers to you, Phil, Lucas and Abigail.

    The road ahead will be a rocky one for sure, but you and Phil seem to have a good head on your shoulders and will, I'm sure, know more about HCP than anyone.

    Having worked for a very prestigious neuro institute (Barrow in Phoenix) for over 9 years, I have seen many children and adults come and go with this affliction and most lead incredibly normal lives, just with this one minor bump. And they all adjust very well. I know that isn't much comfort for you right now, but I thought it would help to know how many people actually lead very normal, happy lives.

    Here's hoping things improve quickly for your family. :)

  36. Thinking of you. Don't Google right now. You will end up terrifying yourself. Go with your instincts and go with your gut. Everything is going to be alright, it may take hard work and more reilience than anyone should have to have, but everything wil be alright. I am sending you all good thoughts and hopes and prayers for your little one.

  37. Oh, I'm so glad he's showing signs of recovery, Stephanie. SO glad.

    Someone's already said it, but it's worth repeating for both you and Phil – after a certain point, researching the possibilities is only going to freak you out further. Don't do that to yourself. You're worried enough with what you know for sure.

    Still praying for you all.

  38. "And I hate that once upon a pregnancy ago, I titled this category "babies on the brain." Well I can't believe I immediately thought that when you first told your readers about Lucas. I so understand how easy it is to say keep going with your gut. Not the google. More love and wishes to you from Huntington, LI.

  39. I am so sorry your family is going through this. My son who is now six, starting having small twitchy seizures when he was about four months old. Right after he one (it happened while he was nursing and falling asleep) we called his pediatrician who did bloodwork immediately, they also sent him to a pediatric neurologist. They hooked him up to multiple leads all over his head and did a bunch of tests. He was diagnosed with benign neonatal sleep myoclonus, basically he had seizures in between different stages of sleep. We were told most babies out grew this by the time they are one, and he did. It was terrible and frightening and I was worried he wouldn't outgrow it because they would have to medicate him, but he did. So I truly hope your son has something like this that is benign and he will outgrow it. And my other son was born with a deformed tear duct (sounds minor I know but his surgery was extreme in that they moved cartiledge around from both sides of nose) and had surgery at one year of age. He has a plastic tube that is not doing much good and we were told they probably will have to put a glass tube in there, so no contact sports for him either!! But truly I could care less if he is healthy. I hope all will be well for your family!!!

  40. You probably don't need another inspiring story, but in case you do: a friend of mine was kicked in the head by a horse when he was a toddler. His parents were told by the doctors that there was only a 50% chance of his living; he might be paralysed; and that they would have to just wait and see. When it became clear that he was going to survive, the doctors banned him from all contact sports. Wisely, or unwisely, he now boxes for Oxford. I'm sure there's a moral in here somewhere….

  41. I'm catching up on the last few posts and can only offer my continued hopeful thoughts for you and your family. Things will get better.

    Regarding Dr Google: dangerous. But it's also useful to do your own research, rather than blindly trusting that the doctors have thought of everything. If anything it probably makes you feel like you have a little more control. If it's possible, try not to use what you find on the internet to diagnose – instead, bring it up to the doctors and have them explain to you why it doesn't apply. You'll be reassured when they address your concerns, and you'll also feel better that at least you raised the issue, it's been considered, it's out there. Hard not to let it worry you, though. I know.

    Regarding Holland: those of you who attacked the original poster should feel ashamed.

    I've seen the story before, in various contexts, and I found it appropriate here, although I can also see how it might not be a comfort to Stephanie. But why all the vitriol from commenters? The point of the story was only to say how when you find yourself in a situation that is less than the ideal one you had envisioned (e.g., one day, instead of the relatively peaceful, happy, healthy life you've been living you are instead suddenly facing the challenge of a loved one dealing with medical issues), it can be helpful to focus on the positives, instead of framing it in terms of the "lost" ideal. Stephanie's reaction to the story was totally valid – but those comments attacking the woman who reached out, shared her own obviously painful experiences, in an effort to share something that HELPED HER IN A SIMILAR SITUATION… that was just plain awful to read.

  42. To Jennifer C – Although maybe not appropriate for Stephanie, the Holland story was sweet and I am sure has comforted many. I will always remember it. Thanks.

  43. i thought the holland post was lovely- and to be honest before i completely finished it, i thought it was about motherhood in general…

    as a mother of a 9 month old boy i can relate to it just in that motherhood is never what you expect, and cannot be perfectly planned for.

    the idea of strangers 'screaming' at strangers for advice they themselves are giving to a complete stranger borders on hilarious.

    i'm sure lucas will be fine. and if he's not – i have a feeling you'll love him just as much anyway. sometimes children who are 'special' are the ones who bring out the best in the world…

  44. Dear Stephanie,
    Kathi from LI here; I want you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Nothing is more agonizing than when our babies are hurting in any way … as a fellow and as one of your "online fans," I want you to know you will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

    Keep on posting and sharing with us — know that there are so many of us who truly care.

    Blessings to the four of you,
    Kathi

  45. Stephanie,
    Hugs and prayers to you Phil and the beans, especially Lucas with all that you are going through. I am so sorry to hear about what you are experiencing right now. Words can only provide a certain amount of comfort. I was away with my 3 sons and husband for a while and just caught up last night on your blog and I just wanted to reach out and give you a hug when I read the latest. Pleasel let your family come and comfort you, help you through this, be there physically to support you. You and Phil need them now, more than ever. Continued prayers for all of you. Some how, some way, you will make it through this.

  46. I hope you all are doing better today.
    I'm almost afraid to post this because people might attack…but if you need a little diversion from the google searching (a very bad thing), check out this photography site. Their stuff is amazing.

  47. It seems like business is still getting hit hard. Is anybody seeing an upswing in their respective niches? Health reform seems like a mess. I generate long term care insurance leads and annuity leads for the insurance industry, but volume has been terrible in the last two months. I am afraid the worst is yet to come, but maybe it is just my attitude.

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