The Good With the Bad

      I promise you I've been meaning to post. I thought once Joseph came home life would slow down. Why I thought that, I'll never know. Two kids are no joke. 

      Since I titled this post, The Good With the Bad, I must start with the good. While life at home has certainly been chaotic, it has also been super wonderful. We enjoyed the little things like our first official walk as a family. 

And our first trip to Moweaqua. 




We've been on many adventures. 

Played hard. 




And celebrated many holidays. 

But best of all, he has enjoyed hanging out with his sister. (most of the time) 




Life has been very good to our family. 


           Joseph has made some amazing progress. He is walking, eating solid foods, and off of his ventilator during the day. Basically, he's a stud. 


          We have a sleep study in the summer which will determine if he can go without the ventilator at night as well. Things are going very well for us thanks to all of you. You all have sent your prayers and well wishes. You searched high and low for us when we needed nursing. I wish I could hug all of you, I really do. You'll never know how much I appreciate your kindness. 

         Now the bad. As many of you know, on December 20, 2016, my mother suffered a severe brain stem  stroke that was caused by her blood disorder.  She had gone into the hospital on the the 18th. They thought they had the clots under control. I talked to her on the 20th as I was closing my classroom down for Christmas break. We were relieved that she didn't have any permanent damage and that she was going to be released before Christmas and that we wouldn't have to spend another Christmas in a hospital. It is now a conversation that I will never forget.  I was supposed to pick her up on the 21st from the hospital and we were going to make Christmas cookies with my sister, our favorite Christmas tradition. 

Christmas 2015


            Little did I know that our favorite tradition wouldn't be completed. Instead,  I received a phone call that morning from my father stating that she had a stroke overnight and was in the ICU. At the time, doctors were very unsure she would survive. While she has pulled through, the stroke has left her with many physical and mental impairments. 
          She currently cannot see. She has no movement on the right side of her body and only 9% strength in her left leg. She can't hold her grandkids. She can't run errands with her daughters. She can't cook Sunday dinners. 
However, she CAN joke and sing. She can laugh and smile. She can eat solid foods to some extent. She can still answer everything with sarcasm.  :) 

         Basically, insurance has been a nightmare. I'm sure no one is surprised by this. It's actually been quite eye opening to see the care for an adult versus care for a child. We were incredibly spoiled with Joseph. We had social workers and doctors fighting insurance for us daily. 
My dad has not been so lucky.  Insurance has ignored every doctor's request to keep her at a skilled nursing facility where she would be getting rehab everyday. They released her from the hospital before she was fully conscious. They gave her 60 days to make progress that doctors have told us could take years.

       So my father retired and is attempting to care for her full time at home. She needs round the clock care. My father, who has some health issues of his own, is doing the absolute best that he can. In fact, one of the most beautiful things to come from this terrible time is to see the love between my parents. I've always known they have loved each other, but my dad is taking his vows, in sickness and in health, to a level I have never imagined. He doesn't leave her.He sleeps next to her bed.  We literally have to force him to leave the house to grab a bit to eat. He's gone toe to toe with doctors and insurance companies. I've never seen this side of him and it's completely beautiful. But it's still not enough. They both need more help. 


            There are still many items that insurance won't cover. When my mom needs a ride to the doctor the cost is $100. She is now in need of many specialists with many appointments ahead.  She would also be able to attend a rehab facility daily if she had transportation. There is a machine called a hoyer lift that would make it possible for my dad to get her in and out of bed. Insurance also wouldn't pay for a feeding pump because that she had been on since the stroke because, "she was attempting to eat by mouth".  Friends, she was taking about five bites per meal. 

            My dad has fought us tooth and nail on this but I am attaching a link to my mom's GoFundMe account that was set up by a family friend. Any amount is appreciated. 

          God has been so good to us. He's walked us through the valleys and let us sing on the mountaintops. He's given us hope is situations when we thought circumstances were impossible. 
         This my friends, is a deep valley. The medical bills, diagnoses, symptoms, and the little support from care providers have been overwhelming at times. There have been some dark times in conversations with doctors who do not seem to have much hope and being constantly shut down by the insurance companies. Here is what I know. I know my mom and Rebecca Reader is known to show people that she can and she will.


      I love this woman so very much. Her grandchildren are her world. 




        She means so much to my family. I desperately want my kids and my sister's kids to experience sleep overs, cookies, and hugs an kisses from their grandmother. We need someone to help believe in her and believe in her recovery. If you are not able to give finically, please send your prayers. Prayers are more important than money. 


From me, my father, and my sister, we thank you so very much. 

Love, 
Ashlie 




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