The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Archive for Family

Preparing for Hand Surgery Next Week

ashridge snow #3 - oak tree
Image by slimmer_jimmer via Flickr

Hello,

Thank you, friends, for your support in the last few weeks as I have been recovering from Invisible Illness Week, then trying to get organized with “life”. We’ve got a “chore sheet” for our son on the back of the bathroom door and he is getting a weekly allowance. I’ve attended parent/teacher meetings, and have been flaring badly through it all. I bought a big thick daily planner, and then I copy all the stuff for the week over to the dry erase board. I am just about organized, and now it wil all soon be going haywire!

Yesterday as I limped through the house I had my own little sports commentary going on in my head, “And she’s coming around the corner, folks! She’s building speed! Oops, look out, she’s losing her balance. . . oh, she’s back in the race!”

Ever feel like you are barely moving and yet in your head you are running? (Like when people wait in their car for you to cross the street and then they look at you like,  “Could you maybe pick up the pace?”)

And through it all I’ve been visiting many doctors. January or February I will have cataract surgery, as I have a big one on each eye “bulls eye” over my retina (glad I can do something so precise!)

I am scheduled to have hand surgery November 4–next Wednesday. If all goes as planned, (no infections!) surgery will just be out-patient and I will be home that day, with a cast– for six weeks! They are rebuilding my left hand, likely doing some joint replacements and trying to put a few fingers and tendons back into place.

As much as I would love to have some of the use of my hand back, I am not looking forward to any kind of cast on my arm, as my shoulder bones are “bone on bone” and need replaced themselves; and the cast will go above the bent elbow. A couple of years ago a simple hand surgery sent me into the deepest flare I’ve had for weeks, so please pray that it will be more smooth this time.

My parents arrive soon. Dad will be here just a few days and mom will help me around the house and. . . (please pray) with driving. (Sorry, mom, but you know you hate the freeways here is San Diego.) I don’t know how good of passenger I will be as she drives me to hand therapy 20 miles away (the closest hand therapist.)

I have newsletters ready to go out to you in coming weeks and the web site will have new content every day. I’ve been doing lots to prepare for this time I will be off the computer more than on.

Answering emails will be difficult, but I will do my best. I have a voice program, but it doesn’t work when I am on pain medications because my voice slows down too much!

Any way, that is the scoop!

I read this scripture the other day from The Message:

Matthew 5:14-26 says, “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand-shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives.
By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (The Message)

I am going to try to “be a light.” I think that means a “lattern” kind of soft glow, or a bright light, but not the red adn blue spinning lights that we see behind our car. I anticipate not feeling terrific, but I still have the ability to influence everyone I come into contact with – and I get to choose if that influence is positive or negative. I get to decide if I let people walk away from me encouraged or discouraged.

As you prepare for winter and pull out your heating pad and comfort items, remember that God doesn’t want to hide you under a bucket (or in your home.) And sometimes that even means ASKING for help from others. I am going to try to take my own advice and do this (unlike last year when it seemed like everyone assumed someone else was helping-including my own church where I fell through the cracks when I most needed them.)

Know you are not alone in your struggles – with people, spiritually, even with yourself! I am walking that rough road right beside you and learning some things the hard way.

I pray that you are blessed in coming weeks and that the Lord pleasantly surprises you with His light this season.

I think I can manage 140 characters picking out the letters with one hand so you keep up with me at www.lisaontwitter.com or www.lisaonfacebook.com
in coming weeks.

God bless,

Lisa Copen, Rest Ministries Founder
Rest Ministries Chronic Illness Pain Support

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October is Sensory Awareness Month

Vaughan: I love leaves!

October is National Sensory Awareness Month with the theme “Come to Your Senses.”

This is the fifth year that SIFocus.com will lead and sponsor this national campaign to raise awareness regarding sensory integration/sensory processing disorders. I am posting this because I am VERY familiar with SID or SPD as a mom of a child with sensory issues.

Read more about sensory processing disorder at SIFocus.com – In fact, if you know a child who cannot sit still, you may start reading about it for the child, only to discover that you have it and that is why you may do some of the things you do.

SI Focus encouragers people that October is the month for working within your own community raising awareness in your schools, among neighbors and within your family.

You can join their volunteers throughout the US and in Canada and England. Contact them at awareness@SIfocus.com and request one of their free Volunteer Packets. They will send you an electronic packet filled with ideas to raise awareness in your community, press release ideas, a fact sheet and more information.

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Call For Submissions: Invisible Illness Hosts Grand Rounds Blog Carnival

We are honored to be hosting Grand Round 8/18/09, the largest medical blog carnival online.

I am looking for any blog topics related to living with an invisible illness, treating invisible illnesses, having a family member with one, caregiving, etc. Posts can be casual from a patient perspective, or more formal from a medical professional background.

Details are here: http://invisibleillnessweek.com/?p=1811

Submit here:  http://tinyurl.com/nznvak

Deadline for carnival is 8/16, but we also have guest bloggers for our Invisible Illness Week web site. II Week is 9/14-20, 2009

If you can forward this on so we get some great submissions that would be so appreciated!

Lisa

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Free Online Seminar – Back To School Checklist for Special Needs Kids

parentI’ve found we have a number of parents who may or may not have a chronic illness themselves but do have a child with special needs. In the I saw this posted in the Disability Resource Exchange and wanted to pass it along: Parents of Children with Special Needs: Sign up for Free Teleseminar on Getting Ready for the School Year.

It is Wednesday, August 19, 12 noon Eastern Time. Joan Celebi, Ed.M., CLC, Founder and President of SpecialNeedsParentCoach.com will be sharing her checklist for back to school time with a child with special needs.

We’ll talk about how to ease the family’s transition into the school routine, tips for starting the school year off right with your child’s teachers, and how to take advantage of the unique opportunity September brings to start creating a more manageable, balanced life for you and your family.

Click here for details and interesting comments!

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October is National Sensory Awareness Month

A girl on a garden swing. Original caption: : ...

October is National Sensory Awareness Month with the theme “Come to Your Senses.” Volunteer packets will be distributed starting this month, July.

This is the fifth year that SIFocus.com will lead and sponsor this national campaign to raise awareness regarding sensory integration/sensory processing disorders. I am posting this because I am VERY familiar with SID or SPD as a mom of a child with sensory issues.

Read more about sensory processing disorder at SIFocus.com – In fact, if you know a child who cannot sit still, you may start reading about it for the child, only to discover that you have it and that is why you may do some of the things you do.

SI Focus encouragers people that October is the month for working within your own community raising awareness in your schools, among neighbors and within your family.

You can join their volunteers throughout the US and in Canada and England. Contact them at awareness@SIfocus.com and request one of their free Volunteer Packets. They will send you an electronic packet filled with ideas to raise awareness in your community, press release ideas, a fact sheet and more information.

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Buzzy Brings Relief When Getting Shots

buzzyIf you are the mom of a school age child, it seems like summer has just begun, and yet soon those physicals will need to be scheduled. What does this mean? Sometimes. . . shots!

Who among us have not said, “It hurts me more than it hurts you?” And if you don’t have children. . . all those who LIKE getting shots, raise your hand! (Yeah, I didn’t think there would be many hands held up high saying “me!)

Well, here is a very cool gadget! Buzzy is a FDA-approved plastic “bee” that uses mechanical vibrations to “confuse” nerve endings. The toy bee will distract your child from the pain of a shot, finger prick–even an IV insertion.

(Meaning: if you have a child with a chronic illness, this is MUST-HAVE. I was just talking to a mom of a tween daughter who is on rheumatoid arthritis treatment injections and she shared how painful they were and how badly she felt.) You can even take the sting out of splinter-removal, bee stings or minor burns.

And if your child is freaked out by the fact that it’s a bee (my son is currently terrified of bees)just order the plain black vibrating gadget without the stripes, allowing your child or teenager to personalize Buzzy® into a Pirate, an Astronaut, or leave it black and cool. Below for example are “Buzzy Chix” (Couldn’t we all have a little fun decorating our Buzzys with some craft paint?)

Buzzy’s web site states, “Our goal is to provide options and information about acute pain management, particularly needle procedures. For needle phobia, newly diagnosed diabetes or leukemia, or immunization information, read on!”

You just bring with you to the doctor. Just press on the skin during the shot to rapidly reduce needle pain. Can you imagine the nurses saying, “Where did you get that?” Think of the tears that won’t be shed. If this works as well as all of the testimonials say it does, imagine no longer sitting in the doctor’s room waiting. . . and waiting. . . while your child hears the screams of other children as they get their shots.

Why didn’t we think of this sooner? Well, of course, it took a mom! Buzzy was developed by pediatric emergency physician (and mom of three) Amy Baxter and it effectiveness for kids age 4+ is supported by a bunch of scientific evidence.

Scientists, moms, and nurses may all speak highly of it, but you can’t get a better testimonial than from Jill, Age 5: “Buzzy made my
shot not hurty!”

So, check out their web site. You can even tell your own needle phobia story. After all,who says this is just for kids? After being in the hospital last fall for a week and having them stick me over and over until my entire stomach was purple, I could have used a Buzzy about day 3. Hey, I’m a wimp with some things and not afraid to admit it!

Buzzy is $35 so it’s not a cheap gadget. But gather together a few mom friends and make the investment together.

Visit their web site or call 877-805-BUZZ (2899). You can also watch a video of Buzzy in action.

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Father’s Day Reminder… Kids are Watching

A panoramic windshield on a 1959 Edsel Corsair...

I loved this video.

My son is 6 so it was especially poignant. In recent months he’s watched us pay bills and yes, leave a note on a car’s windshield when we hit it.

Dads have a lot of desire to be perfect… but it’s not about perfection. It’s just living your life as close to Christ’s as possible, and letting your children see you ask for forgiveness when you don’t measure up.

I know as a mom I am giving my son plenty of opportunities to see me ask God (and him) for forgiveness!

Watch this amazing video here:

dada

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