Tics, Tourettes

Brain Balance, Change, Cancer and More!

WARNING: Loooooong post ahead. I am not journaling these days, but I need to. Lucky for me, I have a blog to fill in the gap! Sadly for you, it’s a mouthful. You were warned.

I don’t know about you guys, but there’s a lot of change in the air around the Frazer household.

Renting a Room We’re in the process of bringing in a renter. She’s a lovely assistant at the kid’s school who doesn’t have a car. She’s thrilled to walk the one mile to campus each day rather than take the bus. We’re thrilled because it will give my husband something we both need so badly: Time. The kids love this lady, so to work off rent, she’ll watch the kids 10 – 20 hours a month, giving Rex and I an opportunity to breathe.

Upon hearing we’ve consolidated our livingroom/TV room into one room, turned the dining room into an office, and turned the office into a bedroom for R, most people are really shocked. We get one of two reactions:

1. You only have 3 bedrooms! Why are you doing this!?

2. I can’t believe Rex – who is so private – thinks this is a good idea!

The answers to those inquiries are quite simple:

1. We have needed to get rid of crud for years. The kids aren’t ready to transition to their own rooms yet, so why not get a little income to fix up the house before they finally separate next year?

It’s taken one month of solid work, but we’ve disposed of about 800 square feet of stuff, leaving us with more room and organization than ever before.

2. Rex is as ready as I am to take some of the pressure off, both financially and emotionally. He can’t work 60 hours a week and then always be the beacon of calm when I’m freaking out over Stink’s tics which, is less and less these days, but some weeks I’m human. Last week? Not good. I could use some adult conversation on the nights my hub works late. Also, I am ready to build out my office to get writing work again, but need a better place to create in. The renter is our answer.

Stink’s Tics

Regarding Stink, the tics are still pretty yukky. I’ve decided to go full bore and save for Brain Balance. This is the one time I will mention here that I am accepting donations for this. After I’ve saved $ for Stink, all additional income, minus a small amount I will keep as compensation for writing this blog, will fund other children and families to go to Brain Balance or get additional support in their area for tics.

Please don’t feel obligated to give me a penny. I’ll keep on writing here forever. I just figured, with so many people with less worthy causes making $ off their blog, I would finally try and create a small stream of income for something I find quite worthwhile.

Note: I am open to comments telling me I’m extremely tacky to do this when I have a husband with a decent paying job. I would not disagree. At the same time, I’ve always been quite honest that Rex and I disagree over therapy for tics. He thinks Stink is fine the way he is – which is awesome. Me? I think there’s more we can do. Rex and I have agreed to disagree that if we are going after Brain Balance, this is my project to fund. He will be more than happy to support us and cheer us on, but he  is concerned with saving for college and things that will definitely be in our future, not the maybe’s of an alternative program.

House Transition

Here are some pictures of our progress with the house. Believe it or not, it has taken hours and hours to get cabinets cleaned out. The kids have cried over getting rid of old dressers and bags of plastic toys they don’t need. But in the long run, they are so relieved to have a nice space to call their room. Life, like tics, are always changing. My job isn’t to make them content with everything and spare them from yuk. My job is to give them inner tools to have peace while chaos is happening.

Here are some pics of stuff in progress

LIVING ROOM

We removed a brown couch that was blocking the window. We took out a huge armoire that was taking up space and put the piano there. We now have paths to walk around! Plus, in getting rid of the old, we had room for the new – like the lovely 100-year-old sewing machine you see in the 2nd picture.

Small Fixes: Paint and patch walls, add new photographs as Pip is no longer a new-born, and another cool seat in the corner for more entertaining.)

Dream Fix

OFFICE

The dining room used to look like this

It now looks like this:

Small Fix: Bring the big armoire that is currently storing Ebay stuff (used to be in living room) to the cabin. Bring in old office desk and use the plastic rolling carts for the time being until you can do this:

Dream Fix:

TV Room

It used to look like this

It was very crowded with the art center, the little table, the couch, the TV, the book shelves, the science center…. don’t make me go on. Now the shelves are going into the renter’s room. The old stained couch is gone. We’re building some shelves under the bar area (an un-used space) for all my dishes. The only thing in the room now is the big table and the TV.

Small fix: Take down 1980’s plastic blinds, put up toille curtains. Put a nice curtain over the corner of the TV area (as we don’t want TV in living room) and get a nice tall couch for one side of the table near window that will double as both TV viewing and eating. Build shelves under the bar and cover with a curtain. (Maybe get a nice sideboard when the shelves are moved into the renters room. Shelves not pictured here.) Paint the walls gray and get a chandelier over the center of the table.

Dream fix

RENTER’S ROOM

Here is our old work space office in transition. If you think moving computers into the kids’ shared bedroom, moving 10000 pieces of Ebay into the new “office” and hauling out 10 bags of trash was fun, you would be more wrong than many of the political rants I see on Facebook these days.

But the kid’s room is moving along! Here it is without a good paint job, and with many baskets still on the floor. Not bad for a shared space.

KIDS ROOM

I’m not sure why the last 2 pics won’t right themselves up, but it’s fine. These days life is getting comfortable with things I’m not normally comfortable with. I just know it’s all going to be okay.

Dream Fix (taken from Babble)

OTHER THINGS OF NOTE

Ebay

Today I need to get 20 items of Ebay up today as I’m selling for other people in an attempt to not work for $7/hour retail while I write my book.

Breast Cancer

I need to make an enchilada for a friend who just had breast cancer surgery.

Leukemia

I need to find time to see my other friend, Karen, who is on her third round of chemo for leukemia.

Look how amazing she looks!

Food Shopping

Apparently kids need to eat, and so do Rex and I.

Book

At some point this week I need to write my book some more. I’ve been at a road block which I’ll talk about in the next post.

Ex Husband

My ex-husband died a few weeks ago leaving a 10 year old boy and 2 living parents. He had a random brain tumor. Uggg. We haven’t been close, but I did see him in Christmas, 2011, for a brief visit. I’m glad we caught up and mended some bridges. This was a pic he posted on Facebook with the quote “Me the ex-Mrs. Ingman, taken 19 years after our wedding.” Um, I wasn’t thrilled by that. But hey, that’s FB for you. May you rest in peace, dear Jim!

FINAL THOUGHTS

I don’t know what to say except bring on the tics, bring on the house upheaval, bring on the illnesses. We can this together.

Love you all.

Thanks for listening.

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5 thoughts on “Brain Balance, Change, Cancer and More!”

  1. Love the lengthy post and pics of your house I hope it works out well for you. Wondered though if you Ebay’d any of the kids things that you got rid of. Obviously not if condition didn’t warrant selling. It’s hard for me sometimes getting rid of things just by trashing because of being green and because when low on dollars which is always I think of the value of something and should it be held onto until a yard sale or should I try to Craigslist or Ebay it which never happens. My more related question is why you feel so confident in Brain Balance thing? Sorry if you have addressed this in the past I did follow your links on the donation thing and Brain Balance themselves so thanks for those.

  2. Hi Dee –

    To answer your ? about Ebay, I didn’t Ebay any of the stuff we consolidated for the move. It was just too junky and large. We’re talking 80s armoires that had been used as room dividers, beat up treasure chests originally from Target – stuff like that. The things I sell on Ebay are name brand clothing I pick up at resale stores, plus items from Estate sales and swap meets I flip. I also sell for other people and split 50/50. Overall I make maybe $500/month which goes toward things like birthday gifts, etc. I hope to bring that # up to $1500 to avoid going to work full time at a job. This way I can be at home with my babies!

    RE: Brain Balance – a good friend who I met on this blog sent her son there and it eliminated most tics and ADHD/Asperger symptoms. She is not a fly by night person. She is a person of deep thought and faith. She worked hard and I see her testimony as being true of this program. Also, I had Stink evaluated at Brain Balance last year. It cost me $250. Everything they assessed him for came back 100% on the money in terms of other assessments, from reading, writing and math to cognitive and critical thinking skills, to physical balance tests. I have read a lot about how, instead of meds to mask symptoms (and yes, some meds do help, like Stink’s focus meds now) this program works at bringing up the side of the brain that is weaker so that new neurons are formed and wires cross, filling the disconnect between the two sides of the brain.

    It might sound hokus, and many people think so (including my husband) but soooo much alternative med has worked for us so far. My gut reaction is that this is the final puzzle piece for us. And if i”m wrong, I’m only out 6k and I can work towards more acceptance of this syndrome or go for stronger meds later knowing I tried everything.

    That’s the answer! How are you doing?

    1. I am doing. Jealous of you and your earlier diagnosis for Stink. Saw the nuerologist again recently though they still lean towards T.S. for my daughter there has never been a concrete answer. I guess that is the way with neurological impairments that there are no blood tests for. But I get angry that I had to push to get where I am now and so many doctors said different things and most pushed it off as no big deal whatever it was, I would look back as some passing phase of childhood. Ugh. Also they brought up ADHD again and said I should have her evaluated possibly when I was ready. Why does everyone want to stamp that on everyone. Does she have extra energy sometimes sure, meltdowns, absolutely. But she seems to still be doing well in school and I don’t see the need to throw some a.d.d. meds at her. It’s hard not knowing the best thing to do. She will be 8 in Novemeber. Nice of you to ask how I was. : )

  3. I think that’s a marvelous idea- about the donations. In fact, I thought of it myself when you first brought up brain balance but I felt it was presumpuous of me to mention it. I am def going to donate- just have to wait until after the big 10th birthday bash in October. Bet you have at least half of it by then- I don’t think you even realize how many people hang on your every word. And I would love to see if it really works too- if you read all those video game studies out of sweden or wherever, the problem with anxiety (got it) and tics (that too) are that the basal ganglia is too stimulated and the part of the brain that controls those impulses is weaker.

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