As we are flying above the clouds right now, on our way to the Mayo Clinic. My mind is racing with so many thoughts. I feel like I’ve never felt this confused in my life. I don’t have a “normal” life. I have one full of so many bizarre, scary moments. In tears thinking of what just happened.
As I sit down to write this I feel like I have no words. It’s been months of actual opening up about my life to people. I’ve had so many ask how I’m doing, how’s my health, how’s everything. From the outside I look “great”. On the inside it’s not so good.
I had a year of life like one I can’t remember. Jobs, life, really feeling alive and being able to do things.
I never really had a desire to get pregnant and have a child. Most of my days were full of severe fatigue and seizures. And with the high risk I am from my blood disease, it was never a great desire. Soon after my brain surgery last year, when I recovered and was living a life with no more seizures, I started wanting a little family. We decided we’d try after our amazing trip to Australia.
Within a few months of being home we were already starting a little family. I was due late December. We were so beyond excited! I finally felt like a “normal” woman with a “normal” life. I thought, “I’m not going to be just this sick girl anymore.”. We began planning our little adventure of a new life together!
Having a baby growing inside me, seeing the ultra sound, seeing the heartbeat is something I never thought I’d feel. There was REAL life growing inside me, and I was carrying the child! I’m sitting in a coffee shop as I write this, and am just crying. What an amazing experience that was.
It truly made me look at my life in a whole new way. Who was I going to be as a mother?! I began reading and really growing in my walk with the Lord. I wanted to be the greatest example this baby had of love.
I began reading a book and it changed my whole thought process on life. I won’t go into details because that would be so crazy long. It opened my eyes to how I viewed myself and others. I was so quick to judge and be harsh to others. So quick to see the negative in others. So desperate for others to want to be “better” people. And that really made me such a negative person. Ever since I was 12 I’ve been sick. I’ve seen the world differently than kids my age. While my friends were worried about grades, boys, and how they looked I was worried about bleeding too much, my treatments in the hospital, what my blood count would be. I began to judge everyone and become such a hard hearted person.
I thought if I can’t get my body to be healthy, then I will try and be the “best” person I can be. It wasn’t a mindset based off of love or kindness at all. I felt so unloved by so many people because I felt like no one was there for me, but no one ever really understood because they’ve never been through it. I felt so unloved by God because he allowed me to get sick and more sick over the years. I viewed my self as this worthless and pathetic person, and I tried to be a better person so I would feel worth something.
It is such a heartbreaking mindset that I had and I’m so glad my eyes were opened to it. I do know that I’m loved by others, and I know Jesus is so dearly in love with me. I feel so sad it took me so long to realize this. I feel so heartbroken how judgmental and harsh I’ve been towards others over the years, just hoping they’d see their little problems as not so big of things.
The Lord used this time of being pregnant to open my eyes to it all.
During my pregnancy I felt a seizure. I hadn’t had one in over a year. I was confused and baffled that I had one. I used to have over 20 a day, and then just none for over a year. Suddenly they were back, and my life was about to take another turn.
I had a good healthy year. It was a glimpse into a lifestyle that I appreciated SO much! I had a year of zero seizures and thinking I’m not this sick girl anymore. I’m about to be a “healthy” mom!
When we went in for a check up and there was no heart beat, I felt so alone and so confused. Why? Why is this being allowed? Am I not worth it? Why do other girls my age get children and I don’t? Why am I the sick girl? Why are my seizures back?
These questions still flash through my mind and I just have to give them to the Lord, otherwise they’ll eat at my mind.
I thought my identity was a sick girl. My whole identity. My whole life. That’s not it though. I’m a dearly loved woman. Loved by God, loved by family, loved by my husband. If you’re reading this and you’re identity is in your biggest struggle, I greatly hope you’ll be able to break free! I feel like a new person now!
I’m so thankful the Lord allowed me to feel like that with this next new journey starting up… a second brain surgery is in the works. Since my seizures are coming back strong, and I’m back on the highest dose of medicine, my drs are hopeful that open brain surgery will be able to remove every part of the scar that is causing seizures. Before they did laparoscopic (laser surgery) because of the danger I have with internal bleeding. My platelets having for the most part been staying around 50,000 though so it would be more safe for them to open up my skull and remove the scar.
The last surgery left me with blindness on the right side of both eyes, short term memory loss, the inability to think of words (my brain has rewired a tad bit to get better at it), and my balance is completely off. When my Dr and I started talking about a more intense surgery to remove the little bit of scarring left, I was incredibly concerned that I would get more permanent damage or worse than before! They never told me I was even in danger of those. She said since my skull will be open and the surgeon will be able to see the exact spot I’m not in danger of things like this again. Oh how I pray that is true!
They told me last surgery that it’d be a week of recovery… I was so so sick for months. My brain was so swollen, and the parts that were swollen were the ones that trigger depression, and fear. But it was something that couldn’t be controlled because those parts of my brain were swollen.
I’ve been struggling with such fear and anxiety over this next surgery. How I hope it’s not has bad…even though it’s way more intense. Trying to trust the Lord. I ask for prayer if you’re reading this. My life has had so many turns that I just don’t understand, but there is a purpose for it all. I have to daily remind myself that.
Next month Rousseaux and I head to the Mayo Clinic and begin testing for the next surgery. I will be strapped to a hospital bed for 4 days hooked to all these wires on my brain. Making sure they find the exact pinpoint of these seizures. Pray they find it without struggle please! Pray for my sanity. It’s so hard being strapped to a bed. Crying thinking of it now.
Last surgery we had spent a little over $20,000 on hospital bills (not all care is covered by insurance ), traveling, housing, food and care. We were SO incredibly blessed by the generosity of those we love and some we don’t even know donating to us.
My heart has felt very weak this round about opening up and asking for help, but we are in need. I feel partially guilty because last surgery changed my life for a year, and now they’re back. I feel scared people think it was a waste of their money, which I know is a lie. Oh how my mind is full of lies with this whole health thing. We kindly ask if it’s put on your heart this time around. We’re so beyond grateful for all the love, care and generosity we’ve been given over these years with my health and our family.
People always ask how they can pray for me with all this and I will gladly ask for prayer. Peace through it all, trust in the process, wisdom from my drs, the testing to give answers, provision for all the needs, healing for my seizures ♥♥♥
If you have any questions about it all please feel free to write to me!
Here is a link for donations if you feel led ♥
Hello dear friends,
I hope all is well in your homes and hearts, I’m happy to say it is over here! I had to share with you all my smoothie I make every morning. This past year has been such an eye opening one of how important it is to eat healthy, and I’m such a strong encourager to others to join in, especially those battling a sickness of any kind. It can truly change how you feel and think if you just feed your body real and true nutrients!
So what are the benefits of all these yummy foods?
Most of you who have been following on here have noticed a change. It isn’t just about my health, in fact most of it isn’t even talking about my health struggles. I’d love to keep you updated and let you know what’s really going on, please watch this video I made 🙂
So since I have been working with brands that’s why you’ll see so many pictures on here. I’ve been reaching out to many, and have been contacted by lots. Hoping to make a small income off of working with them. Pass the word around if you feel up to it!
This cozy sweater is from Closet Revival! Loved going to the beach and enjoying it’s warmth 🙂
Get 20% off with code: shophannah Go check out Closet Revival!
The link to my fundraising page is here ♥♥
And please share!
Lavender, braids, bees, and flowy Free People ♥
I remember going on this shoot with Dawn, it was the first time we’d met, but we clicked and I adore her. She was so full of joy and made me feel so comfortable and lovely. We were in a little lavender field full of 100s of bumble bees. It was such a pleasant little time and I’m so glad these moments happen.
If you already don’t know Free People is in my top 3 favorite clothing lines. So much bohemian goodness in everything!
What is your favorite Boho brand? ♥
P.S. Go find Dawn on Instagram!
I’ve been thinking a lot about my little journey through life. It’s been actually crazy. I turned 25 this year and have been through so stinking much. All of it has made me change and grow so much. I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago, 5 years ago, even a year ago. (Just ask Rousseaux)
Struggles, trails, burdens, they really do change you. Hopefully they strengthen you. Hopefully they make your faith strong. Hopefully they open your eyes to all the vanity in this world. Even as a young girl I was changing into a woman with eyes open to this vain world we’re in.
I remember one day when I was getting one of my 8 hour infusions. These two people next to me who were also getting treatments. Asked me how I was smiling. Why was I smiling? We’re in a terrible place going through terrible things. The lady was in her 40s and the man was a bit older. They had so much bitterness about the journey that they were in. I got to tell them about my faith and hope in Christ. I got to tell them that this isn’t the end, this isn’t all our life is about. They were in shock at such a young girl saying that. Now I’m not telling you this out of pride I’m trying to encourage you to learn from the trials that we go through!
My mom sent me a little video of the names of the people who came to visit me 9 years ago (ok I’m already crying again) when I had meningitis and encephalitis. When I was dying. I didn’t remember any of the people on the list besides Rousseaux, Robby and Forrest. But I was SO blown away by all the people who came. So many people I would never expect. It made me feel so loved and cared for.
It’s crazy that 9 years ago I went through that terrible trial, which led me to this past trial of brain surgery. To remove the scar that was left from that time. To start a new life, really, from taking away the burden that that time left on my life.
I was sitting with my dear friend, Amy (her story will be here soon ❤️) the other day. She turned to me and said, “Hannah, isn’t it crazy that you just had brain surgery?”. Gosh it made me feel so good to have someone say that. Everyday I think about it. Everyday I’m blown away that I went through that already. And it’s like it never happened. But to me it did and it was so big. It was life changing. Plus how many 25 year olds, or most people can say that they’ve had that done? Probably not too many.. All the Drs tell me I’m “special”. Ha not a compliment those times.
I hated all of these times. All the physical pain, heartache, depression, anxiety, feeling completely depleted. But I can say now that I’m kinda glad to have gone through this journey. I’ve been able to connect and encourage so many others who’ve battled with their health, and I truly want to be used to be a light to so many with my story!
Am I all better? No. I still have my little blood disease. Still have my heart disease which kinda kicked back in hard and sadly has made me not be able to work at my favorite little store. But I know there is a plan for my life. I know there’s a flexible job out there for me. I know there’s a plan for my life. I hope you know there’s a plan for yours, to bring you peace and not evil. There is a future and a hope ❤️
Four years ago today, Hannah and I walked down the isle, washed each others feet, exchanged vows and rings, and said the brave words, “I do”. After exchanging our personal vows, Bill White, the minister marrying us, included the traditional vows which we were to repeat to one another. You know, “For better or for worse, in riches and in rags, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.” Those were words which I had seriously considered before marrying my girl. As excited as I was to marry my best friend, I had also counted the cost of what marriage may look like.
Hannah had been through nine years of ITP, meningitis in her brain, and a seizure complex which had no foreseeable end. It was important for me to count the cost so that when I stood with Hannah on our wedding day I would vow only what I was ready to hold true to until death.
The words “in sickness and in health” are often thoughtlessly repeated by blissful and healthy lovers on their wedding day with no thought of the future. But for us, there was plenty in Hannah’s medical past that gave us concern for what possibly lied ahead, although we didn’t know it would include a debilitating heart condition, multiple years of deep depression, and brain surgery.
And here we are today. What was expected to be a fun filled romantic dinner in Portland for our anniversary has ended up (ironically) in the Emergency Room in Eugene with a curtain separating us from a women who just had a heart attack, which doesn’t help since Hannah is here with a severe stabbing heart pain sensation.
What are we to do? Complain? Grumble? Grow bitter that a health crisis interfered with our anniversary plans? Not today. Today I’m thankful. I’m thankful for a bride who has put up with me and my lack of understanding and has taught me how to love. Easy love is often shallow, but the trials, pain, and grief that we’ve gone through together have deepened our love and strengthened our faith in the Lord’s faithfulness. I get to celebrate the fact that we’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death and did not give up. I praise God for the everlasting joy that He has set before us so that in the midst of sorrow we have hope.
“We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice also in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance…” (Romans 5:2-3). The goal of our sufferings and trials is to conform us into the image of the Son, to strengthen our faith in the Father, and to knit our hearts together in love by the Spirit. And so although I tend to sound triumphalist in these times, I just don’t want to waste a perfectly good trial.
I washed my wife’s feet on our wedding day to symbolize my pledge to serve her and stay beside her, whatever life may bring. Marriage has not been an easy journey, but the joy and love which we find in our adventure is deeper and more precious than all the enjoyments the world offers; and today I celebrate our love.
Immensely grateful for my Georgia,
Hello my wonderful friends!
This new season of my life has been pretty crazy, and dare I say wonderful?! I’ve been so blessed by all the love and support I’ve had. I’ve been so truly blessed to have a life that’s waaaaay more normal than the one I was living. Seizure free, has abled me to start living the life I’ve always dreamed of.
I’m able to have my first job at my most favorite store, Terra Firma Home. Every time I’m there I’m so full of joy. I’ve never have been able to be around people, and meet so so many new people. The only time I was around new (ish) people, was church, and Doctors/hospital visits. So this has brought me so much joy to meet new people, and talk with them.
Rous, and I have been talking about all the plans for the future that we’re now able to do. It’s so crazy. We didn’t realize how held back we were, until I was free of this. The other night at 8 PM we spontaneously drove to the coast, went to bed in our Subaru in the back, woke up at 5 to watch the sunrise.. Of course it was too cloudy and foggy so we explored the ocean. Had such good quality time. We’ve never been able to do things like that because I was too sick. Did this make me extra tired? Yes, but my seizures didn’t double up because of the lack of sleep. Now we can’t wait to see what the future hold for us!
I’ve alway have had a desire to truly be a light to this world. I’ve learned so much from all of this, and want to inspire girls, and others who are suffering. Since having more energy and the ability to do more things, this desire has really increased. I’ve been reaching out to so many people to encourage and help, with just life, and I’m so grateful for it.
I want to share my story with so many, but have never really been able to grasp how. A little over a year ago this article I wrote at Darling Magazine, was chosen to be featured. It’s been so encouraging to me to remember that that happened. I love Darling, and the message they portray of natural, and healthy beauty. I hope to get more involved with them and other businesses like that. If you have any advice please contact me ♥
I have so many dreams for life, and I slowly feel like things are coming forth. I know so many of us have dreams and desires, and we just think that they will never happen so we don’t take a leap of faith. Well, I’m telling you, as a girl who suffered so badly from seizures. And was unable to do so much with my life. Is now taking my leap into new beginnings, you should too! I still have two diseases, but I really want to experience life, so I’m not letting those drag me down.
I hope and pray that you take your leap of faith. If you want to talk more please contact me. ♥
Click HERE to read the Darling post.