Reality Of My Life

Waking up at 4 am with my heart going wild over life is hard (anxiety, stress and this wild heart disease). Why can’t everything be ok?

I never thought I’d still be a sick girl by now.

It’s actually a very, alone battle to be suffering for so long. Not having people understand… me looking “normal.

Every single day I wake up not knowing if it’ll be a “good” day or a sick day. It can change within seconds in my body too.

But I know, I look “normal”.

I went to my high school reunion two nights ago. It was a lot of emotions for me in a lot of ways. I was so sick in high school… that’s when I had meningitis… and I’m still dealing with it.

I’m still struggling that battle.. 10 years later?!

So many said how great I look and that I must be better than what they’ve heard of me online…

It’s crazy, that the day before at the same time I was in the er. My vertigo was crazy. The cyst on my head had increased a bit and my hemotologist was concerns that it had grown more on my brain and that’s what’s been causing all my messed up symptoms for the 2 months.

I was scheduled to get the mri today, but the way I felt had to be done. I had to get the results figured.

I remember laying in the bed just feeling so alone. Rous was with me and I appreciate him so much. But alone to the fact that it’s my whole body…. my whole body has been doing this er thing since I was 12? Why?

Why am I getting multiple mris a year for my brain? Why do my platelets still drop terribly low? Why do I feel so sick and messed up so many days?

But I look great right? I’m not sick anymore right? It could be worse right?

If you felt how I felt you wouldn’t ask me things like that. You wouldn’t assume you know how I’m physically and even mentally feeling.

It’s a battle in both ways.

Right before I was getting my mri, the man running the whole thing kept calling me friend, kept being caring, genuine, sorry I’m doing this (after reading my history he said). He changed how I emotionally felt with it all. He made me feel understood that I’m sick, cared for that I’m sick, ACKNOWLEDGING that my life has been hard and this suffering is very real.

I remember listening to Citizens and Saints as the whole mri noises are blaring in my head and I was crying, I felt so cared for my this random man? Why can’t I feel understood by those I know? Why did a man I just met understand I’m still sick and have been for so long?

My spirit was lifted in the midst of that mri. I felt thankful to God that He allowed me to meet that man. I told him after how much I genuinely appreciate the care that he gave me, the words that he said.

It’s so hard feeling so misunderstood with my health battle.

Just to have a few in my corner understand means so much for my being. Just to acknowledging that this is a struggle and they feel for me, care for me, understand I’m sick… means so much.

I’m still struggling with the severe trauma from the last brain surgery. My drs didn’t think it would be that bad…. it’s made me a different person. Good and hard ways. The Lord will use it and already has in SO many ways… that still makes it hard though.

Laying down on the couch all day is weekly, appointments are weekly, checkups are weekly, dr calls are weekly, er visits are often.

That’s my life. The reality is I’m suffering. The reality is I’m sick. The reality is about 4 people understand (not including Drs, nurses, counselors). Imagine going through so much sicknesses and only saying 4 people get it? It’s hard. It hard to my heaviness of feeling alone with it all.

Please stop asking when I’m having a baby. Please stop saying you’re so happy I’m not sick anymore. Please stop saying at least I’m pretty (makes me sick to my stomach even being reminded of people saying that). Please stop saying it could be worse. Please stop telling me to just smile more.

Please cry with me. Please a-knowledge that I’m still sick. Please feel sadness for each health event I have. Please don’t have your prayer be for kids but for my HEALTH. Please know my faith and trust in God is so much greater from all the sorrow that continues. Please don’t look at me and assume “I’m fine”. Please don’t compare. Please don’t give me advice. Please know it’s a continual battle. Everyday.

Well, it’s now 5:19 am. Maybe today I’ll feel “good”. ❤️

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Real Talk

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!

 

Inspired by Darling

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.

Seizure Free!

The sad thing is I feel like most of my posts are full of bad news. Bad health updates, how depressed I am, just how hard life is (if not I have severe memory loss haha).

This one, however, will not be like that. The 10th of this month was my 3 month anniversary of being seizure free. Just writing that makes me cry. I truly had no idea what a life was like without so many seizures a day. And the crazy thing is when they were testing me, even when I wasn’t feeling my seizures, there was still soooooo much seizure activity going on. So I always felt so sick for a good reason, so much activity going on there!

Well, Rous and I got back from our trip to the mayo a couple days ago. I’ve had so many people asking how it went, and I’m so bad at explaining things using my mouth now. Part of my brain that they burned off was the ability to think of words, thankfully I’m on a computer now and can take my sweet time, but when I talk to people it is such a struggle for me. So here is the little update….

Every MRI, ct scan, EEG (that’s basically all brain testing) that they did on me, came back completely seizure free. Zero seizure activity! My Drs. were even impressed by that. They thought I’d still be having at least one a week, but nope none. My sweet Neurologist says in about 3 months she will start weening me off my high dose of meds. At first I was a little bummed that it wouldn’t be right away, but I think I can wait 3 more months. She just wants to be extra careful with me and I’m so beyond grateful for the care i’ve received from her. They want me to see a speech therapist so I’ll hopefully be able to relearn how to communicate.

The hard thing is my blindness is still strongly there. Hasn’t exactly improved. Both eyes are now 25 percent blind. I’m slowly getting used to it, but still hoping that it comes back. My short term memory is significantly worse. They told me it would be, but wow they really burned off almost all of it. I feel so bad because I can’t remember anyone. Who they are, what their name is, memories of us. It’s crazy. The funny thing is I have had so many people say, “Hey my memory is just as bad and I didn’t have surgery.” I’m laughing now just writing this because no, no it’s not. Ha people don’t know what it’s like to have that burned off. I know so many people say things like that to try and relate, but it’s just hard to hear so much. I almost didn’t write this, but I thankfully can’t remember anyone who said it, I just know it’s been said to me so much. So I guess that’s a plus with memory loss :)Tee hee. And don’t be upset if you did say it!

This trip to the Mayo was seriously such a huge blessing to both Rous and myself. It was honestly just full of joy and real blessing from the Lord. I got to see a very dear friend, her name is Hope. Of course it is 🙂 I met her last time I was there and we got to talk about brain problems. That woman has suffered so much. She has had soooo many surgeries on her brain. And she even has my heart disease, POTS. I just am so blessed to know someone who truly understands what it likes to suffer in my way. People who have hard health issues definitely get this! This is Hope, and I’m asking you right now to just lift this amazing woman up in prayer. Pray for strength, peace, joy and healing. Prayer is so powerful! ♥IMG_5418

One of the days Rousseaux and I went into Starbucks and sat down at a table. I of course wanted to be in the sun so I had us move to a long table. There was a man sitting at the far end of it working on his laptop. We were there a couple minutes and the man says to me that I should get out of the sun. I told him how much I love being in the sun. A few minutes later we start opening up to each other…Why we were in Arizona, what I just went through. He turns his computer to us and what do you know he was in the process of studying? Focal seizures! My ex seizures! We were all so blown away by it. He is on his last steps of becoming a neurologist! We moved down by him and just started talking about life. It was his birthday, and he’s so far away from his family. He felt so blessed by us. And we thought it was so special to meet him. One of the sweetest most genuine, Jesus loving men we’ve met. We knew that was the Lord. We had breakfast with him the next morning and he drove us around showing us neat things there.His name is Giorgio. Which was even funnier to us because Rousseaux and I have a nickname for each other called Georgieaux, pronounced the same.

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The rest of the trip was talks of the future. What will life be like now without this? Do I have my blood disease? Yes. But I have had no serious bleeding in months! Do I have my heart disease? Yes. But I’m slowly trying to get used to it by ignoring and not fearing the symptoms that I get. We want to travel. I want to go to Australia! I first knew I was in love with Rous when he was living there and I was here, it’s so special to us. I have my first job that I love so much. I wanted to stop after my first day because I had never done so much or anything like that. My amazing boss said that I could, I could go home and get back on the couch all day. Or I could step out and try this. Wow, that blew my mind and encouraged me to keep going, and i’m so thankful that I have.

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Here is my beautiful Neurologist!

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A little post I did after seeing my surgeon:

Today I got to see my amazing surgeon, of course I started crying when I saw him. The Lord used him to totally take away my seizures! He said he was so so happy for me, and how sad he was of how sick and depressed I got after surgery. He kept reiterating how excited he was for my recovery and how different my life is going to be, starting at 25 being new. And how thankful he is to be able to do what he does to help me. Thank you sweet Dr. Zimmerman

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It’s been on my heart for awhile now, and just recently I really felt called to write a little book about my struggles, battles, hardships, and joy that I’m able to have through it all. Since going through such hard things since a young age, my prayer has always been that the Lord will use me to be a light and example to others who are battling such hardships. Now that I’m starting a new season of my life I feel it is time to start on this book. The crazy thing is I was at work, and my old Pastor Peter-John came in. I was just thinking about contacting him the day before because he wrote a book, and his testimony of what he’s been through touched me so much. I told him that I was thinking about it and he said he didn’t think he was suppose to be in the store to buy something, but to tell me that I absolutely am suppose to write a book! So well, that’s confirmation for me alright! If you have any wisdom, knowledge advice please please contact me.

My friend Amy, has started a fundraiser for me. As most of you know brain surgery, drs appointments, massive amounts of testing and traveling back and forth can be expensive. If you feel led to give even a tiny bit it would bless us so much. We fully know the Lord will provide and that thankfully gives us peace. Click here for the link 🙂

As most of you know I’ve wanted to meet Ellen and give her a hug. Thanking her for all the laughter she’s brought me through so many days of sorrow. I have not heard from her yet, but we made another video to hopefully get in contact with her…

Here is our new video, I can now sing from surgery!!

Love, Rous

Dear friends and blog readers,
Hannah has asked me, to update her blog with some of the details of the last three weeks.
My tendency is usually to share everything that is going on through my optimistic lens, but Hannah specifically requested that I “be sure to be raw,” so please brace yourselves for some serious carnage.
As the weeks got closer for Hannah’s surgery, her anxiety and fears grew more and more intense…understandably. Opening up her skull, and heating a part of her brain with a laser is a serious surgery, especially when her other medical fragilities were factored in. She feared the pain, she feared the possibility of waking up without memory, she feared the unknown possibility of terrible things happening, and she feared dying. It was a very tough few weeks before she headed south.
I have never experienced prolonged physical and deep emotional suffering nor chronic pain and that has always made it difficult for me to understand just how those things affected her. I have never been able to “understand” or feel exactly what she does, and often that left us both feeling alone at times over the past few years. Her in a pit of despair, and me on the outside looking in, without any way of really helping anything get better. I use to try to share encouraging words, verses, promises and truths and would find that rather than bringing us closer, my words could end up separating us emotionally. I’ve come to learn that as I carried myself with a ‘joyful and triumphant’ attitude, it appeared as though I wasn’t actually feeling for Hannah, or hurting when she was. A verse in Proverbs kicked me in the butt one morning. “Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” (Prov. 25:20) Rather than being a warm and loving and present friend, I tried to be the solution. There was a real part of me that felt like I was failing as a “spiritual leader” if my wife was not singing hymns like Paul and Silas in prison, and so I tried hard to pep talk and preach my wife out of the pain she was in. I missed many opportunities in the last few years just to sit and cry and be there for her. I’m slowly improving (I hope she would agree), but it’s taken a while to learn what Wesley Towne always says, “There are no hyper-spiritual cures for suffering and pain.”
I’m suppose to be writing about her surgery and recovery though, so maybe I’ll pick that thought back up in another blog someday. The day she went in for surgery, her platelets were not nearly as high as they needed to be for a safe surgery with minimal risk of serious bleeding. (This was the result of a doctor not infusing her with the normal amount of IVIG she normally gets, because he had never heard of anybody getting such a high dose, and didn’t believe that she really gets that much.) So the surgery was postponed as she went in for a third infusion of platelets and IVIG (a medicine which kills her anti-bodies, which are killing her platelets, so that her platelets can live a little longer.) I filmed her making really funny faces at the doctors who were walking by, and we sat there for a while wondering if the surgery would still happen that day.
They came back in and drew her blood hours later and said that her platelets count had sky-rocketed. That meant a green light for the surgery. Her parents and I wanted to give her prolonged affectionate goodbyes, but she insisted that we refrain, being as she wasn’t in the mood to get too emotional. Scott, Lisa and I sat for hours and waited for some news. It was past 10 pm before we got the okay to head up to the fifth floor where she would be staying. She was just waking up from anesthesia and was in extreme pain. She had originally planned to pretend like she didn’t remember anybody as a prank, but she wasn’t at all in a joking mood. She was just in pain and on a lot of drugs…I mean meds.
The severe pain lasted at least 4 days straight, but she was still reluctant to take the pain killers. She hates feeling weird from the pain killers, but she hates the post-brain surgery pain even more, so she took some. It was hard for her folks and me to sit there and watch her be in such agony. Seeing her throw up several times and watching her just cringe in pain every time she would move was pretty difficult. 5 days in the neurology recovery room she was finally discharged, but her pain had not decreased much, nor had her brain swelling. Her vision had been pretty messed up. She lost peripheral vision in the upper right quadrant of each eye being completely. This may improve over time, so please keep that part of her recovery in your prayers!
After several check ups and painful trips back to the Mayo Clinic, we finally flew home on Friday, March 18. It has now been two weeks since her surgery, and as slow and painful as her recovery has been I have the privilege of announcing two seizure free weeks for Hannah! It’s nothing short of a miracle what the doctors were able to do. She continues to progress each day little by little, and her pain is slowly decreasing and her strength increasing. We have walked a few miles total this last week!
There is so much more to tell, but I have to wrap this one up, because it’s already past my bedtime. I must conclude with giving thanks. First, I thank You Jesus. You have given us life and sustained us. You have provided us with hope, help, family, friends, and every other good thing in our lives we have because of Your goodness and grace. I thank you Hannah, my amazing wife for your patience with me, slow learner that I am. The promises that we made to each other years ago we will keep forever. Though sickness and health, till death do us part. I love you and you will always be my best friend. I want to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Mayo Clinic who have so hugely helped my bride. Dr. Crepeau, Dr. Zimmerman, and the nurses on the fifth floor, I especially want to thank. To Scott and Lisa who have cared for and loved Hannah long before I ever did, thank you for entrusting me to love her, and for continuing to be there in countless ways. You two are amazing and I’m so thankful to be in your family. And how could I possibly express the abundance of gratitude that i have for everybody who gave of their resources to cover the cost of Hannah going to the Mayo Clinic?! It amazes me that we have such a loving and generous family and circle of friends! To our church family at RVF and Ekklesia, you have bore our burdens with us and shown us the love of God and blessed us beyond measure. Thank you to the hundreds of you who have continually been praying for us in this journey. I am convinced every single day that I lay my head down that we have only persevered because of your prayers and God’s mercy in answering them.
Thank you all who have brought us meals since we returned home. Thank you to the dozens of people who have sent Hannah loving cards and sweet things in the mail! One of her absolute favorite things is getting mail (bills not included). Lastly, Thank you who read her blog and have encouraged her to keep sharing and writing about her life! Because of you all, Thanksgiving comes not once a year, but with every remembrance of your kindness toward us.

With utmost sincerity and deepest affection,
Rousseaux Brasseur

 

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Arizona

Update on my Mayo/Arizona trip:
So this has been already quite an interesting experience. The first day and my first appointment was with a hematologist. He was sadly like so many drs I’ve seen who have no desire to really find out why you’re sick. Where my disease is coming from. He threw out some new suggestions of chemos that wouldn’t actually cure me. Just suppress my immune system more. I sat there crying through the whole appointment. I was beyond disappointed by the lack of care this man showed. When we were explaining to him all my new symptoms he had the blankest stare and said, “I can sit here and act sympathetic, but I can’t do anything.” Ok there was no sympathy or care that man was portraying. Jeez it was terrible. It made me feel so hopeless and that the whole trip was pointless. Thankfully we scheduled more appointments and different drs after that.
The next day we saw a neurologist who was incredibly thorough and really tried to get down to the bottom of it. She already did a ton of blood tests and I’m going to be hospitalized Monday to do more testing to find out why I’m having so many seizures, so light headed and dizzy, and constant weird pain in my head. She said there’s a chance that from my brain infection in 2007 I have scarring on my brain and that’s what’s causing all this. If they could figure it out that would be amazing. They would have to do surgery on my brain to remove it, which is dangerous plus my lack of platelets would be even more dangerous so they would have to figure everything out with my platelets first. So thankful to see a Dr willing to help!
Tomorrow I’m seeing an immunologist which I’ve never seen one and am hoping they will be willing and eager to really find out why my immune system is so against me. Find out the real reason behind my disease.
Thankful that Rous and my mom have been able to be here during this. Sadly Rous leaves tomorrow and my heart is pretty broken. He’s done so good at trying to be there for me. Right after my first appointment when I couldn’t stop crying he said, “welp, one appointment down..couple weeks to go!” I thought about it and realized it made absolutely no sense at all and there was no comfort in that ha but I ended up on the floor in the hospital laughing so hard because of it. He really is doing his best. They both are. But it’s hard when you haven’t been in my place ha but they’re both doing so good to be there for me. I’ve had lots of people texting and asking and praying and I can’t tell you how much good that does for me to know people truly care.
Today we went to a butterfly stadium and there was thousands of butterflies…it was beyond incredible. I was in complete awe at the beauty of all of them. It was really on my heart how much the Lord truly loves me. He created all these beautiful butterflies but those aren’t His children. I am. He loves me and cares for me so much more than those unreal looking creatures. I am His. I’m in the palm of His hands. He’s in control of this all.
The lady on the plane next to me told me that the Lord put it on her heart to give me a book about Psalm 91. Which just so happens to be the chapter I’ve been reading and praying for months through all this. She said she’ll be praying for me.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation”

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Just In The Hospital

I feel like all my posts have been so depressing lately. I have been extra sad and have had the hardest time holding on to hope. But there is so much for me to be thankful for. Monday I go down to Medford to see my old hematologist and to start getting all my treatments and care down there. She has always been there for me and eager to help whenever. I’m going to be seeing the drs down there instead of the ones up here. It’s crazy how big of a difference the care is here. I just can’t wait to get real help. I’ll get my treatments from my favorite nurses who I love so much and have treated me beyond loving all these years. I actually trust them with touching my body. The majority up here have not done a very good job…. Ugh so bad. Thankfully Rousseaux is right beside me to remind me to be kind 🙂 I can be a little forceful and ungracious when doing the hospital thing.
I’m currently in the hospital getting a treatment. Praying this lasts in my body longer than usual. I haven’t had bruising like this in almost a year. Yikes. People ask how I get my bruises. I normally tell them just from breathing. Which is a joke… For those who don’t know my humor. I’m either crying or making jokes about all of this. I prefer joking.
I’m seeing a GI Dr for the first time at the end of this month. Im really hoping he finds some answers to all my crazy miserable symptoms. The newest neurologist I saw said that something is clearly wrong with me. I was so excited because he actually acknowledged that something was wrong….then he said he’ll see me in two weeks. No tests..nothing. That was kinda when I hit my breaking point with the drs here.
My body longs to be free of this. My heart does too. My hearts never longed for heaven so bad. No more sickness, pain or tears. How amazing is that?
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