Living life and Helping Others

What could be better than living a great, productive, and meaningful life, while also working a business that helps others? I can’t think of anything better than that, and I’m fortunate that, although we’ve had many ups and downs, I’ve been able to lead just that sort of life lately. Not a life without trials, challenges, and hardships, but a blessed life when I look at the overall picture.

I’ve had some great personal and professional high points lately. Personally, I performed in a four-show run of the musical Godspell with my local community theater. That was a lot of fun and a way to present a great message during this Lenten season. But, I’m happy the show is over and that I can concentrate more fully on my children, my music, and my business. My kids recently competed in a Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser at their school, but I was unable to attend for the first time ever because I had committed to subsitute teach that day at the High School. So, I sent my camera with a couple of the High School students who were going to help with the event and had them take some pictures and videos of my kids. I was so impressed with my daughter and so grateful that I took the opportunity to capture that event even though I was not there! Even though I had written her a note so she could excuse herself and go take off her Cheneau brace for the event, she said she “forgot” and wore it anyway. It didn’t do a thing to slow her down! She jumped and climbed over and UNDER ropes, on the floor, completed obstacle courses, and everything else the other kids were doing. And, she did it WELL! How wonderful is that?! The brace doesn’t phase her or slow her down – she has developed coping mechanisms and she lives life to the fullest – pain free. Her life is not without hardships and challenges – but blessed overall. Everything I could hope for.

Professionally, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with some new Spinecor patients who are looking for more comfortable solutions for their bodysuit needs. I shipped a bodysuit to an overseas desination for the first time, and developed a new standard size – an XS, that I hope to have readily available on my website soon for all the very young children moving into a Spinecor. A Mom contacted me needing help for her daughter, who is 4 years old and wears a Spinecor. It is my prayer that these bodysuits and all the others I make reach their new owner and bless them by making them comfortable enough in their brace that they can look at their disease of Scoliosis as a hurdle and an obstacle, but not something that will detract from the overall quality of their life. I pray that each bodysuit will reach the patient I made it for and help them work past one more obstacle so that they can go back to feeling blessed and loving life, with Scoliosis or without. What more could I hope for?

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Washington DC Trip #2

On the weekend of February 14, 2010, my whole family made the journey again to the Northern Virginia/ Washington DC area to get updates made to “C”‘s brace.  February 14 is affectionately called by my family “V-Day” because it is not only Valentine’s Day, but, more importantly, “V”, my son’s, Birthday.  So, we had fun plans to head out to DC on Wednesday afternoon, spend Thursday and Friday with Luke from Orthotic Solutions, then we had family joining us from Southern Virginia to celebrate the big “V-Day event”.  Then the news hit – a blizzard was on it’s way to DC – again.  I spent many months planning this trip to coincide with a break that my husband had at school so that he could meet Luke and see how things went with her brace adjustments and to just enjoy the city

together.  I was, needless to say, in a panic.  I also was coming off of a three week long-term substitute teaching job at an area Middle School and had no time for this pesky snow!!  Nevertheless, it came, and we weren’t sure what to do.  Thankfully, one call to Luke at Orthotic Solutions and my fears were abated.  We would travel out Thursday, after the snow, and he would make extra room in his schedule (which happened to be on Saturday) so we could still accomplish our mission. 

We headed out Thursday morning and the drive was pretty carefree – books on CD in the car kept us quiet and happy until we got to my Aunt and Uncle’s place in Sterling, VA. 

On the road

 The next day we headed over to Orthotic Solutions in Fairfax, Va, for “C”‘s evaluation.  “V” made himself happy rearranging the furniture and building forts in their playroom while my husband got to meet Luke while “C” got her evaluation done.  Luke decided that, although we are getting improvement, that he would make her a new daytime brace to continue to push her further toward a correct position.  He also added a piece in front of her right shoulder to keep her shoulder from coming forward – but, we found out soon after that this also prevents her from reaching certain things in front of her – like sink handles in public bathrooms.  She looks a bit more “robotic” now, but she’s getting used to the changes.  She also has trouble reaching her feet to put her socks on, but I plan to find one of those devices in medical catalogs to help with that.  It took her a couple weeks to adjust to the changes, but, as typical of her, she’s doing great now.  My biggest mistake was forgetting the Motrin after her appointment – we headed into DC for some sightseeing and she was very sore!  It wasn’t nearly as bad as when we took the train BACK into VA – I was so motion sick, I thought I was going to DIE! 🙂 

Walking In Washington DC

We survived Saturday – getting the new brace and having a fun afternoon and evening with family.  Sunday we had a “Chuck E Cheese” devotional, courtesy of my Uncle Dean, who is an ordained minister, then headed out to Chuck E. Cheese for some fun to celebrate “V”‘s Birthday!  The kids racked up 711 tickets – a new high, and we enjoyed our family time.  My Aunt Annette made “V” a racecar cake in the shape of a 6 (wouldn’t want to drive on that track!).  It was delicious.  Monday morning we headed home and, although we were driving along piles of snow the entire trip, we didn’t actually drive in any falling snow until we were about 30 minutes from home – and that’s just normal. 🙂

Vaughn Blowing out those Candles!
"V" Blowing out those Candles!
"C" and "V" with Cousin Beth - their favorite!
Thanks to our hosts, my Aunt Glorianne and Uncle Dean, who make our trips out to DC pleasant and comfortable and help us in so many ways!  Thanks to My Aunt Annette, Uncle Rick, and cousin Beth for coming out for the party, and, of course to Luke Stikeleather of Orthotic Solutions and his staff for being wonderful, encouraging, competent, considerate, and all-in-all a fantastic team to partner with for our daughter’s spinal health! 

Stay tuned…we have made our three day appointment to travel to Stevens Point, WI in April for an introduction to the Schroth Physical Therapy technique.  Another new adventure!