Please Help! Our Daughter Needs a Brain SPECT Scan

Filed under :Brain Optimization

On a warm, sunny, early Spring day, in March of 2009, we were rear ended sitting at a red light at the bottom of a hill. That impact forever changed our lives. This is the story of a young teenage girl who was excelling in 9th grade, a freshman taking college prep classes with a goal of being a veterinarian. After the accident, she was not able to read for 7 months. Fifteen months later, words on a page, pictures, people, all of life remains a blur and the specialists are beginning to utter the word brain injury.

What would you do if your child suffered from a concussion, a head trauma that in time seemed to become a brain injury…though no one says these things up front, and only time will tell the whole story. Where do you turn to to help your child through a concussion that drags out past a year? Where do you turn for help when the MRIs have revealed a nodule on her pituitary gland, and you are not sure if her symptoms are caused by a brain injury or that pesky little nodule?

We tell her story at The Great Brain Saga, and in the Facebook group The Great Brain Saga. We are asking our friends, family and everyone we know to donate just $10 toward the SPECT scan. By giving up 2 Starbucks trips, a movie and popcorn or a couple of Happy Meals, you can help Emily!

We have exhausted what our area has to offer medically for adolescents. Emily has gone to the ER had a CT Scan, 3 MRIs of the brain – all of which revealed a nodule (growth, adenoma) on her pituitary gland, 3 complete eye exams, seen an occupation therapist and vision therapist, not to mention MDs and neurologists. No one has been able to figure out WHY her vision has remained a blur since the accident, let alone how to fix it.

Since Emily has symptoms indicative of both head trauma and brain tumor, with evidence of both, she needs a SPECT scan and a thorough evaluation by the brain specialists at the Amen Clinic in Reston, VA. Their sophisticated SPECT scan will show blood flow patterns in the brain, which will offer clues we need to get to the bottom of this. Their goal is to find out what is happening, and offer a comprehensive treatment plan to help Emily get her life back!

You can help Emily see the specialist she needs, to get a plan to go forward. You can be a vital part of her recovery, and help her finish high school, with the ability to see.

While “thinking out loud on Facebook” as we waited for her third MRI, I put information about the Amen Clinic up and said, if all 330 of my Facebook friends just donated $10 each, we would almost have enough money to send Emily to the Amen Clinic. Within half an hour, I had a dozen friends offering to donate $10, to help, with great ideas on how to do this – all encouraging us forward! Wow….is this what the Lord wants us to do? We have prayed, researched, prayed more, researched and consulted every expert we can, tried every last open door and this remains the open door. While it is really kind of weird and truthfully, acutely UNcomfortable for us to ASK for money, we really think we are supposed to ask for $10 donations from 500 people to do this! Make it one gigantic team effort to send Emily!

Therefore, encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing. Pray without ceasing. 1 Thess 5:11 & 17

Our goal is to raise enough money to send Emily to the Amen Clinic this summer. We need to raise $5000 to pay for the very expensive SPECT scan, visit with specialists and traveling expenses to and from the Washington DC area. This is an expensive trip and we would not take it, if we didn’t think it was her best chance to get her life back.

All we need is for each person reading this to donate $10 (or more, as the Lord leads) and Emily will be able to get the help she needs, forward this to everyone you know, and please, pray for Emily! If you could just skip two Starbucks drinks, a couple of Happy Meals, a movie ticket and popcorn, or a roll of quarters, this would be an incredible help. If we all do a little, we will hit that goal! Thank you for prayerfully considering this!

To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world. — Author Unknown

Inexpensive Exercise Tools to Help the Brain

Filed under :Brain Optimization, Health News

This is a post from our new website, The Great Brain Saga, as we try to help our daughter recover from a brain injury, or is it a brain tumor?? We are focusing all of our efforts on raising enough money to take her for some expensive testing, not covered by insurance. We welcome your ideas, help, prayers, and every small donation, should the Lord lead you to!

We headed out to Dick’s Sporting Goods yesterday, with a coupon and a need to buy heaver weights. We have been lifting weights at home since February, when Phyllis N, a personal trainer in our Sunday school class, generously taught us how to do it! Phyllis had us start slow, with smaller weights, and begin to learn form and gain strength. Quietly, over the last few months, we have all been steadily increasing weights. Slow and steady wins the race! Each time we up our weights – it is a huge triumph! Our whole family does it – we are absolutely WILD about strength training and wish we would have known how fantastic and STRONG it made us feel, a long time ago! Just thankful we are doing it now, and highly encourage all of YOU to try it!

Emily and I had been looking at a Bosu Ball, which retails for $109. The Bosu Ball is fantastic for developing core strength and BALANCE. Since Emily is struggling with balance, we were interested. We had also seen a segment with Bob Harper (from the Biggest Loser) where he stood on a Bosu Ball, on one leg and tossed a ball back and forth, answering questions for someone. He said not only does this develop core strength, but it keeps the brain fit. As we watched, it hit us like a ton of bricks that what he was doing was involving all of these muscle groups, while throwing a ball from right to left, crossing the midline, and answering questions – that is a DYNAMIC brain exercise! We wanted a Bosu Ball, but it was out of budget and HUGE (we have a small house).

While we were poking around the back section of the store, we saw a CLEARANCE table. Who doesn’t like a bargain? We are rank amateurs in the fitness department, but learning constantly and love experimenting with new things. We tend to research and try to use a few criteria when we evaluate stuff: Will we use it? Is it useful and practical for our fitness goals now, in the future or when we travel? Can we store it easily in LIMITED space? Can the whole family use it? Is it junk? Will it end up in a garage sale?

Well, at the top of the red tags, we saw two items that might take the place of the Bosu Ball, and slide under the couch, for only $9.99 each! SCORE! The first was a GoFit Core Stability Disk, which helps with balance, core strength and exercises glutes, legs and abdominals – what is not to love there? One of the disks was out of the package, so we stood on it. Perfect – this is a low tech, easily storable substitution for the Bosu Ball, at 1/11th of the price! Emily could learn to balance, then balance on one leg, then add tossing the ball from hand to hand while balancing, then questions! Ideal! All GoFit items come with a DVD that teaches you how to safely exercise for maximum effectiveness on each one, generally with beginner to advanced tips. We will pay attention to the form/technique, and add brain exercises in as they are mastered!

Below the Stability Disks, we saw another intriguing product, a Core Wobble and Balance Board. It reminded me of an old wooden surf board, cut into a round circle – it just seemed ideal for surfers! This board will work the same core muscles, help with balance, strength, stress (we are supposed to cut stress out of Emily’s life) and more. A second, slightly different tool, that we can work brain exercises into as well! This will be phase two, after she gets the easier Stability Disk mastered! Best of all, both GoFit pieces help reduce pain! Great solutions for The Great Brain Saga!

When you have nowhere else to turn, you design your own rehabilitative program! Read more at The Great Brain Saga! We are NOT giving up! End of story!

Praising the Lord for great deals, a fantastic coupon, cash from a great used book sale, and for showing us these tools and lighting up my brain with possibilities!

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