I’ve been struggling with a way to sum up this past year in one perfectly wrapped year-end post, all tied up with ribbons, nice and neat. I’ve begun this post countless times, always trying to find the best way to convey to all of you exactly what this year has been like. I have wanted to share with you how much your love and support (and mustaches) have meant to me this year. But it’s been a complete waste of time. I could never sum up what I have taken away from this year in one pretty post.

This year wasn’t pretty. This year was hard. It rocked me to my core. I am still fighting to reclaim much of who I once was, rebuilding pieces of who I want to be, and learning to make peace with the loss of things I can’t get back. Throughout this year, I felt an incredible range of emotions, from anger and fear, to acceptance and gratitude. The one thing I never felt was alone. In so many different ways, your tweets, your emails, your offers to help, your prayers, hugs and smiles, you guys helped me navigate through this year with hope and gratitude, and some days, maybe, just a little bit of grace.

Some of you, and you know who you are, sat at my bedside and held my hand. Others held my children, and made sure my family was fed. Some of you, without being asked, just kept showing up. It is something I will never forget, and those acts of kindness will shape the way my children live their lives and how they treat others. We are forever changed because once upon a time, a girl fell down, and an entire community came together to pick her up, dust her off, and carry her awhile until she could walk on her own.

I cannot think of any words of my own to express what I feel when I think back on this year. More than anything else, the thing that resonates most was more than just never feeling alone. You made me feel protected. Protected. That’s huge. It meant more to me than you could possibly know. There were times when it was harder than normal to pick myself up and get through one more treatment, one more hospital stay, one more fucking MRI. It’s those moments that I don’t talk about. I don’t tweet about them. Those are the moments that I have to dig deep. I have to forgive myself for feeling so weak, so sad. I have to pull it all back together and remember that my life is beautiful, even if this moment is not.  I remember earlier this year, sitting in the quiet, listening to this song, it made me think of all of you. Loving me, protecting me, never letting me stand alone, and I thought, “This is going to be okay.” You did that. I am forever grateful.

Timshel, Mumford and Sons



Thank you, for everything. I’ll eat you up, I love you so.

For a long time I have been trying to figure out how to explain how it feels live with chronic illness. Every time I do, I wind up pissed, and sad, and to be honest, I just don’t want to talk about it any more. Most people want me to say that I’m doing super, just really, really super(!). I get a lot of “Are you all fixed up now?” They want me to say yes. If I don’t say yes, they are confused and maybe even upset. “But you had brain surgery! Didn’t that fix you?” Most times I just say, “Sure. All fixed.”

But it doesn’t work that way.

The goal of treatment for Chiari Malformation, Syringomyelia, and Tethered Cord Syndrome is to stop the advancement of deterioration and nerve damage, to try to decrease frequency and severity of pain, and try to achieve a better quality of life. It’s not something that can be fixed, per se, it’s a condition that can be treated, with varying success rates. My surgery and treatment was only partially successful, and I continue to progress. The problem with that explanation is that it bums people out, apparently. Then I find myself feeling like I need to make them feel better about it. So I make jokes. They laugh. Everybody moves along. This happens over and over. I explain it, people get all bummed out, I crack jokes. Except some days, there’s nothing funny about it. And I get tired of making other people feel better about my condition.

So, today I want to tell you that it is perfectly okay with me that my life might be harder than yours. This body is not perfect, but it is still here. It produced my life’s great work, my daughters. As long as I am here to be their mom, and to be Augie’s wife, I will respect this body, and I will not dishonor it by feeling sorry for myself. Every single day that I live, the good and the bad, there is someone who would give anything to have that day. There are people, some, heartbreakingly young, fighting for their lives every day. Some of them will not see tomorrow. When you feel like you need to pity me, please think of them, and re-think how you look at your day. I am not fixable, and yet I am sincerely grateful to be here. Please be grateful with me. Please try to understand that any improvement from my treatment, no matter how small, is a miracle to me.

If you see me falter when I walk, offer me your hand. If I cannot recall the name of something, offer a suggestion. If I cannot be with you because I am in pain, offer me your understanding. If I am feeling overwhelmed, and tired, and sad, offer me a beer and a kleenex, and for god’s sake, make me laugh until I pee my pants.

Just don’t feel sorry for me.

I spent a long time hiding all of this from all of you. I’m tired. I want to be me, just as I am. I just don’t want you to be all bummed out about it, mmmmkay? I don’t know exactly what the years will bring for me. I do know that I’m not going to sit around worrying about it. Whatever this body has in store for me, I’m ready to figure out how to work with it. It will very likely be totally fucking awesome.

So that’s it. I promise to be brave, if you promise to be okay with all of this, be okay with me, just as I am, unfixable (and unstoppable, suckas!). Wut.

And also, I’ll eat you up, I love you so.

This is what I did today:

  • Spent an hour of one-on-one time with Grace while Nora was at her swim lesson
  • Spent an hour of one-on-one time with Nora while Grace was at her swim lesson
  • Helped Nora make lunch for the family
  • Helped my girls get showered and dressed for a birthday party
  • I showered without needing assistance
  • French braided Grace’s hair
  • Walked 2.5 miles, my first substantial walk since the second surgery
  • Spent some time laughing with the Team Challenge team at their rummage/fundraiser
  • Took my children grocery shopping, without needing help from my husband
  • Fixed dinner for my family
  • Snuggled with my kids to watch television
  • Helped my kids get ready for bed, tickles and snuggles and tucked them in tight
  • Enjoyed a really fantastic craft beer (HOLLA!)

If you read this and thought, what the hell? What’s so great about that? I take care of my kids like that every day…so what?

Here’s what.

I have waited months to have a day like this. My children have waited months for a day like this. A normal day. An ordinary day. A day that made me feel like the mom my kids deserve, again. There are many things that I look forward to being able to do as I become stronger and healthier, but above all, I am grateful for “ordinary” days. I realize now how lucky I am to have many more ordinary days ahead of me. What once was ordinary has become anything but.

Maybe this is part of what I’m supposed to learn through my experience with Chiari Malformation, Syringomyelia and Tethered Cord (Spina Bifida Occulta). Maybe it’s a lesson in gratitude. A reminder that every day and everyday activities are a gift. Imagine if you couldn’t walk around the block or comb your daughter’s hair. You’d give anything to have “ordinary” back. And it will never seem ordinary again.

Later Gators.

NOTE: I promised you all a pretty intense post about dealing with chronic illness. It’s coming. It’s taking a bit longer to spit it out. It’s…complicated. Anyway, I had to post this one today, because I am beyond thrilled to have had such a wonderful day. I just had to share this with you.

In short, I promise to get back to being a complete jackass as soon as possible. ;)

WARNING: This post contains a high level of sarcasm, thinly veiled (or not at all) discontent, and swear words. Even my patience wears thin. While I realize that I am very fortunate, and remain a grateful patient… Well, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t give you guys the low down of the most recent hospital shenanigans. Good god it sucked. I high-tailed it out of there as soon as I could. Read at your own risk. Or don’t. Whatever. It’s cool.

Musings from the Neuro Floor…

  • Let’s play “How many times do we have to stick Sara with the 18 gauge needle before we can start an IV?” Go! *face palm*
  • That’s right, genius. I’m still awake. Better ratchet up that anesthesia cocktail, it takes a lot to put this old girl down. (Sucka.)
  • I heart TED stockings. I heart them so very much.
  • Immediately after recovery, I am wheeled to my room. Our room. Me and my roommate. My “roomie”. I have a roommate. I was not aware that I would have to share a room, or for-the-love-of-jebus, a toilet, in a hospital, can this even be legal anymore?¹ *sobs*  She likes to watch crap daytime TV while talking on the phone. She also has a husband. He likes to smile and wave at me. All I have is the mother of all headaches. I request to be moved to the nearest supply closet.
  • I, for one, really enjoy the 4:00 am blood draws. I like to pretend it’s my pre-dawn acupuncture. Really, don’t just draw the blood and leave. Flip on the lights! Stay! Tell me about some random shit your husband did at the bar and how you are raising your grandkid. It’s all really interesting and awesome. And also, I like your homemade tattoos between your thumb and forefinger. Looking good. Looking real, real good. *finger guns*
  • Ladies, nurses, CNA’s, have you ever had a spinal headache?  These are hospital beds, not bumper cars, please make a note of it.
  • Dear Roommate-That-I-Hate-For-No-Reason-Other-Than-You-Happen-To-Be-There, I am happy that you are ambulatory. Yes, I see you have a walker there. If you bang it into my bed one more time, I will have someone hide it…very very far away from this room.
  • O HAI morphine! (We bring you Loooooooooove.)
  • Did I mention that I had a roommate?
  • It’s really no problem, I carry large bags of my own urine with me on a regular basis.
  • Let’s try repetition-for-learning. Repeat after me: “I will not forget Mrs. Santiago’s morning meds. I will not forget Mrs. Santiago’s morning meds. I will not…”
  • Go ahead, trip on that foley catheter one more time, just one…more…fucking…time.
  • No, no, it’s fiiiiiiine, just the other day I was saying that I should really look into one of those bladder infections. I mean, who really secures foley catheters properly these days anyway? Pfft!
  • There is a difference between refusing to eat and refusing to eat THAT shit.
  • NOBODY EVER SAID A GOTDAMN THING ABOUT A ROOMMATE. (Fucking shoot me.)
  • Thank you, transport person, for comparing the pain from your liposuction two weeks ago to my recent craniotomy-cerebral tonsillectomy-laminectomy-duraplasty and subsequent laminectomy (that’s right, another one) and spinal cord detethering procedures. Yes, yes, your boobs and belly look great.  Oh and hey, that was awesome, in the elevator, when you started digging through my hair with your press-ons, asking what all the red stuff was and “what the hell did they do?” to me. You are one terrific asshole, and I will miss you most of all.

Later Gators.

.

.

.

Footnotes:

¹Predictably, someone is going to get all riled up because I’m bitching about sharing a toilet when others “don’t have access to healthcare” at the level that I do. Listen up, Jack, because I’m going to share something with you. I have paid a shit-ton of money this year in medical expenses. We have had to prioritize our household expenses and give up certain things so that we could afford this. Based on what I have already shelled out, not only should I get my own fucking toilet, but it should be made of gold, feel like silk, and wipe my ass for me when I’m done.

Moms don’t get sick. They don’t take days off. It’s just the way it is. Once you have kids, you just grit your teeth and deal with it, whatever it is, cold, flu, migraine, cramps, broken leg, whatever. Moms don’t get sick.

But what happens when they do?

For any parent facing a serious or long term illness, the worst part about it, hands down, is how it affects your kids. Since we’re moms, we can deal with everything else (pain, treatment, surgery, setbacks, anything) with a brave face and (hopefully) a positive attitude. What we have a harder time dealing with is how to protect our kids from our illness. It’s a special kind of mom guilt. It’s guilt for being sick in the first place. It’s useless and nonsensical, but there it is. We feel terribly guilty about all of it, because moms don’t get sick.

My kids have been dealing with my illness on some level since they were born. In the last two years, as my condition progressed, they have had to deal with it more often. They have spent the better part of this year dealing with it on a daily basis. They are worried. They are angry. They throw tantrums more often, and they are extremely sensitive lately. Sometimes I look at them and think they’ve finally just gone bat-shit crazy. Sooooooo, my husband and I are working with them and our pediatrician to make sure that we are doing the right things to help them cope and reassure them that we will all get through this. And we will.

In the meantime, we have made some modifications to our lifestyle and our home. We moved a card table and chairs into my bedroom so the kids can hang out with me as they color, play, read, eat, whatever. Sometimes we move Friday movie night into my bed. We have found we can do lots of stuff in mom’s bed, read, play games, cards, play video games…lots. I spend all of the time, that I’m not working, with them. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I look at this time as an opportunity to teach them life-long coping skills, empathy, compassion, and that even though life isn’t perfect, it can still be great.

As it turns out, moms get sick. But if we are very lucky, we can also get better. In the meantime, life doesn’t stop. It might change a lot. It might be harder than it once was. It might not be what anyone would have chosen. But it’s still life. As long as we’re here, we have to treasure it. As moms, we have to take every opportunity we get to help our children grow physically and emotionally.

We have a choice: We can let the mom-guilt consume us, and feel sorry for our children, or we can use our circumstances to make our children stronger.

Some of the strongest people I know happen to be the ones that have faced adversity and used their experiences to build an amazing life. Many of them have faced challenges more difficult than my own. These people are my heroes. They inspire me every day to be the best mom I can be, and to guide my children through this time with love, humor, and gratitude. We’re going to have good days, and we’re going to have bad days. We have to remember to be grateful for both.

It’s been awhile, huh? (If you missed the 2.0 post, check it out here.)

Plenty of times I’ve begun an update post. Each time, I toss it. Here’s a secret for anyone who’s never had to deal with medical shenanigans of this type:

We are kinda sick of talking about it.

We pretty much just want to get through it, get life back to some semblance of normal, to feel like ourselves again. We don’t want to make a fuss. I mean, there are so many people dealing with much, much worse.

(Seriously, punch me right in the face if I ever get all too dramatic about this.)

I get to live. My kids are scared, but they’ll be ok. My husband is exhausted, but he’s hanging in there with me. My friends and family have repeatedly surrounded us with love and support, and they amaze me on a daily basis. So, I’m lucky. I’m grateful. And I just want to quietly heal this body without much fanfare or drama.

I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that a positive attitude is absolutely essential in recovery from any illness. I’ve also learned that unrealistic expectations can chip away at your positivity. If you are not honest with yourself about the changes in your body and the changes in your life in general, you can easily forget to appreciate the opportunity you have been given, opportunities that not everyone else has.

Healing from surgery and learning to cope with a life-long condition requires patience, gratitude, perspective, and a whole lot of humor. It would be easy for me to fall into pity-party mode, but what would that get me? Jack shit. That’s what.

I’m lucky. I know that. This isn’t an easy road, but most things that are worth it aren’t. I got a second chance! No one said it was going to be a fucking pool party. Some days are tougher than others. Some days I am a bit more impatient than I should be. I’m learning. I’m getting there.

So aaaaaaaaanyway…

Turns out, I need a second surgery. This one is to treat my tethered spinal cord. This condition, related to Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia, causes a veritable smorgasbord (orgasboard)* of neurological symptoms. It’s progressing faster than I had hoped it would, and we need to address the issue before any more nerve damage is permanent.

So, watch for the newest upgrade, coming September 2010. It’s gonna be bananas.

Later Gators.

*see what I did there? #bwahahahahaha #holycrapimfunny #thatsenoughsara

Oh, and because enough of you have asked, yes, I have a totally badass scar. Dig it.

Sara's Chiari Incision

And a scar like that earned me this. Holla.

Bad MerFer Wallet

For some time now I have been trying to put my finger on why some folks get how to use social media to market themselves or their services and some completely miss the boat. I’ve been trying to identify exactly why one person drives me completely nuts, and another person’s message is welcome, and even met with a smile and desire to share their message. Then it hit me. Social graces. Good, old fashioned manners, courtesy, humor and genuine interest in others. You know, how people have been building relationships since, well, forever. “Social networking” is still just networking, period. Networking is still about people. Just talking to people and building relationships. Hopefully that relationship has value for both parties, whether it’s emotional value or monetary value, it doesn’t matter. You define that value.

So, let’s say you met me in real life. If every other thing out of your mouth was “Read my blog!”, “Buy my stuff!”, “I’m so great!”, “Have you heard how AWESOME my blog is?”, I would run away. Seriously. I might even have to resist the urge to smack you upside the head.

(Ok Sara, then tell us. Tell us how to market ourselves without being an obnoxious doucher.) Gladly.

Ask yourself a few questions:

Am I being myself? — Seriously. Be yourself. This, apparently, is easier said than done. Even the “social media experts” that preach the ever hyped “authentic/transparent” strategy don’t always practice what they preach. How do I know this? I’ve met plenty of them in real life that are quite different than they portray themselves on social networks. That doesn’t work. Why? Because the ultimate goal of networking is usually a real life conversion. If you aren’t really who you portray yourself to be online, you lose my trust.

Do I talk about myself/blog/business too much? — This is highly annoying in real life, and amplified on the web. If the majority of your activity on social networks is telling people about all the great stuff you are doing/have to offer/etc, you are probably coming off as narcissistic. Please stop. Thanks.

Am I courteous to others? — Are you prone to hijacking tweets? Do you take other people’s ideas from one forum and re-purpose as your own on another? Do you “borrow” other peoples snark/funny/content without giving credit? Well, that’s just douchey. (And also plagiarism, asshole.)

Am I the know-it-all? – Yes, yes, you may be a genius. You may have thought of everything before any of the rest of us. We know, you have an opinion on everything. Bless you. Here’s the thing. It’s ok to just shut up every once in awhile. If you did this at a cocktail party in real life, you wouldn’t get many future invitations. Dial it back, mmmkay?

You see, when people in my social network are helpful, courteous, knowledgeable and friendly, I WANT to hear about what they’ve got going on. I WANT to advocate on their behalf. Why? Just like in real life, I want to help my friends. In turn, those friends will want to help me. Together we will both grow our networks of friends, acquaintances, clients and so on.

Unless you are painfully socially awkward, you can do this. You have been building lasting relationships your whole life. Employ what you already know! You know how to NOT be a douchebag. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your online relationships are any different. They require care and work and time to grow. Be yourself. Listen when other people are speaking. Remember it’s not always about you. If you wouldn’t do it in a real life conversation, don’t do it in an online conversation.

And keep your elbows off the table.

Later Gators.

Do you remember the moment that someone really catches your attention? I think it’s really interesting to examine the moment in time that another human being caused you to pause and listen. A moment in time that you said to yourself, “I want to learn more about this person.” Sometimes it’s so fleeting that you can’t really put your finger on it. Sometimes it’s like a baseball bat to the face.

What I find even more interesting is that it isn’t always for the obvious reasons. Sometimes it’s the nuances that make impact. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Ungeeked Elite Conference in Milwaukee. Of the many interesting people I met there, one of them had a definite impact on me, and I didn’t even get to meet her formally.

Liz Strauss, social web strategist and community builder is a veritable force of nature. Before Ungeeked Elite, I had heard of her, followed the SOBCON twitter hashtag, and read her blog from time to time. In my quest to try to figure out why some people “get” social media (read: relationships) and why some don’t, I found her blog to be a great resource. But it wasn’t the thing that made me sit up and pay attention. It was a story. A story and a matchbook.

Liz came to Ungeeked Elite to express congratulations and show true respect for the conference’s founder and organizer, CD Vann. She told a story about her father, a tavern owner who understood relationships at a level that “strategists” today may never achieve. His patrons considered him “a personal friend”. Liz recalls a few stories here: My Father’s Saloon — A Blogging Story. These are the stories that resonated with me. It was her connection to her father and the way that she has used what she learned from him to become who she is today. Her business card today looks like the matchbook from her father’s tavern. The matchbook read, “You are only a stranger but once.” I love that. I love even more that her father didn’t just convey that message to his patrons in word. He showed them by his actions.

Liz coming to Milwaukee, in person, was what I imagine her father would have done, what I know my father would do. It’s the kind of thing I wish I saw more of these days. Real, actual effort to support others in your network. It’s a little harder, a little more time consuming. It’s an investment of time and effort. It’s the kind of thing that earns my admiration.

I truly believe that if we stop for a minute and think back to earlier generations of truly great businessmen and women, and examine what they did that made them successful in work and in life, I think we’d find that the common thread is that they actually gave a crap about their customers, friends, and community. They put forth the extra effort. They were truly invested in their relationships.

It’s so easy to talk the talk on social networks. It takes more effort to walk the walk. It takes more than just a retweet or a pat on the back to support a community. Dive in. Become part of, well, something, anything. Make an impact. Make an investment in relationships. Help someone succeed. You may find that the returns you get are more than you may have expected. It’s not new. But clearly, some people seem to have forgotten. Liz hasn’t.

That moment when Liz spoke about her father was the moment of impact. More than a successful blogger, strategist, and SOBCON founder, she was the kind of person for whom I’d like to buy a drink, and listen to her story. With a story and a matchbook, she made me want to shut my big mouth and learn something.

Later Gators.

Listen up folks, because I think we’re heading down a dangerous path. Usually you hear me evangelizing new mobile media tactics, amazing designs that make our lives easier and allow us to consume information, entertainment and social media anytime, anywhere. I mean, I *am* the #mobilediva, right?

It’s time to put the phone down.

Lately I have become keenly aware of parents ignoring their children because they cannot disconnect from the mobile web. I recently saw a woman continually ignore her son in a grocery store because she was reading/responding to something on her mobile device. It was heartbreaking. I stood there in line, silently judging this idiot of a woman. I mean how could you ignore that sweet little boy? How many years do you think you have left until he doesn’t want or need your attention in this way? What the fuck are you doing?!!

Then it occurred to me. I’ve done this. I’ve done the “just a minute”, and the “hang on I just have to send this…” to my kids. I’m an idiot too. I’d be willing to bet a lot of you are guilty of this, at least to some degree. If you deny it, I call bullshit.

After thinking about it more, I came to the following conclusion:

If my child EVER thinks FOR A SINGLE MOMENT that whatever the heck is on my mobile device is more important than her, then I am a giant douche of a parent.

I don’t want to be a douche. I don’t want my kids to think that I care more about ANYTHING than them. I’m turning over a new leaf. I will not only be more mindful of my mobile device usage around them, but I will purposefully outlaw mobile usage during most daily family activities. In addition to potentially giving my kids a complex, I could miss out on the moments that I can’t ever get back. They aren’t going to want to build forts and snuggle up on movie night forever. They are absolutely ecstatic when I walk through the door each evening, how long will that last? For everything good that our interactive lives bring into the mix, if not balanced with actually living your life, it can be destructive.

Got teenagers? Take heed. It may not seem like they care or notice. They do. They just quietly resent you for not trying harder to connect with them. Believe that.

When you boil it all down, it’s like anything else. Moderation. Being connected through mobile technology can be awesome, let’s face it, it’s pretty cool. Let’s just use a little common sense. Let’s be GREAT parents first. (Then you have my permission to check The Twitter.)

So let’s *not* be douche-y together. Let’s put the phone down and be a family. Who’s with me?

Hello. My name is Sara. On May 20, 2010 I had brain surgery. I also have  fancy new titanium plate in my head. I’m feeling relatively badass lately.

Here’s the skinny folks. I have a brain malformation that causes the bottom most part of my cerebellum to grow out of my skull, through the forgem magnum and into/onto my spinal cord. This creates several problems. First of all, it creates pressure directly onto my brain. This causes daily headaches and migraine-like-holy-shit-headaches 2 to 3 times per week. In my case, it also caused double vision, hearing and vision loss and nerve damage. Secondly, the pressure on my spinal cord caused a serious interruption in the flow of spinal cord fluid. This caused a cyst, or syrinx, inside my spinal cord causing additional nerve damage, change in my gait, weakness in my limbs, loss of feeling in my face and partial paralysis. I have had this malformation since birth. The severe headaches began over a decade ago. I have had a headache every day for seven years. In the last 6 months I have had increased trouble with balance. Some days, it was hard to walk or hold my children.

I have been able to hide this very successfully for many years. As neurological symptoms have progressed, it became harder to hide these things. I ruined family vacations. I frequently had to back out of plans. I figured that if I could be strong enough to be a good mom and be good at my job, that it would be enough. I was totally used to it. I still had an amazing family, the world’s best friends ever, and a life that made my heart truly glad every day. Maybe it was a little harder than a healthier person’s life, but it was mine and I still loved it.

Lately, it didn’t matter how strong I was. I couldn’t be the mom I know my kids deserve. I had to put too much onto Augie. I was struggling to accomplish everything I needed to do in a day. Slowly, I was becoming so physically worn that all the positive attitude in the world couldn’t cut it.

I went back to my doctor recently and told that same story. A failed neurological exam led to an MRI. (I wasn’t too worried, it sure wasn’t my first MRI with all these headaches…) A neuroradiologist caught something that several other neurologists had missed. I had a 6mm Chiari Malformation bilaterally. My brain had escaped my skull. (Come on, this is totally badass though right?) I was referred immediately to neurosurgery. Upon further research, an earlier diagnosis of MS was finally dismissed (can you imagine how miraculous this was?!), symptoms were explained, and most importantly of all, my diagnosis was one of “We think we can help you, Sara.” not “Tough break, kid.”

It has been a long long journey. On May 26, 2010 I sat on my bed and cried tears of joy. For the first time in 7 years, I did not have a headache. I had forgotten what that felt like. I was overcome with gratitude.

I am healing now. I am 9 days from surgery and some of my symptoms are gone. (I can breathe so much better without pressure on my brainstem!) Some will stay. Some spinal cord damage cannot be repaired. (YET!) I’m ok with that. I’m ok at 90%, because with gratitude in my heart and all of the beautiful people in my life, I will achieve 125% every day.

So, that’s my story. This is the very first time I’ve told it. I’m glad to be able to share it with you.

P.S.

I very specifically asked the surgeon NOT to touch the Jackassery Lobe. He complied. Fair warning.

Also, FACT: My husband can sneak video ANYWHERE. I plan to continue to share my experience with all of you over the next months. We have captured this entire experience with wickedawesome video, photos and words. Some of it is happy, some scary, some just plain gross. But it’s all part of this journey.

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