Making money blogging and summer fun

Bella did great with the 11 year check up and shots. She didn't cry she hold my hand and breath out the pain and fear of the poke like a champ. 64 pounds and 4 foot 7.

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We now have a case manager who is helping with setting up appointments to try and make her absences 50% less then she had this school year.

I am also getting an advocate to help with the transition from 5th grade to middle school for this up coming school year. Our goal is to not have any appointments for for Bella school to call on Thursdays saying she has a temp and is having panic attacks. She been doing amazing this summer not one temp or panic attack. She gent's some cousin time we are having a sleep over with her cousin and they are currently watching 101 dalmatians on Netflix.

Last summer so so crazy and busy I couldn't even keep up with my apartment this summer we have been working on organization and minimizing .

Today Adam and Bella worked on Bin storage system and setting up her bedroom to be more organized and donated a ton of toys. I have to say this summer is going so great I even have time to work on writing my book. I had some ladies at a conference I usually attend pray for me to find time to write and I have so much time I don't know what to do with. I'm excited to see where this summer will take us.

Yesterday we had a tour of Adam new work a full time non contract position which a lot of you had prayed for him to find the right fit job. This job is so perfectly fit for him and the people he works with are great and he has his very own office with a nice kitchen to keep his food from home we can make him healthy meals for work and he is an It administration. All good things come. As all good things come to an end sometimes we no longer are income eligible for ssi. My goal with my website make some money to make up the difference or at least cover the cost of what I pay to keep the website going.  I have a few places where we signed up for our blog to be sponsored and I look forward to working with some Amazing brands. I have a few book launches I am apart of and I can not wait to have my very own book launch team. I have to finish my book first. I have 1st part done the hard part where I talk about my past. The second part is my healing process I'm struggling writing it down but glad to do so. It is very therapeutic for me.

Thanks so much for reading my blog and watching it grow into this beautiful website I couldn't have done it with out all of you supporting me/us.

Here is to new adventures and remember choose kindness.

 

What I wish I knew before I found out I had 22q

What I wish I knew before I found out I had 22q

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It been ages since I did a rant blog post!

I call this what I wish I knew about 22q because even after all these year efforts of research is still unknown of how this affects us who have 22q.

 There can be a bit of variability between each of the conditions. Such as 22q11.2 deletion can be a trisomy or there can be chd or no chd. You can have thyroid issues or no thyroid issues. You can have learning speech hearing heart issues or none at all. I wish I knew and understood that no two people with this disorder are affected by it in the exact same way no matter how hard I searched for answers and asked others who have it or have kids with it I always found out there are some similar characteristics but not all of the exact same symptoms and even if we had the same symptoms as someone else there are for different reasons.

I knew what Digeorge syndrome was but I did not understand velocardiofacial syndrome until a few years afterward I did not understand the basics of genetic 101 I can now probably teach a seminar class on it.

I did not know there is an entire country who wants to wipe out rare genetic disorders and completely get rid of anyone who is a big quirky odd or different with how God formed them. I did not understand why parents were shocked when I could raise my own family when I told them. I did not understand the hatred of people who have this disorder but yet claim their love for their own child they too will have a child who grows up one day to be an adult like myself.   I also did not think parents would never want their 30 year old live on their own and be functional adults in the real world I didn't know why parents were so over protective until I had my own child. I will not limit my daughter like some of the parents I know and have ran into but instead, encourage her where she needs encouragement and help her by nurturing her independence no matter how stubborn or strong willed my redhead has become at 10 years old. I am so thankful for her stubbornness because that is what got her through all those years of multiple doctors visits her leg braces and her dental work. That what pushed us past our limited views of others to help us reach our potential we ran a 5k together not many normies can say they did that. 

I understand now the fear is the unknown and the hate is not hated but it is grief it a loss of life they thought they were going to have. I get it I have my own daughter who has it. I too experience all of the awful mixed up emotional feelings that come from having this disorder but I did not allow my self to stay stuck. I educated myself and I am educating others so they know what to expect once knowing what to expect they can be hopeful that is the worst case or they can hope for the best case but either way there is hope after knowing what they are getting into.

Feeling pretty lost scared and confused is a typical day to day functional normal for us none normies who are trying to figure life out. Adjusting to routines and schedules is a challenge trying to manage just a two bedroom apartment can be a chore for someone like myself but here I am doing it basically wiping my own butt. I am shocked that others are shocked that I too can wipe my own butt and look after myself and not only look after myself but after others as well. I am a wife mom and step mom some define what I do a success

I am not impressed one bit by being someone inspiration simply because I am stand to own my own two feet and get up each day and do things that I have to do. I get some people can't I really do get that but to label that all of us with 22q can't do that is unfair and it is already setting more limits on the limits that are already in places. Screw the limits set by others is what I wish I knew!

 

I have anxiety and Adhd and ptsd but most days are good days medications are little because after all these years I have coping skills and things set in place I know that will help. such as sticky notes and how to guides I use a binder system to keep track of everything. I also have a binder for everything I really wish I knew about this binder system that I use. It would have made high school so much easier.

I wish my passing out spells I had in high school were vaggo vessel and that I just had to take this pill for and it would all go away. It does not go away with just a pill I wish it did.

It can be scary to hear your child has a genetic disorder. It can be scarier to know you also have the disorder what is even scarier is knowing you have a disorder and having a child any how because hey life happens and birth control is only 99.9 effective.

I see these worst case scenarios in support groups and such and watch others just stare and hear crickets when I write a post about the good stuff but when I write about the bad everyone comments. I wish I knew I was only a relatable human being by sharing about my stomach filar ups. I would have written a blog post and shared pictures of every time I picked and hugged the toilet bowl I wish I knew you all would cheer me on for that. I wish I knew what I needed to do to be part of a support group to be a team player rather then having to create a blog and website and from my own tribe. I wish there was a tribe for me where I could fit in but it is what it is. I wish I knew life is what it is before life got all messy by my trying to fix it and help others.

I wish I knew how to handle the stress from the nonstop specialist and pt and ot appointments we had to attend and that I had to attend while I was pregnant and after. If I did I would not have ended up in a 72 hour phyc hold with an over dose of Ambien just by mistakenly trying to simply sleep because my brain wouldn't shut down. I wish I knew how to write about that moment to help others to prevent others from going down that path that I did. I wish I knew about 22q.

I wish I knew my brother who passed away from having 22q at 6 years old. I wish I knew what I outlived him. I wish I knew why God takes the little child and not me. I wish I didn't have a second hospital trip for a medication over dose because I didn't know how to process grief I didn't know how to deal with my father who disowned me who has 22q as well. I wish I didn't learn these coping skills from my step mother who enjoys attention seeking behavior choices and takes tynole by the bottles when life gets too shitty for her. I wish I understood mental illness when I was a teen.

I wish I didn't have to have a complete mental break down after I had my daughter when she was 1 and another when she was 2. I wish I knew I had ptsd do to the major abuse and neglect from my parents. I really wish I didn't have to hold all of this in until I was 25 years old. I am 34 years old and I really have only enjoyed living life since that last trip to the mental hospital. I am recovered by the grace of God I understand why God allows bad stuff to happen to good people I didn't know then I wish I knew that too why God allowed 22q. 

I know now I know from the bible study's from the medication from the teachings from all the years of hard work in therapy. I wish I could pass all of this knowledge on to others so hey don't have to feel so crappy about having 22q or living with someone who has 22q but what I know is people are going to do think act and feel how they want and there is nothing I can do to change that. I also wish I knew I would make and lose friends who have 222q based of what others perceived about me. I wish I knew all of this about 22q

I wish I didn't see this from a parents perspective and also somebody that suffers from it. I wish I knew all of this about 22q.

I wish I knew that insurance did not cover anything related to my daughters health condition and that having children's special health was useless because Medicaid will cover generics of what she needs.  I wish ssi knew what 22q digeorge syndrome was and that it not going to get healed because she can speak. I wish I didn't have to appeal ssi or have to deal with ssi every time we tuned around but only one of us can work because I have no ablity to stay at a full tme job with the ups and downs of my own illness. I wish I knew there was more support.

I wish I knew all of this about 22q.

What do you wish you knew about 22q ?

 

 

 

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Rare Champion of hope nominee Amanda Ripsam for 22q advocacy

I am honored to be a nominee for the rare champions of hope

My husband Adam and I

My husband Adam and I

I am honored to be a nominee for the rare champions of hope. Hundreds of individuals and organizations worldwide were nominated by their peers for the 2017 RARE Champion of Hope awards to honor their notable efforts in rare disease advocacy, science, collaborative sciences, and medical care and treatment. Please see the full list of nominees and a map demonstrating the various locations of those nominated below.  The purpose of the Tribute to Champions of Hope is to recognize those who are uniquely attacking the challenges they face in the fight against rare disease; those who are thinking outside of the box and working tirelessly, not focusing on what was, but setting their sites on what can/will be. 

I have always been focused on the what I can do vers what I can't do as an adult and mom who has 22q and raising my own child with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. I also have a father and three siblings one of my siblings a half brother passed away at the age of 6.  In total there are 6 of us with 22q in our family. I bring all kinds of perspectives and that's where my passion lies in honor of my brother quietly of course and in providing hope for my daughter. I share my story here on my website and have blogged since 2014 since I started blogging there have been so many other 22q people who have also wanted to blog and some people even want to do all that Bella and I can do. At first, it was not easy doing the research talking to doctors hunting down specialist but I did it and now my daughter is 10 and I'm trained and ready to speak out and up for this disorder that is unheard of so often way too often by er doctors nurses and teachers.  The people who interact with my daughter all are aware of 22q and that made me have the desire to spread awareness the old fashion grass roots way of word of mouth to everyone and anyone I can.  My passion is why I am honored to be one of your nominees to share my story if i can not attend I would love if everyone who hears about me and my story to subscribe to my blog so I know how many are out there who want to hear my story.

2016 Tribute to Champions of Hope Recap

The 5th Annual Tribute to Champions of Hope was host to 670 attendees and 27 honorees. The night will be remembered for its courageous honorees, touching acceptance speeches, and amazing performances. 

I am in the black top Bella is in the one in the red 22q hat and Adam hubby is in yellow. We are standing with friends for a picture from last years 22q at the zoo in Grand Rapids Michigan we had a small but mighty group spreading awareness

I am in the black top Bella is in the one in the red 22q hat and Adam hubby is in yellow. We are standing with friends for a picture from last years 22q at the zoo in Grand Rapids Michigan we had a small but mighty group spreading awareness

The link below shares the list of others who have also been nominated.  This is a huge honor and I thank everyone who voted to get me here.

I also thank every single blog subscriber and everyone who has been supportive of our journey.

Love Amanda Ripsam and Family

https://globalgenes.org/2017nominees/

 

Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis Awareness Month is August and the reason I am writing about it is because I was diagnosed 4 years ago with this disorder. I have Gasteroparesis on top of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.

 

 

I am medication free for 3 weeks now a new depression pill that is out on the market that is suppose to help with the vagus nerve damage that I have on top of having 22q11.2 deletion syndrome a deletion on the 22q chromozone I have this other disorder that is more pressing that I face challenges daily what to eat and how to eat consume me.

  I did it all diet and lifestyle change. My conclusion after the experiments and treatment from bravo capsule is where you swollow this maganitic pill that goes into your gut and it transmits to a recording divice and you wear it for a week then give it back to the doctors to tell how high level your acid levels are in your system my levels were very high, then they gave me a radioactive egg test where they take a picture of your insides with an xray at every hour for 3 hours in a hospital. I did a swollow study and a endoscope. I had bioposys done and poylups removed and brunt off. I had been told I'm not a candidate for surgery because of the hospital I go to is does not have a throatatic surgeon so I was told loose weight and sent to a nutritiosit who told me to eat smaller frequent meals that has small amounts of protines. Eat soft bland mushy foods like eggs, fruit and oatmeal and broth. I'm so tired of having to eat the same things all the time. I am tired of trying to loose weight and the more I try the more I gain. I then attempted the dreaded gluten free diet and dairy free diet
I am now almost all gluten free except for when I go out I have no will power when I am out of the house my mind and gut think freedom. This elimination diet the process of testings I had to endure it all sucks by the way. I was even bed ridden for the first part of the diagonses becasue I was not eating enough calories I couldn't make it past 900 calories I had to learn tricks and tips on how to sneak in healthy calories that were not carbs cause lets face it all that is soft bland and mushy is complex carbs. I had to blend my food and slurp soups. I had to miss out on church potluck days because I lacked the will power. I had the supportive friends but I didn't want to burden them with my struggles. I also have my daughter to deal with and my marriage trying to feel sexy is out of the question when your fighting with your butt and gut issues.  It took all of my will power just to get to where I could start walking again there were days my depression was so beyond what I could express into words that I thought what if I just chocked in my sleep one last time. Chocking in my sleep is also a symptom of this disorder.  Lack of sound restless sleep is another. I kept all of this to myself about how this effected my self esteem and I started to withdrawl into myself and retreat into my own world. Only having enough energy to face my family and most days I had to fake a smile for them and pretend I wasn't in real pain under my rib cage from vomiting the night before. I went and attened school and church functions like a champ. My friends stop calling because I stopped calling what am I going to talk to my friends about hey how are you your job going? I don't work I can not relate to anyone else I had a new hobby getting my life back on track in health and wellness mind body and spirit as all were crushed along with my hopes and dreams of the future.

Then I started think about my daughter and how would I advocate for her but not for myself why would I fight to keep her health up as well as I do if I didn't take care of myself. My husband helps so much but I had to do and deal with my own issues with this disorder. Both disorders I have 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and Gastroparesis

I am slowly healing from Gastroparesisit will never go away and could get worst before I get better and it is a cycle.
The flair ups and they have been less and less as I learn new ways to eat and balance life.
I even started seeing a new dr locally for myself vs traveling further out.
I am feeling much better and now I am working on sleep and routines.

Now 4 years later I am finally back on track I have been on track before but this is a new back on track for me as I am doing everything holistically and naturally. Educate yourself is the key to hope.

Question everything and avoid online group dramma that stuff and pull you in and suck you dry. The competitive I know more then you is strong in groups and they tend not to be about supporting which is why I started my blog to avoid the dramma and focus on finding others who are going though the same things. I think I am only in three groups now.
The blog has been around for 4 years and going strong at over 4,000 subscribers even with the changes I have had to make with web hosting. I am considering putting together a website vs blog. Youtube channel in the future as that's how media trends seem to go.
Remember its okay for self care so you can be the best you for your kids and family. .
That is my tip for the week.
What are some of your favorite self care tips? Thank you everyone for reading

How to self care as a special needs caregiver

 As a caregiver, we can often overlook the burn out factor.
 I became burnt out friends! That is why there have been very few blog posts. I shared a bit about being burnt out before and last week I wrote a post about attending a conference that helped speakers and writers which I found a new source of inspiration.

This blog is about balance and I have not shared about how I balance and manage to live with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. It requires a lot of time management in all areas of life, physical, emotional and spiritual. I went to the speaker's conference as I mentioned above and I came back home to the reality of trying to keep up with my two bedroom apartment and kids sometimes I only have free time to sit with my husband and fall a sleep on the couch.

I have a bit on my own plate to manage my own health issues I have gastroparesis and it is gastroparesis awareness month so I felt I needed to write about the struggles I have. 

I have adhd and ptsd I have not talked about my struggles with these things and how I am managing those symptoms or even managing. It is because I am busy managing these issues all at once and on hyper alert and on top of most of it. I say most of it the one issue I had with writing my blog posts lately is because of some of the sweet honest feedback and comments friends have given to me after I was on a few podcast I been doing a few different podcast shows because it is easier for the nerve damage for me to speak than it is to type out an entire blog post. I can transcribe podcast post later after my nerve damage heals but many of you have asked where I have been. What has Bella and our family been up to this summer and where are your rambling updates filled with tired typo. That is because I am stepping up my blog and I am starting to work on book writing perhaps in the future you will see pdf files for sale on my website for right now I sit and type behind my computer screen when I get the change to breath or when I get the chance to get away and type it is almost never this summer has gone by so fast and I have been living in the moments and enjoying each day as if it was my last. Life truly is short. I lost my brother when he was 6 years old and he had 22q the fact that Bella and I both have 22q and are doing as well as we are is a huge blessing and I will not take that for granted. Now there are some people who are envious of how well we are doing or think I have it all and I am accomplished I am not accomplished at all to be honest I’m just a simple mom trying to find her quiet place manage the kids and husband and my own struggles with my health issues as well as Bellas health issues. I worked my butt off when Bella was young I cut off a lot of unhealthy social stress from online support groups where some only wanted to bash each other and compete over who knows the most about 22q I’m not about to play that game to say I know more or less than any other person out there. I know how 22q affects me as no two people with this disorder are alike. That includes my father, half-sister, half-brother and the half-brother who passed away we are all dealing with the 22q11.2 deletion in our own ways none of us hear voices in our heads and none of us have thyroid issues.  As they are common on the list of issues that could go wrong like heart issues we do not have any of these major factors to deal with. Other than mild heart murmurs hypercalcemia my gasteroparies and bellas mild cerebral palsy both mine and Bella’s heart are doing okay.

I am not going to justify and list all of the issues we have or don’t have but the one common issue we face is hypercalcemia including Bella. Bella and my levels of all three calcium levels have stabilized our iron levels were low to all of us one that was balance things got easier. Sure we deal with things like Adhd and I struggle with time management. Honestly every mom I mentor with a 22q child or not struggles with how to best manage their time it not like there is a crash course in time management 101. There might be I might make a book about it but some other Billy bob out there might take my idea and make it their own before I get around to pulling it off.

I received all of your encouraging words and emails, as I reply to each one slowly I am coming up with blog posts ideas. I love the one question I get from all the parents I mentor is how do I do it all. I simply don’t if it is something that God brings me to he will get me through it. My faith is my strength and that might not work for some of you but there has to be something higher power other than myself I sure couldn’t do this all on my own according to some people they are shocked I can tie my own shoes let alone speak up and out and advocate as well as I do.


 I am now almost all gluten free elimination diets sucks by the way.
 I find I have more issues with milk vs gluten and lactose-free seems to help me with fewer tummy pains. Still eating soft mushy foods but allowing myself a cheat day here and there. I also enjoy going out now I enjoy friends and time with them and I embrace life. I even did a 5k race this past May with Bella and I am training to do another 5k.

I am slowly healing from gastroparesis it will never go away and could get worst before I get better.
 The flair ups and they have been less and less as I learn new ways to eat and balance life. Stress is a huge trigger. I once had a panic attack so bad that my resting heart rate was at 120. I started medication for that simply because I need to find time to reset and balance my physical and emotional as the two are so inter connected. I didn’t realize that having a panic attack could affect your heart as well. I mean I figured I would have to be 50 or 60 before that kind of stuff affected me.

I am 34 and I have to slow down and eliminate the negative social pressure of the crap that people want to fling online even if it something as simple as a good old political debate on Facebook. I avoid it all. I do this because I need to keep myself healthy distant myself from love one's friends or family members I have no issues walking away from if it becomes stressful for me it not a reflection on who they are as a person it just a reflection on my own personal boundaries what I will and will not tolerate.  As I adjust to this new me my family is also and we talk it all out in the open at family meetings. We have routine charts and rules listed on the wall with natural consequences because sometimes it all to much to keep in my head and in the heat of the moment we can forget about coping skills. I even have a list of things to do when angry or bored on the wall by our routine and chore charts. My apartment is decorated with family pictures as well everyone has a role in the family and all have value and worth in my home.
 I even started seeing a new dr locally for myself vs traveling further out. Sometimes just a few small changes add up over time and looking back a year ago I am not who I was and I see huge growth like I mention in that conference post I grew as a person in two years in my speaking journey but I also grew in two years over my own personal journey and finding balance. I even had a fun girls night out last night while Adam watched the kids and my friends' kids. Adam a trooper. I give props to all of the single parents who are out there dealing with this syndrome on your own with your children who have 22q I don’t know how you all do it.  I only know what works for myself.
 I am feeling much better and now I am working on sleep and routines.
 Sleep has always been a struggle as many of you 22q mommas can relate to.
 When Bella was first born and going through diagnosed stage I didn’t get any more than maybe 2 hours of sleep a night.


 So doing managed care for myself and she became too much and I had let my health slide.
 Now 10 years later I am finally back on track I have been on track before but this is a new back on track for me as I am doing everything holistically and naturally. Educate yourself is the key to hope. Question everything and avoid online group drama that stuff and pull you in and suck you dry. The competitive I know more than you are strong in groups and they tend not to be about supporting sad to say not all of these groups are bad and most have good intention but there are 22q haters out there and haters will hate and that’s okay. I’m not going to go out of my way to change anyone else’s mind. I’m just simply sharing what works for me. I ignore the stigma and if I don’t let it be there for me my daughter isn’t going to pick up on it from others either and if they aim it towards her then they are not worth the effort or energy for us to focus no one can say we are normal or close to normal as no one sees all that I struggle and deal with or what Bella struggles and deal with. Why would I want to be remind of the sad angry moments when I can share the positive side and the down low sides but I have ups and downs of this journey and just when you think you have it handled bam something else new comes up on the diagnose journey and we have to learn new ways of management. This disorder is a managed disorder there is no cure and we are all fighting our own journey why make it all the time soap drama when we can go out there and make a beautiful world and help encourage one another.

Encouraging others and mentoring others is why I started my blog to avoid the drama and focus on finding others who are going through the same things.  Who are not wanting to be Debbie downers but want to figure out healthy ways for positive change from a negative stressful often times emotionally unstable process of healing and living with 22q211.2 deletion

I think I am only in three groups now. I was recently asked to help monitor one and I am honored to do so as the few groups I am in are really on the ball and yes allow venting but not whining there is a difference.
 The blog has been around for 4 years and going strong at over 4,000 subscribers even with the changes I have had to make with web hosting. Do you remember me considering putting together a website vs blog this is that website I told you all about!

I am also working on a YouTube channel in the future as that’s how media trends seem to go.   Remember it’s okay for self-care so you can be the best you for your kids and family. I am so glad I was tested and treated for 22q issues. Some others hate the fact they were tested because there is no one who knows how to treat because most doctors don’t have a clue what it is still even after all these awareness efforts that are why I share outside of the 22q community an old fashion grass roots system of just sharing about our journey and if it brings awareness that is a nice added bonus. So distance yourself from the negative people who want to hate on you or bring you down and focus on the positive friends you do have and there will be room to make for new connections that will be of support both ways it a give and take that is how you know it is a healthy kind of support system.
 That is my tip for the week.
 What are some of your favorite self-care tips?

Until next time take care and have some fun when you can

Love

Amanda Ripsam