Monday, April 18, 2011

Pokey, Pokey

Owen had his first two rounds of Japanese acupuncture last week. Since Japanese acupuncture isn't as common as Chinese acupuncture, we had to drive all the way to Lawrence for this procedure. The acupuncturist we chose is Gina Halsey; she specializes in neurological disorders and seemed to fit the mold of what we wanted. Owen responded with flying colors to the treatments, and he tolerated the needles extremely well, as I knew he would. Although we didn't see a drop in seizures, we saw many other improvements: 1) he can poop on his own! Hopefully no more suppositories every other day!, 2) his energy level was through the roof; I had a hard time telling if he was having a seizure or just moving his body like crazy, 3) awesome eye contact and tracking; he followed his cousin Ashtyn (sorry if I mutilated the spelling Tara) all the way across the dining room, and he laughed and smiled like CRAZY after the treatments, 4) and finally last but definitely not least, a decreased gag reflex; Owen isn't puking during mealtime almost every day anymore! He has lost quite a bit of weight because of the loss in caloric intake over the past few months, so I'm hoping he'll gain this weight back now that he's eating well again. This is all great news to us, but we are hoping in the next few treatments that we see a decrease in seizures as well.

We are so lucky to be able to stay with Gavin's cousins Randy and Tara, and their kids, Peyton, Ashtyn, and Houston. Tara has a stay-at-home daycare (not to mention an AMAZING house!) and has offered to watch Dex while I take Owen to treatments. She was a GREAT help and Dex seemed to love the new environment and all the other kids. We go back (already) on Wednesday and Thursday. Gavin is able to come with us this time, and I am super excited for him to see the process, and especially to have his help! We'll see what this week's treatments bring.

Friday, April 8, 2011


This post will hopefully be short and sweet. Owen, my sweet little boy, is getting off the diet....finally. Did we have a doctor's appointment you didn't know about? Nope. Gavin and I have had it. We're sick of this doctor putting us off for months. Owen has been either puking his food up, letting it slide out of the sides of his mouth, or not even finishing it for months now. Mealtime is a traumatic, stressful, frustrating time for everyone...and for what?! It's not even decreasing his seizures. I called the doctor first thing Monday morning. I told them--not asked them--that he was getting off  the diet. I feel like such a rebel. On a not-so-positive note, however, it's going to take around 2-3 months to completely take him off the diet and get him onto "real foods." The end is in sight and we couldn't be happier! I just know this is the best thing for Owen and he will be so much happier with his strawberry milk, oatmeal, and bananas.....we absolutely can't wait!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Fundraiser to End All Fundraisers

Owen's cousins, and Dex...don't know how Owen missed these pictures, but I'm guessing he was asleep

Holy cow, I don't even know how to put this into words. The raffle fundraiser that Josh, Alisha, and Rachel headed up was beyond our wildest dreams. It was a weekend full of entertaining basketball games, great food, and hundreds of people cheering on the teams and showing their support for Owen. After it was all over, Gavin and I just sat on the couch speechless. We were just so emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted from taking in all of the overwhelming support from the probably thousands of people who participated (and we didn't even do any of the work! I can imagine how Alisha, Josh, and Rachel probably feel right now!). Let me just take a few moments to crunch some numbers for you all, just so you can really truly see how amazing this was. There were well over $17,000 worth of tickets in the hopper, and 55 amazing donated prizes to be won. After my trip to the bank yesterday, the estimated overall amount collected was right at $22,000. UNBELIEVABLE. And I'm not done yet; that's not even counting the individuals who sent a random donation to us in the mail in these last few months. The support was UNREAL. Owen is such a lucky boy to have so many people who love him and care about him. This fundraiser hasn't just helped us financially. It has made us want to help other people the way so many have helped us. It has showered us with friendly words and encouragement. And most of all, it has distracted us away from thinking about the negatives and the "what if's" in Owen's future. I think I speak for Gavin too when I say it's still a little too fresh and we're still trying to let everything sink in.

Speaking of Gavin, I'm so proud of him. In case you don't know him very well, he's probably the second most shy person I know (You win that trophy Ryann!). He stood in front of the hundreds of people there for the raffle and thanked everyone for their participation...there were few dry eyes in the place and really all he said was thank you...I think he's found a new career in public speaking. My point: he wanted to thank a few select people but was afraid he would forget someone very important and didn't want to offend anyone. So I'll attempt to do that now, and if I forget someone I guess it's my fault and not his!

ALISHA: Alisha (Gavin's big sis) was the queen bee on this effort. This was her idea (I think she was prompted by the Dreiling girls....thanks to them too!) and she did a great job. She is Owen's godmother and definitely took this role seriously when offering to do this fundraiser for us. She did a good job of keeping most of this from us, but I'm pretty sure she put a ton of hours and work into this raffle. Alisha, thanks so much for this amazing gesture and all of your hard work!

JOSH: Josh is a good friend of ours. He was in charge of the tournament and offered to give the proceeds to Owen. Josh and Alisha worked hand-in-hand on the raffle and collecting and organizing the prizes and raffle tickets. This, obviously, was a TON of work! Josh, thank you for being such a great friend and for all of your hard work on this fundraiser!

RACHEL: Rachel (obviously) is my sister. She headed up a lot of the non-Barton County community and the KC area. She had the great idea of having T-shirts made. It was AMAZING to see everyone wearing their shirts in support of Owen on Sunday....truly AMAZING! She also "prettied up" this blog because she knows how horrible I would have been at it. Rachel, thank you for all the time you put into organizing these things for us!

MANDY STOS: Mandy is an old softball teammate of mine. She offered to set up the paypal account and the blog. Mandy, thank you for getting the online portion of the fundraiser going!

CHRIS KINMAN: Chris offered to create the Owen's Warriors logo, which turned out awesome. He also designed the flyer and did a fantastic job on that as well! Chris, you were a huge help, thank you!

Now is where it gets slightly overwhelming. There were SO many people--I'm talking a completely insane number--who helped sell tickets, bought tickets, donated the AWESOME raffle prizes, sent donations, bought shirts, or simply just sent a nice message. I would be here all night if I thanked each and every person (which is a wonderful problem to have I might add). Gavin and I know who you are (at least we are finding this out as we look through Alisha, Josh, and Rachel's information), and we thank you from the bottom of our heart. We'll be thanking you forever, so I hope you all are ready for that committment!:)


TOP CENTER: Oh, Miss Nicki, how Owen loves you! (Miss Nicki is Owen's speech teacher at school)
BOTTOM RIGHT: Papa John and Carly giving Owen some love

Let's sum up the top three pictures: 1) Dad losing the screw to his glasses, 2) Me, the one who--an hour later--found it, and 3) Gavin telling inappropriate jokes (Ok, I just made that last one up, but I guarantee you that's what's happening)

It's raffle time! Some of Owen's older cousins got to draw a ticket out of the hopper...they all did an awesome job of just picking one!

Grandma and a very tired Owen

Alyx taking time out from playing to pose with Owen...what a great cousin!

Owen and Leyton's "tough boy picture"

I'm pretty sure Owen's begging me to let him take a nap in this's hard work partying all weekend

Involved in some intellectual conversation with Aunt Geralyn (I wonder who's doing all the talking :))

Owen with our buds Tara and Ryleigh Ball...they came all the way from Wichita to attend Owen's fundraiser!

Owen with his good friend Calyn Baker; Calyn won $100 in the raffle and gave it to Owen. What a nice little girl! Thanks Calyn!
As you can tell by the gazillion pictures, it was an awesome we will never forget.