4 weeks

It’s been 4 weeks now since my surgery. Everyday I’m getting better and better. Little to no pain, vision is still off but improvement, still weak on my left side but getting better, numb on my left side of my face but I feel the nerves trying to work.  All in all I’m improving little by little. 

I still get the anxiety of waiting for the surgery, but it’s over and done with. It’s a strange feeling, but it’s a good feeling. I just want to feel normal again, and I will in due time. 

My wife has been there for me through the whole thing, and I know she has had a lot on her plate, with our daughter, getting over an ear infection, and now my situation, but she is strong a woman and will see through all of this. I’m trying to do as much as I can to help now that I have no restrictions on my activity. However, my vision and weakness make it hard for me to do simple things. But I try my best, whether taking care of my Princess or doing chores around the house. I know she appreciates it like I appreciate everything she does everyday.

Happy Daddy Jess

This too shall pass…

​I have been reluctant to even post anything pertaining to my current situation, but I feel that it is better to talk about it then to keep it in. I feel defeated, I feel useless, and above all I feel that I’ve been a let down. Even though I’ve had my family tell me these feelings aren’t true and that it was nothing I did that caused this to happen, I still feel some what responsible. 

I will start at the beginning…

In 2008, I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, a tumor near my ear the size of a small nail head. My doctor and the neurologist said that it was nothing to worry about, and that it would never cause any problems. Fast forward to 2014, I was in constant pain in my neck and really didn’t think of anything of it. Still in pain February of 2015, I was told to go to the chiropractor and get an adjustment. That was something I normally would do, but this time was different. The pain never went away. I took pain relievers and that was that. 

Early September 2016 I lost heat and cold sensation in the right side of my body. I, like everyone else, thought it was a pinched nerve. As time went on, the symptoms got worse. Even though I continued to tell myself that it was just a pinched nerve, it never seemed to be just that. My vision became skewed, making it very hard for me to walk. I was constantly dizzy, all the time.

It was October 24th, half way through my shift at work, we had a meeting with the mangers, like we do every once in a while. As I sat there I remember thinking about how unsteady I was, so as I sat on the chair I propped my right hand on a box near my side. Not thinking that anyone noticed, but they all noticed. I was on my way out of the meeting and had to stop for a moment, because the room began to spin. That was when my co worker came up behind me and asked me if I was OK, I knew something wasn’t right but I replied I’m fine I just need a minute. She said no you are not alright you need to sit down. At that time the store manager was behind me and helped me to the breakroom.

Everyone told me that I needed to go to the emergency room. I called my mom, since my car’s battery had died. And she said we were going to the hospital. Everything from that point on was fast paced and non stop. 

I was transferred to Emory university hospital, and that is when the seriousness of my condition became clear. What had started out as a acoustic neuroma the size of a small nail head had significantly grown to a tumor the size of a peach or my fist. Not only was it larger, it was also pressing up against my brain and pushing my brain stem out of the way. And that is where all my symptoms have come from.

It is still unreal to me that this is happening, I’m going to have brain surgery. I can not drive, nor can I work. My surgery date is December 22nd, but hopefully something opens up and it will be sooner than later. So 6 weeks before surgery, 6-8 weeks of recovery after surgery. 

So, in a nut shell…

I have a brain tumor, it is not cancer. And surgery right before Christmas, and yes, I will be in the hospital for Christmas and possibly New Years. Prayers are always welcome, and any other way you want or can help please contact myself or my wife. Thank you, this is a lot to take in. But this too shall pass…

Happy Daddy Jess

Belle is 1

Her Birthday weekend was nothing short than crazy. Her mother and I were non stop until Sunday came. Belle, herself, had a very eventful weekend as well. Walking around the house looking at all the Halloween party decorations and saying, “Partee.” It was an emotional but fun time shared by many of her friends, my family, and some of Mandi’s friends. 

Smash cake pictures by Michele Nowak

All in all, it was a good time. She enjoyed it, and so did we. It’s exciting to see her grow but at the same time sad that shes no longer that tiny baby we brought home a year ago. 

Happy Daddy Jess 

Almost 1!

Today my little Belle Leigh boo turns 11 months old. Oh how the time flies by. I truly understand what everyone was saying enjoy and cherish every moment. Soon my baby will be a 1 year old! 

My wife and I had wished for a baby for so long, and now here she is almost 1! She is everything we had ever hoped for, sweet, gorgeous, and an all in all good baby. She has this way about her, even if she feels bad she always has to smile. She is our heart and soul. Her smiles are what I live for. 

It’s not easy having children, it takes a special kind of couple to raise a child. Truth, honesty, and understanding are key to raising a child. Compassion and patience come with loving your child and a deeper love than you could ever imagine. 

It’s a strange kinda feeling, wondering where the last year went, and seeing your little person grow. It’s bitter sweet! It’s exciting to see them grow, learn new things, crawl and walking. However, at the same time, you wonder where that little baby went and how fast they change to a dependent little person. 

I Love My Little Belle Leigh boo! 

Happy Daddy Jess

Road Trip with Belle

Recently my little family took a road trip from Georgia to Ohio. We were going to visit my dad’s side of the family and my grandmother for her 90th Birthday. Belle was happy the whole way up and most of the way back. Coming back was an overnight trip so that was a little more harder for Belle who is use to sleeping in a crib and not a carseat.

Belle enjoying meeting everyone at the family reunion. For the most part, she was with her Grandpa, which rarely happens, but she was completely content. She looked at her Great Grandma with caution and amazement. It was nice that they met each other, because not knowing what tomorrow will bring she might not get another chance. Even though Belle won’t remember, we will have the picture to show her when she is older.

She, as did we, enjoyed our trip to Ohio. We have decided that the Amish life is the best and that we would give up everything to live like that. 

All in all it was a wonder trip, we got to spend a lot of time with my middle brother, who Belle absolutely adores.

Can’t wait to do another road trip whether it be up north or out west.

Belle is ready too…

Pokémon GO…

So yes, my wife and I have loved Pokémon since it first came out. I more so the idea, but my wife has played several of the games. Our daughter loves the outside, walks, car rides, parks, and woods. She loves it all. Pokémon GO has made a impact on all three of our lives. For me, the two ladies in my life are happy. My wife, finally has the self-motivation to get outside and walk. Something that shes been wanting to do and enjoys doing. Baby Belle gets to be out and about as much as her little heart desires.

Not only have we been exercising more, but we have seen friends we haven’t seen in years, and also met some new people. It is all around a great way to get people, who in other circumstances would not leave their houses, to met and talk about the same interests. Yes, to some this might be childish to have a game motivate you to go outside, but guess what it is and it does.

I’ve heard a lot of negativity in the media and on social media about the game. I’ve done my research on many of the stories, and most have come back to be fabricated. It’s sad that people of all colors and backgrounds find a successful means of happiness and well-being just to be torn down by the jealousy of others. I say if it makes them happy and get out in the world, good for them. 

A couple things to keep in mind though, always be aware of your surrounds. It’s easy to get lost or find yourself in an area that might not be safe. Kids need to be supervised by their parents. Just because people are playing the game, doesn’t necessarily mean they will not harm your children. Lastly, have fun with it. Make it about being a family. That’s what we do, and our friends join us sometimes on Pokémon hunts. 

Couple photos from our Pokémon hunts.

Happy Daddy, 

Jess