Sunday, May 31, 2015

Some Epilepsy Randoms

Well, as all of you know, I have epilepsy and have had a few seizure setbacks this year. My new neurologist is beyond fantastic and I feel optimistic that we've dialed in on a good medication dosage, so fingers crossed there, folks. Anyway, I have a few random thoughts related to epilepsy so I thought I'd share.

1) I developed a lot of anxiety after my last seizure, and on my doctor's prompting, ordered a medical alert bracelet. I resisted the thought for quite a while but now that I have one and can wear it out while I am alone, I do feel so much better knowing that if something were to happen, someone would know who to call. I found a bracelet that I liked on this website Lauren's Hope. I bought this one, except with a silver medical icon instead of the red - isn't it pretty? It has my name, my condition, and Steve's number and my sister's number.


2). Have you heard of the car service Uber? It's basically an app on your phone that can call a car service, and they have partnered with the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia! If you use the promo code "EPILEPSY", you will get $20 off of the cost of your ride, and Uber will donate $5 back to the Epilepsy Foundation. As you might know, a person has to be 6 months seizure free to drive in GA (I'm looking at September here, although I am in no rush at all to get back on the road), so a service like Uber is such a wonderful concept for someone with epilepsy. The promo code is nationwide and anybody can use it, so jump on it - it's good through the end of 2015. I will also be shameless and throw another promo code on there that will benefit me too - if you use my promo code "OPR91", you get a free ride, and I think I get a free ride too, or at least some kind of discount. Here is a link to the official announcement of the partnership.

3) People who are around me on a regular basis always want to know what they are supposed to do if I did have a seizure when I was with them. I can't speak for all epileptics, but my neurologist always assures me that I only need to go to the hospital if my seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, or if I have more than one seizure without waking up in between. The hospital can do absolutely nothing for me, if it's one of my normal seizures, so it would be wasted ambulance/hospital costs. Here is a list of general tips in witnessing a seizure.

4) Speaking of other medical alert news, the new iPhone update includes a Health icon, and when you open it up, there is an option to create a Medical ID. This could be useful for any medical condition, obviously, not just for epilepsy.

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You can add as many contacts from your phonebook as you'd like, so I added Steve, my sister, and my neighbor.

You can click the option to show your medical ID on your lock screen, so it looks like this:

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If you click "Emergency", this pops up:

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And then if you select "Medical ID", the ID you have created opens so theoretically, an EMT or something could know who you were and who to contact and relevant info about what medications you are taking.

The whole process to open the ID seems a little convoluted but maybe EMTs are in the know about this stuff? I don't know. I guess it can't hurt to have it, although I would prefer being able to drag a Medical ID icon right down onto my main home bar.

***My friend Jessica suggested in the comments to make your own ID on your lock screen - brilliant, Jess!! Done and done.***

I hope all that information was interesting to you, and my only other piece of advice is if you have a friend or relative with epilepsy, don't ever be afraid to ask them questions about it or ask what you should do if they were to have a seizure with you there. Every form of epilepsy is different, so it never hurts to clarify with your loved one!

Monday, May 4, 2015

New York, New York

One of my BFF's Karrie came to visit a few weeks ago and when she broke the exciting (!!!) news that she was moving back to Atlanta, we squeezed in a weekend for me to fly up to New York and spend a few days with her in Manhattan.

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After braving my first flight in 5+ years and my very first Uber ride, I met Karrie at her apartment and she kicked off our weekend with rosé and macarons.

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We spent the weekend wandering all over the Upper East Side, and filled up our plans with Karrie's favorites, and some new things she's been wanting to try.

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"Champagne and City Lights" harbor tour - it was neat to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

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Boat pond in Central Park

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I flew home to the best welcoming committee a mommy could ask for! Maddie was there too of course but she wouldn't let go of me long enough to take a picture!!

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Go Vols Go!

We took a gamble on the weather a couple of weeks ago, and took the girls up to Knoxville, Tennessee to see their football team's spring game, the Orange and White game. The weekend ended up being gorgeous, and we enjoyed getting to spend the time out of town, with our friends Derek and Jessica and their kiddos.

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Lunch at Calhoun's - we were able to snag a table on the patio looking over the river.

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Steve made the girls some paper hats to help entertain them.

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The girls loved the novelty of staying in a hotel, especially one with a balcony overlooking the park. They were so excited to wear their Volunteers dresses (made by me!), and we made sure to stop in the bookshop to let them pick out some new accessories.

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Anna and Maddie got a massive kick out of everyone clapping and cheering. They also liked dancing along to the band, and watching the cheerleaders do flips ("it's like som-saults at Fitness, Mommy!").

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All four kids started to get a little restless around the half-way mark, so during a bathroom break we bought a refillable bucket of popcorn. Which was a very great call - popcorn and preschoolers is always a perfect combination!

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Maddie playing peekaboo with Bristol. Both girls love being around the baby and spent a good part of the weekend playing with her!

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They LOVED the V-O-L-S arm cheers.

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The girls are also kind of obsessed with "Mrs. T".

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After the game, we came back to the hotel for a refresh and a break, and then we went and wandered down to the Knoxville market area to find ourselves some dinner. There was some kind of street festival going on, and Anna was entranced with some dancers who were up on a stage (and the ice cream truck on the street!). 

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Maddie and Forrest doing a little pre-dinner coloring.

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The girls always scamper over to play with Bristol as soon as they finish eating.

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We had so much fun up in Steve's old undergrad stomping grounds, and we hope to go back again soon! Go Vols!