Archive for July, 2013

Roll Model Gear

July 29th, 2013 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

My introduction to Roll Model Gear started when I posted a pic on Instagram. A woman saw it and commented that I should check out the website, a few minutes later I was online and knew I wanted to get to know the people behind this very special website. After some brief exchanges I wanted to help in any way I could.

Kevin and Dylana were excited to collaborate with Just Mildly Medicated and we hope to reach new people and share Roll Model Gear and their mission.

Can you tell us a bit about you, Dylana, and Campbell as the people behind Roll Model Gear?

Kevin: First off, let me say a heartfelt thank you for showing such an interest in our project. Your blog is fantastic, and being a part of it is really exciting to us.

Dylana teaches dance and is currently on track to being an Occupation Therapist. She has been working with kids through dance for nearly 15 years, and has learned quite a bit about kids, adults, and their individual challenges. She has really become a very fantastic teacher in the way of dance, but has also shined as a mother and a person over the last few years in particular.

Dylana and I have a 4 and a half year old son, named Campbell who was born with Spina Bifida. Campbell obviously has faced many challenges, and we have of course heard so many different projections of his expected abilities, medical probabilities or likely outcomes, we were initially overwhelmed. After getting our feet underneath us, we decided to let no one else set our child’s limitations and have since pursued every single known (and some unknown) avenues for furthering his progress, acceptance and successful life path. I know that “life path” sounds a bit too outlandish when referring to a 4 yr old, but as you may know, having challenges that others may not understand can lead way to a challenging future.

Dylana has really been pivotal in communicating her wants and hopes for our son, and has really been an invaluable teammate as a parent, by always holding the best interest of our child as a first priority. Most people will say that this is what any good parent would do, but with the challenges we have all faced, she has really been tempered in hot fires. If there was equipment our son needed or a medical test we thought might benefit she has no hesitation in voicing her opinions, working through red tape or jumping on board with me to do what it takes to get results. Many parents will never face these obstacles, but she has done so with steadfast courage and determination.

That brings me to myself. My name is Kevin. I have been in the gymnastics and cheerleading industry for most of my life. Though I have been a part of all of the different facets of the business, I too have spent the majority of my life teaching kids. I coach all different age groups from 5 to 25 and have coached in all of the different settings and scenarios. Although I continue to grow as a coach and parent, learning that all kids understand and learn differently early on in my career has really transferred over to my parenting style. I have had quite a bit of experience with challenging situations in regards to kids and their families, and was able to really absorb a lot of knowledge by paying close attention.

In my time away from cheerleading, I have been doing more and more graphic design, web design and artist services to help supplement income. Like Dylana, I too have been persistent in my fight to give Cam the absolute best of opportunities and continue to be as involved and hands on as I was the day he was born.

Campbell has now learned how to do lots of standing and walking with the right assistive devices, some potty training, and has grown intellectually to a level that is beyond many “typical” kids, even older than he. He is the most kind-hearted and gentle child I have ever seen, and has no hesitation in introducing himself to others and offering up hugs.

Throughout the process of learning the best ways to help Campbell, we also faced substantial challenges in getting the right kinds of equipment, finding the right therapies and therapists, and even getting the right level of support medically. Though we have a great support system and are very resourceful, we have also witnessed so many other children and adults with a variety of needs who may not be quite as fortunate with the amount of help they receive (financially and emotionally). Because we bear witness to this so often, the idea for Roll Model Gear began to take shape.

Campbell has had much success with a special type of bike called an Amtryke. It is specifically designed for physically handicapped people to use by pedaling the bike with their arms. He recently out grew his first Amtryke, and because it is such a great physical activity for him to do outside, we began looking into a new model. The next size up for Campbell was beyond our price range, creeping up on the thousand dollar mark, so Dylana had an idea. We should do a fundraiser that will not only help raise funds for Campbell but will also give us a way to show our support for the disabled community and eventually try to pay it forward

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So we are seeing the birth of Roll Model Gear coming. How did you come up with the logo that I for one am in love with?

Kevin: Dylana sent me a text one day and said, “I’ve got it! We could do shirts that say My Child is a Roll Model – instead of role model and have a neat design.

I got started on making a logo that we thought was not only appealing to the cause, but had a catchy modern play on the traditional handicapped symbol. Roll model Gear’s logo was born soon after I spent some time envisioning what I wanted it to look like. The handicapped symbol tilted forward showing a person in motion signified to me that this is aiming for progress and forward motion and that anyone facing these challenges is and can be moving forward in a positive direction. I added the small upward angled arrow to the bottom of the logo to depict an upward motion in the awareness of anyone whom this logo could apply to.

Once we had a logo, we realized that we could easily offer the shirt to anyone who was interested in showing support for someone in particular, or even just the movement we hope to create. From the plain logo just supporting the cause of raising awareness to the virtually unlimited slogan add-ons, we grew to accommodate anyone.
With the profits from our sales, we are listening to the story of anyone who may need some assistance in buying equipment of any kind that is relevant to those who we want to raise awareness for.

After hearing our plan, a generous supporter and therapist had access to the Amtryke we hoped to get for Cam, and graciously donated to him. Because of that, now all the profits are paid forward to benefit others. Roll Model Gear is so proud that we were recently able to announce our ability to help purchase new arm crutches for one of our supporters. We are still working hard to grow our project and reach more people worldwide.

Roll Model Gear

 

If you would like to make a donation and/or purchase these amazing T-shirts you can do so by clicking this link.

Please also consider following Roll Model Gear on Facebook  and Instagram.

Some of my own families fun in our Roll Model Gear.

Roll Model Gear Roll Model Gear

Glow in the dark put put golf

Glow in the dark put-put golfing.

Thanks for all your support!

The Just Mildly Medicated Gal

with Kevin, Dylana and Campbell

Friday’s Letters; Mom Rap for Fiat v/s Sienna Minivan Parents Swagger Wagon

July 19th, 2013 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

Dear Advertising World,

I love it when you get it right. Some companies seems to just get it. We just LOVE a good commercial, I mean who doesn’t? Some of us (like me) are just waiting for the next ad to love. We love the Super Bowl commercials as much as the game… okay well I love the commercials and spend time surfing the internet when the game is on. I understand a few people watch the game. Anyway, please brainwash me with your witty advertising, please.

Thanks,

Me

So Just Mildly Medicated readers, this had me wondering, do you love the Mom Rap for the Fiat 500 or the Sienna Minivan parents about Swagger Wagon life?

Fiat 500 Cinquecento Cap (Google Affiliate Ad)

Parenting over summer vacation and how I am going batshit crazy…

July 15th, 2013 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

Summer Vacation

Warm Weather, Family Time, Kids Laughing

Batshit crazy mom…

I am finding myself being so repetitive that I feel like I am going batshit crazy at the sound of my own voice. I am sure every parent has a phrase or two that make them wish they had it recorded on a loop. I do think parents at home with kids over the summer get to lay claim on this version of insanity.

I figured I would share mine with you.

Bat Shit Crazy

No running in the house!

So I am not the cool mom who has games of tag in the house. I have friends who do and they are awesome and fun. Truth be told I don’t have room for that in my house. It’s not a small house but it lacks the open floor plan for tag, obstacle courses, and riding scooters.

Okay, true truth be told I probably wouldn’t let them run if it did.

The question I have is; why do I have to say this daily, and several times at that? My kids have been with me their whole lives…

Where are you going?

We live in a neighborhood full of kids. If you remember most bore witness to me with no bra on. They ask in angle voices “Can we go out to play?” My 10 and 7 year old boys get shoes on and hold their four year old sisters hand and open the front door to go out to play.

In chimes mom “Wait, where are you going?” They look back like I am bat shit crazy. “Where are you going?” Blank stares for a few seconds and the older son says “Outside…” “Okay, I know that, where outside?” More blank stares…

Again, these sweet children have known nothing but my mothering… WHERE ARE YOU GOING…

What are you doing up there?

My kid’s bedrooms are upstairs; they think I can’t hear them at all when as any parent in a two story house knows the sound of them playing upstairs seems to shake the house. With that said when the house rattles at the same time as one grunts loudly and yet another makes a barking sound and another yells “I’m telling” a mom is forced to go to the stairs and yell “WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE?”

The response is usually “nothing.” I mean really, we’re going with nothing… then I walk back to the couch with the balance of a wineo (not because I am drunk but because I am parenting from the couch as best I can)

Do you want to watch a movie?

Two things surprise me about this. One is that there are still family friendly movies in the NetFlix que that we haven’t watched; the second is that my kids still say yes. I thought they’d be tired of movie time with mom but they still say yes. Thank goodness because movie watching is something I can do. (or I can read a book while they watch)

MeMe reading A Game of Thrones

Time to clean up.

I wish they understood I am just as tired of saying as they are of doing it. I love that we have lots of awesome things to do in the house but when they take off to play in the ever elusive ‘outside’ and I turn to see a table of art supplies in what I’d like to call beautifully creative disarray I know I will have to announce that it is time to clean up and be met with disappointed faces.

Your turn, what are you saying repeatedly this summer?

Injectable Power Port to treat Dysautonomia; The First Month

July 9th, 2013 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

I was waiting to sort out how I felt before writing about the things that are currently happening. That was when I remembered the quote I love so much and decided I need my laptop to help me sort it all out.

“I write because I don’t know what I think
until I read what I say.”

Flannery O’Conner

My last post was about my first week with my power injectable port to start regular IV therapy as a preventative treatmentfor Dysautonomia, specifically the Orthostatic Hypotension aspect of it. I’ve had a few emotional swings about the port as well as the IV therapy itself and was hesitant to share my feelings because it may not be well received by many who believe it to be the coveted treatment option.

To go back to where I left off in the first week of IV therapy; the first dressing (massive sheet of tape that goes over your accessed port) bothered me so much that in the wee hours of a Sunday morning with absolutely no sleep I began to understand why wild animals gnawed at their own wounds in a grotesque fashion. I was one strip of sanity away from doing just that myself.

I called my home infusion company at 8 am that Sunday morning and begged them to get word to my nurse to please come help me before my sister in law who was visiting was going to have to check me into an institution. They sent someone right away and the nurse actually said I should have called hours ago when it was first making me insane. She was set to change the dressing but I wanted it out, the bandage and the needle. I needed sanity and didn’t think I could achieve it while accessed.

The next time I was accessed we tried a different dressing tape that was an improvement and then a third that hasn’t bothered me at all. YES!

Me while NOT in the throes of insanity with the second bandage type.

However going through 6 liters of saline a week I was still at best mildly dehydrated. I am still playing catch up and have yet to reach a point where I am ahead of the dehydration. I don’t yet feel like I have reached a point where I am truly using this as preventative. I have spoken to my doctor and we are adjusting how many liters a week I should do and if a few saline bags infused with vitamins might help me get ahead of this.

During the first month of IV therapy I have had the same number of episodes, some convulsions and others syncope or what I refer to as a pretty intense pre-syncope (a very hard time keeping conscious with slurred speech and very disoriented but remaining conscious) . I have been able to do more and I can sit up or stand for longer before feeling dizzy. By longer I would say that before I had five minutes or on a great day 15 minutes, now I have more like 15 to 25. However I am hooked up to an IV for six hours three days a week for those extra few minutes.

I will say though, I have done a lot more this month than I’d normally have done. My husband left town the day after my port placement and even with the help of family and friends it has been more taxing. I also went on vacation, my parents did the driving but I was in the car for a 10 hour trip and away from home. Not to mention the stress of learning everything to do the IV therapy at home but to do it at an unfamiliar place was different.

My current belief is that this is a lot of work for an extra few minutes before Dysautonomia grips my blood pressure and pulls it down. I am still  early on and trying to find the amount of saline that works for me as well as the speed at which it is best infused. As you can see my review is mixed at best. I hope to find the right balance for me soon.

infusion day