24 October 2012

Stem cell gel

Scientists here in the US have developed a gel that when used on brain injuries helps stem cells to grow and heal the injury.

In South Carolina, they studied rats with brain injuries and found that when the gel was used the rats showed significant recovery.

They expect it to be ready for human testing in three years.

How cool is that?!

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12 October 2012

Murphy's Law says it all

On my way to Ireland last year, the woman at the airline counter loved our families names. We got to talking about Irish names and meanings as she had named her children with Gaelic names as well. When I mentioned that my daughter had the name Aidan we got into a discussion about how she chose not to name her daughter Aidan when she found out what it meant even though she loved the name. She asked me if my Aidan had grown into her name and by God, she has. She is as fiery as her name means.

Liam's middle name is Murphy. He wasn't named after Murphy's law. But it sure does seem that he's grown into that at times.

This past week I took Liam with me to church to hear Steve Brown speak. I normally don't do these things if there is no one to watch Liam because I fear him vomiting in the service. And since he's not a little boy any more it's messy, embarrassing, and gross to do that in front of people. So, I normally would leave Liam at home. But Shawn was out of town and I wanted to go.

Liam was enjoying the video clips, laughing and having a great time. He was really happy and I was thinking we had escaped any embarrassing moments.

Three quarters of the way through the service, when Steve Brown started taking questions from the audience so it was extremely quiet, Liam gagged and started to throw up. I jumped up, shoved a cloth under his chin, and raced out the door. On the long walk to the bathroom he threw up all over himself. I get in the bathroom and start to clean him up and he throws up again. I literally take Liam and his seat out of the stroller, throw it up on the counter, and position Liam so he can vomit into the sink with the water running.

It was quite a site. Thank God it was not a normal service and there weren't people coming and going out of the bathroom because it was bizarre looking. I am sure it looked like I was torturing him keeping him strapped in a seat, sideways on a counter, holding his head up so he could throw up. I felt so bad for Liam.

When he finished vomiting I strapped him to the changing table so I could clean up his stroller and the sink because it was a mess. This was one time I was thankful he is on a liquid diet because I had to unclog the sink.

I get to Liam and pull off his smelly clothes. I also change his diaper and as I am leaning down to grab a diaper out of the bag, he pees all over the place. The only clean clothes he had on were his socks and they are now covered in pee. The plastic changing table has a large puddle of pee under his back. I am completely out of wipes at this point so I grab wet paper towels and clean him up, dress him and put him back in the stroller... where he starts crying.

I thoroughly clean the sink, the counter, the changing table, and the floor of the bathroom. All while Liam is crying in the stroller.

I ask Aidan if the service is done because I just want to escape to the car with no one seeing me. She said they were finished and everybody was hanging out in the lobby. Lovely.

Liam is still crying.

I head down the elevator, with my stroller full of towels and clothes covered in vomit and pee, and try to encounter as few people as possible getting out of the church.

I grab all my kids and head to the truck.

Liam is still crying.

As I open his door to put him in the truck he vomits again all over his freshly changed clothes.

I strip him down and pop him into his seat sans clothes and head home.


04 October 2012


It was a timely topic this past Sunday at church. I had just been talking with a friend about rejection and some of the emotions that come with it, how they can still surface so many years later as if it had just happened. Everyone has been rejected at some point and I could relate all too well with our Sunday sermon topic.

A few years back I had a prayer dinner for Liam before heading off on one of our 3 week long trips for oxygen treatments. I invited only a few couples and kept it close and intimate on purpose. These were people we were close to, felt comfortable sharing intimate prayers with and knew they cared about and loved Liam like we did.

However, before the evening was over, one of the couples left. Something happened that made them feel the need to leave our home right away. They didn't explain why they were leaving. They just said they needed to go and left. I was confused, worried, and at a loss as to what was going on. They didn't even stick around to pray with us over Liam. I was so hurt. I had called them friends and they had left us. I have not had a relationship with them since. Nor have I ever been given an explanation why. They just disappeared.

I was reminded Sunday that we are never to allow our significance to be placed in the hands of men. We should never expect to get our validation from others. Jesus suffered the ultimate rejection. He knew the pain of rejection from close friends. He was betrayed. All of his disciples left him. Peter cursingly denied him.

It brings comfort to know that Jesus felt the same things we feel. He was rejected too. He understands.

But he experienced the greatest of all rejections. He was rejected over and over. He was spit on. He was hit. He was flogged. He was stabbed. He was mocked. He was crucified.

Thinking over this Sunday's sermon I was reminded God has placed every circumstance in my life to mold me and shape me into the character he wants me to have. His perfect plan allowed for the rejection I experienced in that friendship. Not to define me but to refine me.

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