Every so often, I like to update here on my blog instead of just statuses on Facebook. There are some big things coming up for our family that are special for us and we want to share with you! Jimmy and I are co-writing this together and he will be sharing it on his blog also.
The first thing we want to share about is about our new vehicle. We have been driving a 2009 Toyota Sienna that we purchased not long after I became paralyzed. It was an 8 passenger and so it held all of our 6 children and since it was a mini-van, it was low enough for me to learn to transfer into by myself. We have loved that van and it has never given us an ounce of trouble. However, the first year we had it was also the year that we were driving me to therapy 3 times a week (420 miles a week) and so we loaded it with miles. We were already over 86,000 miles and it was only 3 years old. Toyota had a special 4th of July sale and we thought that if they would trade our vehicle even and let us make the same exact payment we were already making, we could get a van that would get normal mileage for its age. We prayed and asked God that if this is what He wanted us to do, to make it happen and if not, we were fine with the van we already had and loved. God did make it happen and we now have our new van. We thank the Lord so much for that blessing for us!
The second exciting thing is that at the end of July (July 30-August 3) we will be attending a Family Retreat hosted by Joni and Friends. This is a week of family camp for families that have special needs…..like us! We were asked to come as a family and lead the singing for the week. They are paying all expenses and we are so excited to be given this opportunity to work with other families just like us and to encourage them as they encourage us. Our children, especially, will receive such fun and encouragement this week and that means so much to us. Their lives have also been impacted and this camp deals with these things wonderfully. Please pray for us this week that God will bless and encourage all families in attendance and that He will use us to serve Him and others that week.
The third bit of news is just a medical update. I saw a new neurologist associated with Ohio State University in June. They will see me again in September and at that time I will have all new MRI’s. They said that if the brain MRI’s are all clear then they can rule out Multiple Sclerosis 100% (which I already thought they did at Cleveland Clinic). They told me that after 3 years (when I had my last MRI’s) that if it was MS, there would be definite evidence on my brain. If it is clear after 3 years, then it is not MS. I really did not want to hear all that again because I thought we were already away from that kind of talk, but this will definitely bury it I think if the scans are clear. So, pray they are clear!:) If they are clear, then that leads them back to Transverse Myelitis which is where something in your system (virus, infection, etc) attacks your spinal cord. They need fresh MRI’s anyway, so if I can live through that enclosed MRI tube again then this will all be good. Jimmy is very excited about the new MRI’s and feels it will make him feel a lot better. He also pushed for me to see a new neurologist. We are also going to be seeing a physiatrist. They are doctors that specialize in long-term care of spinal cord injury patients and help keep us healthy! That makes me feel better! 🙂 I also see a urologist August 11th which will help me deal with some bladder issues I am having (an aggravating and hidden part of paralysis). I have sweet wheelie friends who have helped prepare me for this appointment so I am not too nervous. Besides all of that, after 3 years and learning how to read my new body, I feel good most of the time and feel like the “old” new Alicia. If I don’t feel good, I know my body well enough now to probably be able to tell you why and that alleviates a lot of fear for me. The only way I know to compare it is if you were to have a headache, you would not be alarmed. Annoyed, but not alarmed. Unless….you never had a headache before. Then you would wonder why you were hurting and fear a bad problem. I know now what things mean for me, what triggers them and what I can or cannot do about it. It is annoying, but no longer alarming. That is huge progress for my emotions!
Of course, the biggest news that you are well aware of if you know us at all, is the London Paralympics. We leave August 20th and will return September 4th. We are SO pumped about this! God has been putting things in place for us and we know it is His will that we go. We started a “Go Fund Me” page because several had asked for me to make a way that they could donate and be reminded so they could share with others. We are not big on asking for money but this is a great outreach opportunity and we know it is not possible for everyone to be able to go to London. By helping us get there, you are playing a huge part in getting the Gospel to disabled athletes. My own wheelchair will already take away barriers so that they can hear our message. We cannot ask you enough for your prayers. It is a 9 hour flight to London and I deal with extreme nerve pain after sitting in one place too long. So, please pray that God would help to alleviate some of that pain for the flight and if He chooses not to, that I will not be grumpy with Jimmy!:) And then of course, pray that God would use us. That is all we desire. We will be documenting what we are doing every day and keep you all updated. If you are willing to partner with us in prayer and/or funds, then we want keep you in the loop of what is going on to keep you involved as much as possible.
We are soon going to open the doors of our home to you through a new Youtube video series that will highlight our life. We will keep it real so be prepared for bloopers, aggravations, a messy house and a lot of fun and adventure! We are excited to do this and hope you will enjoy learning what life is like in our home.
Thank you so much for all of your love and support for our family. My paralysis has added a very heavy layer to our home. Our marriage, our ministry, our family life…everything has been affected to a great degree. It has been through a lot of tears and much prayers, that God will just help us to learn and give Him the glory, that has sustained us. Your prayers for us have made all the difference in our lives and we don’t ever want you to think that we take that lightly. So, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for loving the Reagan family.