How not to say the wrong thing #lifeafterlilac

December 7, 2017 will be a date that will forever be etched into our minds.  It is the date of the Lilac fire that burned 4,100 acres, destroyed 157 structures, and  damaged 64 structures in Bonsall and Fallbrook, CA.
We live in Fallbrook, CA.  We have three kids that live, work, and go to school in Fallbrook, CA.  We work in San Diego, 54 miles (1 hour on a good day) away from where our children were at 11 AM on Dec 7, 2017, when the fire broke out.  It was a very stressful weekend.
As we struggle through coming to terms with our versions of the Lilac fire, it is important to remember the Ring Theory, and where you fit on other’s rings. Please remember that when someone goes through a traumatic event, it is not time for you to tell them your story.  It is time for you to listen to their story, if they want to share it.  Otherwise, keep your feelings to yourself, and just offer comfort to those affected.

No News is Not Necessarily Good News (It’s Not Bad Either)

It’s been a while, huh?

It’s been nine months since David had his last check up at the Shiley Eye Center, and one year since he had his last blood work done.

So, no news is not necessarily good news, but it’s not bad either.  It’s just not what we wanted to hear.

David’s May blood test returned high T4 (Hypothyroidism), and slightly high A1C (Diabetes) numbers. I am not really surprised though. I’ve been telling him for weeks that his medication is off, but he kept telling me he felt fine.

It’s the little things that I noticed though.   Tiny, minute things that most people wouldn’t make note of…. The break outs on his back, the forgetting from day to day that he told me this story already, the adamant denial that he put something in a particular place, the slight annoyance at completing daily chores.  These things are not a pert of his normal (whatever that word means) existence when he is healthy.

So, we get to experiment with dosages again.  I don’t recall this process being pleasant for him, so I am working on building up some additional armor that I can lend to him when he needs it.

This too shall pass, and we will carry it along together as it does.

Thank you to the Graves Disease and Thyroid Foundation

I would like to take a moment to thank all of the visitors from the Graves Disease and Thyroid Foundation site.  I hope that David’s story through my eyes is helpful to you and encourages you to share your experience too!  I have been writing blogs for over 12 years, so when David was diagnosed, well, even before, this seemed the most natural thing to do in order to share information. It was important to me to yell from the top of the mountain (figuratively speaking of course) what we were going through, because our experiences count as valuable information to others, and there was so little information my family could draw from.  So, please get your story out there!  You can even send it to me and I will publish it, I don’t care, just share!  The more we share, the more we learn.

A week of blessings

I just can’t stop smiling this week.

Yesterday, we got the awesome news that our oldest son, who had been suffering with a ruptured cervical disc for a while now, will be able to have disc replacement surgery and will be back on the rugby field by this up coming season!

Today, David got glasses.

…AND sunglasses. As we walked out of the store, all I can hear him saying is, “Wow”, “Oh my god, wow”, “wow”. Ha ha! He’s been reading all the fine print on everything out loud to everyone.

It’s so amazing! I am beyond thrilled for him, so I can only imagine how excited he is feeling.

It’s been an amazing week so far. I can’t wait to see what other awesome things life has in store for this family!!!!

The Eyes Have It

Look at this beautiful man!


David had his 5 month post op check up last week, and we couldn’t be happier!  He requested a pressure test to see how that has changed since the surgery.  The results are amazing.

Pre surgery, the pressure in both of his eyes was around 29.  Last Thursday, it was 17/18!  You know what that means?  NO MORE GLAUCOMA!!!!!!


He received a referral to the Optometrist, so he can get glasses!  Y’all, this is HUGE for both of us!  Once he gets glasses, I will allow him to drive, and once he starts driving, we can be independent again!!!!!!!!

We are so lucky to have the best care anyone could ask for in his doctors at Shiley Eye Institute, and UCSD.  I really don’t know where we would be at this point, if we didn’t have this awesome team on our side.



11 Weeks Post Op, and Wow

It has been a little over 11 weeks since David had his surgery.  The doctors are amazed with his recovery and comment on it at every visit.

His double vision has subsided and has cleared quite substantially.  His focus points are still ify which makes it hard to drive still, but most other daily activities, he is doing as he normally would.

Before the surgery, his eyes measured at a 27mm and 25mm protrusion.  Last week, at his check up, his eyes measured at 19 mm on both sides!  That’s a huge difference!  The doctor said his eyeballs were out of the socket at least an inch internally!

So, without further ado, here are the before and afters!  This is amazing.

Four Weeks Post op

We are in Vegas! 

Our oldest son attends the University of Arizona and their game was scheduled in Las Vegas during the Vegas Sevens tournament. The thing is, he didn’t know we were coming!  (We didn’t either until lunch time yesterday!)

I think both Ian and David were happy to see each other!



Thank you to my friend, Joni, for snapping this moment! 

As far as recovery goes, he is doing really well! He still favors his right eye and is still Popeye by the end of the day. He is getting a lot of grit and eye gunk almost continuously. Being here in the very dry Las Vegas air is not sitting well with his eyes either. His vision, however, is almost normal for a man in his late 40’s. That is awesome!

Our second follow up with the Doctor is next Thursday. We are going to talk to him about the left eye, the eye gunk, and dryness.

Three weeks post op

He’s been back at work for two weeks and is doing really well!

His left eye is healing slower than his right eye and by the end of the day, he looks like Popeye with one eye closed. The double vision is getting better. Bright lights and sun light are still pretty bad for him, and he is fighting with “eye grit” daily. 

He says he the vision in his right eye is very clear, and he can read his iPhone screen with his left eye closed and no glasses. That’s so awesome. 

He has another check up in a few weeks!

16 Days Post-Op

It has been a pretty amazing week.  David went back to work on Tuesday, Feb 16, 2016 only 11 days after his surgery.  It was a very busy week at work for everyone, so he jumped in with both feet and got to work.

His double vision is getting better.  He discovered that his really strong reading glasses aren’t needed anymore, so we headed out to get lower strength glasses on Wednesday.  Every day, there is a change in his eyes and appearance.  We spent the weekend in the sun, watching Ian play rugby (good game, by the way, kid!), and he was regretting the sun and dry air today, but  tonight, while watching TV, he said, his vision was almost there.

Both he and I have been sneezing like crazy this weekend, and are feeling very tired, so I think it may be our yearly hay fever time.  It seems to be making his eyes more irritated right now.  He’s been very diligent about using eye drops and the gel medication to keep his eyes clean and hydrated.  His eye lid stitches have started coming out on their own already.  It kinds freaked him out a little the first time one of them came out, but after that first one, he just rolled with it.

It really has been an amazing journey.  I am so amazed with him and how quickly he is healing.  I really and truly believe his recovery is 100% attributed to his positive attitude.

I really am the luckiest wife ever.  My husband is a Riser, and he’s freaking awesome.

David 2 weeks out

Guess whose going to work tomorrow?

We’ve had such an amazing week. David continues to get better every day, and will be returning to work tomorrow, Feb 17!

We were out all day today at Fashion Valley mall then finished the day with the epic Dead Pool movie. It was awesome; the day, and the movie. 

He says he is really looking forward to going in tomorrow!