The brain is a fun place….

You might ask why I title my blog post this but the brain is so cool in all that it can do and my reflection goes through my journey in epilepsy.  I’m not entirely sure where to begin my blog but I wanted to thank my family, friends, roommates, and coworkers who have come along this journey with me. I’ve tried a myriad of medication over the past decade all of them have helped with the seizure symptoms somewhat but not completely and they caused an additional problem. Problems ranging from sentence construction, loss of focus, headaches, crazy vivid dreams, enhanced auditory senses, nausea and loss of interest in food. I had a hard time at work and started having more seizures at work. It made my chefs and co-workers nervous around me like I was a bomb just waiting to detonate and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

I couldn’t continue to live in fear. So in November I participated in a sleep study where my neurologist collected data on my seizures and proposed I get a new implant surgery. VNS or Vagus Nerve Stimulation implant was something I had read about in studies and had recently met a girl who was a couple years younger than me that had had the surgery and it had done wonders for her. After thinking it over I decided to go for it because in my mind there wasn’t another option. I was able to get time off work, insurance helped pay for the surgery and I found out that I was the first person in asheville to have the newest model installed and monitored in asheville.

I’m two weeks post surgery and they decided that today would be a good day to turn on the device. I was a little nervous walking into the doctors office this morning, almost an hour early for my appointment, not entirely sure what I should expect. I was led through the labyrinth, that is the doctors office, by the nurse while she rattled off the generic questions to which my answers rarely change to their biggest exam room. The nurse briefly left me in the room before my neurologist came in followed by her entourage of three other VNS reps.

Over the next few months they are going to be working on increasing my “dose” with the goal of reaching “1” for the device right now I am at .25 for 30 second intervals every 5 minutes It also reads my heart rate and if it spikes rapidly like 60-84 in 5 seconds it will send a .37 current because often times increase in heart rate is an indicator that a seizure will proceed so this feature attempts to neutralize that. Another feature is the magnets which I will keep on my person in the event where I feel like a seizure might happen or if someone sees me having a seizure they can take the really strong magnet and swipe it across my heart (where the device is implanted) and it delivers a dose twice as strong as the normal for 1 minute.

Eight hours later my comments would be sometimes it takes my breath away. I feel like had a workout today when I didn’t do a whole lot. Sometimes it makes me cough of suddenly intake air. Sometimes it feels like mild suffocation with the pressure and feels like someone took one of those cheap dry erase markers with the erasers on the cap and after it had been used for awhile rubs it up and down in the same spot on my vocal chord. Not super pleasant but I’m hoping that over time I will grow used to it and that I can be another success story. I want to look back on this year and see change. Thanks for all of your continued prayers and support!

~Brehana~

Published in: on April 1, 2017 at 1:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Gospel: changing hearts through your neighbor

So my last post was The gospel :changing hearts and changing lives. I’m still processing, but I’ve decided to continue sharing my thoughts. Last time we talked about different types of relationships. Family, marriage and neighbor. Marriage and Family is easy enough to understand but neighbor? Who is our neighbor? In the gospels a religious leader came up to Jesus and asked him what the greatest commandment was. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and the second like it Love your neighbor as yourself” that begs the question who is my neighbor?  “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:30-36

The Samaritan did what nobody else had taken the initiative to do. To give without expecting something back. To love without expecting to be loved back. So if thats a neighbor, and family are those related to you and marriage is between man and wife where does the dating relationship come into play? Well to be honest it’s not a biblical relationship. It says to love each other younger men/women as brothers and sisters, older men/women as mother/fathers treating them with respect and with purity as a sister. (1 timothy 5) The fact that all I have to do is love my neighbor and not worry about if so and so likes me or how to make it come across that I like him….just love him like a brother… has totally rocked my world. I love that it takes all pressure to find “the one” off of me and onto God. God already knows who is right for me so why worry about what I can’t control? Just love everyone as Christ would love them and then everything else will fall into place. Wow that went in a totally different direction than i had originally planned. Until next time

Published in: on March 27, 2013 at 11:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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colors through the fog

This past weekend a few friends and I went to the cascades. I was absolutly beautiful to see God’s creation in the top right there’s a rainbow in the falls. I’ve been struggling with gossip as of late and I’ve been blind to it. I hear it all day and it’s so much easier to be the listener and feel included in their life than walk away. But I wasn’t called to complain, I wasn’t called to talk about people behind their back. I wasn’t called to be dishonest. I was called to be an encouragement, I was called to be blameless, I was called to be righteous. But sometimes it’s hard to see the line. It’s hard to see the rainbow through the fog. But God promises that if we seek Him he will provide in abundance. Matthew 5 (which I’ve been studying in bstud) talks about characteristics of God’s people. Poor in spirit and being humble, Mourning our sin b/c even though in christ we are forgiven it still hurts him that we would choose our sin nature over the special life he desires for us. Meekness being humble, not trying to be right everytime. Hungering and desiring righteousness. If we desire the right things of God then we won’t want to sin. It is repulsive to us. We look at the time we enjoyed sinning as a thing of the past and the living the righteous life of God as something we are doing now and in the future. Why would I want the things of the flesh when He is more than enough and continually fills me with his presence.

Pure Bliss :)

Have you ever heard the phrase (normally by older people) “Ignorance is Bliss”? I never really understood the significance of that phrase until this afternoon when I was mowing the lawn. (b/c thats when all the thinking occurs) There are alot of wonderful things to experience in this world and there are a couple theories of thought…Live like there’s no tomorrow lets go do it all and as much as we want vs. There is a perfect time for everything everything in moderation vs what they don’t know they won’t miss. I want to say I live in the middle camp all the time, but I don’t, I flip flop though I do believe everything in moderation. I was thinking today would it be better for me to never have experienced some things b/c the lack of them is making me crave them more? sure God has a plan and everything works out to his good and I have no regrets but if I never dated would I be desiring that kind of relationship now? If I had never had klines ice cream would I crave it so bad I taste it on my tongue? I could build a list of what ifs but that is not beneficial b/c the past is in the past and it is meant to learn from and build a better future learning from your mistakes.

Published in: on September 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tight rope walking

Lately I’ve been having trouble with balance. I just got a new job (Yay huge answer to prayer), knowing which activities to say yes to and realizing it’s ok to say NO, pool time, family time, Jesus time, pet time, having time to just chill and be ok with doing nothing. I get bored really easily and my first instinct now is to reach for my phone and play games or watch a movie or tv show. but really a better use of my time would be reading, talking to real people, and practicing my cooking skills. Different stages in life require different forms of balance maybe one day I can walk a tight rope but today i’ll stick to my balance beam 🙂

Published in: on July 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Past the point of no return!

Unless you decide to go back and get your Bachlors or masters or PHD after you graduate initially you leave your little college bubble where you can study at anytime and depending on the type of student you are your choices may not have a direct effect on your final degree. But we all agree that it took steps to get to the podium to shake the deans hand and receive our diploma case only to find a letter saying we can pick up our actual diploma later in june. Whether you were on track to finish ahead of schedule or took the long road we all made it to the same podium. There were some key people in my education that encouraged me, made me a better chef, shared their wisdom, and made classes fun. Chef B will always be known as one who does demos and mystery boxes I had my favorite class “international cuisine” with him it taught me to think outside my normal realm and be creative He was a favorite among students and faculty alike and He was greatly missed this year and at graduation. Chef Schopp is the program’s pastry instructor but he’s so much more than that. With his catering expertise and business experience he is a wealth of knowledge to our program. I love how he views all his students as his buddies! 🙂 Bryan (Pok Chop) I’ve had him in so many of my classes for the past 2-3years. I don’t know what I would have done without his help, and hugs throughout the years. Mack we’ve only had two classes together but we’ve both been in the program for the same time just missed each other until our last semesters.

Other significant people who helped me throughout my education. My mom for driving me everywhere and for being my sounding board, Megan for being my sounding board when I wanted to go into this major in the first place and for being there for me ever since. Becky for being my “twin” and knowing everything about me sometimes before I do and still loving me for it. Amanda for knowing what it’s like to go through college bumming rides off of people but today I came out on top! Katelyn for listening when I wanted to rant, crying with me when I wanted to cry, and encouraging me, Betsy my prayer buddy thank you for always making me feel encouraged, Mrs. Francis you are such an amazing model of great mother, wife, and teacher thank you for your wisdom and for your encouragement. Jared thank you for always making me put things in perspective and for speaking words of wisdom into my life. Thomas and Heather thank you for your Godly example of your marriage and family and for speaking wisdom into my life. Jennifer for being hospitable and allowing me to experiment cooking with the life group 😉 Ashley for always being encouraging and keeping me focused on God’s plan and his promises we need more ashleys in the world 😉

I can’t explain the excitement you feel after you graduate even though the possibility of returning looms in the air it’s not enough to dim my excitement! I don’t know what I’m doing next all I know if that I need a job to make money so I can move to a bigger city that has better public transportation and a better market for the food industry. But I’m trusting God has a plan b/c if I had followed my plan I would have graduated from JMU with my BS. in Psychology and although mmy heart will forever bleed purple and gold it also has a passion for food and I can now be classified as a Food Snob 🙂 Congratulations Class of 2012!

Published in: on May 12, 2012 at 4:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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How long and why me?

I realized that there are people in the Bible who had every reason to ask God why me? or How long am I going to be in this situation? Some of them did ask and others just accepted their season of life but God is faithful and has a greater plan that we can’t see.

Abraham- Prayed for a son, God gave him a son when he was 109 years old!

The nation of Israel- they were enslaved in Egypt for 400yrs before God delivered them with the promise to make them a great nation.

Moses- After the israelites disobeyed God they wandered in the dessert for 40 years before going to the promised land.

Naomi- Had her husband and all her sons die but her daughter in law was faithful in taking care of her.

Ruth- her husband died but God provided a husband who would love and take care of her.

Esther- she was taken away from her homeland and family but God used her courage to save her people.

Job- His children all died and his wealth and health was taken from him. But God was faithful and restored his wealth making him twice as rich as he was before and he had several more children

Jesus- Ridiculed, misunderstood by everyone and was crucified. But that was all part of God’s design to reconcile the world to himself.

The Apostles- Killed for their faith. But it brought God the glory he deserves.

Isaac- Worked for 7 years to marry Rachel but his father in law tricked him into marrying her sister Leah. After another 7yrs of work he finally is the husband of both rachel and leah. God uses Laban’s deception to bring about the 12 tribes of Israel.

Joseph- he was beaten by his brothers and sold as a slave, wrongly accused and thrown in prison. This was all part of God’s plan to save Egypt from a coming famine.

Published in: on May 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The end is near!!

for those of you wondering I did finish my 100 miles in 100 days (2 miles short but walked them a couple days later so it counts :-P)  I’m halfway done with exams I’m taking a super important exam tonight to get my sanitation certification, I have one practical where I have to make 24 chocolate truffles and then I have another exam friday morning. Derby day is may 4th and 5th then graduation is the 11th!!! I got my cap and gown today super excited. I’m ready to just start a new season. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” Isaiah 43:19 I’ve been putting out alot of job applications and it’s discouraging when I don’t hear anything back but at the same time I know that there is a bigger picture. I take heart in knowing that Christ has overcome the world and nothing gets overlooked by him.

Published in: on April 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Floating amongst the clouds

For those that know me you know I struggle alot with my feeling of a lack of independence and just constantly having to rely on others for things.  I had gotten so fed up with being told when I could go places b/c thats when it fit into someone  elses schedule. So when spring break came around and people started talking about road trips or trips to the beach I thought I’m going  to go somewhere for spring break. i don’t care what anyone says so I booked my plane tickets and boarded a plane to Milwaukee WA to visit my best friend and her husband and new baby.

It was the first time traveling by-myself without a group.  I love the big airports they’re like mini-malls with trains in them.  I love Milwaukee’s little local shops, creamy custards, delicious cheese, the friendly people in megan’s church, I love the aesthetics of the gym megan is a trainer at. I love how kids from the neighborhood come and play basketball everyday in her backyard.

I can’t wait to see what will transpire in the next 3 days I’m here, just loving on her family.

Published in: on March 9, 2012 at 5:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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5 words of love

Ok so idk where to begin but I guess I’ll give you a pet peeve of mine and what have been on my mind as of late. I’ve been thinking about the word Love as of late and words are thrown around so carelessly in our culture that even the words that are meant to encourage and bring happiness have lost their place and vulgar words have become so commonplace that they aren’t noticed except by the older generation and maybe some christians who make a fuss and are seen as different. But I think that it’s weird to say I love my car and then in the next sentence I love my husband I wish we could go back to the greek language who had specific words for different kinds of love. Then there would be no trying to decipher what exactly did they mean by what they said.

The first Greek word is: Mania – Manic love is almost not a love at all.  The word “lust” is probably not strong enough – “obsession” is closer to the word.  This is the love of possession.  I “mania” that which I obsessively desire to own.  It is generally seen as taking over the “lover” like insanity – thus the connection to modern concepts of madness (kleptomania, pyromania).  It is like the opposite of a phobia  – an obsessive need to avoid something. “Mania” is translated as “madness” and “beside yourself” in Acts 26

Second is : Eros – Eros is obviously the root word for “erotic,” but it does not describe sexual love only, it actually describes all emotional love; the feeling of love.  Eros love is that insatiable desire to be near the target of this love.  The exciting, passionate, nervous feelings that sweep over people in the appropriate circumstances.  This is the love that says “I love how you make me feel.”  As an emotion, Eros changes, sometimes suddenly.  Remember that it is entirely based on circumstances and on the target of its emotion.  As an emotion, alone it is morally neutral, however, it can just as easily lead to lust (sinful desire) as it can passion. It is also a good picture to think of Eros as the fruit and flowers of a new relationship.  Eros is not a bad thing, but it is also not a “good” thing. The word Eros does not appear in the Bible.

Third is : Philos – Philos love, or brotherly/friendship love, is the next kind we will look at.  Philos describes the love between two people who have common interests and experiences, or a fondness for.  Hemophiliacs apparently seemed to ancient doctors to have a “fondness” to bleeding, for example.  Unlike Eros, which pulses up and down like waves on the ocean, Philos steadily grows, like a building being constructed stone by stone.  For this reason, when close friends are separated for a while and reunited, they will often say “it is like we picked up exactly where we left off.”  Philos is half about the circumstances, and half about the commitment of two people to one another; it says “I love who we are together,” or in case of a non person:  “I am fond of this food.”  Philos love generally grows over time except in the case of some kind of betrayal.

Fourth : Storgy – We will not spend much time here; storgy is the love one has for a dependent.  It is commonly called “motherly love.”  It is entirely based on the relationship between the “lover” and the “lovee.”  When the dependent is no longer dependent, this love remains only in its emotional remnants.  It is one of the stronger loves, because it involves a commitment that relies on only one trait of the receiver – that he or she is dependent.   This type of love is toxic to a marriage under normal circumstances.  Marriages that look more like a mother/son or father/daughter relationship is moving quickly downhill.

Fifth is : Agapeo – Agape love is the final of the five loves we look at here.  Agape love is entirely about the lover, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the one loved.  Agape love, in its purest form, requires no payment or favor in response.  The most common word for God’s love for us is Agape (I John, John 3:16) and the love we are commanded to have for one another (Matt. 5:44, I Cor. 13).  This lack of input from the recipient makes it possible for us to love our enemies even though we may not like them or the situation they have put us in – because Agape love is not in any way dependent on circumstances; it says “I love you because I choose/commit to.”  Unlike eros or philos, Agape creates a straight line that neither fades or grows (!) in its perfect form (which of course only exists from God outward)  Oddly enough, even though many people marry out of eros love alone, they make vows that speak of commitment despite any circumstance:  richer/poorer, better/worse, sickness/health.  This kind of love is about a commitment to the very best for another, no matter what emotions or feelings exist!  You can see why in the King James Version of the Bible, Agape was usually translated as “charity.”  It is a love freely given, and freely committed to.  For a more in depth look at its aspects, look at I Corinthians chapter 13.

http://chrismlegg.com/2009/10/01/5-greek-words-for-love-agape/

B/c we do feel all these different love emotions it would be nice if we didn’t have to guess and had some way to express it accurately.

 

 

Published in: on March 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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