Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Done!!!

Savannah Cochran

Yes, I am so thankful to be able to say that through the Lord's help and by His grace alone, I was able to meet my goal of finishing my formal educational goals by the end of 2010!!!  I am so excited!!!

After working through the different challenges that these past couple of years have brought and thinking that I wasn't going to be able to make it by the time I was hoping to (it's difficult to do school when you feel so sick that you can't concentrate or are so weak and tired that you fall asleep in the middle of your books - without having a lot of control over it.  Also, it's easy to get frustrated when you wake up on top of your books, pen in hand, a couple of hours later thinking "I can't believe I did that AGAIN!!!")

But, the Lord is faithful who calls us and He has given me strength and perseverence.  We can truly do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  Praise be to my Lord and Redeemer!


Health Struggles and What We've Discovered...

Many of you know that for the past couple of years I have had some health struggles.  I haven't really done much posting about this subject, but I thought I'd share a few things now.  Ever since my appendectomy in 2008, things just haven't been quite right.  It's amazing how a surgery that is normally no big deal could turn into something much bigger!  After bleeding internally, developing a hematoma the size of a softball because of this, becoming anemic, trying to get blood counts back up, and developing a B-12 deficiency as well as dealing with a failed root canal that caused a severe systemic infection and then oral surgery, it has been a very interesting past couple of years and definitely not without their set of challenges!

For the past two years I have spent much of the time struggling with nausea, headaches, weakness, tiredness, chest pain, dizziness, cold hands and feet.  I've been a mess!!  There have been small periods of time where I would feel better for a while and then just start feeling bad again.  We've been to about 14 different doctors (some out of state) trying to find answers to why I have been having the symptoms I'm having.  Even though I've had TONS of blood work and other tests (all of which came back fine) no one knew the cause of the problem.  Although we have been very blessed to be working with a ND that has been very helpful.

This past summer I was quite discouraged.  It's frustrating feeling sick for so long and not being able to do as much as you'd like to. I think it's much worse feeling sick for so long and not knowing why!  I was praying that the Lord would give me patience for His timing and that He would give us some of the answers to questions we had been asking for so long.

In June, I happened to stumble across something called POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).  Basically, it has to do with lack of blood flow in the body and affects the autonomic nervous system.  You only get POTS if you've had surgery or a major illness. Unfortunately, it is not yet widely known of.  The interesting thing was how closely the information I found resembled what had been going on.  We decided once again to go to a different doctor with this new found information.  From this  doctor office we were able to get a referral to a specialist.

To make a long story short, the Lord blessed our efforts and we ended up seeing a Cardiologist.  Now, you might be asking the same question he asked us "What brings an 18 year-old to see a Cardiologist?"   He ran lots of tests including an echo-cardiogram - which was perfectly normal.  Praise the Lord!  All of the other blood work came back normal (although my cortisol levels are on the high end of normal because of what we did find out).  The Cardiologist told us that he couldn't give us the specific diagnosis of POTS (we would need to travel to Mayo Clinic where they have all the specialized equipment), but that it definitely has something to do with my autonomic nervous system.   Apparently my autonomic nervous system, which controls all of the blood flow in the body, has been knocked "out-of whack" (for lack of better terminology) probably due to the appendectomy.  This has also caused my blood pressure to be on the low end of normal.  It is wonderful to finally know why I've been feeling the way I have.  Lack of blood flow to the brain = headaches, dizziness, tiredness.  Lack of blood flow to the digestive system = nausea and so on from there.  Lack of blood flow to the extremities = cold hands and feet. (you get the picture! :)

I am so very thankful to the Lord for answering my prayers and what He has taught me and continues to teach me through this!!!  He has been able to use this to help me realize that I can't do things in my own strength.  But that when I'm trusting Him, He can use my weakness to show forth His strength and that through Him I can go on.  I pray that I would continue to remember this as it is so easy to forget sometimes.

The blessing is that although it may take a couple more years, I should get back to complete "normal" and it is not anything serious - you just can't hardly function at times!  It is just so nice to know!  There are not many things you can do for it, but I've already noticed some improvement with a few new things we've been trying... an herb (that helps the autonomic nervous system) and caffeine! I hadn't really had much caffeine before and you may think it sounds as funny as I did (the caffeine helps get blood pressure/flow up)! So, I've been sharing some of daddy's coffee. :)  Even though some days/weeks are better than others (and there are some times that I feel really bad), I'm thankful to be doing so much better than I was a few months ago.  By God's grace, I should hopefully be getting better from here!

I hope this wasn't way too long of a post, but it's kind of hard to make the short version any shorter. :)


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scions of Danger -3 Days Left!!!

Help support "Scions of Danger". 

They only have three days left to meet their fundraising goal by January 1st, 2011.  Please consider supporting their project!!!

To find out more:

Their Website

Their Trailor

Support Them!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend 2010 ~Part 2

Thanksgiving Day...

We were blessed to have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We hope everyone else did too!!!  Our family was surrounded by dear friends and are so thankful for the delightful day of fellowship that we had.  We took quite a few pictures, so hopefully you'll enjoy them as much as we did taking them!

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever!
~Psalm 107:1

To start off the day Joshua Harris and two of his sisters, Hannah and Liberty, came for breakfast.  We were greatly blessed to be able to have them with us.  This was the first time we were able to meet Hannah and Liberty and it was such a blessing getting to know them.

Some beautiful flowers that the Harris' brought us.

Thanksgiving breakfast is always a special time in our family.  We fellowshipped around the table and talked of the pilgrims.  Daddy read some to us as well.  Then daddy and mommy gave us each a sack of "goodies".  Thank you mommy and daddy!!!

Joshua and Shenandoah 
(or Bub as she calls him because she can't say Joshua yet :)

After breakfast, we went to the living room for more fellowship time.  In our family on Thanksgiving, we give each other "thankful" cards telling each other what we are thankful for in one another.  It is always a special time with our family.  We also give each other a little something to say "I'm thankful for you".

Daddy read more to us about the pilgrims.

Reading "thankful" cards

We are so thankful the Harris' could participate and be with us!

That afternoon, the "O" family joined us for dinner.  We are so happy you all could come!!!
Thank you all for the cookies you brought us, they were delicious!!!
Abby made these beautiful turkey cupcakes.  Didn't she do a fantastic job?!!!

Liberty made out beautiful place cards for everyone.  Thank you Liberty!!!

Fellowship and storytime

Hannah and Elly

Mr. O. carved the turkey

One table...

...and the other table



Clean up went great.  Many hands make light work!  Thank you everyone for participating!


Play time

Fellowshipping together while William did his vest treatment

To very good friends... a pilgrim and an indian


Hannah, Elly and Selah

Paper airplane making time. 
 The boys ended up with a whole squadron and they've been enjoying them ever since!! :)

The finished product

More fellowship

and of course, the day wouldn't be complete without an "O" and Cochran family picture!  
We are thankful for you!!!

Are you ready?

This was the "O" and Cochran family picture Thanksgiving 2004 :)
Seth and Elly were the babies

Then, Mr. "O" tried...

...our super tonic!!!  He didn't think it was too bad.
(garlic, horseradish, ginger, cayenne, onion - YUM!  It has quite the kick to it, but is supposed to be pretty healthy too.  How could it NOT be healthy?)

Camera wars...

Then someone suggested Sarah and I have a camera slingin' contest (instead of a gun slingin' contest ;)

By-standers counted off the paces one...two...three...four...five...DRAW!!!
Whichever camera flashed first was the winner and... Sarah won!!!  
(that could have been because she had her trigger half-cocked. I'm just kidding! :)

What a wonderful day!!!  I hope you were able to get at least just a small glimpse of it.  Thank you so much "O"'s and Harris' for joining us.  It was very special to have you all here and we wouldn't want it any other way!!!

The fellowship wasn't over yet though...
On Friday, Joshua, Hannah and Liberty came over for dinner and Friday Family Fun Night.  Once again, we greatly enjoyed the fellowship and were so happy they could join us.
We are thankful for you!!! 

Fellowship time was greatly enjoyed.  We were also introduced to "Chinese Numbers".  That was interesting.  Let me just say, it's fun when you can teach it to someone else. :) 

We had a great evening.  Thank you all for coming!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 ~Part 1

Thanksgiving Preparation!!!

This year we had many helping hands.  Everything went great and turned out perfect!
We started Monday and did a little each day. The Lord blessed our efforts and we were able to have everything done (except for the turkey!) by 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.  
We had a lot of fun!!!

Sayer and the corn

Sabrina and Stasia working on the green bean and mushroom casserole

Sienna helped with much of the food prep and also was a huge help with the dishes!

Sabrina making our breakfast casserole

The weather was beautiful on Wednesday, so while some of us were working in the kitchen, mommy and the little ones planted our fall garlic and onions.

Pumpkin pie

I was working on the pie dough and cinnamon rolls

Thank you everyone for pitching in!!!

Check back... Part 2 coming soon!!!