Tag Archives: travel

Traveling With a One Year Old – Sunshine, Smiles then a Seizure 

25 May

ATTN: Friends and Family – While I am posting pictures of sunshine and happiness I need to confess something that rocked our worlds. On May 11th Oriana had her MMRV shot (Measles, Mumps, Rubella & Varicella) (also her first birthday). The typical reaction to it occurs post 10-14 days. We were informed that we could expect a rash. Nothing else.
Andy and I arrived with Oriana on the island of Saint Maarten Saturday, May 20th around 11:45a, 9 days later. No fever was evident. Oriana was 100% herself, hamming it up and laughing. When we got to our final destination and began to unpack we handed her a bottle. Within seconds we heard it fall to the floor (very atypical). Andy went to grab it and hand it back to Oriana. He shouted calmly but concerned “Val, there’s something wrong with Ori!”
I raced to my girl with waves of panic. Her beautiful blue eyes were rolling back and her body was convulsing. She was unresponsive to us. Shaking. I immediately knew she was having a seizure but I didn’t know why. Was it traveling? What was it??!! What is happening!!! I tried to stay calm but I was no where near it. My husband and my parents were my rock. Everyone was scared but remained calm while I had no semblance of it. I shouted to everyone that we had to go. We had to GO!

I had no clue where the nearest hospital was but we were headed there and NOW!!! I begged Oriana to come back to me. To come back to us. Andy was amazing – he stayed calm, collected and strategic – navigating an unfamiliar place while my adrenaline and fear spiked. I was trying to be calm, strong and confident but the reality is – when your child experiences anything like this and completely at random in a place that is not home – it’s nearly impossible. 

I held her on her side to make certain she wouldn’t choke on her saliva. There was so much. No vomit. Just tons of saliva. And with her shaking there was nothing I could do other than have my mom, Andy and I talk to her and tell her she will be okay. The island is small but after a few minutes of driving it felt massive. It felt like the road would never end. Destination nowhere!!! After another five minutes Oriana came out of her seizure. She was clammy. Wet. Disoriented. But babbling! We were still on the hunt for a hospital. The first place we arrived to was closed. We drove to a pharmacy. Closed. We drove to another pharmacy for help and quickly learned that most hospitals and pharmacies closed at 1p. I was losing my shit!!!
We called our pediatrician in Virginia (limited service and dialing out was so hard!) and left a voicemail for an immediate call back. After another waiting period that felt like forever we got a call. The doctor said she probably experienced a febrile seizure. What!? Why? No answers.

I did more research and called the doc back because I didn’t understand why. Would she have another? I told him I believed it was related to the MMRV shot (1 in 3000 children experience it) after reading about it. I learned quickly that the fever is brought on without warning and the doctor validated my concern. Our daughter went from showing off her new pink kicks at the airport, giggling and smiling and being our goofy angel to a seizure in 0 to 60. 
Parents – it’s so unexpected and one of the scariest things we have ever experienced. We are okay now. We found out that seizures rarely ever lead to brain damage or loss of life even though that was the electric current of fear running through our bodies (so long as you make sure they don’t swallow their saliva or vomit). 
Learn about seizures and how to handle them. Treat the fever another 24 hours once it is gone. 

There’s no book on being a new parent – it’s all about adaption, learning and experience. I chose to share this with you all because the more we rally together and be honest about experiences the better we can parent. Knowledge is power. It can save a life. It took her until yesterday to be 100% back to being our rosebud. 

And yes, we will continue to vaccinate her. 
Thanks for stopping by.



Lost Puppy

17 Feb

Hi friends!!!

Oh wow. The thing with puppies is they are so darn cute. Well at least most of the time. They have these big eyes that have the ability to melt your heart. They are always begging for attention and they are extremely needy of your time. If they are not given proper love and attention, they lash out. They may pee on your favorite pair of Newtons (that has never happened) or they may develop a unique taste for baseboards.

Sometimes these puppies are people. Granted I would abstain from those who freely chose to pee on my Newtons or have an appetite for baseboards, but sometimes they show up at your doorstep and you’re left to counsel. What I am saying is some people lash out when their opinions are uninvited. Some people are like lost puppies because they are looking for a cage to rattle.

I have had the fine encounter of meeting a lost puppy recently. I checked my Facebook account to notice I had a few messages pending in the ‘other’ inbox. I read them out.

I was flattered that someone I don’t know reads my blog but I was momentarily put off by his raucous comment, or should I say bark?

It reads as follows:

I read your Blog. You write well albeit a remarkable number of I’s which gives hints of being a kind of loving Narcissist… -bad puppy

The ellipsis … ending the note staring at me, trying to razz me.

Dot. Dot. Dot.

I thought to myself…

It took me a few moments to realize that this lost, bad puppy is half blind by the potent obvious…this blog is about my Running [Affair] and My Life Between the Miles. I am the main character. Who else? Of course there will be the use of I!

Albeit his comment struck me, I’m pleased he reads my blog or at least read one of my posts. His bark is an attention seeking behavior similar to that of a lost, bad puppy. The common reasons for barking are due to lack of physical activity, boredom, and/or nervousness.

This puppy is bored!

My apologies that my physical activity makes you feel inferior. l recognize your behavior as a plea for attention and some love. Perhaps a little training and some obedience will serve you well. Go take a walk around the block, smell the fresh-cut grass, and mark your territory without engaging in poor behavior. In my experience we can correct bad behavior by replacing the action of reviling others with praise. If you find that these techniques don’t work, I recommend you contact a professional dog trainer…they work wonders on lost puppies and bad puppies alike, given age and maturity, and provide tons of cages to rattle until pure exhaustion. What are you waiting for? Woof woof!

Thanks for stopping by!

By the way, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What you see from me is only the half of it! Next time, if you have the cajones, I implore you to bark on this forum, not a private Facebook message…just saying! Unless of course you’ve been neutered…makes sense. 😉

It’s time for a run!

Happy running! XO




28 Dec

I love the smell of possibility in the morning!

So much can be achieved in 24 hours! It’s a thrill to wake up and set out to conquer your goals!

This morning I woke up with the intention to go on a long run to sort some things out. I wanted to run through a host of concerns.

I evaluated the possibility of a morning run and couldn’t contain my excitement. The possibility of running in Chicago! Ooooh how my eyes sparkled with a rush of thrill and spontaneity! Where would I explore?

I stepped out.

The possibility of running in Chicago was a no go. A total, heck NO, I must be crazy! It was 25 degrees and I clearly didn’t pack accordingly for the stark chill.

Then there was the possibility of running at the gym.

Hmmm. Nope.

The possibility and favorable probability that I would finally win a scrabble game with my pops was more enticing as he welcomed me to a match at the kitchen table.

I had to forgo a run to score a win. I had no option. I really didn’t.

I got to thinking about possibility…

There is a very real possibility I will travel to Milan or Paris (or both) this year. Heck, I may even end up in Croatia!

There is also a very realistic possibility that I will qualify for Boston this year!!! Heck yes!!!

There’s a possibility that my marriage with running will be long-lasting and fruitful despite the disappointment I will face when I don’t PR. That’s the ebb and the flow…

There is also the possibility that my commitment and vow to run forever may be sidelined if I become injured.

Forever. Forever isn’t for every one.

Sometimes our injuries are scars you never see but are hurtful reminders of a crash and burn or inviting memories that you explore time and again. They can knock you off the path of forever or redirect your visions of possibility!

I reflect on my relationship with running. I am in a healthy relationship with it. We do not argue. We do not throw jabs. We trust each other. We challenge each other. These are the ingredients for a heathy commitment, for our healthy commitment. So why should I feel threatened that the possibility for forever may be shorter?

Do you look at your relationships and their possibility for potential?

Possibility is everywhere! It’s endless. Stay focused on your dreams, the peripheral opportunities, and follow your passion! You will find yourself in the company of happiness with the people that belong in your life!

The possibility of a run today is not in the cards-because today we play scrabble! Perhaps tomorrow!

Until then, happy running!

Thanks for stopping by!




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