4 Practical Tips for the Christian Blogger

  I see you, friend. You have your blog up and running, but you're still trying to figure out the practical day-to-day tips that you need to operate a successful blog. You know you need to keep those jumbled ideas in your noggin organized and figure out how to design...

How to Encourage Your Husband to be a Proverbs 1-30 Man

    "Did you notice that while it is very true that women have one chapter dedicated to them in Proverbs, men have chapters 1-30 that pertains to them.  Meaning, that even though those first thirty chapters in Proverbs can still be beneficial to women, it was...

Christian Quotes on Compassion and Suffering

  This post contains affiliate links. “A compassionate open home is part of Christian responsibility, and should be practiced up to the level of capacity.” ― Francis A. Schaeffer   “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay...

A Look at the Millennials

This post may contain some affiliate links.  Millennials are now our largest generation, birthed mainly by the largest generation before them, the Baby Boomers. With a whopping 78 million in their population, it's no wonder they're talked about with such...

Body Repair: Church Healing Through the Three Doors of Prayer Method

  I'm so blessed to extend Kelly's story to you today because it's an aspect that is often forgotten when we talk about church hurts. The side of the pastor and their family. Listen closely to her story of hurts and forgiveness. It's deeply touched us and I'm...

A Review of Detours by Tony Evans

    This post may have affiliate links.  I know you've been there. You had your goals mapped out on paper and maybe even projected onto a vision board with pretty pictures of what life was going to be in five to ten years from that date. You even made practical...

How to Spot Unsafe People When You Have a Chronic Illness

  This post contains affiliates. "Chronic illness wouldn't be as terrible as it is if it were just the illness we were dealing with." I'm not sure who said this statement, but it's a fairly accurate statement. There isn't an area where chronic illness doesn't touch....

How to Replace Family Dysfunction with a Biblical Worldview

This post contains affiliates.  We've already talked about the basics of the family roles in dysfunctional families here and delved deeper into how these roles influenced life with chronic illness here. Now, we're delving into the problem-solving portion from a...

Protected: A Look at 2017

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How Family Dysfunction Impacts Your Chronic Illness pt. 2: Looking at Your Unique Family Role and How it Impacts Your Chronic Illness

Dysfunctional families and chronic illness...they go together like, well, mash potatoes and sauerkraut. Which is to say they really don't mix together too well. I've heard it said by someone experienced with seeing patients enduring serious health conditions on a...

How to Eat Healthy Meals with a Chronic Illness

  This post contains affiliates. I know the question pops up frequently: just how do I eat healthy with a chronic illness? And then the follow-up question that becomes even more overwhelming than the first: what does it actually mean to eat healthy with a chronic...

How Family Dysfunction Impacts Your Chronic Illness pt. 1

  I really debated about whether or not to write this for some time, but what I came down to is this: the area of family is a very raw topic amongst the chronically ill community, and sometimes, it becomes more of a thorn to the chronically ill than the illness...

Body Repair: 5 Ways to Repair Church Wounds

Is it possible to heal from church hurts? Will the hurt ever go away from Christians who wounded me? You may be asking yourself a string of these questions. And while the healing is never easy, I hope this series has at least infused you with a slight possibility that...

Hope for When “This too Shall Pass” Never Comes

"Sarah, he said he really thought things were going to improve for us- that he knew God was going to change our circumstance for the better." My husband was turned towards me in the kitchen three years ago with those words that he was repeating from a friend lending...

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The Church Hurts Itself By Majoring on the Minors

I regularly write on the topic of the Mommy Wars and the damage they are doing to the church in our day. One of the ways in which the onslaught of the Mommy Wars is wreaking havoc is by causing us to major on the minors, or to harp on and focus our attention primarily...

Body Damage: The Church Hurts Itself By Forsaking Vulnerability

  This is a story that was emotional and devastating at the time and it took years to realise the full impact of what had happened, but this is also a story of hope and of God’s sovereignty over all things. I am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to...

Body Damage: 15 Ways the Church Hurts Itself

  This post contains affiliates. That means our family gets a small commission through any links you purchase through this page. See our disclosure here.  I know you may be seeing the title of this post and thinking the thoughts, "Yay, let's get the church! They've...

Liberty Lixir CBD Hemp Oil

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. This post also contains affiliates, but I...

Dictionary of Christianity and Science: A Review

My friend, Chris Reese, let me know that his long awaited book Dictionary of Christianity and Science was available to read. At the mention, I was excited that such a much-needed resource was created and will be (as of this writing) available in just five days for the...

When God Is Silent- Guest Post

“I don’t think God would allow the same thing to happen twice. Why would He allow you to get so seriously sick again when you’ve already endured that testing once?”   That was the response of my husband, then brand new boyfriend when I warned him about my health...

10 Books for Women Who Want to Grow in Their Faith

You've been there. Glaring at the Christian section at Barnes and Noble, overwhelmed by the choices in front of you. All you're looking for are good books for women who want to grow in their faith. This is a good list of basic books for women who want to grow in their...

Protected: The Needle in the Balloon

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Hope Filled Hacks for Christian Bloggers

My heart is stirred by a noble theme     as I recite my verses for the king;     my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1   I remember this verse gracing my computer screen with calligraphy script as a background wallpaper many years back.   I wanted to...

What 10 Christians Want You to Know About Chronic Illness

  I've spent time over the last month collecting some of the best voices on chronic illness and pain from the lens of  Christians enduring long-term health issues. The words these wonderful people have to offer are filled with such astounding wisdom. Take a listen:  ...

8 Hope-Filled Life Hacks From Fixer Upper’s Chip & Joanna Gaines

      Both Michael and I have fallen in love with the HGTV show, Fixer Upper. Yup, I outed my husband. He's a dude who watches HGTV. At first, Michael watched the show to placate me, then we both realized after just several episodes that the magic of the show wasn't...

Handling Disappointment Without Hurting Yourself Further

As a note: this post contains affiliate links that help with funding more medical treatments.See our disclosure here. I used to think I did fine at handling disappointment. You just kind of roll with the punches and realize life isn't fair, and "move on." But what if...

Communicating with Your Spouse When You Don’t Know Where to Start

    There may be some affiliate links in this article.  I’m a stuffer.   Not a hoarder stuffer, but a conflict and communication in general stuffer. There’s usually one person in a relationship who stifles communication, not able to openly talk with their spouse...

Why Pain Pills Are Sometimes Necessary: Especially If You Hate Them

Let me first start by saying I never thought I would be writing a defense for pain pills. Sure, I first began treatment with pain pills at the young age of thirteen after getting my first (and most painful) kidney stone, but I hated them for years thereafter.   A...

10 Faith Filled Books for the Chronically Ill

  When you're in the deepest of trenches, sometimes you just need the right book to offer itself in your life and commiserate with you. Enter in our list of books of Faith Filled Books for the Chronically Ill. Faith is the main backbone of all these books. We haven't...

8 Reasons Why Millennials Aren’t Getting Married

I just wrote a personal take on millennials and our fear of marriage here. But right now, I wanted to take the time to discuss why millennials aren't getting married. This is in no way an extensive list; I can think of a few more points of why marriage isn't happening...

A Letter to Wives, You Were Once a Girlfriend Before You Became a Mrs.

  “You know, you’ll always be my boyfriend.” I turned to my then new fiance' to say those words, then looked into his face to see the look of repulsion etched on his face as if I just called him “terd-face.”   “But I don’t want to be your boyfriend. It took me this...

When Your Goals Seem Out of Reach Because of Your Struggles: How Do You Dream for Tomorrow?

    The piping hot coffee coupled with the fragrant aroma of freshly baked cookies was presented in front of the men and women I was positioned in front of. Their wrinkled faces peered at me, waiting for me to speak on the topic at hand: New Year’s Resolutions. As I...

The Light of Messy Hope

We didn't know when we first created "Inkblots" that my health would demand my body to stay in a pitch-black room or else intense neuro issues would strike. We were literally and figuratively in the dark. It was at that time where my husband mentioned that he had...

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

  I looked out the car window as palm tree lined medians became a blur matching my own blurred thoughts. I then looked at my husband, Michael, who was driving when the words came, “My mind feels so numb that I just don’t know what to pray anymore.”   It was true then,...

Using the Serenity Prayer in Our Everyday Life

If you’re anything like me, you may think of the word serenity and immediately remember Frank Costanza, George Costanza’s zany father from Seinfeld going through a fictional self-help material based on the very real faddish trend of DIY self-help psychology in the...

Reshaping the Millennial View of Marriage

    “And would you wipe her butt if she became really sick?” “Wait, what kind of question is that?” I can almost picture my husband's quizzical expression. After a moment of thought he finished with, “Yes, if it came down to it, I would.” ”Well, if you would be...

You’re Not Alone In Your Suffering

    Can I confess something? I'm still puzzled about the events that have taken place in my life since I married Michael several years ago. The strange abnormalities that sent me to numerous doctors with one proclaiming they had only seen a case like mine once in...

Chuck Norris’ Autobiography, Against All Odds

Chuck Norris’ autobiography, Against All Odds was so epic, that it wrote itself. That is the line most of us in the Chuck Norris Legendary-Fandom world would have used to describe this personal memoir of Chuck Norris.’ If you’re unfamiliar with this line of joking,...

Great Gift Ideas For Hope & Health

Whenever we embark on a season of giving, I think of the piles of well-intentioned gifts that are now buried in closets never to see the light of day because the gift didn't hold a purpose. We decided to formulate an intentional gift giving list for gift ideas for...

What to do When You Can’t Write Because of Brain Fog

Brain Fog. It's the nebulous foe of anyone with a chronic illness who enjoys writing...or you know, thinking. You stare at the screen, but the cursor just seems to blink repetitiously among a blank sea of nothingness. Meanwhile, your brain feels like it's stuffed with...

Grieving Your Chronic Illness

  "You know you don't have to cry. Look on the positive side." I don't remember my husband, Michael's exact words those many months ago, but they were along those lines. I was sitting on the bed and glanced over at our wedding photos framed over our bookshelf. Before...

Your Message Will Be Attacked

  Whatever message you have on your heart will be attacked. If you feel called to be a crusader of hope, you will come to doubt hope's very existence. If your mission is to rehabilitate the homeless, you'll eventually come to wonder if they even want you around. If...

15 Picture Quotes: A Journey in Need of Light

  We know many who could use a little light  now to illuminate their path in a journey in need of light. Some are gravely concerned over the fate of our country. Others have personal problems tucked closely to them. Whatever the case, we are a people in need of hope....

And Even Still, God Is Good

  I had tears filling my eyes over an ampersand sign embellished on a tee. Yes, you heard me correctly, one of those squiggly "and" signs. To save my dignity slightly, they were the type of tears that were stopped before they threatened to spill onto my cheeks. Why...

When My Invisible Illness Became Visible

  I was posed this simple yet thought provoking question from my husband the other day. "What do you think is worse- having an invisible illness or visible?"  The question took my aback. I didn't know the dividing line between invisible and visible was so tenuous it...

A Letter to the Caregiver

  Dear Caregiver, You've been the strength for someone physically ailing, but you're left out of the spotlight. It's not that you want accolades- you just want people to understand what you are undergoing is more than a full-time job. Caregiving is a job that occurs...

Jesus Redefines Our Success

I was talking with someone on the phone a couple years back about the feeling of purposelessness that's linked with chronic illness. They too, had a health condition that greatly restricted their livelihood, yet I couldn't help but hear a positive lilt to their voice...

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Protected: The Story We Never Wanted to Be Ours 2

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Why We Celebrate the Day We Met

  September 23rd. It's just a day on the calendar to most, and quite honestly, it could have been for us as well. I mean, it's not our wedding anniversary.  It was the day we met five years ago, and we decided to make it special by celebrating the day and renewing the...

Protected: The Oak Tree Revisited

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15 Quotes for When You Need A Spot of Hope

  If one of the central messages of Inkblots of an Idealist is hope, then we felt it had to be a must to offer you 15 quotes in the form of photo messages that revolve around hope. If there is a quote (or quotes) you feel should have made the list, let us know in the...

Rethinking Our Thinking: You’re Not Your Bad Days

  Our lives are arranged into a mosaic of good moments and bad. Yet those bad moments tend to cobweb our thinking into redefining an entire situation as utterly detestable. The days where I am literally crying out in pain seem to muddle my thinking and can eventually...

Is There Ever a Purpose for Sin pt. 2: David’s Story

If you haven't read part one of this series yet, click here so you can get the scope of the story in full context. We all know the story. Instead of going out to battle as kings were meant to, (1 Samuel 11:1) King David refrained from the battleground to stay in...

Is There Ever a Purpose for Sin? Part 1: Joseph’s Side

  Living in a world fettered by sin, we have all fallen short of God’s glory, and we have all disobeyed God by feeding our fleshly desires. But is there a purpose for this- is there a purpose for the pain someone else’s sin has inflicted upon us? Is there a grander...

A Letter to the Person Facing Chronic Illness

    To My Dear Friend Facing Chronic Illness: I’ve seen you coming out from the doctor’s office. You come back soon after with orange cylindrical bottles that have newly hit the market, promising change. Or you have your armful of supplements lined up neatly on the...

15 More Quotes on Love

  We previously did 15 quotes on Love and Marriage  here. With so many great quotes on the subject, we decided to continue with a part two. We love to dig for the best quotes in the classics (Dickens, Jane Austen, etc.) but we also love the contemporaries as well, and...

15 Picture Quotes on Love & Marriage

  We thought we would bring to you some photo messages on one of our favorite subjects: Love & Marriage. We found so may quotes we love that we're splitting this into two parts. We really hope you guys love them and find at least one quotes that really suits you.   ...

Love So Deep

  Visible monuments of love can easily be googled and gazed at in the form of images and corresponding calculations. We were both waking up with tea in hand when the topic of underwater exploration and mountains somehow arose. The question soon came:  what is the...

Lecrae – Unashamed

  The intro of the much anticipated 2016 released book Unashamed gives us a brief glance of Lecrae attending the Grammy's and his appearance at Jay-Z and Beyonce's Roc Nation Party. Since most of us will never touch foot on the carpet rolled out to be graced by...

To the Woman Who Told Me to Die

    “If I were her, I would have euthanasia done.” Those were the words typed by a woman in response to seeing a video showing my neurological impairments. My husband and others were graciously trying to garner funds to improve my condition. To give a chance at-...

15 Quotes on People & Growth

  There are so many quotes that could fit this category. We may add 100 more months later, but right now we have 15 quotes on people and growth. Some are quotes on getting "unstuck," and moving forward, others warn against toxic people that could deter our growth (and...

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Take Heart

      The world is bombarded with information and as the saying goes "knowledge is power" but what kind of power? Words do have power. Whether in written form, verbal, television, the internet, the radio, songs and so on. We need to have a filter of these words or...

Over the Edge

Over the Edge is my first book by Brandilyn Collins and it didn’t let me down. I had a small social media chat with Tosca Lee (a favorite author of mine) who recommended this book to me after hearing the personal impact Lyme had in our own household. A year plus...

10 Picture Quotes- When Life Becomes Difficult

    Life is difficult. It hurts to be human. We can't take away your pain whatsoever, but we at least wanted to offer you some quotes. Some are encouraging; some simply are here to give you an allowance to grieve. You'll notice when you hover over a photo that a red...

Protected: In Need of Mending

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A Reflection on Letting Go of Perfect

    Just like the dandelion in this picture, we are fragile. A gust of wind could easily blow at any moment, revealing our imperfections. Now we’re left to resemble a misshapen weed. Can we be okay with being less than perfect? Amy Spiegel, wife of Jim Spiegel who...

Reflection On What You Need to Know About Healing

Christian healing is one of my favorite topics and one of my least favorite. When I see a book under the  Christian category with the subject matter of healing, I become hesitant. Will this book I’m picking up tell me I will be guaranteed healing if I do x,y,z? Or...

Steadfast Love

  A sudden thud to the ground during Thanksgiving season in 2009 changed the Chandler’s lives forever. Matt Chandler, a prominent Evangelical Pastor had stage 3 brain cancer. This may read like a simple headline on a twitter newsfeed, but the agony it brought to his...

Spiritual Amnesia

Here’s a recycled article, sharing a story of a health battle I had undergone several years back. I’m hoping it will somehow resonate with my friends in the cyber world. It's the article promised in Amnesia of a Different Sort. How many of us have faced times in our...

Yearning for Miracles

  Have I left you yet? Then the other words return as a whisper, just wait expectantly. The problems are so weighty. Ones we never thought we would experience. I want the parting of the sea. The waters to turbulently gush to my side left and right, fish flopping on...

Making Fun of My Illness

  There’s so many serious moments in life, especially when battling chronic illness. These past few years have seen more tears from me than my whole years prior combined. But I also know you don’t have to be out of your trial to experience joy. You are allowed to...

Mended

  Before you do anything else, watch the book trailer at the bottom of this page. This was my first introduction to Mended the book, a video of Mrs. Angie Smith (wife of Todd Smith from Selah) passionately speaking about a pitcher she personally hammered into pieces,...

The Love of Wisdom

What a pleasure it was to read The Love of Wisdom by Steven B. Cowen and James S. Spiegel. The Love of Wisdom is an introductory resource of philosophy from a Christian worldview. It is a more accessible read than some of its counters, yet without losing its fine...

Dancing Through Life

Full House fans have been anticipating the new spin-off Fuller House which is to be aired this month, Friday, Feb. 26th on Netflix! Rewinding a tad, Candace Cameron Bure (a.k.a. D.J. Tanner) starred on the hit show Dancing With the Stars in 2014. The book, Dancing...

Protected: When the Pain Would Be Worth It

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Eric Metaxas on Miracles

    We love to believe in miracles when we need them, but dismiss them when we are living in our everyday lives. Suddenly, we feel as if it doesn’t fit within the materialistic framework we’ve grown accustomed to. It’s to be dismissed. Only the crazies believe in...

Protected: Experiencing God as Author

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A Reflection on God as Author

  We thought that there was no better time than January to begin the book God as Author. The start of the new year ahead brings to mind a fresh beginning to a new page in the storybook of our lives. Gene C. Fant Jr.'s “God as Author” explores how viewing God as Author...

Protected: Why I Even Wanted to Create This Blog

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I’d Sure Hate to Break Down Here- Movin’ From One Year to the Next Without Regrets

    It’s the beginning of 2016. Let us just collectively say the thought that crosses our minds every year, “How in the world did (fill in the blank) year even catch up to us?!” The calendar is on a new four digit number system, but what about last year? Or the year...

Protected: The Day I Said ”I do” – A Gift In The Form Of A Poem

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Our Top 11 Christmas Songs

            Okay, so we watched a cheesy Hallmark film about Christmas, it’s been admitted. Even though we are Floridians who look out the window to see a gust of wind flutter the palm trees instead of a gust of wind ushering a sharp cold wind inviting one to layer in...

Women of the Duck Commander Review

  The men of Duck Dynasty made a statement with their rugged beards and unabashed beliefs. Their burly, Jesus lovin' personas are almost reminiscent of John the Baptist who ate locusts and  lived as a wild man from the woods, all the while preparing the way for the...

Protected: The Story of My Best of Times and the Worst of Times

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Married Years- Reflection on Christy and Todd

  We’ve heard it a thousand times, “and they lived happily ever after.” But what does this even mean? We know the prince and princess are now married. We imagine the lace gown, perfect three tier cake, and the quintessential Disney-esque carriage that whisks them off...

Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story

Joni and Ken An Untold Love Story unfolds the love story that confuses generations. Why would an able-bodied (Ken) fall for a severely disabled (Joni)? It would be one thing to continue loving someone through disabilities, but to choose such a lifestyle is another....

Helping a Friend- Getting Max on Track

We do not know where Sarah would be at the moment if it were not for the loving support of offerings brought our way through crowd funding. Because of the lows we have experienced, God has grown us in compassion for people in other dire circumstances. Max Andrews is...

8 Hope-Filled Life Hacks From the Elderly

  I have heard my fair share of advice on the most preferable stool softeners on the market, or the fights over whether or not Frank Sinatra was handsome enough to be screamed at and drooled over by the young female populous of the time. But there are a number of...

Protected: How I Lost Another Man Card Pt. 2- How My Wife Got Me to Read Chick-Lit

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The Struggle

  Backstory: Sarah wrote this when everything seemed to be falling apart. Everything seemed like it just hit her health wise in November with her down-spiral to the outside world, but it was much sooner. Sarah had to deal with her emotions somehow. Writing was how she...

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Protected: Sarah’s Diary Entry- Asking Michael on a Date

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Protected: Update on Sarah- August 29, 2015

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A Wedding Story

What importance does a wedding hold after the cake has been cut and the lights and singing fade to only a memory? Maybe as you read, you can think of your own wedding and the significance it can still hold for you, months or years after the "I do's."    I didn’t...

How I Met the Mr.

      Setting the Stage  It was summer of 2011. I was trying to regain my health back by visiting my doctor on a weekly basis, which meant collapsing into a sterilized recliner whilst being hooked up to an IV drip. I hadn’t planned to meet a love interest. I felt like...

When the Promised Land Isn’t Heaven

Have You Ever...? Have you ever caught yourself saying those few little detrimental words disguised as hope. “If only _________ ?” They seem innocent. If only I had a loving spouse, life would be perfect. If only I had a brain like Karl and a face like Carla, then...

Does God Want to Be a Kill-joy?

Many of us default to perceiving God as a Divine Master of the Skies surfing clouds in search of the next soul to extract joy from. But does God have a magic straw, stronger than those Slurpee Straws at 7-11 that intentionally sucks up any happiness we may have? How...

Finding Purpose in Our Trials

It was one of those Floridian days that felt like a tropical paradise beckoned you in your very backyard. The breeze was lightly flowing, causing the palm frawns to flutter in the trees, while the glowing sun’s rays were pleasantly diffused by the foliage surrounding...

Exalting an Empire of Dirt

I cling to what is around me, everything I have created with my own hands. I may be cloaked in the night’s darkness; I may feel the chill of the air whipping its gusts through my bare skin, but my mind is rest assured in what I have built. The soil beneath my bare...

Protected: Inkblots From the Husband

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Six Things NOT to Say to Someone who is Chronically Ill

  1. “Oh, I’ve had something like that before, you’ll be fine.” So many times, there can be shared symptoms with individuals fighting health crises. It’s easy to jump to conclusions, presuming the outcome will be the same. Even with people who have similar...

Walking with God in Mordor

“That is why Scripture can seem at times so blithely and irrationally out of touch with reality, brushing back huge philosophical problems and personal agony. That is how life is when looking from the end. Perspective changes everything. What seemed so important at...

Redefining Strength When You Battle Chronic Illness

When you battle chronic illness, strength can take on a different form. The meaning to me no longer connotes  a Xena or Hercules statuesque frame. Throw  out the nunchucks, throwing stars, and pointy javelins. ...

The Strange Dichotomy Between How I Look And What I Feel

  This was written just weeks before Sarah had outward health manifestations in the form of tics, seizures, and mobility issues. Prior, she "looked fine" but felt so far from it. - Michael I distinctly remember watching a video my husband taped of me approximately ten...