Monday, June 6, 2011

Series: Becoming Debt Free...The 7th thru 10th years

Here are the previous posts in this
Becoming Debt FREE series...
The 1st and 2nd Years
The 3rd and 4th Years
The 5th and 6th Years

Jacob continued to be a sickly baby.  He got sick easily with everything from the common cold to pneumonia and even Shingles all before he was 18 months old!  I felt like we lived at the pediatricians office.  In fact, I told them that I thought I deserved my own parking space!  :)

I had noticed that Jacob's speech development was lacking as well as other areas of development.  I consulted the doctor about this and he ordered an evaluation to be done.  As a result of the tests Jacob started getting speech and occupational therapy around 18 months old.  His behaviors concerned us as he wasn't talking or even attempting to make many noises.  For a period of time the therapists were concerned that Jacob may be autistic.  We continued with speech therapy and very slowly Jacob started to make improvements. It was decided that Jacob just had some developmental delays and that it wasn't autism after all.

One obvious delay that concerned us was his "soft spot"...the one that baby's have on their heads.  Jacob's had not closed fully and was still open on his 3rd birthday.  His doctor sent us to St. Louis' Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital to have an MRI done.  Jacob was found to have a Sub-arachnoid Cyst on his brain.  It was fairly large (the size of a golf ball) and the doctors believed that this was causing some of Jacob's developmental delays.  Unfortunately, because of the location of the cyst it was inoperable.  At least we knew WHY Jacob had delays and we were so thankful that it was benign.

Jacob continued to have speech therapy and occupational therapy at least 3 times per week.  During some of that time we had government assistance and part of that time we did not.  We went back and forth to Cardinal Glennon Hospital to have repeat MRI's done twice a year.  This meant that we needed gas money, food money, hotel money and of for the medical bills!  Praise the Lord that our church family stepped in to help meet these needs.  It's very humbling to be on the "receiving" end of "giving" and we found ourselves on that end more than we would have liked.  To this day we're so grateful that those needs were met by our brother's and sister's in Christ!

While all of this was happening with Jacob there were unusual things happening to me.  I would get sick quite often with chronic diarrhea and horrible stomach pain.  I had developed a small rash on my elbow that slowly was spreading to other parts of my body.  My doctor thought that my gallbladder was acting up so we decided to have it removed in early 2001.

In the meantime, David was finishing up 1st grade.  We had transferred him to another school and desperately wanted to move to the same district that his school was in.  Jacob was also attending Early Childhood in the same building getting his therapy there.  We decided to put our house up for sale.  Our realtor suggested to us a price that she thought our house would sell at.  I didn't really agree with what she suggested, so  I decided to take a look around the neighborhood at the houses for sale and did some comparing.  I found a house 2 blocks away from ours that was similar in size, condition and age of our house.  It was priced a lot more than what our realtor suggested to us.  We decided to just see what would happen with a higher price.  To our amazement we got a contract on the house within 24 hours of the sign going up in our yard.  We made an incredible profit off of the house (we sold it for 23K more than what we paid for it 5 years earlier) which helped us to move to a house that we had been looking at.  It also allowed us to pay off all of our debt!  We were now debt free except for our new mortgage! (I know this all sounds good, but many lessons were learned here...the hard way.  I'll cover those eventually during this series).

Even after my gallbladder surgery, my stomach problems continued on and off, month after month and year after year.  The small rash that I had started to develop on my arm in 2000 started popping up on other parts of my body.  It was now on my arms, legs and face.  No one had an answer for what was wrong with me until August, 2004.......

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