Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our Fight For Our Grandmother

PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO READ THIS...I KNOW IT IS LONG...BUT, I BELIEVE THAT THE INFORMATION ABOUT NPH MAY HELP SOMEONE OUT THERE!

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: A condition that can be confused by Alzheimer's, according to Dr Robert J. White.

What Is Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus? The brain and spinal cord are surrounded by a clear fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid is produced and stored in cavities in the brain called ventricles. It circulates around the brain, moving from ventricle to ventricle. The purposes of the fluid are to cushion and protect the brain and spinal cord, to supply them with nutrients, and to remove some of their waste products. Any excess fluid drains away from the brain and is absorbed by other tissues.


Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there is too much CSF in the ventricles. This occurs when the natural system for draining and absorbing extra CSF does not work right. The ventricles enlarge to accommodate the extra fluid and then press on different parts of the brain, causing a number of different symptoms. Hydrocephalus has many different causes. Some people are born with the condition, while others develop it during their lives. (According to WebMD)


There are few people in life, that you can honestly say have always been there for you, never faltered, and you can count of one hundred percent of the time. My Grandma Driggs is one of those few people that I know I can count on no matter what the situation. Well, we may not always agree with my Grandmother, but, I believe, she was probably always right! My family grew up in Bass Lake Community in Chardon, OH, close to the lake on Overlook Rd. My Grandmother lived at the "top of the hill" on Orchard Rd. We would spend almost every Sunday with her and have dinner, laugh, watch movies, and have a good time! By "WE", I mean the entire family! My Aunt Carrie and her kids, Aunt Ruth and sometimes Aunt Janet, Uncle Karl...when he was home from school, and my Mom and all five of us kids. There was never a dull moment! But, my Grandma took it all in stride...nothing ever seemed to daunt her or move her.


As she grew older, she decided to sell her home and move into a trailer off of Claridon Troy Rd. We made sure everything was just right for her and she seems genuinely happy in her little place. Over time, especially the past three years or so, we began to notice some changes in my Grandma. Mostly in her stride. Now, she is a tiny woman with a little bit of weight on her, which I guess could add to her unsteadiness, but, we noticed that she seemed less sure of herself. So, we decided she needed exercise and we encouraged her to walk the dog, got her a treadmill and some weights. She did try to exercise but, then she fell. A couple of times. Hard. We chalked it up to the dog. Honey must have pulled to hard and she fell. Which could have been what happended. My Grandmother also seems very susceptible to pneumonia. My family found her a couple of times just completely out of it and had to take her to the hospital to be admitted. She also has heart problems. My mother and aunt found her one day...she must have fallen on the floor...she was completely out of it and we found that she was actually having a heart attack. That was one of the most scariest days. I remember seeing my Grandma in the hospital and I held her hand and prayed! I don't think I've ever prayed so hard in my life. To see my Grandma who I love so dearly, who is always so strong, in such a weak and fragilestate....It just places everything into perspective. She is one strong and determined lady. She made it through and eventually went home.


We began to notice that she was having trouble remembering things, having severe headaches, not able to control her bladder, and really having difficulty walking. She would get up to walk and then just stop...I thought maybe she just needed a minute or maybe just needed to catch her balance? The most disturbing moment for me is when she went to put stamps on her mail. I remember watching her pick up one of the envelopes and just look at it. Then she put it down and picked up the stamps. Then she put the stamps down and picked up the envelopes...and so it went on. This was particularly disturbing because my Great Grandmother, her mother, had Alzheimers. So, when we saw her doing these things, we thought that this might be the beginning stages of Alzheimers.


I saw my Grandmother on a Monday for lunch. She was in a good mood. She complained about a headache and that she just did not feel right, but, otherwise we talked and had a good time. On Wednesday or maybe it was Thursday that same week, my Mom found her almost incoherent in her chair, still in her pajamas, and in terrible shape. She was admitted to the hospital and we were told that she had pneumonia. My Grandmother was not herself...she was angry, rude, her speech was slurred (she sounded like a child), could not remember the day, year, who the President was, she had no empathy, and was completely confused. We had noticed these symptoms before she was admitted, just not to such a degree. It was shocking to say the least. The Doctors believed she might have the beginning stages of Dementia. I remember talking to her on the phone and I asked her how she was and told her to hang in there and she said to me "Well, Joy, I'm terrified honey". I have not told anyone that she said this to me because I can't get the words to come out of my mouth withough choking on them. I never, in my entire life, heard my Grandmother say anything like that.


My family prayed for an answer. And, we got it! My sisters husband, Scott, has been in medical school and he took note of all of my Grandma's symptoms and told my Mom to check into Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. He said she had all the symptoms.


According to WebMD here is a list of symptoms for NPH:


Memory loss


Speech problems


Apathy (indifference) and withdrawal


Changes in behavior or mood


Difficulties with reasoning, paying attention, or judgment


Walking problems


Unsteadiness


Leg weakness


Sudden falls


Shuffling steps


Difficulty taking the first step, as if feet were stuck to the floor“Getting stuck” or “freezing” while walking


Urinary symptoms


Inability to hold urine


Inability to hold stool, or feces (less common)


Frequent urination


Urgency to urinate The following symptoms can be related to increased pressure in the brain:


Headache


Nausea


Difficulty focusing eyes


My Grandmother had ALL of these symptoms! Now, you'd think since we had an idea that this is what she could have that the rest would be easy. WRONG. We had toFIGHT for my Grandmother. She had about four different Dr.s involved in her case. She was put on several different medications including Psychiatric meds. In the process, we found that many of the meds she was placed on were extremely dangerous and could actually make her worse. One being Risperadol. If you suspect that your elderly loved one might have Dementia...make sure you research medications. There are some that they should not be placed on and the medicine could advance the situation beyond repair. We had to fight and constantly check her meds list to make sure she was not put back on it. The Doctors wanted to put her on the Psychiatric floor...not a Geriatric floor...a Psych floor. When I found that out, I nearly hit the roof. I worked in Mental Health for seven years. I was on that floor. I know the restrictions...no phone, strict visiting hours, limitations on family involvement in care (meaning your voice does not count), no TV....this was NOT a place for my Grandma. Yet almost every other day my Mom would get a phone call from the hospital saying they were going to transfer her! Then there was the fight to get the testing for the NPH...my family was on the phone daily...non stop...trying to get these things set in place. I could go on and on...about the fight for my Grandmother. The thing with this diagnosis...you have to act fast. The window of opportunity for treatment once symptoms are noticed is very small. So, you can imagine our frustration!My Grandmother was eventually sent to a nursing home after being cleared from the pneumonia. It turns out that the pneumonia made the NPH symptoms worse and as the pneumonia cleared she regained her speech, was less irritable, and regained some of her memory. But, she still could not walk. We started the ball rolling for diagnosis of NPH, which would be done down at UH. Since my Grandma did not make any progress at the Nursing Home, Medicare would not cover her stay anymore and she had to be sent home with round the clock care. We divided up the times between family members, called in Care Corp, and Home Instead. I can't imagine how difficult this would be for the elderly who do not have family or the resources for care.


The next step after being officially diagnosed with NPH was to have a simple procedure where a shunt is placed in your spinal cord to drains some of the cerebrospinal fluid in order to relieve some of the pressure off the brain and see if there are any improvements in mobility, memory, headaches, and overall basic functioning. Which, praise God, there have been great improvements. She is walking sometimes independently or with a cane. She is coherent and is doing well in all of her basic functioning.


My Grandma is scheduled for surgery on August 5th at the Cleveland Clinic. There, she will have a shunt placed in her brain which will drain the cerebrospinal fluid from the brain so that whe will regain normal to almost normal functioning. This entire process has been going on from the beginning of April of 2009. I am so grateful that the Lord has answered our prayers and my Grandmother has this opportunity to regain her independence. She told me she is very anxious to have this done because she wants to get up and be able to go for a walk, do her dishes, vacuum the floor and all of those things that she could so easily do before. I told her that I would be writing about her experience and that I wanted to make people aware of this condition. My Grandmother was a nurse and cared for the elderly. She has a huge heart for people and the elderly. She did her best to help people at the nursing home while she was there and she said she is very concerned for people who do not have family or anyone to help them.


I had never heard of NPH before and if hadn't been for my sister's husband mentioning that we should get her tested, we never would have pursued it and neither would the Doctor's treating her. I'm asking anyone who reads this that believes in the power of prayer, to pray for Grandmother during her surgery. There is a risk of infection and other complications that could arise during and after surgery.


Please pray for the Doctors involved and my Grandmother health and recovery in the name of Jesus!


Thank you! I hope this will help someone out there who may be dealing with the same issues and searching for an answer!

"Destiny", Do You Know Yours?

What is your "Destiny"? Wouldn't life be so much simpler if we knew the answer to that one question? Well, I know one thing for sure, we love this necklace! It is long, chunky, fun, and makes a statement without saying a word!


We've designed this necklace around a single silver Destiny link and accented it with silver whimsical flower beads, light aqua faceted acrylic discs, mystic Celestial Crystals, and Chunky, Chunky, chain! Each bead is handwrapped to ensure added strength in the necklace!

IN STOCK AND READY FOR IMMEDIATE SHIPMENT!
We love hearing back from our supporters! Please leave a comment below!
If you would like to see more of Love Designs....why not become a FAN on FACEBOOK!
Visit our online stores for more of Love Designs jewelry:
OR follow us on TWITTER!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pink Awareness Necklace


Last year, my Grandmother passed away...she was a breast cancer survivor. Her cancer was in remission for twenty some years. She faced cancer bravely and with confidence that she could beat it! I cannot remember one time when she wasn't smiling and laughing with a laugh that was so infectious that it would make you laugh just hearing the sound. She loved life and her family and now she is laughing and free with the Lord!
We've designed this necklace in tribute to Grandma Love and for loved ones and friends who have also had to face this terrible disease. 10% of all gross sales will be given to some local ladies who are fighting breast cancer with the Susan G Komen Center Walk for the Cure, to help them beat it once and for all!

This necklace is designed with this gorgeous Pink faceted irridescent Celestial Crystal Pendant which is secured by a Sterling Silver Awareness Ribbon bail. The pendant is attached to a silver jump ring and secured to black suede cord. The necklace is finished with a lobster clasp and a chain extender.
Available exclusively at our Etsy store...http://www.lovescreation.etsy.com
Please allow 5-10 business days for shipping!
If you would like to place a bulk order, please send us a message via Etsy conversations or email us at lovescreation [!at] windstream.net

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Introducing Glass Scripture by Love Designs

My sister, Hannah, and I have been working hard to grow our business and it is not easy with all of the competition. Not so long ago, I probably would have given up at the first sign of adversity because I was afraid of failure. God has transformed my heart over the last four years. Without the Lord in our lives, helping us, encouraging us, and lifting us up, we would not have the success and drive that we have in our hearts today! One way we stay strong is by reading the Word of God. In His Word we find comfort, peace, love, joy, knowing that He has a plan and a path for our lives. Knowing who we are in Christ, gives us the confidence we need and removes all fear from our hearts. "...If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)
With this in mind, we would like to introduce Glass Scripture by Love Designs! I am so excited for our new line of encouraging and inspirational jewelry. When I first began designing jewelry 3 years ago, I had a vision to design jewelry that would not only inspire the hearts of those wearing it, but, help people to remember the Word of God. Each pendant is HANDMADE by Love Designs with scripture and reference to where you can find it in the Bible. We also have Inspirational Glass Pendants which feature The Fruit of the Spirit...Love, Peace, and Joy. The pendants are attached to black suede cord and finished with a lobster clasp and chain extender.
http://www.lovescreation.etsy.com/
You can only find Glass Scripture exclusively at our Etsy store. Please click the link above to view all of our Glass Scipture and Inspirational Jewelry. We hope you enjoy this new line of jewelry as much as we do. We will be adding more to our line of Glass Scripture as well as other Glass Pendant designs. I hope this jewelry blesses you as it has blessed our lives!
God Bless and enjoy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Geode searching fun!!


All the kids join in the FUN!!!

Joy and I love to experiment with new designs. A few months back, we were planning a stunning wedding necklace for a bride out of real amethyst. While searching through the endless pages on Ebay, I came across some absolutely stunning amethyst geode pendants. I remember saying to myself that they would make some really cool necklaces. A few days after that, my thought was confirmed when I was flipping through the pages of InStyle magazine and saw an amethyst geode necklace!!!! Fate huh??? Hahaha, this just got my creative juices flowing. So geodes became our next fun adventure in design...and we are ecsatic about every minute of it.

We decided to take the boys to The Science Center yesterday to get some fantastic geodes as well as have a little fun. The boys were super excited to go and they had such a blast exploring science at its best. Joe and Ethan seemed like pros going from one experiement to the next, while Liam and Aidan ran around in complete bliss. We did find some geodes and had fun sifting through the piles of them trying to find the perfect ones for our necklaces. We hope to have some really fantastic designs out there for you soon. Word to the wise...if you see one that you like, snatch it up because our Geode designs go fast!!! Here is a picture of the 10 geodes we picked out.




I just have to say that I feel so blessed that I am a part of such a wonderful business. Joy and I created Love Designs with hope for a way to do what we are passionate about while being able to be with those we love. We centered Love Designs firmly around our savior, Jesus Christ, and He has blessed us and is still blessing us in ways we could never have imagined.

You can find these Geode Necklaces along with our other designs at:


Jewelry Party Success!

The pride of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.
Author: Vince Lombardi
Success is not a destination that you ever reach. Success is the quality of your journey.
- Jennifer James
I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.
- Thomas Edison
Success depends above all, upon people. Build relationships, teams, partnerships -- and motivatepeople to contribute. Cultivate leadership, creativity, excellence. Listen; seek new ideas and advice.
- Ruth Scott

I thought it would be interesting to look up different quotes on success and it was interesting to find that success is measured by how you view your personal efforts and what other people think of you and what you are trying to succeed at. Our motto is to "Never Give UP"! And if get knocked down, then pick yourself up and keep moving forward. We find great confidence in knowing who we are in Christ and knowing that He loves us and that He has a plan and future for us to prosper us in everything we do! (Romans 8:28, Psalm 35:27) Our success is rooted in love!
With that in mind, I believe that our Jewelry Party this past Friday was a great success! A good friend of ours graciously hosted a party for us and we had a unique opportunity to spend quality time with friends and make new ones. Kristen expected about twelve of her friends to come to the party and about ten were able to make it in the end, which is really good for a party! If it gets much bigger than that, it can become very hectic and makes it much more difficult to get to know your guests.

Hannah and I try to display all of jewelry in a tasteful way so that all of the jewelry can be viewed by everyone. We recently purchased a manequin, which we have named "Madison", to display all of our jewelry and it has really added a lot of visual interest, conversation, and displays the jewelry much better than the traditional displays on the table.

We really encourage everyone to pick up our jewelry and try it on. I love the fact that not only do they get to see it and touch it, they can purchase the jewelry the same day and take it home with them. Hannah and I also want the guests to have FUN! So we have a raffle at every party where each guest gets one ticket just for coming to the party and for every item bought at the party they get another ticket. They can win more tickets with a game that we have for our guests and at the end of the party we draw "Winners" who win FREE jewelry. At this party we gave away four pairs of earrings to four winners! So much fun! We love giving our jewelry away and seeing the looks on the faces of our guests when they win :)

The free stuff does not stop with the guests, we also have incentives and free stuff our host, Kristen. She automatically recieved 10% off her purchase and for every $200.00 dollars in merchandise sold, she recieved $15.00 in play cash to put toward her purchase. Believe me, when you have a good turnout for a party....that cash adds up fast!
All in all, we had a great time with everyone and genuinley enjoyed the evening! We made some new friends and were able to book another party with one of the guests! I just want to say "THANK YOU" to Kristen for hosting a fabulous party (sorry about the Diet Coke fireworks in your kitchen!) and to all the guests that attended, thank you for your continued support and friendship!
If you would like to see more of Love Designs, visit our online stores at:
OR
Follow us on Facebook or Twitter!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Natures Way Collection

Another version of our Nature's Way Necklace and Earrings! I love the laser cut Wood pendants...they add so much warmth and visual interest to our necklaces! The floral design in these wood pendants is so pretty...just perfect for summer.

We designed this necklace using a laser cut wood pendant with a floral design. I've accented it with a Green Leaf Bead and dyed Green Jade Gemstones. The beads are handwrapped and securely attached to copper chain. The necklace is finished with a copper clasp.

I love incorporating Nature into our jewelry and these earrings are no exception! I've designed these earrings with gorgeous laser cut Wood Floral Drops to match the Natures Way Wood Pendant Necklace. I've handwrapped a Green Leaf Bead securely to the Wood Drops and attached them to copper earring wire.

Necklace Length: 17 inches


Earring Length: 2 inches


IN STOCK AND READY FOR IMMEDIATE SHIPMENT!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Adorable Childrens Jewelry!


Adorable Emerald Green Flower Bracelet and Earrings
I've listed some new designs for our Children's Jewelry in our Etsy Store! I have so much fun designing little girl's jewelry! Probably because I have three very active boys who are all about cars, mud, baseball, football and anything boy! I guarantee you won't find a stitch of pink around my house. So, when it comes to designing pretty little things for girl's, I go all out! I'm hoping to add more to the Children's Jewelry in the future...so, be sure to check back in to see what's hot and new at Love Designs!
Please, don't forget to leave us a comment :)

Visit our Etsy store at:


For more Love Designs creations check out our ArtFire Studio at:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Love Designs is on Facebook!!!!

Hey everyone! Follow Love Designs on Facebook and get a firsthand look at what's new and hot with Love Designs! We are going to give you a sneak peek at what we are currently working on and would love to receive FEEDBACK from you!
Check out our FAN PAGE at:
What would you like to see Love Designs create? We love feedback from our FANS! Please feel free to tell us what improvement Hannah and I can make! Here is a sneak peek at what's new at Love Designs....not yet posted in our stores :) Don't forget to leave us some FEEDBACK!!!

This necklace is designed using a gorgeous GEOD with beautiful turquoise and green colors. My sister Hannah has artistically wrapped the pendant with Artistic Wire and securely attached it to Sterling Silver Chain and finished it with a lobster clasp. It is truly a beautiful, artistic piece! Not yet available in our store....stay tuned to find out when this piece will be listed in our store! SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG OR BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day Sale & Famous Quotes!

We thank God for His mercy and grace on this country that we have the freedom to pursue our dreams and the creativity that inspires our hearts! Thank you Lord for all you have provided us with! Enjoy the famous quotes below from ancestors past and present :) Happy 4th of July!

In celebration of Independence Day, Love Designs is slashing 10% off all inventory in our ArtFire Artisan Studio this weekend! Sale ends on Monday July 6th.


Famous Quotes for Independence Day


All we have of freedom, all we use or know -This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.~Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue, 1899


My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~Thomas Jefferson


Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. ~Abraham Lincoln


My patriotic heart beats red, white, and blue. ~Author Unknown


Freedom is never free. ~Author Unknown


And I'm proud to be an American,where at least I know I'm free.And I won't forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.~Lee Greenwood


Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all!By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.~John Dickinson


It is the love of country that has lighted and that keeps glowing the holy fire of patriotism. ~J. Horace McFarland



http://www.LoveDesigns.ArtFire.com