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A Change of Approach

The vision of this site has always been to help parents of special needs or medically complex children thrive. The devil is in the details, as they say. This came down to three main pillars.

  1. Provide important and timely information
  2. Share our struggles and progress, good news and bad
  3. Help parents find products that can make their lives easier

The first two are primarily driven by writing and they’ve been going well based on reader feedback. The third has been significantly more difficult. Setting up a retail store was not as easy and straightforward as it sounded. I made the attempt but getting a wide range of products and offering them at competitive prices while also taking care of our son wasn’t practical.

My most recent attempt to satisfy this last piece of my vision for the site was to partner with Amazon. I’m happy to report it seems to be working well and I hope it continues to work well into the future. There are a wide variety of products, I don’t need to stock the items, and Amazon handles the shipping. That said, it’s still our store. We choose what to list in the store. The products in the store have been recommended by other parents who have used them or we have used them ourselves with positive results.

If you’d like to recommend a product there’s a page for that.

If you’d like to take a look at the products in our store there’s a page for that too!

If you have any feedback please feel free to share it with us. We feel that to meet our overall vision we must be successful in all three pillars.

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Packing for Vacation

Packing for Vacation

First, congratulations deciding you’re willing and able to take on a vacation. I personally find the idea of going to some other place foreign to our toddler and trying to stay there for more than just a few hours terrifying. Staying the night is quite an undertaking. We’re planning to do it for the first time this summer. Anyway, the whole process is scary enough without forgetting something so here’s some helpful information on how to pack for your adventure.

If you touch it on a normal day for your child it needs to go with you. Find a way to mark items with brightly colored tape or maybe placing them in a certain place. The last use of the day means the item gets packed up. This does make packing an all-day process, however, it makes you much less likely to forget things. When I pack myself I do it a few days before we leave. That way I don’t forget anything I need to be comfortable in the process of making sure my son has everything he needs to eat and stay healthy.

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Emergency Preparedness – Snow

Depending where you live, you’re going to see a lot of snow this weekend. It’s coming down heavy. There will be high winds and low enough temperatures to ensure the roads will be impassable for some time. There are standard rules of thumb to follow. Have batteries, a radio which takes them, enough food, and a gallon of water per person per day. Typical preparation is for three days. We have our kids to think about, though, and they can require a little extra preparation.

Check your supplies. Make sure you have enough formula to last you through the weekend. Verify you have a spare of whatever might need replacing in the case of an emergency. Expect the power to go out. It’s probably too late to get a generator now, but if you need uninterrupted power for medical equipment, make plans with your admitting physician ahead of time to have a direct admission in the event of an outage. Don’t forget the gas for the generator.

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4 Tips for Fitting in Time for Your Partner

4 Tips for Fitting in Time for Your Partner

It’s a neverending battle. You work your butt off from the moment you wake up until the moment your child goes to bed, and then at least a little bit more afterward. The laundry is done (or, at least clean…), something to eat for dinner has been provided (thank you slow cooker), and now you’re thinking longingly of your bed. Yes, bed, that unattainable paradise where you may get a few hours rest before cries for your attention ring through the house at some hour of the morning which allows for less, and sometimes significantly less, than eight hours of sleep.

Where could time for your partner ever fit in? There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done as it is. I propose you don’t do chores while your spouse is awake and home. That’s right, if it takes more than a minute or two, then just skip it. For example, switch laundry over but don’t fold it (if you ever had time to fold it in the first place). Cook in the slow cooker instead of slaving over the stove (or microwave). Clean up that puddle of vomit on the floor, but don’t break out the carpet cleaner because you see several other spots just like it scattered across the room.

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Medical Identification (Medical ID)

I highly recommend anyone with a child who has complex medical issues or special needs purchase a basic medical ID. There are a lot of different kinds available. There are adjustable ones with velcro and watch bands. For the fashion forward there are adorable combinations of pink and blue bracelets. You can choose to engrave the details on a plate. Some have a pocket where there’s a little piece of paper you write on. Whatever method you choose, children with special needs and complex medical issues NEED a Medical ID.

Why? You might be incapacitated by the same thing that injured your child or your child might not be with you. Then…

  1. Drug allergies will not be discovered until the drug is administered.
  2. If your child has an implanted device, such as a shunt, no one will know to check right away if it’s been damaged.
  3. They may offer your child who silently aspirates food or drink.

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Last Day of Goodreads Giveaway

If you haven’t already heard, I’m giving away 10 free signed copies of my book Becoming a Medical Mom on Goodreads.
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/160173-becoming-a-medical-mom
It has 3 five star reviews, 2 on Goodreads and 1 on Amazon.com. It’s an excellent resource for parents of kids who have medical needs (and I’m not the only one that thinks so)!

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The Nearly Impossible Task of Finding a Sitter

The Nearly Impossible Task of Finding a Sitter

Finding someone to babysit for a few hours is both the easiest and the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Whenever I mention to a friend or co-worker I need a babysitter they  know a million and a half people who would LOVE the job. The excitement is palpable. They’ve clearly convinced themselves they know a 13-year-old whose minimally responsible enough to make sure a younger child in their care makes it through being babysat without a trip to the emergency room.

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A Special Bond

A Special Bond

Mothers frequently have a unique bond with their children. Something about being “Mom,” or “Dad” where he’s the primary caregiver, creates a connection with your child which cannot be broken. Mothers who adopt have it as well, as does anyone who serves as a child’s primary caregiver. The unbreakable tie between you and your child becomes stronger when your child has medical difficulties or special needs.

It’s not that these caregivers love their children any more than anyone else. It’s a strengthening which increases the sensitivity of both Mom and the child to the connection itself. It’s as if you can feel your child’s presence through a sixth sense. Their emotions are as clear as day. Personally, I frequently become tired when my son gets tired even if he shows no outward signs of fatigue. If I take a nap while he’s sleeping, I wake up around the same time he does.

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4 Ways to Encourage Independence

Children with medical needs or other special needs are heavily reliant on their caregiver in many cases. In the majority of situations, this is out of necessity and not preference. Most parents would love their children to be able to play on their own for a little while so they can take care of household chores, make phone calls, and take care of other tasks. I’ll share a few ways myself and other Moms I know have increased their child’s independence. I hope they work for you as well!

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Becoming a Medical Mom Goodreads Giveaway

Becoming a Medical Mom Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Becoming a Medical Mom by Ashley Bergris

Becoming a Medical Mom

by Ashley Bergris

Giveaway ends December 01, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

My book, “Becoming a Medical Mom,” is up for a giveaway on Goodreads. There are ten signed copies up for grabs, free with no strings attached. It’s basically a lottery system. As many people register as are interested. Ten of those will be selected by Goodreads and I’ll ship them a signed copy of my book.

This is the link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/160173-becoming-a-medical-mom

If you’d like to know more about the book, the easiest way is to click on the book’s title on the giveaway entry page. It was originally written with inexperienced medical moms in mind. However, I’ve been told informally that even veterans can gain some insight. I encourage you to at least check out the preview on Amazon.com if you’re on the fence. It’ll give you some insight into the topics the book covers. I linked to the physical book because that’s what you’re going to get if you win a copy in the giveaway. There is also a Kindle version.  I truly believe this book is helpful and fills a gap which no one else has addressed.

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