“The Tech War 2” Reveal!

From time to time, I will be helping promote my author friends on their publication journey. Today is such a day! Please take a moment to check out this info on this new book by my friend, Ann Denton, and be sure to stop by her pages and check out her talent! Thanks!

TheTechWar2 (1)

Determined to find her dad and bring peace to all of the quadrant citizens, Kiah finds herself playing mind games with her dark nemesis, Marcus Dunner. Book 2 not only leads Kiah into another ‘City of Technology’, but also a new battle of the heart. When an old friend professes more than friendship, will Kiah’s love for Ryker be enough to keep best friends from becoming enemies?

Ann’s Links:

Rafflecopter give away share-code Sept.30th- Oct.7th (Set to go live at midnight Sunday Sept.29th)



Mother Love, Mother Guilt


This article originally appeared in “I.G. Living” magazine, August/September issue.

Somehow, it always comes down to the mother.

The first person a teacher asks to speak to when a problem arises. The first person a physician discusses a medical issue with. The person the other mothers – at soccer and baseball practice, at Scouts meetings – whisper about when she leaves the room.

That child is too thin!

That child is too heavy!

That child is too short!

Sad, shaking heads. Collective sighs. Satisfied hands clutch their Starbucks cups. Tiny sips of double mocha light foam cappuccinos.
And then….

What is she doing wrong? Why doesn’t she do something to fix this? Surely, she must see The Problem.


Surely, the mother sees the problem. She drops off her child with a smile and a wave, heads back to her SUV to rest her head on the steering wheel. She closes her eyes tight, unable to un-see the differences. The Problem. The fact that her child is unlike his peers; there are glaring discrepancies in the size of her child and the size of the others.

What have I done wrong?

Why can’t I fix this?

Surely, she sees what the other mothers see.

And she sees the other mothers. She notices the way they turn their heads – just slightly – when her child joins the group. Are they checking? Checking to make sure their children are still superior? That The Problem hasn’t somehow affected the perfection of their offspring?

She sees them catch one another’s eye; each in turn. A fraction of a second – barely that –but still.


She hears the artificial coating in the invitation that comes just a little too late; the unnecessary volume in the equally unnecessary reassurances: “He’s just a late bloomer” or “He’ll slim down, once he hits that growth spurt”.

She hears the words that are implied, but not stated out loud.

“He’ll be fine, as soon as you figure out where you went wrong, and fix it.”

Judge and jury.

They cannot understand how desperately she loves him. How completely she would sacrifice to be able to fix The Problem.

Mother Love equals Mother Guilt.

She knows something isn’t quite right. This isn’t her first child, she knows what is normal, average….and she just knows…something is off.
Not quite sure what it is. Just…something. But…how could that be? She was so careful. No drinking, no smoking. No caffeine. Forty weeks of carefully measured actions. Vegetables. Milk. No under-cooked meats. Never missed a prenatal appointment. No drugs during the birth.

She breastfed. They said that would be better. Safer.

Well-child check-ups are passed with flying colors. Hesitantly, she voices concern to the physician.
Her worries are blown off, like an insignificant kite detached from a string.
All mothers worry. You’re just overly tired. All babies are different. Nothing is wrong.
Nothing is wrong.


Except…..she knows there is something. But she lies to herself. She convinces herself all is well. When the worry rears its head in her throat, lodging there like a child’s bouncy ball, too big to move either up or down, just…stuck – she busies her mind. Turns up the TV. Calls a friend to gossip about nothing. Furiously cleans. Invents extra errands.

Until The Event. The Dreaded Something that changes the minds of those who dismissed her initial concerns.
The day the doctor sits her down and speaks to her in slow, easy to understand words. Do you understand? Yes, she understands. She looks him in the eye, forces herself to listen. She listens, but the pain in her chest makes her hold her breath. Oddly, she remembers another time when she felt this way. When was it? She searches her memory.

First grade. On the playground, standing on the swing with daring. Clutching tight at the chains biting into her fingers, she calls fearlessly to her friends, “Underdog me!” and sails away, up, up, up into the sky.

She falls. Hits the ground with a sickening thwack. She lies there, so much pain in her chest and back she cannot breathe. She wants to cry out, but the air in her chest sits heavy as a block of ice. Unmoving. She is frozen.

This feels like that.

Labs. Tests. Appointments. Prescriptions. Journals. Journals! Logging every bite that passes the child’s lips; every new symptom; every night that passes without rest; every unusual behavior. Furiously, she scribbles into the journals…here, she is certain, the answer will appear. A pattern will emerge, and whatever it is that has caused the Dreaded Something will show itself. She will eliminate it, and everything will be okay again.
She will be able to breathe again. She misses the way it used to feel, back when she could breathe without even thinking about it.

She cannot find the pattern. She cannot find the answer.

Sitting in the tiny exam room that has become far too familiar, she waits. The door creaks open, the physician enters and takes a seat on the little spinning stool. Small talk. She eyes the folder in his hand. She does not want to talk. She only wants the magical answer, the sword that will slay the Dreaded Something. She considers snatching the folder out of his hands. She smiles. She waits.

Finally, the answer comes. The block of ice in her chest somehow spreads to her shoulders, arms, head. She feels the slow freezing of her entire being. Her teeth begin to chatter.

It is her fault. The doctor says it jokingly. “Isn’t it always the mother’s fault?” He chuckles. It lingers in the air, like hot breath on a frigid day.

Here it is, then. The answer. She has done this to her child; her body, her genetics, have caused the Dreaded Something. She cannot take it away. She cannot fix it.

Doesn’t he see how much this hurts? He laughs and says he should create a Frequent Flyer parking spot just for her family. Does he understand she would willingly give her home, her arm, her leg – her life – anything, anything to fix this?

Mother Love equals Mother Guilt.

Sometimes at night, she hears the muffled strains of guitar strings being plucked and closes her eyes, listening, a smile on her lips. Her child has struggled so much; lost so much; grown so much. Still, her child finds beauty in small things; a brightly colored bead, an unusual sunset; a new song.

She hurries dinner in order to make it on time to school conferences. The teacher laughs as the report card is handed over, “If only I had a classroom of kids like this one, I’d be happy to come to work every day!” She feels a warmth, a melting in her icy chest. She straightens her shoulders and takes a deep breath.

Her heart constricts, her chest hurts as she watches the IV insertion. She rubs her child’s back, watches as his eyes follow the hands of the nurse. Alcohol rub, gauze pad, syringe, bandage. He knows the routine; he knows once every item is in its own place, the poke will come. He sits up tall; back and tiny shoulders straight. He does not blink or turn away. He watches with detached curiosity; he holds his breath, scrunches his nose – there, it’s over. All done. He smiles and cracks a joke, his nurse laughs. She kisses his little head and tells him he is brave. She thinks to herself he is stronger than most grown men.

A child is bullied on the playground. A new child, and something about him makes him stand out. Something isn’t quite right. He has a Problem. She watches as her child leaps in front of him, arms outstretched. Chin up, eyes blazing, her child protects him. The bullies back off. Arm slung about the new child’s shoulder, her son offers to play with him, introduce him to some nice kids. Her eyes water with liquid pride. He has endured great pain, but he is such a compassionate boy. The Champion of the Underdog….he will not stand for hateful words or unkind actions.

She looks at the children she is raising. Kind-hearted, compassionate children. Honest, cheerful. Funny. Creative. Loyal. These things are also her fault. She loves them with an intensity that burns the ice.

Mother Love equals Mother Guilt.

Discombobulated Hope


In the last couple of years, my little boy has been growing up. I’ve noticed certain things, like the way he drops my hand when we are walking in the school parking lot, or the way he ducks his head and smiles in a sort of embarrassed way if I kiss the top of his head when we are out in public.

He has become much more independent, and no longer needs my help with showers or cutting the meat on his plate up into manageable bites or reading his homework questions to him aloud.

Yeah, my little boy is really growing up.

But my little boy is not growing.

Always on the smallish side, we’ve watched his height and weight closely over the years. When he was an infant, the lack of growth caused his doctors to suspect Cystic Fibrosis, but testing revealed that wasn’t the problem. Then, they were sure he wasn’t growing much because his asthma was out of control, and because of the steroids needed to treat the frequent asthma flares.
It seemed like there was always some new explanation.

Once his immunodeficiency was diagnosed, everyone threw their hands in the air and said, “Yes! This is the problem!” and I was assured once we started treatment for that, his growth would take off.

It didn’t.

Of course, then there was the fundoplication to stop the reflux, and while that helped the reflux and vomiting episodes, it didn’t seem to help the little issue with vertical advancement.

So we met with an endocrinologist when he was about 6 years old, who suggested he was young yet and had plenty of time for that growth spurt to kick in, and we should just watch and wait.

And we met with a nutritionist, who suggested we add vegetable oil and butter to all his foods and feed him a high calorie snack every night and we even went so far as to purchase a weight-gaining powder for kids who have Cystic Fibrosis (even though he doesn’t have it) just to see if it would help him gain weight.

It didn’t.

So time has gone by, and he grows, here and there, just a little bit. And there are times when we are thrilled that he has gained a ¼ of an inch and a half-a-pound and we start to think, “Here it comes, he’s going to really take off now!”
And then I see him playing around with kids in his grade, kids at baseball or soccer practice, and it strikes me again how really small he is. And here’s the kicker: I held him out of school a year, so he is actually a year older than the kids in his class. He is smaller than every one of them.

We don’t make a big deal out of it around here, and truthfully, I see him everyday and he just looks like himself and I forget that he hasn’t grown in awhile. But this spring, as soccer season was gearing up, I got out the box of cleats that had been stored over the winter and when I got his out and he tried them on to make sure they still fit, it struck me that he’d been wearing those same black cleats with the shiny metallic gold stripe down the side for over three years.

Three years.

He hasn’t changed a shoe size in over 3 years. That just doesn’t seem right.

I can tell it’s starting to bother him. Every year, the night before school starts, he tells me he had a dream that he went to school on the first day and he was taller than all of his classmates, and it was so AWESOME.

And I see the look on his face when people squat down on their knees to get to his eye level and talk in an overly cheerful, high pitched voice as if he is a really young kid, and he looks back at them with the most disgusted expression, like the way your face looks when you get that watery jowls feeling just before you realize you’re about to vomit.

Then he will say, in a very loud, clear voice, “I am eleven-and-a-HALF, and I am in the FIFTH GRADE.” You know. Just so they know they don’t need to use that baby voice with him.

He won’t wear shorts to school because he has been teased about having “chicken legs”.

When we went to buy new clothes for school this fall, he insisted on buying a size larger. He tried them on and came out of the fitting room and even though we had to cinch up the waist adjuster straps on the inside as far as they would go, and the hem of the jeans puddled a little bit onto the floor when he walked, we bought the larger size.

Because he really wanted them, because he really wanted to be able to say he had grown, and because truthfully, I am just seriously tired of buying my son the same size clothes every year.

He is two years younger than his brother, who is five-foot-five, and who is expected to grow past six feet tall, and he will suddenly say at the most random times, “He eats and eats and grows and grows, and I eat and eat and stay the same. Why?”

And I don’t know what to say.

I tell him he is perfect. I tell him he is exactly who he is supposed to be. I tell him he can’t compare himself to his brother, because they are completely different people. I tell him people come in all shapes and sizes.

He doesn’t buy it. He’s been talking quite a lot lately about “…when I hit my growth spurt,” and all the plans he has for that magical day when he wakes up and is suddenly tall.

And I listen to his ramblings and smile and nod and all the while the feelings in my mother-heart are hurting quite a bit.

So at this year’s well-child visit with our family physician, I brought it up. Again. And she opened up her little computer and checked out his growth chart and showed it to me, and instead of a mountain or even a curve, his line goes in a pretty much straight, flat line across the graph.
She sent us off to a different endocrinologist, who agreed that something doesn’t quite seem right, and he checked his thyroid (again) and sent us for a bone age scan (again) and now here we sit, at a hospital that is not the one we are used to but is the one the endocrinologist is affiliated with, for a Human Growth Hormone stimulation test, to see if my child is lacking the hormone that should be making him grow.

I hardly know what to hope for.

I certainly don’t want to add another diagnosis to the long, long list of diagnoses my son already has. I really don’t want to add anymore medications to the long, long list of medications he already takes every day.

Truthfully, I don’t want – if this test shows he is deficient – to pierce the skin of my child every day for the next three years, to force the lacking hormone back into him, all in an effort to make him grow.

It’s something I’ve always said I wouldn’t do….pierce the skin of my child. I CAN do it, I’m even certified to do it, but I have never wanted to be their nurse. I want to be the one with Band-aids and kisses and dollars for the vending machine when the needle is done.

I don’t want to be the one that inflicts the pain.

Then again…..

How can I deny him the chance, if indeed there is one? If it turns out he is deficient and the injections will help, how can I not do it? Especially when he is willing, even excited, to do this.

Back and forth, back and forth goes my brain.

And I have friends who have had nothing but wonderful experiences with HGH injections.

And I have friends who have had nothing but horrendous experiences with HGH injections.

I suppose in the meantime, I will just sit here in this tiny, cold room with my son who wore his most comfy pajamas for the occasion and watch him looking small in the big, white hospital bed, and watch the nurse coming in and out, and watch the medicine as it goes into him and wonder what the outcome of this all will be.

I suppose there is nothing at all for me to do besides just wait.


And still.

Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!


In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, please enjoy this tiny pirate challenging you to a duel with his miniature sword.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.
We pillage and plunder, we rifle and loot.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don’t give a hoot.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Yo ho, ho ho, a pirate’s life for me.
We extort and pilfer, we filch and sack.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
Maraud and embezzle and even highjack.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Yo ho, ho ho, a pirate’s life for me.
We kindle and char and in flame and ignite.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we’re really a fright.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

We’re rascals and scoundrels, we’re villians and knaves.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
We’re devils and black sheep, we’re really bad eggs.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

We’re beggars and blighters and ne’er do-well cads,
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
Aye, but we’re loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Yo ho, ho ho, a pirate’s life for me.
Yo ho, ho ho, a pirate’s life for me! YO HO!

The Universal Sign


It’s something I’ve noticed over the years; the casual settling of a mother’s hand on her child’s head.
It’s a precious sight, really; the familiarity, the comfort, the way the child’s head leans in to the shoulder of the mother, as if drawn by invisible strings.

It’s a universal sign.

It’s a sign that says, “You belong to me.”

It’s a sign that says, “I will keep you safe.”

It’s a sign that says, to anyone watching, “Harm this child and I will unleash a fury upon you, the likes of which will cause your worst nightmare to shudder.”

And it seemed to me, at one time, that it was some evolutionary thing, a biological connection, a sign of protection over our offspring. It seemed to be an automatic connection between mother and child, born in that moment of sweat and screams and struggle; that moment when a mother first settles her hand firmly beneath the wobbly head of her newborn. It seemed a connection that said, “You came from me, we are the same.”
But, I think it’s more than that.

Because I’ve seen this same act between a mother whose child came to her through the beauty of adoption, and when they melded together as a family that child was long past the wobbly-headed infant stage.

And I’ve seen this same act between a foster mother whose skin was pale as porcelain, and the child she chose to raise, whose skin happened to be as dark as his mother’s was white.

It’s the easy familiarity of this action that fills my soul when I see it, because there is so much in that small movement.
I have done this with my own children, until they seemed too big and teenager-y and independent to settle my hand upon their heads without awkwardness.

But I still have one little boy, who will snuggle into me in a church pew, or on the living room couch, and allow my hand to rest there, his small head leaning in to my shoulder and my hand sometimes fiddling with his hair…brushing it up between my fingers and unconsciously enjoying the silky feeling of the strands of brown with sunshine-y highlights.

And I have another boy who is perched on the cusp of manhood, with legs and arms too long and gangly for me to hold in my lap anymore, but if he is ill, or very sleepy, he will sometimes curl up beside me in spite of himself, and allow me to find peace and comfort of my own in that connection, in the noticing of how my hand somehow seems suddenly smaller when settled on the crown of his once-baby head, the head that is now adult-sized and sports hair gelled into a “style” because he wants to look good for the ladies.

And every once in a great, great while, more rare than a blue moon during a meteor shower, perhaps during a fever or after a horrific bout of stomach flu or in the midst of a thoroughly broken high school heart, one of my teenage daughters will allow me the pleasure of molding my hand onto the back of her head, twisting my fingers into the thick, curl-tangled hair (while I silently marvel at the way those precious heads were once bald) and with my free hand I will wipe some smeared mascara and eye-liner that has worked down a cheek in the wake of her tears.
And I don’t think it ever stops.

I had occasion recently to witness this beautiful exchange between a mother and her adult son, whose mental age is not quite as advanced as his chronological age, and she looked down at his face tenderly and up it went, her hand to his head, and he smiled back and leaned a little more closely in toward her, and she sifted his hair through her fingers like sand through a child’s plastic beach toy.

It wasn’t all that long ago we brought my sister home on Hospice, and we all stayed at my mother’s house until her final day. My sister’s children moved in to my mother’s house for the duration, and I would walk sometimes into the room where her hospital bed was set up and find that one of her adult children were kneeling by the bed, a cheek pressed against my sister’s stomach, and though my sister was barely half awake, drugged and ravaged by cancer, her arm would begin to move, her hand crawling, crawling, along the bedframe and then up the back and shoulder of whichever child happened to be there, until she made it to her destination and cupped her thin, weakened hand against the crown of the head of her own child.

And there they would stay, for hours on end.

And now, I think I understand.

It doesn’t matter how your child came to be your child. It doesn’t matter if they are hours or months or years old, or if they are toddlers or adults.

It’s just a universal sign.

It means, “Mine”.

I’ve got a clue. Do you?


Someone recently said to me, regarding chronic illness, “You just don’t have a clue.”
Oh, my. I wonder if that person has any idea how very, very wrong she is.
I’ve got clues. I’ve got knowledge. I’ve got memories seared into my brain no mother should ever have. I’ve endured a great deal of my own pain.
Yeah. I’ve got a clue.
I’ve seen my own child blue from lack of oxygen, his eyes wide with terror as less and less air passed between his lips and lungs. I’ve watched as my infant child’s enlarged heart turned him a pasty shade of gray, and listened to the nurse who told me about how his heart stopped, and he had to be bagged, and how the medical team climbed aboard the speeding stretcher that carried my tiny son, forcing him to breathe when he couldn’t do it himself.
I’ve made decisions no mother should have to make: about surgeries, and infusions, and injections, and medications, for children too young to understand or have any input on the lasting effects my choices may have on them.
I’ve seen my children, one by one, wheeled into an operating room, far more times than I can remember.
I’ve seen complications from those decisions: allergic reactions, respiratory distress, suture spits, granulomas, paralyzed vocal chords, rigors.
I’ve dealt with the traumatic, emotional aftermath of those necessities: psychiatric care, therapy, nightmares, sleepwalking, vomiting, tantrums, nights spent with a child so torn apart by life she could emit nothing more than a guttural, primal wailing at the thought of facing another day.
I’ve gone days with no sleep, in dirty clothes and ratty hair in cold, sterile hospital rooms, sleeping in a narrow hospital bed with my child.
I’ve got clues.
I’ve spent months after a stomach surgery feeding two of my children only liquids…..while feeding my other two children regular foods. Tell me that wouldn’t tear your heart out.
I’ve spent five years avoiding allergy triggers in foods: searching restaurant ingredients online, in stores, and carrying “safe” foods wherever we went.
I’ve spent hours of time locked in tiny square rooms with physicians, debating the pros and cons of more and more and more major medical decisions for my kids.
I’ve spent hours fighting with school personnel: begging, crying, insisting, stomping feet and threatening lawsuits to ensure the rights of my children.

And I’ve dealt with my own issues.
I’ve lived for over 20 years with migraines, sometimes so debilitating I can barely hold my eyes open, so excruciatingly painful I’ve blacked out, and a couple times even had seizures.
I have lung damage from asthma left untreated, and a quirky heart valve that has caused its own issues.
I live with a progressively deteriorating disease that some days flares so badly, I can barely stand, barely uncurl myself from my bed, in order to get through the day.
I am so sleep disordered, sometimes I go 2-3 days with only 20 minutes of sleep.
There are days I have pulled into a parking lot, in so much pain I can no longer think, just because I need a minute of silence to try to get myself back together before I can bear to drive again.
I’ve struggled with depression so deep, so black, I have wondered if I would ever claw my way back out of that bottomless pit.
And I’ve been so shaken by anxiety attacks I could no longer form lucid thoughts.
I’ve been traumatized and scarred, frightened and alone.
Yeah. I’ve got clues. I’ve got puzzle pieces. I’ve got loose screws.
I’ve got the whole shebang.
So perhaps, next time, before you presume to imagine I’M the one who doesn’t have a clue, you might want to yank that plank out of your own eye and look around you. There is more pain in the world than just your own.
But some of us prefer to fight against it, railing with all that is within us, refusing to give the pain the upper hand.
I absolutely refuse to set the example that disease rules our lives, that it has the power to change our dreams, that chronic illness is some Great Ruler, stealing from us our talents and abilities.
We may have to live with it, but I will not teach my children that their diseases are worth more than they are.
We are ALWAYS worth more than the disease.
Life is there for the taking, friends. Live your dreams. Face your fears. And never, NEVER, let the pain rule your life.
It’s YOUR life. It’s yours for the ruling.
Now that’s a clue worth holding onto.

In Honor of Invisible Illness Week: The Decision


This piece was originally an entry for an essay contest (which is why the wording may seem a bit….stilted.) Three of my children are diagnosed with Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID). IVIG is the acronym for Intravenous Immunoglobulin, which is a plasma by-product that provides my children with a sort of temporary immune system, with the antibodies their own systems fail to make. This infusion is a monthly event, and likely will remain a lifelong treatment.

My life turned around and improved when….
Shoot. I forgot to write down the exact date. But it was around March, 2006. I remember because it was the day we made The Decision. The Decision was something we had been hemming and hawing around for close to four years.
When I say “we”, I mean me, the Pediatric Pulmonologist, and the Pediatric Infectious Disease guy. The Decision was to – finally – begin IVIG for my children with CVID.

When our boys were sick and little – in infancy and toddlerhood – The Decision was brought up as the possibility of last resort. The final attempt once everything else had failed. But, don’t worry about it too much! We are positive these antibiotics will work! We are positive these steroids will be the key! You can handle 12 nebulizer treatments a day, can’t you? Of course you can! That’s what needs to be done to avoid The Decision. (And of course I did.) Okay, it’s not going quite as planned, but no worries. We are positive the answer lies in this teensy little major surgery for both boys. You can handle that, right? Great! Time went on. The boys grew….well, one boy grew. One boy was classified Failure to Thrive. We soldiered on. I quit my job to avoid putting the boys in daycare (snot-nosed toddlers, always a threat.) We stopped attending church (do you have any idea how many people come to church sick? Sneezing into their hands and then offering to shake?). Days passed in a haze of medication distribution (give this one before eating, and this one 20 minutes after eating, and this one 2 hours before the next meal, and this one three hours after the last dairy consumption of the day, and these two must be given exactly 10 hours apart, and this one dispensed only after 4 red birds land on a branch outside the kitchen window at precisely the same time a circus passes through town and the moon is full), nebulizer treatments that involved so many different vials of medication it seemed one had barely ended before the next was due, and nights spent barely sleeping, always on the alert for someone to cough. Vomit. Whimper from fever-induced aches and pains.

Culminating Event: after four years of living with the uncertainty that comes with raising two chronically ill little boys, one of my older, healthy children became sick. Really sick. Tests were run, biopsies taken, possible diagnoses tossed out; Cystic Fibrosis, asthma, reflux, a combination of the three, something altogether different. Finally: Common Variable Immunodeficiency. For the first time, what we politely referred to as “Transient Hypogammaglobulinemia of Childhood” in the boys’ charts was in question. Their older sister had the real deal, long past the type that is outgrown. What were the odds the boys actually were transient? Very slim. And there we had the reason to make The Decision. Medications, nebulizers, surgery and isolation were not fixing this problem.
So we reassessed. The reality that this was a genetic, lifelong problem was discussed. It would not go away with age. All other options exhausted, the day that had once seemed so very far away had come.
I knew in my gut we had to try. We made The Decision.
Their first infusion was early April, 2006. Our lives turned around and improved when we could attend church again without fear; when they could all go to school without missing weeks of time; when my children began to grow at a healthy rate; when our life settled into a new normal, one with fewer restrictions and more adventures. Our lives changed for the better with IVIG.