Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Incredible Woman #28 - HolleeAnn Vasquez. Wednesday's Questions.

KARA: "You’ve got a degree in Early Childhood Education, and I’ve heard that you develop curriculum for preschools. That sounds so interesting. Besides that, what other things have you done with your degree? Is education important to you? What do you tell your daughter about the importance of education for women?"

HOLLEEANN - "I have been blessed to use my background in Early Childhood Education in a variety of ways through the years. I am so glad that I have that knowledge. Most recently I was hired to work with Pepperidge Farm and Fishful Thinking, a campaign for Parenting Positive Children. This amazing website FishfulThinking is an excellent resource for parents. There you will find tips, tools and activities to help teach your children optimism, resilience, goal setting/hope, empowerment and emotional awareness. When I was first approached to participate in this campaign and visited the website I was thrilled to find that Dr. Karen Reivich, an expert in the field of positive psychology, was who Pepperidge Farm had partnered with to develop the program. I had referenced Dr. Revich's books "The Optimistic Child" and "The Resiliency Factor" many many times when presenting at parenting workshops or teacher development days. I know that Fishful Thinking and I are a match made in heaven.

As parents we stress the important of education with Jordan all the time. We tell her that an education will open many doors for her and help her achieve some of the dreams she has for herself and her future. Jordan wants to be a "baby nurse" when she grows up, we tell her every time that she studies for a test and gets a good result that she is one step closer to her dream. It is stressed that her "job" is to go to school and get the best education that she can and that the sky is the limit when it comes to how much she wants to learn. Jordan has overcome several learning disabilities, school is a challenge for her, but she is learning how to be a good student and we have worked very diligently with her teachers and the "system" to open doors for her and find new ways for her to not only be successful but to enjoy those successes."

KARA: "Talk about the trials you’ve been through, and how those have changed you. What things have you learned through those trials?"

HOLLEEANN: "Wow...I have been through some stuff. Stuff I never imagined I could ever survive. Most recently this past November I almost died. It's a REALLY long and detailed story so you can read about it HERE. But to summarize, I was an undiagnosed Diabetic and an infection caused DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). Most people do not survive this. I spent a week in ICU thanks to the quick thinking of my husband who called an ambulance. For the first 12 hrs or so I was more dead than alive and the doctors and nurses repeated over and over how lucky I was. I call it blessed. The diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes was a surprise, but I wasn't shocked or freaked out by it. My dad is diabetic, he has controlled it insulin free for a loooong time. I knew I could get my glucose under control with meds and a healthier lifestyle, and so far I have. The hard part of the whole almost dying thing was the long hospital stay and what that did to my body. A week of little to no movement turned my muscles to jelly and just walking again was presenting a challenge. My doctor told me it could take as long as 6 months until I felt like myself again. I just felt sick and weak and it was frustrating. THEN almost a month after I was released I got shingles. Worst. Pain. Ever. Shingles attacks the nerves, it is not uncommon for one to get shingles after a long hospital stay or whenever one's immune system is compromised. It affects everyone differently but I am STILL suffering the nerve pain. Talk to your doctor about the shingle vaccine, trust me on this one.

I am still trying to find the lesson in this latest trial. I know for sure it has caused me to REALLY appreciate the LITTLE THINGS, like being able to complete a sentence without stuttering (something I hope to do again someday), the luxury of taking a shower ANYTIME I fancy (not just when people are home in case I fall), being able to make a meal for my family from start to finish (without stopping for a break or asking for help) and being able to jump out of bed, get ready for the day and be on the road somewhere (anywhere) in 30 min. (yep 30 min and even looking cute).

I also know I am truly blessed to be alive, that the Lord must have something planned for my life here on earth so I need to really LIVE! This means taking better care of the body I was blessed with when I came to earth and blessed a second time to KEEP."

Please join us again tomorrow as we continue our interview with HolleeAnn. We'll talk about where she'd love to travel to, and the part of her blog called "Cooking with Jordan" - yep, you guessed it... step by step cooking lessons with her cute daughter!!! I'm so excited!


DeNae said...

Wow, HolleeAnn, what a tough experience! I marvel that you have stayed active and busy, raising a family and working. That's very inspiring!

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