Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Junie's dream

I didn't know if I'd ever publish this, but its been rolling around in my head for some time now-so I decided write it down and see how I felt afterwards.

Junie is my most wonderful big sister. She has a unique name, fitting her perfectly.
I was born in December and Junie turned 2 in January. I remember hearing stories about how excited Junie was to hear she was a big sister. My aunt recalls the story and cries every time, and she's been telling it for 28 years!

I think one of my first memories was when Junie got to go to kindergarten. It might not be a TRUE memory as much as it is the familiarity of seeing the picture...me standing outside the bus crying and Junie sitting like a good girl , looking out of the bus window. I'm not sure if she was upset too, but I'd like to think that she was.

We have always been best friends, playing outside when it was warm and inside when we had to. I recall an entire town built out in the woods. She had the big room-of course. Did I mention she's naturally bossy. We had a kitchen, complete with ant filled bottles we'd found in the woods. We even cooked "dinner" on our "stove"....ummm....mud pies!

As we grew up, we had our pains and fights. It got worse when we became teenagers. We fought over clothes, shoes, hair products and everything else. She was always mad that I was doing things she wasn't allowed to do. When I was 12 we went to camp, and although she had waited the dictated 14 1/2 years to wear makeup, I wore it that year at camp. She was so upset, but I never was one to follow the rules EXACTLY. (I've always had the motto, "better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission")

Then she got her drivers license and we fought because I wanted to go and sometimes she didn't want me to. I will say though, she was almost always good at letting me tag-along. This is saying a lot for a 16 year old with a 14 year old sister. Thanks to having a big sister, I got to socialize twice as much as she did when she was my age.

When Junie got back from Bolivia
When Junie was 16 she got the chance to go on a missions trip to Bolivia. We have some friends that lived there and she was going to visit and help at their school. She was gone for over a month. That was the year I "grew up". I mean I got my first real haircut. The one where I told the lady what I wanted and she showed me how to style it myself. I'm not sure why, but my mom let me get fake nails that year- I must have begged her. When Junie got home and saw me she cried because she said I had changed so much.

When Junie turned 17, she was a senior in high school. The only day I probably remember that year was a beautiful fall day. It was so nice and warm so Junie went on a walk with our friend, Kristen. She was talking about how blue the sky was and just then, she hit the pavement. She was having a seizure, just out of the blue. I'll never forget the panic that ensued and how my mom rushed us all to the emergency room, right behind the ambulance. When we got in to see Junie, she was doing better, although somewhat post-ictal. I didn't know it then, but its normal for someone to be out of it after a seizure. Sometimes I wish I knew then what I know now, but most of the time I'm glad I didn't. You know, ignorance is bliss.
When Junie started waking up more, I'll never forget the first thing she was talking about....her UNDERWEAR!! She's just so funny. She was saying that's why you should always wear your best underwear, because you don't know what your day might bring.
They treated Junie for the seizure and referred her to a neurologist for follow up. I don't remember actually putting too much more thought toward the seizure. Our family just trusted the Lord and continued believe He could heal a seizure disorder.
In the spring, Junie and I were at the public library. We were doing homework and getting some books for school. As we were leaving, Junie had another seizure. Mom wasn't there so some bystander must have called the ambulance. The whole memory is a blur to me except that I will always remember how white her face got and how her eyes rolled back in her head. It was so scary, I thought she was dying. To this day, patients having seizures are some of my least favorite to take care of...it makes me feel eerie. After this second seizure and the follow up with the neurologist they did more tests.
Finally Junie was diagnosed with neuro cystercercosis. For some reason, there were spots on the back of her brain that didn't show up with the CT scan but they did show on the MRI. The doctors said it was a parasite she had likely contracted while she was in Bolivia. It's rather common in South America. We were heartbroken but glad to finally have a reason for all the seizures. Junie's neurologist ordered treatments and more tests.  The treatments required an overnight stay in the hospital and medications including steroids to keep her brain from swelling during the treatments.  Although she had to spend the night at the hospital, we chose to see it as a "party time". The pediatric ward let us have the TV with the VCR on it. They also had video games and gave us full access to the patient "pantry". Junie ate ice cream and jello all day and night. Unfortunately, she only felt good the first day of the treatment and then not so great the rest of the time during.

Junie was treated three times for the cystercercosis but this is not the end of her story. So consider this part one and please pray for her when you get a chance.
Click this link to see more: Still Praying for Junie


  1. Thanks for sharing part I of your sister's story. I will be praying and looking for the rest of the story. :) Blessings!

  2. Kelly, Kelly, Kelly...I did NOT think I would be in tears today. You wrote this SO beautifully!!! I love you and Junie!

  3. You have a beautiful story, a beautiful writing sytly and a wonderful sister. Need I say more? I love you, and thanks, for all you do!!!