Heidi’s Thoughts 1st: My daughter, Ashlyn and Lisa’s son, Jack are good friends and through their friendship I have had the opportunity to get to know Lisa. She is an incredibly positive person, a difference maker, a wonderful Mom, wife, and friend…the kind of person you just want to be around. This story is about Annalise, but it’s also an inspiring story about a Mom that dearly loves all of her children. From my perspective, Lisa is a hero in this story along with Annalise.
I wanted to share their story because I want them to know that people care, that they are not forgotten, that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to this wonderful family. My hope is that we, as an Inspiring Hope Community will rally around this family in prayer and encouragement to cheer them on to keep moving forward in Faith and trusting God even when life doesn’t make sense. I want us to tangibly show Annalise that we are praying for her and that in doing so her painful days could brighten just knowing that she is loved by so many.
So here’s what we’re going to do…
- We are going to pray for Annalise and the entire family
- We are going to send her cards to encourage her
- Here are Annalise’s favorite things…This might help in sending her something that would cheer her up.
- Favorite Colors- dark blue/navy or black
- Favorite Restaurant – Hu Hut
- Favorite Sports Teams – KU, Broncos, Rockies
- Favorite Sport – Soccer
- She loves animals, sunshine, stormy weather, clothes, & shoes
- Annalise also loves books and music. They are the two things that can take her mind off of the pain she experiences daily with her auto immune disease. So let’s shower her with books and music, too.
- Let’s also do something nice for the rest of the family, not sure yet what that looks like. I just know that if we reached out to them, it would lift their spirits.
Please send cards or gifts to:
Annalise Bohm 7240 SE 69th Auburn, KS, 66402
From the Bottom of my Heart, thank you for doing something to INSPIRE HOPE and make a positive difference!
This is Annalise’s Story through Lisa’s eyes…By: Lisa Bohm
It’s crazy how in the blink of an eye the course of your life can change and there is nothing you can do about it. You desperately try to find your way fighting this new path, only to find peace when you succumb to the fact that you are not in the driver’s seat!
That is the journey we started almost four years ago when my daughter Annalise’s health started to decline. Life had drastically changed for our beautiful, healthy daughter. She was in the middle of her Tae-Kwan-Do black belt training, on a traveling soccer team, learning to play basketball. She was a smart, bubbly little outgoing girl that would light up a room when her presence graced its door. The last week of school of her third grade year she started complaining of pain in her pelvic bone. We had already taken her into the doctor for she was playing goalie and thought maybe she had gotten kicked and injured her hip girdle. Her X-rays came back normal so her pain was a mystery. The following weeks her pain grew a little more intense and she started to lose her eye lashes and eye brows during the night. We were dumbfounded and immediately started going to see many doctors in Topeka and at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. They diagnosed her with an auto-immune disease obviously, but, no one seemed to have answers for her pelvic pain. We went to Children’s Mercy off and on for several years trying everything under the sun. We went to Mayo clinic, a chiropractor, biofeedback, the pain clinic, tried every pain and sleep medicine known to mankind with no avail. Her pain has started consuming her life she hasn’t been able to attend public school since 5th grade for her pain keeps her up at night and movement intensifies the degree of her pain. She now has eyebrows but no lashes. She has restless leg syndrome which is unheard of in children. Her vision is poor and can’t be corrected even with glasses, she now has trouble focusing on school for its hard to sit still and she is exhausted and yet her pain gets more intense the more active she is so it’s kind of a double edged sword.
So here we stand on this lonely desolate road four years later with no path, no concrete answers, and no HOPE!
Yes, I said it NO HOPE! My daughter feels like she has no hope. Life isn’t going to get better. She wakes up sick and has forgotten what it feels like to feel good. When she makes a wish or says a prayer it’s to have one day that she is pain free. She has figured out that she has had the million dollar work up and no one is going to help her. Her hopes and dreams of going to college on a soccer scholarship and being a veterinarian are slowly slipping away from her vision. As a mother my heart is hurting for I not only feel her emotional pain but have the need to fix her physical pain. I try to mask the fact that my hope is slipping away too!
If you were to meet us on the street you would think we have “normal” lives and that she is a normal child. But, as you can see she is an exceptional child with exceptional circumstances that don’t always meet the eye. She has days we get out and do things but, for the most part she has become a prisoner of her pain for her pain and sleeping habits rule our world. She is nervous and quiet and would rather blend into the wallpaper and not be noticed. She is able to mask her pain when she is around others for she doesn’t want people to worry about her. Her illness has changed our lives for she has three brothers who have been drastically affected too. So now our lives have taken on a new normal.
SO how do you find hope when you feel like there isn’t any hope? Some days, I would say I have no clue! Then, on my good days I stop, take a deep breath, regroup and I go on a scavenger hunt. Seek and you shall find. I search our lives with a fine tooth comb searching for blessings. When you look at your life with a magnifying glass it amplifies the good and the bad. Well, we already have embraced the bad so it’s time to focus on the good. If we look at the big picture of our situation it is kind of gloomy and honestly lacks luster. I have found we have to look at the smaller frame and some days the micro frame so we can focus on the small window which looks a lot more hopeful when you focus on a smaller scale! Some days our hope truly as small as a mustard seed for it may be that she saw a friend and got to laugh like a normal 13 year old. Other days it may be bigger that she was able to wake up at 11 AM instead of 4 PM or able to fall asleep at 3AM instead of 6 AM! Maybe she has found a new book series that helps take her mind off what she is going through or a new song that she connects with. The smallest things which in the past we used to overlook now we seek out to bring a glimpse of hope for that day.
I also try to teach my children there are always people that have bigger trials in life than we do. Not that that brings us comfort but, we realize life is full of hurdles and we have to get into shape to conquer them!
I try to teach the kids if you focus on bringing joy to others sometimes your own problems fade into the background for while! So some weeks we seek out people to bless. Whether we secretly buy some soldiers their lunch, feed someone off the streets or help an elderly person load their car at Walmart simple joys can overflow ones heart by doing for others. If we take a step away from our lives and focus on others, life is beautiful for that glimpse of time! I always have told my kids if I ever was given a sizable amount of money I would live an amazing life secretly searching for people to bless, for giving to others is very therapeutic and healing!
We try to find the simple joys each day offers and try not to get bogged down by the small stuff life throws our way, for we know it’s not worth our time or energy. We have embraced the fact Annalise has an autoimmune disease and a pain syndrome but, daily we are striving to not let these diseases define her life. It’s hard not knowing for sure what is wrong with her and simply not being able to physically help take her pain away. It’s frustrating and some days I feel defeated. But, then I realize if I give up Hope what kind of example am I setting for my children. They look to me to set the tone. So we put on our gloves and fight! I tell her she need to approach life fighting. Fight to get your life back taking baby steps each day to improve the small things that we can improve and leave the big stuff for the “Big Guy” For our biggest hope we have of is in knowing Christ promises us he won’t give us more than we can handle.
The past four years I have discovered we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. God knows we can and will get through this and is growing us through the rough patches. I think he must have amazing plans for Annalise for I tell her she is a princess warrior and I admire her so much.
She has a shield of strength and heart of perseverance. Her beauty radiates from the inside out blinding those who come in contact with her for she has the soul of a warrior and a reflection of Christ. I know he is growing her for something bigger for I look back on my life and realize her was growing me to handle this path with Annalise and my other children years ago.
Our lives now have a new normal and we have adjusted and pray one day Annalise will wake up and feel great and this nightmare will be gone as quickly as it enveloped our lives. Until then we have learned to praise him through the storms.
As a mother of four teenagers you would think I would have already learned this lesson. But, I have learned I need to hand off the keys and sit back and see what I need to learn from the journey! I now know we are not in the driver’s seat of our lives and never were. We just need to learn to sit back, be still and learn what God’s plan is for our journey, for sometimes it’s the bumps in the road that cause us to find the strength and character that makes us the unique person we were meant to be.