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Tuesday, May 14, 2024

That time I broke my hand

I had never broken a bone until I was 38 years old. Even though I have had a ton of surgeries, I managed to make it 38 years without breaking a bone.

However, I fell down while using my stand up walker and when I went to brace myself with my hand, I ended up breaking two bones in my hand. 

I also cut my forehead and bled like a stuck pig. I had to have ten stitches in my head. 

I am all better now and hopefully I don't break anything else. I did have to get a cast, and I was unable to swim with it. Now I have full range of motion in my hand. 

Because I broke my hand back home in the United States, my insurance didn't cover that fall and it ended up being extremely expensive. I just thought I would let you know. Til next time, Tyler 

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

How we are choosing to raise our daughter

When Jenny was pregnant with Eliana, we had a lot of discussions about how we were going to raise her. Even though Jenny is more politically conservative than I am, surprisingly we agreed on all the foundational stuff.

Every parent can choose how they want to raise their child. We have chosen to raise Eliana with the following rules. 

We agreed that she will not get an internet enabled phone until at least age 12, she will have minimal daily screen time, she will always try and be kind and polite to everyone and mind her manners and she will learn she can come to us and trust us for anything.

We want her to follow the golden rule, treat others how you want to be treated. Basically, we just want her to be a good person and leave this world a better place than she found it. So far I think we have done a pretty good job. She is smart, kind, polite, empathetic, loyal and loving. 

That is all I wanted to say, Tyler 

Friday, May 03, 2024

Day to Day Life

My daily life is honestly pretty boring. I am not currently working (even though I am currently trying to find a job) so I spend every day doing exercise, speech and physical therapy and working on my YouTube channel. More on that later. Then I come home and eat dinner then the next day I do it all over again. 

Sometimes on the weekend, we go out with my in laws. My life may seem boring to some but, I am pretty happy. 

But honestly, a boring life is better than no life at all. I have a wife and daughter who love me and great in laws. Not to mention my amazing family and friends. 

I am a lucky guy who has had some health issues but I trying hard to get back to normal and give my wife and daughter the breaks they so deserve.

I have food in my stomach and a roof over my head. 

That is really all I wanted to say. I am thankful for the good times, the boring times and the bad times.

Take care, Tyler 

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Story Time with Eliana

Last night I tried to tell Eliana a true story from my personal life. However, I quickly realized that she is still a little bit young for true stories.

She was frustrated that there were no big, bad wolves in my story haha. I will now tell you the story I tried telling her. 

When I was about 8 years old, my aunt Bunny and Uncle Mike took me to Carlsbad Caverns which I believe are in New Mexico if I am not wrong.

The guide told everyone in our tour group to lick a certain rock. There were between 20—40 people. The guide warned us if we didn't lick the rock that we would have 7 years of bad luck.

Everyone in our group chose to lick the rock. I however, thought it was disgusting. My aunt and uncle begged me to lick it, as did the tour guide. 

I stuck to my guns though and I never licked the rock. I will be darned, but I truly believe that I did have 7 years of bad luck because of choosing to not lick that rock.

That's it for now, Tyler 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Jenny and Eliana

I wanted to give a special shout out specifically to Jenny and Eliana. I couldn't do this without either of them. Firstly, my wife Jenny is a saint.

She is kind, loving and supportive. She is my rock and one of the main reasons I keep going every day. She is the strongest person I have ever known. 

Everyone tells me how strong I am because this condition affects me physically and mentally. It is true that I have been through a lot but Jenny was 8 months pregnant with Eliana when I first got sick. Yet she came up to the hospital every day with a smile on her face.

She saw me at my worst but continued to stand by me. I am not perfect, and there were (and are) days that it is very frustrating to be around me. Yet she continues to love me through it all. 

She is also the most determined person that I know. When she wants something better, she will do anything to get it. 

I had no plans to ever get a masters degree in bilingual education but she convinced me to do it. It was not easy, but it allowed me to get a job at Los Andes University in Bogotá. Which I never could have dreamed would happen. It is the equivalent of working at Harvard University in the United States. 

I was not able to be present for Eliana's birth due to being sick but my mother in law was there for Jenny when I couldn't be. Jenny is very brave and a great mom to our daughter.

Jenny and I are very different in many ways, and we have our problems like any couple but, she has supported me through all of the trials and tribulations of life and there is no one who I would rather be with.

She is working hard to support our family while I can't. Even though I am currently looking for a home based job. I am forever grateful for her. 

She is not perfect but I never expected perfection. I love her despite her flaws. 

Now onto Eliana. She is the greatest joy of my life and the best thing I have ever done. My only regret is that I waited so long to have a child because I was scared of the responsibility of fatherhood. 

Eliana is kind, loving attentive and so very smart. I see her growing like a weed and learning new things every day. She has her moments like any typical 3 year old but overall we won the lottery with her. I love her to the moon and back. 

She treats me the same as any able bodied father and my limited mobility doesn't seem to bother her. I am very thankful for that. She also has a great sense of humor. She is stubborn as a mule sometimes but she gets that from me! Because Jenny is a lot of things but stubborn is not one of them. 

When I was 3 years old, I tried playing with my grandparents TV. It had big tactile buttons you could push. My parents constantly told me that I couldn't touch the TV. 

My parents entered the room hearing my screams of delight. I was with my grandfather (the father of my mother) and he let me push all the TV buttons that I wanted.

He went on to say, if he lived to be 100 years old he would never forget my screams of delight. I feel exactly the same way when I hear my daughter laughing.

Well that is all I wanted to say, Tyler 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Something to be thankful for

I wanted to write this to let you know how thankful I am for the little things like a supportive family and friends group.

You may not be aware of this, but back when I was much sicker and unable to take care of myself, we were at the point of putting me into what amounts to an adult daycare center where there are professionals who take care of you. 

What they do not provide is intensive therapy and rehab. So how you enter there is basically how you will stay. It is hard to make any progress. 

However, luckily I got to a point where we decided intensive therapy and rehab was the way to go. I am still not fully independent but I am making progress slowly but surely. Every small step forward is one step closer to returning to normality. 

I am very thankful for the help provided by my family and friends. I couldn't do this without you. I know one day, sooner or later I will be back to normal life again. I am slowly but surely beating this. Even if it takes me 4 more years, that is a blink of an eye in my total life span hopefully.

That's it for now, Tyler 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

My anniversary of being out of the hospital

I recently decided that today is my two year anniversary of being released from the hospital. I honestly don't remember the exact date, so today is as good a day as any.

I have made slow, small progress but it's progress nonetheless. I am grateful for everyone and everything in my life. 

My speech is improving slowly but surely as is my balance and I am no longer on a liquid diet. I still need thickener in my liquids to prevent liquid from going straight to my lungs but honestly it is not so bad. It doesn't taste great but there are worse things out there. 

I can shower and dress myself and prepare my own food despite having limited mobility. I can enjoy being with my wife and daughter. 

I am a lucky guy and I am thankful for everything I can still do and continue to do.

That's all for now, Tyler 

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Thoughts about each country I have lived in

Now that I am back to blogging regularly I thought that I would share with you the overall experiences I had in each country that I have lived in. I will try to go in chronological order starting with Australia the first place I lived that was not the USA. 

Australia was a nice place for a young kid to start living away from home. They spoke English and were very friendly. I still have some good friends there. The biggest downside was that it was expensive and far away from home. 

Next, I moved to New Zealand. Again, everyone was very nice and it was very beautiful but it was also expensive and far from home.

After that, I moved to Colombia where I met Jenny and spent the next 8 wonderful years. I still have many close friends there and honestly I don't know if I would have ever left but Jenny wanted to be closer to her family in Spain.

Colombia is a great place if you don't have kids but raising children there is expensive and the education and health care aren't the best not to mention the security issues and petty theft. 

After Colombia, we made a pit stop in China for two years (Jenny a little less) overall I enjoyed my life there and I loved the chance to go cashless and pay for everything via the phone. However, the pollution and overcrowding sucks not to mention the strict government control. If I had to do it all over again I would try Singapore instead.

After China, we made the move to Spain. I got sick shortly afterwards, but we are happy here close to my in laws and childcare. The government takes good care of you. You do pay more in taxes but Healthcare and education are paid for by the government. So, you receive a lot of benefits from the higher taxes you pay. 

The education system is good, security is good and Healthcare is also good. The life style is overall relaxing and we are happy here and not planning on moving anytime soon. 

The biggest downside is that I am far away from my family and friends. However, I knew that when I married Jenny. It was not a surprise. Luckily, my family and friends can come visit us any time or vis versa. 

That's it for now, Tyler 

Monday, April 08, 2024

Random Thoughts

Now that I am back to actively blogging more, I wanted to share some random thoughts with you. I enjoy this blog because I can express myself through the written word and I don't have to speak which I currently struggle with.

Now on to the blog. I am turning 40 this year and my brother's are turning 37 and 30. My parents will be turning 70 and Eliana 4.

It amazes me how fast time flies. Some days I feel 39,some days I feel 18 and others I feel 99. My body doesn't always respond to my brain. But I am slowly but surely getting back to normal life.

I am truly a lucky man to have a wife and daughter who love me and family and friends who do too. 

Just remember, none of us know how long we have and we will all die eventually, so make every day count.

That is really all I wanted to say. Short and sweet. 

Take care, Tyler 

Thursday, April 04, 2024

A big thank you

I figured it was high time I thanked everyone who helped me when I was sick and I continues to do so. I couldn't do this without my friends and family being supportive financially and otherwise. I am truly a lucky person.

I want to especially single out Jenny, Eliana, my in laws and my parents and brothers. They have all been amazingly supportive throughout it all. 

Firstly, Jenny was 8 months pregnant when I got sick and I cannot imagine having to go through labor and delivery and having to deal with me being sick. She is the strongest person I know.

Secondly, my mom saw me at my worst when I was down to 112 lbs, on a liquid diet, wearing adult diapers because I couldn't control my bladder and I was having enemas and a cathater. Yet she stayed strong throughout it all.

My dad was my personal trainer while I was home in Texas. He was a huge help getting me into tip top shape. We went to the gym 5 days a week and I had a personal trainer named Michael. Between him and the stationary bike and swimming (until I fell down and broke my hand) I was in the best shape of my life. I felt 18 again.

My in laws have been amazingly supportive throughout all of this. Ferrying me to and from the doctor whenever I have appointments and taking care of Eliana. I am very lucky to have them. 

Eliana has also been great. She throws tantrums like any normal 3 year old. However, she is always eager to help me anytime I need it and she doesn't treat me any different than any able bodied father. I love her more than I can say and having her was the best thing I have ever done. 

I also want to thank all of the doctors and nurses and anyone who took care of me while I was sick. It has been a huge blessing that Spain has socialized medicine so I am not stuck paying medical bills for the rest of my life. I know they gave me the best care they could and for that I am thankful. 

I also want to thank my brother in law and two sister in laws. They have all been incredibly helpful with everything and I am very thankful for their support. 

I guess that's it for now, Tyler 

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Current life goals

I wanted to update you dear readers on my current life goals. Goal number one is to be walking and talking normally again. It may seem simple but I can assure you that it is not. It is something that I used to take for granted but no longer.

Walking and talking normally really are miraculous. Secondly, I want to start working and being able to take care of my family financially so even if I have to do it from home. 

Thirdly, I want to give Jenny and Eliana the lives they deserve and I want to be the best husband and father that I can be. Both Jenny and Eliana have given me unconditional love and support (as have my family and friends) and I want to give some of that back. 

I am blessed and lucky beyond belief despite my physical challenges. I wouldn't change anything even if I could. Everything happens for a reason.

 I am very grateful to see another day and if I am lucky, I will have many more to come. However, even if I don't, I am thankful for the life I have already had. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

General Family Update

I realized that I have recently given you dear readers a general health update but I failed to mention my family! I want to rectify that.

First off, Eliana is 3 going on 30 haha. She is ready to be a teenager even though I am not ready yet. She is growing like a weed and recently got her own princess bed. No more kicking me at night.

Additionally, she loves her school, Teacher and classmates. This is great news because she will be there until she turns 18 haha.

She has been a great help to me with my limited mobility. She is kind and patient and she treats me like a normal bodied person. She throws her tantrums like any typical 3 year old but overall I love my daughter to pieces. 

She is completely spoiled rotten by her grandparents as she is the only biological grand child on either side. 

I am extremely lucky to have great in laws who help us anytime we need it and they have put up with a lot these past 4 years with my health stuff. 

My parents have also been amazing even though we don't get to see them as much as I would like due to the distance. They recently retired and moved to a lakeside cabin in the middle of nowhere. The perfect place for them to spend their retirement. They are living close to some friends so I am happy for them. 

Jenny is working hard and doing well as can be expected under the circumstances. She has put up with a lot over the past 4 years and I am luckier than I deserve to still have her by my side. She took in sickness and in health literally. There is no one who I would rather have by my side. I can't wait for the day I return to normal life and I can finally be the husband and father that I want to be, living a normal life. 

My brother's are also doing well and staying busy. I have been lucky to have their support. My grandmother (my dad's mom) is 88 and still going strong. I hope for a lot longer. She remembers all of the important dates in our lives and luckily we will get home this summer with Eliana to see her. She loves all of her kids, grand kids and great grand kids. We are lucky to have her.

I guess that is all for now. Take care, Tyler 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

General health update

I figured it was time I gave everyone a general update on my health and progress. I will start by taking you through my health issues then I will share my progress with you. 

So it all started 4 years ago. I had recently arrived to Spain directly from China. Shortly after that, the valve that drains my excess brain fluid into my stomach failed. It had lasted 35 years but no longer.

I started having headaches and vomiting due to the increasing pressure on my brain. So I went to the hospital here in Pamplona. They initially tried to repair my old valve but it was too old to be saved.

So I ended up having 6 brain surgeries in Pamplona. But none were successful. I had one of my 4 ventricles in my brain block off. This necessitated a surgery to implant a stent on my brain to try and restore flow to the ventricle that blocked off. 

Due to the blocked ventricle, my left eye went crooked and I lost all my peripheral vision in the left eye. I was also on a total liquid diet at the time due to my facial paralysis (due to my shunt failure) I ended up losing weight until I was down to 112 lbs/52 kg.

The stent surgery failed. It was at this time they transferred me to Barcelona where they had more shunt experience. It was there that they removed all the previous hardware and implemented a second shunt. 

These two shunts have a technology that allows them to talk to each other so they avoid the previous problem I had with one shunt working and the other not. So now they work together instead of fighting against each other. 

I ended up having 6 additional brain surgeries in Barcelona bringing my total brain surgeries to 12. If you include my surgeries as I child I have now had 29 total surgeries.

After 6 months in and out of the hospital I was finally released to go home. I started going to speech therapy (my speech has been affected by the facial paralysis) and physical therapy 4 days a week trying to regain my balance. I can walk but not well. I use a walker or wheelchair to get around. But I am not paralyzed thank God.

I need thickener added to my liquids due to my swallowing being affected. But I can eat normally. No more liquid diet!

So none of this is ideal, I have lost a lot of my independence but I can shower normally and dress myself and do most things. So my condition is not perfect but it could be much worse. I am a lucky guy and I know with time and effort I will only continue to improve not get steadily worse. 

I have one more operation to go to correct my crooked left eye but it should be a piece of cake compared to what I have already been through. I have also regained all of the weight I lost in the hospital. 

I am also very lucky that Spain has good socialized medicine so I don't have to spend the rest of my life paying off medical bills. 

The most frustrating thing by far about my current condition is that my mind is healing faster than my body is. So, sometimes my brain will send a simple command to my body and it will not respond. It is frustrating having to relearn to walk and talk. They are simple things that I took for granted. But no longer. Your brain controls a ton of things that you do not even think about until you lose the ability to do them. I look forward to the day I will be independent again. 

So overall, I am happy and doing well. I am lucky to have supportive family and friends. Thank you all. I am also thankful every day for Jenny and Eliana. I love them both. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

March update

I figured that I would blog and let all of my dear readers know how I am doing. Health wise I am still stable and staying out of the hospital thank God. I still struggle with balance issues so I rely on a wheelchair or walker to get around. Everything else is coming together slowly but surely. My speech is still not perfect but it is improving with daily practice.

Eliana is growing like a weed and Jenny is working hard and treating me better than I deserve. I am a lucky guy. So overall, things are not perfect but they are headed in the right direction. 

Til next time, Tyler 

Friday, February 09, 2024

The doctors will operate on Monday

Edit: I wrote this initially in 2021 but I accidently saved it as a draft instead of publishing it. I apologize for the error and I have no surgeries planned for 2024 other than an eye surgury to correct and straighten my crooked left eye. 

So the plan is for me to have the brain surgery I detailed in another blog post on Monday. They have cancelled this surgery twice already so I'll believe when they actually have me on the table.

Obviously every brain surgery has risks and I'm not thrilled about this but as long as the doctors are more than 50% confident they will be successful, I want them to go ahead and try.

Why? Because this is my one shot at returning to a normal quality of life where I can work, take care of my family, walk, talk and eat normally.

If this surgery is not successful then they will put everything back the way it is now but that means that I'll have to come into the hospital 4 or 5 weeks out of the year for the rest of my life to be adjusted. I won't be able to work or live normally.

So needless to say, I am accepting the risks and I want this (hopefully) final surgery to work. 

Worst case scenario is that I die. That would be truly unfortunate for my family and friends. But I'm OK with that risk. The second worst outcome is that I will lose my memory, or my ability to walk, talk or eat. Honestly that would be worse than death for me. But I accept this risk also.

Now, if everything goes according to plan, they will fix me and I'll be back to normal in a week or so. I'm really hoping for this outcome. 

If you are the thoughts and prayers type of person, I want you to send them to my doctors. Give them steady hands and the wisdom to do everything they need to do.

I am looking forward to getting my life back and having many more years with my wife and daughter. I love them to the moon and back and I want nothing more than to be a normal husband and father. 

Saturday, December 09, 2023

I made it home

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am back home in Spain with Jenny and Eliana. My dad came back with me and he will be here until the day after Eliana 's birthday on the 14th.

I am very happy to be reunited with Jenny and Eliana but I am still continuing daily speech and physical therapy trying to slow but surely get back to normal life. 

I am a lucky man all things considered and I know sooner or later I will be back to normal. But this is a maratón not a sprint. I know that I have a long road ahead of me but I am prepared. I am also very lucky that with time and effort I will only continue to improve not get steadily worse. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

general update

I have not blogged in a while but I wanted to give all of yall a general update.

Eliana is now 2 years old and growing like a weed. I am so proud to be her father and she is so smart. I love her with all my heart. 

I am finally stable health wise and still going to rehab Monday to Friday. I still have issues with my balance and stability but everything else is progressing well. 

Jenny is staying busy with work since I can't work currently. I am lucky to have her help.
So overall, things are going well. They could be better of course but I am luckier than I deserve. 

Friday, January 07, 2022


I thought I'd write a blog to share my thoughts on fatherhood now that I'm a year and a bit into this.

I was really hesitant to become a father. I was terrified of everything to do with raising a child and I felt totally unprepared. 

However, Jenny after lots of serious discussion, convinced me to go for it.

So I jumped in head first damn the torpedos. It has turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. 

We have a perfect little girl and she is growing more and more every day. We are so lucky that she is happy and healthy and has so many people who love her. 

I don't mind changing dirty diapers, her crying doesn't bother me and I love every second I get to spend with her. 

Becoming a father has made me realize the depths of love that my parents have for me and there is nothing I can think of that is a greater privilege than being Eliana's dad. 

I hope I get many more years to be with her as she continues to become the amazing woman that I know she will be. I have loved every moment of this journey so far and I hope in the future we will continue to be as lucky as we are now 

Jenny is a great mom and a loving wife I'm lucky to have her by my side during this journey. Both of us have been transported back to a child like sense of wonder as we explore the world with fresh eyes from Eliana's point of view every day.

I truly am the luckiest man alive even though I have had my fair share of struggles. 

Monday, January 03, 2022


 Now that we are well into the new year I figured I would write something. They (the doctors) decided to cancel my brain surgery out of an abundance of caution because they felt while I was ¨good¨ it was too risky to try it. I am frustrated because I feel like I will just go bad again with these two shunts but the doctors have promised if I do go bad again then they will operate. Who knows? This last fix that they did could actually last forever and I won't ever need to have another surgery (but I doubt it). The good news was that I got to spend Eliana´s birthday, my birthday, Christmas and New Years Eve with my mom and Jenny and the baby and all our family here. 

It has been a difficult year for me. 2021 was not great but Eliana is growing like a weed and she is perfect and healthy so I am thankful for that. I have had a rough couple of years but I am feeling positive about 2022 and I hope it turns out better than 2021 did. I am hoping this is the year that we can finally put the pandemic in  the rear view mirror globally. Luckily, Eliana is too young to remember any of this terrible stuff. We have been extremely lucky to stay healthy and not lose anyone close to us to this terrible disease. You never know when your time will be up so you gotta soak up every second to the fullest. I truly am one of the luckiest men on the planet and I am doing much better than some other people. Here's to hoping that 2022 will be the best yet.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

My (hopefully) last operation explained

 Many of you have been asking so I thought I would take this time to dive into a little more detail about my condition and my upcoming surgery. So I was born with hydrocephalus, just bad luck really. I was born 3 months too early and not ready for the world yet. It is Greek for water on the brain. I had excess fluid on my brain and it was causing pressure on my brain. However, I was lucky. I was born in 1984 and they knew about my condition and how to fix it. Had I been born  any earlier and they probably would not have had the technology or knowledge to know how to help me.

The doctors decided to implant a VP shunt on my brain basically a one way check valve that was gravity fed that drained the excess brain fluid via a tube into my stomach lining to be absorbed. This setup worked fine for me (after 3 different shunts from the doctors!) until I was 13 years old and the tube broke. I started having headaches and vomiting and the pressure was increasing on my brain I knew something was wrong! The doctors went in and gave me another tube and all was well until I was 35 years old.ç

My original shunt from 1984 was designed to work for 10-15 years but it lasted me until 2020. In June of 2020 this whole saga started. I won't rehash everything but basically the old shunt broke and they tried to reuse the one I had but were unable too. 

I have had 4 operations since June of 2020, and they decided to implant two programmable vp shunts to control the four ventricles in my brain. So I have one shunt and tube controlling three ventricles and another tube and shunt for the 4th ventricle. 

The problem (in addition to my lazy eye) is that the shunts and ventricles are not playing nice. They are not talking to each other as they should and they are getting out of whack and everytime they do this I have to go back into the hospital and the doctors have to adjust the pressure of my shunts (luckily with these new shunts they can adjust the pressure via magnets and don't have to operate every time)

But for two years now they have not been able to get the pressure right and get me fixed on a permanent basis. It is extremely hard to work or have a normal quality of life when you are living with this uncertainty. I never know how good I will be or for how long. Every time I go bad again, I have to go back into the hospital and my speech and walking are affected. My whole life gets turned upside down.

So my doctors here in Spain finally decided to operate. Their plan was to remove one shunt, put in a stent and allow the four ventricles to talk to each other again. Basically restoring me to how I was before June of 2020. I was very happy that they had finally found an option to (hopefully) get me back to normal! Of course any brain surgery is scary, I was worried about losing my memories or my ability to speak etc. But it was (and is) really the only option left.

However, I found out today that they are delaying my operation. I am ¨good¨ since my last hospitalization/adjustment and they don't want to mess with anything if they don't have to. But I have been here before. I will probably be good for a month or so and then get all out of whack. Of course it is possible that this time they really did find the correct pressure and fix me for good. The good news is that I can spend the holidays with my family and not in the hospital. They have told me if I go bad again, then they will operate so at least I know that I do not have to deal with this forever.

I know this was quite long but hopefully if you made it this far you have a better understanding of my condition and what I have been going through. I tried to avoid technical language hopefully I did ok. 

P.S. Even though I have had some struggles (had to go back to rehab and speech therapy) I am doing much better than some others out there and I consider myself the luckiest man alive to be alive and to get to hold my little girl every day and love on my wife and my family and friends. I couldn't do  this without yall. Thank you. 

Take care, Tyler

Sunday, November 28, 2021

November Health Update

I just got released after spending 15 days in the hospital again due to my shunt pressure not being correct once again. I have now spent 16 weeks more or less in the hospital since June of 2020.

I am getting very tired of going to the hospital but the good news is that even though I have already had 4 brain surgeries they are planning a 5th (and hopefully) final brain surgery for the 15th of December. 

They are planning on removing one shunt and lesving me with only one like I had for 35 years with my previous shunt. 

I am only nervous about losing my memory or personality changes. However, I hope everything will go smoothly with this surgery. 

Amy brain surgery is risky but this is my only and best option to hopefully get a normal quality of life again.

I just want to be able to work and have a normal life with my wife and daughter. 

I love them more than anything in the world so I'm ready to get this over and done with. I hope to be recovered by my birthday and ideally by Eliana's 1st birthday. 

Friday, October 08, 2021

Health update October 2021

 So I will start with the good news first. Jenny and I are all moved into the new house and they are (almost) finished with all the updates they need to do. The baby is growing and happy and healthy. We have food in our fridge and a roof over our head. I am blessed beyond measure. 

Now for the bad news. In late September, I started having severe stomach pain which I thought was dehydration but I finally broke down and went to the hospital and it turns out one of my shunts was broken again. I am so tired of being sick and have stuff break but this is the life that I have and what I have to deal with. 

You know how your parents may have had an appliance that they got in the 70s or 80s and it is still running fine? Seems like it may work until the end of time. However, you buy a new washer/dryer (or whatever) and after like two years its totally broken and you need to get a new one. That is how I feel about my current health. 

My previous 1984 era VP Shunt lasted until 2020 and gave me zero issues other than a small revision when I was 13 years old. However, I now have two of supposedly the newest and best shunts on the market and I have had nothing but issues since June of 2020.

I was finally getting back to work, I worked almost all of September for my job teaching the Colombian high school students online and I managed to get two new in person teaching jobs here in Spain. Everything was going swimmingly or so I thought. I was finally busy and able to provide for my family. 

Then I got sick and had to spend a week in the hospital having one of my shunts and the tubing replaced. For me, a week only, in the hospital is super fast. But because I was still in my trial periods at those jobs, I lost them. They both choose not to continue working with me due to my health. It is extremely frustrating to be back at square one. 

But I still have my 8 hours a week teaching the Colombians (for now) which is better than nothing. I will be back on the job hunt and trying to stay positive and healthy. I have missed my family and friends and I only want to be healthy again and not in the hospital. I currently still have stitches in my head and abdomen. However, I am at home and feeling pretty good all things considered. Now if I can just get back to work. 

I am trying to stay positive and take the good with the bad. Yall take care, Tyler

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Global Inequality Part Two

 Originally, I was going to write a quick status update on Facebook about this but I had like a week in the hospital to sit alone and think about this and yall know that this is one of my passions so this quickly spun out of control into something much longer and something I thought more appropriate for a follow up blog post about global inequality instead of something short on Facebook. For those of you who take the time to read my thoughts, I thank you.

This all started because Facebook helpfully (or unhelpfully) reminded me that 13 years ago when I was in my early 20´s I was making 12 dollars an hour working at a construction related job. It wasn't great but considering that the minimum wage at the time was 5.15 an hour and I didn't have too many expenses so I was doing ok. 

Well once the recession of 2007-2009 hit, my company at the time told us that we could all take a paycut to 11.50 an hour or be released from our jobs. I was not happy but I accepted the pay cut. Then two months later our company was liquidated and I ended up being laid off anyway. That is what gave me the push I needed to move to Australia and start my world travels.

Well I am positive that the fat cat CEO of our company at the time, didnt take a paycut from the millions he was bringing in. When our company was liquidated, I was sure he got a huge retirement package or transitioned to another job without problems while all us little guys who were just struggling to get by were the ones that had to take a paycut on our meager salaries, all for nothing!

Global inequality has only gotten worse in the past 13 years and I am part of the problem as I continue to support a system that makes the rich, richer and the poor, poorer. If you are religious, atheist or agnostic, all of us should realize that the current system is broken. If you are a follower of any of the Abrahamic religions, a Muslim, Buddhist or basically any other main stream religion, your chosen God or Deity would never tell you that Jeff Bezos should have 200+ billion dollars while his workers have to pee in bottles because they do not have enough time go to the bathroom. 

I am going to pick on Jeff Bezos because he is currently (as of 2021) the richest man in the world but he is by no means the only one or even the worst one. In fact, I can´t even fault him for taking all the legal options available to him to get as much personal wealth as possible. But he should share that wealth. 

We should all understand that every human being on the planet deserves to make a livable wage and not have to struggle to keep the lights on or feed their family. It should be a moral imperative, for the religious and non religious alike, to want to help their fellow human beings. Everyone should get a shot at a basic decent standard of living.

I don't have any answers. I don't know how to fix this, I just know that it needs to be fixed. Recently a Saudi King paid 456 million USD for a painting. A painting! It costs roughly 13,000 USD per year to house one homeless person in the U.S., let's be generous and give them an additional 6000 USD per year for food and other expenses for a total of 20,000 USD per person per year.  Using that 456 million dollars you could house and feed 4,385,964 people for one year. All that for the price of a single painting some guy is going to put on his wall and hide away from the world. I am ashamed of humanity sometimes. 

Here are some stats related to Jeff Bezos. 

1. Pay Inequality
The Columbia Journalism Review reported that it would cost just $9 million a year to fix pay inequality in its newsroom. Ensuring equal pay at the Post would be akin to sparing pocket change for Bezos, who would still have $199.991 billion.
2. World Hunger
For the sake of argument, let’s just say it’s a “good” year for hunger and the cost to solve it is on the lower end, let’s say $10 billion. Bezos could pay and still have $190 billion to his name.
3. Extreme Poverty
 The World Bank classifies extreme poverty as living on less than $1.90 a day. To get above the extreme poverty threshold and into the higher poverty groups, you’d need to earn about $3.20 a day.
The math depends on location, but if 804 million people need a bump from $1.89 to $3.20, then $1.05 billion would be needed to close that gapBezos could front the cash and still have just about $199 billion in the bank.
4. Clean Water
Across the globe, 2.2 billion people do not have access to safely managed drinking water services. WRI research estimates that resolving the clean water crisis by 2030 would cost just more than 1% of the global GDP, or roughly 29 cents per person daily, from 2015 to 2030. That number would surely exceed Bezos’ worth.
But Bezos could manage the clean water crisis in the U.S. In Michigan, 140,000 Flint residents have been exposed to lead in their water supply. Replacing all lead pipes in municipal water systems could cost somewhere between a few billion to $50 billion. Even if it cost him $50 billion to replace lead pipes and open up access to clean water in U.S. households, Bezos would still have $150 billion.
5. Education
Perhaps getting the world an education is beyond the powers of Bezos’ net worth, but he could make an outstanding impact. states that $58 a year can pay for the education fees, books and school supplies of one child. Using this math, Bezos could cover this fee for 10 million children, for all grades K-12 at the cost of about $7.5 billion. He would still have over $192 billion.
6. Child Health
A donation of $39 a month to Save The Children can sponsor a child in the U.S. in need. That’s $468 a year. Hypothetically speaking, for $40 billion, Bezos could sponsor 5 million children for 17 years. He’d still have $160 billion.
7. Clean Oceans
The best way to stem the flow of plastic waste into the oceans — plastic pollution could be reduced by 80% over the next 20 years. The price tag on such an ambitious overhaul is $600 billion, which is actually $70 billion cheaper than not overhauling it, because of reduced use of virgin plastic, National Geographic reported.
8. Vaccines
Back in 2006, the study, “Worldwide cost‐effectiveness of infant BCG vaccination” found that for $1.8 million you could prevent nearly 300 cases of severe childhood tuberculosis worldwide, or 450 in Southeast Asia.
Factoring in inflation, that number today is more like $2.3 million. For around $23 billion, Bezos could provide TB prevention for 300,000 children worldwide, or 450,000 in Southeast Asia. He’d still have $177 billion.
9. Homelessness
A 2019 report released by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute determined that it would cost $12.7 billion to end homelessness Bezos could pay that and still have $187.3 billion.
10. Climate Action
The big picture of climate change is pricier. The International Renewable Energy Agency says $750 billion a year is needed in renewables over a decade. Then you’ve got the cost of carbon capturing and storage ($2.5 trillion), $ 2.7 trillion for biofuels — and the list goes on. All in all, you’re looking at at least $50 trillion to solve climate change.

All stats taken from

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

To Eliana

Dearest Eliana, I have loved you since I first saw you during the sonogram and heard your little heart beating. I continue to love you more and more everyday. More than I ever thought would be possible. 

Your mom and I watched you grow from a little ball of cells in her stomach into an eight pound/3.7 kg baby. 

You have been with us for 9 months today and you spent 9 months growing inside your mom's belly. These have been the best 9 months of my life.

Thank you for making me a better person and giving me something to look forward to everyday. When I was sick, it was the thought of you and your mom that kept me going. I hope one day you will understand how truly special you are.

When I hold you in my arms or see you laugh with your mom there is nothing that brings me more joy in this world. I can't wait to see and experience life with you as you grow and I hope that one day in the future you will get to feel the same love that I feel for you, but with your own child.

I promise to do everything in my power to give you the best life possible just as you have done for me. I'll love you forever, I'll love you for always, my baby you'll be.

Love, Dad. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

My one year still alive anniversary

One year ago today I was being wheeled out of the operating room here in Spain after my third brain surgery. The surgery lasted 12 hours and there were some complications but I was alive!

The first thing I remember is waking up in intense pain and asking for Jenny and my family.

The next thing I remember is realizing that my left eye was crooked, my face was partially paralized and I couldn't eat, drink or speak properly. I had lost the lateral vision in my left eye completely and the optical nerves were damaged in both my eyes due to the pressure on my brain. I ended up losing 40% of my vision completely. I am by no means blind but without glasses I do not see well. 

My mind still worked though, I had all my mental abilities intact but it was very scary for me because the doctors couldn't tell me at that time what functionality would return and what would be gone forever.
After 12 weeks in total and 5 different hospital stays I was finally released to start rehab in September 2020. 

I started off my recovery in a wheelchair doing speech and physical therapy 5 days a week. However, in October of 2020 I had a setback. I had to go back into the hospital for 10 days and basically start my rehab over from scratch.

Once I was released I started working hard to regain my ability to eat, drink and talk normally again. I also progressed from the wheelchair to using a walker.

Eliana was born on December 14th 2020. On December 15th 2020 I stopped using my walker and walked unassisted for the first time. My wife and daughter quite literally saved my life.

There were days where the pain was unbearable and I wanted to give up. But thanks to the support of my mom (who had come from Texas) and Jenny (and all her family) I knew that I couldn't give up. I had to keep on trying for that little girl of mine.

I cried the first time I got to hold her and realized there is nothing in this world that I will love more than her and my wife.

Gradually over a period of six months my facial paralysis disappeared and I could eat, drink, walk and talk normally again. After 6 months I got released from speech and physical therapy. I am so grateful to all my amazing therapists (both speech and physical) and to all my doctors and nurses. 

That 40% of my vision is gone forever and I still don't have lateral vision in my left eye. They gave me a botox injection into my left eye to straighten it out (however the effect is wearing off and I think I will have to have an official surgery to correct it)

But I just had a check up with my neurosurgeon here and my shunts are both working fine. Considering where I started from, I am doing incredibly well. I have had many struggles but there are so many other people in worse shape than me.

I truly am the luckiest man alive. I have had excellent medical care here (without the threat of huge medical bills) and the love and support of my family and friends. In no particular order, My parents,brothers, friends and my wife (and all her family) and my daughter have all been amazing. Every day I get to wake up to the smiling face of my little girl. I am not back to 100% yet but I'm getting there and I am so very Thankful for every breath that I have the privilege of taking. 

Thursday, May 20, 2021


 I saw that Dale Hansen will be retiring September 2nd and it inspired me to post this. For those of you who don´t know, he has been the local sportscaster for Channel 8 WFAA in Dallas for 38 years. I never really have gotten into enjoying sports but, I always have enjoyed his commentary/opinions about the social issues of the day.

You see, he has been a constant presence in my life for my entire life. I remember watching him as a kid when my parents would watch the local nightly news. (This was in the days before cable/satellite when we had limited options for TV channels). For as long as I have been alive, he has been doing his job. It is odd to think that he is 72 years old now and getting ready to retire. John Mccaa,Gloria Campos,Tracy Rowlett and Troy Dungan have all long since retired. I know none of those names will mean anything to you (unless you are from DFW) but they meant a lot to me growing up. They were my trusted news source. 

Pete Delkus is the meteorologist who replaced Troy Dungan (Troy had been at WFAA for 34 years by the time he retired). I have never cared for Pete Delkus, he just rubs me the wrong way I guess. But now, he himself has been with WFAA for 16 years after replacing Troy Dungan who was there for 34 years. It is amazing how time flies. 

I am constantly amazed at how old I am (and continue getting older!) Some days I feel like I am just 18 years old (even though that was nearly 20 years ago) other days I feel like I am 80. I don't know where the time has gone and how it has gone so fast. I have been blessed with an incredible life though. I have not gotten everything that I ever wanted, however I have gotten everything I ever needed and more. I have seen and done so much in my short time here. The old saying goes, you can't escape death or taxes and I believe that to be true.  My grandmother is 85 years old and still going strong. I can't imagine how she must feel when she thinks about what has happened over her lifetime and where the years have gone. 

I am currently 36 years old with a 5 month old daughter. I have kept this blog going in one form or another since 2009 so a lot has happened to me over those years (and will continue to happen) I am not afraid of death or getting older but I do hate the fact that time is unstoppable. Eventually it comes for us all. So you need to take advantage of every second that you are given. I cannot imagine what the world will be like when Eliana is 36 years old and beyond. What a journey this has been (and continues to be) for me. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Policing in the United States

 I wanted to vent about this because I have an opinion that maybe many people share. (or possibly no one else haha).

I think most people would agree that the police in the United States are far too militarized in general and kill far too many people of color. As a middle class white guy, I have never experienced discrimination or racism so I won't pretend to know what it is like. I do know a problem when I see one though. The problem of police killing unarmed people is a big problem.

I know there are good police officers. I have police officers in my family and I know the vast majority of police are good and honorable people trying to do a hard job with not enough resources and sometimes not being paid well. 

However, there are also police officers like Derek Chauvin who murdered George Floyd. In my opinion, The problem is not that there are too many ¨bad apples¨ the problem is that the system encourages bad behavior by not holding police accountable and giving them qualified immunity in almost every circumstance they know that they can do whatever they want and get away with it. 

There are also cases like the killing of Ma´khia Bryant, a 16 year old black girl who was killed for attacking another person with a knife. The case has drawn outrage because it is yet another killing of a person of color by the police. However, I do not have all the details. I was not there nor have I seen the video. I am unsure why she was shot instead of tasered but if the media reports I have read are correct, she was attacking someone with a knife (or trying to) and the police officer did what he thought was his only option to save a life.

I cannot and will not judge that officer for what he did as I was not there and I have no idea how I would react in the same situation. However, at the end of the day one life was ended and another saved. I have seen people calling for defunding the police nationally or, for abolishing police departments completely. 

To me, this is absolutely ridiculous. Society cannot and should not function without police.  They provide a good and necessary service to society. However, I have never (and probably will never) have to fear that the police will kill me. My perspective is one of privilege. I do recognize there is a problem and I truly hope for everyone's sake that my country can get it together and make some real changes. We most definitely should be funding more mental health workers and dispatching less police to situations that they should not be expected to cope with. 

That's all. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Take care. Tyler

Friday, May 07, 2021

Nuclear Non Proliferation

Originally I was going to make this a short status update on Facebook but then I decided I would put it here because I had too much to say to fit into one status update. Yesterday, I was watching a short video on Youtube about the very real possibility of humanity going extinct due to nuclear war. In my opinion, nuclear technology should only be used for power generation and nothing else.  No one should have nuclear weapons. 

I believe this is reasonable (although unrealistic unfortunately to think that we will live in a world free of nuclear weapons) because humans have had the ability to kill each other since the beginning of time. However, only since 1945 have we had the ability to kill the entire planet and everyone and everything on it. No one should have that amount of destructive power. We as humans have the ability to kill many, many people in various different horrible ways without killing the entire planet as a side effect. 

The worst feeling for me as a new father is that I am powerless to protect my daughter against this threat. Every parent wishes their child(ren) have the ability to grow up safe, happy and healthy. Unfortunately, our world is populated by fallible humans and human based systems to prevent nuclear war. Frankly, I am amazed that we have gone this long without an all out nuclear war or huge global accident/terrorist attack.

Currently, something like The United States, Russia, China France, The UK, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran and North Korea control all of the worlds confirmed nuclear weapons. With the U.S. and Russia holding the vast majority. Just the U.S. and Russia alone, have enough nuclear weapons to kill everyone and everything on the planet many times over. 

These few countries that have nuclear weapons want to tell the rest of the world that they can keep their nuclear weapons (or even produce more) without consequence yet they do not want to allow other countries to develop nuclear weapons. The U.S. is constantly fighting with Iran and North Korea trying to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons (or producing more than they already have) yet the U.S. is unwilling to destroy their own nuclear weapons. 

If I was North Korea or Iran why would I listen to the U.S. if they are unwilling to do the exact thing they are asking of me, why would I want to listen to them? I am not anti American by any means. But what right do we have to tell the rest of the world what they can and can't do? I am anti destroy all of humanity with nuclear weapons. 

Another way to look at this would be, if I tell my daughter that she can't have any chocolate ice cream but I sit there and eat some chocolate ice cream right in front of her and additionally I am the owner of an ice cream store so that I can produce more ice cream anytime I want and I can refuse to share it with anyone else. The situation that we have with nuclear weapons is exactly the same.

The idea that having a huge amount of nuclear weapons to prevent nuclear war is a bad one. Mutually assured destruction benefits no one. I cannot go back in time and prevent the invention of nuclear weapons. Nor can I destroy every nuclear weapon ever made or prevent their misuse. The current system we have of checks and balances to prevent all out nuclear war is not a good one and frankly I am surprised that we have not had a failure so far. We need to improve this system. 

The best I can hope for is that my daughter can grow up in a better world than I have and maybe one day humanity will be free of the threat of extinction from nuclear war and we can worry about robots gaining sentience and killing us all. Sorry this blog post has been so depressing, I try not to think about this stuff too much because it just depresses you knowing that you can't do anything about it. Gotta live your life to the best of your ability with the time you have. 

For all of the problems that we have in the world, there is still a ton of beauty and good things also. I try to focus on those. Thanks for reading my rant if you made it this far. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Unpopular Opinion: Politics and the global economy are broken

Call me a bleeding heart liberal if you want, but since mid-October 2019, Jeff Bezos' (owner of Amazon) fortune has grown by $80 billion. Based on the year-over-year change in his net worth, Bezos has made $152,207 per minute — and $2,537 per second. That latter figure is more than three times what the median US worker makes in a week.

There is something distinctly wrong with that. I am quite sure that Bezos worked hard to start Amazon and make it the success that it is today. However, has he worked so hard that he deserves to make in one single second, more than three times what one of his workers makes in a week?

I don't think so. While his employees are peeing in bottles to avoid being fired for wasting time going to the restroom, he has more money than entire countries and more money than he could ever spend in multiple life times.

I think it was Lincoln who said “A government for the people, by the people and of the people will never perish from this earth". Unfortunately that is not what we have in the U.S. (or globally really)

What we have is a billionaire and elite political class who control almost all of the economic pie and the rest of us are left to fight over the crumbs, hoping one day to reach the billionaire status yet having none of their advantages.

Politics (at least in the USA) are just as broken as the billionaire class. Our two party electoral system has failed us and the majority of citizens are governed by an elite ruling class beholden to rich donors and big business who have no inclination to care about the average Joe. 

Sadly, the game is rigged before you are even born. There are some European countries that start everyone out on more equal footing by using tax money to finance education and healthcare so at least their citizens can all have the same basic necessities covered. In my opinion, this is the least that any responsible government should do.

However, back home in the United States, there is a very strong sense of independence, pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality. What we don't have is a basic social safety net to help people. 

In the United States, your health insurance is usually tied to your job (if you even have health insurance) you need to pay co-pays at the doctor, monthly premiums and pay for prescriptions along with deductibles out of pocket. An unexpected medical expense can easily bancrupt a family.

Addionally, higher education is very expensive. This automatically puts lower income people at a disadvantage.

I do not believe in governments giving out unlimited free hand outs to everyone and expecting nothing in return. But, people around the world should be able to live a life with dignity having their basic necessities funded by their tax money.

No one should live in a world where one man has more money than entire countries. Everyone should have the chance to create the next Amazon instead of being handicapped by circumstances right from the start.

There was a CEO of a small/medium sized tech company who was making 1.5 million dollars a year (not that much by CEO standards) while his employees had to get second jobs at McDonald's just to cover their basic living expenses.

He decided to cut his own salary to 70,000 usd per year and give every employee a raise up to 70,000 usd per year. Many people predicted his socialist experiment would bancrupt the company. However, now six years later, his company has expanded and grown and his employee turnover rate is basically zero.

This is what happens when everyone is given a fair shake in life. Good ideas and hard work should be rewarded but a CEO who makes hundreds of times more money than one of his/her employees, certainly is not working hundreds or thousands of times harder than they are. 

I can only hope and wish that Eliana will grow up in a fairer world than I have. I am not optimistic though. At least here in Spain we won't be bancrupted by medical or educational expenses. 

OK rant over. If you made it this far, thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

My life in a nutshell

 I recently finished up my memoirs (for now, it's an ongoing work in progress that I plan to continue) and I have had this blog since 2009. I will publish my memoirs at some point but, they are more a gift for Eliana (and just for my own sake) than anything else. I want her to know about my life, her family and where she comes from.

However, I realized that I haven't taken the time to sum up my life in short form before so I thought I'd try now. 

I was born 3 months premature in 1984 with excess fluid on my brain and epilepsy (among other health problems) but against all the odds, I beat the doctors predictions and I was not in a vegatative state.

I had (and still continue to have) two great parents and a wonderful, normal childhood.

Fast forward to age 24 and after living a fairly conventional life in Texas, I decided to move to Australia in November of 2009 after getting laid off.

At that point, I think I had visited maybe 8 countries for short trips and I just planned on staying a year in Australia then heading back home.

Well one year in Australia turned into a second year in New Zealand then 6 months of traveling in South America.

By the time I was 26, I had moved to Thailand to teach English, I left there after a year and at age 27 I moved to Colombia which would be my home until age 34.

While in Colombia, I managed to get married and start living a real adult life. I had great friends and a great job (eventually) but all good things must come to an end.

When I was 34, Jenny and I decided to move to China. After living there for almost 2 years, we decided to make the move to Spain to be closer to her family. 

I was 35 when I arrived to Spain. After about 5 months of living in Spain I had a problem with the valve that controls the amount of fluid on my brain. I ended up having 3 brain surgeries to correct the problem.

Prior to all my brain surgeries we found out that Jenny was pregnant. I was very happy, but during much of her pregnancy, I was in the hospital or in physical therapy relearning how to walk, talk, eat and drink again. My recovery was (and is still ongoing) but after 6 months of hard work I have regained almost all of the physical and mental abilities that I lost.

Eliana was born on December 14th 2020, since that point I have been motivated to get in the best shape physically and mentally that I can so that I can be the best father possible. She has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. 

Now, in April of 2021, amid the corona virus pandemic, I am looking for work again and still working on my recovery. However, I consider myself one of the luckiest men alive. I have now visited or lived in 45+ different countries, survived various brain surgeries, gotten married and had a daughter.

I am blessed beyond measure and grateful for every breath that I get to take. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for me. I married a Saint in Jenny who took care of me while 9 months pregnant and when I was in the hospital for 12 weeks and I have super supportive family and friends. I couldn't do this life without them. For all these reasons and more, that's why I consider myself one of the luckiest men alive. 

Thursday, April 01, 2021


I wanted to write a little bit about motivation. I have had a long, hard six month journey to get better since I had my brain surgeries. Some people have told me that I motivate them and they are not sure that they could go through something similar to what I have been through and still be optimistic about life. I am flattered and honored that people consider me an inspiration. However, I think it is just a question of finding something worth fighting for and keeping that in mind while you go through your struggles. 

Everyone has problems that most people know nothing about. What I have been through has definitely been hard and I would not wish this on anyone nor would I want to repeat it. Although, there are certainly people fighting battles harder than what I have gone through. My motivation has been my wife and daughter. There were times where I wanted to give up, throw in the towel. The pain was terrible physically and mentally. I was unable to eat or drink anything and I couldn't even walk! I think anyone would be depressed in those circumstances. Especially with my facial paralysis that affected my speech, as an English teacher the ability to speech clearly is extremely important to me. 

There were times when I was scared and depressed not knowing if I would ever regain the ability to walk,eat,drink or talk correctly again. But especially after Eliana was born in December of 2020, I made the conscious choice to keep fighting. I was only 35 years old when this happened and I reasoned that I still have a lot of life left to live. 

I started off this journey six months ago unable to eat,drink,walk or talk. Eventually I was able to speak again and with intensive speech therapy and physical therapy I managed to regain my ability to speak and decrease my facial paralysis. I also managed to eat solid food again and drink water, juice and other liquids. 

I moved from using a wheelchair to a walker. I set a goal for myself that once Eliana was born in December I wanted to get rid of my walker and walk on my own. At first it was very painful and I was very weak from all the muscle and body weight I had lost during my operations. But Eliana arrived on the 14th of December and I did get rid of that walker!

But I knew that wasn´t enough. I wanted to be independent again. So I set another goal for myself. I would run on the treadmill and do five pushups. I wanted to be an active father in my daughters life so I knew I couldn't give up. Now I am up to 42 (and counting!) consecutive pushups, 11 pullups and I can run a fair distance on the treadmill. I really have come a long  way in six months. I am not 100% but I am getting closer. Really the only thing I cannot do is drive (due to my loss of lateral vision in my left eye) 

I still hate exercise but after exercising five days a week for six months I am probably in the best shape of my life. Now, I really value the ability to exercise and work at a normal, boring job. I had those things taken away from me for a time and I know it could happen again. Now I place a lot more value on being healthy and doing something boring like going to work. There are many people who do not have that luxury. 

I write you all this not to brag at how amazing my recovery has been, but to let you know that no matter what challenges you have in your life, there is always someone going through something and if you set your mind to it, you can overcome your challenges. You know who inspires me? ¨Team Hoyt¨ this was a father-son duo who ran marathons together (sadly the father passed away recently at age 80). The son was born in 1960 and his umbilical cord got wrapped around his neck and he had brain damage. The doctors said he would never walk, talk or be normal. But his parents refused to believe this. They eventually got him a computer that he could use with his eyes, to ¨talk¨ when his father was 36 years old and his son was 11, the son said he wanted to run a marathon. Obviously being paralysed he couldn't run but he wanted to experience it. His father had never run any long distances in his whole life.

But do you know what his father did? He trained for a whole year pushing a stroller full of concrete 26 miles. Eventually he started running full marathons pushing his son in his wheelchair and they ran marathons together until the father was 78 years old! They ran over 1200 marathons together. Prior to becoming a father I could never understand the love that a father has for his child, however now having Eliana, I can completely understand why he did what he did. Oh, the guy from Team Hoyt? His son who was supposed to be a vegetable his whole life, graduated from college and now designs customs computers to help paralyzed people like him. If that is not inspiring I do not know what is.

I want to end this, thanking all of you for your support. I couldn't have done this without you. I still have a ways to go to be 100% but i'll get there. Thank you for everything and just remember not to give up and keep on going. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021


Now that my health is improving they have started pushing me harder in my rehab. I have always hated exercising and always had low motivation to continue exercising. However, now I believe that I am in the best shape of my life.

I can do 33 consecutive push-ups and recently I have started running on the treadmill. I am up to 9.2 (out of 10) on the speed. I am not running for long, but considered that when I started I was in a wheelchair and unable to walk, eat or drink anything this is progress!

Exercise now represents freedom and independence to me. I now know what it is like to not be able to do anything on your own and I ended up losing 38 lbs (17kg) of weight.

I never want to go through this again and I am motivated to continue exercising because I can. I have the ability to do so. It's an incredible feeling knowing how far I've come and seeing so many other people in my rehab much worse off than me but continuing with their lives.

I will continue onwards and upwards not only for me, but for Eliana and Jenny. 

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Things are moving along

 Now that we are in March, things have been progressing for me. Today is my brother Lucas´ birthday (happy birthday Lucas!) but I wanted to update yall on my progress so far. In the public rehab place, I have been released from speech and occupational therapy. I will continue with physical therapy three days a week (at the public rehab) and my physical therapy at the private rehab. 

I have been approved by my neurosurgeon for my eye surgery (the Botox injection didn't work) to correct my lazy left eye. I am not looking forward to yet another surgery but hopefully this will solve the issue of my balance and headaches and be my last surgery. I am well on the way to normality! Eliana is growing like a weed and I have an interview for a job. I am so thankful to hopefully be working again soon. Jenny has also had an interview so hopefully both of us will be working soon and we can finally get our own house. The only downside is that we will have to put Eliana in daycare if we are both working. 

I decided that in June I will do another skydive to celebrate my one year anniversary since my operations and if my parents get to come here to Spain to visit us, I might even convince them to jump with me! Well that is all that I really have to update you on but things are going as well as can be expected and I am a lucky man. Things could be much worse. Til the next time, Tyler

Thursday, January 28, 2021

January 2021 health update

Originally I planned to write this on Facebook but then I decided to write more details and put it here. For those of you who don't know, in June of 2020 right in the middle of the pandemic, the valve that regulates the fluid in my brain failed after 35 years. I was born with a medical condition called hydrocephalus which means there was too much fluid and pressure on my brain.

After arriving in Spain in January of 2020, I escaped China right before the pandemic blew up and I started working in Spain. 

Everything was going normally until June. Jenny was pregnant and we were both happy and healthy. Then my valve failed. I was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.

At first, they tried to repair the original valve but it was in too bad of shape. Then my second operation, they took out all of the valve and tubing to inspect the flow of liquid. That was also a failure. So I ended up having a 3rd operation that lasted 12 hours and was quite dangerous as a result, they gave me two brand new valves to control the 4 ventricles in my brain. These valves can have their pressure regulated by using magnets instead of operating on me again. 

It wasn't like the movies or TV where they came in and explained all the procedure to me and got my permission etc. They just did what they needed to do to save my life. For that, I am thankful. 

Well I ended up spending 12 weeks in the hospital and I had to leave and return to the hospital 5 different times. It was a huge pain in the butt. I ended up losing about 35 pounds of weight and I was being fed via a tube for a while. 

As a consequence of these operations and in addition to my weight loss, I ended up having a lazy left eye and no perifial vision. My speech was also affected and I have some facial paralysis. I was constantly vomiting and couldn't hold down any food. Due to all the vomiting I damaged my throat from the stomach acid. My symptoms are similar to a stroke even though I didn't have one. 

I have had (and tested negative) 7 different times for covid. I hate those tests but every time I went to the hospital they gave me one. 

My mom came over from Texas back in September when I was still in and out of the hospital. I didn't get to feeling semi normal until October 2020. 

However, since September 2020, I have been going to private rehab and rehab provided by the Spanish government, 5 days a week. 

I was doing speech therapy 4 to 5 times a week plus physical therapy 3 to 4 times a week. At first, the only thing that I could eat was jello due to my facial paralysis. I couldn't even have water! I started out unable to walk or shower or do anything for myself.

Then I progressed to not using a wheelchair but to using a walker. Now I have been able to quit even the walker. 

My left eye is still crooked (supposed to be corrected on February 22nd) but I have regained my speech about 99% all of my facial muscles move (although not like before) I can eat, drink, walk, shower and shave myself. 

I have now been able to decrease my speech therapy to once a week and increase my physical therapy to 4 to 5 times a week to help me regain weight, muscle mass and to help my walking.

So basically I want to say how grateful I am to be alive and for all of the support my family and friends have given me. Everyone was super generous helping us financially since neither Jenny nor I are working. 

Poor Jenny and her family (along with my mom) made huge sacrifices to help me get better and I will never forget it. Jenny was 9 months pregnant and having to deal with my health scare but we made it through!

Eliana is a perfect happy, healthy little girl and the greatest blessing of my life. She is what motivates me to keep going and get back to 100% normal. 

I am also super thankful for the Spanish health care system and the government for taking good care of me. I have received excellent care and have great doctors and nurses. Even if I was extremely annoyed at my loss of independence while in the hospital. 

2020 was crappy for me. But then Eliana was born. I am not 100% and I have been through a lot. However, I am confident that I will get back to 100% slowly but surely. I'm regaining weight and strength and now in January of 2021, I just need my eye to get fixed and work a little on my walking then I will be back to normal.
I am super thankful not to have thousands of euros in medical debt or having to worry about insurance or whether my doctor was in network or not, at the same time as having a new baby. 

Now I will concentrate on getting better, getting a job and being the best husband and father I can be. This has not been easy for me or anyone, but it could have been much worse. I'm alive and more or less in OK shape. I'm a lucky man. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Baby Guide 20 parenting tips to help you survive

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, just a first time father. These tips worked for our baby but may or may not work for yours.*

I have more tips for you... Some of them will be gross but I'm giving it to you straight lol. I'll start with labor and delivery. I only have a short experience with one child but here it is. I hope this can help someone.

1. Define your birth plan and let your doctor's know and let your husband/wife know if you want meds etc. But remember that it may not go to plan. My wife was in labor for 15 hours and THEN they decided to do a C section.

2. Register for a birthing/parenting class in person or online (YouTube has tons of great videos)

3. Starting in week 32 of your pregnancy you will need cream to start doing a perineum massage to prevent tearing. It's not pleasant but I promise it will help.

4. Do not spend a lot of money on baby clothes or shoes they grow so fast its not worth it.

5. Don't buy too many infant diapers because they size up so quickly.

6. Pack your hospital bag at least one month in advance and practice your route to the hospital!

7. Buy bottles that you can warm in the microwave and get a kettle for fast boiling your water for bottles. The stove takes too long.

8. Even if you plan on breast feeding (you should) let your spouse bottle feed him/her sometimes and give yourself a break.

9. Sleep when the baby sleeps but for the first month do not let him/her sleep more than 3 or 4 hours without feeding or they will wake up starving

10. Plastic nipple coverings. Your baby will go to town on your nipple so this will save your life.

11. Bath tub insert you can put inside your tub or sink, when your baby is small, they only need a bath 2 or 3 times a week and these plastic inserts are great.

12. Your baby will make lots of weird noises and may have acne like a teenager but that's totally normal.

13. Gripe water. It is not fda approved but our doctor said because it's all natural it can't hurt her. It helps Eliana with gas pain and colic. Having colic for the first 3-6 months is totally normal.

14. Look up baby colic massage on YouTube. It helps them.

15. Let your spouse change some diapers and bottle feed, don't take on everything yourself.

16. Download the apps, What to expect when you are expecting and Baby+ by Phillips for tracking feeding times etc.

17. Get a sling so you can carry your baby around hands free

18. You do not need a wet wipe warmer, your baby will survive a few seconds of a cold wipe

19. You do not need an automatic snot remover, your baby should be able to clear their snot naturally.

20. Also, get in the habit of feeding your baby for a bit then stopping mid feed to change their diaper then go back to feeding. They do much better with a little break.

Monday, January 18, 2021

2021 so far....

 Here is what I have written in my memoirs so far in 2021. 

We made it to 2021! So far, this year has been treating me well even though we are only two days into it. I am thankful for my daughter and my health even though I still have a long way to go to get back to 100%. I am alive and grateful to be in halfway decent shape. I hope this year turns out better than 2020.

Jenny, Eliana and I made it to midnight on the 31st but went to bed shortly after that. We will see what this year has in store for the Horton Mojica Family. Hopefully only good things, I hope that both Jenny and I will be working before summertime gets here.

Today is January 7th, 2021 and I went to see my doctor again. My doctor at the local health center is a man and he is very nice and helpful. He has helped keep my vomiting under control with medicine and has monitored my progress. At Ubarmin, the rehab center run by the Spanish government, my doctor is a woman and she told me that at least for one more month, my treatment of physical and occupational therapy will remain the same. However, she told me that she is seeing a lot of progress in my recovery.

Until and unless I start having worse symptoms again, I also think that I will continue to get stronger and healthier. Currently, the only thing that I cannot do for myself is drive. Basically, everything else I can do for myself and by myself. My left eye is still crooked, and I am waiting on the treatment for that. My speech is basically back to normal in both English and Spanish.

My walking gait continues to improve, and I am no longer using my walker. I still have a long way to go to get back to normal like I was before the surgeries but after living in Spain for a year now and having such a crazy 2020, I am feeling more confident that unless something really bad happens and I have to go back to the hospital, then I will continue to improve.

I can deal with occasional vomiting and headaches, even though they are not pleasant, if that is the worst thing that I have to deal with then I am doing ok. At the end of January, I will be eligible to take the test to receive my Spanish Citizenship. I plan on doing so. Normally, you must wait five years minimum of living in Spain but because I am married to Jenny who is a Spanish (and Colombian) citizen, I am able to apply for Spanish citizenship after living here for only one year. I look forward to having a passport from the European Union and being able to work and travel freely in the European Union.

I want to try and keep politics out of this book but, something recently has happened back in the United States and I feel obligated to say something. It saddens me that supporters of President Trump have assaulted the Capitol trying to prevent the certification of Joe Biden as our next President. It saddens me that so many people see others as the enemy and not as fellow Americans. It saddens me that so many people believe crazy conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality.

Our two-party system is broken. In reality, I believe that the Democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans and we should be allowed a valid third-party choice. As it stands now, not much is going to change. The rich will continue to get richer and the poor will continue to get poorer. I can only hope for healing in our nation going into the future.

Unfortunately, as of mid-January 2021, both my parents have tested positive for Covid-19 (we think that my mom got it and gave it to my dad) even though they have been wearing masks and generally trying to protect themselves. We are very lucky that they had mild symptoms though. They both lost their sense of taste and smell but that is pretty much the worst thing that they experienced. Both of them are back to work now and doing better. I was super worried about them, so I am very relieved that they are OK.

Sadly, Jason´s wife Lou, her mom caught Covid and was in the hospital for almost three months and she didn't make it. She passed away due to Covid-19. We were very sad to hear that news.

Eliana also has not been doing great as of late, she has colic and her stomach has been hurting her. The doctor tells us this is totally normal and nothing to worry about. It should go away by the time she is three months old. However, I feel bad that she is in pain and not sleeping well. I hope all of this passes soon.

As of January 14th, 2020, Eliana is one month old! I can´t believe that one month has passed already. She is growing bigger and stronger every day. She now weighs more than four kilos or more than nine pounds. She continues to grow in both weight and length. She is perfectly healthy other than having a little colic. I am so thankful my daughter is normal and healthy.

Being a parent is hard work. It is a sacrifice in time, energy and sleep loss. However, I wouldn't change it for the world. She is my little angel and I love her more than I have ever loved anyone in this world. I cannot wait to continue to see her changes both physically and mentally. I want to hear her first words, see her first steps and see what color her eyes and hair will end up being. This world is a terrible place in many respects, but it is also good in many other respects. I can´t wait to see what this world has in store for her and how she will learn about the world. I do not regret helping to bring her into it.

On February 22nd the Spanish government informed me that they are finally going to give me my Botox injection and fix my twisted left eye! I am not looking forward to this procedure but hopefully I will be asleep, and it will be painless, and I will finally be able to see correctly again.

As of January 16th, 2021, I found out that my parents have sold their house in Little Elm. After living there since 1997 they are getting ready to retire and move to a smaller town to live out their retirement. They plan to rent a house in Little Elm for two more years and then make the move to Saint Jo, Texas where some friends already live.

They plan to build a two-bedroom, two-bathroom cabin on some land and enjoy a slower pace of life. I am slightly sad that the Little Elm chapter of our lives is closing, since so many of my formative years were spent there. However, I am happy for them and look forward to visiting a new smaller town. Little Elm is getting too big and city like for me anyway. There are always so many changes every time I go back home.