All in regards to epilepsy care at Mayo

Amen Journey



These lines are so beautiful, yet so real, so tough. But yet I know in the tiniest, minuscule way, what it is like to be beaten. And it was twice as hard for me then, as for I didn’t know Jesus yet. Heard a little about Him, but from the crazy soul that also took his hands to me. So who do I trust? Who do I look to and believe in. Well, sadly, the whole situation didn’t have me running to find Jesus then, it took a year of countless, and unliveable overdoses to get me to call to Him.

My ex and I had no commons. No love. No connection. Sadly, we just had decline from the moment we eloped. All negativity from what was the first song we listened to together after we said I do with strangers, to the night he beat me. First night in our new apartment since my move to Killeen, TX, where he was stationed. My fourth day in TX. He had a lot of built up anger, guilt and stress. Anger I had him in such a predicament in life from where my epilepsy took me when we got pregnant. Anger he had to stay with me due to being pregnant …even though I told him otherwise. Guilt for continuing to cheat on me while I was in Phoenix, first awaiting for my 1st brain surgery, and just after it. His stress I’ll credit him for being listed and unable to talk to me about going to Iraq in the beginning of 2003. But this is life. We both had a deck of troubled cards, but to place lives of loved ones on the line for ones own happiness?? What world did he come from??? We HAD a one year old together, I am just not sure how one could let their anger bust like that. But, I do know for a fact, it runs in his genes… His dad was one anger induced soul. I am sadly, very happy he is no longer a part of my child’s life. Signed her over completely to me in 2009. Sad to show who was wrong. Who felt guilt. Who couldn’t put up a fight for rights, when one didn’t have them, and really didn’t want them from the heart. Only greed and anger.

He took his fist to me night of October 6, 2002. And I didn’t know what to do. We were phone- less. I knew no one. The neighbor believed in backing up soldier to soldier. I didn’t sleep a wink. But thankful my daughter didn’t hear one peep of all that ruckus … And somehow slept so soundly thru it all, like Jesus was cradling her in His arms- guiding her to walk on water thru the storm. She arose, as happily as usual. And her mama did her best to not show any fear. But Lord did I ever brake.

I had to take him to the base that morning, as for it was my car we had- and he wasn’t going to be using it. And he also wasn’t going to be coming back that evening. I had no idea what to do, who to talk to, as for I didn’t know a soul. First person I called was my neurologist. I had to make sure he’d get me clearance papers noting that even though I had just gone thru my 1st brain surgery, I was still a perfect case to handle being a mom. He has always been one amazing Doctor, who saw that thru, made sure I was ok- and saw me thru the disastrous year to come from it. He supported me like I was his one daughter. He saw my struggle with my one daughter and couldn’t have imagined that. He despised my ex. My other phone calls were to a friend I was connected to thru my work from the Marriott for years, he was like my uncle. He listened to all my marital issues, and helped me see clear thru it all. He had this “perfect” life, knew this Jesus guy, and was happy. He was also the one that connected me with my husband of today. How rare is this? So I briefly spoke with who was my friend then, but my husband today, told him what disaster I came upon. Last one I spoke to, my mother. As for she doesn’t deal with reality well. She wouldn’t listen to my truth, and was in denial anything really happened. That is sadly my family. Tory is the one at that point who kept me as sound-minded as I would possibly come. As for I was on a sick cycle carousel ride, and it seemed I just couldn’t get off. Not even for the life of me.

So after the filing of all that occurred, the pictures being taken both on base and at the police department…. They took his keys away, and he was no longer aloud in or on our apartment grounds unless appointment made and with an officer of higher ranking. He only did that once, and not to see my daughter. But to beg and plea I don’t charge him with anything. So my mind was running fast pace, I was so confused, hurt, in anguish. My first answer that came to mind- phenobarbital overdosing.

I was placed on so much of it when pregnant with Tory, it was the first thing that snapped into mind when I felt I was losing my mind from it all. I needed to numb my pain. Shut off lights per se. And whatever the consequences, so be it. I had no faith then, no Heaven nor hell knowledge. Just thought there was an exit door. And a lot of phenobarbital would get me there.

Well, normally at my dose intake, it would take lives. But I guess He did, and does have more plans for me, as for I am still here, breathing, heartbeat, and three brain surgeries and so much else later, able to retell my story. As the parent of Tory, able to tell you how God worked so many wonders for her and thru her, I have no room to begin to tell you. She is like an angel, living here on earth. Placed in my life to keep little me safe, well, and searching until I find my Lord. And did she ever get me there.

We went thru so much together, she really has no idea at this point in her life. Just a little I’ve told her here and there. But I became her sole parent, which felt like a direct gift from God. It wasn’t something I was fighting for. It was something He just gave me overnight. Thru all my struggles I had really no clue until then how close Jesus and I really were and are.

Fast forward, my overdosing began in October of 2002, and didn’t end until October of 2003. That year was rough. I was raising my daughter completely on my own, not partially. I was living day to day half awake, or completely blasted from overdosing Phenobarbital. I was dating my husband of today, which was a lot more than I ever thought looking back, that I could handle going thru, putting myself thru everything I did. But I am so gracious to God I did. He is my everything. My air, my rest, my life. Without him, I probably would not be typing right now. As he snores, with his hand on my typing arm. �� God gave me all these precious jewels, even before I knew Him, as for He knew what was lying ahead- and knew my family couldn’t handle it, wouldn’t be there. He gave me these tough Angels that could deal with rough souls like me. How one can look back in life at the lowest part of their life, toughest, yet have such amazing vivid memories their cherish? Not usual you hear of someone saying their overdosing year was full of amazing memories….. Sounds nuts, but is so true.

I knew come 3rd hospitalization, really, since the 1st, I would never see my ex again except at court hearings. But it was that October that rolled around and I snapped. He had called me from Iraq, which led to an argument as to why did he ever do what he did? Beat me a year prior that had me in such a predicament in life. Well, out of no where he was in denial now. He was denying he had done that after e-mails and phone calls of sorry’s. Well, that call on October 18th , 2003… Hit me hard. Like a stone at a glass house- I shattered. And my answer, was the months worth of Phenobarbital I had not been taking, as for I hated it. But I also didn’t rid of it, I psychologically stored it up for a big thundercloud day. And he was my thundercloud.

The brisk morning of October 19… I popped half my bottle, which was around 4500 Meg’s of death calling me. I called a friend, we went to the gym together and then took our kids to the mall. Had I not taken a friend with me, I wouldn’t be here still. After we worked out, ending roughly around 11 am, I began to feel the fall of my pills, and I just wanted more. More cloudiness. More thought my mind might completely exit even. I never once put my child’s life into range of thought. I just really figured all would be okay, really the same without me. That is what being beaten does to you, brain surgery, phenobarbital. Just up the dose almost 10 x’s.

We were at the mall after I sucked down the other 4500 mg’s of Phenobarbital. My mind was blown. I was not on earth anymore. I bought items for Tory, twice. No idea. My friend knew I was “out to lunch” and didn’t know what to do. So out of no where, except the grace of Jesus- I picked up my cell phone and called the number to my neurologist that he called searching for me on one night in July, gravely concerned of my well being. I called that number, his wife answered. I felt so bad. I didn’t even know the definition of full sentence. She quickly gave the phone to her husband, my doctor. And he advised me to quickly get up,to their Emergency Room.

I told my friend. But told him I had to go home and get ready first. I really had no idea if I even strapped my baby girl into my car or not- but sped out and swerved going 80 in a 40 street. Almost running a red. It was like life flashing before my eyes. Little do I remember from when I got to my apartment to when I found myself on a gurney at my Mayo Hospital. What I do remember is seeing HIM, hearing HIM, and calling out to HIM right before they went to pump my stomach- life got so dark…. Then a light glowed. It was like Him saying, ” this is your second chance” when in reality it was my billionth chance. I had been seeking Him at this amazing church in Chandler, AZ…. went there because the sign had a purple tone to it. But it wasn’t the color talking to me, it was Jesus. And His plans were so Devine , so beautiful…plans to prosper- for good and hope. Not disaster. Jeremiah 29:11 The 29th is the date I got out.

I went thru every step of destruction. Code blue, heart stopping, stomach pumping, CPR. Coma. But it was like Jesus was truly physically with me, but no one could see Him but me. He was my life support. And when I arose, it was like there was not a huge overdosage of Phenobarbital running thru my blood, but His love, His blood, His truth running thru them instead. My head was instantly so clear. It was like I was a totally different soul. When in reality, I was. As for just before my heart stopping is when I called out to Christ…. I asked for a billionth chance to do it all again, except WITH HIM this time. And I’ll figure it all out thru Him, with Him, for Him. He hears these cries. Some more obvious than others. But baby Christians are coddled for sure. But if He hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here. He if filled with so much love and grace for me to screw up in every way possible … But to fight for me? Why? He loves me … You, us… Unconditionally…and that is a fact I have lived thru a million times.
He gave me a heart. I thank Him for that. I love people. I hate struggles. I reach to help. You aren’t alone. If I wasn’t, you aren’t. His plans are beautiful. He gave me the glory and honor of marrying this amazing person he set in my life in such an interesting fashion- the date my ex beat me, five years prior. We we’d on October 6, 2007. Took that day and showed how are Lord beautified it. We conquered Satans actions by having the most amazing marriage after complete destruction….and a child of our own, she has always seen as Daddy since she was barely 2. She sees no differently. He orchestrated it beautifully. How really could I ask for more? You’ll see me complain about my health. But I try to see these days, this particular month more often. That way I know when to shut up, and just glorify Him. His peace has been done, and I am ok with all brain and pain issues. He gave me this family. I am so gracious. Cause I am one who didn’t deserve it.

So much I can’t explain in a blog, so much I wish I could share. But that is as compact as I can get it. I am gracious He gave me all of you.

To God be the Glory, Honor, and Praise to our Lord!!

In His Grip,

Heather/ Hetty Siebens


<p><a href=”″>Grateful To God For You</a> from <a href=””>Hetty Siebens</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to,give you future and a hope.

Psalm 91: 14-16. The LORD says p, “I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name. When they call on me, I will answer. I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will satisfy them with a long life and give them My salvation.”

Psalm 106: 1-3. Give thanks to the LORD for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD? Who can ever praise Him HALF enough?
Happy are those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.

Romans 15: 13. So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep up you happy and full of peace as you believe in Him. May you overflow with hope thru the power of the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 1:29 for you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him.





In Struggleville.

Which isn’t total disaster. A struggle means you are trying to actually get somewhere with it, some sort of progress. When you are just suffering, you can call that baby suffer-ville, end of the road, darkness, just name it- when there is no answer starting to grow on the horizon, it is suffering endless skies. Irony is, today was the date I came in for seizure study #2 to start my new walk to my 2nd brain surgery-way back in 2004. Type of struggle… Had answers and hope. 

Thats basically the adjective difference between Mayo in Phoenix I’ve gone to over 13 years, and it’s ” sister ” property around the corner from us in Jacksonville, FL….. Phoenix has yes a Struggleville to go thru, yet it’s on a horizon of hope. As where Jacksonville just leaves you suffering, and hopeless, completely in the dark with promised call backs that never returned. To actually know that by memory, but then fly out instantly and see first hand from all of my doctors, it was quite the awakening of what that Mayo doesn’t have in store for me, actually, for many.

This one in on the ball. They don’t let things freak them out like me having epilepsy- to steer a migraine medication attack away. They still attack it, just more calmly, and on video, in case I do seize, they have all precautions to stop that in the middle. They watch over the patient that may have a wild reaction to medication, but don’t just give them a medication that could be risky for seizures then send them off their property. Mayo in Phoenix cares that their patient stays well. They love you as their patient, but really don’t want to see you TOO often than needed.

This has been one wild roller coaster ride for me. I’m at the point I can eat again. But my head hurts from my neck/occipital nerve pain- which that also shoots pain into my ears. Just wild. Calmer sadly to say than when I first got here… But it is something I sure am praying dissipates.

I am trying to get off of all anti seizure meds and go on one. Never thought I’d try this one in my lifetime again. I had bad history with it, bad life going on with it, just a full blown nightmare I was living when we first attempted it. We will see how it goes. I am so sensitive to everything. I feel for the docs when I walk in their office here. But God has to have some unique plan still brewing, somewhere … About something, or I wouldn’t have been able to hang on so tight.

Gracious to all your prayers….

Hetty/Heather Siebens



Thank you Dr. Vargas, Dr. Drazkowski, Dr. Stonnington, and Dr. C….. All the Mayo System nurses, food, cleaning etc team… You all make this part of life bearable.

Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do NOT be afraid; do NOT be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

My Home Away From Home in Phoenix from Hetty Siebens on Vimeo.

It’s been a Struggle


    My constant EEG therapist and friend up above….. Luann

    …. One no one could live without.It has been absolutely frightening for me, and utterly painful as well, to sit thru such tragic agony trying to kill this absolutely ugly new type of migraine- most likely hitting me from the constant weather fronts in FL, along with allergies and sinus infections I never used to get. But it’s all there in FL now.

    I’ve been living a nightmare since I got there…. Lord will it ever freak me out to go back. 

    The doctors here are so friendly, logically, smooth, yet all about your quality of life. So if you bring something up that may interfere… They will argue for your defense. They study you, as their patient, as they studied to be who and what they are today … These doctors didn’t leave that in school, nor just hand it over to a different doctor or ED to take care of like the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville,FL does. They strive thru every step figuring out with us, which test is next, which one are we missing. How can we kill the pain, what will guide us, and if not, what meds are best to stop it, not cause rebounds, and have little risk of issues during injection?

    We have 3 meds for direct pain on board, several others that also help while helping other issues. We increased one I seemed to have been tolerating well, even took it back in 2003 well. DHE. It was fine at the lower dose when nothing was working yet, then we upped it. Second dose felt weird. Third I flipped out. My chest felt like someone was 400 lbs and standing on my chest. I could barely breathe, move, nor could I use my forearms. It took hours and a hefty dose of Morphine then Ativan and Benedeyl to calm it down. So that is out of my protocol now. 

    Pain is still there, but I am still here, well enough to tell some of the story. This week should calm down soon, it is just sadness this comes along with having your brain resected. 

    We are altering my anti seizure medication so I’m able to take basically 1-2 types of meds, as long as this one goes thru. This was a tough choice with my history long ago when it came fresh off the market for me in a bad situation…. Keppra. Swore I’d never see that pill again. I was in bad circumstances, terrible meds, post partum when placed on this suicidal drug…. Logic of Alabama. So we decided, it was before all 3 brain surgeries, and the life I get to live today…. Will be interesting to see the difference in it this time, we will see.
    Much love to all!

    Hetty/Heather Siebens

    Ephesians 1:4 

    Long ago, even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.

    First doc above here is my migraine neurologist-Dr. Bert Vargas-gifted heart felt soul….thru whom I am so blessed. 

    Then the one below is the one almost all know about thru me … My earthly god as my Epileptologist-savior of my life, one who lives life, makes sure all live life to its fullest … Dr. Joseph Francis Drazkowski 


    All of this specialists are located at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, AZ… And would change your life forever. Blessed be His name up Above for my guidance HERE.
    As for the crazy loons and toons who don’t know how to communicate with higher staff, nor patients, located in Jacksonville, FL…. You all can suck in the high points and quotas from the Phoenix and Rochester properties …as for we know, we know I do, the south is just a bit slower ALL TOGETHER.

    I am blessed.



    New Me from Hetty Siebens on Vimeo.

    My Man thru My Chaos

    Big kudos, praises, blessings to my husband Christian for being here in the being on the horrifying chaos of my severe pain and treatment/testing at the REAL MAYO CLINIC that cares whole heartedly from docs to housekeeping and beyond. This has been so tough, but wow, what amazing treatment from all in family, MY MAYO, friends, acquaintances, overall God…..Imlove you all…..
    Hope this is over soon.

    Dear Management of Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, AZ….
    You all have been nothing but way past high expectations, life saving, heart wrenching goals…. But can you PLEASE explain the differences between you, as a faculty, and the Jacksonville property. I am appalled, stunned, hurt, angered to the point I am in more pain and nauseous each and every day from the stress of what the ED put me thru here in Jacksonville, what the Neurologist put me thru, what his lack of concern and attention put me thru…. ER’s lack of care and response- most of all- “Dr. Kristin Thompson’s” lack of care, integrity-yet gift of being judgmental???? 
    I called my “neurologist ” the prior week of returning to the ED in Jacksonville, FL, as for my terrifying pain returned. The nurse said he could not return my call until the following week, middle of. Ok. So I clung tight. That rolls around. No call. The end of that week rolls around, zero. All we got was one message the day I called was that the “neurologist” said to take any issues I had to the ED. So….I did AGAIN. As for MY REAL neurologists that care are located on Phoenix property, and have to squeeze me in. They never gave up on me for 13 years, still counting. 
    However this lady doesn’t even look at my full history …. Yes, I almost lost my life from overdose…. But of one, only ONE PARTICULAR medication that my Epileptologist knows that I cannot take- we know that. My brain/body is addicted – not me as a whole. But I don’t have any issue with any narcotic, anywhere. I don’t have any in my house. I don’t call Mayo for ANY. I wouldn’t see a speciality neurologist for migraines if I had that issue. If I had that issue, I would never see my amazing Dr Bert Vargas in Phoenix. If I had that issue still, I wouldn’t see my neurologist that saved me, put his life and job on the line for me, Dr Joseph F Drazkowski. Why is Phoenix so full of care and dignity, yet I’ve only been living my nightmare since I moved to Jacksonville-well, since I moved here in June this year? 
    I have had 3 brain surgeries for my epilepsy by the AMAZING Dr. Richard S Zimmerman. 3rd one done awake. We are quite the team. I am one strong, tough, want everything gone cookie!!! But, we snipped a couple places I was so eager to rid of, that ever since then- (a Few months after my last surgery Feb 12, 2010) my body has been reacting to climate change, altitude, barometric pressure, monsoons- in sporadic ways. All very different. I am slowly learning with each move, which one I can handle better. I have never been in as much agony as I am right now located around the corner from the Mayo in Jacksonville, FL. The pain is unbearable. No pill makes it subside-so why would I even pack on weight and take them?. It is frightening. I am allergic to everything here, and have such sinus issues on top of migraines that make me so immobile it is unexplainable. Yet, this “doctor” sends me to the ED, and that “doctor” gave me 6 minutes of absolute rudeness. She didn’t ask anything about my pain worsening, is it from storms, etc. she judged me as a junkie, told me what she WOULD inject me with, before I had to LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. This is MAYO?? My CAT Is named after this facility. But she treated me like I was foreign. But, never had the guts to even tell me this to my face. She placed this on my record. Please explain to me, why??? What is so different about that place? No one goes to the ED. Go in there- you are in ASAP. They refuse real treatment. I am so confused. Arizona Mayo, Rochester will exhaust themselves before sending you home-clear answers or not. 
    I don’t want money back, we are on payment plan with you all. I love the Mayo in Phoenix. But I am hurt, let down, confused, belittled. After I fought so hard to get where I am today- that doctor, that facility owes me an apology in person. They are a disgrace to your faculty, to your specialists, to your care and concerns. 
    My ex husband beat me 2 months after my first brain surgery, helped lead me to overdosing. But that honestly seemed easier on my heart than this does. I really need to know how to get a clear cut answer.
    We will be moving back to Phoenix in shorter time planned, as for this state has me very ill. We never knew I would ever have such allergic reactions here. But, thankfully it’s an odd blessing to leave them behind …. But I just need clear cut answers. Until then, I continue to fly 6000 miles to see proper specialty doctors in Phoenix Mayo. And I thank you so much for that ….
    Your Patient at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix,
    Heather J Siebens



    To God Be the Glory, Honor, Praise!


    To God Be The Glory!

    Heather Siebens

    I am so grateful my neurologist clued me in on what were my auras, what were not, what were seizures- and my neurosurgeon was able to take the first set of the worst ones out in my 2nd brain surgery, then 3rd awake brain surgery. My Mayo Hospital in Phoenix, AZ always continues to strive to give you a GREAT Quality of life, if not more.


    In His Grip,


    To God be the Glory, Honor, Praise.