Friday, October 30, 2009

Two Things That Have Nothing To Do With Each Other

I was blog hopping today and found two of the coolest things ever. The first is for writers. It's called Write or Die by Dr Wicked. While I'm not crazy about the name, the program is a trip. I didn't get the sound effects, so hopefully it's nothing too gruesome.... But it basically ends any procrastination we writers can have. You go to the site, and enter how many words you want to type in how many minutes. The blogger I got it from did 500 words in 10 minutes. So I thought, okay, that's a good goal. The program keeps track of your time, and how many words you type, so you just have to type.

I ended up doing 811 words in 10 minutes! That's 81 words per minute. DANG! I knew I could type, but that's RIDICULOUS. Talk about MAD typing skillz! SO if you like to write, check it out.

The second thing is the coolest too. It's a contest of sorts, but it's also all about Paying It Forward. Simply enough, if you are one of the first 3 people to comment on this post, you will receive a small gift via snail-mail from me during the month of November.

All that I ask is that you then do the same, and put this on your blog. What a cool way to share a bunch of happiness in cyberspace! As Joanna would say: Come on, my "InterPeeps!" Let's do this thing!
Leave a comment, and leave your e-mail address so I can get your snail-mail address (unless you know I have it already!)
Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Prayer and Sickness

I don’t know about you, but when I pray, if I don’t pray out loud (which I don’t do too often, actually) my mind wanders. I’ll pray for so-and-so who has the flu, then I’ll think of so-and-so who HAD the flu, and that I should call them or e-mail them to see how they’re doing, and then I think about e-mails that I haven’t returned yet, and then the people on the other end of those e-mails, and how they are doing, or something they said, and then…

I don’t think I’m alone. In fact, I know I’m not…. Lisa Whelchel (best known as Blair on the Facts of Life) has a book called “The Busy Mom’s Guide to Prayer.” It’s a guided prayer journal. Every day (Monday through Friday for a month, so 20 days total), she covers 6 areas: Praise, Self, Husband, Children, Personal Influences, and Reaching Beyond. Then every day, she covers a different attribute under those categories. For example, Day One under Praise, is Holiness. So she has guided prayer, including praying Scripture, regarding God’s holiness. Under Self, she has “Role of Wisdom” and so on and so forth.

On every page opposite HER page is a blank page for you to add things you want to pray about, and you can follow her example and write it all out. The first time I went through this book, I just read hers. This time, I am finding verses that speak to ME regarding the attributes she listed, and adding them to the pages. I am also filling out the blank pages.

Yesterday I started working on this, and on the first blank page, the category I added was the “Sick and Infirm.” I found two awesome verses that really spoke to me where I am right now, and where many people I know happen to be as well. The first one is Psalm 41:3.

“The Lord will sustain me on my sickbed, and RESTORE me from my bed of illness.” I changed the “him” to “my” to make it more personal.

The other verse is Malachi 4:2. (I know, MALACHI, right??)
“For those who revere Your Name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing on its wings, and I will go out and leap!”

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t “leaped” in a looooong time! So whether my healing and restoration come in this life, or when the “sun of righteousness rises”, it will surely come my friends!

For those of you that have read this blog for a bit, you know that Joanna and I are doing a Bible study called Me, Myself and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild. The main focus is to stop telling ourselves lies, even silently, and replace all falsehood with the Truth of God’s Word. Joanna said one time that the problem with some folks making a Biblical argument is that they decide what they think, and THEN find Scripture to back it up. Instead, we need to use the Bible as our filter for that which we believe. That REALLY struck me.

Since I have been sick, I have been hypersensitive to people who talk to me about healing. I believe that God chooses not to heal everyone on this planet IN THIS LIFETIME. The Word tells us we will suffer, and I think it presumptuous to think that doesn’t ever mean physically. The problem was, I had made up my opinion BEFORE I had fully investigated what the Word said.

I still believe what I did previously, but I also found my heart filled with much unbelief. I know that God CAN heal me, but I don’t think He will. Maybe that’s not the right attitude. There is a difference between walking around saying, “I’m not sick, I’m not sick” when you ARE, and saying “I am healed in Jesus’ Name.” Because one way or another folks, I WILL BE WHOLE AGAIN, Amen?? And so will you, if you only believe and confess that Jesus is Lord. There is no greater Hope than Jesus. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NOW WE ARE SO HAPPY WE DO THE DANCE OF JOY!!!

Whoooo-Hooo!!!!!

I FINALLY got the results back from the MRI...after calling three times. Ug. Anywho.

NO SIGN of avascular necrosis (AVN)!!!!!!

I have oesteoarthritis. At this point, I'm like, I'll take it! I haven't gotten much information on it, but I know that's it's a TON better than AVN!!

I really thought I wasn't worried, but the relief I felt when the nurse said "no sign of AVN"; I felt my whole body relax. I guess the subconscious is a powerful thing!

I can't believe I'm thrilled to have arthritis...but I am!!

THANK YOU for all of your prayers....I felt them, and I know they helped me not completely fall apart.

Yee-ha!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday MeMe

I love MeMes. So I thought, well, I don't have a regular MeMe, so why not start one? And Monday seems to be the perfect day to start! SO.... Here we go!

1. What did you do over the weekend?

2. What is your favorite season, and why?

3. If you are reading a book right now, what is the title and author?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. What is your favorite beverage?


Thanks for participating! Can't wait to see your answers!
Have a BLESSED week.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bad News, Good News, No News

Well, bad news first. It seems that NO ONE ON THIS EARTH has the cable that I need to make my fancy cool phone work with my computer. SO. I will be returning it tomorrow before the trial is over and I get nailed down for a 2 year contract. Argh. However, I have NOT given up...I WILL find something that works out in the sticks other than dial up, AND for the right price. I WILL!!!!

Good news: Pheresis went like a dream...well, as dreamy as lying in a hospital bed for one hour and five minutes with needles in you arms can be! Yup...only one hour and five minutes! The treatment just FLEW....I think that was the fastest ever. Sweet! So we went to Cabela's (how could we NOT? We were only 20 miles away!) and I walked around waaaay too much. I did, however, find the BEST deal. The cutest little green Florida hat that was originally $30.00 (like who on earth would pay 30 bucks for a little canvas hat with a button and a few stripes???) for {drum roll please.......} seventy-five cents. YUP. So I got two of them. $60.00 worth of hats for $1.50. That has to be some kind of record. THEN I got some REALLY cute Columbia sandals in pink for $10.66!!! I know, I'm amazing.

K. So I got almost no sleep, then had to go to the hospital for the MRI. Oy vey. Hurry up and wait. I get there at 7, as instructed, for my MRI at 8:30. I think they finally started taking me to the MRI area at about 8:45, and then they have a little holding area, where we sat for about 30 mintues. Nice. My nerves were stretched thin enough as it was....they started popping!

The resident anesthesiologist (RA for future reference) was very kind and thorough, and explained everything. They would take me to the holding area, and wait to put me out til we got into the actual MRI room. Okay, whatever.

So we get to the holding room and RA reaffirms the waiting to be knocked out theory. Then this other guy, all in scrubs, comes in and kinda stares at me. So I stare back. I could already tell he was funny. I think his name was Bruce. He said something to the RA about getting things started. I said, "So you're the Anesthesia Man?" He said, "What day is it, Thursday? Yup, Tuesday and Thursday I'm the Amesthesia Man. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'm the Anesthesia Woman." Okay, maybe you have to have no sleep and frayed nerves, but it was hilarious. Then he asked if my hair was purple. I said, yup...and I can tell ya how to do it...you might look pretty cool with a couple of purple stripes....His hair was gray and kind of all poofy when he took the scrubs hat off. Guess you had to be there, but it was funny.

AM: "So I'm gonna take that trach out real quick and see how big of an opening you have."

Me: "While I'm AWAKE?"

AM: "I'll put it right back!"

Me: "Why do you have to do that? It's a 10. You can use a number 6 ET Tube....trust me, I know, I carry one with me!"

AM: "Okay, you talked me out of it."

So RA tells AM (Anesthesia Man) that we're waiting to put me out til we get to the room. AM says, "Why would we do that?" RA says: "Well, we were talking about it in the lounge the other day and that's what most people are doing."

Enter NG (New Guy), bringing in a very flat, very hard looking plastic table with straps all over it. "I've never done that...I think I've seen it done that way once."

AM: "I've done this for 20 years and never did it that way. How many people were in the lounge? Two?"

Me: "You're gonna put me on that thing and TIE ME DOWN??"

RA: "We'll get a wedge and make you as comfortable as possible." Yah, as confortable as you can be strapped down to cement! To AM: "No, really, there were a bunch of people in the lounge."

Me, raising hand: "I'll settle this...I vote for here, because I'm starting to flip out!"

Apparently that's all you have to say cuz the next thing I know I feel a little sting in the IV and I'm in la la land. I woke up in recovery about 11:30. They still had the ET tube in, must have had the cuff up because I couldn't breathe very well. They swapped out the trach.... I coughed it out had to shove it back in with no mirror or anything...Good thing I was half out of it. They didn't put it in right anyway. The nurse recovery was like, "Does that happen often?" I just stared at her...not-so-nicely.

So I'm itching to get out of there ASAP. I could barely walk, but I managed to get to the restroom after Doug helped me put my clothes on, so they let me go. I got coffee right away, and then we got in the car and I fell asleep. Stopped for food in Marshall, and I looked SO stoned. My eyes were half shut and I could NOT open them any further. I was half there and half out. Dont' remember eating, really. Back to sleep in the car, had to go get Jacob from Wayland, then home. Felt a teeny better, but today I feel like I've been severely beaten.

They told me I would be tired and sore. Apparently they had to manhandle me. Nice. RA said even though you're "sleeping" you can still move around, thus the straps and stuff. I have a bruise about the size of Jacob's feet on my arm from the blood pressure cuff. Yes, I said blood pressure cuff. That thing got so tight I thought my arm was going to fall off. I don't know how high they thought my blood pressure was going to be....it's like it was rated to start at 500 or something! And of course they have to do this every 15 mintues. One more reason to get out of there in a hurry!

So I'm a bit battered and bruised, but I'm alive, the MRI is done.

AND FINALLY the no news: which is what I have from the MRI. If I don't hear Monday I'll call.

Sorry so long!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quick update

So tomorrow is plasmapheresis, which is taking a backseat in my brain to the MRI. (I guess that means I have a front seat in my brain, so it must be either a car or bus or something???)

Anywho. I have been through enough medical rigamarole to know that unless you make SURE everyone has their peas in a pod, what is supposed to happen, won't. I got a reminder in the mail for the MRI, and was told to be there 15 minutes early. Now, since I am having general anesthesia, I know from experience I need to be there way earlier than 15 minutes. So I call the MRI office, and ask how early I need to be for general anesthesia. They say one hour, and that anesthesia will call the day before the test to confirm everything. I tell them I will not be home, but actually at the U of M hospital getting another treatment. This throws them for a loop (shocker!). They put me on hold, and actually get the anesthesia people on the line. Very good!

So I ask the this lady what time I need to be there...she says 7 AM. That's what I thought. Nice. An hour and a half. Ug. Then I ask if they have it noted that I have a trach. No, as a matter of fact, they don't. (See what I mean?) She asked what kind, and said, oh, that's no biggie, we'll just swap it out. I started laughing, and she was like, what? I told her how some folks were practically giving birth over the fact that I had a trach and needed an MRI under sedation. I said, "They're anesthesiologists, I think they can handle it!" Then SHE started laughing.

Anywho. If you could please keep Doug and me in your prayers, that first of all pheresis goes well, and that Jacob does good at Grandma's again, that the MRI tells us what we need to know about my hips, and that it's NOT avascular necrosis. Also, that I come out of the anesthesia quickly and without consequence. Thank you so so so much!! I know I am calm and not freaking out because people pray for me, and God hears and answers.

Have a wonderful rest-of-the-week!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh What A Night

What a night. Twenty years...it was like being in some kind of bizarre time warp. Like here are all these peple I have locked in my mind at 18 year olds...like we've all gone through the age-progression photography they show on TV sometimes, yet in 3-D!! I have to say that overall, the women aged better than the men. Some of the women didn't look more than a year or two different (so unfair), with a much less '80's hairdo of course. Some aged beautifully, some gracefully, some, not-so-much. For name tags we all had our senior pictures on them with our maiden and married names, and our spouses had their names with our pictures. Now, my graduating class was only about 125 people...so when you look at someone and go: I have no idea who that is, you're hoping it's a spouse.

There were 2 women there last night who would definitely win the "most amazing looking after 20 year awards." Talk about brilliant, beautiful, polished women. It was a trip. And since they are both wonderful PEOPLE on the inside, it just makes you all the more pleased they are doing so well and looking terrific.

Lots of irony last night. I honestly thought I would leave being upset and thinking, "All these people are normal, have normal lives, are healthy, happy, successful..." And some are, I'm sure. But lots more aren't. Whether they were there or not, we heard of divorce, alcoholism, cancer, serious kid trouble.... I left last night thinking, I have an amazing life! Gosh, so many with unhappy marriages. So sad.

I was also amazed at how many of the men were totally bald! I mean cue-ball! And since we graduated in '89, all these guys had mullets...so it was HILARIOUS.

Lots of questions about me...the trach, what happened....I made a few people cry, which made me feel bad...one guy I've known since we were 5 years old...that broke my heart. My life is SO GOOD compared to some.

When Doug and I left, we walked outside through a bunch of the smokers, and I couldn't resist.... I shook my "scolding finger" at them, pointed to my trach and said, "See what happens if you keep smoking????" Some of them just jar-dropped, others looked away, and a few were like, is that what happened??? I kind of chuckled and said no, but I do say that when I see kids smoking!

So I had to explain quickly...I got all choked up, which is dumb, since I had been talking about it all night, but I just kept saying, I have a great life.....and I do!! Some of these people, my age, people I've known my whole life...are just broken inside. It was so sad.

So instead of leaving, crying and being jealous of everyone there, I left thinking, they should be jealous of me! I have an amazing, loving, faithful husband, a beautiful, crazy smart, healthy, happy miralce boy, and I love the Lord. And I know He loves me.

So to those precious friends, who told me they pray for me, who read my blog that I didn't know about! (hi!), thank you!!! Please keep praying and reading....God is so good.

To those precious friends who weren't there last night, for whatever reason....we missed you!

And to those precious friends who are hurting, who are struggling with bad marriages or addiction, or trouble with their children....I will be praying for you...that you get to know the God I do....and that He will heal your broken hearts, because He is the only one who can.

Overall, what a wonderful night. I got to see some good friends, have a date night with my husband, and was reminded that my life is AWESOME, all in the same night. Oh, what a night!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

20 Years

Wow. Tonight is my 20th high school reunion. TWENTY years. I was 18. That was SO long ago! Some of the things that have happened to me in 20 years:

I graduated college. (I was a nanny for a year, at home, during college, and finished in a year and a half, so I really went to college in 3 1/2 years.)

I had 3 different jobs between college and getting sick: substitute teacher, cashier at Office Depot, and Towne Air Freight.

I tried to go back to work once after I was sick, couldn't do it.

I went to St. Louis to see the arch. VERY cool.

I went to Niagra Falls.

I went to California, twice.

I used to go to Chicago all the time for the weekend.

I met my best friend ever.

I lost my best friend ever to cancer 12 years later.

I had my tonsils out (at 25).

I started having MG symptoms 6 months later, (July 1995) but went undiagnosed until I was hospitalized, half-dead, in 2000.

I've had almost 200 plasmapheresis treatments!

NOT including pheresis days, I've spent about 100 days in the hospital.

I met my amazing husband (after meeting many bozos).

I got married...twice...to the same man. ; )

I have been to the Wisconsin Dells (first time ever!).

I went to the Mall of America, twice.

I went to New Jersey.

I went to Copper Harbor (on the hottest day ever recorded there, 105 degrees! I hate HOT WEATHER!!!)

Doug and I used to go to Escanaba (ya, in da U.P., eh?) three times a year for a week.

I've been on the best vacation ever: drove across the country, through 11 states, staying in Colorado for 5 days, on to the Grand Canyon, back home on Route 66. Awesome. (But Amarillo is VERY stinky. Lots of cattle!!)

I had an amazing child.

I've had 3 dogs, 2 I still have, one we had to put down. : (

I've had a trach for 9 of those 20 years.

I've grown so much closer to God through my trials, and I wouldn't change anything I've been through. It's what got me where I am now, and I like me a lot better now than 20 years ago!

I've have met people I've loved, and people that I have not...I have been wounded in some ways, and made whole in other ways. I have loved and I have lost. I have gained and I have expended. I have laughed...and I have cried...oh, how I have cried. But is all comes down to this: I KNOW that my Redeemer lives, and THAT, my friends, is TRULY all that matters. This life is so fleeting, so fraught with trouble...but on the other side, no more tears. No pain. No anger. No hurt. No night. Hallelujah.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NIV)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Saga Continues...

So I'm still chugging away on dial-up.

I went to see Samantha last night, and she worked through every possibility of why this thingamadoodle (or as Jacob would say, "fingernoodle") wasn't working. Turns out it's "definitely" the USB cable. Apparently, especially with laptops, the cable they sell (which needs a special adaptor) doesn't always work. (Well, then, 1. Why do you sell it, and 2. Why don't you carry the one that works???)

You can actually buy it on line for 1/2 the cost, including shipping, but as most of you know, I'm not so good in the patience department. So I got the one from the store, but it didn't work. So last night I sign on with the morse code modem and tried to find the cord online, but of course everything was taking FOREVER to download, so I just gave up. Since I was up at like 5:45 this morning, I thought I'd try again, and I found it. Yee-ha! Hopefully it ships today, and I MAY have it as early as tomorrow, but it could be a week.

The only other thing it COULD be is my antivirus thingy. Somehow it sees the phone as a virus and won't let it in. So I asked Samantha what I would do then, and she tried explaining; I saw her lips moving, but I swear all I heard was "blah blah blah". I just kind of glaze over when you talk about anything computer-esque other than blogging or e-mail. Or facebook. I just don't care, I don't WANT to learn, I don't CARE if I can save $50.00, I'd rather just take it somewhere and say, "Fix it please."

Doug does our taxes. Just another example of our wonderful differences. I cringe just thinking about it. He puts in, by hand every single deduction we have, every item donated...every book, every item of clothing, everything...it makes me crazy. He's like, no problem. He gets the tax software and it walks him right through it. Of course, he IS a good Dutchman, and needs to save a buck where a buck can be saved. (Well, dollar..."buck" isn't a great analogy since it's almost hunting season!)

I think part of the reason I am this way is this is the way my parents were. My dad was always working, and didn't have the time (OR the patience) to fix stuff. When he did try, he'd get so mad if it wasn't perfectly done in about 30 seconds, he'd get totally ticked off and start yelling and throwing things...so when Doug starts a project like the taxes, I guess I have flashbacks! :P

Anywho....I digress. I'm hoping like mad that in a couple of days I will be zipping through cyberspace and able to watch videos!!!! Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Technology??????

Ug.

Okay. I have a Bachelor's Degree. I graduated college cum laude. My high school GPA was like 3.8. Do you think I can load software and use some cool new doo-hickey to go online???
Um, that would be a NO.

Curse dial-up is what I'm saying. I truly love where we live, and the minor inconveniences (like waiting 10 minutes for the bank page to download and then having it time out...) aren't even close to all that I love about it. Dial-up, however...oh my WORD am I frustrated! We're talking VHS compared to Blu-Ray. (I don't really even know what Blu-Ray is, I just know it's the latest).

I had a chiropractor appointment yesterday, and decided to not rush home and stop at Radio Shack next door. I had heard about getting a cell phone that you can connect to your computer to go online with, and it would be way faster than dial up. Well, fantastic, right? But the price had to be right...I won't pay more than what we already pay for internet and phone, because we really have pretty good deals with both. Whenever the phone lines get damp, though, we get really bad static and can't hardly talk on the phone, let alone go online.

So I go in, and the sales chicky (Samantha, who is awesome) tells me all the details. Turns out it's exactly the same price as what we pay now....Whooo-Hooo!!! And basically, between the miutes per month, and the 5 numbers I can call free whenever I want, plus free nights and weekends, I'll never pay for a phone call on top of the monthly bill. No long distance charges ever, no roaming charges, ever. Suh-Weet!!! So I'm all excited, get home, tell Doug, who is all excited, and go to load the software for the internet access.

Yah. The computer couldn't find the phone. I'm like, dude, it's RIGHT HERE!!!! I tried EVERY USB port on the computer. I called Sam, she said unistall everything and start over. So I did. Did it work? Um, nope.

I may be able to manage a blog (barely), manuever around the internet, do e-mail, whatever, but that's about the limit of my technological intellect. And it makes me crazy. It's just one of those things I just don't understand, and don't really care to. I just want it to work. I want to get on the computer, and have it do what I want it to; what I've been told it can do. And when it doesn't, I get CRAZY frustrated.

The computer is my only social lifeline right about now. This is where I get 90% of my support, encouragement, information about EVERYTHING, how I keep in touch with people because I never get out...and I just want it to WORK!!! Ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm taking the whole kit-n-kaboodle in to Samantha later and she said she would get it working. For my sanity, I hope so!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Being Thankful On Purpose

Well, it's DEFINITELY time again for me to pull my attitude out of the crapper and be thankful on purpose. I have so much to be thankful for, and just need to concentrate on it today.

1. I am thankful that God's mercies are new every morning. NO matter how badly I screw up, He will forgive, truly forget, and start every new day with a clean slate. That needs to be number one on EVERYONE'S thankful list.

2. I am thankful that we have a wood burner, and don't have to pay up to $3.00 a gallon for fuel oil to heat our house. I'm thankful we have woods all around us and don't have to pay for wood. I am thankful that Doug is able to get all the wood we need for winter by himself, so far.

3. I am thankful that my husband is a Christian man, has a good job, is hard working, faithful, trustworthy, loving, a wonderful providor and a great dad. (He's awfully cute too!)

4. I am thankful I have a beautiful, healthy, smart, loving, busy, crazy, amazing, gregarious, precocious, full-of-life little boy, when I thought I never could.

5. I am thankful for the friends that I have that I know I can count on for WHATever, WHENever. Thank you for letting me know that I can depend on you, call you in the middle of the night (only for an emergency, I promise! :P ) I love you and appreciate you more than you can know.

6. I am thankful I have this computer, (as much as I complain about dial-up) because it allows me to keep in touch with everyone I love.

7. I am thankful for music. It moves me like nothing else can.

8. I am thankful that although I have health issues, I can see and hear. I can walk, and talk, maybe not perfectly, but I can.

9. I am thankful that this life is not all we have. That when the time comes, I will be in the presence of God Almighty, and I long to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant." I will be whole again. There will be no more night. No more pain. No more tears. I will be reunited with those gone before, and meet fellow Christian friends I have not had the privilege to meet in this lifetime.

10. I am thankful to YOU, the folks reading this blog, who take the time to read my words.

May we all find something we are thankful for today. I'd love to hear what YOU'RE thankful for...leave a comment!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not-So-Stellar Weekend

I'm so glad there are no Mommy police living with me. I would have been hauled off to jail this weekend. Oh my GOSH I didn't know someone so tiny, whom you love and cherish more than life itself, someone who looks at you with big, adorable, not-always-so-innocent blue eyes, who can melt your heart with "I love you Mommy" at just the right time...I had no idea how ANGRY they can make you! Yesterday was one of the worst Mommy days of my life. Maybe the worst. Jacob was driving me crazy. And that makes me feel HORRIBLE. I felt like SUCH a failure as a mom. How can you get so angry and frustrated and want to smack your own CHILD???

Doug was busy outside all weekend again, since it wasn't raining, getting things ready for winter. It's all stuff that needs to be done, and since it's been so crappy out (gotta love Michigan) he hasn't been able to take Jacob out with him. Tooooo much "Mommy and me" time, I guess. I mean, I know that everyone needs a break, and everyone needs time away from their kids, but when you find yourself so angry and impatient...I literally had to walk away from him once because I was SO mad....I couldn't even see straight. I felt like the biggest loser on the planet.

The child is SO stubborn! I mean, I am stubborn. Doug is stubborn. But Jacob? We're talking a whole new level of bull-headedness. He REFUSES to go potty on the potty. He'll sit on it, he'll stand in front of it, but will he go? Nope. He will wait until he gets in the tub, or has his diaper back on. We've tried special big boy underwear, talking to him, bribing him...NOTHING works. Some people are like, "He'll go when he's ready." And I kind of get that, but most of me is like, "Oh my GOSH I am so sick of changing poopy diapers I could puke." Plus, Jacob is getting so big, it's getting difficult for me to even manhandle him to change him. I'm about ready to just let him walk around naked and make him clean up the mess if he makes it. Yeah, like THAT would happen.

Then we have the not eating thing...anything edible that is. If it's not SUPPOSED to go in your mouth? Jacob will try it. Yesterday he was licking the bottom of his shoe. Anyone who knows me, and how I feel about germs, well....it's just EXTREMELY ironic that MY child will put anything disgusting in his mouth. He will eat dirt. He will lick his shoes. He was sucking on the hammer yesterday. Anything vile and disgusting. Yet if he gets one SPOT of food on his hand, OH the horror!

I went outside yesterday afternoon with my purse, keys and Jacob, and completely fell apart. I told Doug I had to get out of there for a few minutes before someone died. Didn't know who would get it, exactly, but I knew it was getting bad. I didn't even take my suction machine! I don't think I've EVER left the house without it. I am NOT like that. I think part of it may be the drugs. Why can't side effects of medication make you like, not want to eat, super skinny and happy? Of COURSE not. They have to make you fat, hungry all the time (like hide-the-small-children-and-animals-hungry), have raging mood swings, and make you angry. I mean stupid angry. Ug. I put my head on Doug and I was like: {sobbing} I'm a failure as a mother. My child will graduate at 17 from Harvard, and still be licking his shoes and not peeing on the potty!" Doug, to his credit, not only did not laugh, but also told me I was a great mom. (Brownie points to you, babe.)

Anyway....I guess I'll be done venting for now...Today has got to be better, right?????

Friday, October 9, 2009

Do Not Mix

Sleep deprivation.
Prednisone.
PMS.
Chronic Illness.
Pain.
A 3 year old who has more energy in his little finger than Mommy does in her whole body.

I would highly suggest not combining these conditions. They are not conducive to life. I haven't decided yet if they are conducive to survival. Doug will have to let you know at the end of the day, when he gets home.

So seriously. It is RIDICULOUSLY unfair how busy children can be, then not sleep all night, and have it not effect them in the least except for possibly making them more cranky and oh-so-fun to deal with. Lately, Jacob has been saying "Mommy, I can't sleep." Now, before you say, well, maybe he can't! He says this before he even gets in bed. Then he says it again when his eyes are almost closed. Then, if he wakes up even slightly, he forces himself from sleep and says it again. They he says it at 6 AM and crawls in bed with Mommy and Daddy, ensuring neither Mommy or Daddy get another moment's sleep. (Well, Daddy might, God blessed him with the ability to sleep like a bulldozer.)

I am entirely too old to have a 3 year old.

So I told Doug 1. Jacob's bed goes into his room (finally) THIS WEEKEND. 2. No more naps. Jacob took kind of a long nap yesterday, and then was up half the night. The day prior, he had NO nap, and went to bed at 9, and slept til 8. MUCH better. So today, if you pray, please send one up for me. And probably Jacob. And Doug...we will not be taking a nap today, and Mommy is already exhausted (and it's not even 8 AM!!). Thank God It's FRIDAY! I reminded Daddy that today would be a reeeeaaallly good day to get out on time, or even early.

So if you live around here, and here the crazy-train paddy wagon, it's probably just me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

FINALLY!

I finally have my MRI scheduled! Thursday, October 22. The MRI appointment girly called to set up an appointment, and she's like, "Do you have a particular day that would work better for you? We do the MRI's with general anesthesia at 8:30 in the morning."

I was like, and here I thought the planets had to align before I could get in, that the "forces that be" couldn't figure out what to do with me because I have a trach. Oh the drama.

On a lighter note, my son is hysterical.

These are a few of the conversations we've had lately.

Jacob, screaming like a steam engine choo-chooing: "Whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"
Daddy: {very loudly} "Jacob, this is loud! You need to use your inside voice. {very quietly} This is your inside voice. {very loudly again} This is a loud voice. Do not keep getting louder and louder."
Jacob: "You mean fortisimo?"
Daddy, looking at Mommy for an interpretation. "Did he just say fortisimo?"
Mommy: "Yes, do you know what that is?"
Daddy: "Nope. Great. My 3 year old is smarter than I am."
Mommy: "It's a musical term meaning to play loudly."

Unbelievable. He just turned 3 less than 2 months ago.

Mommy: "Jacob, Jacob, Jacob. {who had been outside with Daddy playing in who knows what} you are dirty, dirty, dirty."
Jacob: "I certainly am!"

Certainly?????

Mommy: "Okay bud, here's a bunch of shapes we can play with."
Jacob: {holding up a parallelogram} "Is this a parallelogram?"
Mommy: {slack jawed} "Why, yes it is, Jacob!"

{crickets chirping}

This is my favorite: I have been trying to get Jacob to understand that when he makes a choice, he has to stick to it, and that his words have meaning. He is a typical 3 -year old in that he will say, "I want to eat." We get all set to eat, and he says "I don't want it!" And back and back and forth. Well, USED to go back and forth. Not anymore!

He's kind of like me in that he's a word nerd, and loves words. He'll hear a word and say, "What does that mean?" if he doesn't know. So I've been telling him (maybe 1/2 dozen times or so) that his words and actions have consequences.

Mommy; "Jacob, do not throw that [plastic] rock in the house again!"
Jacob: "Okay Mommy."

Jacob, a minute later: "Mommy, I did something."
Mommy: "What."
Jacob: "Only a glass." {looking at me like, Chill, Mom...YES, he started calling me MOM!!!}
Mommy: "SHOW ME."
Jacob takes me to Daddy's water glass, perfectly turned upside down on the carpet. It HAD been full of water.
Mommy: "Did you throw your rock again?"
Jacob: "Yes."
Mommy goes to get the spoon, and Jacob gets a spanking.
After a few moments of hysteria at the horror of being disciplined, I call Jacob over to talk.
Mommy: "Why did Mommy spank you?"
Jacob: "Because I didn't listen. I threw my rock."
Mommy: "That's right. You directly disobeyed Mommy. What happens when you disobey Mommy?"
Jacob: "Consequences!"

Life is NEVER dull around here!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

God's Timing and Sense of Humor

God is hilarious. No, seriously. I’m not being disrespectful in the least. Let me explain.

Yesterday, as I was skulking about like a petulant child, I decided to do my Bible study, thinking maybe that would clear my head a bit. Never realized I’d be getting my butt handed to me on a platter!

Joanna and I are doing the study “Me, Myself, and Lies” by Jennifer Rothschild. Let me tell you about this woman. She’s spunky. She’s itty-bitty. She’s beautiful. Never a hair out of place, just plain polished. She’s also been blind since the age of 15. But let me tell you, this woman can throw down with the best of them. She has given me the “what for” in this study on numerous occasions, and today was no exception.

As I was pouting about my life and frustrations, and feeling a wee bit sorry for myself, I stopped acting like a 2 year old long enough to pull out the Book. Today’s lesson was on faulty assumptions. Let me first define the word “assume” (not the way you may have seen it before) and the word “presume.”

Assume: 1. To take upon oneself. 2. To pretend to have 3. To take as granted though not yet proved.

Presume: 1. To take upon oneself. 2. To take for granted. 3. To act or behave with undue boldness.

In Latin, the root of each word is the same, -sume, meaning “to take.” The Hebrew word for our word “presumptuous” means arrogant, proud, or insolent. This is an “aside” here, but I am a “word nerd.” I love the word insolent. I also love my Synonym Finder (my favorite book next to the Bible. If I could rescue two books from a fire, it would be my Bible and my Synonym Finder!)

Insolent: impertinent, audacious, presumptuous, sass, out-of-line, brazen, shameless, impolite, ill-mannered, uncivil, mouthy, rude, disrespectful, arrogant, crude. {sound like a 2-year old or what?}

Now THAT’S a jam-packed word!

Okay, so where I am I going with all this? According to the author, faulty assumptions lead to wrong thinking and emotions, which lead to presumptuous behavior, which usually leads to sin. For example, if you feel that you will never measure up (faulty assumption) you may feel or think you are just not good enough (wrong thinking). That feeling may lead to making poor decisions that try to make you feel better about yourself (presumptuousness) and you may engage in behavior unbecoming of a Christian woman (sin).

Check this out: Jennifer says, “The Greek word for “presumptuous” [in 2 Peter 2:10] is tolmetes, meaning “a daring man.” My friend, to engage in assumption is to be presumptuous. It is to be a daring woman in the worst possible way! It is to take for granted that your way, your view, and your opinion are worthy of forming the foundation of your thoughts. Only GOD’s way, view and opinion are worthy of becoming the foundation of our thought closets!…Presumption shows itself in me when I wrongly assume my perspective is complete but it is actually limited by my experiences and flawed by my sinful nature. The fact that I act on my presumptions implies in the depth of my heart I trust and prefer my view above God’s” {emphasis mine}.

IIIIIII know! OUCH! Talk about enough “food for thought” for like, a month! But this is only one day in this incredible study. Ponder that for a while though…When we base our thoughts, feelings and actions on what WE believe to be true rather than on God’s Word, which we KNOW to be true, we are basically thumbing our nose at God and telling Him we choose to believe our pathetic version of truth over His REAL one.

My dear friends, isn’t it time we let go of our faulty assumptions? Isn’t it time that we ALL bury ourselves in the Word of God to learn our real value and worth? I cannot recommend this study highly enough. It’s tough. It’s daily assignments and a lot of work. It takes effort to do it right and you’ll get out of it what you put in.

I have had so many “light bulb” moments my house is starting to look like a marquis! But that just goes to show you that when you let in the Truth, the Light will follow!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Roller Coasters and this Thing Called Life

I'm sitting here staring at the screen debating. Do I post about this? Or this? Do I post the happy, cute-sy, my-child-is-funny-and-brilliant stories? Or do I spill my thoughts? Do I share my gut-wrenching grief, or just tell a few jokes so I don't depress anyone?

I guess you are all privy to the battle in my mind today, and I'll just have to work it out on screen. I am grieving over Linda all over again. This one yar marker has been more difficult than I ever imagined. I have NEVER in my LIFE been a "visit-the-cemetary" kind of person. I always thought it was bizarre. Especially when people talk. It's like, hello, no one is in there! But I am completely COMPELLED to go! I haven't yet. But I miss her so much... I understand it now.

Joyce Meyer wrote a book called Battlefield of the Mind. Is that not the most appropriate title? I believe 90% of our "issues" are in the mind. Because it is only when my mind is weak, when my emotions take over my life that I feel frustrated, lonely, isolated, angry, and just plain depressed. If I can stay at the place where the Lord is the center of my universe, the capturer of my thoughts, the basis of my emotion, then life is bearable. But to stay in that place...therein lies the battle.

I suppose it's the oldest battle of all time...good verses evil. It's the theme of TV shows, children's tales, movies, Christianity...I imagine the list goes on and on. The constant struggle to stay on top of the never ending cycle of temptation, worry, defeat, hopelessness, anger, frustration. Disappointment.

When Paul wrote about fighting the good fight, well, my friends, he chose his words well. This is a fight. It is a fight to the Death. Or Life. I need strength to continue. I know that my strength comes from the Maker of Heaven; I also know I need encouragement, and I just plain haven't been getting much. Doug has been working his tail off in the quonset hut getting ready for winter...and those of you who know him know he can't do anything half-way. He built an entire workshop in the back corner. He had to move the deer cleaning station back a few feet to fit the boat in front of it, so he tore the whole thing apart and rebuilt it with a different design. He built racks for all the wood he has in there (mostly 2 x 4's, 2 x 6's, wood flooring) and moved it all piece by pice, BY HIMSELF onto the racks. We look like Menards now. So it will be wonderful when it's done; in the meantime, it's all me on the homefront.

Stop the roller coaster please. It stalled on the corkscrew part and all the blood is rushing to my head and I think I'm going to pass out.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Health Update on Me

First of all, thank the LORD my treatment went really good yesterday. Perfect, really. Needles went in on the first try (hurt a little, but nothing too bad). I ran really fast, which is always good. The slower the machine runs, the longer the treatment, the more physical stress my system is under, and the longer it takes me to recover. SO: running at 115 is about top speed, and that's where I was at the end. They have to start a little slower and ramp up. (In comparison, 3 weeks ago, during the entire vein/access debacle, I was running at about 80, and they had to keep slowing me down.)

When I first got there, I asked Lynn to page Dr. Teener, and ask him if he PLEASE had a moment to come up and talk to me about what's going on with the MRI. After all, it's been three weeks and I've had no info other than from the neuro. nurse, "We're working on it." And I'm really not that concerned about having avascular necrosis (AVN), I just want to find out what it IS that's causing the pain.

So in walks Dr. Teener before my treatment even starts! He was there to see a different patient. When he was done he comes over and asks how I'm doing. I said I would be much better if I knew what was going on. {You see, Dr. Teener would defintely be an UNDER-communicator, and I am without a doubt an OVER-communicator, (no, really!) so having a conversation is very interesting}.

However, he expressed his frustration over having put it the paperwork for the MRI two weeks ago, and not getting any results. Apparently the hang up is anesthesia. Which I'm like, hello, people are sedated for MRI's at least as often as they are awake, so what's the problem?? (Especially in emergencies).

Oh.....the trach. Well for the love of Pete any idiot could place an e.t. (endotrachial tube) in a trach hole. I could do it if I wasn't unconscious! I asked him if they were waiting for the planets to align or what....he said apparently.

So this is where we stand: I am to call Tim (the neuro nurse) on Monday morning. If an MRI is not scheduled, Dr. Teener said he will go to his contact, a good friend, in Neurological Radiology.
I'm thinking...Hmm...you have a contact in NEURO-RADIOLOGY and didn't think to talk to him prior to all this? Ug. And he is my BRAIN doctor. Actually, I do have to say Dr. Teener is one the the best in the country. He is still my favorite doctor, even though right now it's a bit dicey.

The hip pain isn't overwhelming...in fact I haven't been needing pain meds during the day most of the time. I have to be very careful to walk very straight, because any twists or turns and I'm a goner. It's veeery interesting when I step on one of Jacob's toys and try not to twist, rotate, wrench my back or fall. I'll just let you get that image going in your mind...

My eyes are starting to act up a bit, but I'm sure it's just stress. (Stress is the number one thing that exacerbates M.G.) Between just every day life, my medical issues, this MRI looming over me, and the anniversary of Linda's death, it's been a bit trying lately.

Thanks for all your prayers....Lord knows I need 'em!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Dear Linda

Tomorrow I am going to Ann Arbor, so I probably won't post. However, I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to acknowledge that tomorrow will be one year ago that my best friend on this earth went to be with Jesus.

You can read about Linda's battle here. Linda and I had been best friends for over 12 years. We met at work (Towne Air Freight) and became fast friends. Linda was the best friend you could ever ask for. She was loyal to a fault. She was generous and kind, a wonderful listener...the kind of friend you knew you could call in the middle of the night and she wouldn't be upset. I remember doing just that when my boyfriend at the time was in a semi crash. I called her at 3 AM just to ask her to pray, and she told me to call her back as soon as I knew something.

The best part of our friendship was when we worked late second shifts at TAF. It was SO much work, but it was a blast. We always had fun. We also live in the same apartment complex, and pretty much had dinner together every night after we were both on days. We were inseparable.

I had a sister, Michelle, who was killed in a car accident when I was 16. She was 18. She and Linda were 4 months' difference in age. I told Linda she was the sister I had lost. Certainly not a replacement, but an addition that God so blessed me with. We were so close.

And now it has been a year since I have seen her or talked to her. I saw her the day before she died. I knew it wouldn't be long. She wasn't Linda anymore. I held her hand, and I just couldn't help it, I put my head down and sobbed. The grief of seeing someone you love so much suffering...it was almost more than I could bear.

I think of her every day. I still think, "Oh, I need to call Linda! She won't believe this..." But it has been 365 days since I have been able to tell her anything. I can't watch Rachael Ray on TV anymore, because Linda got me hooked, and ever time I see her I just get sad. EVERY DAY I think, "Oh, Linda would LOVE this! Linda has GOT to see this! I can't wait to tell Linda about..." And then I'm jerked back to reality and remember that she is not here. And my heart aches. When I just needed to talk to someone, I always went to Linda. With anything. With everything. Now when I just need to talk, she is not there.

The only thing that keeps me being completely swallowed by grief is that I KNOW she is in the arms of our Savior. That she has no pain, no sorrow, no tears. She is healthy and whole and as angelic there as she was on earth. What a comfort to know that she knew God, that she loved Him, and knew that He loved her. There is Hope beyond the grave.

But to my dear Linda: you were my most precious friend. You were really more like a sister. I miss you more than words can express. My heart is still broken from not having you here. I miss sharing things with you...I am crushed that Jacob will not know his Auntie Linda until we are all reunited again in heaven. You were a light on this planet that not enough people got to see. You were the best friend a person could ever ask for...and more. You were joy and goodness. I love you, my dear friend, and I miss you so very much.