Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More Set Backs? Bring Them On!

Thank you to everyone who stops by here on a daily basis in hopes of finding some shining nugget that my health is on the rise. I am attempting most days to remain optimistic and hopeful that God is in the works of making this glorify Him. It's hard when you wake up again and find only pain and then realize why is this happening and to what can God use this for.

Some days are darker than others even when the sun is shining outside among the brilliant blue sky. It beckons you outside to come enjoy the warmth and all that life has to offer that day. Yet some days it's hard to count the number of hours between pain pills for when you can take the next one and hope that it will help this time. However once pain relief does kick in, it's hard to remember your not OK. The pain will come back, but it's also during those times, I try and move through life as normal as I can, doing as many things as I can that I would. Whether it's taking the kids to the mall, picking up the house, unloading the dishwasher or simply sitting downstairs so my hubby doesn't come home to find me still in bed, it's a start.

So over the weekend, I watched Joyce Meyer's ministry since I've been reading her book The Power of Simple Prayer and wanted to see the author. I love her! She is amazing. I know if I lived next door to her, she would be at my front door each and every morning telling me to get up and get to living my life, no matter what I felt like. It could always be worse than it is. So what if I have to take pain pills to get moving? Take them and get moving. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Rejoice in what life you have been given, thank God you are still breathing and do something to work for His glory. Thanks Joyce. I needed to hear that!

So despite the long wait for specialists to finally see me, I know that once that process begins I will find out what is going on. So I wait. With God. Holding on to simple prayers that begin at times to sound like the very same prayer but God is still grateful we talk everyday. He never gets tired of hearing me tell Him what is going on. In fact, He loves it!

The best part of the message I gained from Joyce's segment on TV this week was her definition of a set back. Ready for this?

A set back is a set up for a come back.

WOW! Could you seriously take that all in? Did you savor each and every word. Once God touched my heart on hearing those words, I felt differently. A set back, (my health), is a set up (preparation in the works) for a comeback (for me, better than what I was before). I love this!

God is preparing me through this particular series of setbacks to set me up for a comeback! If not something just as good as I had before, something much more fulfilling and wonderful, especially if it comes from God. We all know that God has the best laid plans in store for each and every one of us.

So my friends, the message is the same to any of you in the midst of your own personal storm. A set back is a set up for a comeback. Are you ready for it? Can you weather the storm no matter how long it takes?

We just need to remember who is the captain of the ship we are sailing on, it's God. He will get us through it and towards the other side where He has something special waiting. We may just be on a row boat, an inflatable raft or even a cruise ship, but God is in control.

"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out." Isaiah 42:3

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Can You Comment on That?


Remember when you first became a blogger and you didn't quite understand what comments were or even how to leave them on other people's blogs?

Do you remember how you felt when someone first left you a comment?

I can! I can remember all of these with a huge grin and a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. It's what happened when I awoke one morning following a dream I had that I believed was inspired by God. He told me to start a blog and even what the name should be.

Now how to go about beginning a blog shouldn't require a college degree to get it going, and in fact thanks to Blogger, with simple and easy to use templates, I was all set to go and launch publication once I figured it all out in a matter of hours.

I think the biggest challenge was figuring out just what should I say for my first post. Should I talk about the purpose of my blog? Or about who I am?

I think I went for a combination of both.

What started out as a online journal of sorts, turned into so much more. I wanted something to look back on in a years time and see just what kind of life I have lived in the last year. I wanted a written legacy of the good times and bad times. I wanted to see how I weathered storms and how I got through them still in one piece for the most part.

What I didn't expect was that there would be people out there, all over the world, who would browse the internet and stop at my blog. Not only stop there, but read what I had written. Why did what I write even make a difference to someone?

But it did.

They let me know.

In a comment.

In that one small box that appears at the bottom of each post we read, lies a window to share with the author anything you wish to say, good, bad or hopefully not ugly.

I was in heaven. Never before could one person imagine just what a comment could do to you personally.

People cared.

People related to you.

People shared something in common with you, both through your good times and bad ones.

People are good, no great when they inspire you with their thoughts, their time and their loving words that fit in a box that make your day.

As an author each day of what comes to mind to write about, I love to hear what it means to you, personally.

Did it impact you? Did it encourage you?

Did it make you laugh or cry?

Did it make a great memory of the past come fading back into the light as though it happened yesterday?

Not sure if this makes sense to any of you but I wanted to take this opportunity after blogging for almost a year now to let you know just how much comments mean to me personally. They are worth so much more than any amount of money you could ever give me.

They inspire me. They tell me you care, you've read what I have written and it's not even important whether you agree or disagree, it matters because you've taken the time to share with me your thoughts and feelings. For that alone, I love you one and all and would whole heartily share with you to take the time to let people know you've been by, you've read what they have written and how it's impacted you.

You just never know how your one comment can make a huge difference in how that person's day is going and how you just made them smile more than anything that could have happened that day.

Comments do that for bloggers. They are payment and rewards from you, the readers. Please take the time to comment today!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Welcome Back!

Ah it still feels like a long winter's slumber. The kind where it remains dark in the mornings, a kind of chill hangs in the air and the warmth beneath your bed covers keeps you snuggled in and not wanting to venture out. This is the part about the winter I love and adore. The chill and the cold.

It draws you near to warmth whether it's a fire, an oversized blanket, a warm cup of tea or coffee or just in the arms of those you love. Winter does that. It reminds you that while the world outside can remain cold and seemingly unfriendly, warmth comes from all kinds of places and love abounds at all times.

I stare out from my bed at a beautiful gray sky and I can still see snow upon the peaks of our local mountains. I love the view from where I wake up. Beyond the rooftops of the houses, I see the landscape God so beautifully created. A view for me. A view of hope.

There is always hope despite whatever circumstances we find ourselves knee deep or even neck deep in. We merely need to look for it, search for it, and continue to seek it daily, or even hourly.

Despair can settle in where hope use to reside. Our goal is to keep hope alive. Even though this has not been the Christmas I had hoped, it changed a lot of things for me.

Baking cookies is not a necessity, you can still buy what you love in the bakery and still enjoy them.

A clean, organized house, isn't something your family ever notices, it's your absence that they do.

Life will always go on, even though you, yourself may not be present in it. That's OK. It's the way God designed it.

Friends and family do care. They will let you know by calling you, emailing or even leaving you heartfelt comments on your blog.

You are never alone. God is always with you and He will never leave your side.

I've had a couple of rough days with Christmas being the worst for my health. I was able to be up long enough to enjoy the kids opening presents and calling family. Then the pain became too much and called me back to bed where I am the most comfortable. I slept a large portion of that day away.

The doctors appointments are scheduled and now I still must wait to be seen to find out what my other options are. Until then, I wait with hope, I remain faithful in my walk and I continue to seek the Lords will everyday until then.

Monday, December 21, 2009

From My Heart To Yours

I just wanted to let all of you know that I am taking some time off from blogging this week to spend some time resting and enjoying the final days before our celebration of Jesus' birth. I will resume after Christmas and hope to have some great news for you by then.

Thanks to all of you that continue to write and email me with fabulous scriptures and words of encouragement. It means so much to me right now, and you'll never know that very special place you all have in my heart right now.

For those of you that participated in the Christmas card exchange, I wanted to let you know that it's been so fun getting Christmas cards in the mail from all of you. I love each and every one of them. Mine were mailed this weekend, so expect them this week.

This week, spend time with the ones you love, family and friends, and really let each and every one of them know just how much they truly mean to you. I love you all and have a very Merry Christmas from my heart to yours! May God bless each and every one of you for getting to know you all through the wonderful world of blogging. May He continue to pour out His grace and love to all of you through 2010 and looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Back to Square 1!

Just when you think your life is slowly changing for the better, you realize that you were headed down the wrong path anyway.

After today's failure of a doctors appointment, my primary care doctor wants me to be referred to both an OB/GYN and GI specialist. She basically acted as though today was our first appointment. I had to remind her of just what has been going on for 2 weeks now. She said she just received my CT scan which was faxed over to her on 12/4 and she is just going over the results of it today with me.

She said well I think you pain is coming from a multi-cystic mass on your left ovary that is 6.5 cm and needs to be removed. So you will need to schedule a doctors appointment with your OB. I explained I just did this last month when I was having this pain and the cyst was 1.8 cm but my OB said it was nothing to be concerned about and I have a history of having them come and go. She really insists this is the answer to my problem.

Then she also explained that I do have an inflamed colon and that should be addressed by a GI even though that probably isn't the cause of the pain.

Nice news huh? So we are back on square one, still taking the antibiotics for good measure, have to turn in a stool sample tomorrow to make sure the C-diff is gone cause they lost my first one I dropped off a week ago, went to the GI specialist today to get schedule for a colonoscopy on January 6th and I have an appointment with the same OB on December 22nd to go over those findings from the CT, since my primary thinks this is it!

So now I get to lie in bed, eating pain medicines to control my pain levels until my doctors can all decide on just what is wrong. My GI suggested it may be just all three combined and suggested I take Tylenol for the pain. Did they fail to understand I am living in my bed as much as I can, can't walk and eat pain medications? Suggestions anyone?

So you can see where I will be at for Christmas but think I need to blog at this time just in case anyone else finds themselves in this same medical boat. Please continue to pray for me and keep me in your prayers. I am confident that God will answer my prayers and heal me soon according as always to His will.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Living in a Fog

Ah lately it seems like my life has been on a foggy road lately. Can't see what is up ahead only what lies right in front of me.

So much going on and what should be the best time of the whole year for me, has been sitting back, resting in bed, praying that this stubborn infection will go away and that life can resume a bit of normalcy for me.

My days consist of daily pain medicines as the infection seems to be digging in and trying to find a permanent home despite all the recent foreclosures in the past few months. I ran through my first dose of antibiotics, Cipro, which for me didn't really do much. The pain still persisted and in fact on my last three days of taking them got so bad, I was taking the pain meds as often as I could.

On Saturday, I ended my Cipro and began the next round of antibiotics called Flagyl which is supposed to be a stronger one. Those appeared to be working well and for almost 3 days had virtually no pain. I attempted to go to church on Sunday and felt the rush of pain begin 30 minutes before service ended. Quietly I prayed to God that I needed to be at church and could He do anything about the pain. It didn't work and I was popping pain meds in church so I could get a handle on the pain before it got too bad.

So my life in a nutshell is taking the girls to school in the morning, hopping back in bed and using a heating pad to keep the pain at bay, sleeping as much as I can, and that is where I stay until the next day. I don't have the energy to get out of bed and the pain can be so overwhelming, for me, it's better to stay where I can rest and sleep. Steve has been getting home early enough to grab the kids from school, so I can stay in bed. I mean how much fun does that sound like?

So where do I stand now? I have another doctor's appointment tomorrow at 10:45am to go over my blood work from this past Monday and discuss what is going on. The saddest thing for me is just how depressing all this can be. I sit in bed most of my day while life goes on around me. I feel like I exist in my home but in a different state than everyone else. I envy those people that can get up and just walk around their own homes, sit in church in no pain, and just go about their day to day lives and I just sit and live for pain free moments in my day.

I've been crying more than I usually do because I feel like Christmas is slipping by, and the things I used to enjoy like visiting the light displays on peoples homes, baking cookies, shopping for the family for Christmas, and just attending church is all being robbed from me. I've been reading on line just how difficult it is to get rid of C-diff and how fatal it can be as well. Doesn't that just do wonders for my Christmas spirit.

So my dearest friends, please send encouragement and prayers my way if you have the time. I would also encourage you to savor these moments when you can get around, and enjoy time with family and friends this Christmas. You just never know when those times will be taken from you for a season.

Please continue to pray for my dearest niece Mea and if you haven't grabbed her prayer button on the right, please do so and encourage everyone else to pray for this sweet angel. We will know something on January 13th whether she is improving or getting worse. I however believe God will grant us a miracle.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Greatest Gift of All!

Too often during this time of the year, we are often caught up in finding that perfect gift for a family member, a child, or even a close and dear friend. We may spend hours looking over catalogs, websites and even store shelves looking for something that will convey the feeling we have for that person deep down inside.

We want something that will last the whole year if not more and each and every time they look at it, it will convey that very message to them. Yet, we are missing the point.

Nothing we will ever buy for someone will provide that feeling we are hoping it will. It may last for longer than a day, perhaps longer still but not the feeling we hope it will for the entire year if not longer. The only gift that truly does offer that feeling is the one that God provided almost 2000 years ago. It's the reason we celebrate the Christmas season. Its not for the gift-giving or for Santa, or all the junk that goes hand in hand with this time of the year. It is the gift God gave us by presenting this sin filled world with His very own Son!

God sent us this perfect child who would live for some 33 years and experience the worst kind of abuse at our hands, the worst kind of discrimination and the worst kind of punishment all for the sake of restoring our relationship with God, the Father, so that when this life for us ends, we, who believe, will have an eternal home with our Savior and God. It is the gift of love.

It truly does last longer than anything we can ever buy. Rich men and women for years have tried to buy happiness but realize it doesn't ever last. It's because love can not be bought. It can't be earned. It is a gift that is freely and unconditionally given. Along with a measure of grace because we can't earn our way into Heaven, we must strictly just believe with all our hearts, all of our minds, with all of our strength and with all of our spirit that Jesus died to restore that break between men and God, and was raised again so that by believing in Jesus Christ, we will have life eternally.

What greater gift honestly could you ask for? If you already have that assurance of salvation, we should be seeking to share it with anyone and everyone who doesn't. We need to show them through our actions that love that Jesus has shown all of us. So that by our actions alone, they might be won over and believe.

It's Christmas time and there is no greater gift than love. Won't you share that gift with someone today.

I believe, do you?

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Asking for Sweet Prayers for Mea! ~ UPDATED!

Good Monday Morning everyone! I wanted to take today to share a special request from my little sister, Ann Marie. She called me on Friday to let me know about a special prayer request she has for her daughter, my niece, Mea! Here is the story from my sister:

Mea was approximately 6 months old when I was watching her play on the bed and realized her eyes were not dilating the same. On her well baby visit with the pediatrician I explained what I had noticed to him. Upon examination (shining the light in her eye), he as well noticed that her pupils did not dilate the same. We were referred out to a pediatric ophthalmologist who noticed a black dot in her left eye. After further examination, I don’t know the medical lingo for it, but basically, it was discovered that while she was developing in uteruo, the iris of her left eye did not fuse all the way closed – hence she has this hole in her iris. At the time after basic eye exams on such a young child (she was only 8 or 9 months old) he didn’t believe there would be any issues as she was still tracking objects and the main components of the eye was in tact.

Fast forward to December 2008. Mea is 5 years old and we decide its time to have her see an optometrist just as a routine visit… it was discovered that her vision in her left eye (the problem eye) was much weaker than the right eye. Essentially her right eye was the one seeing for her. She was given a prescription for glasses and we were told that hopefully since the discrepancy was found at such a young age ---- (apparently your eyes continue to strengthen until the age of 9 or 10), that with constant wearing of her glasses, the glasses may help to bring her vision close to normal.

It’s now November 2009 and its time to see her pediatrician for Mea’s annual check-up. In discussion we talk about the visit last year to the optometrist and the discover of the weaker eye. The pediatrician immediately sends out a referral for the pediatric ophthalmologist and states he wants a medical doctor to see her. We are referred back to the same doctor we saw when she was a “baby”. So last Wednesday we go to see the specialist. Thankfully, I thought enough to request the records from the optometrists office to take with me and the specialist still had Mea’s records from when she was 8 months old! He has Mea complete a vision exam with her glasses on – at which I believe I heard him say, she failed. She failed with glasses on? K He then dilates her eyes and we wait…for 30 minutes. Mea says things are blurry and fuzzy and we try to make the best of our wait by me reading to her and giggling.

We are called back in the office and the doctor completes another exam of Mea’s eyes while they are dilated. We are then informed that Mea’s current prescription is too strong to which we are given a new prescription for glasses. Her right eye is the one seeing the whole world for her. Her left eye is basically just sitting along for the ride. Her brain appears to have shut off the visual cues that her left is functioning and able to see. We have six weeks before we are due back to see the pediatric ophthalmologist in hopes the new prescription has had some effect to stimulate the eye to work. If at that point the eye has not shown any improvement, he will have to “patch” her working eye to force the “Lazy left” eye in hopes to see and work. It comes down to, if we can’t force her brain to accept the visual cues, her brain my just shut out any information from her left eye – basically going blind in that eye.

I hope this is what you need and please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks again so much! Hopefully some prayers are just what the doctor ordered!!!!.....

So I implore you to please pray for this sweet angel. She is 6 and has a heart of pure gold for God. May we stand united for healing in her eye and that in 6 weeks she will be healed. I ask for all my prayer warrior friends to please pass this request along and even link it to your blogs for prayer as well. We know God is faithful and we know he cares! Thank you in advance Lord Jesus, that even now you are working in her life to heal her. May you pour forth your grace and comfort on my sister Ann Marie that she will have the knowledge, bravery and strength to deal with whatever God's will is. In Jesus Mighty Name we ask this, AMEN! Please grab Mea's prayer button on the right and add this to your blogs. My thanks go out to Ms. Edie for doing this for me.

Please continue to reach out to Loren as well at The Magoos News as she has some exciting news to share with all of you prayer warriors! God is truly a magnificent God and will answer all our prayers if we ask it in His name and according to His will.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Toy Packaging ~ Friday Funnies

I love hanging out at Kim's place at Homesteader's Heart, especially on Fridays. It's where we can all participate in Friday Funnies and this is no exception. For all of us that will be parents with kids asking us to help them open their toys, this video is for us!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blessed Thankful Thursday ~ December 10, 2009

Oh how this week has flown by and last week I was completely lost in a deep fog. However in keeping up with my Thankful Thursday posts, I am joining with Sonya at Truth 4 The Journey and listing 5 of them here.

1. I am thankful I am on the road to recovery. After being sick for so long and in pain for longer than I care to remember, I am moving in the right direction. I am thankful for my prayer warriors who sensed something was wrong and immediately began praying, emailing me and calling me. You have given me encouragement when I was down!

2. I am thankful I did not have to return to the hospital to get my diagnosis or to get better. Due to my doctor's diligence in getting the test results back and taking some aggressive action prior to knowing what was wrong, I am able to recover at home and had a 4 day head start on the treatment. Praise God. I was also able to get a doctor's appointment through a cancellation a day earlier to give me peace of mind and treatment right away.

3. I am thankful of all the hours in the day, that only a few of them remain with pain in them. It could be worse, I could be in pain for all of them, for now, only about 1/5 of the day I am dealing with the affects of the infection. I am thankful that I had pain meds available to me that I have been able to take during these long weeks. I will be so thankful when I am painfree!

4. I am thankful for a husband that made a difficult decision on Monday to risk losing his job to take care of me and see that I was able to be treated and took me to the doctors a day early to get my diagnosis. He was able to return to work the next day.

5. I am thankful for a Lord and Savior that is never too busy to heal me, in His timing and in His way to provide all the glory due to Him. I only need to offer up the prayer, believe with all my heart, and keep my eyes and heart focused on Him. Jesus took care of the details. I can now give Him all the praise He is due all day and night long. Praising God and Thanking Him for this Thursday and all the blessings in it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Hustle and Bustle Mission

Ah this lovely time of the year where it gets chilly enough outside to pile into a heated car and head to our local mall to get some Christmas shopping in. With lists printed out on who wants what and a small supply of cash, the family pairs up and decides just how will they launch their tactical assault on the mall.

The objective, to get in, buy what you need, and get out without losing your Christmas spirit!

Sure the objective always starts out valiently enough, but just where does it all go wrong?

It usually begins before you even get to the mall. Someone will undoubtedly forget their money, their list, their purse or gift cards they planned on using. Worse yet, someone has lost the money they had saved. Or did they just spend it and now can't account for the purchases?

So with the first tragedy averted, you manage to get everyone into the car and proceed to the mall. It never fails to find a day when the mall will not be very crowded. It can be on a Tuesday morning at 8am in the beginning of December and yet, all the parking spaces are gone! So the hunt for the best space begins. Only you are not the only hunter. There are others out there seeking to take that spot, the one closest to the door so that you don't have to walk so far and be out in the weather exposed for too long.

Then there are the teasers. You know the ones I am talking about, those are the ones you watch from your car to see just where they are walking to, and you stalk them through the parking lot with your car just waiting to see where they parked. They arrive at last with the purchases being shoved in the trunk and then they wave at you. You roll down the window because you are not sure that the wave means, and they tell you, "Oh I am not leaving!" followed with a cheeky smile as they slam the trunk to the car and walk back into the mall.

Eventually you find that elusive parking space just as you are about to give up or worse yet, battle to the death in the parking lot of one said parking space. You hike the three miles back up to the mall in the freezing cold and wind, managing to avoid the icy parking lot and reach for the handle of the mall door.

Upon opening it, you are rushed with others attempting to leave the mall as well as the crowd of people pushing past you trying to get in. It's like a round peg in a square hold situation. So you grasp your child's hand to avoid losing them and push forward into battle.

Once inside the mall you are hit with virtually every temptation. There is the Hickory Farms display and tasty samples just waiting for you as you walk by. Gotta pick one of those up because you can make them last most of the year. Then you walk past the See's Chocolate store where not only are the lines out the door but the sample man is passing samples out as you pass by as well. So you pick up a box of those chocolates just in case you need a last minute gift.

There are sales banners hanging from every single store, offering extremely deep discounts of 50-75% off everything in the store, which we all know means on the specially marked display rack of clearance merchandise that is in the store. There are always exceptions!

So you attempt to navigate like a true professional shopper and keep your holiday spirit intact. You find not enough customer service help to assist you in locating your items you need to purchase since everything has been moved to make room for more. There are not enough cashiers to assist you in ringing up your purchases and now the line stretches the entire length of the inside perimeter of the store. Ask for a gift box? Oh they sell those now, there is nothing for free like in the past!

If you do find a store that passes out gift boxes, they specifically count the items you've purchased and hand out exactly that many. Then there are the way the stores are packed to capacity with virtually every item they could carry plus a few left over from last year and they pack the aisles so full that no wheelchair can pass much less a baby in a stroller. So you have to break out your GPS in an attempt to find a way out of the store.

Depending on when you decide to begin this lovely Christmas tradition, more than likely you can't find the items you are searching for and are left with two options, finding a suitable alternative or gift cards.

I mean just how does one package a gift card and still make your tree look festive. Now there is nothing to open on Christmas and the worst part, now that they have gift cards....they are going to want to spend them and that means....another trip to the mall.

This is why I choose to shop online! Merry Christmas and here is hoping that you are all able to keep the Christmas spirit alive as you go about your mission of shopping. Please stop by my other blog linked here to check out a very special story of how one man who hated Christmas found the love there after all.

Would love to have you share your horror stories of the shopping nightmares in my comments!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Note to Self

In keeping with a contest theme on Chocolate Covered Daydreams I am submitting this post as a letter to my younger self. I hope you enjoy it all.

A Note to Self:

I thought the title alone would be more than enough to generate the curiosity you always show when it comes to reading things you find. If you have found this letter, then I know you are off to a great start as you are about to learn some valuable life lessons that are bound to change your life for the better.

1. Find Salvation! If you haven't discovered the joy of turning your life over to God at this point in your life, trust me, DO IT! DO IT NOW! Don't think for one moment that it can wait for tomorrow. Turning control of your life over to a God that created this world and all that is in it will make for some major changes in your life. God will now become your pilot not your co-pilot as long as you leave the driving up to Him. He will never leave you alone, always weather the storms of life with you, and provide the eternal home you will long for once you've breathed your last breath here on Earth. If you have already found God, you're already smarter than I was at your age.

2. Get a degree of any kind at college. Oh if I had it to do over again, I would take that curiosity of yours and use it for the benefit of mankind and become a doctor or a lawyer. You always route for the underdog and in the future it's those changes we need to see in doctors and lawyers as well as for the people that can be helped when they can't afford those services. Think of the lives you will save, not only in your immediate family but in the lives of people you will meet only once.

3. Learn to forgive and let go, instead of carrying grudges around with you. It's OK to speak your mind and not let people take advantage of you. Being assertive is not a negative quality when it comes to being a lady. Forgiving doesn't mean you have to forget, but the sooner you can begin the forgiving process, the better person you will be in the end. Nothing comes from carrying all that excess baggage around.

4. Remember that life is not about you, but what you can do for others. This life lesson alone will create more lasting love, happiness and joy and will be worth more money than you can ever make in a lifetime. Life is about giving back, not taking, not about receiving what you think you deserve. Open your heart to serving others. What comes back to you when you do, will warm your heart on many a cold night.

If you can simply take away these life lessons from an older more experienced person, who has lugged this wisdom around for 45 years now and take something away from it all, doing it much sooner than I did, I think will not only enhance your life, but make the life you have left worth more than all the riches life has to offer.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Against the Odds

I never considered myself a gambler. I found the best way to keep money in your pocket is to keep your hands in their as well and avoid places where gambling is a temptation, such as Las Vegas.

For some it's a bit of an addiction to avoid places like this. I just never had what some claim as good luck. I am always that person whose percentages generally work against them. If they say, more than likely, you won't get something, I will be the one who comes down with it.

I've never been so concerned about the overall health in my body until this week. I was watching Christmas slip by and there was nothing I could do to fix myself. There was no quick fix. I wasn't even sure surgery would not be required. How could you fall so far and just not see it slipping away. The one thing I have learned now, is never take one day for granted. Truly you will never know when it will be your last. You can be the most healthiest person alive and still life can end for you before you know it. Then again, you can be the most unhealthiest person around and have not one health issue. Life is a serious of chances.

I've had a collapsed lung in 1995 against all the odds. I am not a man, nor have I been in a recently accident to where my chest or lungs might be injured. I am not a skydiver, nor scuba diver where pressure changes might detect this as part of being a scuba or sky diver.

The doctors were mystified then just like my doctor was mystified yesterday. Apparently the only ways you can be diagnosed with c-diff, is if you are 65 and living in a nursing home, or have taken antibiotics recently. Neither fit my criteria. Yet, based on my symptoms and the lengthy of time I have had this, I am a lucky statistic. C-diff can be fatal!

So while I struggle with abdominal pain that at times can be searing to the scale of a high 9, I am confident that God is working on healing me. I am taking Norco as often as needed to control the pain and I am on my first round of antibiotics of Cipro with another dose waiting for me at the pharmacy on Saturday for another 2 weeks. With luck, I will be better by Christmas. I am also taking Mari's advice and supplementing my diet with Activia to help keep good bacteria in my body.

Yet the only time I will wager a bet is on God. With God in your corner, you are bound to be a lucky winner and a survivor. For now, I bet on red, that would be Jesus' blood red, "by whose wounds I am healed"~ Isaiah 53:5. I can't lose when I bet my life on God.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pain is Not the Enemy! ~ Book Review

Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain
By Paul Meier, MD and David Henderson, MD
Published by: Thomas Nelson Publishers

Do you ever wonder how some people simply can move through the difficulties that come our way while others struggle barely able to keep their head above the turbulent water that seeks to devour and swallow them up? Do you ever wonder what is God’s purpose is throughout the things we, as people, must all experience at some point in our lives? How do we get from beginning in the midst of that challenge and arrive safely to the other side?

In his book, Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain, Paul Meier takes you through seven different kinds of struggles we are all likely to face in our lives. These are:

* Injustice
* Rejection
* Loneliness
* Loss
* Discipline
* Failure
* Death

In each chapter, Dr. Meier and Dr. Henderson provide you with some great ways to see how this struggles can benefit you, how to deal with them and how to move through them to seek the joy and blessings that await us all on the other side. They offer ways for us to let go of the things we can not change and accept the lessons in life we are suppose to take away from them all. This book is designed not only to help us get through the physical pain of each of these situations but through the emotional pain as well. The book also teaches you that instead of chasing after a pain-free existence, we see adversity as an ally, a temporary companion that leads us away from danger and towards healing, a trainer that pushes us through to the next level of growth.

This review is my humble opinion and I received this copy free from Thomas Nelson Publishers with no compensation. All they asked what that I share my opinion once I read the book. Please visit if you are interested or would like to read any other reviews.

A Diagnosis and Treatment!

You know you just have those days where uncertainty about what is going on in your life, just drives you crazy with the unknown.

Last night I was feeling a bit down. Mostly because in my eyes life was going on around me, while I remained in bed resting, not much energy and still sick not knowing the 'why's' of it all. My oldest daughter went with friends to the movies and then to their homes to decorate for the holidays.

My youngest, Kailee, wanted someone to play video games with and to hang out with and watch movies downstairs.

Since I've been home and not sure what is been wrong, I've been cautious in keeping my sick self away from everyone. The only time I see anyone is the floating head that appears in between my door and the wall, inquiring if I need anything? The answer is always NO, I'm fine! Yet in reality, I'm far from it.

I'm lonely. I'm sick. I am worried about how long I'll be like this. I am sad that my favorite time of the year is slipping away, like sands in an hour glass, and through my fingers and still there is so much unknown.

That is until this morning. Poor Steve lay awake all night tossing and turning, wondering if he should take today off under the FMLA law, or go into work and deal with things when he got home. Such a struggle for him and I could feel his dilemma even this morning as he got up to get ready for work.

After he got out of the shower, he told me he was taking off as much time as needed for me to get well. We don't have any money to speak of in savings and his income means the world to us, so for Steve to say this, is a huge undertaking. We believe God will prevail in it all.

He called work and left a message and crawled back into to sleep a few more hours with me before I had to leave to drop off my stool samples back to the lab this morning. At 8am, I decided to call the doctors office to see if I could squeeze in an appointment due to any cancellations this morning, and guess what...? They had a 9:45am appointment. I told them I would take it and then I could also drop off my labs at the same time.

When I got into see my doctor my blood pressure was a bit on the high side 145/95, but I told her I was feeling much better. I had been diarrhea free for 36 hours and off the anti-diarrhea meds just as long. I also told her I cheated by having oatmeal and mashed potatoes yesterday.

She told me she knew what was wrong with me. She announced that I had an infection called C-diff, which most people only get if they have been hospitalized recently and have undergone a treatment with antibiotics lately. I did not fit the bill but she stated they are seeing more and more of it by people who haven't had any antibiotics. It's basically an infection of the colon which is what has been causing my diarrhea and pain. I will need to undergo two rounds of antibiotics and it should improve on it's own. No hospital stay or further tests required!

I will need to go in next week for blood work to ensure my infection is improving and then followup with her in about a week and a half.

All of this could have been determined with a simple stool sample that the doctors failed to give me when I was sent to the ER. That test did not get completed until I checked myself out and had given them a stool sample at 7:30pm that night.

Can you say praise God in the Highest? Can you say, Hallelujah for no hospital stays or further testing? Can you say AMEN when I say I am being healed by our great Healer in His timing?

I am still riding this storm, still having abdominal pain which the doctor said will clear up once the infection goes away as the inflammation is still present and tender. She also cleared me to begin eating normal food but advised to take it slow. So this morning I had scrambled eggs and toast.

Please join me in thanking God in our Heavenly home and for His beautiful son Jesus for keeping Their hands in my life and healing me. Thank you all for your beautiful and never ceasing prayers. May all the glory and honor be God's and His alone! Please continue to pray for Steve this morning that his employers will be understanding to his need to take some time off work despite the critical project Steve was starting on today! Please pray for Steve that he will have peace and comfort that his decision today was the right one and that his work will not retaliate against him when he returns tomorrow!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Faith to move mountains!

Do you ever find yourself wondering how so many Biblical figures had faith to do what most of us would believe to be impossible things?

I know you all know about my medical issues right now. Here are some updates. I am still experiencing occasional pain which I can control with pain meds I have until they figure out why I am having it. My never ending diarrhea since last Sunday seems to be slowing down and I haven't had to take any anti-diarrhea meds since last night at 9:30pm. For me, going 12 hours plus is a major miracle. I was also able to sleep off and on for most of the night last night. Not the straight 6 hours I was praying for, but I think God has answered my prayers enough that I am giving all of this to Him and asking Him to be my Master Physician and guide my hands in the paths of those He sees confident to treat me.

I am also confident that God will take care of our financial needs even those hubbies job continues to threaten him to get back to work.

During the midst of this storm, God is teaching us, to rely on Him. Turn our eyes on Him, or risk sinking below those turbulent waters. Once we change our focus and what we are looking at, God will take us by the hand and lead us to calmer waters.

I spent time reading chapter 11 of Hebrews last night to experience how bad things got for some of God's people and how He brought them not only through it but out of it as well. Just when you think it's impossible to see your way through, change your perspective, lay your eyes on Him and He will lift you up and carry you if need be the rest of the way.

I am also cheating on my clear liquids a bit since I haven't had real food since Tuesday. I had some of the best watered down oatmeal this morning and some mashed potatoes for late lunch. I can tell you since Thursday, I have lost 8 pounds already.

This is not the weight loss diet you want to be on trust me! I am waiting to meet with my doctor as soon as I can but am hopeful there will be a cancellation tomorrow so we can meet before Tuesday.

Please continue to offer up prayers and leave comments to encourage me through this time. Scriptures are great as well cause I am writing them down and keeping them with me to offer with my prayers to God.

"I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and take heart and wait for the Lord."~ Psalm 27:13-14 (Thanks Lisa Shaw for that one!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Calling All Help!

I apologize for being gone for so long and here in a nutshell is what is being going on. First of all with last week being Thanksgiving and celebrating it with family I haven't seen for quite a while I took some time off from blogging. Then my mom and my sister offered to take the girls for us for a few days so Steve and I could actually have a date weekend.

Then lucky me, got my period on the Friday following Thanksgiving. Even with minimal pain I managed to still enjoy my time with the hubby.

On Saturday, I still wasn't feeling too hot and thought maybe I picked up a bug of some sort, cause I was feeling nauseated but not to the point of throwing up, my body works in the opposite direction and you know where it goes from there.

After spending a few days dealing what seemed like the flu, I forced myself to the ER again. After being seen at 8am, I was given some pain meds but the diarrhea still was coming on. I had to ask the poor ER nurse to unhook me from my IV to use the bathroom every 15 minutes. After that I was told that they were going to have me take a CAT scan of my lower abdomen because I was still having pain and it would show them so much more.

So I had to drink this god awful stuff within 30 minutes and then wait 1 1/2 to get the tests. Thank goodness the test was only 15 minutes long.

After that was done, it was now 12 and they decide they are going to admit me to find out why I am still having abdominal pain along with diarrhea. I was finally taken to my room at 3pm and I am told that I will be meeting with some doctors later that day. I saw one and he told me he would be in the following morning to do some xrays of my colon. See you tomorrow.

Then they take me to a Hideascan to get an in depth look at my Gall Bladder which takes a hour. Did they mention, I have diarrhea and can't wait that long? I manage to barely get off the table and scramble to the bathroom. The bathroom is my new best friend.

After I get settled in my room I have about 2 hours before visiting hours are over. They end at 8pm and resume at 11am the following day. Seriously? I can't have a patient advocate for me for that long?

So I sent Steve home last night at 8:30 of getting no answers to why I am still not getting anything to control the diarrhea. The doctors forgot to put it in my chart, and there is NOTHING they can do until tomorrow morning. Sorry deal with living on the toilet all night, not to mention being attached to an IV which needs to be unplugged and dragged to the bathroom with me, plugged back in and then try to lay down.

At 9:30pm I notice that my pain in my ab is coming back really angry and beg the nurse for pain meds. She tells me that it's exactly every 4 hours and if I could just wait, she would oblige. Do I have a choice? I guess the tell tale look and tears streaming down my face did not do justice, although I did mention that this is the worse I have felt since arriving here at 8am. She proceeds to correct me and tell me that I haven't been here that long and they I have only been under their care upstairs for a few hours.

She comes back in 30 minutes to the dot and has a syringe with morphine and puts it into my IV. I ask how long will it take for the pain to go away, she assures me 5 to 10 minutes at the most. I cringe still cripping my stomach and proceed to wait.

After one hour, still no change. I page her again and tell her that it's not working. She tells me sorry, doctors orders, that is all she can do for now, she'll be back in 4 to give me more. I explain that I can not wait or deal with pain as severe as 9, because I believe 10 is what you feel if you aren't dying.

She begins to explain all the reasons behind why she is entitled to receive her RN license and I beg her to see if there is something else she can do.

Why she calls for advice on what to do, I have to use the rest room and can't quite make it there in time to help me undo the IV, so I use the portable commode in my room. The RN comes back to tell me that she is still waiting for a call back from the ER doctor to see what my options are. I explain about using the commode and she tells me she will deal with it. Later I hear her at the nurses station mocking me about how bad my BM smells and how she should be rated a hero for none of the other nurses having to do it.

I just lay in bed crying at this point. After 30 minutes, she comes back and gives me another shot of morphine and explains that the doctor will be giving me a total of 4 mg every 4 hours and she'll be back then.

I beg to ask the question before she puts it in, what if it still doesn't work. She said there is nothing we can do for another 4 hours, do I want it or not?

I ask her why does it have to be morphine, why can't it be the other drugs from earlier in the day that worked?

Why am I asking these questions? Anyone help me?

So she gives me the shot and after an hour....yup nothing. Still in pain. When I call her and let her know, she tells me we are out of options at this point. I will need to wait until morning.

I explain to her that not only did I come to the ER today to have my diarrhea taken care of and my ab pain gone, I am back in square one again. Nothing is being done, doctors can't be reached and tests can't be pushed back to give this girl some life back. Needless to say, I checked myself out, on the threat of by doing so I could die and went home.

I took one Norco and some gatorade and went to bed. I am now working with my personal doctors to figure this out. If they had just provided something for the pain, I am sure I would at least know what it is by now. For now however I am working with my family health care doctor to find out what is going on, so I am taking antibiotics to get me through the weekend and once she finds out what the results are of my blood work and stool samples, we will go from there. She was also nice enough to give me something for the diarrhea to get me through the weekend til we meet again next week. I was able to have all my results from the old hospital transferred to her today so that she will have them on Monday and my stool samples were also dropped off so those should be back by Monday.

The downside again, Steve's job is telling him that he needs to get back to work or no getting paid. Apparently according to them he only has 2 vacation days left and no sick time. Let's just say that is all gone today. So we are praying that someone has made a mistake since sick time is not calculated on pay checks. Please lift him up in prayer as well.

Kailee our youngest just got sick this morning and is off to the doctor even now, thanks Steve, tossing her cookies all the way there. Who knows perhaps this family just all got a good dose of the flu all in the same week!

So if any of you have any recommendations, please free free to email me directly at Stevenkat27@verizondotnet or leave a comment for me here if you have any suggestions on what I can do on a go forward basis.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and well wishes and I will check back with you as often as I can, and promise you are all not forgotten. You all remain in my heart and prayers! I love you all!