My follow up with the Pain Specialist was today. I wouldn't blog about it other than the fact that I've seen so many doctors for so many different things that if I don't record it somewhere, I'll lose track.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Posted by Heather at 2:47 PM
For a girl like me who still believes in fairy tales... this has been the perfect way to start my birthday.
I'm 43 today... and not ashamed to admit it. I don't quite understand the whole thing of women hiding their ages... every added year makes me more confident and comfortable with who I am. I look to my Steel Magnolias - my grandmother and her sister Bette - who, although in their 80's - are still poised and beautiful and very much enjoying a lasting quality of life. I think the key to a happy life is embracing every stage for the rewards it brings. If the reflection in the mirror changes, it's just proof of the wonderful things that have been added to my life along the way.
I have truly been giddy at watching the Royal Wedding. The pomp and circumstance... the pageantry... the attention to details... the romance... it's all simply delightful. I set my alarm for 4am but was actually awake slightly before then. Since I'm off work today if I need a little nap, I'll be able to take one but I doubt it will be necessary.
My big birthday plans are to go down to the tag office and settle up my tag renewal... I have an appointment with the Pain Clinic early this afternoon and will probably run a few errands while I'm down in "civilization". I'm having dinner with the Gant Girls this evening... and in between I'll just do my best to enjoy the day. I'm heading out for a breakfast treat of bacon biscuit and gravy in just a few minutes (want to wait until the school traffic dies down).
Here are my random observations of the wedding:
I love the hats. Love them. I so wish that I had the occasion to wear hats more often. Perhaps now that I'm getting older I'll make that my signature... hats.
I wondered about the folks who arrived an hour or more before the ceremony... with an hour long ceremony weren't their bladders just bursting by the end of the service? Especially pregnant Posh Spice...
I cried a little bit when I saw William and Harry together riding to the church... it reminded me of my two oldest boys... and made me a little sad that Diana couldn't be there.
I love how confident Kate is... she did her own makeup. Personally... I thought the blush was a little heavy but I'll bet you that starts a new trend toward heavier blush.
I loved her sister Pippa's dress. I think it's a cool trend having the maid of honor in white.
I wish they had married before William lost so much hair. I'm just sayin'...
Was it just me or did those carriages seem to bounce around quite a bit?
How adorable were the little bridesmaids and pages?
I had a hard time deciding which broadcast to watch since just about every channel short of ESPN was showing the wedding. I flipped around quite a bit. CNN did a lot of popups which helped.
If Queen Elizabeth lives to the same age her mother did... she'll be Queen for another 16 years... which puts Charles at 78 before he starts his reign... which means, theoretically, Prince William could be King in about 25 years or so... not that I want to kill off the royals or anything but I hope that I'm around to see William's coronation... and I pray that he and Kate are still as in love and sweet together as they were today.
It's pretty amazing if you think about it... how well Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth conduct themselves considering their advanced ages.
I noticed that QE wasn't singing along when they sang "God Save the Queen". I guess it would be weird to sing that about yourself.
I'm going to stay put until we see the appearance on the balcony ... and then I'll head out for my errands.
I'm drinking "English Toffee Almond" coffee creamer in my coffee today.
I wish there was somewhere nearby where I could go out for a proper British tea today. The little tea place in Clarkesville has closed down.
Anyone want to place a bet on how long it is before they announce a Royal pregnancy?
Anyways... I'm so glad that I took the day off. Birthdays SHOULD be indulgent...
Hope you all have a fabulous, fairy tale kind of day! love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 7:20 AM
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I came across this verse yesterday during my Bible study...
"when he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from the storehouses." Jeremiah 51:16
I can't really wrap my mind around devastation like what happened yesterday in the Southeast. A sweet church friend had a facebook status that one of her family members lost everything. I haven't even heard a count yet about how many lives were lost... certainly thousands of lives were changed forever, in an instant.
I felt a lot of anxiety last night watching the Weather Channel... watching such huge storms roll through knowing that they were causing destruction. I didn't fear so much for our safety because honestly, whatever will be, will be. I've already been through a time of great material loss and our lives are only better for it.
As I was praying yesterday and sort of whining before the Lord about my back pain - which was off the charts yesterday - I had a vision of my life in an eternal sense. In other words... if you believe you have eternal life three months suffering or even 30 years suffering has a much smaller impact. And if that suffering is meant to shape your character, meant to develop who you will be for eternity... and even more than that... if that suffering shapes the lives of OTHERS for eternity... it's not such a desperate ordeal. It's... well, it's a blessing.
So while I look at the pictures of devastation, pain and suffering for those who live in my corner of the world... I have to wonder what great eternal value is being achieved. And to take that a step further... if we believe in eternal life and we see Heaven as a place of no more sorrow and no more pain... should we really feel sorry for those who lose their lives? I mean... we grieve for our loss of relationship and fellowship with them but if you had a friend who was dirt poor and they won the lottery, would you be sad that they had to leave their shack behind and move into a great mansion?
Of course... for loved ones who die without knowing the Lord... it's different. One hundred and fifty four people is the latest death toll. How many of them have traded in a shack for a mansion?
I had a great mail call yesterday... sweet card from my grandmother... another sweet card from my Aunt Ginger where she explained how she prays... sweet letter from my niece Jamie where she writes in her (very neat) kindergarten handwriting, "Dear Aunt Heather, sorry you are not feeling so good. And we are sad about that. Love Jamie and Mama". Precious! And another card from a high school friend, Alisa... and a card from my penpal Deb. How much do I love snail mail? I am going to put together a scrapbook of my cards and letters. They are so precious to me and give such great encouragement. Whenever you take a letter out of the mailbox you know that someone thought enough of you to put pen to paper and stamp on envelope.
My day off tomorrow has many things on the agenda... I have to renew my car tag and find out why the tag we paid for via mail hasn't shown up, even though the check has cleared. I have the follow up appointment with the pain clinic which is sure to bring aggravation. But I will also be sure to thank God for taking me to another year of life and I feel, even more strongly now, that He has given me life, THIS life for a purpose and I pray that I have the wisdom to use every circumstance of my life for His glory.
Today I'm thankful that the storms passed by my nest... I'm thankful for the peace of the early morning... I'm thankful for another year... and I'm thankful that this is my Friday!
Have a great day, y'all... love and hugs...
Posted by Heather at 5:41 AM
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! The early morning local news stations are all lit up with warnings about how bad our weather is going to be this evening. You MUST run out and buy a weather radio, dig a storm cellar, prepare for certain devastation. I mean... it's not like a hurricane... it's a random spring storm and it will hit where it hits... nothing you can do to avoid it. If it's your time... it's your time. I'm not saying run out and become a storm chaser but really... isn't this overdoing it a bit?
I am battling unbelievable fatigue this week. I am literally falling asleep in my nest at 7pm... been asleep super early every night... and just feel so terribly drained. Last week when my regular doctor did blood work my white blood cells were elevated but she felt that was from the steroid shots. I suspect that has something to do with it...
Funny story... back in the early Darby days, we had a Battle Royale over the fact that I don't use an ironing board. I iron on the floor... yep... the floor... sometimes on a towel, sometimes just on the carpet. I've always done it. Consider it lazy, if you will... it's just what I do. I never could figure out why it mattered to him but he was highly perturbed about it... I mean, sleeping in another room, refusing to speak to me, making it out like I had betrayed him in the worst way because I ironed MY OWN CLOTHES on the floor. It was re-donk-u-lous. So... here I am in my own little palace and I have my trusty old iron stationed on the floor near the plug I use for it... and our stray kid who was staying at Heather's Home for Unwed Fathers last weekend says, "why is the iron on the floor?" and I said, "because that's where I iron" and he said... "well no wonder your back hurts"...
Two more days until my birthday and the big celebration over across the pond. I'm so excited!!
My oldest baby is in Washington DC today, I think.
My middle baby and his bride sent me three cards.... Easter, Birthday and Mother's Day... so sweet.
I'm surprised that there's no silver bullet to solve the problem of high gas prices... there's no shortage... there is policy problem where we don't drill and use our own natural resources, even though safe drilling options exist... there is a problem with oil speculators falsely inflating the cost of oil based on fears of unrest in the middle East... there is a reserve that could be released into the market that would increase supply... but again our Campaigner in Chief is distancing himself instead of acting on behalf of our country. Hope. Change. Whatever.
There was a soundbite about how we should invest in alternate energy strategies. Good plan. I'll rush right out and buy an electric car with all that spare cash I have. I don't care WHO runs against him... they could run Donald Trump or Donald Duck... I would vote for them. He doesn't have a clue about how to handle the economy or defense or ... anything!
It's whiny Wednesday but I'm more weary than whiny... maybe I should call it "windy Wednesday" since we're under a wind advisory and the sky, apparently, is falling. Two more days to work this week... meeting with the boss's boss today to learn new sales strategies.... that should be fun. He's a sweet, Christian man so I enjoy him. My sales have been lacking this year but... I mean... I've been out so much... and when I'm working I'm usually in so much pain that it's hard to do anything effectively. But... I'll stick with it and keep doing my best. So I guess we'll call this Windy Whiny Weary Working Wednesday... or something equally corny.
Hope you have a great day... love and hugs.
Posted by Heather at 5:51 AM
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Lately I've had a "fat-itude"... just not caring what I eat and the impact on my body. Part of it is the steroids... part of it is the neurontin... part of it is a sense of giving up and giving in. I can't go and do like I want... but I can sit in my nest and eat. That's a dangerous perspective. I'm going to have to change my thinking... get back to clean eating and counting calories, even if I'm not counting points. #offthewagon
I think it's awesome that Obama's solution to the gas crisis is for people to "stop driving gas guzzling SUVs"... what about Jane Q. Public, like me... who drives an extremely economical Nissan Sentra, which gets awesome gas mileage... but still costs about three hours salary to fill up?... and what about the impact on food prices, especially if you live in remote areas like I do? #worstpresidentever
I don't know much about economics... but I do know that I work in an industry that is regulated and can't make too much in profits... and if the insurance industry can be regulated, can't the oil industry? I guess if you don't have to pay to fill your own gas tank... and if you don't have to worry about buying your own groceries... then you don't get too concerned about these things. #MissingGeorgeBush
Don't you love hash tags? You know... like what you use in twitter... which gives everything a quick summary simply by putting that little # in front of it. This is how people on twitter group together "tweets" about the same subject. #randominformation
I'm so crazy about the Royal Wedding that I actually downloaded the press release about it and read through ninety six pages of information about seating charts, itinerary, biographies of people involved, etc. I still think back to that 13 year old girl who was mesmerized by the thought that a 20 year old Lady Diana could become a Princess... sitting on my parents couch in the cool of the early morning and dreaming of being transported into a life of privilege.... #livingoutafairytale
Ultimately, Di's story ended up being too good to be true... she kissed a Prince and he turned into a frog... he was in love with someone else and treated Diana horribly. I always think about the initial engagement interview when they were asked if they were in love and she answered with a shy, dreamy eyed, "yes" and he tacked on "whatever "in love" means".... reminds me of my prince not-so-charming's constant accusation to me that I "didn't know what love is"... when the truth is... I know more about love than he ever will. I know that true love is unconditional... #narcissism
Just watching Wills and Kate... they do seem to be in love, don't they? #happilyeverafter?
I got a fabulous birthday gift in the mail yesterday from Purple Michael... everything in the package was Martha Stewart perfect... from the lovely wrapping with a big calligraphy H on it... to the embossed stamp on the card... to the beautiful gift of coasters with some of my favorite pics of my kids, me and Michael. I know he put so much time and effort into it and I could feel the love... knowing how much I mean to him - and how much he means to me. He is such a blessing to me. #mywhiteknight
It's Tuesday... three more work days for me this week... I took an advil migraine liqui-gel thingy yesterday and not only did it wipe out my headache - it kept the back pain away for most of the day. I didn't start hurting until after 2pm, instead of my usual 10am or so. I'll definitely be discussing with the pain clinic about a similar medication... a long acting ibuprofen of sorts. And changing the neurontin to something that doesn't cause weight gain or increase my appetite. Enough already. #hatemypainclinic
I didn't mention this - I don't think - but the neurologist thinks there is damage to my piriformis muscle.... it's known as "wallet syndrome" because it's usually aggravated by men sitting on their wallets. That's the location of the worst and most constant pain. #paininmytukas
Ok... so that's all the hashed up news that's unfit to type... Hope you have a wonderful, awesome, incredible kind of Tuesday! Love and hugs! #theend
Posted by Heather at 6:05 AM
Sunday, April 24, 2011
So many reasons to love Monday this week that I hardly know where to start...
There's a Royal Wedding this week... the kind that happens about once a generation... and I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm probably more excited about it than Kate Middleton's mom. Ok. Maybe not more than HER... but I'm still really excited.
And they were nice enough to hold their wedding on my birthday! What a thrill!
And I'm taking the day off... so it's a four day work week!
I spent yesterday watching all kind of random programming about Royal Weddings in the past. Made me sad again for the loss of Princess Diana...
Our stray kid went home yesterday with his mother. They are both determined to make peace and I think with prayer... and patience... they will make it. I could tell yesterday that they had both softened their positions... which is truly an answered prayer.
It was a good weekend. Even having extra kids in the house... or maybe because we had extra kids in the house. It wasn't that long ago that I prayed for Austin to have one Godly friend. This weekend he never even asked to spend time with the kids who are a bad influence on him... and there were a couple extra nice, respectful and respectable kids hanging around.
I'm so proud of how loyal he was to his friend when he was in trouble. They had such a painful falling out... barely a month ago... and yet, when this guy needed Austin, Austin didn't hold a grudge. No matter what other shortcomings he may have, Austin is a very forgiving person and loyal to a fault.
I've had a migraine for the past two days. This worries me some because of the tachycardia and high blood pressure readings last week. She mentioned things to look for that would signal a problem if they occurred in conjunction with the tach. I will call the doctor but... this is the same doctor who remembers you for the five minutes she's in front of you and provides no help at all when she's not.
Yesterday at walmart my bp was 138/96 and my pulse was 97... but I was at walmart picking up stuff that I had left there the day before which HIGHLY aggravated me because the cashier was trying to rush me through to help the person behind me - she was already ringing up their stuff before I had even put my debit card back in my purse... and when I said "is that everything?" and started to spin the little carousel, she stopped it and said, "that's all"... and then I got home and realized I had left four items behind totaling about $12. Money is too tight for me to give Walmart $12. Fortunately, they keep a list at the customer service counter of things that are left behind. Unfortunately, they didn't even have the decency to apologize for my inconvenience ... and it was... terribly inconvenient. They were out of one of the items so I got the closest thing they had to it... it was the exact same price but it required (for inventory's sake) that the customer service girl do a return of the original item and she made sure I knew how inconvenient that was for her. *eyeroll*
At any rate... the headache has been rather unpleasant but because of it, I slept quite a bit yesterday and I'm sure that helped. I'll stop and pick up some more ibuprofen on the way to work - I was out yesterday and felt too icky to get in the car and drive somewhere - I think that will knock it out.
But it's Monday... and I have a car that runs and a job to go to and a birthday this week (did I mention that already? oh well) and a day off on my birthday and it's going to be a good week weather wise, with temps in the low eighties... and ... yeah... I can manage to love Monday this week. I hope you can too!
Posted by Heather at 6:54 PM
Some call it Easter. Some call it Resurrection Sunday. Some consider it just another day.
For me... yes, I think about the crucifixion today... but I think about the crucifixion more than once a year. I'm a believer... and I see the crucifixion as being a crucial part of the hope that I have. How could I sustain my faith if I only considered the story of the cross once a year?
It's an important day, a Holy day but... we need to carry it with us all year long.
The tomb is empty... even now. It's about more than resurrection... it's about reconciliation... the fact that my sin doesn't separate me from my God. It's about believing that there is hope, despite my failures and shortcomings... I can be reconciled to my Maker.
I'm praying for reconciliation for this young man living with us. We had the opportunity to talk for quite a long time yesterday while Austin was still sleeping. If Austin is around, it is impossible to have a serious conversation because it's like talking to two of the three stooges... noogies and wedgies and wet willies... hard to make a point... and it's harder for me to be candid about the circumstances that surrounded my decisions 25 years ago. And this kid needs to talk... needs to process the reality that is happening in his life... needs guidance...
I watched two episodes of 16 and pregnant last night... and it occurred to me that the greatest difficulty in these crisis pregnancies comes from external factors. It's in the failure of families to accept the situation... the constant application of guilt and discouragement that the family heaps on these young people. It's the lack of empathy... the lack of forgiveness... it's piling on more responsibility instead of being supportive. I think the sentence of losing your childhood, having to assume the staggering responsibility of parenting, the physical discomfort, the emotions, the fear... I think this is punishment enough... it's a life sentence.
To me... it's a time for reconciliation. Time to reassure these kids that they will survive this. Time to model mercy and compassion. The mature adults in these situations need to keep things in perspective. The sin has already been committed... the punishment has already been handed out, a lifetime sentence... it's time for healing... piling guilt on top of guilt will not make this baby disappear or make the pregnancy less of a crisis...it makes it worse.
I talked for a long time yesterday with our young man about things like allowing his mother to process this situation in her own way... allowing her to say the things she needs to say to get it off of her chest... keeping his anger under control... being contrite... but when he talked to his mother yesterday it didn't go well. I only heard his side of the conversation but I could tell that he was hearing a description of the punishment that awaits him at home... psychological exams... calling the police to report him as a runaway (which he isn't... he WANTS to go home)... additional financial responsibility of having to pay rent and other household expenses. It breaks my heart for them both. He needs his mom. He needs reassurance. He needs reconciliation.
When Robert and I got married we initially moved in with his mother because she lived by herself and my parents had a full house already. I was working full time and Robert was going to school full time. His mother's perspective of how things should work was that we were to take on 2/3 of the household bills since we made up 2/3 of the household. I was 17, pregnant, very sick and working full time.... only to turn over most of my paycheck to someone who should have been supportive. There was no compassion. I was also given a list of chores that I was supposed to complete every day. She didn't work. Robert didn't work. I worked an hour away... it was a completely ridiculous situation. We didn't stay there long. We found it much easier to live in the crowded confines of my parents' home where we only had to pay a small amount... and honestly, from that point on, we never reconciled with her. We spent time with her on occasion but we were never close. She is alone, even now, instead of enjoying a relationship with her only son and three amazing grandsons.
You reach a point as a parent that you realize that you no longer control your child. You have to accept them as an independent entity... and you have to put in play the concept that "you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar". If your relationship with your child becomes one of constantly handing out guilt and punishment... eventually... they will stop coming around.
I wasn't crazy about the idea of Cody and Marquee getting married so young BUT I knew that they were going to get married with or without my approval. I could either accept the situation and preserve a relationship with them... or I could let this be the thing that separates me from my child and future grandchildren.
I never place demands on my grown kids. I set no expectations on how often they are supposed to call me or write me or come see me. When they come around, I purposely never pass out guilt about what they have or haven't done. I try to make a big deal about everything they do for me. I love them. I enjoy my time with them. I seek to foster a relationship that makes them want to be around me.
I just believe that as Christians we are called to be Christ-like. When we fail Him, when we sin, although we have to live out the consequences of the choices we make, all we have to do to restore our relationship with Him is to ask for forgiveness. He doesn't continue to remind us of our failures and how we have disappointed Him... it is forgiven and forgotten and we are reconciled to Him.
As parents that HAS to be our model... forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration... because the most successful people in the world are not those who never fail, the most successful people are those who have the confidence that IF they fail, there will be someone to catch them when they fall.
Unconditional love... being able to separate the problem from the child... as parents, as Christian parents, how can we give our children anything less? There's a verse I must have memorized as a child because I remember the King James Version of it... "provoke not your children to wrath but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" Ephesians 6:4. IF WE, as parents, don't model unconditional love for our kids, how will they ever have hope of understanding the unconditional love that God offers?
I'm watching a History channel documentary on crucifixion. It breaks my heart. I can barely stand to watch. Man of sorrows... carrying the weight of everything I ever did wrong... and yet, every time I wrong Him again, He welcomes me back into His loving presence. I don't spend the kind of time with Him that I should and yet He is always glad to see me. He blesses me beyond what I deserve and He loves me beyond what I can comprehend. Let me take that example of love and share it with those that He has put in my path. Lord, bring about reconciliation in our lives today... let us, as parents, bring mercy into the lives of our kids.
Love and hugs...
Posted by Heather at 7:51 AM
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Mercy. That's been the recurring theme of my life: a need for mercy. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made but this flesh gets me into a lot of trouble. I have made... over the course of my life... a lot of really bad decisions. Yet I have always found mercy from my Maker, family and friends.
So yesterday when I found out that two young kids were in need of mercy, how could I do anything but give it? A good friend of Austin's got his girlfriend pregnant. The boy's mother was livid. She said a lot of things out of her hurt and disappointment that angered the boy... the boy retaliated with a predictable emotional response and their relationship was splintered. She told her son to leave... and he asked if he could stay with us.
Here I am in the midst of a medical crisis... ongoing financial struggle... unable to get my own teenager to cooperate... and I am put right in the middle of a bad 16 and Pregnant episode. Thank God I am fearfully and wonderfully made so that there's not a fiber of my being that shies away from drama. Yes, God uses drama queens like me to jump in with our soliloquies and posturing and emotional responses.
I could paraphrase a verse in the Bible and say, "in this world you will have drama, but take heart because I have overcome that drama"...
Yet... the mama of this teenage boy is my friend. There is this code between mothers... especially single mothers... we stick together... we have each other's back... and I know, because I live with a teenager (and have since 1999, thank you!) that they sometimes take a statement like, "you can't conduct yourself in that manner and live in my house" as "being kicked out". Shape up or ship out means SHAPE UP... .
And I know... having been a teenager who dropped a baby bomb on my family.... that although it breaks a parent's heart for what you will lose by getting on the parenting train too soon... they love their baby and will therefore love their baby's baby (sometimes better than they love you! *laugh*) I also know that the younger the parent, the greater the need for family involvement. Baby mama has a very shaky familial foundation... she is estranged from her mother and has spent most of the past year basically homeless, dependent on the mercy of others. Baby daddy is estranged from his father... I don't think they've spoken in several months. They already dealing with half of a parenting team between them... they don't need to burn bridges to the only real, consistent, Christian parent they have...
This also, once again, proves my theory that teenagers who don't have a family have a tendency to create their own.
At any rate... crisis pregnancy... mother and son estranged... young man with nowhere to go... and me right there in the middle of things. I sought counsel from two of our pastors (my brother and our youth pastor). Both gave me valuable advice and both agreed that I needed to speak with the boy's mother... I tried during the work day but wasn't able to connect with her. The last thing I wanted to do was upset her... but I couldn't let these kids worry about homelessness on top of everything else.
I told the young man he could stay with us on a temporary basis but that my goal was to reunite him with his mother and, failing that, we would need to find a more suitable situation for him.
Finally... late in the day... I was able to speak with his mother. I expressed to her that I was by no means taking sides but felt like I could not, in good conscience, let this child be homeless. I told her my story of having Ryan and how much I needed my parents then (and even now they help to guide my boys) and that I felt I could positively influence the young man based on my past history. She was (fortunately) relieved that he was with us... appreciative of my involvement (because us single moms so desperately need reinforcement) and hopeful that they could work everything out. She loves her kid... she's disappointed... but she still loves him.
Sometimes we just need a timeout... to go to our separate corners of the ring... get a little refreshment... have someone wipe the sweat off of our brow... hear a word of encouragement... and then we are able to get back in the fight.
It's a hard road ahead for everyone. I thank God that I am uniquely gifted to deal with a crisis pregnancy. I thank God that there is enough mercy in our church family and in our community to be able to help these kids pick up the pieces and make a way for their child. There are a lot of options... a lot of decisions to be made and there is simply no easy path for them to take. But I know that the same God who took my bad decision and turned it into a beautiful, smart, productive citizen... will also show mercy to this child.
God has a way of taking what the enemy intended for our harm and using it for our good. I'm believing that for this situation.
Happy Saturday, y'all...
Posted by Heather at 6:51 AM
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Speaking of fabulous memories... show of hands: how many of you watched every minute of Charles and Diana's wedding back in 1981? I was 13. It was July which meant it was hot... even at night. We would have had the attic fan running which made a horribly loud noise but sucked in the cool night air... I was encouraged by the fact that Charles was the oldest... which meant there was hope for me with Andrew or Edward. Obviously... my Princess Plan didn't pan out.
And... how many of you got up in the wee hours to watch Diana's funeral? I was babysitting Brock... my friend Scott's son... who was 11... and dozing on my couch while I sat on the floor in the middle of the living room in front of the tv... you know, that position you assume when you are focused on the tv and nothing else? That was me... a sobbing, brokenhearted mess... 29 years old and feeling like my very own princess had died. And I'm not even British... although I am White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant, so I guess I qualify. Brock woke up and asked, "did you know her?" No. Of course not. "then why are you so upset?"
It's hard to explain. Why did I care about that first wedding? Was it the fairy tale aspect? Why did I care about the funeral? And this wedding? Why does it matter? I don't know... but maybe it's a sign that i still believe in happily ever after... maybe it's some sad fascination with royalty since we don't really have that here...
Are you watching American Idol? My favorites are... Lauren, James, Scotty...
Yesterday I crashed and burned in a big way. I was asleep before 8pm. If you can imagine having someone stick needles into your muscles and then have you contract those muscles. Small needles... he kept telling me how much smaller these needles were than the ones used to draw blood... somehow that didn't make it hurt less. It wore me out but fortunately... I didn't wake up in pain today. I was afraid that I would.
I went to sleep and then Austin woke me up around 9:30 to tell me that a friend of his was in trouble... could he come here if he needed a place to stay? What do you think I said?
Well... before I answer that... I'll tell you that God had placed this child and his mother so heavily on my heart yesterday morning that before I started pleaded for mercy with my tests, I was praying very specific and unusual things for this family and... I had no idea why. No idea. I even told God that I had no idea what was going on but that He knew the need. I really, honestly, completely at that moment thought the burden I had for them was because Austin and I have struggled so much lately.
When I heard what the crisis was... I answered, "yes, of course he can stay with us". I saw nearly every hour on the clock after that and prayed for this child and his situation every time I woke up.
Look... I know this may have all been completely coincidental. I choose to believe that it was purely intentional. I believe God works that way... even though He could do anything He wants in any situation He wants without any of us having anything to do with it... He tells us that the prayers of a righteous person are powerful. Obviously, for reasons I don't entirely understand, He hears our prayers and answers them. How could God need my help? I mean, He already knows the need... He already loves these people... He will do what He will do... but for some reason, intercession makes a difference. And so I will continue to pray.
I believe that it was prayer that helped me accept what I was told yesterday. (and I just realized I was sitting indian style again which I am not supposed to do). When this started three months ago, I thought I had a kidney infection, I'd get an antibiotic and be fine. Then I thought... I've got a kidney stone... it will pass and I'll be fine. Then I thought... I've got some problems with my back but I was fine before, this will heal and I'll be fine. Then... the longer it went on I thought... I'll end up needing surgery and it will be a struggle but I'll be fine. Now... to know that a surgical fix isn't available... that the degenerative issues are just that... to know that I'll have to depend on pain management and lifestyle changes to adapt to a back that will never be as good as new again... and... I was fine.
I drove home thinking, "I should be more emotional than I am"... especially considering the pain of driving after all the poking and prodding and shocking my legs had gone through... and I wasn't emotional. I kept repeating to myself what the neurologist had said... the things he told me to try... the physical therapist that specializes in the specific problems I have -a physical therapist that is a 45 minute drive away, that he wants me to see three times a week for an indefinite time period with gas nearing $4 a gallon, meaning I would miss work, spend a fortune in gas... and then the suggestion that I not sit at a desk 8 hours a day. I mean... honestly... basically what I heard was that the pain isn't going to go away because what I need to do to make it better is beyond my ability to do. I couldn't wrap my mind around it.
And today is Good Friday... so as I began to think about how this day is a memorial day of sorts, to remember a good man who suffered beyond what our minds can comprehend to accomplish something that couldn't have been accomplished without His willingness to submit Himself to God's will... and i thought about how I grieve for what He suffered but how glad I am that He did because of the ultimate outcome and it brought my situation into focus...
Does He watch me suffer and grieve for what I'm going through but... knowing that what it's going to accomplish in my life and through my life is worth the price I pay? Didn't He say to take up our crosses and follow Him? Is this my cross? Isn't my heart so much more tender to the suffering of others because of this? And isn't my faith growing stronger by the day? And haven't I seen answered prayers continually... down to minute details that I ask for that He answers?
Last week I prayed, "Lord make me able to put food on the table..." and my daddy came and bought groceries.
Yesterday I prayed, "Lord let me find compassion for my limitations today at work" and I had a pleasant conversation with the boss before I left... a rare moment of having his undivided attention, which let me express my concern about the process and the pain... and let him express his concern and compassion for the situation.
And when I got home and had some time alone and could have really fallen apart... there were seven cards in my mailbox yesterday. Seven.
Next Friday I'll celebrate my birthday by going back to the pain clinic to find out what the long term plan will be, now that we know what looks to be the full extent of the problem. And I will start walking this weekend, now that I'm cleared to do that. And I will start yoga. And I will refocus my weight loss efforts because that's so important. And I will wake up every day and be grateful for everything that I am able to do and I will not grieve what I am not able to do... because this situation doesn't close doors for me so much as it opens doors... the path looks different from what I expected at this stage of the journey but that doesn't make it the wrong path... actually, it feel more right than it's ever felt before.
It really is a GOOD Friday. Love and hugs, y'all.
Posted by Heather at 4:29 PM
I'm home from the neurologist. Home. Waiting for meds to kick in to relieve me from the pain of those two tests.
Here's what he found... there IS nerve damage to both of my legs below the knees... which is COMPLETELY UNRELATED to my back problems. I have compressed nerves from sitting "criss cross applesauce" all the time.
There is a problem with the muscles in my hips... completely unrelated to the back problems.
My bulging discs, osteoarthritis, etc... are not going to be resolved by surgery ... which is a relief in one aspect because, who wants back surgery, right? But discouraging in that ... there's nothing they can really do for it.
I'm supposed to lose weight, do yoga and walk, not sit cross legged and basically learn to live with things. This is ... according to the neurologist... the way it's going to be.
So... in short... we added two new diagnosis without resolving any of the others.
In addition to adding tachycardia to the list this week.... which also reared it's head today... go figure... send electrical shocks through my legs... stick a dozen needles in my leg muscles... and my heart goes haywire.
Because of the nerve damage in my lower legs, he took twice as long as he said it would take... trying to map out the nerves and try to figure out where the dead spots are. He kept apologizing... sweet man... saying he just wanted to find where the nerve stopped working.
Anyways... he'll send his findings back to the pain doctor. He told me to follow up with him as planned - on my birthday - and he'll help me draw up a long term plan for dealing with the back problems... which will be with me the rest of my life.
That's it for now... gonna just try to chill out.
Posted by Heather at 1:15 PM
I cried at two different doctor appointments on Monday. I feel like such an idiot when I do that... it's like they immediately relegate you to "emotional female" status and completely ignore everything you have to say.
Posted by Heather at 5:43 AM
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Yesterday I read a verse that really struck my heart... it's in Jeremiah chapter 12... and it's only the last half of the verse that made me do the Scooby "baroooo?"... or like my granddog Sammy when you say, "wanna go play with the girls?" and he cocks his head to the side so he can hear better. (the girls are my parents dogs next door)... I just saw myself all over this verse and so I wrote it on my hand to remember it. This morning when I was all bleary eyed and thinking about what to blog about... I remembered... Here's the part of the verse that stopped me in my tracks;
Posted by Heather at 5:33 AM
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
How do you view the Bible? For you... is it the inspired Word of God or just a nice collection of parables? Because... it occurred to me yesterday that even if I didn't believe in God, I would still be moved by the crucifixion story.
Posted by Heather at 5:38 AM
Monday, April 18, 2011
What a day.
Posted by Heather at 3:48 PM
It's been a long weekend. I'm fortunate to have had a long weekend because I would have been in no condition to sit at my desk over the past three days. I'm not sure I'm able to today but... I will go and do what I can do.
Posted by Heather at 5:36 AM
Sunday, April 17, 2011
It's a cool morning here in the mountains... I slept with my window open and had to climb under about thirty pounds of covers to get warm in the middle of the night... even after I closed the window. Good sleeping weather but I'm still not sleeping good... I saw every hour on the clock last night and feel like I was hit by a truck... still. Glad to have one more day to rest before I get back on the merry-go-round again.
Posted by Heather at 7:19 AM
Saturday, April 16, 2011
It was a dark and stormy night but the storm has passed and I can see the first hint of daylight starting to peek through.
Posted by Heather at 6:42 AM
Friday, April 15, 2011
Today's injections were not at all what I was expecting. Once again... my confidence in this pain clinic is low because these two injections were completely different... and I was completely unprepared.
Posted by Heather at 2:59 PM
I'm suffering from a serious lack of creativity today. Maybe it's because I stayed up too late... nearly midnight... maybe it's because I can't have coffee this morning... nothing to eat or drink until after my procedure... maybe I'm slightly anxious about going under the .. uh.. needle again. Or maybe I'm just burned out. I mean, surely you know that I'm not always chatty, right?
- degenerative disc disease
- bulging discs
- spondylolisthesis, possibly "unstable'
- spinal stenosis
Posted by Heather at 6:30 AM
Thursday, April 14, 2011
it's thursday.... which is really my friday this week because i'm off tomorrow to let them turn me into a living voodoo doll again... although i'm not expecting much in the way of results
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
Posted by Heather at 5:29 AM
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I thought about this song this morning while I was savoring the warm thoughts and happy things that have happened in my life over the past few days. There are so many awesome people in my life... some here in my actual geographical community... and many, many more in my online community. I'm blessed.
Posted by Heather at 5:55 AM