Category: health


Christmas and family and other deep stuff that came out…


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

…..yes, I know it’s already almost two weeks old.  That’s technically still new, right!?  I mean, if it was a baby, you’d call it new.  If it was a car, you’d certainly still call it new.  So just get over it.  I’m behind!

You should be used to that by now!

Okay, what’s going on around here.  Well, obviously I survived the holidays.  I actually had decent blood sugars all through the special foods and gigantic meals.  Diabetes: 0 – Geannie: 1!  Thank God for that!

We tried to switch things up as far as the timing and place of our various family get-togethers.  It was an attempt on my and the girls’ part to try and free up some time so that no one felt rushed from hurrying between in-laws, out-laws, and other family gatherings.  It didn’t work as planned, but it was still nice.

Corey and Melissa got to come home and we spent time with them.  We spent all of Christmas Eve with all our kids, actually!  The other purpose of moving things around was so that “just us” could have a big block of time to be together.

Here’s the thing… for my entire life, our Christmas morning was always a little rushed.  Sometimes it was a LOT rushed.  When I was little, we went to my mother’s parents, or “Mom and Dad’s” as they were always referred to by me and my sister, on Christmas Eve.  My mom had five siblings, four who had children, so all the cousins (except the 7 who lived in Texas) would be there and it was a huge, rowdy gathering.  That usually lasted until after 9 pm.  Sometimes even later than that, I suppose.

Then on Christmas Day, we were expected to be at Mamaw and Papaw’s, my father’s parents, by 10 am or so.  If we got up at 8 or 9, that meant we got very little time to even see what “Santa” had brought, let alone play with any of it.  We would have a big meal there with my three cousins who were the children of my dad’s only sibling, a brother 10 years his senior.  Obviously, there was a sizable age difference between us cousins that meant we didn’t really “play” together.  It was awkward and sort of uncomfortable many times because of all the tension and in-fighting that had been going on between my dad and my uncle since they were children.

THAT is definitely a story for another day, but let me clarify that this “in-fighting”, which is the only word I can think to use for it, was never actually seen.  It was always kept confined to verbal jabs, “innocent” jokes made over dinner and things of that nature.  You never heard any cross words exactly, but you could certainly feel the seething that everyone tried so hard to ignore.

As a mother of two boys myself, I can understand how Mamaw responded to the whole thing.  She was probably thrilled just to have everyone together under one roof but how she and my papaw could ignore so much anger and bitterness is beyond me.

Again…. all that, with the long, involved backstory, will have to wait for another post.

My point in all this is that never was there a time in my life when Christmas Day, at least the morning, wasn’t a rush to be somewhere else on time.

I hate that!

Even after my boys were born, we were still trying to do this routine PLUS the addition of two more gatherings, one for each set of their grandparents.  Christmas time was exhausting and I don’t want my kids and possible future grand babies to deal with that.

Since Tommy didn’t have any grandparents living near us, we never had to deal with adding his own traditional big family gathering…actually, they had only had Christmas with either set of his grandparents once or twice maybe, so the whole relationship was completely different.  But as my grandparents died off and there was no longer a central place to meet, we first stopped having Christmas Eve at Mom’s.  (that’s my grandmother “Mom”, not my mom-Mom)  There was plenty of tension in that side of the family too and none of the siblings, at least to my knowledge, even tried to recreate the gathering or carry on that tradition.  Each one just formed new traditions with their own immediate family–their children and grandchildren.

On my dad’s side, we continued to gather with Mamaw even after Papaw had passed away until she got too feeble to live on her own and went to the nursing home.  With the way my dad and uncle’s relationship was and the fact that we cousins really didn’t even know each other since all our lives, our main interaction was maybe twice a year if a great-uncle I didn’t know at all got a family reunion together that year.  Honestly.  I see these families that are SO CLOSE and it’s like being on another planet! I think, “Man!  I would have loved to have this sort of family!” and that’s why Tommy and I try SO HARD to make sure we have a time, especially at Christmas, when our boys can be together with their wives and us and EVERYONE just relax and enjoy ourselves.

After a few years of ugliness between my sons when they really didn’t even want to be around each other for various reasons I’ll leave un-delved… they now have a good relationship.  It’s not as close as when they were kids and were each other’s best friend, but it is SO much better than when they were not getting along.

All of it boiled down to hurt feelings and perceptions and assumptions between them.  Seriously!  It grieved my heart beyond imagination because I was seeing it become some sort of generational curse right before my eyes.  I determined that our family would break that pattern of siblings not loving each other right into adulthood.  It happened with my dad and his brother and with me and my sister, in very similar fashion.  With my boys, it was more about the differences of opinion between them, not preferential treatment of one or the other by the parents, that seemed to fuel their rift.

But like I said, the boys get along well now and even though I realize sometimes it’s a little forced for my benefit, I am thankful for it.  I would much rather have them talking, if through gritted teeth, at least trying to appear polite, than not being together at all.  Especially now that Corey has moved to Ohio…spending time with both boys (& their wives, who we consider ours now, too) is extremely important to me and their father.

WOW!  This is not at all where I intended to go with this post, y’all.  Not even close!  But it’s some important stuff and apparently, I needed to get it out.  Maybe there’s someone out there who needs to read it.  Who knows?  I believe that God has a purpose for everything… even my ramblings from time to time.

Blessings!


ginger tea for energy & reducing inflammation


Hey there, guys!  Happy December!  (I can’t believe this year is already coming to a close!) #timeflies

Today I wanted to tell you about a tea I made that I am SO hoping will help get rid of the inflammation and pain I’m having in my left pointer finger as well as some (probably?) sympathy pain in the areas surrounding said finger.  (ie: my thumb and middle finger get rather stiff when the main culprit is particularly angry as well as just my entire hand aching when I move or try to grip– I’m assuming since it’s nothing near as severe as that one finger, that it’s a sort of sympathetic pain or just the tendency for it to be achy and stiff while not being the main area of inflammation or pain.

If THAT made any sense!

Okay, so I have been a proponent of using ginger for energy and stuff if you remember my post about it here, you’ll know I’ve consumed a lot of ginger over the summer in a cold drink.  Today, I found a recipe for a hot ginger drink I’d never seen before.

Honestly, I don’t know why because it’s so stinkin’ simple!  Of course, I didn’t make it strictly by the recipe because, well, that’s just how I roll for one, and for two, I wanted to cut some sugar out of it.

After having a cup of the tasty concoction, I have to say, I’ll be cutting the sugar back even more because it’s just too sweet, even for me!  And I have a giant sweet tooth, so you know it’s gotta be super-syrupy if I’m complaining!  Ha!

Okay, so here it is…. This is simply sliced, fresh ginger, boiling water, lemon (I added that slice after brewing) and brown sugar.  Yep, that’s it!

So, the recipe called for a cup of brown sugar AND a tablespoon of honey (or agave) but I skipped the honey just to reduce sugar content.  I’ll cut back on the brown sugar next time, too!  It was just way too much sugar at a 5:1 ratio.  Next time, I’ll try a half cup to five cups of water.

Okay, the instructions are to boil the water and ginger.  I sliced up a quarter cup of the fresh ginger I almost always have in the freezer.  No particular thickness, but I assume the thinner, the more of the ginger essence you’ll get in your tea.  So as soon as the ginger boiled, I took it off the heat and let it steep while I measured the brown sugar.  Mind you, people, the recipe I had called for an entire cup of PACKED brown sugar.  Woo!  It was way too much!

I had gotten my favorite (and only!) glass pitcher from the fridge.  We had been keeping filtered water in it when we stopped buying bottled water, but later, I had gotten some glass bottles of kombucha and juice so I recycled the bottles and had been keeping five or six of those filled in the fridge.  I am guaranteed to drink more water if it’s kept in the fridge in a bottle.  But I emptied the pitcher and warmed the glass and then, like a big idiot, I thought I could put the water from the kettle straight into the pitcher.

Um, nope.  It broke almost immediately.  Sheesh.  Anyway, I quickly poured it all into my huge measuring cup to stir in the sugar and get it dissolved.  The recipe said to strain off the ginger, but as you can see from the photo, I didn’t.  I wanted to get as much ginger action as I could, even though I knew it was gonna be really spicy!

I added a couple drops each of sweet orange essential oil and cinnamon bark essential oil just because that’s how I am.  Ha ha!  I have to fiddle with the recipe or it’s not me cooking!  I just thought cinnamon and orange would smell so delicious in the ginger brew and it did indeed!  And it was quite tasty that way as well!

Then, just before I drank it, I added the slice of lemon (after pulling the seeds out of my slice and making it look weird).  As I said, I knew it would be hot, as in spicy hot, and I’m normally not a spicy-hot girl as I will pass on hot peppers every day of the week and twice on Sunday!  But somehow, ginger heat isn’t the same, so I did get a nice slight burn down my throat as I drank my little toddy.

I am hoping this stuff will help keep my finger from at least getting worse but hopefully, it will make it feel better.  The pain is getting pretty intense and unless the ginger really makes it a lot better, I’ll probably go see a rheumatologist as soon as I can.

Until then, I’m going to give this ginger tea a good run.  I ended up adding another couple cups of water to the mix that was still in the kettle, adding a new slice of lemon to it as well and am waiting to see if it cuts down the syrupy-ness enough.

Let me know if you try this and if you’ve had luck using ginger as an anti-inflammatory!


I’m so high right now…


It’s not what you think…

Not your run-of-the-mill post title, I know.  Before you get too excited, let me clarify, this is not a dope-high… not even a happy-all-is-right-with-the-world high.  This is a diabetes high.  And it’s ANYTHING but pleasant.  That has been my life for the past few weeks!

I’m not sure what’s going on other than I had a little bit of a cold/almost-bronchitis for a couple weeks, which I was able to get over without any prescriptions, praise the Lord!  But it seemed to jack up my sugars like a mild illness never has before.

Oh, then there are those middle-aged woman hormones.  I think my hormones running amok will be the death of me one day!

So anyway, yeah, I’ve been on a rollercoaster with my blood sugar lately.  It is exhausting and I don’t need any help being exhausted, thank you!

Diabetes and all its fun stuff…

They don’t teach a whole lot about the nuts and bolts of diabetes management to nurses, or at least not the nurses that I know personally.  One of the most helpful things they do teach, however, is that for a low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) you treat “fast” and for a high sugar (hyperglycemia) you treat “slow”.  Now, I’m not positive if it’s actually taught this way, but I would say you don’t necessarily “treat” hypers slowly, but they are MUCH slower events than a hypo.

With a hypoglycemic event, you HAVE to get sugar into the bloodstream in a hurry!  There’s no time to wait, no time to explain why you’re ripping open the bag of Skittles you just pulled off the shelf and putting handsful in your mouth, no time to tell why you cut line to grab a Mt. Dew out of the checkout cooler and are chugging it without paying first.  No time to explain to a stranger with whom you’re conversing at a conference why you suddenly ran over to the refreshment table and threw a cup of punch down your throat without a word.  No time to explain that, Hey, I’ve been standing here trying to keep up with the conversation (or worse, talking endlessly, probably in circles) not paying attention to the nagging tiredness and now I realize I’m low, could we put the convo on hold for a bit?  That is always the worst for me.  I get so embarrassed and it never fails that I don’t realize I’m going low until it dawns on me that I can’t concentrate on what the other person is saying or I don’t remember the point I was trying to make, but my mouth keeps going for some horrible reason.  Worse, sometimes I begin to sweat and can’t seem to find a good time to interrupt to say, Excuse me, but I have diabetes and I need to grab something to eat.  Drives me flippin’ nuts when that happens!

HypER vs HypO

On the other hand, there’s a hyperglycemic episode.  These can sometimes come on quicker than it would seem (if you read medical info!) and soon I have the telltale “sick headache”, the throbbing in my legs and arms, the nausea.  I’m probably pretty grumpy, too.  I feel so crappy physically, it puts me in a royally bad mood.  If you’re lucky, I’ll just be uncharacteristically quiet.  If you’re not, I may come across as being a little more callus or hateful than normal.  When I’m at home dealing with a hyper, I absolutely hate the waiting.  I can just feel all these complications happening… the throbbing in my limbs is the blood circulation slowing down which will bring on an amputation.  My eyes being sticky and dry is the dreaded diabetic blindness coming on.  The aching head is my brain struggling with sugar-thick blood that’s slogging down circulation.  Running to the bathroom endlessly is my kidneys being overworked and pushing me headlong into kidney failure.  Every moment I have to wait feeling this way is like a panicking nightmare of watching as my body slowly kills itself.

Imagining the worst…

Maybe other t1d’s don’t experience this during hyperglycemia, but I sure do.  It’s not so bad if I just have a one-off episode because I miscalculated a bolus or carb count, but when it’s chronically high, it is torture.  My mind is full of images of hospital beds, IV tubes and monitors, bandaged stubs where my feet used to be, becoming harder and harder to see, all the while, I see another giant red X on a calendar marking another day I’ve just lost because my stupid sugar is too high.

THAT is what happens in my brain when my sugar is high.  And there is not one stinking thing I can do to speed the insulin up, nothing I can do to lower the amount of sugar in my blood.  All I can do is treat (give insulin) and wait.

And all of this is IF I don’t go into DKA or diabetic ketoacidosis.  If I go into DKA, then it’s a whole other nightmare and a hospital stay.  The only time in all my forty-two years of living with t1d that I’ve been hospitalized for DKA was about 4 years ago when a cannula kinked and I wasn’t getting insulin from my pump, but didn’t realize it until it was too late.  I showed up in the ER with horrific stomach pain and no clue why.  Soon the vomiting of neon green fluid began and I was promptly (ha—after an hour or two!) diagnosed and admitted to intensive care!

So yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how short I may or may not be cutting my life because of something I can’t do anything about.  It really stinks, too.  I mean, it’s bad enough to want to kick yourself when you’ve indulged too much… you know, went ahead and had that one cookie or bite of cake but the bolus you gave didn’t cover it fully OR your body just won’t use the insulin you give it in a timely manner (what I suspect is going on with me).  I swear!  Sometimes it’s like I treat and treat to correct a high and it seems like NOTHING happens and then four hours later, my sugar takes a nosedive and I have to treat a low.  I HATE THAT!!  ARGH!!!!!

ahem  Sorry.  But I really REALLY hate when that happens.  So like I said, it’s bad enough when it’s something I did that has my sugar up but when I’m sick or it’s a medicine (like steroids or antibiotics) I’m having to take that jack my sugar up?  I go down a really dark road in my mind.  A road littered with amputated limbs, dialysis machines, and blindfolds.  A road where I can see my hubby and kids gathered around my casket.  It’s ugly and scary and I don’t quite know how to stop it when I’ve been fighting the highs for days.

How I wish it had been explained to me…

When I was a kid, these two things confused the heck outta me.  The words sound and look so similar but they couldn’t be more different.  If only someone had taken time to explain to me what the differences in the spelling and meaning were, I’d have spent a lot less time being clueless.  So I’m going to explain it to you the way I wish someone had explained it to me.

Glycemia has to do with glucose or more specifically, blood sugar.  This is the ending of both words so all we have to focus on is the prefixes, hyper- and hypo-.  When you’re a non-genius kid and no one points this out, you have a terrible time differentiating between the two!

Okay, so hyPER should remind you of a kid who is overactive.  People say the kid is HYPER–too much energy “too much sugar”.  The other thing you should remember is that an episode of hypERglycemia can land you in the Emergency Room more often than a hypo.

On the other hand, HyPOglycemia is when the sugar is too LOW.  “PO” rhymes with “LOW” and that’s pretty much the extent of my little remembering tricks for that one.  Ha ha…

You’re welcome.

Clarity…

I said a hyperglycemic episode can be more serious than a hypo (“land you in the ER”) because it’s fairly cut and dried how to remedy a low blood sugar.  Unless you go so low that you lose consciousness, you can eat or give a glucagon shot to correct a low,  A stubborn high, however, is a bit harder to recognize, can sometimes lead to ketones which is one step closer to DKA even if your sugar isn’t “all that high”.  And once you are in DKA, it’s very hard to correct without medical intervention.  Your entire body chemistry changes once you become acidic from the high level of ketones.  So for anyone who wondered why I said that, this is why.  In my experience, it’s the highs that can be the most dangerous.

I guess this isn’t really an “explanation” of hyperglycemia as much as it is a look at it from my side.  This is what hyperglycemia is to me.  Big.  Bad.  Mean.  Deadly.  Threatening.  Hateful.  Slow.  Nauseating.  I could live my whole life and never miss dealing with it.  Not ever!

 


the Mondayest Monday ever


Hey y’all.  First, thanks for the well wishes, prayers, and concern.  I’m happy to report that I’m doing a little better.  I skipped church just because last year when I had this thing, every time I thought I was getting better and went somewhere, I’d end up taking a backset, so I decided not to risk it.

Of course, then Monday I had an appointment with the orthopedic doc to see about my left forefinger that’s been painful and

stiff for about six months now.  Not only that, but guys, it was POURING rain!  Not warm rain, either, but that kind of rain that says, “Hey there.  Just wanted to let you know, cold weather is coming.  Get used to it.  Next time you see me, I might be SNOW!”

Sheesh!  I was doing okay in the main waiting room that was packed out until someone who smelled like a month-old ashtray came in and sat somewhere near me.  I never saw who it was and didn’t really care, but they had to have been sitting right behind me in the row of chairs lined up back-to-back.  ARGH!  That started me coughing and that knocked crud loose that then kept me coughing and if you’ve never had lung crud fly up and hit your tonsils every time you cough, you just don’t know how important is it to be able to spit.

I know, I know.  That’s GROSS, but people, facts is facts.  I didn’t have any tissue so I just dealt with it the best I could, but soon, people were shooting me those worried glances that say I wonder what she’s got?  I continued to cough and hack until I was sweating, which is always lovely, right?  After about an hour, they called me back to an exam room, where I was finally able to calm down after coughing through all the questions from the nurse.  She felt so bad for me she was like, “Just nod.”  Ha.

So, yeah, I was there three hours just to have X-rays and be told there was the beginnings of arthritis in the tip of my finger, be asked a dozen times if the finger was locking (no, No, NO!) to then have the doctor come in (after his PA) and physically TRY to get it to lock (me, wincing & grimacing the entire time) while beginning to explain to me, “There’s this thing called ‘trigger finger’ that…” to which I replied, “Yeah, I know.  I had surgery for that on the other hand.”

He was surprised and had to make me show him the scar from the surgery HE did about 7 years ago.  ** insert eye roll here **  Granted, it had been about 4 years since I’d been in there and then I saw a different doc, but still, he could have at least flipped through my file.

Since I told them I really wasn’t supposed to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen because it can make my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) give false readings, they were like, “So you haven’t been taking anything for pain?”  No.  “Well, there’s not much we can do until the arthritis gets worse.”

Nice.  You couldn’t have told me that two hours ago?

Argh!  I then proceeded to march out of there in an extremely pissed manner, slam into my car and cry.  I was just SO upset at the way they blew me off and at having to wait so long to get such crappy news and with the rain beating down on my red-hot red Challenger, I guess I had fallen into a puddle of depression while sitting in there hoping they would do something to ease the pain.  Then, as ashamed as I am to admit, I called Tommy to let him know what the doctor had said and when he was at a loss for words, I was kinda ugly with him.

He wanted to meet me for lunch, but was very unclear about his intentions so I didn’t know he was coming to the sandwich shop beside where I was going to pick up the bare-minimum groceries we had to have.  I cooled down a little in there, but it was still raining when I came out, so I was still in a funk-nasty mood as I loaded the trunk.  Opening that made me mad at myself because I had forgotten to take two big boxes of clothes to the donation center.

 

I’m telling you guys, I was just a foul person to be around for those hours yesterday.

Being such a foolish, discouraged and disgusted person!  I was driving toward the road when Tommy called and asked if I’d forgotten about him.  I had no clue what he was talking about when he explained he was in the shop eating his lunch, watching me leave out the window.  I fussed at him for not being more clear as I pulled around there to park and walk inside.

I wasn’t hungry, so I just sat with him, trying to stop being such an unpleasant person.  At that point, I was just plain ol’ depressed.  If you don’t live with chronic depression, you won’t understand how it can sometimes just consume you out of the blue like this, but I’m learning to recognize all the triggers.  When they all line up like this, it can be overwhelming, but at least now I don’t let it take over.  I can stop and realize it’s just because things are “out of whack” and things will get better.  After that, it’s a matter of not beating myself up too much for acting on the feeling.  Seriously.  I am really mad at myself for letting it get ahold of me so bad yesterday.

 

 

 

Tommy ended up coming home from work, even though I said no when he asked if I wanted him to.  I’m pretty sure, though, he was thinking about doing it anyway since because of the rain, the contractors weren’t working.  I felt bad though until I realized that.  I hate when he feels like he needs to physically come console me as if I’m an emotional invalid, but then again…I was kinda acting like one.

Forgive me, Lord!!

We ended up having a nice evening.  I slowly got over the foul mood and we spent the time dealing with some personal phone calls he had needed to make and putting his KeySmart together and repairing a hole in the awesome Eddie Bauer down jacket I’d got him from Plato’s a while back.  You can’t even tell there was ever a hole there!

ABOVE IS SOME HELPFUL INFO FOR THOSE WHO LOVE A PERSON LIVING WITH DEPRESSION AND **YOU** IF YOU ARE THAT PERSON!!  EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT TO DISCUSS!

Ha, ha!  I know that doesn’t sound very refreshing or enjoyable, but in our lives, getting little things like that done is a big relief.  Those were things we could neither do alone, so it was nice to have the time to clear them off the to-do list!  Well, he could have probably got the KeySmart together himself, but those suckers are hard to handle so having an extra set of hands made it easier.  He loves it and even though I honestly didn’t even “need” one (because it turned out that I didn’t have as many keys as I thought I did!) they are really nice and with all his keys, it really made them all easier to deal with and fit in a pocket.

So even though the majority of my Monday really was super-Mondayish it ended in a much more almost-the-weekend way.

And thank God for that!

{note:  I tried to link images that had credit URLs available, but not all of them did.  If one of these belongs to you, please contact me about removing or crediting it properly!  THANK YOU!}


who let the monster in?


I’m referring to the Bronchomonster from last year, folks.

(also referred to here, here, here, here and here. )  Oh wait…. also here, here, here, and here.   Yeahhh, it was THAT great.  ** insert eye roll here **

Here’s the thing, I had this WHOLE long post written up (remember guys, it takes me a ton longer to get a post published these days for some reason) I mean, a full-on, several-hundred words post about how great it was to have NOT had to deal with this bronchial infection stuff the way I did last year.  And you can just guess what happened after that, right?

 

Yep.  I’m sitting here, sucking the nebulizer as I type.  ARGH!  Seriously, folks, I AM thankful that I haven’t had it all this time, since last year, it started in August and did NOT leave until mid-November!!!

I think it probably got a foothold in when I went to have out-patient surgery last week.  GAH!  What’s that about?  Oh, well…you know since we knocked out out-of-pocket limit in the head back in March, Tommy and I have been getting all sorts of tests done and with a bout of weird “lady things” going on, my general physician wanted to send me for a consult with the gyno.  Yay.

They’d already done a really painful ultrasound earlier this year looking for something else.  I had to have that REDONE so there was that.  Then I had to have this tissue sample taken and THAT was simply horrific.

 

DISCLAIMER:  for the dudes who may be lurking out there, this is going to get really “woman-y” really fast, so brace yourselves for lots of uncomfortable info about what we ladies have to go through to keep our honey-pots healthy.  There.

 

So they tried to do this tissue sample thing in the office.  It was supposed to be a simple procedure, right?  No.  Not for Geannie.  Nothing is ever really simple with me.

They had to change the speculum THREE TIMES!  That thing is always painful to me since I’m made so weird in there anyway, but I had to lay there with one ill-fitting contraption in me while the nurse went to get another one, and then that one didn’t work either.  It was MISERABLE!  Then they started with the actual tissue retrieval.  Um, NO!

What they told me was it would be a small straw-like thing that the doc would then “spin” around in there to grab a bit of tissue.  Apparently, the first one collapsed on itself…I dunno, I guess it was defective and I’m thinking to myself it’s like when you get a straw with a hole in it and can’t drink your soda through it?  Who knows.  But yeah, then I had to wait while the nurse left AGAIN to get another one of those too.  I was bawling by the time they were done.

Both the female doc and the nurse were apologizing profusely, but that didn’t make it any better.  It was awful!

Early the next week, I get a call from the nurse telling me they hadn’t even gotten a tissue sample, just some “mucous” and I was waiting for her to say they had to do it again to which I was going to reply, “OH NO YOU DON’T!  I don’t care if it all rots and falls out, I am NOT going through THAT again!!”  But what she said was they wanted to do this as an out-patient surgery.  The plan was a hysteroscopy with D & C.  They had spotted a polyp which needed to be removed and biopsied plus I think they planned to just sorta clean all the thickened tissue out if needed.  So I’m like, “General anesthesia?”  which the nurse confirmed, so I said, “Okay, let’s do it.”

So anyway, I had that done last Tuesday and it was a breeze comparatively.  Other than some minor cramping and the sensation that I’d been scrubbed out down there with a brillo pad, there wasn’t a ton of pain.  All the rawness was gone and I was feeling pretty much back to normal the next day…except for a sore throat.  The nurse told me that was from the tube they’d put down my throat during surgery.

But I knew it wasn’t.

I started doubling up on my elderberry syrup and vitamin C, but apparently, it was too little, too late.  By yesterday evening, I knew I was in for a bout of the Bronchomonster.

I think probably having an infection (found out from the pre-op tests I had a couple bacterial infections brewing) my immune system was weakened just enough to let this awful broncho-stuff take hold.  Oh, that and it just turned pretty cold around home, too.  Not that the cold weather gives you a cold, of course, but it sure didn’t do my throat any favors on top of all the other stuff.

Thank God, though, the throat isn’t a big issue anymore.  It’s this coughing, but–again, thank God– it’s nothing near like last year and hopefully, I’m getting on top of it soon enough to clear it up without any steroids or antibiotics.  My good friend echinacea is going into the teapot today and I’ll be adding some other germ-fighting, immune boosting home remedies to the roster.  Ha.  If only it were that simple, huh?

I’m not even going to bore you with what the surgery/anesthesia/sick-getting has done to my blood sugars.  I am throwing insulin at them by the vial and still, they’re staying up around 300, which adds to yuckiness.  I’ve never had this much trouble with my sugar going high when I’m sick before.  Usually, only steroids do anything close to this.  UGH!

Okay, so there you go, folks.  You’re pretty much up to date on the state of affairs in my world right now.  I hope all of you are staying well and healthy!  If you have any other good self-help, home remedies for me, please leave a comment!  I’m open to ANYthing that’ll get me well ASAP!

THANKS!

 

 

 


3 things I am totally not loving right now…


Hey, everyone!  I hope you are all safe during this crazy-weather season.  Without cable, I don’t have access to the 24/7 coverage of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction down in Texas, but I have family in the Houston area so I am keeping up with things through my mom or snippets of news I see online.  So far, thank God, they are all safe and have not lost anything to the flood waters.  My prayers are for all those who are trying to live through this and for those who have gone down there to help.  God bless them all with safety and meet their needs!

THING 1 I AM TOTALLY NOT LOVING:

the weather

I wanted to pop on and share a few things that I’ve been doing lately… like looking for a remote job, for one.

I’m hooked up with RRR (Rat Race Rebellion), Remote, LinkedIn and Indeed.  I have been on LinkedIn for ages and never thought about looking for work there, but more to promote the blog and network with people.  It was suggested to have a resume on Indeed as well, so I went to sign up on Indeed only to find out that sometime or other, I had already set up an account there.

Sheesh!  I hate when I don’t keep track of that kind of stuff, but I made sure my info was still correct, updated the resume and never really thought any more about it until I got an email through Indeed.

I was SO excited at the prospect.  The lady said she was an attorney relocating from Pennsylvania to Kentucky in a city near me and needed an assistant for both office and personal errands.  It sounded like a great job and I was really thinking “What a great blessing!”  

After letting her know I was interested, she asked for some info about me, just an informal bio-type of thing so I told her I was an empty-nest mom, married 32 years who had worked in bookkeeping, office management, retail management and most recently in various call-center jobs including a few government contracts.  I told her I’d homeschooled my sons and how they are doing in their jobs.  For some reason, I feel a need to include this somehow on my resumes because it seems to be proof that I did a good job.  (ha ha!  I don’t go into how it was mostly God that did it because He had to hold me together through most of it!)

So anyway…she replied that it sounded like I was perfect for the job and she wanted to “secure me” now as she was going to be leaving for Turkey soon to arrange to bring her two children back with her.  She told me this stuff in that second email, but her mother currently cared for the children but no explanation as to why.  This was sort of odd to me, but then when she said she wanted to advance me a weeks’ pay and have me start immediately “to test proficiency” and so that I’d be ready to help her get started as soon as she got back when “mind you there will be a formal interview when I return” so it seemed legit enough but something about the way she had misspelled some words (a pet peeve of mine, however, I don’t think I’m nazi-ish about it) and that it seemed as if English wasn’t her first language (also not something I would normally judge someone on, but an attorney in America?  I’d think being well-versed in using the language would be a must, ya know?)  So I got suspicious about it.

I haven’t been able to find ANYONE in the Pennsylvania town she gave as her current location by her name.  She hasn’t given me the name of a firm, so I assumed she was opening her own practice here, but there should be SOME mention of her name if she’s been practicing there at all, right?

** sigh **  Oh, and did I mention she wanted to pay me $500/week to work part time?  That is of course why I was thrilled to think about taking the position, but then to advance me that sight-unseen?  Um… say it with me, FISHY!  So, I found a forum on Indeed and asked if there was any way to check out a potential employer through the website.  All I got was “If it sounds fishy to you, it probably is.  Scammers make me furious!”

She wanted just the name of my bank, and then the other info she asked for would be available on my resume.  So I’m going to reply that she can find all that information there and then I’d prefer her to pay me through Paypal this first time until we can do the formal interview.  Let’s see what response I get from that.

Gah.  I’m so sad.  I thought for sure God had dropped the perfect job in my lap!  (almost perfect–it was still going to require that I drive 40-some miles several times a week each way to work in the office– I really want a remote job but thought for part time, it would probably be a good way to get out of the house a bit)

Ah well… if He DID do this, it will all work out, but if not, I am so thankful He gave me the good sense not to just shoot her my info in a fit of giddiness about a part-time $500/wk fake job!

Have any of you dealt with this kind of thing?  I mean, I’ve seen the emails that say “Work from home, 5 minutes a day and make $100k/year!”  Ha!  Those are so obviously a bunch of crapola.  But this one was much sneakier.

How would you respond (or would you respond at all?) to a job offer like this?

THING 2 I AM TOTALLY NOT LOVING:

deceitful people online (or in real life, for that matter!)

The other thing I am not crazy about right now is the high cost of dental care.  If you know me, you know this has become the bane of my existence!  Due to diabetes, my teeth are more prone to decay anyway, but I also inherited just awful teeth from my mother.  She was about my age when her teeth just began to fall apart.

Thanks, Mom.  Mine are doing the same right now.  Seriously, there’s a lot to be said about good “teeth genes” because my husband takes MUCH less care of his teeth and has had maybe ONE cavity in our entire marriage.  My kids, thank God, got some of that trait from their dad.  Well, thank God for the good “teeth genes” but not for their dental hygiene habits.  They are as bad at caring for their teeth but have little to no problems with their teeth either, so praise God for that one!

My teeth are just SO brittle and they are literally falling apart.  Not all of them at once, thank the Lord, but enough of them to cause me a lot of trouble and getting them fixed is just ungodly expensive!  I’ve had so far about 4 teeth pulled either because of a deep cavity that I opted not to fix or because the tooth just broke and instead of paying for a crown, I said, “Just pull it!”  That plan has worked fine until the last one.  The tooth had just crumbled apart after having a chunk break off of it a few months prior.  Of course, my dentist had been nagging me to let him fix it.  After it crumbled that way, it left some fragments in the gum that were like little knives that I tried to manage.  At first, they would only cut my tongue occasionally and I could deal with that.  But then, since I have some allergies and also something called geographic tongue (yes, it’s a thing…click on it and see what that’s about!) so when something causes a reaction, my tongue gets very angry and sore and it hurts like the devil!  By the time I’d had enough and set up the appointment to have those fragments pulled, I was afraid I’d possibly set up cancer because there was this ugly, inflamed hole in the bottom of my tongue where it had rubbed against those tooth-fragment knives for so long.  I’m serious…it was a defined hole with a scary white ridge around the edges.  And it HURT so bad!!!

Thank God, though, once I got those fragments pulled, the hole healed up and went away, but now I have just one molar behind that one and the gap left by the missing tooth feels massive which makes it feel like I don’t have much to chew with on my left side.  And now, as of about a month ago, an old crown came out on the top right leaving behind, you guessed it…some little tooth fragments.  Thankfully, they aren’t nearly as huge or sharp so they’re not bothering me except that with only one molar behind that gap as well, once again I have little left to chew with over there.  And while the fragments don’t cut my tongue, it does hurt like crazy if I accidentally bite down on something

with those little suckers.  Try as I might, it’s hard not to let a bit of food slip over in that gap and it will mash against those fragments and send pain shooting through my face.  It usually bleeds too which only adds to the ghastliness

of the situation, right?

I have decided I won’t spend a bunch of money to fix my crappy teeth anymore.  What I WANT to do is have dental

implants, but then again, that definitely is going to cost a ton of money.  BUT it should be a more permanent solution, so that’s what I am holding out for… I’m just not sure how long I can hold out.  My oral surgeon recommended I wait til absolutely necessary to do that.  He said he has an aversion to yanking out perfectly good teeth, especially from a diabetic. And then there’s the whole process of implants… pull any remaining teeth, wait possibly up to 6 months for that to heal, then place the implants, go through the healing process for them and then several visits to make sure they are properly fitted and aligned and so forth.

So, I’m waiting.  Impatiently, but I’m waiting all the same.

THING 3 I AM TOTALLY NOT LOVING:

dental work and expense

So, friends… what kind of things are going on with you lately that you just really hate?  Do you also struggle to afford dental care?  Do you have dental insurance (because I do, but it’s not worth a whole lot once they tell you what they won’t cover!)?  Are you a fanatic about dental care or do you avoid it?  I guess I’m somewhere in the middle.


the thing nobody wants to discuss


About that title… I had a post all-but ready to publish yesterday. I was looking for photos to use in it when I ran across something on my Facebook timeline. I have searched all through the year it happened and cannot find it. There are about 4 days missing and I even went back several years to see if it was there instead, but no. It was about something really important.

And tragic.

And controversial, of course.

I am SO upset that I can’t find that post because it linked to an article, which is what started the post in the first place. I debated just giving up on the idea of even writing about it at all, but guys, it’s REALLY important and I’m being serious here.

I feel like, as so often happens, the enemy is attempting to thwart something that would bring God glory, so even though I can’t find the post or article, even though I’ve spent literally almost FOUR HOURS looking for it, I’m going to go ahead and write about this.

I think there may be someone out there who needs to read what I have to say today. It’s something that feels like one of those “God nudges” so I’m not going to ignore it. Please bear with me since I will have to explain SO much because I don’t have the linked article!

I’ve found only one article that is even halfway similar to the post I mentioned in my FB status, so I’m going to put the text link here, but I’m not linking to the article. You’ll have to copy/paste into the address bar to read it and I encourage you to read it. I just don’t want to popularize it by linking it from my blog.

http: //www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2014-08-suicide-selfish-wanting-someone-live-pain/

The blog post I saw back then was just a few days after the suicide of Robin Williams. The lady’s point was that suicide was not selfish and I didn’t agree with her.

Now, before you get riled up at me, I didn’t start a debate with this woman. I merely created a status stating that I disagreed with no links to her or mention of her name, etc. I didn’t want to increase her pain since she linked her feelings to the loss of a parent by suicide. I didn’t and won’t even pretend to understand how one would begin to cope with such a tragedy. I was not and am not trying to pass judgment on her, her parent, RW or anyone else!

However, given the fact that RW’s decision to take his own life was linked to depression, and depression is something I know, I’m going to address it. I know depression well. Depression and I are like ** this **.

I’m not going to deny it. In my worst, most desperate moments of deep depression, I have pondered committing suicide myself. More than once. If you know anything about depression, you know how it can grip you, how it can strangle you and make you feel like there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for you to go on.

I want to interject here that my thoughts and opinions about all this are filtered through my faith in Jesus. If you do not consider Him to be your Savior, then you are not likely to understand my intentions here. Just be aware that you MUST use this faith-filter in order to even begin to know my intent.

I believe without doubt or hesitation that my faith in Christ is the only reason I didn’t go through with ending my life. Perhaps it was guilt over the thought that I would be disappointing Him if I carried it out. But when I had lived a couple of decades with depression, after I had resisted the temptation to get rid of my pain through suicide, I finally learned something that has kept me from ever seriously considering it again.

My life is not mine.

Before, when I was younger and would consider suicide, I could only think about how death might bring some peace to my aching heart. I thought about how not having me around would take undue stress off my family and loved ones. I thought about how things would stop being so hard, so painful, so worthless.

 

In short, I thought a whoooole lot about one thing: ME. I was too young and immature as a Christian– because yes, sometimes even us Christians think about ending it all– to realize that I am not the “owner” of my life.

That probably seems like a strange thing to anyone without faith in an eternal God and Creator. But here’s how it works… if I believe that God created all things, all humans, then I must recognize that God is the Giver of Life. If He gave this life to me, then in reality, it isn’t really mine, is it? Especially when you go further and add to this the realization that our lives, our time on earth, is just “borrowed” and we must one day, when this life is over (whether by our own hand or not) give an account for how we used our time here, it really sobers you up in a hurry. It makes you put down the spirit (as a liquor) of persecution, of pettiness, of self-focus and yes, selfishness.

While I pondered how I could not imagine dealing with one of my own parents committing suicide, the way this lady was, I then put my children in that spot. If I thought it would be hard for me to cope with, why on earth would I consider putting my own children through that? How utterly selfish and thoughtless of me! That thought is possibly more of what kept me from killing myself when I was a young mother. I couldn’t dream of doing such a thing to my babies.

It was later that I realized what sort of thing my suicide would be to God.

I believe that all things are created for a purpose. I think most Christians believe this. Even bad things can be turned into good ones through Christ. I have lived that doctrine out many times! So, if God created me, He gave me life and meant it as a gift, something precious to be treasured and used for His glory…then how dare I think I know when it should end and how dare I contemplate ending that life myself?

How dare I??

When I put it that way, I am stunned and ashamed that I ever even entertained such thoughts. And don’t get me wrong… I still fully understand what it’s like to be in such a deep pit, lost in such total darkness and in such great pain that you think there’s nothing left but death. I am not trivializing the way that feels at all.

I wouldn’t dare do that, either!

But…I am adding to it another thought. A thought beyond the temporary (but sometimes extremely too-long) pain that is depression. The realization that this is not my life. God gave it to me. He intended me to use it to glorify Him. What glory do I bring Him if I let desperation and depression SO overcome me that I take my own life? What glory is it if I dismiss His might and power to keep me safe, to direct my path, if I throw away the gift He gave me? Where is my faith if I let what I KNOW to be the work of my enemy destroy my faith that God is enough. That He is mighty enough to deliver me from this, just as He made a dry path through the Red Sea for Moses. Just as He provided a substitute sacrifice for Abraham as he prepared to prove his faith in God by sacrificing his only son, Isaac. Just as He closed the mouths of lions and kept Daniel safe and sound. Just as He walked in the fire where the three Hebrew men (who refused to bow to an idol) had been thrown. *

How??

Once my mind was healed enough to realize what suicide actually is to God… a virtual slap in the face. A statement that He actually doesn’t know best. That God can’t keep me safe or heal me. That He doesn’t care and the gift of life He gave is worth nothing to me.

And most tragic of all, that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross wasn’t enough for me.

I am not wise enough to state or debate about whether committing suicide will keep you from entering Heaven. I know some people believe that as much as they believe the sun gives light, but I don’t. I admit that I could be wrong. ** chuckle ** We all know, I could certainly be wrong about a lot of things, especially something so spiritual and eternal as this. So I won’t debate it but I can’t think God would “undo” the promises made when a person accepted Him because they later became so despondent and so wracked with grief and pain that they made a foolish, albeit eternal, choice. Again, I DO NOT KNOW THIS and I’m only stating my opinion. You decide for yourself if you must ponder the question.

I am so thankful that my mind is no longer so clouded. That even when I am deeply depressed I can remember Who I belong to. Yes, I do STILL get depressed. Not sad, not discouraged, but deeply grieved and almost physically unable to smile it seems. Depression for me is hugely physical and not just emotional or psychological. It’s like having a heavy black cloth thrown over me that I must fight to get out from under. When I’m there, in the darkness which can feel completely isolated, I can recall that God made me and He DOES have a purpose for me. Then I can ponder what He wants me to learn from this season.

I hope my rambling and sharing has helped someone out there. I hope it speaks to your heart and prods you to look at God’s word for healing. EVEN when He doesn’t “cure” your depression, you can still rest in Him knowing that He doesn’t forsake and He knows the plans He has for us… plans for good and not harm; plans for a purpose and to bring us to right where He needs us to be.

As I like to say, I don’t have to understand it. I just have to trust God with it.

Email me if you have questions or want to talk through anything.

Blessings…

  • scripture references for the miracles mentioned in this post:
    Exodus 14:16

Genesis 22:3-14

Daniel 6

Daniel 3

 

Additional encouraging scripture:

1 Corinthians 10:13

2 Thessalonians 3:3

Hebrews 10:23

Isaiah 12:2

1 Thessalonians 5:24


finding peace in the pieces


Ah, broken hearts. They’re the stuff great songs are made of, am I right? And if you have one, they are like the longest, most painful night of your life.

Unless you’re like, 4 days old, you’ve had a broken heart. At least once! At this point in my life, I’ve had many-a broken heart. Like they say, time usually heals them but some take more time than others.

I don’t spend a lot of my time worrying about having my heart broken from things like a death in the family or a betrayal by someone dear to me. If you know me, you know I’m not really a “worrier”. I really do try to leave it all in God’s hands and be as content as I can be with His plan and His determined outcome.

However, in the past couple of years, I have just occasionally and quite randomly found myself mulling over how I would handle it if something tragic happened to one of my children.

I don’t know why, really. Well, yeah, I do. It’s the enemy trying to steal my joy and keep me from concentrating on God and what He wants me to do. Then there are the times I fret over the fact that it worries me being some sort of forewarning. I’m telling you, I can drive myself crazy with it if I don’t stop it quickly.

I have several dear friends who have lost their children from illness or accidents. Some of them just amaze me with how they have handled it. They have a peace and a joy that I can’t quite comprehend. Others of them tend to dwell and hold their sadness close, even after a decade or more.

I’m just not sure how I would do. I want to think I could allow God to take it and I could find peace again, but somehow I can never feel confident about that. It’s like I wonder how I’d do with a test such as that. Like Job losing ALL his children in one fell swoop on top of all his bodily torments and other losses. I just marvel at how amazingly God can sustain our frail human hearts.

So anyway, the reason I am pondering all this stuff is that I had a terrible heartbreak this weekend. We lost my sweet little puppy, Max.  I am so heartbroken to lose him.  Tommy came in Saturday with a look on his face that told me it couldn’t be good news.

He knelt down beside me and said, “Honey, Maxie’s been in an accident,” and that’s all it took.  I said, “Is he gone?” and when Tommy confirmed, I just dissolved into tears.  I’ve had pets all my life.  Mostly dogs, but sometimes cats when I was little.  We’ve lost countless dogs over the years to either accident or illness and I have always been upset, but never like this.  Of course, growing up, we never had inside dogs and somehow, when they don’t live right “in amongst” you, you don’t get quite as close to them.  We had an inside dog before Max, but he was never as attentive or as “stuck” to me as Max.

We got our sweet Max, a little “Malti-Tzu” (Maltese/Shih Tzu mix) when I was at one of the most dark, depressed states of my life.  I needed him and he needed me.  We got him from a lady who had taken him even though she knew pets weren’t allowed in her apartment.  She kept him crated all day while she was at work, so over 8 hours.  He was a mess, all long and matted.  He was afraid of men because, as she told us, her boyfriend didn’t like Max and would yell at him (and who knows what else).

It took awhile, but soon he was not just my baby, but Tommy’s buddy as well.  He loved people, most people, well…after he had barked at them a bit and decided they were okay.  We have a few friends he never took to though and I’m pretty sure it was because they had sort-of loud or a different tone to their voices.  Otherwise, though, he made friends pretty quickly.  He was very protective of me which at first, I think was a behavior held over from the yelling boyfriend of his previous owner.  The first couple of times Tommy moved to hug me, Max would leap between us and like I said, the first couple of times he made a faint growl at him, but soon as I assured Max that it was okay, he stopped making any aggressive sounds.  Soon, it was done just because he was a nosy little stinker.  He would wedge his way between us with this “Whatcha’ll doin’?” look on his face.  He had a huge personality.

Max loved to play and was really a joy to watch.  He would skip and run and sling his “baby” or ball around then run to catch it.  He loved to drop his balls into containers then act like he was on Mission Impossible trying to get them back out.  He’d drop them in Tommy’s boots, the laundry basket, my purse… you name it.  It was such fun to watch him play.

Max also loved to cuddle and sleep.  Bless his heart, when I had a bad day and could barely keep my head up, he was just as game to lay in bed all day with me as he was to be up following me all over the house.  I think this is the main reason I’m so devastated over losing him.  I’ve never had a dog that loved me so good.  He just wanted to be with me, no matter what.  He was entirely too cute for my own good.

Even though he wasn’t one of those “yappy” dogs that barked all the time, the house seems so quiet without him.  I think it’s because the sound of him jumping off the couch or bed to run see who was outside or his little feet clippety-clipping behind him on the tile have become comforting sounds and I miss them terribly today.

Max had a huge sense of adventure and was, like I said, game for anything Tommy and I were up for.  He loved to travel and was the best car-riding buddy ever.  We took him with us along on more road trips than we can remember.  He loved to ride and would get so excited about a car ride, but soon as we were on the interstate, he’d be out like a light.  The interstate was like valium to him!

Max went camping with us, he’s gone to various cookouts, hikes and bon fires.  Fishing at the pond was a favorite.  He even went for a ride on the four-wheeler, but that wasn’t his favorite since we had to rig him a “seat” (aka: milk crate with harness) because he would NOT be still and let me hold him!  He wanted to jump off and chase every critter we saw.  

He even rode with Tommy on his bike once.  I’m not sure he liked it a whole lot, but he liked being with us.  He was better satisfied as long as he could see me riding behind, but if I got in front, he would have a fit to climb over Tommy’s shoulder.  We wanted to try another camping trip like this with the bikes and try him in a basket, but we never got the chance.  Max was willing to try just about anything we did as long as he could go with us.

Max was a peculiar little poot, too.  He had this thing, maybe all little dogs are this way, but if any dogs were around who were bigger than him, he HAD to make it clear that HE was the boss.  Our old chocolate lab, Samson, was a prime example and he probably

made Max worse because of his own super-gentle temperment.  Sam was always the gentleman, to a fault!  He was never the least bit aggressive unless you threatened his food.  And sometimes, he’d even share that with Max.  He never took the ball away from him, love his heart.  He always let Max get the ball.  Maybe that’s because Max would start growling and snarling like a rabid skunk if some one threatened whatever he considered his.  And of course, ALL THINGS were his.  Humans and toys alike.  And if another big dog came around, even one of our boys’ dogs (Corey has an Austrailian Shepherd and Casey has a Golden Retriever) if any of the big dogs was aggressive with the other, he would be all over them as if to say, “HEY!  Shut it down!  I’M the only one who gets to do that!”  It was really hilarious and I’d have to explain to other people that he wasn’t really being mean, it was just his way.  Bahaha.  Max definitely had a unique way of socializing.  But he still had lots of buddies.  Seriously, even the dogs couldn’t help but love him.

Max was the sweetest, craziest, noisiest little pup ever and I am really heartbroken right now.  After crying my eyes out for almost two hours solid, I’ve collected myself and can ponder why.  I don’t know why this had to happen at this point in time.  I don’t want to dwell on how it happened

other than to say it was an accident and happened right in our driveway.  Max was, as anyone who’s been here knows, a horrible one to run up to and around and under vehicles as they approached or left the house.  We tried every way we knew to break him of it, but he would not be stopped.  The only way was to forcibly hold him or just take him inside.  It never failed that I would no sooner let him out in the yard to play than someone would pull into the driveway and I’d have to go out and try to catch Max or watch with my stomach clenched as the person tried to slowly bring the car or truck closer.  Whether it was a delivery truck or someone who had been here a million times, he would go at it barking like mad and running as close to the tires as possible, so honestly, I wouldn’t blame the person responsible at all.  This person has no clue that they even ran over Max.  Another reason I don’t want to dwell on it is that I could end up getting mad or even more upset.  I know this person was distracted with trying to hurry home even though they know how Max is and have had to deal with his antics a million other times.  For whatever reason, God saw fit to let this happen and I am trying to cope.

 

 

Which brings me back to my first thoughts up there of fretting about how I’d deal with it if something awful happened to one of my boys.  I am wondering if God isn’t letting me know that this is not the worst thing ever.  He knows that I would have been in much worse shape if I was dealing with losing one of them.  Why I need to realize that now is something I don’t want to ponder long.  I think it’s become more of a thing with me ever since Corey moved to Ohio.  I felt like I was literally losing him.  I realize now that was silly since we actually talk to him and Melissa and even see them more often than we did when they lived a stone’s throw away!  The moving and now this has all taught me never to take anything or any one for granted as I am so apt to do.  

I’m so thankful that God put Max in my path (I found him on Craig’s List!) when He did because we really did need each other.  I hope he felt every bit as loved as he was.  Especially after spending part or maybe all his life feeling like he wasn’t wanted.  I loved that little fella SO good and through him and my family and others, God brought me out of the deepest pit to recover my joy.

It feels terribly lonely today though and I have cried through sorting for pictures to share with you and have realized I don’t want to feel like this.  No pup can ever replace my little Max, but I need the companionship of a silly, funny pup.  I have been busying my mind in the search for another Malti-shuh or whatever they are calling the Maltese/Shih Tzu mix.  The characteristics of both breeds are just what I need, I believe.  But it’s hard to find them except from expensive breeders, which we can’t afford or people who are no longer able to care for aged dogs, which I don’t need.  I need a younger dog that can be trained.  Corey believes we can train a dog to help alert us to low blood sugars which would be extremely helpful!  I know this breed isn’t the top recommendation for this sort of training, but right now I’m determined that I need a little one that will be a cuddly furbaby, too.  Even if they can’t be FULLY trained to alert, I know that dogs have the natural ability to sense things like that and it would still be helpful even if they don’t know proper alert actions.  My mind may change but as it stands right now, it doesn’t much matter.  We can’t afford to just purchase a pup from a breeder and besides, I’d rather not do that anyway.  I’d like to be able to get a younger dog from an owner who has discovered they can’t care for the dog or maybe has had an unexpected litter of pups.  I’d like to find one less than a year old and even a straight-Shih Tzu, Maltese or even a Yorkie would be great.  (just throwing this out there in case anyone knows somebody who knows somebody… heh)

My experience with Max tells me that for the most part, the combination of Shih Tzu and Maltese traits are just wonderful other than the drive to chase, which is high in most small dogs already.

I’m thankful for the time I had Max.  He was like medicine for my hurting heart.  I know God has another dose of good medicine out there somewhere and at the right time, he or she will cross my path.  In the meantime, I’m also thankful for my family who has been so sweet in understanding my heartache and sweet Tommy, who I know is also heartbroken but has been so strong for me the past couple days.  I am blessed and highly favored.

Go and tell your family and friends you love them and hug your pet.  Any and all of them are blessings to be treasured!  Always remember there is peace among the pieces of your broken heart if you just let God handle the reassembly.

BLESSINGS!!!


the look of love


Do you ever wonder what God’s love looks like? Well, I’m going to show you just one of many shapes His love can take. Observe:

God’s love

Yes.  That stack of medical supplies is just one example of the way God’s love looks to me.

Let me explain.

If you read here at all, you probably picked up on the fact that I often worry about money.  I honestly don’t worry about much else.  Maybe if one of my kids is sick or hurting emotionally, I’ll be concerned and prayerful about that, but things like medical crises and being sick or injured myself doesn’t worry me.  I think that God has shown His hand SO many times in that way that I no longer spend very much time worrying about my health or things like that.  But money (or rather, the lack of it!) has always had the power to bring me to my knees.

Worrying about how we’ll pay the bills or afford to fix something can mess me up big time.  I will fret so much about it that I almost just freeze.  Nothing more so than when it comes to the dire necessities.

God has grown my faith and matured me a lot in the past several years when it comes to trusting Him.  I don’t say that to brag, but to point out His grace in being patient with me and giving me second, tenth, eighty-fourth chances.  It has always bothered me that I worried so much about money.  I’m always trying to figure out how to make more of it, how to generate more income or in times of serious need, I start thinking of things to sell and we just don’t even have a lot of that when it comes to making a quick hundred or so.  Yes, for us, an extra $20 can sometimes be very hard to come up with, just so you understand my frame of reference.

After some wonderful sermons that have been speaking to me about growing my faith, I determined that I would stop fretting about money and paying bills.  I would begin to wait, lean on and trust in God to meet these needs.  And before I knew it, a perfect opportunity presented itself.

I was almost completely out of supplies for my insulin pump.  I had called the supply company already over a week ago trying to sort through a balance they said I still owed.  I explained to them that I have a second insurance policy that should have paid the balance.  They said I had one amount from the first of the year already in collections and another balance.  After being given the run-around and being told various things by various people, I finally had a sales rep tell me they don’t “participate” with my secondary insurance company.

Nice.  After having TWO different people who were supposedly from the company’s insurance department assure me “we will get that filed with your other policy right away”, now a sales rep tells me they don’t even take the other insurance??  ARGH!

I have no patience when it comes to this kind of stuff.  It sets me on edge and makes me a nervous wreck.  There’s just something about being told you have an outstanding balance of almost $1500 that makes me queasy.  When it’s all we can do to get the utilities and mortgage paid and have a little left over for groceries while juggling a stack of hospital, doctor and lab bills from month to month?  It just overwhelms me and sets me on a track for a real fear-fest.  Echos of “how are we going to afford…” and “where will we get that much…” begin to cripple me.

So here I sat, down to ONE line set and three reservoirs having visions of having to go back to multiple daily injections and thinking about how awful my levels would become without a base rate of insulin from the pump…  I just stopped and thought, “Okay, God.  You’re going to have to take care of this.  I can’t see ANY way to come up with this money, so I’m going to just trust You.”  It’s much easier to “trust” God when you have at least an idea of how it might be possible to make something happen.  That’s why He does things like lead several million people to the edge of a sea with a murderous army pursuing them…so He can show Himself and it be known that without a doubt, there was NO WAY they could have escaped without God’s provision.  (Read the story of Moses)

He erases any chance that a thing could have “just happened” or that man could have had anything whatsoever to do with it.

That’s where He had us.  We were already behind on one of our big payments and thinking we would barely scrape by if we paid the big ones this week, then the lesser bills next week.  Now this?

I was thinking about how I could maybe use another reservoir but reuse the same line set when this reservoir was empty.  That’s risky and can cause an infection at worst or irritation at best.  I was trying to think of EVERY POSSIBLE SOLUTION all the while saying, “I’m going to trust God with this.”  Even though, in reality, I wasn’t really trusting Him completely.  I have to say, though, I was doing better than I would have in the past.  At least I hadn’t allowed myself to fall into a deep depression and cease to function.  I hadn’t curled up anywhere to cry.  I was actually doing better than usual, but still… I hadn’t let go of trying to solve the problem myself while I was “trusting God”.

Shame on me.

The very next day after getting the news that we would have to pay $600 of the full balance before they would let me order again, I got a text from a lady who has been doing my physical therapy.  She works on Tommy’s back too, so we have both gotten to know her.  She’s really sweet, but struggles with self-worth and depression too.  We’d been trying to get her to come to church with us, but it hadn’t worked out so that she could.  I ended up sending her this sermon after telling her it would do her a lot of good. I told her to MAKE the time to watch it when she could concentrate and pay attention.  So she had called me when she got to listen to it while driving a couple hours to another town for a job.  She was almost in tears and said I was right, the message was exactly what she needed to hear.

So then, the day after getting the news about having to pay the huge amount before I could order supplies, she texted to see if I was coming in for an appointment that week.  I told her no, I wouldn’t be there til the next week.  I forgot to mention, she is now moving to Georgia (moving this weekend, actually!!) so she said she would be gone by then but she had something to give me and could I stop by the office.  I said I could come by after lunch.

When I got there, she hugged me as usual and I chit-chatted with the receptionist while my friend went to get this mysterious “thing” she had to give me.  When she came back, she handed me a plain old envelope and told me not to open it until I was gone.  We hugged again and said our goodbyes.  She promised to keep me updated on how things were going, I told her once again she was going to do great and everything would be fine and then I left.

When I got to my car, I couldn’t stand the suspense, so I opened the envelope, which was sort of “puffy” and inside I found 10 bills totaling $70 and a note explaining.

I was floored when I saw that it was cash.  I mean, what on earth?  I wondered why in the world is she giving me money since I knew she was a bit worried about having enough to make the move and get settled before starting her new, better-paying job in Georgia.

The note explained that she felt led to “tithe” wherever she was spiritually fed.  I’m still not sure what I think about that, but anyway, she said I had helped her so much and the content of the message I’d sent her had been exactly what she needed and she knew that was only through God.

I sat there, stunned, thinking this is God showing me He’s handling things.  I mean, it’s not every day people just give me such a sum of cash, ya know?  So I KNEW it was God but still, in the back of my mind I was thinking, “This is great, God, but it’s not nearly enough… but I am going to trust You still…”

When I told Tommy about it that night, he was flabbergasted too.  He said it was just God giving us reassurance that He was taking care of it.  He said that someone had offered to buy one of his hobby tools and that might get us another $400 so we were encouraged and went on about our lives hanging onto the peace that God would take care of it.

Yesterday when Tommy came home from work, I knew something was up.  He came in telling me he HAD to tell me something.  It’s always serious when he comes directly to me instead of checking on something he’s been working on in the shop.

He began telling me about going into a place where he had to buy some things for work and also some that were needed for his dad’s old pickup they’re rebuilding.  I thought to myself, “Great.  This is going to take forever and there’s a possibility it doesn’t even concern me at all, he’s just excited about something!”  I will admit, I’m not very patient when it comes to listening to Tommy tell me some long, overly-detailed story about what they’re doing to that truck.  Ha.  I don’t know half of what he’s talking about and I’m not super-interested in how it’s coming along until he can tell me it’s done!  He gets so excited about stuff sometimes he HAS to tell SOMEone ALL about it, and I am usually that someone.  It doesn’t matter to him whether I understand him, whether I care or even if I listen for the most part… he just wants to tell it and ‘get it out’ of his system somehow.  It drives me crazy because I seldom EVER do that to him.  He would croak if I told him every time I got excited about finding a new way to get stains out of his clothes or if I went into great detail about how difficult it was to do my own nails or something that he has absolutely no interest in.  He doesn’t seem to mind that I don’t care how many times they tried the whatsit in the thingamajig to get the whatchamacallit up to 2000 RPM’s or whatever.  sigh

ANYway… this wasn’t that kind of tale, thankfully.  He started telling me about talking to a lady who worked there who also has type 1 diabetes and was having a bad day with high blood sugars and when her sugar finally came down, she was feeling really awful.  He then said they got to talking about supplies and insurance and it came up that we were having trouble getting my supplies.  She looked at him and said, “Oh, well the way my insurance is now, I actually have some extras.  I can give her at least a box of each.”

Tommy said he almost started bawling the same way I was in tears at that very moment.  I was just FLOORED.  So THIS is what God was planning??  And all that time I was trying to figure out where we’d find the money to just pay what absolutely had to be paid soon enough for me to not run out and all along He had it more than well in hand.

We made plans to meet her at a local store at noon today and when we got there, she handed a bag through the car window with not one, but THREE boxes each of line sets and reservoirs!  I was just stunned!  God had provided above and beyond what we even asked for!We thanked her profusely and then started talking.

Tommy knew she hadn’t been in church in awhile, so we invited her to go with us.  She seems to want to but is hesitant.  Most people are, I guess.  Even when they know they need to get back in church and back on track with the Lord, we always seem to draw back as if we don’t know how much better life will be.

We told her we’d call her in the morning, so I’m praying something changes her hesitancy into eagerness or at least willingness to go with us.  She’s a single mom with a young daughter so I’m really hoping she will come.  Perhaps, just maybe this is the reason God lined all these things up?!

I don’t know, but once again, He has provided.  I’m so thankful for His patience and His grace.  Now we have time to gather the money needed to at least let me order supplies again.  What the lady gave me is almost three months’ worth of supplies.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?  We offered to give her some money (remember the $70 my friend gave me?) but she refused to take it.  I was really hating to have to part with that cash if I’m being honest, but I would have given it to her if she’d taken it.  I feel so ashamed that I wasn’t more willing to give it away since it was given to me.  See?  I am still struggling with feeling a sense of want.

All the more reason I am SOOOO thankful God is patient with me.

Has anything like this ever happened to you?  Do you worry about money too?  If so, how do you deal with it?


I feel ya, Tinman


My joints and a bunch of other stuff that probably aren’t joints have been just killing me lately!  I mean, some days, I swear I’d spray some WD40 all over me if I thought it would cure me as well as it did the Tinman in The Wizard of Oz.  Just a few squirts and he was good to go, right?

Sadly, I haven’t found anything to work like that for me.  I’m thinking this is a combination of weather, age and tendency.  All of the ‘itises’ run in my family.  I’m getting up there to the point that my poor old joints are getting to be well-used and prolly tired.  And we’ve had rain for days.  Cold rain!  That last little kick in the pants from winter called “Dogwood Winter” around my area of the world.

My doc has had me going to physical therapy already and after a couple weeks doing that, my right hand began to go numb and the fingers be really stiff.  I’ve already had carpal tunnel surgery in my left hand years ago and was at one time supposed to have the right hand done, but it got better enough that I didn’t have the surgery.  So I figured I’d surely have to have it done now.  I called my doctor and sorta demanded that I have the surgery set up, so she reluctantly made me an appointment with a neurologist in town.

In the meantime, my physical therapist, A, suggests that I let the occupational therapist work on the hand.  She calls in a request to be referred and so now I’m seeing the OT as well as the PT.

Surprisingly, the therapy has been working.  I really think all this rain made it a lot worse and so as the weather clears up, I think things will feel better too, but the exercises the OT has me doing for my hand actually do help so much more than I dreamed they would!  So now I’m debating whether to go see the other doctor.  I mean, if I NEED this surgery, now would be the time to get it done since we have destroyed our deductible and eaten through our out of pocket limit too!!

Tommy has been referred to the physical therapist too so hopefully, his back and legs will start feeling better.  But during all of this therapy, something went haywire with my left shoulder.

The PT has been working on both my shoulders, basically trying to strengthen the muscles that have grown weak after years of trying to hold incorrect positions to help ease the tension pain in my neck.  I mean, for 20-plus years I’ve dealt with this awful neck/shoulder pain without any real or lasting relief.  I’m pretty sure a local chiro made the problem so bad when he tried to tweak my neck.  That’s when the migraines started, at least.  I had those for a year or two before seeing a different type of chiro who got rid of the migraines, thank God, but could never get my neck to stop hurting.  Then I met a chiro through Emmaus who worked on me at camp once and she did wonders for it, but it was almost a two-hour drive to her office in Middlesboro, so I couldn’t really keep that up.

So now here I am, trying to keep myself from becoming a Tinman.  Ha.  The other thing, a big reason to pursue this is that I would REALLY love to get back to cycling and one of the worst pains I had from riding my bike wasn’t my butt.  It was my neck and shoulders. I’m SO hoping that I can get to where riding my bike doesn’t make my neck and shoulders hurt so bad that I have to just stop.  It gets to a certain point, like the point of no return, that it hurts so bad and won’t let up.  I have to stop what I’m doing and I’m still in pain.  Lately, it’s been hurting to the point of tears, so I’m really praying the therapy will fix me up.

I can’t take pain meds because of the CGM.  Apparently, acetaminophen causes the readings to be off and some suggest the same is true for ibuprofen.  Also, ibuprofen can affect blood sugar control.  So, I decided I’d try taking plain old aspirin for the pain.  The PT suggested it, actually.  She realized I really needed some relief from the worst of the pain before I could get back to doing any sort of exercise.  I took three doses of aspirin on Saturday and by about two hours after that third dose, my ears were screaming.

I’ve had tinnitus for years.  Since I was 16 and our old pediatrician diagnosed it.  He asked me a bunch of questions trying to determine what may have caused it.  When I told him I’d been having more sinus headaches and had been taking the aspirin I found in the kitchen cabinet, he said, “Ah.  That’s probably the culprit.”  For years now, when I happen to tell another doctor this, they blow it off and say it couldn’t have been the aspirin.  However, since then, I hadn’t taken any aspirin other than a chewable once every couple of days for blood pressure/heart health.  So by the time I’d taken three doses of regular aspirin, it felt like my ears had been plugged with bubblegum and the screeching that is normally tolerable was 10x higher.  It was horrible and I was so afraid that I might have done something permanent to my hearing.  Thankfully, that slowly dissipated and things went back to the normal squealing that I’ve learned to deal with.

SoooOOooo…that’s where I stand.  Hoping and praying, working toward feeling better and being more pain-free.