geanniegray.com

a blog about life with diabetes, depression & dysfunction & how to manage them with HOPE!

Category: book


creative juices and such


So, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to write the book lately.  Yesterday was a good good day!  YESSSS!

my ancient laptop

Yes. I’m working with an ancient laptop. Maybe the book would make enough money I could afford a new one? HA!

 

I wrote another 3,000 words yesterday.  I just never realized how hard it would be once I actually sat down to write out the words.  I mean, it’s not like I’m having to develop characters and come up with a decent storyline, right?  This is my life I’m writing about.

But MAN!!  It is much harder than I thought it would be.

My first “block” was trying to figure out the best way to approach the writing.  I mean, like first person, third person…do I use fictitious names?  Do I write as if I were telling the story about someone else then reveal that it’s me?

Then came the nightmare of realizing that if I write it, they might read it. (cue Field of Dreams“if you build it, they will come”) Ha ha.  Meaning my family.  This isn’t a story about some horrid abuse-ravaged childhood.  It’s about a dysfunctional family and who doesn’t have one of those, right? I believe there are no perfect families and even if there IS one, I’m convinced that somewhere inside that family, you will find at least one sort of dysfunction. None of us have the perfect family. In MY mind, saying I come from a dysfunctional family isn’t like throwing down the gauntlet.  It’s not a “dirty word”, but to some in my family, it may very well be. I began to agonize over how different people would take my story if I really told everything I want to tell.  Even though I have/will write in the forward that the book is about the state of past relationships and that healing and restoration has since taken place with assurances that I love my family, yadda, yadda.  I still worried.

Some things have changed since then.  Even more restoration has taken place and so, even though I’m not going to talk to my immediate family (besides my hubby and kids, I mean) about writing this book, I feel like once it’s (ever?) done, I will be able to hand it to them and say, “Read it knowing that I wrote it so that other people might benefit from what I’ve been through.  I wrote it to exorcise my own ghosts and I wrote it to keep my mind from exploding.  I never, EVER wrote a word of it with the intent to hurt anyone.  I wrote what is true.  I wrote what I remember, I wrote how I felt, I wrote how the things that happened changed and shaped me.  I tried to make it very clear throughout that I love my family dearly and I hope you can keep that in mind.”  Then, I’ll hope and pray that certain of them can read it or even think of it without worrying how someone else will think about it or making up grand scenarios of how others will perceive the book.

deep breath

I don’t know if that’s possible, but I’ve gotten to the point where that is much less a deterrent than it was before.

The other thing I’ve run into is how to put it all together.  I mean, there are various health events that take place and I want to share some details of what I went through physically because the bizarre-ness of those things is part of the story, but I also want to tell how I was doing emotionally.  It’s hard to do both at the same time.  That probably doesn’t make sense, but it’s true.

In the end, I’ve decided to just write it the way I do most everything else.  In my own “special” way.  Ha ha.  Most people say they enjoy reading the stories I’ve written and shared over the years.  They say they like the conversational style of my writing, so I’m just going with that.  I’m sure it would be frowned upon by professionals and teachers, but it’s all I know to do at this point.

If you wish to be a writer, write.

Something else I considered in the very beginning was writing my story without much of the uglier details.  The things I feared (and still somewhat fear!) would upset my family the most.

Look, I’ve come to the point where I have shared some extremely intimate details about my marriage with all of cyberspace, surely I can be honest about a fight I had…

I wrestled with that one for a long time but I couldn’t figure out how to tell my story while purposely leaving out important details.  I couldn’t figure out how to explain those details without exposing what really took place.  Those details are all very pertinent to the whole story, so I couldn’t leave them out.

I figured Look, I’ve come to the point where I have shared some extremely intimate details about my marriage with all of cyberspace, surely I can be honest about a fight I had with my sister or mom.  Surely I can tell what really happened in this, what I consider to be more minor, event.  Maybe to them it won’t be as minor.  Like I said, I’m telling it all.  The ugly parts too.  I feel like that should be okay when I am wrapping it all up in the fact that things didn’t stay that way.  Things got better.  Repairs were made, apologies stated, forgiveness received and restoration happened.  Why then, would it not be okay to share why those things were ever necessary?  How do you help people deal with their own dysfunction if you aren’t honest about your own?

Anyway, this is where I stand with the book.  The one I have carried around in my mind for decades.  The one I never told anyone I even wanted to write until recently.  If you have tips or any constructive info that would help, I’d love to hear it.  At this point, I am finally in the space created by learning what Epictetus said from the photo above… if you wanna be a writer, then write!  I’ve heard that from many people, from online book-writing courses, etc.  So I’m writing.  That will probably slow down blog progress even more, but I will come share my progress until something crazy happens that I just have to share here!  grin

If you would like to help me with this, I am looking for some proofreaders!  I don’t know how long it will be before I’m ready to share, but I really do need some people who would be willing to read what I have and share their thoughts with me.  In exchange, you will be publicly thanked in the book.  I’m told that’s a fair compensation.

Hahahaha!  I dunno though.  If you think it’s really bad, you might ask for more!

If you’d like to proofread for me, please send me a message or comment here!

geannie {at} live {dot} com

THANK YOU!!

Blessings…

 

 

 


belonging


I think it’s kinda funny, since God can be a very humorous sorta deity, that the word “longing” makes up the majority of the word “belonging”.

I mean, isn’t that what we all long for, at least part of the time?  We want to belong.  We want to be part of something.  We want to be accepted and loved.  We long to BE.

I’ve spent most of my life not knowing where I belong, never being sure of myself.  I was never gripped by a desire to do something so much that I “just knew” it was my “calling”, it was what I was supposed to do.

I’m sure that a lot of people who know me in real life may not think words like “insecure”, “doubting”, “confused” and “aimless” describe me, but they do.  I mean, they sure describe how I feel about myself.

I hate the feeling I have when I’m chatting in a small group or even one on one.  Before long, another person comes along and suddenly all attention is toward that person who (usually) I don’t know. It’s not that I’ve lost the person’s attention but that I sorta cease to exist.  Maybe it’s just me. But I don’t know what to do with myself.

This happens on a pretty regular basis and it’s not with one particular person or group.  And I don’t even think people realize that it bothers me.  I feel like, “Okay…no one’s talking with me anymore.  No one is including me in this conversation.  Do I leave?  I feel like I’m eavesdropping or creeping if I just hover around the outside of this circle.  Do I say bye?  See ya later?  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do!”  Most of the time, I’ll just wander quietly away, leaving the group or the other two people talking.  Most of the time, I don’t think anyone notices.

I really need to know if I’m the only one this happens to.  I mean, if not, then thank God and give me some tips on how to deal with it.  But if I am “the only one” who experiences this, well shoot, that’s pretty doggone sad!!

So with that little glimpse inside my mind, you should get a sense of how I feel a lot of the time.  Just insecure, uncertain if people like me, doubtful that they want to talk with me, confused about how I can feel this way but be able to get up in front of a roomful of people and give a talk.

I’ve pondered this a lot, as you might imagine.  Why am I this way?  Why do I feel so unsure about whether I am liked by others, whether I’m wanted in a particular group?  The conclusion I’ve drawn is that I still carry a statement in my head that my mother said to me once.  Don’t worry.  This isn’t gonna become a mom-blaming post.  I love my mom, but she said something to me once that I’ve carried with me.  Well, no.  That makes it sound like I choose to carry it.  It has just followed me, stuck on a loop in my mind sometimes.  Other times, I only hear it when something like the above situation happens.

I was probably around ten or eleven years old at the time.  We were probably at a baptism or something after church.  I remember being in a sort of overgrown area, gravel and bunches of Queen Anne’s lace and clover. Baptisms were done outside in the creek, of course!  My closest friend had asked if I wanted to come play ball at her sister’s house with all her other siblings.  She was the youngest of six so three of her siblings were already married and having kids.  I went to ask Mom if I could go.  She immediately said no, which was usual.  We were never allowed to go many places without Mom being there, too.  I protested and she said, “They don’t really want you over there.  She’s just being nice and inviting you.”

At the time, all I remember feeling was fury.  I was so mad at her for not letting me go.  It wasn’t until decades later that I realized I still hear those words in my head whenever I’m in a crowd or trying to decide whether to go to a party or a shower or any sort of gathering.  I hear, “You aren’t wanted in that group.  Nobody really cares if you are there.  They don’t like you.  They won’t tell you not to come, but that’s only because it would look bad if they did. They just don’t want you.”

I would never tell my mom this.  As a mother myself, my heart breaks when my boys let slip with something I said to them that was really hurtful.  I don’t want to hurt her, so I would never tell her about this.  (don’t worry.  she thinks the internet is where the devil lives, so she’ll never find my blog or anyone else’s for that matter!)

Finally pinning down the root of this thing has been good for me.  I’m not comparing my mother with satan, but these days when I hear those words, I know he is the one saying them.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to realize after I’ve already let the sting of rejection wash over me, but I’m trying to get better at that.

That’s how I feel about my book. I get these nudges that I feel must be from God that I should write it and I feel that some of the things in it would be helpful for others who are struggling…be it depression or a marriage problem like we had or just knowing someone else out here has and is dealing with the same things.  Then here comes that voice…“Why in the world would anyone want to read about you!  laughter  You’re nobody and your little life is nothing to be excited about.  You can’t even put the words together anymore, so how will you do it anyway?”

Today, when my ancient laptop refused to boot up, I instantly started hearing “This is a sign that you should give up on the book.”  I have my draft saved on here.  Over 8,000 words that I worked hard to get out of me.  The thought of doing it again was horrific!  So, I am going to save my draft to a thumb drive.  I know.  It’s about time, right?Obviously, the hubby came home and “fixed” my computer with just a few keystrokes.  I don’t ask questions, I just go with it.  And I continue to ponder the latest sermon series at church…all about growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has just been like an extra push when I’m sitting there listening and there’s scriptural confirmation that I need to “just do it”, as they say.  This one really hit me hard…

 

“It is difficult to sense the presence of God in your life when you ignore the purpose God has for your life.”

The “main point” of becoming a Jesus follower is to lead others to follow Jesus.  So in that way, we all know what our purpose is.  We don’t have to wonder.  Your way of leading people to Jesus is probably a lot different than mine.  I feel like within that “main point” lies our purpose, our gift, our God-given talent. If we will focus ourselves on “the main point”, then our purpose, our “reason for being” will become clear.  Does that make sense?  For instance, if you have a musical talent, you can use that talent without the “main point” in mind or you can do what you love, what you’re best at, as a starting point to show others the love of Christ. Like if your gift was music…you could play and sing just any old songs, or you could use your talents to share Christ with people.  See?

Okay, well I’m just going to hope this made sense to you.  It seems to take me so long to get posts together anymore that I am writing a single post in two or more sessions and I lose my focus.  I really hate that and am hoping to get past this soon.  I have a ton of stuff to catch you up on but for now, I’ll close this one.

Blessings!

 

 


changes!


Yes, there are some changes around the blog.  I realized pretty quickly that I made a huge mistake with the domain name choice I’d made…  I had no clue there was a book out there called “My Life in Dog Years”!  I’ve used that phrase or analogy for decades to describe what it’s like living with diabetes.  It’s like living in dog years!  You feel seven years for every one you actually live!

Sheesh.  Then my techie kid chimes in with “Mom, people probably think your site is about dogs..”  That never even dawned on me!!  Argh!

So, I changed my domain name.  I tried to choose one I could keep and/or use even when/if I ever publish a book.  Obviously, it won’t be titled My Life in Dog Years!!  Hopefully this way, no matter what the title eventually is, I can use this website.

I think I’ve finally got a decent start on the book.  I have about 8,000 words so far.  I’ve decided to write it as a memoir.  I just can’t seem to separate my life into categories and write only about diabetes or depression (they are like siamese twins, ya know?) or just my marriage stuff.  Everything is linked and I couldn’t figure out how to write about one single topic without needing to explain a ton of other stuff.

What I need now are some proofreaders!  I’d love to have a few people who are willing to read what I have, or at any point in the process,   I have some people in mind that I want to ask.  Some with knowledge of books and what makes a good read, some with technical knowledge to help with places that I am hard to understand.  Others with a little more knowledge of the story to tell me if what I’ve written is accurate or sensitive enough while remaining true.

I’ve been told this is what I need the most.  Readers to help during the writing process who would be willing to help out in exchange for an acknowledgment in the book.

I am so tired right now.  There has been a ton of stuff going on with both mine and Tommy’s health, but I’ll save all that for a later post.

Blessings!


the time I ran over my foot with the lawnmower…


Yes, it happened.

The year was 2012.  And I just realized recently that I hadn’t really posted about that whole incident.

It doesn’t seem that long ago in a way, but it also seems like it happened forever ago, too.  Isn’t that weird?

Here is the culprit...this isn’t ours, but yeah, we still have it and still mow with it.  Up until the middle of the season, I was mowing with it.  That’s when we figured out that my sinuses did not like to mow at least as much as the rest of me.

That mower, or rather, the evil one, still liked to play games with my mind when I was mowing and gave me a lot of anxiety.

So anyhow, back to the day it got real up in here…

I often would mow the yard with our John Deere 316 hydrostatic transmission mower.  It was (is) old, but Tommy had kept it running and looking fairly nice after going through it to replace what was needed, including a new seat and a new paint job several years ago.  We don’t throw nothin’ away, folks.

I would trim as close as I could to the house, sidewalks and trees so that there wasn’t much left for Tommy to weedeat or to use the mower on himself.  Behind our shop however, there is a steep hill.  The shop actually sits “in” the hill, having dug out to fit the back corner into it so that at the top of the roof on that side, you can stand almost level with said roof.  Actually, you can take a step up onto the roof and walk across it if you don’t have any sense.  But I don’t do that…I have sense.  Our shop is about 20 feet high to accommodate the 7-ton car lift we have in there.  At the opposite end of the shop is where that hill levels out and joins the rest of our yard.  The shop is 60 feet long, so whatever pitch that creates in fall…if you are a mathematically inclined personage, you can figure that out for me.  If you do that, you let us know and then we can all be grateful and know how steep that makes the dreaded hill.

Okay, so for some reason, maybe because Tommy was working late, I decided I’d help him by mowing that hill.

Boy, I helped alright…

I had no clue how he mowed it.  I tried not to watch because it scared me.  He’s not worried about keeping me from freaking out when he’s doing these kinds of things.  (remember walking across the shop roof?  that would be Tommy checking the gutters)  Myself, genius that I am, figured that the logical thing would be to mow from top to bottom, right?

Am I right, ladies?  Isn’t this how you would do it??  From the angle I was at the top of the hill, it didn’t look quite as steep, y’know?  So off I started when I immediately felt the thing slip.  I don’t know if it actually slipped or if something mechanical did, but it made me take notice.

I thought to myself, “Self, if this thing decides to flip, you’ll not only be off of it, you’ll be underneath it.  That’s probably not good.”

“Yeah,” I agreed with myself.  “Prolly not.”

“Self,” I said again, “you should prolly try to get off this thing soon as you can so you don’t end up under it.”

“Yeah,” I agreed again, then, “ummm…how should I do that, ya think?”

“Self,” my wiser, sager part responded, “I believe if you jump reeeeally hard, you can clear the deck with no problem.  Whaddya think?”

“Uh, well alrighty then,” I again concurred.  “I guess I can do that…”

Of course, that entire conversation took place in maybe a second and a half.  Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the ground probably 4 feet from the very bottom of the hill, watching the mower plod right on past me where it came to rest with its front nosed up against what is now the chicken run.  I remember thinking, “That thing’s gonna kill my butterfly bush!” and wondering how big the hole would end up being that it had begun to dig with its back tires.

[Because it’s the first question most people ask at this point, I’ll stop the story to address it here.  The auto-shut-off under the seat was disconnected because we have a lot of slopes in our yard, besides the steep hill.  I was constantly having to shift my weight from one side to the other, and every time I did it (and sometimes for Tommy, too) the motor would shut off.  It was maddening, so yeah, that was disconnected, but it happened so quick, there’s no way the blades would have been completely stopped before they hit my foot and I in no way feel this is something to be blamed on anyone.  It was a freak accident in which I made what was possibly a less-than-stellar decision. Um…yeah.  End of subject.]

Then I noticed that my left shoe was gone.  I looked over my right shoulder to see it about 12-15 feet up the hill from me.  “How in tarnation did that get up there?” I wondered to myself as I started to do what I knew I had to… I had to look at the foot.

[author’s note:  No, people.  I don’t normally talk with so much country flair, but if you listen to me, you can definitely tell I didn’t come in on the bus.  However, when I’m pondering these happenings in my mind, they come out all peppered with these words.  I’m just puttin’ em down just ‘zackly like how they come to me.]

There was no pain, oddly enough.  I saw blood but that’s all I knew.  I couldn’t see where on my foot it was coming from only that it appeared to be the back half, so I took my right foot, which still had a shoe and rested it on top of my left heel.  My rationale here was that would create pressure.  Pressure’s good for bleeding, right?  Even when you can’t tell where the blood’s coming from?

RIGHT?

That’s when I realized I was saying, “God help me, God help me, God help me,” over and over.  I remember that’s when the thought, “Oh no, Geannie, what in the world have you done to yourself?” while visions of amputation and living the rest of my life in a wheelchair sped through my brain.  Along with visions of kicking myself with my one stumpy leg for being so stupid…

I remembered that I had my phone with me.  I normally don’t take a phone to mow.  My boys had lost too many of their phones that way, so I just didn’t, but that day I thought, “Hm, there’s a button on this pocket, it won’t fall out,” as I tucked it into the back of my denim shorts.

I had seen Corey’s work truck come in at his house just a few moments before I started my fateful climb up the hill, so I thought to call him.  Melissa answered and I asked if Corey was there.  She said yes, but he was in the shower.  I said, “Oh, okay.  Can you tell him to call me when he gets out?  I fell off the lawnmower.”  She says I hung up on her, but I could have sworn I said, “Bye.”  The only time I’ve ever hung up on someone was trying to be the first to hang up or if I was really mad.  Mel, I’m about positive I said ‘bye’!  This will bother me til I die, folks.

I then dialed my husband’s cell number.

He answered and I said, “Hey, whatcha doin’?”

He said, “I’m fixin’ to come home.  What are you up to?”

“Oh, I been mowin’.  I fell off the mower,” I said in this amazingly nonchalant manner.

“Are you cut?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

“Are you bleeding?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

Next thing I heard was, “Boys, I gotta go!  Geannie’s wrecked on the lawn mower.”

About that time, I saw Corey walking up from his house.  Melissa was with him and he said something to her while motioning her into the house.  He walked over, knelt down and began putting his couple years of EMT cadet training to good use.

Corey’s so good that way.  Both our boys are, come to think of it, really calm in stressful situations.  They are the guys you want with you if something bad happens because they can assess the situation and make good, rational decisions.

He asked me if I knew how bad it was.  I told him no, I couldn’t see for the blood. He had me take my right foot off the left, and took the bottle of water he’d been drinking and splashed it on my foot.  I barely caught a glimpse before turning away.  I was afraid that if I saw it, I might easily go on into shock since I felt I was close to that already.

That’s about the time Tommy came barrelling into the yard with his truck.  He pulled over to where I was still sitting behind the shop.  By this time, Melissa had brought about 5 towels out of the house and Corey had moved my foot onto one of them and wrapped another around it.  My dad pulled up about that time, too.

My poor dad…he is well-known for passing out at the sight of blood.  I have no clue what he thought he was doing, but as Tommy was lifting me up to put me in the truck, he came running over to help.  I’m not sure what I said, but all I could think of is how bad it’d probably hurt if he dropped me when he fell over, so he didn’t need telling twice to back up.  Bless his heart.

Corey helped Tommy get me on into the truck and we took off.  I heard Corey saying he would look for the rest of my foot.

I can recall thinking to myself, sorta as a passing thought, “Well, that doesn’t sound good.”

Tommy was absolutely flying and scaring me, so I did the next thing I could think of and that was to get a prayer chain started.  I wanted to get my Emmaus family praying for me as soon as possible so the first person in my list of contacts was Shawn.  Why?  Simply because the poor boy’s last name starts with an A.

There’s a great backstory here that I’ll link to this post later, but Shawn and Tommy have a history through Tommy’s work.  I didn’t know him that well, but through Emmaus, and Christ, he was now my brother, so I didn’t hesitate to call his number.

He answered and I asked how he was doing.  I’ll never forget him saying, “I’m blessed!”

I told him he may not think so once he found out why I was calling.  I told him he was the first name on my Emmaus list and then the reason for my call.  He asked me what I wanted him to do…did I need him to come get me.

blink, blink  I’m a little confounded at this since he lives a good 70 miles from me at this time.  I told him no, but please get people praying for healing.  I said that we didn’t know anything about it yet, but were almost at the hospital.

When he finally saw me later, I was in a wheelchair with my foot elevated, toes poking out of the thick bandaging.

First thing out of Shawn’s mouth is, “There’s your foot!  You tole me you cut it off!”  He’s pointing to it the whole time as if it might be a fake.  It was hilarious, but he still swears right up and down that I told him I had cut my foot OFF!  Lord help it, he thought that my foot was literally gone.  I think he has hysterical hearing, that’s what I think.

When I got to the emergency room, the first thing the doctors asked after “What happened?” was “How long was she out?

I asked if he meant “passed out” and he said he did.  Tommy explained that he wasn’t there right when the accident happened,  “… but our son got up there pretty fast and he said she was sitting up.  She had called him and then me, so I don’t think she passed out at all.”

The ER doc did a double-take, maybe because I hadn’t cried the first tear either and shook his head.  “Wow…okay then.” and that was the end of that.  To this day, I’m not sure if that was a good wow. like, “Man, she’s a tough one.” or a bad wow, like, “Man, she must be one of those psychos.”  I wish I’d thought to ask him…

I can’t recall the exact order of events past this point.  I was admitted, of course.  The surgeon came in the next morning and said he needed to do a procedure to clean out the debris before he could know positively what needed to be done.  He did a lot of poking and prodding at the rest of my foot, asking if I’d had nerve damage from the diabetes already.  No, I hadn’t.  He told us the cut was down to the bone, but no major nerves had been hit.  The whole inside slab of my left heel had been lopped off, but even though Corey later brought the piece to the hospital, they couldn’t reattach it.  There was a nick just behind the ball of my foot where the tip of the next blade had hit.  If it had been any further up on my foot, it would have been really bad news.

This is when we began to realize and see God move in mighty ways and truly understand that even in the midst of a terrible season of your life, He can create a calm place where you can rest.

After the surgery to clean the cut up, I began to shed tears.

Lots of tears.

They had me on pain meds afterward, but then my blood pressure started dropping, so they stopped the heaviest ones.  I have an extremely high tolerance to pain medicines for some reason.  The anesthesiologist always tells us after a surgery that they had to administer the highest dose permissible to do the operation.  So not being able to have the stronger meds wasn’t good for me at all.

I recall the miserable night I spent moaning and crying out from the pain.  It was horrible and felt like the longest night of my entire life.  Looking back now, I feel so bad for poor Tommy having to listen to me when there was nothing anyone could do.  He’s the world’s best nurse, trust me.  I’ve had him tend to me too many times over the years.  He may wait til I’m about to die, but once I’m to that point, when I really need him, he’s right there through the puke and blood and blisters and whatever else happens to erupt from me.

After that one awful night, things got better.  It was determined that a skin graft would need to be done in one or two months, depending on how well the cut healed.  That was the big question now…how well would this thing heal?

I call it a cut, it was a gaping wound!!  I have posted photos HERE for those who would like to see them.  I know we’re not all medically inquisitive by nature, so I have only put the much-later photos here on the post.  With THIS link, you’ll be taken deeper into the site where, hopefully, no one will accidentally click.  See, I’m here for you.  I got your back!

But seriously, if you can stomach it, you should GO LOOK.  They’re supposed to be in chronological order, but the app in WP made it a monumental task to do that, so I captioned them the best I could, so that stinks….but still….it’s really amazing to see how it changed from day to day.  The pix are all thumbnails you can click to view as a slideshow if you want.  God really healed that nasty foot AND the donor site better and quicker than most hangnails I get.

People with diabetes tend to heal very slowly because our blood sugar is constantly fluctuating up and down.  We can’t hold a steady level especially through stress or when there’s an infection or even a wound that may become infected.  Any extra stress on our bodies will make the diabetes do weird things, cause problems in some way.

Here is a what’s going to blow your mind…you can choose to disbelieve, but I was there.  It happened TO ME, I have no choice but to believe it because I saw it happen.  Since I already believe there is a sovereign God who created the universe and all the beings within it, including you and me, I believe it was God who did this amazing thing.

Remember when I told you about getting Shawn busy on letting people know to pray for me?  Well, he did and this Emmaus bunch, they are some serious pray-ers.  During the second and third day I was in the hospital, I had to disconnect my insulin pump.  My sugar kept falling repeatedly, so we finally just took it off.  The first time a meal came, I tested to see if I needed to give insulin for the food.  It was still at normal levels, but I think I did give some insulin for the carbs in the food…and I ended up going too low.  The insulin made my blood sugar drop too low.  From then until I reconnected my pump, I didn’t use any insulin at all.  Two days.  For those two days, I was healed.  I believe that people were praying so hard for me to be healed, that God literally healed me of diabetes for those two days.

Now, that will beg the question, “Why did God give it back to you?”

I don’t have a clue.

And. That. Is. Okay.

I don’t know why this wasn’t a permanent healing.  However, it was a healing just the same.  During a time when my body needed stable blood sugars so it could do its job with the trauma my foot had sustained, God showed Himself to me in such a real way.  And He didn’t stop there.

Nope.  He continued the healing of my foot (and later, the donor site for my skin graft)  The nature of this wound required a wet-to-dry packing.  We put saline saturated gauze on the wound itself, then a couple squares of dry, so that it would dry from the outside inward.  That kept the wound “fresh”, which is what you need to do a graft.  But even though they were doing that, keeping the wound open, fresh, whatever, you could still see it changing and healing.  You could see the flesh that had been under my skin begin to rebuild itself.  You could see the fatty portions recreate and begin to move to the surface where they belonged. You could see that wound that had always been concave, bowed inward, begin to fill out and prepare for some new skin.

God kept working after the graft was done.  I had more pain with that ol’ graft than I did with the actual wound (except for that one night without pain meds!)…it stung and burned like a deep sunburn the entire time it healed.  It didn’t matter that the skin they’d taken off was such a minuscule thickness it couldn’t be shown without measurement tools, it hurt like the dickens.  The mere suggestion that there was a possibility my heel might reject the skin and we would have to do another graft made me all the more determined that this graft WOULD take the first time!

When I went into the orthopaedic’s office for the pre-surgery meeting (in about a month) we saw a different doctor.  Our doc was in the other office that day, but wanted me to be seen anyway.  So the guy is examining my foot very closely, he’s saying it looks great, it looks like a fine candidate for a graft.  We mention that we’re grateful it healed so well in spite of the diabetes.

He stops suddenly and picks up my file, flipping through it hurriedly.  He stops, looks up and asks,

[My D-peeps… don’t you just LOVE when this happens?  You realize the doctor who’s examining you has no clue you have diabetes?  Yeah.  Me too. (NOT!)]

“But you’re type 2, right?”

“No, type 1 actually.”

He furiously flips some more, then asks, “How long ago did this happen?”

We tell him.  He flips more, then almost throws the file over his shoulder onto the counter behind him and gets up close and personal with my foot.  I mean, his face is almost touching my foot as he eyeballs my heel…

“That is ah-MAZING!” he says.

We are almost cracking up now.  I said, “I know.  That’s what we were saying, God has healed me unbelievably fast!”

And so, when the doctors said it would probably be six months before I could walk I was walking in about 3-and-a-half.  When they said I wouldn’t be able to wear a shoe for a year, I had on tennis shoes in 6 months.  When they said it looks like the graft might not take, it took perfectly with no inkling of infection or complication.  That next summer, I forced myself to get right back on that mower, too.

My God is an AMAZING healer!!  And of course, there’s a backstory to this whole thing too concerning the weekend I spent helping minister to residents in a women’s prison in Nashville just the week before this all happened.  But that’s for another post…

Please comment!  Let me know if you checked out the pix!


of being a blogger: a plea for help!


Hey y’all.  I’m working so hard, trying to increase traffic here…build an audience, a subscription list, whatever else a successful blogger does.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m just flopping around, splashing water into the floor, making a mess.

blogging sites

I see some steadiness in the amount of traffic, so I suspect some of you are just awesomely loyal readers and probably close friends who stop by often to see what crazy thing I’ve posted.  I am so thankful for you!

I know I’ve said it before, but this blogging thing is a big deal to me.  I started it after months and months of stewing and praying about whether I should even try.  I’ve blogged off and on for about 16 years, so it seemed like the natural thing for me to do…try to monetize the thing I am so passionate about.  I felt (and still feel, btw) that God was really nudging me in this direction and so, even though I didn’t feel completely ready, I took the plunge.  I plopped down what little was left from our tax refund and started this site.

Looking back, a month later now, I see many mistakes.  I think most of them are easily overcome though and not the kind that will break me or the blog.  I still don’t understand stupid AdSense or why my husband can get an account with them like snap that and me, with my two (now three!) google accounts, can’t get any of them approved.  I’m not sure I’m missing much though.  I’m learning that AdSense isn’t the end-all-be-all it has been purported to be, so I have pursued other means of generating income through my blog.

blogging for a living

Some of them I am pleased about, and some I will be glad when I can be done with.  And no, for the record, I haven’t made a single cent so far.  That really concerns me, but I have to remind myself how new it all is.  I can’t do it all at once and I need to be patient.

But BOY, is that hard!!

Today, when I went to look at a “blogging schedule” thingie I got from the web, for today it says to post about relaxing.   BAHAHAHA!!  What is that even?!?  I don’t have time right now to relax, and certainly not about the state of my blog.  Some of these ‘blog helps’ aren’t really geared toward me, ya know?  Many of the blogs in these groups are about how to create a successful website, how to find a niche to build, how to monetize and market whatever you are selling.

I just wanna share life with my readers.  I want to encourage and inspire.  I want my readers to leave feeling better than they did when they pulled up my site.  I want them to find the courage to go on, the determination to stick it out.  The comfort of knowing they are not alone, the peace of knowing someone else out here has been where they are.  I want the person with t1d to find a friend, someone to commiserate with and rejoice in whatever victories we accomplish as PWD’s.  (persons with diabetes)

diabetes and depression

I want the homeschooling mom to know she can do it and I know she can because I did it.  I want her to know that the great mistake she feels she’s made is not the end. That she and her children are far better off just because she tried to teach them at home, whether she continues or not.  And no matter what, as long as she is trying to do her very best for her kids, she is a winner!

homeschooling

I want that couple who is struggling with some sexual incompatibility or physical problem to know they are not alone.  I want them to realize it’s okay to talk about it and that there are people out here who can help, both professionals and people like me who have been there, done that.  I want that woman to know she’s not the first or only one to be facing what she is, and that she need not bury herself in depression and self-hatred or guilt because there is hope.  I want to keep her and her husband from living the hell that we did for 30 years and to find healing and hope!

lasting marriage statisticslasting marriage statistics

More than all this, I want people to know there is hope, no matter what the situation is, there is hope.  There is peace to be had, no matter how big the mess or how damaged their soul, Peace is there for the asking in the person of Jesus Christ.  I want them to know that it is because of Jesus that I am alive today.  That I’m able to share and talk about the issues, struggles and problems in my life.  Ultimately, I believe this is the reason God has been urging me to write.

jesus loves me

I haven’t touched my book in over 6 months, but perhaps soon I’ll dig back into it.  I still feel He is calling me to write it, but I’m at another crossroad about which direction to take with it.  (ANY feedback would be appreciated on this, folks!!)  The book has lived in my head for many years as a sort-of memoir, a story of my life and how I have dealt with diabetes, the depression and all the other physical and emotional side effects of having a chronic disease for so long.  However, as we have come to this place of healing in our marriage, I feel THAT is also a topic that needs to be shared.  It, of course, is much more personal, deeply painful but ultimately hopeful since our long journey through this has ended with our beginning the healing process.  My conundrum is should these be separate or combined?

how to write a book

You probably didn’t know this, but I have a problem with compartmentalizing.  ha ha! Meaning, I can’t do it.  You may have noticed I began this post talking about the blog and now, here I am asking for input and suggestions for a direction of a book!  I need help with my wandering mind, my rambling style of writing.

I know there are some writers out there who read here occasionally.  I also know there are lots of readers who come here too.  I want to hear from you!    What appeals to you in a book?  What topics are you most interested in?  What are you most interested in learning more about?  Help me out!

I look forward to a great discussion and some awesome feedback and suggestions!  Let’s help each other!

Blessings,

G~


harder than I thought


So I have thought for years about writing a book.

There. I said it.
you-have-one-life-set-bigger-goals
Actually, I really did say it out loud in a Bible study at my church several weeks ago. The leader asked us about what we’d do that we had thought about for a long time but just never done for lack of time or courage or whatever.

That was mine. So, after praying on it a bit, a very little bit, I just sat down and started writing. I had over 2000 words by the time I quit that day. After sort of hitting a wall, I quit for about a week and then started again and now there are almost 10,000 words and a lot of wondering, doubting and frustration.

The lady in that Bible study asked me details…she asked if I wanted to write a novel and if i had a title in mind. I answered no the first question and yes to the last.
impossible to possible
I’ve thought that a book about my life, the various medical situations and dealing with a chronic disease and depression might be interesting to some people and that it might help in some way.

Maybe you’ve figured out by now that I’m not really an ambitious person. I tried to be…back in “The Mary Kay Days”…I thought I could be a competitive sales woman. Yeah, I know…it was makeup and there have been MK ladies forever, yada yada.

I’m glad I tried that, but it definitely wasn’t for me. I feel like God probably used that time in my life to stretch me and show me some things about myself. I was so determined to be successful and it was hard and people would lie to you (not necessarily MK people, although some did, but potential customers and such) and I didn’t like the stress that made me feel. But that’s not actually why I quit, although it probably should have been. I had to get an unbelievably painful rash that made it impossible to wear clothes part of the time it hurt so bad. Then during all that, I developed a worse sensitivity to strong odors and chemical scents. Being all up in someone’s business while they are wearing perfume was no longer an option for me. I’ve spent the past year and a half dealing with all these new allergies and sensitivities, getting rid of chemicals in the house and all that. I really feel like that was God’s way of saying, “STOP” with MK. And ultimately, I had no choice.

One thing it did for me was make me have to set goals, which is something I had never done before. Honestly, other than small ‘to-do’ list type stuff, I’ve never set any grand goals in my life. I’d never really been encouraged to and I didn’t know how.

So like I said, this book thing has been in the back of my mind for probably fifteen years. It was like a joke I had with myself. I’d never told ANYONE about the idea because it seemed so ludicrous. So when I had to say it out loud, it kind of made it become a real possibility. I mean, I was sitting in a room with a doctor, a pharmacist, a teacher and writer, and several other women who had careers and families they were juggling. I felt so completely like the one thing that’s “not like the others…one of these things just doesn’t belong” (sorry, I had a Sesame Street flashback there) For me, doing this…
A list of my goals...yeah.
is terrifying. I become paralyzed and my mind goes blank.

But then I think wouldn’t it be encouraging for other people to know that life doesn’t have to end or be miserable when you have diabetes? Wouldn’t it help folks to know you can overcome the depression, even if it sometimes gets the best of you, you can still win? But there are many other things that have happened in my life and all those tend to work their way up through my story.

There’s the hurt and struggle of not being “the favored child” at home. The obvious preference given to my sister over me since we were children. There are the years, three or four of them, when my father’s preacher friend moved his family to our town and his son molested me repeatedly. And I never told anyone. Those are relatively minor things, I guess. I mean, in the big picture they are just a petty brushstroke, but they have made me what I am. They have shaped how I think and feel and how I see myself and others. I just imagine that finding out some of those things after years and years might be hard to take or hurtful.

Then there’s the act of actually putting into words the feelings, the hurt and wounds I carry. The reality of how my family will feel if they ever read my book. Thoughts like, “Do I leave out things that really matter because I might hurt someone’s feelings by telling how they hurt mine?” and “Do these things really even matter now?” go through my mind and now I’m once again stuck.
Should I be the bear or the bunny?
Fear speaks loudly in my mind… like I’m just wasting my time, why would anyone care about what I have to say? Even if I finished the book and by some miracle it was published, what kind of mess would it create with my family if they read it? Is telling MY story worth possibly hurting someone I care about?
analysis-paralysis
Well, no, of course not. But then I think, Should I omit things because someone else might potentially have hurt feelings? Even when it’s true? Even when I’ve actually toned the whole thing down a lot already? When I’ve left out details that would make it sound a lot worse to others?
I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not sure.
Argh! I drive myself crazy with these things!

I’m not sure what I will end up doing. I will keep working on the draft when the mood hits me, I guess, and see how the Lord leads me. He will have to direct me because I am completely stumped. I feel like the book could be so much more than just “how I live with diabetes and depression”…I want it to show the hope that I have in Jesus and to relate how it is ONLY by my faith in Him that I’ve made it this far. I want the book to reflect the life He offers, the peace He gives…but I feel like getting to that “chapter” is oh-so messy.

I just don’t want this to be true of me….
Indecision destroys dreams.



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