Sunday, July 20, 2008

I love Church!

Sunday I got to go to church. And how wonderful it was! I know some people are perfectly content without attending church regularly, but I do not know how they do it. I felt like and empty urn just soaking up the worship and the presence of God and my brothers and sisters in Christ. It was so restorative to my soul, I just can't even tell you!

This coming Sunday, the message is "I'm Home!", and I can't wait! What an appropriate topic after the past few weeks we have had, plus I think I am on vocal team and nothing is better than getting to SING!!! Yee hah!!

I am so blessed!

A few weeks ago I read this Ted Dekker book, Heaven's Wager, and, not to give away plot points, but a character dies so that another will live. I mean live eternally. And I thought, wow, how cool and what a compliment to play such a role in God's plan, to die so that someone else can live. I guess at that point I had this very romantic, rose-colored glasses, view of the whole thing.

Then I found myself feeling beyond miserable lying in a hospital bed and decided I was not so sure about the whole dying thing. I was not so keen on the pain and all and not sure I was ready to do that to my family. But I still loved the idea of getting to play a role in God's plan for someone else, so I just prayed for patience and peace and reminded myself that there was some reason I was there, even if it was not something cosmically wonderful. God knew, and that was good enough - because He most definitely knows best.

So, now that I have shared the relatively long, drawn out whiney version of my hospital stay (see below if you haven't, it is a lovely tale), allow me to tell you how amazingly blessed I am. (And I am sure this list will be extremely incomplete, but I don't know if one can ever actually count ones blessings.)
  • I have a wonderful, loving God who will always take care of me no matter what and will watch over me and my family through anything.
  • I have an amazingly wonderful husband who takes great care of me and my kids and was wise enough to take me to the hospital when he did. He has also been such a trooper the past couple weeks and been single dad to the girls with no complaints.
  • Jim was able to go to Baltimore this weekend solo and be a blessing to his brother - we all were supposed to go, as Jim's neice got married, but it ended up just Jim and that worked out great because he got extra time with his family and was free to hang out and support his brother. Jim rarely sees his family so this is a gift.
  • I have healthy active grandparents who have been babysitting my kids for the past couple weeks - how cool is that?! This is a win-win as the girls get time with their great-grandparents and Nana and Papa get some young blood to keep them busy. :)
  • Those healthy, active grandparents are also currently spoiling me. (Yee hah!) While Jim is out of town, the girls and I are staying at their house and I have not been this pampered since I was their age. It is perfect.
  • My dad and Suzanna love dogs. They are dog-sitting Archie and Marvin. And baby makes SIX DOGS. Daddy says they keep stepping on one every time they turn around, but he and Suzanna are taking great care of the boys which is one less thing for me to worry about this weekend. Oh, and Dad is picking Jim up at the airport at 11:30pm Monday night. YAY DAD!!!
  • I have really patient, adaptable kids. They have handled this whole hospital thing really well. Probably helps that they are getting spoiled, but they are such troopers and I adore them.
  • Can I just say I may have the most patient employer in the world???? No calls of "how much longer" no complaints, no nothing. Just lots of prayers and get better soon. All Hail Ronald Blue and Co. (and I miss you too!)
  • Of course, great doctors and nurses (although I wish they were a little better at finding veins). When you spend as long as I do, you get quite a few nurses and I had no lemons - yee hah!
  • Great friends who have been earnestly praying for me. That means so much to me. Everyone wants to know people care, so it has been so nice to have people asking about me and praying for me.
  • And did I mention that God loves me and cares for me. That is all anyone could ever want or need.

Take care and God bless and hopefully no more adventures for me for awhile!!!!!!!!!! Thanks again for your concern and prayers!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hospital I and II

WOW, do I have quite the story for you - and let me warn you, like many of my stories, it is going to be long!

The short version is that, except for a brief, painful, 24 hours hours, I have been in the hospital since the Sunday after the 4th of July. (So the 6th?) I got out on Friday the 18th. So I spent almost 2 full weeks IN THE HOSPITAL!!!

Let me show you my lovely view...

And my constant companion....

I know - you are totally jealous. I did get really pretty flowers, though.

As much as I enjoy them, I would not recommend going through all that just to get them.
Here is the story, if you are interested: I had been struggling with a severe migraine for days and it was not going away, nothing was helping. By Sunday (the 6th) I was in a terrible state and called my neurologist 3 times (with 2 different drug "cocktails") before he finally told me to just go to the ER and get an IV. Well, go to the ER we did, but none of the meds they gave me helped. (Despite the boast from the ER nurse that they could clear almost any migraine in one shot, maybe two) Oh, and they gave me this medicine that I always have a reaction to, even though I told them I knew I was going to have a reaction. ("agitation" they call it - it is more like some kind of Jack Nicholson thing). After many moons and many meds in the ER, they raised the white flag and decided to admit me. Now at the risk of giving you TMI, I must also tell you that it was also determined at this time that I had a UTI. Sorry, but it is vital to the story.
So I stayed in the hospital from Sunday through Thursday, getting rid of my migraine. Each day was just one more day, one more day. The doctor, of course, wants to make sure that you are fully migraine free when you leave, so it takes awhile. By the time I left Thursday, including the time at home I had been in bed quite some time. So I did not really think about my back being a little sore.
Thursday evening I got home, sent a couple I AM HOME emails, showered, and collapsed back into bed because by then my back was really sore. And then things just went downhill from there. The pain in my lower back got worse and worse AND to compound matters, that "Greensleeves" Snickers commercial and one of the songs from Singin' in the Rain were playing over and over in my mind in this crazy way. It was like this - pain, feverish, probably slightly delusional - all night Thursday night and all day Friday. I did not leave the bedroom. So I ate nothing and drank very very little.
At some point Friday night Jim comes in the bedroom feels my forehead and tells me I am burning up, takes my temp and it is 102. Then he tells me I am going to have to go to the ER. It was like in the movie Speed where they go to the airport to drive in circles and the tourist guy says "but I've already seen the airport". I was in no shape to go, but knew he was right. The worst part was we could not find my glasses and I did not even feel well enough to put in contacts and I could not see a thing.
So we went to the ER and apparently it was packed. All I know is they told me there was no room in the inn and so I laid down on a bench. Jim says we spent over an hour in the waiting room. Oi vey! I feel worse for him than me. We got back to the ER room, finally got some lovely morphine for my back and learned that my potassium level was dangerously low. Apparently in one day I had severly dehydrated myself despite getting bags o' fluid the entire time I was in the hosptial round 1.
The potassium level in and of itself was bad enough that they has to re-admit me and that is when my life turned into Groundhog Day. Come to find out the UTI (see, told you it was important) had turned into quite the kidney infection and the infection was in my blood and everything. So for a few more days I felt really puny, then finally started feeling better. Ahhh. Then, just when it was time to go, my white blood cell count went up and I got to stay, yes, one more day at my home away from home, St. Vincent Hospital.
Told you it was going to be long, and believe it or not, there is much much more I could tell you (like just how much of a "hard stick" I am, etc), but that sums it up. I am home and I am blessed and I am feeling better. Thank you for your prayers and concern!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Glorious Fourth

Except for waking up with a killer headache, had a lovely day. Neighborhood Garage Sale comes around next Saturday and I am really trying to de-clutter, so I hopped out of bed anyway and started trying to clean up and thin out. Did not make it very far, but made some progress and any progress is good.

Had a reading break mid-day; enjoying a fun Sophie Kinsella book.

The Music Man is on - Pickalittle, talkalittle, cheepcheepcheep...Trying to get the girls into it, but, they are more interested in...
Fireworks. Jim bought this ginormous set today plus a package of 48 boxes (!) of sparklers. Gotta admit, I have always dug sparklers, (in fact, that is me with 6 lit at once) and they do go like candy, but 48 boxes is quite a bit. Whose idea was it to make all these fireworks legal, anyway? Must be someone who lives in a really well insulated home.

I guess we might as well join the club. Our neighborhood has sounded like a war zone for the past week (better than New Year's when some of our exuberant neighbors fire real guns and I want to take the girls and barricade under the bed, but that is another story for another time...seriously though, we have a neighbor who keeps shooting off something that could double as a gun shot sound effect; very creepy), so I s'pose we may as well join in and at least get some visual stimulation to go with the auditory assault; make it a little more pleasant.

So, right after the opening credits, out for pre-Fortin Fireworks fireworks, we go. Note the lovely pyrotechnic display. This one made some wonderful squealy noise right as I was taking the photo.

Jim saluted Lady Liberty....
and displayed proper firework safety (that and he had no clue what any of them were going to do, so he took off each time he lit one - who can tell the snaky things from the shooty things?)

Now the girls are missing "Gary, Indiana" because Phase II has begun. Gotta run! Happy Fourth!