I have been admitted to the hospital
for a bad cough and body aches. Trying to prevent pneumonia. Hoping only two nights at the most.
I know my purpose again! A staff member here in the hospital came to my room about 0400. We were talking
and she shared with me her son died two years ago. She also shared he used drugs and so does her daughter. I may not have wanted to be sick, or in the hospital, but God knew where I needed to be and when. He sent this woman here to visit with me. I am filled
with the spirit of compassion again and have a renewed sense of hope. Hope for us all to strive to make a difference in the life of others. Hope for us all to lose our judgmental attitudes. Hope for us all to be the best parents we can be. Hope for us to share
openly with one another and be an encouragement to each other. Hope that everyone will see God in me. People keep telling me how strong I am. I feel like a fraud because I spent a week being depressed and angry. I guess I needed to get sick again to
wake me up to the beauty of life.
After two days in the hospital, I am happy to be home. I am so thankful that this sickness was no where near as bad as last year's. I am weak and feel exhausted,
but I know I will be better soon. I have to do nebulizer treatments at home and I am taking an antibiotic just in case it is bacteria. Diagnosis is Parainfluenza and viral pneumonia with the possibility of a bacterial infection as well. I leave Sunday
night for Mayo, so things better improve soon or it's going to be an exhausting week. I feel bad that I worried my Granny so much. She has enough to worry about and we don't need to add me into the mix!
I had wonderful nurses caring for me. They really seemed to enjoy their jobs. Michelle came by and hung out with me for a couple of hour. I have such a sweet niece. She is going to make an incredible RN. She graduates
in just a few weeks.
I discussed what food I wanted from Thanksgiving meal brought to
me . I am still considered potentially contagious, so I was to be served by my husband after he indulged over at Granny's. Granny told me about a special cranberry salad she was making; it was a recipe of my great-grandma's and I was eager to try it. I never
thought to ask if there were nuts in it. No one else thought to ask because they thought I would be bright enough to ask. I took two bites and it tasted like nuts. I wanted to be sure I asked Mom to ask Granny. Sure enough there were walnuts in it. I then
convinced myself I didn't actually consume any nuts, the two bites were nut free. It takes two hours for it to hit me. Two hours passed by and I triumphantly texted Mom that I didn't eat nuts and was fine. Five minutes later, I got extremely hot. I took my
sweatshirt off and put on a t-shirt. I then felt the waves of nausea roll over me like a drunk person rolling around in a pool. I vomited for 4.5 hours! I napped a few minutes in between the vomiting. Patrick brought me a trash can lined with a plastic grocery
bag. He kept changing the bag between sessions. It was a horrible night. At 10:54 I took my first sip of water and it stayed down. There was more than once when we considered going to the ER. I just go out of the hospital and was already weak. I was told if
I began vomiting, I was to go to the ER. But I don't think the doctor meant due to inadvertantly consuming a nut. I know I was terribly dehydrated- my painful lips can attest. I'm just thankful I am okay.
people love to eat Thanksgiving meals, but don't appreciate the weight gain. I can guarantee you I didn't gain any weight from my personal meal. In fact, I probabaly lost some! There always positive things that can counteract the bad.
I still don't feel well, but am pretending I am improving. I turned down a friend going to all the craft shows, and another going to the movies. I truly want to go, but I am using what intelligence I
have left to keep myself in the restful spirit. I haven't even gotten dressed today and it's 2:30. At least I took a shower. I leave tomorrow night and need to load up my suitcase. I have all the clothes out, just not in the suitcase.
I facetimed the girls today and Ollie let me read her a Christmas story. Ailynn was too busy playing, but I did have a nice chat with her and I also got to see Baby Boe. I really miss the girls so much.
The winds are howling and I am in my warm house. I wonder what people do without warm houses. There aren’t any homeless shelters in the Valley and the Anchorage ones are filled to capacity. I have resisted this for many years, but I
truly want to get my Master’s in Social Work. I just need $35,000 to pay for the degree. I truly see myself working in a hospital. I could help those just diagnosed with cancer, help the grieving, help the addicts, and help the homeless. If God wants
this for ME, he will show me the way.
I think I feel good today! I haven’t been up long enough to be sure, but the body aches seem to be gone! Just in time for my plane ride. Thank you, Jesus!
Here is a verse for me to remember: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1) I want to be gentle and kind and I want to speak gently and kindly. I am so matter of fact
and speak the truth, but I don’t always do it gently and kindly. I have a goal and you can hold me accountable.
This is my second night
in Rochester. The flights down were not too bad overall. It was a very long day. When I landed and got my rental car, I realized my blood sugar had dropped so I had to go find something to eat. I met my friend Joy for dinner at my favorite restaurant in Rochester-
Pho Chau. We had a great time catching up.
For some reason, I have been staring at people's hair. Women specifically. I have been admiring hair styles and hair colors. I have seen two Diana Ross 70's looking
styles which I thought looked great on the gals, and have been impressed with the choices of others. Interesting thing to focus on, but this week it's the hair.
I also have been thinking about the women
here in Burkas. So many of them in MN. The women can only show a sliver of their eyes, while the men walk around in whatever they want. It's so unfair! Not only that, but how do the doctor's examine them?? Is it a "sin" to take it off to show the doctor a
rash, a lump in the breast, etc? I just don't understand.
I met a lady today who is having her transplant in just a couple weeks. When I told her I had mine 2 1/2 years ago, I think she was encouraged.
She said, " Wow! You look so good!" I didn't tell her I was nauseated all morning and felt like crap. I just smiled and said, "you will do great too!" It's not that all my days are bad, but I am having my share.
cortisol level is extremely low and I was told I am in adrenal failure. Could have been caused by prolonged use of Prednisone and/or stress. My lung function is stable, my heart just beats fast to compensate for my body needing oxygen when I do even fairly
simple things. My hips are stable according to the X-rays, but I have been in a great deal of pain while here. They are going to inject me with a numbing medication Thursday. It will only last up to 14 hours, but will give them an idea where the problem that's
instigating all my joint and muscle pain. I have four things wrong with hips: arthritis , bursitis, inflammation of the IB(?) bands and tendinitis in gluteteal muscle area - oh plus that tear there. Tomorrow I see the endocrinologist who will help me with
my cortisol issue and diabetes. My A1C (diabetic test ) is 7.9. Normal is under 5.6. Mine is usually is around 6. I am very poorly controlled. I also get nerve testing tomorrow because we think I have diabetic neuropathy . I see neurologist on Thursday.
I spoke with a friend today who found out his cancer has spread. We just laughed at the irony of it. We both have a great faith. We also said if the cancer doesn't get you, the treatment will! What can we do
but laugh and have faith? God has it all under control.
They are everywhere. They are in wheelchairs, using walkers, grimacing in pain, and looking frightened. They are
of all ages and weary. Two days in a row, the TV showed children with cancer. Two were brothers. One with testicular cancer, and one with Leukemia. This morning there were children posing as superheroes and their precious images are on the outside
of a big truck. We like to hide behind our "perfect" social media lives. We don't want to share the pain of a strained relationship, of an unruly child, of an addicted child or spouse, financial concerns, or overall discontentment. Wewould rather post
pictures of happy times- children laughing, couples kissing, and dogs by our sides than admit we feel like failures. We all have hopes and dreams that are not always achieved. Most of us know the pain of watching a loved one suffer from some illness or restricted
There is such a fine line about sharing. I have a friend who has a great deal of pain. Daily she posts on FB how miserable she is, how much she hurts, how financially poor they are, and
how strained her relationship is with family members. She also posts news stories of abused pets and abused children. She's is a lovely person with a loving heart, but her focus is not on Jesus and all the good. It's easy to fall into the negativity of the
world and become despondent and feel despair. I get it. There are days when I am overwhelmed and discouraged. But when I complain, I feel a pit in the bottom of my stomach. I don't want to be a complainer. I want to be an optimist and a woman of faith.
I guess that's why I laugh about my ailments a lot. It's easier to laugh than cry. Crying takes too much work and I get exhausted and feel worse. Laughter brings hope to my heart and encouragement. We have created a world that encourages negativity.
There's nothing negative about God.
Saw the endocrinologist. He said it's Adrenal Insufficiency and he's putting me on 10 mg of Hydrocortisone and taking me off Prednisone. He said most likely cause was the Prednisone
and Cortisone combined and it made my adrenal glands stop working. I am to get monthly cortisol checks in AK. Just a few adjustments to my pump next. I have nerve testing at noon- EMG. This is a test I have had a few times and it is unpleasant. Needles stuck
in me and electrical currents shocking me. The shocking is first, then the needles.. Blah.... This is what I get for being honest about my symptoms, darn it!!!!
I finally felt like eating today, but didn't want to eat too much because I want to go to
lunch at Fat Willy's. Fat Willy's has a delicious pork tenderloin sandwich the size of a dinner plate- just like they serve in Indiana. I wish I could wrap one up and bring it home to Mom. She loves them just as much as I do. But I don't think a three day
old sandwich will taste so good!
There are so many lessons for each of us to learn. I wish I learned mine quicker than I have. I give great advice to others, but do I follow my own advice? Am I a happy person? Do I dwell too much on the negative
things? Am I am optimist? Am I hopeful? Am I faithful? Am I true? Am I an encourager?
Yesterday I had lunch at a local restaurant. I was sitting by myself and found myself observing people. There were many tables of two women sitting together. Those
women never stopped talking and laughing. All tables of women were filled with laughter and a closeness many could envy. They shared confidence and trust in each other and they found humor in the other person. They each expressed kindness. I saw
a mom sitting with her adorable boy about the age of eight. They sat in silence while the mom was checking her emails and texting. That made my heart sad. I wanted to say to her, "They grow up so fast! Be in the moment!" Then there was a married couple who
never said a single word to each other. He never even looked up as he was on his phone the entire meal. She sat in silence and looked lonely and sad. A couple other couples briefly spoke to each other while sitting. What happens to the long term
relationships? Do people just get bored with one another? Do they not have anything in common anymore? No wonder divorce rates are so high. We don't put away our phones or turn the TV off and focus on one another. Communication failure is real.
It's so important to find a common interest and do activities or plan activities together around that common interest. It's important to talk about your day and share your feelings. Women especially need to feel listened to and nurtured, but they also want
to share in their husband's life and usually desire to offer advice and solutions from a woman's perspective. Men seem to want to just leave their "business life" at the office. But by doing so, they are closing part of their life off to their wife. I have
enough friends who have divorced to know this is a real concern. Men, take care of your wives. Nurture them, romance them, and love them. When you do, your wives will be friendlier and more carefree. It's a win-win. No one should ever lose.
It is 0230 and I am reluctantly awake. There are drunk guys outside my hotel door.. They are discussing how they were trying to keep from spilling their Vodka and the need to get a new room key. Now I am awake and very irritated. I opened
my door and found one rolling around on the floor, hitting my door.. All of my doctors and medical providers have told me repeatedly this trip that I have to get my stress under control because it is causing so many health problems. I thought leaving Alaska
and all the issues there would help me relax and be stress free. Instead, I am at the clinic all day being poked, prodded, shocked, stuck with needles, and completely exhausted and I can't even sleep because of drunk guys. What is it going to take to
be able to live a less stressed life? It seems I can't get away from it and can't get a decent night's sleep whether it's here or at home.
One of my favorite people have a birthday today. Mary Theresa Kleewein Oathout Welch is 90 years
old. My Granny lights up my world with her compassion, care, empathy, wisdom, and faithfulness. She is a Godly woman deserving of praise. And.... a woman deserving of a good party which we plan to do. Everyone who knows Granny is invited
to attend to celebrate her great life. I had planned to call people and send invitations, but due to my chaotic life and being sick, I neglected to do so. This is one time I am truly thankful for social media as I was able to spread the news there.
last day at Mayo was a bit frustrating. I saw the neurlologist and he said I should have had a different test than the EMG. He wanted my small fiber nerves tested to confirm the Diabetic Neuropathy. Based on the exam, he is convinced I do
have that. He tortured me with more needles. Some parts I could feel, and other parts I could not. I finished up the day with hip injections. The doctor injected both gluteal muscles with a numbing medication. The idea was to see if that
worked for a certain period of time. If it did, then we would know where the likely trigger is for all my pain. After four hours I began to feel the pain again, and before twenty four hours was up, I was in just as much pain as before. So perhaps that
means I just need to be numbed every few hours?? The orthopedic doctor wanted me to get cortisone shots again, but since that cortisone and prednisone caused my adrenal gland to stop working, I am hesitate to do so.
I took an hour long stress
relieving class while at Mayo. I came home with booklets and short videos. Yesterday and today are both stressful, so maybe I can start it Sunday. There is simply no time until then. I look forward to a day when I learn to relax. Patrick
leaves this afternoon for Seattle. He's going with friends for the weekend. I am pretty disappointed he won't be spending the day with me at Granny's party. He is cooking the turkey and ham for me this morning, so that helps.
Deep Thoughts by Kelly
1. Smiling at a stranger makes you feel good and seems to make others feel good.
2. Babies bring out the best in most people and tend to make us smile.
3. If you are in the middle seat on the plane, you really should consider not spilling
over onto the person next to you. Some of us like personal boundaries.
4. If you have a cough, please cough into your sleeve, not on the rest of us.
5. Why would anyone NOT sign up for the electronic coupons for Fred Meyer and Safeway? Why doesn't
everyone want to save money?
6. Keeping in touch with friends makes you both feel valued.
7. Send a card to someone you know who is having a difficult time whether from grief, illness, job,or family issues.
8. Say three positive things for each
9. Be thankful for what you have- you never know when your life is going to change. Appreciate the moment.
10. Always say I love you when talking with someone important to you. Don't say this to your boss though- that's just weird.
11. When using your seat tray on airplane, don't yank it open or slam it to close because it's annoying to the person seated directly in front of you. You can actually lower and raise it gently. Try it and you will see it works.
12. When you are really
frustrated with someone, picture them as a cute little baby you want to make smile. Just don't tickle their chin- you might get slapped.
Granny’s party was so much fun. She had seven surprise guests (all relatives) fly up from Colorado.
She was very happy and I am thrilled so many shared her special day with her. I wish Meghan could have come up.
I haven’t taken the time to do any of the meditation lessons I was going to start as soon as I got home. i have had tons of paperwork
to catch up on as well as paying bills. It’s hard to relax when I don’t make the effort to relax. Saturday was nice- Dorothy came over and we visited for a couple hours. Sunday I went to church and a sweet lady prayed over me to help me with my
stress level. My doctors, medical providers, and my counselor are all telling me my stress level is out of control. I know it is, but there is not much I can do about it. I know I am not pleasant to be around. God help me.
Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his commandments, harkening to the voice of his word." Psalm 103:20
Today I am grateful for friends. My faithful friends who called to check on me encouraged me so much. Blessed are they for caring
enough to reach out to me when they have their own things going on. One also had a bone marrow transplant and has had a multitude of problems. The other currently has cancer. They have so much to deal with themselves, yet they called me to
encourage me. My first friend called and prayed for me over the phone. I prayed over the phone for my other friend. God restored my heart. How blessed am I! My mood has been uplifted because God sent "his angels" to comfort me. Lord, forgive me
for complaining. Help me to remember how blessed I am to be alive and well. Fill me with gratitude and take away my negative thoughts. Thank you for all you have given me and help me be a better Christian. I love you, Jesus!
Yesterday I had a fantastic day with Casey. We spent the day decorating the Christmas trees and the house. We got along so well and I truly enjoyed him and I think he enjoyed being with me. I am determined to continue with this attitude
adjustment i have had and it's helping me to be less stressed and happier.
What is Stress?
The dictionary defines stress as "a state of mental or emotional strain or tension, resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances." Stress targets
the weakest part of our physiology or character. Stress is a natural and normal part of our daily lives. Are any of us immune from stress? I think not! Stress is a part of our everyday life. Perhaps it is an unending pile of paperwork
on your desk, a demanding boss, an unhappy relationship, problems with your child, family feuds, financial problems, addiction issues, or just simply being overwelmed with it all. Sometimes I think stress is good for us because it helps us complete tasks
in a timely manner. I remember the research papers in college and how knowing I had to complete an intensive paper within a certain amount of time stressed me out. Since I am one of those "high strung, type A personalites", I would complete my research
paper well before it was due. Why? Because the stress of KNOWING the paper was due would send my emotional state into a tizzy. It was all I thought about and I could never relax. Getting it done in advance alliviated so much stress.
affects our minds and bodies in several ways. Stress causes changes in emotional, physical, behavioral, and cognitive ways.
Memory problems, poor judgment, inability to concentrate, and self-doubt
Depression, moodiness, instablility, panic, anxiety, and frustration
Drinking too much, increased use of caffeine or nicotine, using illegal substances, isolating from others, and sleeping problems- either too much or too
Chest pain, heart rate increases, frequent illnesses, upset stomachs, and high blood pressure
Wow, stress really does a number on our bodies, doesn't it! What can we do about it? We can practice meditation
which basically means letting our minds empty all of our worries and consciously control our breathing and our heart rate. It's going to our "happy place". We can do yoga, exercise, seek spiritual support, and practice self-care (by getting plenty
of rest and eating a healthy diet) We can ask for help and delegate duties to others. We can cut back on some of our commitments and we can schedule time to fulfill our own pleasurable activites. Perhaps it's going to a spa, getting
a massage, or playing fetch with your dog.
We may not be able ot control the stress in our lives, but we can control the way we handle the stress. I have found that negative thinking and compaining only exacerbates my stress. I have always
despised the phrase, "Just think positive", but truly, thinking positively about things does destress our lives. Learn to recognize destructive and negative thinking. I refer to this as "stinking thinking". Instead of beating yoursef up,
praise yourself for accomplishing what you have managed to do each day. If you made a mistake, think of it as a learning lesson on what not to do and what TO do next time. Give yourself permission not to be perfect.
Stress is different for
each person. What stresses me out may not stress you out. Stress can be short-term or long-term. It is important to get a handle on it quickly before temporary physical problems become permanent physical problems.
Here are some
things we can find about deaing with stress and anxiety in the greatest book of all, the Bible:
Phillippians 4:6- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Isaiah 41:13- For I am your Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear. I will help you.
Psalm 34:4- I prayed to the Lord and
he answered me and freed me from all my fears.
2 Corinthians 12:10- When you have done everything you can do, that's when God will step in and do what you can't do.
Amazing reminder of God's promises for us. He gives us the tools to "destress".
It is up to us whether we utilize those tools or not.
After a weekend of not feeling well, I had a super good day today and I am so grateful. My day started off visiting with Lynda, Trina, and Aaron, while Lynda had chemo.
She rocks it like a champ. She is so positive and such a fireball and advocate for God. I just feel like a special person around her because she is so kind and uplifting. I got the news that a treatment center reversed the decision to accept Casey and
he is treatment bound as of Wednesday! It's a true miracle of God and I am so delighted that he can move forward in this process. I followed that news with a visit with my Granny. All is well in the world of Kelly Marre right now. I am blessed.
He was covered in tattoos and his eyes told the story of living a life of hell for many years.. He tightly clutched his backpack, which likely held all of his limited precious possessions. He still had a hospital bracelet on from being in
the emergency room. He laid on the floor and tried to sleep-while attempting to push the demons away. The staff was kind and assured him someone would be there shortly to return him back to detox. He said he hoped after detox he could just do outpatient treatment
again. He was the kind of guy most would steer clear of if they ran into him at the store. He came across as a lost soul, one who knew this wouldnt be the last time he would be asking for help in slaying the dragon.
Tbe couple sat across from me and
I tried not to stare. They looked normal, healthy, and intelligent. They looked like a couple one would find in a church meeting. But they were there for the same reason the haunted man with the tattoos was- they needed help slaying the dragon.
others were a mixture of young, eager, and friendly individuals. They all seemed happy and supportive of each other. Did they used to use together? One day they shared needles, and the next day they were roommates in a detox center? What happened? Why do they
want to change now? Do they truly want to change or are they there because the court mandated them to be? When is the last time? What is the deciding factor of quitting forever? Why can some people quit and others continue using? Why can't they the dragon
As we drove away, Patrick said, "Casey doesn't belong with people like that." I wanted to agree with him. Casey is different! He is loved and supported. He has everything to live for. But, he's not different. He is one of them. One who desires
another life, but doesn't know how to achieve long term sobriety. He's hopeful, but he had the proud attitude of an addict. There's "pride" amongst addicts for being the baddest of all. You and I don't understand it and we wouldn't want that trophy. Casey
is loved by so many and this mom is hopeful. This mom believes that this time is the time permanent sobriety will be achieved. The prayers for Casey are many and freely flow from the lips of those who care. He is going to make it. He will slay the dragon.
Walking through those doors a year ago was surreal. The halls were famiiar- I walked many miles down those halls, yet it seemed so long ago. I walked back into Kootenai Hospital a year ago as a survivor. I had beat it and
I was there to thank my doctors and nurses. I took a commemorative walk around the floor trying to remember how I felt the two years before. I closed my eyes and thought about my desperate prayers, my hopes, and the fears I had experienced.
I went to the small chapel and sat there askng God what I was really supposed to be doing while there. I clearly understood that I was supposed to visit someone and bring them hope. I had already said goodbye to everyone, but I went back to One North
and said, " I need to visit someone with cancer. I can't leave until I encourage someone else." The nurse thought for a moment and said, "Katie! You can visit Katie." I went into Katie's room not knowing what to expect. She was in her
early 30's, bald, weak, and in pain. Yet her smile lit up the room. She told me she had been diagnosed with ALL, had a transplant, then relapsed with both ALL & AML. She had multiple stomach surgeries and everything that could go wrong,
did. Yet Katie smiled. She shared her pain so matter of factly. She gave God all the glory and shared her faith with me. I was supposed to encourage HER, yet she gave me the best encouragement anyone could ever give me. She was
simply amazing. This past year she and I kept in touch via FaceBook. She had another transplant- this time a cord blood transplant like I had. She was hopeful. She posted pictures of visits with her boys and husbands. She was always
hopeful and positive. Just a few days ago, she had posted this awesome picture of her with one of her sons. It was his birthday and her smile just radiated through the computer. I complimented her fabulous eyebrows. She responded
that her sister said she has "caterpillar" eyebrows. I had to agree- they were fabulous though! Mine grew back sparse and gray. She shared that she had relapsed again. My heart sank as I knew likely she would die. I didn't expect it to be so soon.
Yesterday, her husband posted that she was gone. She left this earth for her much deserved Heavenly reward. Katie will never be forgotten. I am so thankful I obeyed the calling of God last year. If I hadn't gone back to One North, I never
would have been blessed with having Katie in my life.
I have it all planned out in my head. We are going to text Meghan about five minutes before we arrive at their RV park. Patrick insisted we fly to Califonia and surprise
the girls for Christmas. We had some miles to use so it made it affordable. Casey is in treatment and we miss our girls so much. He cleared it with Meghan to make sure we wouldn't be an imposition. The girls don't know. In my head it's
all planned out. We all know that life isn't easily planned out so I have promised myself I won't be upset if my surprise plan doesn't work. But I want it to work. I want Meghan to say, "girls, go outside and play!" They will open the door and
see us. Meghan will video tape the surprised look on their face and catch them running to us screaming, "Grammie!!!! Papa!!!" Oh, Lord let my dream come true!!! It's the dream I had while undergoing chemo. A dream to be loved by multiple grandchildren.
Now I have three! When I was diagnosed just three years ago I only had one! God has blessed me.
Mom and Dad are exhausted from working so much. They are closing on their house in a month and have just started packing. I have not been there for
them and now I am leaving. I went out Saturday and packed several boxes of dishes. That made barely a dent when considering all their belongings. Thirty-three years in the same place means lots of stuff to pack. The timing of our trip is not ideal at
all. I blocked off the first two weeks in January- dedicated to helpng them. I wish the house they bought in Texas did not need to be remodeled. I wish they had the money to pay someone to complete the house they are building. When you are in your
mid-70's, you should not be working on houses! It's just too much. It breaks my heart to see them so stressed out. I haven't been there for them and neither has any of the multitudes of people they have helped. I wish we all would step up to the plate
and help. I am determined to be there for them upon our return. May God look over them and guide every moment of their days.
My plan worked. We sat at the picnic table and the girls screamed when they saw us! Ailynn even took off in
the other direction because she didn't know what to do.. My dream came true and we are reunited with our three baby girls.
Life is good and comfortable right now. There is still so much uncertainty, with my life, my health, Casey, etc . Sometimes I
feel confused and lost, but I have to remember that God knows the plans for me. Plans to prosper me and not harm me. He knows the number of hairs on my head. I will be still and let God take the wheel. When my mind wanders and tries to do the "what ifs", I
will remember that he is in control.
Parenting is definitely for the young! I just woke up after taking a short nap in the backseat of the car. The girls are wearing me out, but I love the time we are spending with them. Last night the
four of us were in bed watching cartoons. When they all fell asleep, including Patrick, I snuck over to the other bed and stretched out with a blissful sigh. After a bit, I woke up and discovered Patrick was beside me snoring. Then Ailynn had three
episodes of crying in her sleep. Then I felt a little body curling in beside me. It was Ollie. Then Patrick's alarm went off. Little Ailynn popped up on the other side of him. My dream of sleeping alone was gone..... Patrick went to breakfast with a
friend. Ailynn got in my face and said, "Grammie, it's not night time, it's morning!" It was 0630 and I felt like I havent slept in days. But t was cute!
The guy in the elevator asked me if I was done with my Christmas shopping. I immediately
felt irritated. Christmas has been reduced to the ultimate material waste day; we buy things because we think we should. Often times the gifts don’t even come from the heart, they come from a sense of obligation. I thought of the Hallmark movie I recently
watched when a man hired a personal shopper to buy his family and his employees gifts. Sure she was able to personalize them, but they didn’t come from HIS heart. I could skip Christmas all together. As a child, I loved the spirit of Christmas because
it seemed magical. When I had young children I made it magical for them. When they grew up, I saw how greedy we all are. We want and want. I think about all the people who are sad because they don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with. Why does it matter
about one day a year? We should be sad because people go all year without friends and family, homes, and a nice meal. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, but few seem to remember the reason for the season. To me, Christmas should be everyday. Each day we
should give gifts from the heart. That could include our time, our help, our love, fulfilling needs, and just being a faithful friend.
So this year, no matter where you are or who you are with, remember this is just a day. Make this, and every other
day of the year, count. Be he best you can be and be the best friend, neighbor, community member, and family member you can be. Let’s make each day a Merry Christmas. And if we want a Happy New Year, we must work for it. It’s not going to come
to us without effort.
I ended up in the hospital all night. I started vomiting and my blood sugars dropped to the 30's and 40's. I had to go. My heart rate was very high and my BP was very low. I was finally released about 10 this morning.
It was a long night in a busy and noisy ER. I am thankful to be out, but I don't be have the energy to do anything. I'm still nauseated and so tired. I feel like my granddaughters are cheated. I wish I could be normal for them. I feel so bad for patrick too.
He deserves a healthier and better wife.
As dire as all that was, I still found some humor in the whole situation last night. I knew I was going to throw up and I was too lazy to get off the bed. Patrick brought me the trash can. I was so proud of myself
for getting all the enormous amount of vomit in the can. What I didn’t realize was I didn’t get it all in the can. It was everywhere. My knight in shining armor cleaned it up, but he gagged as he did so. The hotel towels went into the trash. Here
I was with a terribly low blood sugar and I was worried about towels. Then Patrick sat down and ate chips after gagging just five minutes before. I decided we had to go to the hospital and I had to call the insurance company to see which one I could go to.
She said she would email me the addresses of approved hospitals, but she sent it encrypted and I couldn’t open it! Then Patrick couldn’t figure out how to put hospital directions in his phone. By this time I was crying because I was so sick. Pathetic
I know. We got to the hospital and he tried to go in the EMS door and was literally trying to pull the doors open. We finally found the right door and I laid down on a small chair. He was begging them to get me back right away. I heard her delaying it and
then I vomited all over the waiting room. Amazingly, they got us back right away! When they discovered how low my blood sugar was, there was panic in the air. The scary thing is now I can hardly feel the severe lows. That’s super scary. I am afraid one
day I just won’t wake up. I made the triage nurse mad because I told him which vein to use. I know my body well and I know which veins won’t work. He said, “this is a life or death situation,” yet he used the requested vein. I also
made the doctor mad because I refused to have my temperature taken rectally. Really? NO thank you! Then he wanted to put me on more steroids and I refused. I don’t think they liked me there. My face has broken out terribly on my cheeks. I look
like a teenager with acne. It’s caused by my newest medication I am on to treat my low cortisol level. I truly want off this train. I am done.
Today was a reminder that time with the girls is running short. Tomorrow we leave them
behind as we return to Alaska. I have a feeling I will be sobbing as we get on that plane. It’s a good thing that they are not dropping us off at the airport. Ollie asked me when she was going to see us again, and I was very close to “losing
it”. I don’t like this tramping lifestyle of theirs. I want to be a full time Grammie.
My nausea is still present and I hardly ate today. my nurse case manager called me and I got quite the lecture for stopping the hydrocortisone. She told
me my life is more important than the ugly rash on my cheeks. We compromised with the blood test results we will find out on Friday, if my cortisol level is still low, I will go back on it. I’m just so fed up with all this stuff.
My dad wrecked
his truck today. He totaled it and hit two other cars. He’s physically okay, but worried about the elderly lady who was injured. He doesn’t have full coverage, so his truck won’t be replaced. My parents are so loving and kind as well as generous.
It breaks my heart that they have such bad luck sometimes. I don’t believe in “luck”, but sometimes it sure seems like it. I wish I were rich and could take care of them financially,
Its almost the end of 2017 and I
don’t know how to sum up my year. I don’t even underatand what happened this year. I do know I feel like my world had been upside down for a few years now. I thought things would be normal again. I have figured out that’s not the case.
My year started off on an exciting note as my dream of being an author came true and I held my published book in my hands. The excitement was real and I was happy. I turned fifty this year and we celebrated in New Orleans. Fifty used to seem old, but this
year I was just thankful to be here. Then we found out how bad Casey’s addiction had gotten, we were floored when his marriage ended and he spiraled downhill. We spent our summer stressed out and on edge while trying to be the best grandparents we could
be to our precious little girls. The fall brought our third granddaughter and we were grateful and hoped for new beginnings.
The holidays brought on stress and I ended up in the hospital just before Thanksgiving, and again Christmas Eve.
We were disappointed to learn of more side effects from my transplant. I have been disappointed in my attitude. The year of stress has been hard on me and I am not the cheerful and happy person I used to be. I feel as if I have disappointed everyone
around me due to my defeated attitude.
I have learned that addiction has taken over the lives of so many adult children of our friends. I have watched marriages destroyed, lives destroyed, and families being ripped apart due to addiction. I want
to do so much to help others and I realize I haven’t done enough. There are so many things I want to do and I am impatient with my recovery. Mostly I want my family to be okay. I want each person in my family to know Jesus. I want to be a true example
of a Christian. I want to spread joy and happiness. My 2018 New Year’s resolution is to have more joy and be kinder to myself and others.
What can 2018 Bring You?
Or Better Yet, what can
YOU Bring 2018?
We want to be happy, beautiful, thin, smart, rich, and content. It’s human nature to want more for ourselves. Is it wrong to want more for our lives? Be careful about comparing
your life with someone else’s. It’s easy to look at our neighbor and covet what he has, but is his life what God destined for yours?
I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I am a big supporter of
goal setting. I like to set short-term goals, yearly goals, and long-term goals. If you are married, I highly recommend asking your spouse to do the same thing. It’s important to compare goals and respectfully discuss the differences.
Once you agree, post the goals where both parties can see them, and stick to them!
Here are some examples of personal and family goals:
1. Do you want to get out of debt? This is a simple one! Set a budget and stick to
it. Remember that short-term deprivation means long-term gain. For instance, cut out eating at restaurants, espressos, excess clothing purchases, brand-new cars, and frivolous items.
- Save money for a newer vehicle
at least three months expenses in a savings account that you don’t touch!
- Faithfully enter ALL purchases in a spreadsheet or a budget app.
- Clip coupons! Stock up on sale items that you normally use.
- Use different apps
on your phone to check for discounts on services and products.
- Periodically review your insurance policies and cable subscriptions. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.
- Have a separate account for vacations. Don’t
travel unless you have the money to pay for it.
- Do not take out loans or use credit cards to buy things you don’t need. See above- open a special account and save for a special purchase.
2. Are you
a little overweight? Stop saying you are going to diet or exercise and just do it! Start today! Don’t wait until tomorrow.
- Get on the scales and write down your actual weight.
- Be realistic in the amount of weight you would
like to lose.
- Download free exercise apps on your phone. Some have exercise programs for just 3-7 minutes per day!
- Park further away from the store than usual.
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator.
Are you having trouble getting along with people? Do some self-examination. If everyone seems mad at you or you have conflicts with pretty much every person you meet, then look in the mirror. What can change about yourself to get along
with others better?
- Treat every single person with kindness.
- Respect each person’s point of view.
- Listen.. listen…. Listen…. Don’t try to come up with a rebuttal when someone is talking. Take the
time to listen to them.
- Repeat what the other person said and make sure you understood correctly.
- Self-examine! What about the situation is making you angry, uncomfortable, or irritated? What memories is
the situation bringing up for you?
- Practice forgiveness daily. Bitterness will suck the life right out of you.
- Change a bad or toxic situation. You have the power to do so.
- Go to counseling- whether it is individual or
marital. Be open minded to change.
4. Has someone asked you to cut down on drinking? Are you abusing prescription drugs or illicit substances?
- First step is acknowledging you have a problem and asking
- Find a specialist in your area.
- Talk to a pastor or a trusted friend.
- Find a support group.
- Seek medical intervention if necessary.
5. Are you overwhelmed? It happens to most
of us from time to time. Here are some suggestions of alleviating some stress.
- SAY NO! Are you the one everyone comes to when they need help? You can’t help everyone, especially the same person who asks you for help every
week. Just say no.
- Write down your daily, weekly, and monthly commitments. What can you cut out? Even cutting one commitment per month can help!
- Ask for help. Why do you think you are the only one who can do something?
Train someone else. If you died tomorrow, someone is going to have to take your place anyway!
6. Are you lonely? No one likes to feel lonely. It’s okay to be alone sometimes, but being alone ALL the time
is not healthy. We were created to be social creatures.
- Find a hobby you like and see if there is a group you can join to meet other people with the same interests. Examples: Book Club, Quilting Club, Running Club, or Sewing
- Volunteer! (see number five to make sure you aren’t overloaded) Find a cause that interests you and commit to 1-3 hours per week.
- Visit a senior center or retirement home.
- If you are single, find a single group
at church or online.
- If you like sports, join a league.
7. Work on tax preparation all year long. Keep accurate expenses and deposits as they come in. Don’t wait until the end of the
year to total them up.
8. Give yourself permission to have fun! Life doesn’t have to be all about work. It’s okay to enjoy your life. Don’t feel guilty for doing so.
Donate to charity. Not only does it help others, but it will make you feel better too. Pick a cause that you are interested in and donate. If you don’t feel you can spare the cash, clean out your closet or home and donate items to a thrift
store. The money they make usually goes to help certain charities.
10. Never stop learning.
- Take a class.
- Read a non-fiction book.
- Watch the History Channel.
- Be involved in local
politics or town hall meetings.
Be all you can be! Make yourself proud.