2/1/19

Somebody, PLEASE tell me why I went back to college at the age of 51? This is a young person's game. I'm tired, exhausted, and so tired and exhausted. The other day I had to leave my practicum early and come home and take a nap. I hit the wall and couldn't go anymore.  I want to go back to bed for about two hours after I get up. How can one person be this tired? In May it will be four years since my transplant, and I am still so exhausted. Maybe if I were younger, it would be easier?

Tonight I comforted a good friend as she wept with grief because her grandson is very sick. I haven't had an extremely ill grandchild (Thank you, Jesus), but I have had a very sick son, and she knows I understand.  My heart hurts for the family. Life can be overwhelming sometimes.

God wants us to enjoy our lives and not work all the time. I believe I am going to take the rest of the night off. I give myself permission to relax!

2/2/19

When it rains, it pours. Since we remodeled the kitchen, we have had multiple problems with appliances.  Patrick replaced a part in the oven, fixed the washer, the garbage disposal, and the vacuum. Now we have something that keeps backing up in the downstairs bathroom tub. It happens every year, and it seems that ice gets stuck in there. The problem is that he has to do this every year and I"m sure it's getting old.

On top of that, I lost my grip on the storm door last night, and it won't shut now, and it's difficult to get in the front door.  Patrick has been working on the new barn doors for the pantry all day and ran into some problems with them. I hate to tell him the bathtub is full of stuff again. He's gotta be so tired!

I ran out of my Acyclovir a week ago. It's an anti-viral that I take to prevent from getting shingles. It's my fault I ran out. We switched insurances in January, and it took me a while to figure out the mail order information. Then it turned out that my prescription is expired. The doctor's office (Mayo) was supposed to call it into a local pharmacy for some quick pills but did not do so. I talked to someone who had a transplant about a year or so after me, and he just got shingles because he ran out of his Acyclovir. Oh God please help me. That's the last thing I need.

2/6/19

My dad turned 76 years old yesterday.  Let me tell you a bit about my dad.  He was the fun dad who always wanted to get right in the middle of things and act like a kid himself.  When I was probably 11, I desperately wanted to learn to do a backflip off the edge of our outdoor (above ground) swimming pool. I stood out there for hours one day (more than one day) trying to get my courage up to do it. Dad would patiently demonstrate how to do those back flips I remember feeling so impressed that he could do that. After all, he had to have been in his mid-30's and that is quite old! At least to an 11-year-old that seemed old anyway.  I never did accomplish the backflip, but Dad sure did try to help.  I used to hang out with my dad in his body shop when I was young and then after school each day since my Mom worked in a hospital.  I would lie on one of the creepers that go under cars and read my Raggedy Ann books.  When I got a little older, I started reading Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books.  When I was an adult, Dad found a whole set of Trixie Belden books that he bought for me at a garage sale. I will always treasure those books.  Dad was the fun pastor who readily accepted the pie with whipped cream in the face each year at the church party.  He visited all the sick people and encouraged all who needed it. He performed hundreds of weddings and held thousands of babies.  One time he had Logan overnight and drove him all the way to Anchorage where Patrick and I were because he wanted his mommy. After I hugged him, he decided to go back with Pockie and Dad happily transported him back to Wasilla.  He would take Logan fishing on the halibut boat most weekends too.  When the other grandchildren started arriving, he continued to be the most fantastic grandfather of all. He built them a hockey rink that was the size of probably a standard rink. He used his bobcat as a Zamboni. He even had a dog that fetched the hockey pucks. He and Mom housed dozens of teens throughout the years who wanted to skate with my kids. There is so much more I could say about my dad. I'm so blessed to have him as a father.  He loves Jesus, and he loves his family.  He and Mom love Texas, and I miss them very much.  I'm glad he's relaxing more and is warm, but I sure wish he'd come home.

It's just 0500, but I have been up for a while. It was a long and painful night for me. I overdid it yesterday- too many activities. I had to cut out of class early (thankfully I have online classes) and crawl into bed. I hit the wall.  Unfortunately, the pain kept waking me up so I didn't rest as much as I should have. I am praying that things get more comfortable for me. Please pray for a certain individual in my community who is residential treatment but is still fighting change.  I'm concerned this person will get kicked out of yet another treatment center, and there aren't many options left. I want this person to understand the value they bring to others and how they should value themselves. Guilt and shame must go away, and God's grace must blanket over all.

2/10/19

Yesterday was a very, very long day of studying and today has been as well. I'm done for the evening even though I have enough homework for another 50 hours- no exaggeration. I'm tired, and I must listen to my body as it tells me it needs sleep.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are fighting cancer. I am going to pray a universal prayer for all my friends who are sick and going through difficult things.

God, please be with every person I know. Lord, there are many who have reached out to me to cover them with prayer. God, I am asking you to listen to my spirit plead for those who need you even when I am not verbally saying their names. Lord, there are so many I know who are very sick and are going through so much. I know multiple people who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.  Two are little children preparing for a bone marrow transplant now. One is another friend who just found out she has lymphoma and her husband recently had a bone marrow transplant.  It's just too much Father God, but you are in control. You will hold them when they cannot even think.  Hear their cries God and bring peace and comfort to them and their families.  I ask you to bless my friend Sherri as she continues to take care of her severely disabled daughter almost single-handily.  Her life has been on hold for the past 20 years.  I pray you send someone to her to help her with her child so she and her husband can have some time alone to rest.  I pray for my friend who has Parkinson's disease and continues to work despite her pain and fatigue.  I pray for my granny whose memory is starting to fade and she now has a problem with her heart. I pray for my parents as they deal with the bureaucracy of selling a business. I pray for my husband as he travels home tomorrow from the cabin. I pray with the person who entered treatment a week ago and I thank you in advance for healing his heart, thoughts, and behaviors. I trust you will do this and I have faith in this healing. I pray for all the other people I have heard about who have addiction problems. I pray that drugs will be eradicated in Alaska and in the world! I pray no new person even tries a drug and that we prevent new addictions from starting. I pray that you help me get my papers done in a timely manner and I do a good job on them. I pray for my daughter and granddaughters health and safety and I pray the same for my son-in-law and ask you to watch out for his safety as he has a dangerous job. I pray for every single person reading this, Lord and ask for you to bless them with good health, good cognition, financial blessings, and peace. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!

2/11/19

I got word today that the sister of one of Logan's dear friends from Ronald McDonald House was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Her brother died from cancer and now she is faced with the knowledge she too has cancer.  My heart grieves for her and for her parents.

I also grieve for my lack of effort with checking on those who I hold dear to my heart. I am so overwhelmed with school I am stuck in my own little bubble. I haven't even been calling my daughter or granddaughters much. I haven't had a meaningful conversation with my husband in a few weeks. Is going to school worth this isolation?

2/14/19

Valentine's Day... 61% celebrate this "Day of Love". There are multiple historical accounts of how Valentine's Day got started.  There are reports that the 1840s was the start of the official Valentine's Day card distribution.  There's an average  $2 billion dollars spent annually on this day and 6 million couples will get engaged. The average person spends $130 on gifts for this day. Wow! After Christmas, this is the holiday people spend the most money on in celebration. I am not into forced holidays myself.  When I was a teen I wanted nothing more than being pampered on Valentine's Day by someone special. I longed to be one of those girls at school who got flowers, gifts, and cards from their dashing handsome boyfriend. That never happened to me. Patrick and I didn't start dating until after Valentine's Day my senior year. He had graduated a year early in Colorado.  The next year I was mentally ready to have my Knight in Shining Armor shower me with flowers, chocolates (albeit sugar-free) and gifts.  I had it all set up in my mind that it was going to be the most romantic day of my life.  Flashforward to reality: He showed up at my apartment without cards or flowers or gifts. He was unaware that I had this ridiculously romantic dream in my head.  I was crushed. I am embarrassed to say I had quite the meltdown. I was devastated. I had built up my first romantic Valentine's Day so much in my mind that his failure to shower me with gifts crushed me.  He rushed out to the store and bought some plant that had a heart on the planter.  I realized at that moment that I was worshipping the holiday and being greedy and selfish for expecting someone to fulfill my romantic fantasy.  Since that initial Valentine's Day I have trouble receiving any acknowledgment or gifts from my husband on this annual, and very popular, holiday. I decided I don't want anyone to feel forced to buy some ridiculous just because someone decided one day a year should be designated to show your loved one that you are important to them.  Patrick may not have provided me with what I was expecting that first Valentine's Day we shared, but he taught me that he shows he loves me in so many other ways.  He takes care of me by providing for me financially; he supports me in all my endeavors including going to school. Last night he aired up my deflated tire and promised to check on it this morning. He filled my washer fluid up the other day when I noticed it was low.  When I was sick, he lovingly cared for me.  A few weeks ago he brought me a stuffed seal and a card, and it wasn't even a holiday.

We must be careful to not worship holidays, events, or people.  God will always be the love of our lives.  Even though we don't always get what we want from God either, in the end, we will get the best gift ever- eternity with him.  That would make a beautiful Valentine's Day present.  Every day will be a day of love when we are in Heaven.

2/16/19

I've been studying and writing papers since 0530 with only about a 90-minute break today. It is 9:30 PM and I am exhausted.  I'm about ready to go to bed. Tomorrow is another full day of reading.  I do not feel as overwhelmed today as I have been. I finished a couple of papers, so I am not as worried as I was. I do leave Monday for Juneau for one night but two full days. Next week is going to be difficult, but I will somehow manage.

I had another corneal erosion last night, but my hips are feeling pretty good. I'm thankful for that.

2/18/19

I have been awake since 0400 this morning.  I had my alarm set for 0500, but I woke up at 4 and never went back to sleep. I went ahead and got up and headed out the door by 0600 to drive to the airport.  I was excited to get to Juneau, but I was feeling torn about staying home versus continuing the trip.  Patrick fell five feet off a ladder yesterday and badly sprained his ankle.  I have never seen him in so much pain. He was sure it was broken. He's broken many bones before so I thought it was a strong possibility. I feel terrible about how it all happened.  I had been up since 0500 Sunday and studied all day.  At 3:30 PM I decided to take a nap.  Shortly after I fell asleep he called me using Face Time Audio. I answered the phone and he hung up.  Then he called right back, and I answered and heard nothing. Then he called a third time, and I just didn't answer. I then sent him a text and told him he's calling me over and over. I figured he was accidentally hitting the button.  He sent a reply text, "I'm hurt bad and need help." I scrambled as fast as I could to get out to the garage.  Casey helped him get into the car, and I drove him to the hospital. I stood in line to check him in for over 15 minutes.  Finally, we got back, and they stuck him in the hallway- there were no rooms available.  After a time they put him in a double room.  It took me a while to realize he was in a room with a child who had a fever, cough, and was vomiting and they were testing him for the flu. I became very worried and got a mask to help protect me from being sick.  Two hours later, I was able to take him home. Nothing was broken.  His pain continues to be excruciating.  Both sides of his left ankle are incredibly swollen and bruised. I feel guilty leaving him home while I am here. What I am doing is essential though, and as a future social worker, I need to be involved in social policy and advocating for others.

I spent the entire day learning about the issues we will be talking to the legislators about tomorrow.  I was in extreme pain myself and could barely walk.  I signed on to one of my classes for 45 minutes, went and had dinner, came back to the room and took a nap before I had another class project at 9 PM. It is now almost 10:30 PM and it's time for me to get some sleep. I am not sure how long I can keep up with this schedule. I sleep little at night and I'm a walking zombie. I am fearful I will get sick again.