Thursday, September 6, 2012

This new lifestyle of mine is finally beginning to work.  It took an hour this morning to get dressed.  Shower, exercises, clearing, leggings, then clothes.  I will have to do the clearing and exercises at least once more today.  Also the massage which means taking the leggings off and putting them back on.  Unless I wait til bedtime to do the massage.

Mike and I have been discussing this a lot.  There is another piece of equipment they are trying to get approved through the insurance.  It will take another 2 hours everyday to complete the therapy with that.

On a day that I was feeling miserable with all this, I told Mike I just can't say "thank you" to God for any of it.  I can't find a way to praise Him for this.  Especially when it takes a good portion of my day dealing with it.  It is ugly, cumbersome and hot.  Plus I have more to wear!  You know those compression pants the football players wear?  Yep, I need a pair of those in my size.  But back to this.  I can sing when I have to, but it is not joyful.  I've prayed and hollered and prayed some more.  But I just cannot praise the God of my life and salvation for this condition of lymphedema.  I don't need another thing to add to my ever growing list.

Then Mike, my dear, sweet, loving husband responded.  He told me I don't have to praise God for this storm in my life, but praise Him IN this storm.  I don't have to thank God for my conditions, but thank Him for the good in my life.  I know, I've been a Christian a long time.  I should have known this.  I should have been able to see it myself.  But I didn't.  I think I was just too angry.

I sing now with joy in my heart because I know sometime in the future God will show me all His glories.  I look forward to Heaven.  I'm not ready to go there, but I look forward to it.

I will praise Him - IN THIS STORM, not for the storm.  I WILL thank Him for all the good I have.  I don't have to thank Him for the myriad of health issues, but I can thank Him that my heart is healthy.  I can thank Him that I don't have cancer.  I can thank Him for my children, grandchildren, my mother, and more than those, I can and do thank Him for my husband.  He is truly my helpmeet.  He holds me while I cry.  He laughs at me when I am goofy because of my meds.  He helps me with my compression gear when he is around.  He helps me with the household chores that I should be doing, but can't.

Lord God above, thank you so much for giving me Mike.  You knew the kind of man I needed long before I knew I needed him.  I love my husband evermore everyday.

Friday, July 13, 2012

This whole week has been difficult physically and emotionally.  I thought it was just the weather and air pressure.  Of course the stress and mess from the compression garments and my therapy (or lack of it this week).  But today's activity put the last connection to it all.

It was 3 years ago that my dad was assaulted and his arm broken while he was in the hospital.  Today was the final payment of that settlement.  We officially dismissed our lawyers today.  Do we feel better? No. Not at all.  We are glad and relieved that it is over.  But not happy in the least. My father died 15 months ago.

One thing we pray for is that our fight is making a difference for others.  My dad had family to fight for him and his rights to be treated properly.  But there are many, many others that don't have that resource.  I hope we made a difference.  I hope we shouted loud enough and long enough that others will not be mistreated and abused.

I sometimes wish I could check up on them in the future to be sure the changes are continued.  If you have a loved one in the nursing home or hospital, please don't leave it up to the staff to take care of them.  You MUST check on them continually.  Make sure they are not being abused.  They may have no one else in their corner.  I'm glad I was there for Dad.  It just wasn't quite in time.  There was nothing I could do to prevent his injuries, but I did catch them and forced the hospital to admit the liability and make changes.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

So much has happened in the last 3 weeks.  I am beginning to accept and maybe even appreciate my new bindings known as compression garments.  Not totally, but beginning.  I am finally comfortable wearing my slacks to church.  Sometimes I still hesitate.  There are still some things I am trying to adjust to...compression capris, exercises 3x daily, self clearing 3x daily, and massage 3x weekly.  I am not against those things (except maybe the capris), but it all is a huge change in my daily routine.  I have all but quit going to the YMCA.  Mostly because it is time consuming to get dressed again after the pool.

I only do the exercises once daily right now. They are painful as any new exercise routine is. But they are getting easier. Mike does them with me at night and that helps. I hope to add the 2nd daily session by the end of this week. Maybe by the end of the month I can add the 3rd session. The clearing of the lymph glands  is still once daily most days. I need to push myself to do it 3x daily. That part is forgetfulness  usually.  This is the first week that we are to do the massages 3x weekly. Tonight will be the 3rd time.  This takes an hour.  The clearing takes 15 minutes or so and has to be done each time before the garments are put on. Then 2 more times in the day. Mike helps once daily then I do the rest. The arthritis makes this a little difficult to do by myself so it takes a little longer for me.  But I am adjusting.

God promises I can do it all...with His help and guidance.

I have also been doing taxes and working on my website.  And scheduling jewelry shows for the fall.  I have a show this Saturday here locally, one next month, and one in September. I am also planning to put a few copper pieces in a shop in Claremore, OK later this week. I have rings in a shop in Bethany, OK right now. I am praying for good sales to be able to purchase some high dollar tools and a workbench.

Today was a great day in the house of God, church.  Afterward, I took a nap as usual for Sundays.  It is also the day I treat myself. I take all the compression off and leave it off until Monday morning. Yes, the swelling comes back, but my legs are free for a few hours. :D   That makes the end of Sunday a great day to follow the great morning.

Please visit my website too.  It is still under construction, but partially functional.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Been busy on the computer this morning.  I finally did my daughter's 2011 taxes.  Glad that's done.  Now, I can do mine!  Eeek!  Yuck!
This afternoon was another therapy session for the lymphedema.  I am just so thrilled to have this condition.  Yes, I am still talking about it.  It will never go away.  Neither will most of all my health issues.  They are here to stay.  I am trying to adjust, but it is taking a lot of time.  I am still learning about it all.  

I have lost another 1.4" from each leg.  That makes a total of about 14.5" each leg.  Up to the knee.  Oh, it's exciting, but not THAT exciting.  It only stays off if I continue wearing the solaris garments.  Forever.  Plus my new shoes aren't exactly what they wanted me to get, but at least I have some that fit.  

The therapist reminded me today that I need to do the clearing of the glands about 2-3 times daily.  This usually takes about 15 minutes.  Getting the leggings on takes about 15 minutes when I am by myself.  Just 5 if someone else is doing it.  Plus, the massage is going to be 3x weekly. This takes about 1.5 hours each time.  To go forever!  

The solaris leggings are not your everyday Tedd hose or the 20/30 compression stocking you find at the local medical supply.  NO.  They are COMPRESSION ARMOR!  Plus the fact that my legs swell anyway once the garments are on.  You know, pressure from the garments fighting pressure from my body.    I am not happy with this at all.  Don't think I ever will be.  I am trying to get used to it.  Not an easy task.

And the therapist also reminded me I am supposed to wear a light compression stocking to bed every night.  Now, how is that supposed to be sexy?  Forget comfort!  I just haven't been able to comply with that part yet.  I think my legs really need to breathe some time or another.  Maybe I will try it later.  Much later.  Maybe. 

Well, now it's time for me to stop venting and get ready for church.  See ya later, if you dare come back!  

Monday, June 18, 2012

In 1976, I meet a wonderful young man. Of course then I didn't know how wonderful he would turn out to be.  He asked me to marry him four times before I accepted.  Marriage was a scary commitment.  It is to be life-long with no exceptions except death.  I wanted to be sure.

We married in 1977 and have grown closer to the Lord and each other through the years.  Some were very hard. Some were exciting.  All were learning experiences.  But we have learned most of all that we love each other without exception.

We have four wonderful children.  They are all adults now of course.  But they all love the Lord.  They have given us seven beautiful grandchildren to love here on earth and a few already in Heaven.

Through the 35 years we have been together, Mike and I have seen many things.  Health, sickness, loss, tragedy, fun, friends, more family, and through it all, a peace from God.

There are many things I wish were health most of all.  And some of the past.  But, since I can't change any of that, I can look to the future of many more happy years together.  Mike is the love of my life.  He is  my best friend, lover, partner, father of my children, husband, pastor, and so much more.

I pray my children will have the same kind of love for their spouses that we have for each other.

God Bless.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Days like today I hate the pain.  It is so difficult to do simple household chores without pain.  Bending causes back pain.  This is not from the lupus or arthritis.  It is degenerative disk disease, torn disk and bulging disks. I can't sweep at all and vacuuming is difficult.

I don't like being dependent for these things.  But my house needs cleaned.  I don't like waiting for someone else to do it in their time.  When I want it done, I want it done now. Or at least soon.

I need my kitchen floor cleaned.  I know she will do it, but I've waited all week.  She's been busy, but I am ready for it to be done.  Maybe I will take pain meds, let them work and just do it myself.

Can't stoop or kneel either.  No squatting. How in the world am I supposed to get it done?

Days like this aggravate me with me.  Maybe God is trying to teach me to rely on Him as well as others.  I am after all, at His mercy.  And the helpfulness of family.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Low fevers, body aches and pains are a normal part of my life.  So, I have learned to ignore most of them.  My OT is a time of relaxation for me.  Boredom for Mike.  It takes about an hour and a half for the therapist to do the clearing and massage.  Everyone is noticing the difference.  I guess I am sceptical.  I do see the difference, but am wondering how long it will last.  She said it is a forever condition.  I am just hoping the compression garments are not forever.

I have lost 25" overall in both lower legs.  I have lost a few pounds as well. Not as many as I had hoped.  But maybe that is to come yet.  I am becoming "softer".  That means the protein is softening to break up and flow properly.  That is very good.

I keep hearing from people how they are inspired by me.  I also hear from several that keep up with me on Facebook and this blog.  This really boggles my mind.  I don't think I am anything special.  Others have pain and move on with life.  I am not the only one.  I don't mind being an inspiration I guess.  I mean, if God can use  me to help someone else, then that is a good thing.  A God thing.

I look to Job.  I think about his losses.  His boils.  I can't imagine having boils from head to toe.  One boil is enough pain for any one person!  It can't be "popped" like a zit or it will spread.  But, Job had boils covering his body.  No wonder he sat naked in the hot ashes!  The warmth most likely helped "ooze" the nasty stuff out of the boils and ease the pain.  And maybe help hid the odor of infection.

Then I am reminded of the sufferings of Christ.  His were "short lived" in that He died!  But He also rose again.  But to be beaten, humiliated and put to death.  Personally, I am NOT ready to die.  I am not afraid to die because I know I'll be in Heaven.  No more aches and pains.  No more fatigue and exhaustion!  But, I'm not ready to curl up and die.  I don't think God is finished with me yet.

I have also learned we cannot compare sufferings.  "I hurt less than Jane Doe."  Or "I have more issues than that person, but you don't see me whining!"  God gives us each just what we can deal with.  But we can never do it alone.  We need His help and peace.  Sometimes I think God must think I can handle a lot!  Because, sometimes I feel sorry for myself and think I have too much wrong with my body.  Usually those are days I am most tired and achy.  Usually a dose of meds will cure that issue.  And I am so very thankful for the doctors God has put in my way.

On a different note, I finally finished and am satisfied with the Lupus Awareness Butterfly pendant I have made.  How about I show it to you?  Tell me what you think.  Also, please, feel free to comment or ask questions.  If I can help, that is why God is allowing me to go through this.  In my humble opinion that is.

Have a blessed day!