We spent most of this past Tuesday at the Dialysis Center in Paris.
Blood work ... Iron IV therapy ... exchange ... meet with Dr. Esther ... plan of care meeting with nurse and dietician
Good numbers from February's blood work ... except for blood sugar. Sigh.
Dr. Esther is very concerned about Rick's blood sugar. And so are we.
Thankfully, his numbers are much lower than they were in November and December, and even into January. But still, not low enough.
Dr. Esther is recommending a shot of insulin before each meal now, not just at bedtime.
She also wants Rick to see a diabetic specialist next month when we go back for checkup.
We spent most of the next day in Tyler with Dr. Lamb - the neurologist who was doing the EMG nerve test on Rick's right shoulder.
It was a bit odd, tho.
We went because Dr. Devinney (ortho) wanted the test done on Rick's shoulder to see if a compromised nerve was causing the pain and weakness in his right shoulder.
Dr. Lamb spent 80% of his time focused on Rick's hands, wrists, arms to the elbow, his legs from the knees down, and his feet.
We had to ask him twice about the shoulder!!! ???
Finally, a nerve conduction test on the shoulder was done. Results? No nerve damage showing present on the test results.
So, MRI in January showed good healing in the rotator cuff and shoulder. And this nerve test showed no nerve damage in the shoulder and neck area.
Still no answers as to why the pain and weakness in his shoulder. He still cannot use the arm, cannot raise it or lower it, cannot reach out with it, cannot carry any weight at all.
The results of the nerve test on his hands, feet, legs and arms? Peripheral Neuropathy, not severe at this time, just below the skin. Dr. Lamb said that most likely with the diabetes under good control there is great hope and promise of healing.
Now, we wait on the appointment with Dr. Devinney this coming Wednesday - to see what he has to say ... sigh.
How am I someone might ask?
Deep sigh ... well, to be brutally honest - don't ask if you don't want me to tell!
In every way, on every level - I am utterly exhausted! Weary and tired beyond all words that might describe the depth and intensity. Sigh.
I love my husband, my children and my grandchildren.
But I am so very tired and weary.
Tears are just below the surface at all times. And many times they spill over and run down my cheeks - mostly with no one to wipe them away, or to offer a word of support or encouragement, no shoulder of comfort and strength.
Rick has so much on his plate that sadly he is oblivious to me at times. (No offense to him, just the way it is right now. Sigh.)
My body is still healing from the surgery. Everyone I have talked to (save a couple) have told me that I should be completely back on my feet by now. No reason to keep "milking it". How that I should just take a deep breath and "get over it already".
Which brings a surge of hurt and frustration that I have to fight back and down - not easy to do in this weary state I find myself lately.
A few months ago, I had major cancer surgery. My bladder was completely cut loose and taken out of my body - then reattached. My small intestines were cut in two, a section removed, and put back together. A chemical wash was done just in case any cancer cells had escaped. And I had a complete and full hysterectomy. Hundreds of stitches inside - and I was told by my oncologist that it could take up to a year for all of them to heal. My bladder is still weak, still lazy, still bruised and sore.
Yes, my 14 inch incision on my belly has healed, and looks very good considering.
and yes, I am on the way to being healed ...
But goodness! Give me a break people!!!
And until you have gone thru not only the cancer surgery I have endured, but also dealt with all that I have endured with my husband since 2 weeks after my major surgery -- please, don't judge! Pray for me!!! Please - pray for me!!!
Paperwork screwed up at the hospital for their care program. Must refile everything. Just means longer before I can see a primary care doctor for other issues than cancer. Longer to endure the pain and swelling. Longer to breathe in and breathe out without answers.
My emotions are on a roller coaster from some evil and wicked playground. I find myself constantly in a battle to just shut up and pray. I have been accused of being angry all the time, never smiling, never laughing. Oh I know - those were words spoken in anger and from someone that really did not understand. But all the same, they were words that hurt!
I do struggle with anger and grief ... but I hear from other women who have been in my shoes that this is NORMAL. And that I must allow myself this time to deal with it all. I am just weary of fighting for that time. Kwim? Sigh.
I also fight the fears of "what if" ... what if the cancer returns? I know that I was given a 95% chance of survival, with only a 5% of the cancer returning. But there are those dark and lonely nights that the 5% screams at me in a way that no one seems to understand, or even care to listen to.
I laugh, I cry. I raise my voice too loud, and I stay too quiet. Just cannot seem to find that "perfect" balance that pleases everyone else. Sigh.
Rick is on his own roller coaster - due to pain and boredom. Due to wondering what is going to happen with the shoulder and the dialysis. Wondering about work and housing. Wondering if he will ever get better, or is this the downhill slide to the grave. He is battling anger and grief as well. Also NORMAL.
We are both struggling against the loneliness that comes with long term illness or even long term recovery. There comes a time when everyone goes back to their own lives, and only occasionally thinks of us. A time when the visits are fewer and farther between. A time when the phone rarely rings. A time when no cards come in the post office. A time when it is just the same day over and over again. (Remember the movie - "Groundhog Day" ... well, that's about us!!! Sigh.)
We are also struggling with an empty bank account, but mounting bills, a thirsty gas tank, and a hungry frig. God has promised to meet our needs according to His riches in glory thru Christ Jesus. There are days and times that it is all we can do to just repeat those words out loud and to one another. Breathing in and breathing out. Thanking God for all the times He has provided. Waiting thru the day - and finding that at the end of the day, God has provided again. Maybe just enough for that day - but at least enough for that day.
I know that God is God, and that He is good. All the time. In every way. And believe me - HE is my strength and my sanity!!!
Sometimes I wonder if even God is tired of the same old same old - day after night after week after month.
Thank God for His promises to never leave us nor forsake us - no matter the storm or fire or trial. No matter, God is with us. My hope and promise. My sanity and strength.
So, how am I? Here ...
and remember - if you don't want an answer, don't ask. Sigh.
Has it really been so long since I have written here? Goodness! I'm sorry.
Life has been busy and time has gotten away from me. I look back on the stats for this blog and I see many hits - so to all those that have been checking and reading, I'm sorry to have not posted in so long.
Rick and I prayed about everything, talked it all almost to death ... and finally made the decision.
Tired of being so alone at the old house in Sulphur Springs ... tired of fighting the loneliness, the quiet, the discouragement and depression.
Weary of being so much in need, and of asking for help.
So, we packed and loaded and moved some of our things out to Joshua and Dessie's. They have an extra bedroom there, and wanted us to spend more time with them.
March 10 - we left SS and went out there. Unloaded, unpacked, settled in. And began to enjoy the 2 week visit - well, 17 day visit. With every intention of coming back on March 27 - because of doctor appointments.
However, we did not plan for the car to break down.
Rick and Joshua started to town one day and it died on them 3 times in the 20 miles to town. So, to the shop it went -- and just diagnosing the problem cost us $150 (that we did not have). We had to wait at Joshua's another 2 weeks - until the next payday.
Rick bought the part (distributor) for $130 ... and it cost $45 to have it put on -- thank you Affordable!!!
In spite of the car breaking down and costing us $300 that we could not afford - we had an awesome time with Joshua, Dessie, Shell and Kyla!!! So much laughter, many hugs and kisses, a lot of good conversations.
Really felt good to be WANTED.
Rick did a few odd jobs around the place for them. Joshua is working so hard for the ranch that he doesn't have a lot of time to devote to the "honey-do's" ... so daddy got drafted! LOL
I helped out in the kitchen and with the kids - gave Dessie a rest from some of her stress.
Momma "K" (the ranch owner's wife) contracted with Dessie for raising some chicks. If Momma "K" bought the chicks and the feed, and Dessie would get them to a good raised size, then they would split them.
So, 30 chicks found a home with Dessie - in the laundry room under a heat lamp. As of yesterday, only 4 have died. And their home is now an old water trough with hay in the bottom and a screen door over the top! LOL
Not much longer and they will be transitioned over to the chicken yard.
We tried putting them into the chicken house - was working very well ... until the heavy rains came and the chicken house leaked!!! They almost drowned! 2 a.m. Joshua and Dessie are out there fighting the wind and the rain and the hail, gathering 26 chicks and bringing them into the house. For the next 2 hours, Dessie and I spent drying them!!! Yes, we used towels and a hair dryer - got their feets all dried, and their feathers. We laughed at several - turning this way and that under the warm hair dryer. The next couple of days were spent in the back bathroom under a heat lamp so that we could watch them close.
We opened the door one morning and a couple had flown to the side of the box - looking at us when we opened the door. Time to go out to the shop - where the trough and hay waited.
Easy to tell a couple of them are roosters - they come up to one another and bow their chests out and peck on one another's beak ... just trying to start a fight. LOL
Kyla's baby goat bloated itself one evening on some fresh green grass. We worked with that baby goat for 3 hours to calm it down and help it make it thru the night. Finally, quiet and calm he was put into the laundry room with a heater.
Sadly, a week later he ate too much green grass again, and we didn't catch him in time. Kyla went out to feed and water him after supper one night and came running/screaming back into the house. Her "baby" had died. So sad. Yes, life on the ranch can be tough. Many tears later ... Kyla accepts life and death.
We worked on spelling words and math problems with the grandkids ...
Played card games and laughed until we cried.
Spent a Saturday morning working on crafts with the grandkids ... enjoying their creativity.
Sat on the front porch and watched the daylight turn to night time.
Made it thru a severe West Texas storm.
Endured the cold of winter lingering ... and the heat of summer's promise.
Granddaughter making Grannee "pretty" ...
Temper tantrums because grandkids didn't get their way ... dealt with, talked out ...
Good food ...
Lots of laughter ...
Hugs and kisses ...
Thank you Joshua and Dessie for not only wanting us, but for making a place for us.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here