Yesterday I blogged about prayers and needs, and the trials of faith - to trust in the Lord, one day at time.
Well, the Lord is quick to answer ...
We were getting ready to leave the house - going to meet our daughter for a quick lunch ... and then my doctor's appointment. I received a chat message from the Pastor's wife at The New Richland Baptist Church, just down the road from the house. (Rick and I both grew up in this church - a LOT of our family history and memories are there =) ) ... she said that she would see us "shortly" ...
And she along with the Pastor's mom did ... with a table load of GROCERIES!!! =) ... Rick and I were blessed to tears and beyond. God is so good! And to see a church that is faith in action! Wow!!!
The book of James says that faith without works is dead. Well, we testify tonight that the faith of New Richland Baptist Church, in the Brinker Community, just east of SS - their faith is certainly NOT dead!!!
This was the 2nd time in a month that they have blessed us!!! The first was a financial blessing that came at just the right time! =) And now this. Wow. God is so good! And His people that are willing to be obedient - that is so good!!!
Thank you - Bro. Tim & Sharon, Tim & Sandy, and New Richland Baptist Church ... we love each and every one of you!!!!! SO VERY MUCH!!!!!
Ah the wonder of coffee! LOL ...
Anyone who knows me, and those that are getting to know me =) ... know that I love my coffee! And yes, I am teased and picked on about it - but that's ok. My coffee cup and I have a very understanding relationship. We can take it as long as we stay together!!! =)
This happened to me earlier this week ... We got back from Joshua's and had a nasty letter in the post office from our water company, Brinker Water Supply Corporation. OMW!!!
I usually pay over the amount of the bill for 2 or 3 months, then pay the balance. Start over. Well, this was my "start over" month ...
The bill was due on June 15 ... we were out of town. And our checking account was not set up for bill pay. Water company doesn't have a website so that I could pay it online either. My thought? No worry. It's not behind, and we have a 10 day grace period.
The nasty letter was dated June 19. Threatening to lock our meter and turn our water off for non-payment. Sigh.
Now, right or wrong, this just flew all over me! (Guess I really did get my pills mixed up! LOL - but ...)
Anyway, we went to the office, and I laid the letter on the girl's desk. I asked her to look on our account and see what was "past due" ... She said, "Oh, it's just this month's bill." I asked her for exactly how much? "$17" ... seriously? OMW.
I laid a check on her desk and said, "Well, my goodness! Let me take care of this right now. I wouldn't want this water company to have to close their doors because of my $17!" I'm sorry, but good grief!
I could understand if the water bill was even over 30 days late. BUT 4 DAYS LATE? And for only $17??? This was deserving of a nasty letter?
Their defense? "Well, those letters were sent out to everyone who had an outstanding balance. And it has already caused many people with 2 - 6 months out on their bill to catch up. And that benefits everyone in the Corporation."
What????? I told her that I could understand that, and I certainly wasn't asking for free water, nor special treatment. BUT 4 DAYS LATE????? $17?????
Rick said later that I was being that "nice, sweet Southern lady" that had just had ENOUGH!!! lol
Got the bill paid ... and had a few words ... came away - HAPPY! LOL
I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon ...
*Potassium was perfect - Praise the Lord.
*Swelling in the left leg, ankle, and foot are better - Praise the Lord.
*Weight is still creeping up - not sure about that one. I have been eating less, eating better, walking more, drinking more water. ??? Prayers.
*Mild high blood pressure - starting on medication. Prayers.
*Mild high cholesterol - starting on medication. Prayers.
*Ear infection - antibiotics and decongestant. Prayers.
*Leg has become infected (Kyla threw a stick and the wind caught it, throwing it into my leg) - antibiotics, dressing, watching. Prayers.
*Stay on the Lasix and potassium. Still trying to get the edema down. She wants me to wear support socks if possible as well. Resting as much as I can tolerate. (LOL) Prayers.
*Stay with the vitamins and supplements. Eat less, eat better, drink more water, get some light exercising (light at first).
*She said she is going to order a mammogram. Still wants me to have a stress test - but with no insurance ... ??? (It is over $1000 ... sigh)
*She wants to see me the end of August - with a full blood work panel a couple of days before.
She is concerned about diabetes - although the blood sugar numbers are good, so is the A1C.
...So, deep breath ... even more changes ... praying for God to give me strength, courage, and wisdom!!!
I will never be 18 again - but that's ok ... I don't want to be 18 again! I do want to be the best I can be at 52 though!!! And I am committing myself to this. My body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit and I am convicted that I need to do my best to make it the best for Him - to last the longest I can. Not to hang on to this world, but so that I can be here the longest for God to use me however He wants to.
I don't know what God wants to do with me, but He woke me up this morning for some reason. And as long as He continues to do that, I want to be available, and be the best for Him that I can be.
I ask for your prayers in all of this. I know it will be a difficult road at times, but then, God is greater! God is stronger! God is gooder! And if it gets too difficult, well then - He will just have to carry me for a while!!! =)
We are at the house for a couple of days ... been on the go so much lately it seems. Just going to enjoy some down time ... and according to the weather forecast? Thinking God has ordained this time of rest and down - under the AC!!!
I have some catch up to do on the website ... some thank you cards to write ... emails to answer ... pictures to go thru ... and a few other things to keep me busy, but at the same time to bring me joy, smiles, and even laughter.
Looking forward to some time with the hubby =) ... maybe watch a movie or two ... a nap maybe ...
We are having a fish fry meal with Rick's parents on Sunday - yummy! But I am going to be "good" - I promise!
Can't wait till Sunday church ... Bro. Tim preaches the Word with no shame or apology! Praise God!
Praying that you and yours will be blessed today and everyday!
Thank you again for taking the time to read this, and to pray. I love you all!!!!!
First, I want to thank you for reading this. I appreciate the time you spend here - more than my words could ever say. Thank you!!!
I pray for you - that God will open the windows of heaven and pour you out blessings that you do not have room to contain, so that they will spill over to all those that you meet today.
I pray that you will know God's Presence at every moment of this day. The realization that the God of Angel armies walks beside you. He cares for you. You are precious to Him.
Again - thank you for reading ...
We went to the Paris Dialysis center yesterday with Rick. It was a day to bring his urine for the past 24 hours as well as the bags of dialysis from the night before. The test that shows how well the dialysis is working. We are told that on a "good day" the doctor/nurses hope for a total number of "2". Yesterday, Rick's total number was -- over "4"!!! Praise the Lord!!!
Dr. Greenwell looked at his blood report from last month and said, "These blood numbers are phenomenal!!! This is telling me how well the blood is being filtered and cleaned. You just do not see these kind of numbers in a kidney patient!!!" Praise the Lord!!!
Dr. Greenwell raised Rick's insulin (Lantus) to 30 both morning and night. His blood sugar numbers are getting closer to the mark for a dialysis patient (150). Please continue to pray for us as we do the adjustments on insulin, diet, and exercise. As anyone who has been or is on insulin can tell you - it is a almost like a tightrope balancing act. We ask for God's wisdom and understanding in all of this.
Dr. Greenwell also has gone up on the dosage of one of Rick's blood pressure meds. His blood pressure isn't "bad" - but it isn't yet at that "mark" either. So, another prayer request.
Also, Rick started on Lyrica last month for the neuropathy pain in his feet. A low dosage. He told the doctor that there might have been a slight improvement, but not a lot. So, Dr. Greenwell has increased the dosage level for this month. Took the first one last night ... ???
It will be a few more days before we get the results of yesterday's blood work - which will tell us a lot of how the cycler is working compared to the manual exchanges.
Sharing a prayer burden and request here ...
First -- Rick has insurance thru Ballard, with prescription drug coverage. But since the company switched from United Healthcare to Aetna - our co-pays have doubled, and on some meds, more than doubled. Which is frustrating and discouraging both. Especially since we are living on 40% of Rick's original salary with Ballard. (should be 70% - but, long story there ... sigh)
Anyway - it is time today to have his meds filled. And because of having to spend so much on the car last month (over $1000) ... we are having to catch up on other bills this month. Which leaves us SHORT of funds ... sigh.
Finding out that we are part of that group that falls into the cracks of our health care. Just enough insurance coverage to cancel him out of the programs that are out there that would help with this. But not enough insurance coverage to actually PAY for the meds. Arghhhhhhhhh!!!!!
I know that we are not the only ones in this situation ... but we are in it!
So, I pray that God will make a way to get Rick's meds today. (He has already missed one dose of his blood pressure medication last night.)
Next -- groceries. I used to actually enjoy going grocery shopping. But that has long since passed! With the dialysis, Rick is required to eat at least 3 x's the protein that most people eat. Low fat, low carbs, high protein. Have you priced these foods lately? OMW!!! I have asked the social worker at the Dialysis Center if there is a program that helps us buy this food ... but sadly, she shakes her head and says with frustration - "No, there isn't. I wish there was. There are so many people that need help in this!" Sigh.
I know that God can (and will) make a way. But I also know that I need to trust Him. Don't panic. Pray.
I am weak. Please - pray for us. Pray for me. Lift my arms up - be my strength today. Please.
I am going to the doctor today ... went last month, and she put me on Lasix and a prescription Potassium. My left leg, ankle and foot are swelling really bad. Kidneys tested to be working like an "18-year old's". Liver tested to be working great. She (nor I) can figure out why the swelling, why the knots, why the pain and discomfort. I have had 2 sonograms done testing for blood clots. No blood clots detected.
Before I had the cancer surgery the swelling would happen during the day, but would go down at night. Which every doctor I talked to said that was ok - no worries. But ever since surgery (back at the end of September), that left leg, foot, and ankle have NOT gone completely down. Sigh.
So, we shall see today what she wants to do now ...
Just praying for some answers ...
I return to MD Anderson the first of September for another 3 month check up ...
My prayer this day ...
O Father God ...
I am yours. All of me. All yours.
Help me to just breathe in and breathe out.
And with every breath in - trusting you. With every breath out - surrendering to you.
Help me to be that woman without words today ... trusting you to be my Voice. Trusting you to defend me, to fight this battle for me. Yes, I am tired and weary. Help me to rest upon your Promises - just knowing that you have said, and you are able to do just what you have said. =) Love you.
Help me to focus my prayers and attentions to THIS day. Ask you, trust you, and thank you - for today's bread/manna. Leave tomorrow's worries and fears there! Trusting in you, for each and every day. I love you. Thank you.
Open my eyes to the moments of this day ... and my heart to just enjoy each one. To give you praise and worship.
Teach me your ways to live this day in honor to you. To please you. To make you smile. Even to make you laugh out loud. O Father. I love you.
Thank you ...
In Jesus' Name ...
Thank you God for caring enough to catch my tears. I'm sure that by now you have either used a bunch of bottles (a whole bunch!) - or the bottle you have is mighty large!!! But thank you - for every tear I've cried, you have been right there. Thank you Lord.
I think back to when my kids were growing up ... and I remember telling them to let me catch a tear - so that I could feed my goldfish =) ... it seemed to always bring a smile to their faces.
It certainly encourages my heart to think that my Father catches my tears - be it to put them into a bottle, or to feed His goldfish. Just to know that He cares enough to see my tears, and cares even more to catch them.
*A Bottle Full of Tears*
*My Bottle of Tears*
*Tears in a Bottle*
*Our Tears in a Bottle*
Tear Bottle History
We are back in SS after a visit to Joshua and Dessie's. Sigh.
I love going out there - just being with our kids and grandkids. The hugs from my son - oh the strength in his arms, the peace upon his shoulders. The conversations with my daughter -in - love, she listens to more from me than she should have to ... but she does it so graciously, as a friend. The hugs and kisses from my grandkids - they will never know how much that is my sanity!
... but also the stillness and quietness of where they live. They are in a small "holler" - with a caprock right in front of them, and off to the side as well. The Brazos River runs at the back of their place. And they are the next to the last house on a dead end road. Yes, I love to go out there.
But this last trip was a doozie! It was hot -- well, it is Texas summer! I saw a sign the other day that describes Texas summers -- "Who set the AC dial to HELL?" Yep ... And it was HOT at Joshua and Dessie's. Not unbearable ... well, not so much to them - they are used to it. Not even so much to me - ever since I had my cancer surgery I have no thermostat in my body, so I stay either COLD or HOT. Sigh. But Rick ... now he likes his AC ... and they have no AC. We took one for our bedroom so he could sleep ... but even he cannot LIVE in that bedroom. He is not the nicest person to be around when he gets out of the cool during a Texas summer either. So, yes - it was a difficult trip. Will we go back this summer? I want to ... the heat is not as difficult to deal with as the loneliness is for me. But - this is on Rick. He was the one most miserable out there ... so he needs to be the one to decide what to do now.
When I started this blog I said that I was going to be honest - good or bad. Even in the most difficult times. I would be honest. And I have - to a point. Whenever the worst of times have come around, I have skipped those times more than write about them. I already feel like I complain - and I don't want to be a complainer, a griper. I want to be an encourager. But, sadly there seems to be more difficult times and days than not any more.
I think it is more the wearing away of patience than anything else. When you live with a on-going illness/disease ... and you are in recovery for longer than a few days ... well - you get tired. weary. frustrated. discouraged. Everything gets on that "very last nerve". You look for the escape. You try so hard to focus on the good and positive things in your life. You try so hard to live a life that honors the Lord. You praise Him. And you get tired. weary. frustrated. discouraged.
The loneliness comes and seeps into every pore of your body. It feels like you will never laugh again - not a true and real laugh. You wonder if you will ever be held again? Touched with kindness and with love?
So on those days ... what am I supposed to write? Just how often does anyone want to hear these words?
God says that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. That He will surely provide a way of escape for us. So, I breathe in and I breathe out. Waiting. Wondering. Struggling to trust Him.
There are moments that are precious and good ... and I hang on to those with all that I am and have! Those are my points of sanity. My moments of escape. Thank you Lord for knowing me so well that you send these moments just when I need them the most.
Our daughter came by yesterday. Her hugs are so precious. She has a way of listening that tells me she cares. And she has a way to make me smile, make me laugh - a way that makes for just one moment, all is well. For just one moment - there is no sickness, no recovery, no illness. For just one moment - I have a real LIFE.
Thank you my precious daughter! I love you more than words could ever say!!!
Ain't God good! The God of the universe, the God of all creation ... Holy God ... He loves us. He cares for us. He wants to spend time with us. He wants to walk with us and talk with us. He wants to do good in our lives, and with our lives.
I just love it when He drops those little "love notes" - especially when they are totally unexpected! An extra good cup of coffee ... a verse in the Bible reading that jumps off the page - and you just know it was written for you ... a phone call from someone you love and cherish ... a bird that sits out the window and sings just for you ... a bright star shining on a dark night ... so many different love notes from God.
Yes, God is good! All the time.
So thankful that God is God, and not this life!!!
My heart is grieving for all those affected by the tornadoes of May ... some links to the different news stories, videos, and photos ...
You Tube we were in this one!!! ...We saw the tornado across the river from Joshua and Dessie's place, saw it split in two pieces and it looked as tho it was going to dissipate and go away ... but instead, the wind shifted to the back side of the tornado, and it re-formed, and came straight towards us. We gathered the grandkids (Joshua and Dessie were at work) and rushed into the storm cellar! Stayed for almost 3 hours!!! National Weather Service said the next day that we had been under a "bowl effect" - very rare weather condition. Maybe exciting to them - but to be in that? Not so much! Thanking God for a storm cellar! Even if we did have to fight thru the dead mouse and spiders! LOL
When you live with a long-term illness days and nights tend to become "all one and the same" ... unless something "major" happens, nothing that new to talk about. Sigh. Seems that about the only thing that really changes is whether this is a day that we struggle with the discouragements and frustrations, or if it is a day of total mercy where nothing seems to touch us.
We are learning some things tho - that God is good, all the time. Even when we aren't.
This prayer is one of my "mantras" ... I pray it A LOT!!! =)
When we went to the Dialysis center in Paris last week (Wednesday), after a morning of training on the cycler, we were released for a lunch break. After lunch we had an appointment with Rick's doctor. So, we find our way to the McDonald's - had a Caramel Frappe` and a Chicken wrap. Enjoyed a few minutes of down time together.
Time to get back to the center. Car wouldn't start. Wouldn't turn over. Nothing. Finally, we called a cab - had the doctor's appointment. Called another cab and went back to the car at McDonald's.
One of Rick's nurses's husband is a mechanic, and he came over with a friend of his (another mechanic) - they couldn't figure it out. We had to call a tow truck and have it hauled to the repair shop.
Rick's dad and mom drove over to Paris and picked us up.
And we still wait on the car to be ready. Last we heard it was the ignition switch among other things. All total (first estimate) will be around $700 (that we do not have - praying for God to provide!) ... sigh.
On the trip to MD Anderson in Houston, the car broke down on I-45 and cost us $250 to get repaired. Sigh.
These car repairs are NOT helping with the financial crunch!!! God is good, and He provides. But humanly speaking? It is hard not to focus on that 45% of Rick's normal salary that we are living on. KWIM? Sigh.
Well ... guess it is about time to have another cup =) ...
Praying that you have a blessed day ...
God is good all the time ... this life may suck at times, but God is good!!!
Lord, help me to focus on YOU ... good days or bad.
I love you Lord.
On Rick ... Dr. Devinney said that the nerve on the top of his shoulder (the one that runs from his spine to the rotator cuff) is definitely damaged. 3 options - (1) total shoulder replacement - no guarantee that it would make it better, in fact ... could very likely be worse; (2) shoulder fusion - which would give him NO movement in the shoulder; (3) wait it out, because there is a slight chance that the nerve will heal and he will get back at least 70% use of the arm, given time. Dr Devinney asked (again) what kind of work Rick was doing when this happened. Driving a milk truck - which included not only driving, but getting up and down from the truck, and climbing up and down on the tank to read the tags. Dr Devinney shook his head and said, "No more of that! You should be able to work doing something, but no more of that."
... Rick took his urine and dialysis bags into the dialysis center. Again they were amazed at the amount of both! His numbers have IMPROVED!!!!! =) Praise the Lord!!!
We trained on the cycler for 2 days ... nurses delivered the cycler on Thursday. We have now used it for 3 nights. Rick said it is going to take some getting used to, but not so bad. At least we don't watch the clock during the day for a manual exchange! And the biggest plus to the cycler? He said he feels so much LESS full all the time, not so tired.
On me ... went to Dr on Friday afternoon - during the discussion with her, she noticed me touching my chest. She asked, and I told her - I have been having chest discomfort and some pain for the last 4 weeks, off and on. Nothing so major - more just annoying. She ordered an EKG at the office - showed an abnormality. So, off to the ER we are sent (and go). 5 hours later ... EKG's ... blood work ... X-rays ... heart monitor ... And?
Still abnormal EKG ... but blood work is good, shows NO heart attack of any size - PRAISE THE LORD.
Heart monitor shows good ... X-rays were clear ...
I was allowed to come home - under protest from the doctor, but there was nothing that the hospital would do over the weekend. Not on just an abnormal EKG. I told the doctor that I was not going to play around with this - that I had faced death too close twice in the last few months to not take this seriously.
Dr wants me to have a chemical stress test ... I will call the cardiologist tomorrow. And she wants me to have a mammogram to rule out anything there.
She did tell me that it looks like I have about 20-30 pounds of fluid on me, which would account for the pressure and discomfort in the chest, as well as the pain over the rest of my body.
Now taking Lasix and Potassium. She also added fish oil, cranberry, aspirin.
I wait to see if the care program at the hospital will cover these next 2 tests - hopefully, prayerfully, they will ... cause sadly, we have no money and no insurance. Trusting in the Lord - He is the Great Physician.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here