The holiday season begins…

Yes, it has, whether we were ready for it or not.   Me, being different, I guess, consider Thanksgiving part of the holiday season.  To me, Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays ever.   I look forward to it every year.  Spending time with my family, immediate and extended, and eating wonderful food.  What can be better?

The part I do NOT like is from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.  I dread this time period.  I am not a shopper.  I know, shocking.  A woman who doesn’t like to shop.  It’s true, I despise it and avoid it at all costs.  Black Friday gives me the heebee-geebees (sp) and honestly, I just don’t understand it.  Yes, I’ve seen some of the bargains advertised. And yes, some are some really awesome deals.  I will not deny that.  But is it worth your safety and sanity to try to get one of those items?  You can probably do without it.  Seriously, you probably can.  I realize that not all stores have the craziness that causes harm to others, but I can tell you that my mom used to do Black Friday every year.  She would be at the store at 6am, when it opened, shop, and be done by 8am, 9am at the latest.  I said ‘used to.’  The reason for this is the last year she went, she was walking through Mervyn’s (former department store here in California) and stopped by a table of sweaters.  Knowing my dad needed a new sweater, she started looking through to see if there were any in my dad’s size.  She find ones and goes to hold it up to see if it would be a good sweater for him and some woman grabbed it out of her hand, practically ripping the material and started yelling at my mom something to the effect of “How dare you, that’s mine.”  Ok, it was laying on the table, not in a cart or say, in someone’s hands.  My mom just walked out of the store and came home.  It wasn’t worth it at that point.

So, this brings up the next question… Why are some people so rude?  I get the rushing to a table to try to get what you need, but honestly, ripping things out of others hands?  Taking items out of their carts?  Spraying them with pepper spray?  And in some cases, worse, shooting them?  What is wrong with this picture?  What has our society come to, that this type of behavior is ‘normal?’   I have to believe that these people that are spraying with pepper spray and shooting others are brought to justice, so let’s leave those situations out for now.  When has it ever been acceptable to take items out of a cart that someone else is using?  Or to rip something out of someone else’s hands?  Why has our society become so obnoxious and rude?  And, in my observation, it is always at it’s worse between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This is supposed to be a happy time of year, where we celebrate.

I’m not going to go on a long dialogue about how people should and should not act.  I think my short one is sufficient.  And, I will end that there.

See you soon.

Medical ramblings

As some may or may not know, I’ve had some medical issues.  To sum it up and make this post a little shorter, nearing 3 years ago, I had a series of falls that most people would recover from, specifically with proper medical attention.  I thought I had recovered pretty well, from them, but about 6 months later, I noticed that my feet would start to hurt if I stood for too long.  I didn’t think too much about it at first, until it kept happening and with more frequency.  I went to my dear friends wedding and I couldn’t stand for longer than 30 minutes.    I went to the doctor and he took x-rays and said everything was fine, prescribed Vicodin, told me to lose weight, and sent me away. I should state that while yes, I could lose a few pounds, I’m not considered obese.  For my height and age, I should weigh between 135 and 165.  At that time, I was 168. So, yeah, I could lose a few pounds, but that would not be the reason for my pains in my leg. Soon after that, that doctor, lost all his computer records and couldn’t be found anywhere.  Closed up shop.

I took this opportunity, to change doctors and have my leg checked again.  My new doctor, was quite concerned and sent me to an orthopedist and Physical Therapy.  My orthopedist spent nearly a year trying to figure out what was going on, even stated in one appointment, “You’re a mystery.”  After my latest MRI through him, he just stopped returning my calls.

That, in brief, brings me to today.  My insurance company referred me to a Neuro-Surgeon.  He was quite intrigued by my situation.  He looked at the many MRIs that I had already had done and couldn’t understand why my orthopedist was concentrating so much on my back.  He agreed that the arthritis and scoliosis in my back would be causing pain in my back and maybe the hip due to compensating for my back, but not my foot or lower leg.  As well, the pain starts in the toes and moves up, not from the back and moving down.

Today, as my follow up from the ABI (Ankle-brachial index), I had an MRA.  First, what is an ABI.  From WebMD: “This test is done by measuring blood pressure at the ankle and in the arm while a person is at rest.” “This test is done to screen for peripheral arterial disease of the legs. ” (

Results, from WebMD:


A resting ankle-brachial index of less than 0.9 is abnormal. If the ABI is:

  • 0.41 to 0.9, you likely have mild to moderate peripheral arterial disease.
  • 0.4 or below, you likely have severe peripheral arterial disease.
Mine for my one leg, the one that gives me trouble, was 0.82.  So, a potential of mild to moderate PAD.  So, he wanted to do some further tests to make sure that there was nothing more to worry about.  The tests he ordered, that I did today are an MRA of the leg and pelvis, and MRIs of the Head and Cervical Spine.  So, what’s an MRA?
MRA stands for  magnetic resonance angiogram.  Basically, an MRI of the blood vessels.  This one, theoretically, should indicate if I have a blood clot, or something arterial that might be causing the issue.  The MRI of the head and C-spine were to rule out MS.  I blogged about that before.
So, back to today.  My appointment was scheduled for 9am.  They asked me to be there by 8:45. No problem.  I arrived at 8:30.  Signed in, filled out the paperwork, and sat down to start reading my book.  They called me back pretty quick, about 8:45.  I got undressed/dressed for the test and headed to the room.  He did the MRA first.  So, I climb up on to the hard table, and lie down.  He straps this contraption to me that is actually how they get the pictures for the MRI.  Started with my lower legs.  Not sure how long, probably about 20 minutes.  I had to be perfectly still.  You don’t know how hard it is to be perfectly still until it’s over.  Thankfully, between sets, while the machine was compiling the photos, he let me move a bit.  The next section was my upper thighs and pelvis.  Same thing.  Survived that.  Next, my stomach and chest.  Same same.  Survived again.
This time, once everything had compiled, I had to get up so that he could set for my MRI of head and C-Spine.  This is when the trouble began.  I couldn’t get up.  Literally, I couldn’t sit up.  It took everything I had to try to bend my knees to try to get up.  The technician had to help me up.  Then I could barely stand.  He set up the table, for the next part, and I laid back down.  I laid my head in a ‘case’ of sorts and they put the top part on, so my head is fully enclosed.  No problem, I can deal with this.  The technician was really nice and put a cushion under my knees and lower legs so that it would ease the pressure on my back.  Into the machine I went.  I handled the first 25 minutes ok. Then, suddenly, massive pains in the leg that doesn’t give me trouble.  My hamstrings were cramping.  I was trying my best to stay still.  The noise stops, and he comes over the earphones  to say “We need to do those last 3 minutes again.  You need to stay still.”  Ok, we try again.  Suddenly, the cramping gets worse.  I try my best to not move.  He comes back on the speakers and asks what is going on.  I say that my leg is cramping.  So, he lets me move around and try to work out the cramping.  Ok, I think I’ve got it.  I tell him to go for it.  We got it that time.  But about halfway through, my leg started cramping again.  Wow, it was rough.  So, they get me out of the machine and he literally has to lift me up.  I’m in so much pain at this point that I am not sure that I’ll be able to walk to the changing room.
As I am hobbling out of the room to go change, he lets me know to not leave the office without my images and to wait for them in the lobby.  He said it would be about 15 minutes.  I literally use the wall to get to the changing room.  Change into my normal clothes, and head for the lobby to sit and wait.  I wasn’t seated for more than 30 seconds when they came out with the images.  Yes, it took me that long to change my clothes, that’s how much pain I was in.  I walked out of the office at 11:44.  Yes, almost 3 hours of being still.  No wonder my legs were cramping.
My biggest thought about this was, can’t they make those tables more comfortable?  Does it HAVE to be a hard table with no padding?  And really, with today’s technology, can’t they come up with something faster that having someone be completely still for 30 minutes at a time? Ok, enough of my whining.  I get my results from today, on 12/7.
Happy Thanksgiving Eve to everyone.



I do not remember a lot about my childhood, but some things really just stand out for me.  One of those, is my grandparents.  Specifically today, thinking of my grandma.

One of the last pictures we have of my grandma was her last Thanksgiving.  The four grand-kids stood around her and had our picture taken with her, knowing it was probably one of the last pictures we’d have of her.  She was so happy to see everyone and Lucky, the cat.  Lucky was originally my Grandpa’s cat, but, well, you know cats.  My mom has that picture in her house, and it makes me smile every time I see it.

I remember as a little girl, going to my grandma’s on school breaks and Grandma teaching me to bake bread.  I was 8 or 9 when she first taught me.  Mixing the ingredients, kneading the dough, letting it sit on the stove (for the warmth) to rise, punching it down, kneading, and so on.  It was the best bread ever.

I remember grandma putting my hair in sponge rollers for Easter and my hair was curly like Shirley Temple. and her trying to brush some of the curls out.  I don’t think my mom was too thrilled with that, but she let Grandma do it.

I remember taking my first long term boyfriend down to San Diego to meet her. While we were there, she comforted me in my decision to leave school for awhile, and telling me that my mom had as well.  Something mom had never told me.

I remember her chili con carne, with mashed potatoes.  One of the best ever meals from Grandma: chili con carne on mashed potatoes, homemade rolls, and salad.  She made it most times that we went to visit her because we loved it so much.

I remember my sister and I playing with all the fun stuff at her house.  The old manual calculator that you had to pull the lever to move the paper forward, the old secretariat desk that she let us play at, despite the fact that she was still using it, the old dolls from my mom and aunt’s youth and the club house that my grandpa had built for them when they were young.

I remember the glass candy bowl on her buffet table that my sister and I would run for when we got there.  If I didn’t like the candy in the bowl, she’d sneak me some other candy or a cookie from the kitchen.  I don’t think mom was too happy about that either. 😀

I remember her trying to teach me to knit and crochet.  She always made sure my sister, dad, and I had MeMa Pippers (Grandma slippers).  When I was little, I didn’t catch on to yarn.  Now, I wish I had, as I love it now.  I even made MeMa Pippers for my mom one Christmas.  My grandma had never made them for my mom, strangely enough.

I remember my grandfather funeral, with her sitting there, seemingly emotionless. My sister breaking down, and being given the look that she shouldn’t be showing such a display in public.  Grandma insisted on everyone being stoic. No public displays of emotion. Something my mom has fought all her life, and tries her best, specially now with my overly emotional girls.

I remember my youngest cousin’s high school graduation and my sister and I went early to see Grandma in the nursing home.  She was getting her hair done and smiling as we came in to see her.  Mom still has that picture too as we had the beautician that was volunteering her time take our picture.

I remember the day she died.  I got a call just after 6 am and it was my mom.  All she said was “It’s over.”  I knew exactly what she meant by that.  We had been warned the week before when my mom and I drove down there on my day off from work, that the end was near for her.  I went to work, it was a Friday, and our company Christmas party was that night (12/16/94) and no one could believe I was working, and intended on going to the company party.  Grandma would have insisted on it.

Grandma’s favorite hymn was “How Great Thou Art.”  I still can’t listen to that hymn without tearing up.  I can guarantee if I’m singing it in church, I have to stop to get myself back together before singing on.

So, Grandma, for you, this lovely version posted on GodVine… We love you and miss you greatly.


Are you a servant? – Part 3

My apologies for not posting the past few days.  Life and work did not lend me the time to do so.

On with the last part of the segment:

6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

I find this statement interesting.  One of God’s top ten, is to not idolize.  Well, creating God in the image we wish falls into that category.  So, how can we be equal with God, as Jesus was equal with God.  Quandry, until you realize (in my humble thought process) that we are to strive to be as Jesus and God want us to be, which is like them.  Can we ever be perfect as they are?  No.  But we are to still be right with them.

But the really interesting part comes next…

7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

“Made himself of no reputation”  Wow, how against our society does this go?  Everything is about your reputation. The definition of reputation (From


[rep-yuh-tey-shuh n]  Show IPA


1. the estimation in which a person or thing is held, especially by the community or the public generally; repute: a man of good reputation.
2. favorable repute;  good name: to ruin one’s reputation by misconduct.
3. a favorable and publicly recognized name or standing for merit, achievement, reliability, etc.: to build up a reputation.
4. the estimation or name of being, having, having done, etc.,something specified: He has the reputation of being a shrewd businessman.

You can’t tell me that we common folk don’t buy into the thought that you have to have this fantastic reputation.  I often joke with people at work when they thank me for doing something nice (going on the record here that its more common that I do than implied here. 😉 ), to not let it get out, don’t want to spoil the rep. So, how do we approach this when Jesus ‘made himself of no reputation.’

Ok, let’s start with, Jesus wasn’t concern with his reputation among others.  He had no use for it.  He knew that when you have no use for a reputation, and you humble yourself and become a servant (more of that in the next portion of the verse), your reputation is there, either way.  You can go to any religion in the work, with the possible exception of Atheism, and they will all agree that Jesus existed and that he was ‘a great rabbi,’ ‘a prophet,’ ‘a wonderful teacher,’ etc. Very few will deny he existed, there is too much proof in the different books of beliefs to deny that, and even fewer will insist that he was a horrible person.  Now, think on this… 1 man, over 2000 years ago, still has this reputation of being pretty awesome, but by multiple religions and beliefs, whether they believe he was the Messiah (the Christ) or not.  Pretty amazing for a man who ‘made himself of no reputation.’

So, the second portion states “and took upon him the form of a servant.”  Guess how he made his reputation, by not making himself a reputation.  He became a servant. By serving others, by helping others, by sticking to God’s ultimate command to love our God with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind, he became known for this.  Now, before someone gets upset about the Love our God, it’s in the bible at least 3 times (from a quick search), twice in the new testament; Matthew 22:37-40 and Luke 10:27, and in the Old testament (the area that our Jewish family would know as the Torah, in Deuteronomy (not sure of the Torah’s name for this book) 6:5.  So, this is not a new thing.

By loving our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, we come closer to God’s love of agape. Definition of Agape, from


2[ah-gah-pey, ah-guh-pey, ag-uh-] Show IPA

noun, plural -pae [-pahy, -pahy, -pee]  Show IPA, -pai [-pahy, -pahy]  Show IPA for 3.

1. the love of God or Christ for humankind.
2. the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.
3. unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.
4. love feast ( defs. 1, 2 ) .
This is what Jesus achieved (ok, one of the many things he achieved) and what God wants us to strive for.
So, how did God get there through Jesus?  Third part of the verse: and was made in the likeness of man.  God made himself into the likeness of man, meaning, humans, specifically in this case a male human, to go through all the trials and tribulations that we do.  He went through the temptations and witnessed the hardships and experienced all that we experience.  Yet, he still remained perfect, without blemish.  He did not cave into temptation.  He conquered it.  He did not fall into hardship, he lifted people out of it.  And how did he do all this?  Through the commandment to love God with all his heart, soul, and mind, as a man.

8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

So, being a man, a human, and not God (though we know he was God in the flesh), he chose to not rely on his godly powers and influence.  He did not bring down legions of angels when Satan tempted him in the wilderness.  Yes, he performed miracles.  But he had to, to prove who he was.  Instead, Jesus humbled himself. Here is the King of Kings, and he humbled himself to all others.  He knew that the plan was for him to be crucified and to take the sin of the world.  So, he humbled himself, to do the job, and was so obedient, that he took on death.

In John 15:13, it states: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. What a friend he is for giving his life so that we may live.

It is times like this that I get overwhelmed by the love God has for us, for me.  Most of us would lay our life down for our children.  God’s son did it for EVERYONE, not just you, not just me, but everyone.  There is not one that he didn’t die for.

So, why should we worry about our reputation?  Why not humble ourselves, and be a servant?  We don’t need to be exalted, we need to love our brothers and sisters, and serve them.  We must make this effort.  Without it, we only hurt ourselves.

Are you a servant? Part 2

The next verse: Ph. 2:4 reads:
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 

This, to me, seems pretty self explanatory.  Basically says, to not look onto your own things (or life) but onto others.  Pastor translated this quite frankly with “Are you too busy to help others?  Than you are looking on to your own things.” (not an exact quote)

This, for me, really is difficult.  I happen to be, quite busy.  But you know, I need to find time to help others.  Some may say “But you’re already a working mom, taking care of a sick husband, yourself being sick, raising two kids, and helping an elderly lady that lives ‘with’ you.  You don’t have time.”  Well, I need to make time.  I’m not sure how, but I need to do it.   We’ll see how well I do at that.


Ph 2:5:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Basically, this is a decision we must make to change our mind to think as Jesus would want us to think, to act as Jesus acted, to do as Jesus did.  It’s a concerted effort.  It does not come naturally.  We’ve been told the opposite for so long.  We need to now make the effort to do as we’re commanded.  I am making that effort now.  I can only hope that I can put a smile on His face with the work I do, with the attempts I make, with the help I attempt to give.

To be continued…..

Are you a servant?

Sunday nights, my church is holding a series of classes based on “One Another” and how we need to be as a church family.  A week ago Sunday, Pastor challenged us to follow the Matthew 18 guidelines.  I’ll go over that another time.  Last night, he challenged us to be servants.  The scripture that we examined was Phillipians 2:3-8.

Philippians 2:3-8:

3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

So, what does that all mean?  Well, I’m not a theologian, so, I’m going to go by what I’m reading.  Verse 3: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory.  Let’s stop there for a second.  Definition of strife:

1. vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism: to be atstrife.
2. a quarrel, struggle, or clash: armed strife.
3. competition or rivalry: the strife of the marketplace.
4. Archaic. strenuous effort.
Ok, so we should not do anything through strife, or through conflict/competition, etc.  Now. let’s look at vainglory.  Not a word you see too often in our common language today.  If you look at it, it means exulting ones self. In other words, doing something to raise yourself up.  So, this means that we, in this case me, or I, have to make a conscious effort to humble myself.  The next part: but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  This follows my last conclusion, to humble myself and then add to it, lift others up.
So, my first step, to humble myself and lift others up, not myself.  I should recognize their worth and value.  Christ said to remember that whatever we do to the least of those among us, we do to him.  So, would I really want to put down, or not raise up someone?  No, I need to make sure they are raised up.  Last spring at the Pine Valley Women’t Retreat, it was brought up, that Jesus did not hang on the cross for just me, he hung on the cross for everyone.  EVERYONE.  So, we must treat everyone with that respect and honor.
I commit now to do my best to raise everyone else up, not for me, but for him.
The rest of the verses, to be continued….

Welcome to my mornings

As my eyes open, I hear the dogs rustling around, the goats bleating, the chickens clucking, the rooster crowing, the sheep baaing, the ducks quacking, and the neighbor dogs barking.  I see the clock says 7:10.  ‘Sigh’  I was hoping to sleep in more than that today since normally I have to get up no later than 6, half the time by 5 or 4:30.  Oh well, an extra hour is something.  As I struggle to get up due to the pain in my back and leg, takes me about 5 or 10 minutes, depending on the morning, to actually sit up in bed and change into some clothes suitable for the outdoors.  I do a quick trip to the bathroom and then head for where the dogs are supposed to be sleeping.  I grab their leashes and walk to the door.  The dogs eagerly await that door to open, hoping they can bolt and run.  They always forget that they are on the leash though and they always forget about the screen door as well.  Poor pups look so disappointed when I open the door and there is another door there.  I open the screen door and brace myself.  The tugging begins.  I hold them back as I try to close the door behind me.  Door slams a bit as the dogs try to run. I leave the screen door open as the dogs are eager to get to the dog area.  As they are pulling me to their special area, they sniff all the new smells, and look for squirrels and rabbits to chase.  If they happen to see one, it’s even more difficult to keep them from pulling me to the ground.  During this time, I always note to myself that I really need to find the time to train them properly.  I’ve gotten as far as ‘Sit.’  And they don’t do that for long.  I get to the dog area, take off their leashes and let them run and do their morning release.  Unfortunately, we have a dog that climbs the fence, so until R is feeling up to fixing the invisible fence, or the regular fence to point that Kitty (yes, dog’s name is Kitty) can’t climb that fence, we have to put her on a chain.  Callie (her sister) just digs, and the area they are in, has chicken wire underneath so she can’t get out that way.  She’s free to run the area.  I let them run and play fight as puppies do and Kitty comes over and waits for her chain.  Poor pup.  Really must get the time to fix that invisible fence so they can be free to run.

I then head over to the chickens, who are clucking and crowing and fussing to get fed.  I open the can of feed, go to scoop the feed into the tub and realize that I’m about to hit the bottom of the can.  Mental not, add Chicken scratch and Egg Mash to the grocery list when I go inside.  Take the tub of food and open the gate to toss it in there, and have to fight about 3 chickens that are trying to fly up and get the tub.  Yes, chickens fly.  I toss the scratch and mash in, close the gate, close up the can of food and start heading over to the sheep and goats.

By this time the sheep and goats are making a ton of noise.  They feel they should be fed first.  I get to the feed shed, unlatch it, some mornings more easily than others and go to set up their food.  Break the alfalfa in ‘half’  usually a quarter to a third breaks off, which is actually preferred right now, and grab the flake of grass.  I take the larger piece of the alfalfa and a flake of grass and throw it to the ewes and the goats.  It’s almost quiet then.  I then take the rest of the flake of alfalfa and another flake of grass and walk it down to our ram.  We have Jack separated right now because of breeding, we’ll let him back with the females soon as breeding now will produce spring lambs.  We didn’t want winter lambs, as there is more risk of losing them.  Mental note, talk to R about letting Jack (the Ram) back in with the girls.  The goats have freedom to go to both pens, which is one reason I give him a full flake of the grass.  The other is that the grass doesn’t break apart nicely and just becomes a clump that is difficult to keep together.

Next, I head for the ducks.  They are expressing their displeasure at not having been fed yet, that it’s cold, that their pool has a layer of ice, that it’s day, whatever.  They are sometimes the noisiest of all of them.  I go to give them food.  Hmmm, rained yesterday and the night before, their food bucket is filled with water.  I can’t bend over for fear of falling over, not to mention the pain I’ll have trying to lift the bucket to empty it.  Ok, toss it onto the rubber mat in there so that they at least have food.  I’ll try to empty the bucket this afternoon when I hopefully am not in as much pain.

Back inside, turn on the computer, turn on my work computer, and sit for a bit to rest and regain my strength.  Look at the time and it’s 7:25.  Need to go wake up J, the elderly lady on our property.  Off I go to her house, wake her up, and she requests, if I am up to it, to put her wheelchair in her van so she can make it into church.  Whether I’m up to it or not, I’m going to do that.  So, I take her dog outside with me and open her van.  The last person to open the back of her van didn’t put the cushions between the wheelchair lift and the back door.  Great. (Yes, that is sarcasm)  I bring the lift down, hoping it will work.  It does. BONUS.  I go to the garage to open it up to get her wheelchair out, hoping that a critter of some sort doesn’t come running out.  Get the wheelchair, take it to the back of the van, and roll it onto the lift.  As I reach for the controller, I pray that it will work to lift up.  It does. BONUS again.  I drive the wheelchair into the van and turn it around to make it easier for the person that will be helping her at church to get the wheelchair out.  I step down the 3 feet from the lift to the ground and complete putting the lift away in the van.  I carefully put the controller between the side of the van and the lift so that it is in a safe spot and go to close the van doors.  Darn, the cushions.  I start looking for them, can’t find them.  I open the side of the van up and see one of them.  I climb into the van, fighting the seat belt for the back seat to go get it.  It’s on the other side of the van.  Now I need to find the other one.  I see a glimpse of blue and determine that has to be it, under the backseat.  I move the box filled with 8 2 liter bottles of ginger-ale that someone forgot to unload for J and see that yes, indeed, there is the other cushion.  I grab them both, and fight my way past that seat belt again, to get out of the van.  I close the side doors of the van and go to the back.  I hang the cushions on the lift to protect her back doors from the sharp metal pieces, and soften the noise as the lift shakes on the road while driving, and I shut the back doors.

I call her dog, “VAL!”  several times.  She comes and I let her back into the house and let J know that wheelchair is in the van and that I’ll leave the garage door open for her to get to the van.  She thanks me profusely and I head to our house.  I get in, and the girls are awake. R2 (youngest daughter) is eager to get up, but disappointed because she doesn’t get to get baptized today.  It’s scheduled for the first Sunday in December.  I explain that she needs to be patient, and besides, I have to work today, so she can’t be baptized due to that anyway.  She accepted that and proceeded to wake up her sister.  I sat back down and started going through email, check my daily verse, post my daily verse:

Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. – Isaiah 43:10 (KJV)

reflect on the daily verse, and say a quiet prayer.  Well, as quiet as I can with two girls wrestling in the room next to me.  I decide to open up my blog to think about what to write.  It’s currently 8:28 and I now need to feed breakfast to my kids, and myself and finish getting my work computer set up for work.  R is still sleeping as the mornings are the worse for him.  I still need to start laundry so the girls have their uniforms for  school nice and clean.  I still need to get the girls to do a little schoolwork.  Not homework, exactly, but they are a little behind in their school work and I’m trying to get them caught up.  So, the teacher and I agreed that they would work a little harder at home and they’ll be caught up in no time.

So, off I go to finish my morning.  Oh, and how is my leg feeling today?  I describe it yesterday to my co-workers with: you know how when you are sitting cross-legged and all blood flow is cut off, making your foot/leg go to sleep? And when you straighten your leg, you feel that warm rush of the blood going through your leg?  That’s what it feels like constantly.  Add the pins and needs feeling and that is my foot, all day long on both of those feelings.  With a periodic muscle pain in the calf.  My head is foggy and I know I’m typing, I can feel my fingers hitting the keys, but I can’t feel my fingers, they feel hollow.  Not real thrilled with this feeling.

Off to the kitchen to put chicken feed on the shopping list and make breakfast for the kids and myself so I can take my medicine.  Have a wonderful day all, and may God bless you.

Thoughts on Lyrica

Ok, my doctor has prescribed a 7 day trial of Lyrica for me, to try to help the pain in my leg.  I told him my reservations about it since I’ve seen what it does to the elderly lady on our property that we assist.  He explained that was because she was elderly and assured me I wouldn’t have the same side effects.  Now, keep in mind, folks that I don’t take medication because I am prone to side effects and I experience severe reactions to them.  For example, if I’m in so much pain I can’t sleep, I’ll break down and take a half of a Vicadin.  Not a whole one, a half of one.  Now, it does nothing for the pain at all, but it knocks me out completely.  The next day, I’m so drowsy, I’m hardly functional.  And I stay barely functional until the day after that.  That is with half of a Vicadin.  You can see why I’m hesitant for other medications.  They just don’t agree too much with me.

So, I agreed to give the Lyrica a try, because I really am wanting to get better.  With R having his migraine for 12.5 weeks now (I haven’t mentioned that in other posts, but hubby is on short term disability right now due to a severe Status Migraine), I’m left to doing most of the work on the farm.  So, in the early morning, I’m taking the dogs out, feeding the sheep, goats, chickens, and ducks.  I do my best to get the girls up, dressed, fed, and off to school.  Some mornings are easier than others.  Granted, the girls are old enough to dress themselves.  But I spend a lot of time reminding them to get dressed.  Thankfully, most of the time they pack their own lunch.  That’s just some of what I’m needed to do in the morning before I work.

Back to the Lyrica… I started it Wednesday night.  It knocked me out.  I was down for the count.  Daughter R woke about 1:30 with a nightmare.  I had to get up to check on her and I was out of it.  She’s trying to tell me about her nightmare and I”m standing there leaning on the top bunk of their bunk beds to stay upright. I get her back to sleep and I head for bed again.  Got up in the morning and my foot felt weird.  I could feel it there, but it didn’t feel like it was there.  It felt like it was in a heavy boot, but that the leg was hollow.  Though much of the tingling was gone, it still hurt, just a different hurt.  The muscles were protesting everything that I was doing at that point.

I still have been continuing with the Lyrica because I agreed to the trial, but this morning, I was afraid I was not going to be able to get out of bed.  My lower back was hurting so bad. (I have arthritis and scoliosis in my lower back that is causing pain that is unrelated to my leg)  It took me 15 minutes to just sit up in bed.  And yes, while it is chilly and raining outside, I don’t think the weather had that much impact to my arthritis. 😉 My leg barely feels like it is there and I’m completely walking around in a fog.  I’m thinking that I’m going to have to call the doctor on Monday to see if he really wants me to continue this stuff.  I’m not fond of feeling like I’m forgetting everything and not being able to remember simple words and phrases. I don’t like the sharp and dull pains at the same time in my back, hip, and leg.  Guess I need to decide which is worse, the pain I had before, or the pain I have now.

Decisions, decisions….

Thank you, Veterans

Yes, everyone posts about our Veterans.  Get over it. 😀

Our Veterans are vital to our existence here in the US (and I’m guessing our neighbors to the north in Canada for Remembrance Day).  It is because of those that put their lives on the line to fight for our country and our rights, that we have the abilities and freedoms that we do today.  If you cannot appreciate our Veterans, then  you need to rethink how you obtained your rights and freedoms.  I, for one, truly appreciate the sacrifices made my our military men and women, past, present, and future.

Thank you to all who have served, are serving, and will serve.


As a young girl I watched my dad use a cane to walk out to his car to go to work.  I was about 5 years old and would wave good bye before walking to school.  A few years later,I was about 7 and watched my dad walk to his car using a crutch.  Not one that someone might normally see someone using when they have a broken leg.  This one was like a can, and the person would put their arm through a brace to help them steadily use the cane.  He struggled more this time.  But he made it.

Dad had Multiple Sclerosis and it was chronic progressive, meaning, he suffered a slow deterioration. By the time I was 9/10, he was in a wheelchair.  When I was 14, we had to move to a new home that had wider doorways for dad’s wheelchair.  By the time I was 15, he had suffered frontal lobe damage to his brain.  This meant that he had short term memory loss and his emotional responses were off, so to say.  My mom attempted to get me an early driver’s license because of dad’s MS.  But that did not happen.  By the time I was in College, he could barely feed himself.  My mom had asked from the insurance company if they would provide a home nurse to come in 2 hours a day, 5 days a week to get my dad up, dressed, and make sure his pills were taken.  Mom would make him breakfast and let him eat in bed before she would go to work.  The insurance company denied the request, stating that that was the spouses job to take care of him.  They didn’t care that my mom was working to try to pay the mortgage, utilities, and medical bills.  So, mom paid a member of our church to come and make sure he was up and out of bed in the morning.  God blessed us with a wonderful woman to do that, who would take time out of her day to stay with my dad until he had eaten lunch, or come back if she had errands to run to make sure he was taken care of.  Mom started paying her for that time as well, but there was only so much that she could do and pay.  

My dad continued to get worse over time, to a point that we had to take a velcro strap and ‘tie’ him back in the chair (his request, not ours) to keep his body straighter so that he would not be compressing his lungs and could breath easier.  We had to buy modified utensils so that he could feed himself and large remote controls so that he could see the buttons and press them to watch TV.  My dad was a brilliant man with a wonderful mind.  He was forced to retire from the University, due to the handicap.  The University said that the students would never listen or respect a professor in a wheelchair.  Back then, they got away with that.  They would not now.

Dad graduating

Mom, Dad, and close family friend when my dad graduated with his PhD.

My dad ‘walked’ me down the aisle for my first wedding.  My mom controlled his wheelchair, so in a sense, they both walked me down.  It was so important to my dad to be able to walk me down that aisle.  He just beamed.    He understood just under 2 years later when I left my husband, why I left, and did not judge me, just supported me.  (Sidenote: my whole family supported and understood, but this post happens to be about my dad.) When I met my current husband, my dad was leery at first.  After all, I had chosen poorly with my first marriage.  He talked to R when we were first getting serious in our relationship, and asked the dad questions “What are your intentions with my daughter?” and “How will you provide for her?”  Makes me smile and tear up as I remember it.  Then something miraculous happened;  Dad realized that when R talked to him, he looked him right in the eye, and TALKED to him. None of the other boyfriends I had had did that.  R enjoyed talking current events, politics, history, sports, whatever Dad wanted to talk about.  R respected my dad, despite his condition.  R had Dad’s approval to marry me.  (This was months before I considered marrying R.  He had to get my approval as well. 😉 )

After I married R, we wanted to start our family right away.  I wasn’t getting any younger and we knew it would be more difficult.  I was blessed with getting pregnant 4.5 months after trying.  My dad was so excited.  His first grand-baby was on its way. R and I tortured everyone by not finding out if baby was a boy or girl.  So my dad went crazy trying to buy neutral items.  Mom had to slow him down.  But one particular gift, a stuffed seal from Sea World, was his choice as the special gift to his new grand-baby.  (We still have that stuffed seal)  I had our first daughter just after our 1 year anniversary.  My mom was with us when I had her, and my sister was staying with my dad to make sure he was taken care of.  My dad made my sister drive him to the hospital, about 2 hours away, the next morning so he could see his new granddaughter, A.  He was beaming at his new granddaughter.  7th heaven.  About 7 months later was Mom and Dad’s anniversary.  My sister and I planned a party with all their friends, knowing my dad would not make it to their 50th.  One of my favorite pictures of all time of my Dad and A was taken that day:

My dad and A

Grandpa and A

A tended to be afraid of Grandpa’s wheelchair, but she loved him and would go to him when he wasn’t in his chair.  5 months later was A’s first birthday.  Took all of Dad’s energy to come to it, and it was the first time that A went to my Dad, in his chair, that she didn’t cry.  She happily went to him.  My dad BEAMED.  4 days later, I got the call from my sister, my dad had passed on.  He did not get a chance to meet his second granddaughter, who was born 9 months later.

Moving forward a few years, my husband and I built a home together.  Most of it was done, we were allowed to live in it, but with money being short, the finishing touches were delayed, including a sidewalk out our front door.  A was 5, and in Kindergarten at the local school.  I was working nights, and seemed to be consistently tired.  I went to pick A up from school after a field trip and I stepped in a hole on the school grounds and down I went.  Bruised my hands, face, knees.  Was a pretty bad fall.  Recovered from that and was leaving one afternoon to go to work, and my husband, being the wonderful man he is, put pallets from the door to my car so I wouldn’t step in muddy puddles. I mis-stepped one of them, and down I went.  This one was bad enough that hubby came running out, picked me up and carried me back inside.  I was pretty scrapped up on this one.  We got me cleaned up and I drove to work.  I hurt a lot for awhile on that one.  But eventually, recovered, or so I thought.

Fast forward about a year.  I start to notice that when I stand for a length of time, my toes start to feel numb.  If  I wear heals, I can’t stand or walk for more than 10 minutes, as my toes start to numb and start to tingle.  It then went away.  Thought it was odd, but when it went away, I forgot about it.  But it would consistently come back.  I finally went to the doctor about it again. (I had gone before, but no broken bones, so he gave me vicadin and sent my on my way.)  I went to a new doctor this time, and he was concerned.  He sent me to an Orthopedist and physical therapy.  Making this already long story short, after almost a year and 4 MRIs, he declared me a mystery and sent me for an MRI on my leg, not my back.  He never did contact me again.  My insurance company contacted me to find out what was going on.  I told them, they referred me to a Neurosurgeon. The Neurosurgeon was completely baffled as to why they were spending so much time checking my spine when that wasn’t the issue, it was my leg.  He sent me for an ABI to rule out a blood clot in my leg.  Here’s where it gets odd.

I go in for the ABI, which is where they take your blood pressure in both legs and arms.  Note the Systolic (higher number) and evaluate from that.  Left leg-127 (normal to have higher bp in legs and is expected), right leg-87/112/102, both arms – 109. Now note that he took my right leg 3 times, in less than 10 minutes, by the way.  He only used the last number of 102, which the person that writes the report, doesn’t know the other numbers.  Talking to my Neurosurgeon yesterday, he was quite concerned by the numbers, since the higher number puts me borderline a concern for PAD (Pulminary Artery Disease – Read: blood clot).  The low 87 number puts me at a more likely risk.  So, he wants more tests done.  As he’s listening to my symptoms, he determines he needs to rule out MS.  My husband said under his breath, “Wouldn’t that be ironic.”  And he’s right, it would be.

Now, before anyone says “Well, it runs in families…”  I don’t know if it truly is a genetic thing or not, but that doesn’t come into play here, because I was adopted as a baby.  That is the irony.

Do I think I have MS?  It’s crossed my mind, but I’m not convinced I have it and I will not be convinced I have it until they say “Yep, it’s conclusive, you have MS.”  It doesn’t do me any good to worry about it, so I won’t.  God has a plan for me, and I just need to wait it out.  In the meantime, I’m on this awful stuff called Lyrica for the pain, which in one day hasn’t done anything, not that I expected it to do anything good right away.  Instead, it’s made my foot heavy, and I can feel my foot there, but it doesn’t feel like it is there.  Yes, I know, weird.  I’m waiting for my insurance to approve the next tests and we’ll go from there.

I think this is the most I’ve EVER typed in any blog or post or journal, so I’ll end for now.

God Bless!