Thursday, March 30, 2017

Happy Anniversary to me

Many milestones in life both great and small, as well as the seemingly in-between, are often marked by anniversaries.  For many varied reasons, important dates are remembered.  They can have happy memories attached to them like romantic events, birthdays, religious ceremonies, graduations, achievement awards, and the like.  However, some anniversaries may be more somber and carry with them a heaviness of the heart. These may involve the passing of a loved one, leaving good friends for a far-a-way move, or even remembering a tragic historical event like 9/11.  No matter the circumstances surrounding the anniversaries, they help us keep track of the rhythm and flow of the seasons.  

March 29, 2017, I marked my one year anniversary of my first health visit to my world renowned headache specialist.  For me ( and my family) this was actually a big deal.  You may think that is kind of weird or a bit overboard, but not so.   I was all grins and giggles for the day! 😊😉   When I stepped into his quiet and very courteous office last year, I was impressed from the start.  The waiting room lights were dimmed.  There was no music or loud TV blaring.  The office managers spoke in whispers behind the glass window with warm, friendly smiles.  Really?  Was this place for real??   Yes it was, and praise be to God for it!!  I knew help was on the way.  

In reality, Dr. G's care of me has changed my life and how I now live and manage my chronic M.  I had tried six ways to Sunday looking for the right care until God placed the opportunity right in my path.  I am slowly stepping back into my own shoes (or should I say Texas boots) once again.  It is nothing less than a miracle.  Dr. G is another critical care health provider along with my cranial sacral, massage, and yoga therapists who are helping me climb new mountains of HOPE.  I am grateful from the bottom of my heart.  

You might be wondering just how did I celebrate this exciting one year anniversary?  Flowers? No, too smelly.  Candy? No, only good dark chocolate counts.  A yummy lunch out?  No, my hubby had to return to work.  Give up?   What a better way to celebrate than receiving 31 Botox injections all over my head and neck!!  Silly, now why didn't you think of that? Lol. 

All is well, and I feel stable-ish at this moment.  I am getting used to the treatments now and look forward to them as I know they will help me feel "better".   It is daily management of many symptoms that are complicated and debilitating but research is underway all the time.   The second part to my exciting anniversary is that I am being enrolled into a new research study by my specialist and a team of other great minds who are clinically looking at patients and their responses to certain "data".  Of course this is secret now. I feel like I am a spy of sorts.  Kinda fun.  

Do you celebrate special anniversaries both great and small?  Joyful and sorrowful?   How does celebrating make you feel?   Maybe today or in the near future you might remember someone who may be in need of your assistance in helping them remember a special anniversary in their lives. 



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A blessing to others

On this snowy day, what a better idea than to write another blog post?!   Actually, this time I want to share my friend's post because she has an amazing heart for the Lord and for her new ministry.  Her name is Beverly Rihtarchik, and  we have been "blogging friends" for quite awhile now.  Beverly is a courageous and energetic woman who is the founder and president of Redeemer Christian Foundatiin, Inc which is a charity whose purpose is to assist in providing Christian education in impoverished areas in the Middle East.    This charity offers love and hope to those who are oppressed and will give them opportunities for a much better future.   Many children are orphans and many are being persecuted for their faith.  They really need our help.  

I am inviting Beverly to be my guest post today.  Won't you please take this time to read it and open up your heart to helping these children in need? 
Thank you so much!!  As we bless others, so too, we are blessed. 

I also invite you to follow Beverly's blog, Walkingwellwithgod, for a refreshing perspective on walking out our everyday faith.   She is a real sweetheart and encourager to all!  

Saturday, March 11, 2017

It's all about the boots

What do finger-lickin' barbecue, eclectic music, cowgirl boots, and man buns all have in common?  Why, Austin Texas, of course!  My recent adventure to Austin was quite a hoot!  In just a week's time, my hubby and I were able to gather a quick sense of Austin's fabulous culture.  People told us that we would enjoy the city, and enjoy we did.  

While Michael was busily working his days in an intense presentation workshop, I was fortunate to have some free time in which to explore my surroundings.  I took off on foot and made my way around the area near our hotel which was a high end, trendy marketplace called the Domain.   It was about twelve miles or so out of the city proper as well as from the UT Austin campus.  Many of the sights, smells, and sounds were interesting to say the least.   It was fun and freeing to explore and absorb.  

One of the main highlights of the trip was to connect with our son who is a junior at the university. He was so happy we could finally visit him and see a part of his corner of the world.  Our little sightseeing excursions involved tempting our palates with down home barbecue as well as Tex-mex cuisine. All very yummy indeed.  

The other fun "activity" was locating real cowgirl boots for me.  Yes, that's right!  If you know me, you realize that I am quite the boot gal.  I was determined before even making the trip that I wanted to find a pair of boots.  Mission accomplished.  Yay!!  And naturally I found a beautiful purse to match.  How much fun was that??  A lot! 

The weather was starting to turn into Spring,  so it was quite delightful.  Blooms of all colors were popping forth, and the crazy cacti were all over the place both in the wild as well as in planters.  So cool!  Walking about in light clothing was just what I needed from  a break from the long Winter. 

My big accomplishment was overcoming my fear and anxiety of taking a trip this far.  Flying on a plane with my temperamental head and annoying chronic M me nervous and reluctant to step forward and try.  However, the trip went well overall. I kept to my basic routine of eating and resting (like traveling with a toddler) and was able to mange my symptoms appropriately.  

I was thrilled to enjoy every single minute of this adventure. God's grace blanketed me, and I felt warm and comforted.   

I thank each and every one of you who wished me well and kept me in your thoughts and prayers.   Bless you!  I felt lifted up as on eagles wings.  Truly.  

My trusting and surrendering will continue this Lenten Season.  This is a time for listening. A time for growth.  A time for renewal.  




Friday, March 3, 2017

Leaving on a jet plane

Right at this very exciting moment, I am actually constructing this blog post from more than twenty thousand feet in the air.  The sky is azure blue with layers of whispy clouds which appear as rows and rows of puffy cotton balls.  No, I am not dreaming.  No, I AM NOT DREAMING!  I am squeezed into my "comfy" seat by the window peering out of the Southwest plane.  Woo hoo!   My hero hubby is seated beside me intently reviewing a manuscript and notes for his upcoming seminar.  Fun.  For me, I am about to embark on a small adventure away from East Lyme, Ct.  Wow!  

 Where are we flying?  We are flying to Austin, Tx.  Michael just happens to be attending a workshop for a few days, and we are fortunate to be able to visit our son who is currently a junior at the Univ of Texas.  How cool is that??  Very cool. This opportunity could not be passed up.  Easy decision, right?  Well, not exactly.  

For the past seven years since my illness, I don't make decisions easily.   Living with chronic M, on some days, makes stepping outside to walk to the mailbox a near impossible feat.  I am not kidding.  When those days drag on and on, I tend to lose my strength as well as courage to look forward to anything in the category that might be titled, "adventurous".  However, since I have been responding more positively to a new treatment regimen as well as acquiring an awesome headache specialist, this year I made up my mind that I was going to give "adventure" a new go of it. And a new go of it, it is!  

As I have mentioned in previous posts about preparing to attend an important event or special family gathering that might be an all day function, it takes me a ridiculous amount of time and bag of tricks to even help me manage.  So, in preparation for a week away in a hotel and flying on planes, I started to hit the panic button.  It took my dear family and amazing friends to encourage me not to freak out.  They said, "just try".  Two simple words.  Just try. 
How will I know what I can and cannot manage unless I "just try"? 

A big part of living with this debilitating illness is the fear.  Another is the anxiety.  I am not ashamed to say so, either.  I will keep writing and sharing, authentically, my journey.   If my story is to inspire and help others along their way, then I cannot be afraid to tell of my messy and broken. The only way to get to the bright side is to sludge through the mud at times. It isn't all a smooth path.  It is actually a welcomed path for more opportunities for God to work His miracles of continual grace and love.  

Now while I was carefully packing for this adventure, I made sure NOT to pack M Monster.  I told him on no uncertain terms that he was not allowed to accompany me to try and derail me from having a good time.  I thought all was going well until the morning that we were to depart.  There from across the room, as we were checking out, stood that M Monster laughing his sinister head off with that smirk on his face.  I thought to myself that I was seeing things.  What???  Arghhhhhhh!!!  Nooooo!  Blasted.  The shooting pain in my eye started and then the other all too familiar symptoms followed.  Instead of throwing a M Meltdown, I thought it best to pull myself together, medicate, and march forward to board the plane.   With that, my sweet hubby took my hand and told me that all was going to be just fine.  We would get to Austin even with Mr M.  He helped me "find my brave".  

I plan on sightseeing and spending time with our son while taking a sneak peek into his college world for a few days.  I hope to enjoy some warmer weather and get some good exercise by walking.   Michael and I are just happy to get out of dodge for awhile and break away from our same old, same old.  I feel confident that this short trip is exactly the perfect way to begin the Lenten season.  I am planning on fasting from fear and anxiety while feasting on trust and surrender. It is time to, once again, journey into the desert with our Lord and listen to His voice while drawing closer to Him through suffering.  

If you observe the Lenten season, I wish you a holy and meaningful forty days in the desert.