Bump in the Road….

So, here’s to the bump in the road….and all because of chicken soup.

Now let me explain….I faithfully waited until exactly 4:45pm to confirm our flight for our return home tomorrow. John had walked to Wal-Mart to buy me the chicken soup base that I wanted to take home with us. We can buy it Canada but it’s a lot more expensive. So, as fate would have it, we were doing this at the same time….that shouldn’t make a huge difference to anyone except the fact that he forgot exactly which one I had wanted and how many. Well, I was just in the middle of my confirmation (waiting for my credit card to be approved) when he calls me. Well I had a split-second decision to make and I made the wrong one. I answered his call. I told him I was in the middle of our confirmation and wasn’t sure if my page would finish loading if I was on the phone or if I would have to start all over again. I explained which one I wanted and hung up the phone. When I returned to my page, my heart sank and I starting sobbing uncontrollably! There were a few OptionPlus seats available when I was waiting for my card to go through and in those few moments of talking on the phone, they had been snatched up and the only seat remaining for me now was at the very back of the aircraft. I felt so defeated. I was so angry at myself!! I cried and cried. John came back and tried to comfort me and encourage me. Yes, this is a bump in the road. My plan of having a more comfortable seat has gone down the drain.

I have no idea how tomorrow will go, but I know who goes before me and I know who holds my hand. I’m much calmer now. I have put it out of my mind. We will face the day one moment at a time, and, little by little we will get through it.

The suitcases are all packed. Our flight is confirmed. I have one final appointment tomorrow to get my bandages changed and an injection for pain before we head out. I will not be posting another update until we are back at home. Please pray for us.

 

blessings all.

Unshakable Confidence

What is unshakable confidence? How do you acquire it? What do you rely on to give you confidence? Your skills? Your accomplishments? Have you ever thought to yourself “Who am I to do this______?” Have you thought “Lord, you picked the wrong person for this”

If we rely on ourselves, we will not be qualified for that which God calls us. Throughout Scripture we see God using people who felt unqualified for the task asked of them. The question shouldn’t be “How can I do this” but rather, “God, how are you going to do this through me”

The bible gives us affirmation after affirmation of God’s strength in the face of our limited ability:

“I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13)

“Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37) ”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

What brings me to today’s topic is the fact that I have felt defeated and lacking confidence. I hear Satans lies whispered around me and I continually have to catch myself and redirect my thoughts to positive things and quote scriptures; claiming the truth. The enemy’s goal has been to make me feel small and unable to focus on how mighty and powerful God is. It has worked. I had an anxiety attack on Tuesday night….

I had to be brought to the hospital for a final check from the surgeon. His daughter is graduating this weekend (I think I may have mentioned that in my earlier post) so he was leaving yesterday to travel. He wanted to check me over and give me the “ok” for travel home on Saturday. They sent a paramedic to pick me up; thank Heaven for that!! I had not sat down since my ride here to the condo upon my release after surgery. I spend my days laying on my side or on my stomach and when my sides ache, I stand for short periods of time. My ride here was fairly smooth due to the amount of meds they pumped me full of before I was released….well, I took my painkiller about half an hour before my ride to the hospital so that it would kick in before I would be required to sit. The paramedic was sympathetic to my condition and drove carefully (as carefully as bumpy Mexican streets allow). The ride was an excruciating 10 minutes!! The whole time I was waiting to see the doctor my mind was on the ride back to the condo. It consumed my mind like a thick, dark smoke! I felt like I could not think clearly or focus on anything else. The doctor called me in and redid my banadages again. He was very pleased with the way the wound was looking. He said it was almost dry (meaning the wound was hardly draining anymore) which was a good sign. He wrote up a note to give to my doctor requesting his assistance in the removal of my stitches at the appointed time. He had a little fun with the kids and shook all our hands and gave me a final hug and sent us off back to the condo.

My body was so exhausted from that little venture out. I was completely drained, feeling defeated and lacking confidence. In my own strength, I can accomplish nothing. My fears crippled me as I thought about the flight home on Saturday and how in the world I will survive it! I need to ask myself the question “God, how are you going to do this” instead of “How am I going to do this”

The Psalmist writes “Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honour and comfort me once again” (Psalm 71:20,21) and I believe that! I wanted this surgery for the relief of my daily, chronic pain and I believe that God is with me every single step of the way. He will restore my strength and comfort me in the hard days.

Saturday will be a hard day, if I’ve ever lived through one, but I will not stop praying about it. By Gods mighty power and strength I will be able to withstand the wait in the airport and the long flight home. I know it will be a long day. It will be a testing of my faith too, but God is with me. The members of my support group on Facebook are already covering me in prayer in the anticipation of the upcoming flight, and I really appreciate it. They have been an awesome source of comfort and knowledge in my recovery so far.

So, as a final word of encouragement, God is with you! He will be your strength and confidence in whatever situation you are asked to walk through. You don’t walk the path alone. Sometimes He walks beside you, while other times He carries you. Let him. Invite him. Without God, you will lack confidence and strength! Without God, the path will seem dark and never-ending. Lay your burdens on him so he can give you rest.

Let Christ BE your unshakable confidence!

 

blessings all.

 

7 Days and Needing Grace

7 days post-op and hanging in there! I had to have my second hip injection on Saturday afternoon, and boy oh boy, that was painful!! I’ve had the issue in my right hip since I was pregnant with R, and it’s always been uncomfortable, but massage therapy seems to help. We’ll see how long-term these injections will be. I’m glad he did the first one during surgery while I was all numb and had no feeling in my backside. I’m glad I didn’t know what to expect; I would have been terrified!

I have struggled with increasing pain levels every day since surgery. Each day seemed worse than the day before. How much can a person take before throwing your hands up in the air and saying “I need help. I can’t take it anymore.” I reached that point on Saturday. Right now I’m ever so thankful for the increased pain meds. It helps me cope much better. Dr. Max didn’t want to have to resort to the prescribing of narcotics, but he was left little choice, if I didn’t want to be writhing in pain all day and night. He was hoping, as was I, that the original meds would do enough. Well, I’m on pretty strong codeine now, and it has brought my pain level from an excruciating 10 to a much more bearable 4 or 5; sometimes even a 3. My head feels pretty “loopy” but the comfort in my rear is so much better that it’s worth the foggy brain that comes with it.

Last night I was really proud of myself! I made it down to the pool area after the sun went down. The doctor told me to try and stay indoors as much as possible during the day, as to not cause exhaustion to my body that the heat and humidity bring. It’s understandable, but hard to do! On Saturday evening, after my first dose of codeine, I ventured outside of the room for the first time since being transferred back here after surgery. It was so glorious!! Oh to feel the warm air on my face! I only made it up to the gym room before I had to turn back. To give you a bit of a picture, the gym room is about halfway to the pool. Not sure exactly how far the distance would be in measurement, but it takes me a LOT longer than the average, able-bodied person. The kids were so patient with my sloth-paced steps and one or the other held my hand the entire time. Last night I thought to myself, “I can make it to the pool. I will time my walk to my meds kicking in and give it a try.” So I did. I took my meds at the appointed time and waited for them to kick in. Then we made the very slow journey down. This time only one person stayed with me at a time. I was ok with that. I know it’s boring to walk so slow. They lapped me many times, walking back and forth to the pool and back to me again multiple times before I even reached the halfway mark. A big grin lit up my face as I walked past the gym room. I was determined to keep going!! I made it to the pool eventually and situated myself on a lounge chair. I was thankful for the emptiness of the area. Most people like to enjoy the pool in the heat of the day, and it’s quite empty as the sun goes down. The kids played in the pool, as I lay there and took in the scenery and the beauty around me. They have learned so much from being in the water every day!! Little E had lost quite a bit of confidence after an incident on a swimming trip with her class, but John has helped her to overcome her fear of water. She was swimming like a little fish!! I was super proud of her. Master J has never liked to have his face wet and he was doing so well!! I was so proud. He was doing flips and going under water! Mister R, who is quite clumsy and ‘all over the place’, has become much more coordinated in the water!

While it was so good to be out, I later regretted pushing myself so hard. As the pain meds began to wear off again, I became very uncomfortable. The pain was too much! I had to wait until I could take more meds and it was very hard to do. I did not fall asleep until 3am last night. I was able to sleep until 8am, though. A 5 hour night is bliss compared to the 1-2 hours I was getting before the meds were increased. I know I shouldn’t push my body too hard, as it will just make the recovery slower in the end. I know I need to set more reasonable goals for myself and give myself the grace that every day may not be the same. Some days my goals will be possible, while other days they will not. I’m ever so thankful for the support and encouragement I have been receiving. It helps me more than I know how to put into words.

My newest goal will be to try and get up on my own without the assistance of someone pulling me up. I am fiercely independent, and, while I want to accomplish that goal, that little word “grace” nags me at the back of my mind.

My biggest prayer request for the moment is to heal up enough to withstand the long flight back home. Our flight here was really smooth and  I’m praying for the same on the way back. We are flying with WestJet airlines and I know they are very accommodating to any special needs you may have. I am going to book myself into a Plus seat for the journey home, so I have more space to stretch myself out and also be closer situated to the washroom.

I’m also a bit nervous about aftercare back at home. I’m wondering how I’ll be treated by my doctor if the stitches are not ready to be removed before we go home. Will he do it for me? Will he refuse me service due to the fact that I got my surgery done in a different country? Will he prescribe more pain meds or anti-inflammatories if I need them? I need to ease my mind by claiming the promises God gives me in His Word. Take it one day at a time and one situation at a time. I need to give myself grace…

 

blessings all.

 

 

More Than a Number

“More than a number” he said to me as he cleaned my wound. My husband looked at me and smiled. “To me you are more than just a file or a case or a number” said the doctor. “I have a calling to help people with this gift I’ve been given. My patients are not just a number to me; they are people with feelings and I do my best to make everyone feel special and cared for.” He did just that. My pain level was manageable until about suppertime yesterday. Then, out of nowhere I was hit with a bus load of pain. I texted the doctor and he said he would come give me an injection again.

John went to pick up supper and we ate a delicious meal of BBQ ribs, stuffed shrimp, breaded shrimp and grilled fish. It was incredible!! The food here is just so amazing. The kids have been so impressed also, which I was a little worried about, but they claim everything tastes so much better here than back home.

After supper, the kids and John sat and watched a movie in the living while I rested and waited for the doctor. John put the kids to bed and came at sat with me and watched a show until Dr. Max arrived. He came in with a smile and said he would give me the injection in the opposite side since my right hip was quite sore already. He prepped the needle and washed my backside with alcohol. I rolled onto my stomach, and he proceeded with the injection. He asked me if I had a sore spot near my spine on the right side of my hip and I said yes. He said he had noticed an issue with my right hip and had given me a special injection in my hip during surgery to help the problem. He said I needed a second injection tonight and then I should be good.

As he worked, he chatted cheerfully with John. He was cracking jokes and soon had John chuckling along with him. He asked if the humour bothered me, and I replied “of course not. Humour is good.” He said “When I was training in Germany I realized how ‘dry’ the Germans are. They have no sense of humour!” We laughed. He said there’s no need to always be so serious. Laugh and have fun! I agree with that, but at that moment I didn’t really feel like laughing, as he took off the bandages and cleaned my wound. It was quite purple and angry-looking the day before, but yesterday it looked much better. He said I probably don’t feel like it, but there is progress happening. Dr. Max likes to give the best and strongest pain killers that are not narcotics. He explained that if these meds just don’t cut it, then he will prescribe them, but to try and see first if these will work. He shook John’s hand and came back to my bedside. He looked at me, and as if he sensed my emotions, said “You look like you need a hug. Can I hug you?” I gave him a weak smile and he gave me a hug and kissed my forehead and said “Tina, you are doing so well. You are such a good patient and there is progress. The road will be a bumpy one, but I’m here to help you to make it as smooth as possible. I’ve never had a patient get an infection in 20 years and you will not be the first case. I’ll make sure of that.” He went on to say that he has 2 major surgeries today which will both be about 4 hours long. He said he’d be really tired after, but since I need the hip injection he will come after the surgeries to take care of that. He has such a caring heart. I feel like a child being cared for by a loving father. Over the weekend he is leaving to see some patients in Guadalajara, but he’s sending a doctor from the hospital to change my bandages and give me the pain injections.

However, the last night was not a good one. I did not sleep well. My pain was quite high. What I do when I can’t sleep is put my headphones on and listen to worship music and it calms me. I know that God is still with me. I knew the recovery would be a hard one. I had mentally prepared myself for that. The support group I joined on Facebook has been very encouraging and they have been praying for me as well. All the prayers have made a huge difference!! Without my faith, I know I would be so lost!!

I dozed off around 5am and slept for a bit. The kids were up around 9am and tried to play quietly so they wouldn’t wake me. They have been really good through all of this. Their emotions have been really high though. R broke down in tears at the breakfast table and I just started sobbing uncontrollably. I have not cried until now. I’ve shoved my emotions down and seeing him upset over the simplest thing was too much for me. I find comfort in scripture and that’s what I turn to when my heart feels overwhelmed.

It has been very hard to see the family having fun while I lay here. The difference is my attitude towards it though. I can let it bother me or I can be happy for them. I have chosen to be happy for them. The kids have never had an experience like this and they love it here. Every day they go out and play on the beach and in the pool. My sweet hubby has been so incredible in taking care of them and watching over them. He makes amazing meals for us or orders in food. The food has been so good that I feel myself gaining weight by the day!! I’ve always had a huge struggle with my body image and being laid up, on 5 different meds, and eating all this good food does nothing to ease my mind. John has been assuring me that the mirror is lying; that I need to stop worrying about my body and focus on healing. I know that is true but when you’ve lost 60lbs, the most terrifying thought is gaining it all back  I’ve worked so hard to lose that weight so it’s hard to see myself expanding again. I know I have fluid retention and a lot of swelling in my rear but I just don’t like my reflection right now. My emotions seem to be all over the place today, as are my thoughts. But like I said before, scriptures are my comfort! The ones that stood out to me today Deutaronomy 31:6 which says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid of terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.” Wow, what a comfort, right? Also, Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” And also Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” I will rejoice in my pain. I will sing to him for he is still worthy of my praise  even though I’m suffering. My suffering will have a good outcome, I’m confident of that. The poking pain I’ve suffered from over the past few years is already gone. The bones are out that have caused me so much grief and it’s a huge relief. The last verse that my heart needed today says “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blessed his people with peace.” That’s from Psalm 29:11 and it is so true! I have known so much peace through all of this and I know that comes from My Loving Father.

I hope my emotions will fade and I can be more cheerful as the day goes by. John said he really admired my positive attitude in all of this and it made me smile. I am trying my best, but it’s not me, but Christ in me, that makes the difference!

Please continue to pray for us all. I appreciate the thoughts and prayers!

Have a happy Friday 😃

 

blessings all.

 

Recovery is a long road…

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Recovery. The scariest thing about my surgery. The surgery itself didn’t scare me as much as the long road ahead of me now. The above picture is the view out of my window from my bed in the condo. I’m so happy that I was released today and able to be transported back here.

I’ll back up and start from the day we arrived in beautiful Mexico. We came in on Saturday in the late afternoon. Our flight was actually 20 minutes ahead of schedule so the airport was not prepared for our arrival. Our gate was being used by another airline, so they shuttled us into the airport from the runway in a bus. We’ve been to this particular airport several times when we’ve vacationed here but have never experienced the chaos we saw there this particular day. The kids were shocked by the blast of hot, humid air that met us the minute we stepped off the airplane. My oldest says “Wow the engines are hot” and I really laughed!! I told him the engines were just fine and this was the heat and humidity he would have to get used to over the next few weeks.

We were taken by a pre-arranged driver to our condo and checked in. Since our flight was early the unit wasn’t quite ready so we headed down to the pool and ordered us up some supper. The kids sat in complete silence for about half an hour just taking in the view of the ocean, beach, pool and surrounding trees. They were in complete shock. Apparently it looked nothing like they had pictured or imagined. The silence was welcome to hubby and I after the chaos of the airport. We really enjoyed our first meal of nachos and fish tacos!! The surgeon contacted me shortly after arrival and welcomed us to the country. He said we would do our meeting on Sunday morning instead of Saturday night as he wanted us to relax and enjoy the evening.

Sunday morning we got up and I made us pancakes and bacon for breakfast. We had gone to Wal-Mart the night before to get some groceries. It’s so nice to have a full kitchen and living room as well as two bedrooms and two  bathrooms! This condo is bigger than our house back at home!! Anyway, after breakfast the surgeon’s brother came to pick us up and bring us to the hospital for our meeting. He was so welcoming and very helpful in answering some technical questions. He has lived in Calgary and in Ontario for many years so he’s fluent in English which was nice! He also watched our kids during the meeting. The meeting went really well. He explained in great detail the surgery and recovery. He answered all our questions with patience. He was very encouraging! He gave us a tour of the hospital and set up for a paramedic to pick me up on Monday morning for surgery. We spent the rest of the day walking along the boardwalk by the marina and searching for seashells on the beach. According to our kids we don’t need to do any excursions on this trip. They are completely satisfied in the pool or on the beach. We ran into a tour guide who has had a hip replacement done by Dr. Max and he assured me it was a great choice to have the surgery done by him. I thought that was really neat. He said he would pray for me and we continued our walk. I knew and felt the many prayers being lifted for us. The peace and calm I felt is unlike I’ve ever experienced.

Monday morning at 7am the paramedic came to pick me up and bring me to the hospital. John and the kids stayed at the condo as there was really no point in them sitting for hours in the hospital waiting for me. The kids did schoolwork and John worked on quotes until I was out of the recovery area and back in my hospital room. Upon arrival, I was checked in and taken up to my room. My hospital bag and personal belongings were stored in the safe and I was hooked up to an IV. They also took some blood to check my iron levels and so on. Even though there was a language barrier we could communicate well. I understand and speak a little Spanish and they understand and speak a little English. Altogether it worked out well. I was put on a sterile bed and taken down to the surgical unit. The nurse with me held my hand and rubbed my arm and kept repeating “God with you”. I know He was. I was transferred to a different bed again at the surgical suite and she squeezed my hand one last time and I gave her a big smile and a thumbs up and said “Gracias”. She smiled back and left me in the care of the surgical nurses.

I was first introduced to the anesthesiologist. He was a kind, old man with a soft smile. He gave me a drug that would make me drowsy so he could administer the “block” in my spine and wouldn’t have to worry about me moving during the procedure. I was then lifted onto the surgical table on my stomach. Within a matter of minutes I had no feeling of the lower half of my body. That was really strange! The anesthesiologist sat by my head and closely watched my vitals. He gave me a dose of sleepy drugs every once in a while when they were going to use the “scary tools” but I was conscious and awake for probably had of the procedure. He felt that I was so calm and peaceful and asleep at times that he didn’t want to knock me out cold and make me have a horrible, sickly wake-up. I’m thankful for that! The doctor asked me later if I was upset about that decision and I told him, no. I was ok with being alert and not wake up puking and crying and not knowing where I was. This was much better for me! I could feel the pressure and the cutting and the tugging and the pushing but I didn’t feel any pain. That was kind of surreal. It felt so strange! The surgeon had soft music playing in the background and they chatted cheerfully in Spanish and I was completely at ease. God was with me there in that operating room. I felt his presence and so did they. The doctor said later when he noticed my bible on the bedside that now he understood why I was so peaceful. He is a Christian himself.

After surgery I was taken to a recovery room where I was closely monitored. I don’t know how long I was in there as they didn’t have a clock. I’ve noticed that clocks aren’t a big “thing” around here. My hospital room didn’t have one and neither does our condo. I was first taken for X-rays and after that, I was wheeled back to my room upstairs. I gave the nurse a weak smile and a thumbs up again and she smiled back. A smile is the same in all languages and there’s certain things our heart understand even though our ears don’t.

Shortly after I was situated in my room, John came in. I guess they had kept him in the loop and had come to the condo to pick him and the kids up and take them to see me. Only John was allowed to see me though. Their hospital rules state that no child under the age of 12 is able to come to the rooms. He took some pictures to show the kids and we talked over the phone so they knew I was alright. I was brought a lunch of jello and apple juice as well as tea. The liquids were welcoming since my mouth felt very dry. I told John to go back to the condo with the kids. I had more peace of him watching our kids than someone else. We still communicated over the phone and that made it easier too. My whole backside was numb late into the evening and my bodily functions were not working yet in that area. I felt the urge to void but nothing would come. My muscles seemed as confused as I was. They didn’t want to put in a catheter and just told me to keep trying. Around midnight I was able to go and what a relief that was!

During the night I woke up and was in a lot of pain. The area they had kept numb was now returning to feeling and it was bad!! During the time of being awake and trying to take my mind off of the pain my phone connected to the hospital wifi. I had tried for a long time during the day and it just wouldn’t work. I was thinking their servers are probably overloaded during the day. Surprisingly though the connection lasted until I was discharged.

This morning I was given an extra dose of pain medicine in my IV as well as a morphine shot in my rear so that I would withstand the transport back to the condo. The Mexican streets are not the smoothest and there are speed bumps every few feet. The paramedic took me to a pharmacy to help me purchase the meds I needed. An anti-inflammatory, an antibiotic and a pain killer. I was also given a prescription for a muscle relaxer if the pain killer doesn’t cut it. I didn’t buy that one yet, we’ll see first if I need it. I was shocked at the price tag on the meds!! $160 US for the 3 medications. If they keep me well I’ll be thankful and the price won’t matter.

The surgen claimed I was one of the best patients he had ever had. He said I was so easy-going and calm the whole time. He has no doubt I will make a good recovery. He placed the coccyx in a jar for me to keep. I found that a little weird but it really fascinated me. The kids keep admiring it now every time they walk past the table where it sits. I feel so at peace now that I’m back at the condo. John and the kids went down for a swim in the pool and I can see them splashing around from the comfort of my bed and the 8 pillows surrounding me.

My dear friends have kept encouraging me and I thank them so much for that. It makes it all easier. My close friend, cousin, and sister in Christ made me cards to read at certain points in this journey. I think they are such a cool idea and I have truly enjoyed reading them and they have brought me much comfort!!

My care will continue here at the condo. They will come here to check on me and change my bandages. My to-do list for the next while is relax, keep the area clean and dry and take it easy. I’m not allowed to shower until my wound has completely healed shut and the stitches are out. I’m only able to have sponge baths and my hair can be washed. That is not the pleasantest of thoughts but it’ll be ok. I’m also not supposed to be exposed to the sun too much as it can drain me too much and exhaust my body. I was looking forward to maybe getting some sun but it makes sense. The biggest risk is infection and 80% of coccyx surgeries end in infection and more surgeries are needed to then fix the damaged muscles and tissue. I really hope and pray that I will be in the 20% and will work hard on my part to stay in that margin.

Please keep us in your prayers as we adjust to this recovery process. My husband is the biggest blessing to me right now and I’m ever so thankful for him. He’s been so great with the kids and taking care of them. Our daughter had cried for me last night and I know she really missed me, as I did her, and she has stayed by my side since the moment I stepped foot in the lobby. She holds my hand and walks with me when I’m up. She’s such a sweetheart. I asked her before “what are you gonna do if I fall down?” She says “I’m holding you mama, you won’t fall. I won’t let you”. It brought a sudden gush of tears to my eyes. I know I am loved and cared for. I had to convince her to join her brothers and Daddy in the pool. I assured her I would be fine and I can see her from my bed. That seemed to be enough to give her the peace of leaving me alone.

Thank you all so much for the support and prayers. It has done amazing things for us already!! I will post an update later on this week or next week unless something changes….

blessings all.

God is Still Good

I hope everyone is having a good long weekend. We took our first camping trip of the season last weekend so we didn’t head out this weekend. Looking at the weather forecast, I’m really glad we chose last weekend instead of this one. We had an amazing time away in the mountains. I love to spend weekends there in God’s raw beauty. We didn’t see as much wildlife as we usually do, but it was still such a relaxing time. I really needed that, because I knew how stressful our schedule was going to get over the next week. I am so thankful for the time we took to get away, considering it will probably be our only camping trip this year, depending on how my recovery goes.

I’ve really struggled with posting on here again. I had really good feedback after my last post and now I feel like “what if this post isn’t as good as the last one”…..I’m the type that always compares myself and it drives me crazy! I will just take my thoughts captive and keep typing. I’ve been stressing over 2 major things this past week…..

Stress #1. I have had a lot of people ask me about the results of my breast MRI. I have not said anything as I am trying to process the stupidity of my doctors. I have been very angry and therefore have not felt like sharing because I get really fired up and will probably say something I shouldn’t. I was told it’s not cancer. I am extremely relieved to hear that, but what I heard next sent me over the edge! Since it’s not cancer, they are not going to do anymore research or tests or anything else to see why I’m having such terrible pain and discomfort all the time. At first, I was told they would not stop looking until they had found a solution for me and now I’m just a chewed up gum being tossed in the trash. I take it very personal when I am told that I am not worth it to try and find an answer. I blame that feeling of betrayal on the person who misused and abused me as a child and told me that I wasn’t worth anything better. That leaves scars so deep that I don’t know if they will ever completely heal. That situation, at that time, also made me feel like a piece of chewed up gum heading for the trash. Needless to say, I will be switching doctors (although I have really liked my doctor up until now). He has always been so kind and has always taken extra time to spend talking to me which always made me believe that I was really cared for in his office. This week I really lashed out at him when he told me that he was done looking into it, and he told me that I needed an antidepressant to adjust my mood! That was the last straw for me!! I could have punched a hole through the wall of his office (if I was a violent person) and the urge to do so was certainly there! I asked him how well his mood would handle being in constant pain all the time while still needing to take care of your family and all the busyness that comes with everyday life. He admitted it wouldn’t be easy. I told him that if he only walked a day in my shoes he would never tell me again that I need an antidepressant for my mood. I need help and an answer for my pain; I don’t need meds to sedate my feelings.

I put on a brave face every single day. Maybe it’s wrong for me to do so, but it’s what keeps me going. If I looked the way I felt and the pain inside me was visible, I would scare every single person away! I am not kidding! I would be a sight to see. I force myself to get dressed, do my hair (just so), and slap on a smile. I am lying to myself and those around me by what they see but it’s a coping mechanism for me.

Stress #2. I have only 7 days until surgery date. Only 5 days until we fly out to Mexico. I have a huge to-do list for this week but I’m just focusing on the most important things. If I can get the bills paid up-to-date, laundry done, a general cleaning of the house and suitcases packed, then I have done well. The kids are over the moon with excitement of the upcoming trip since it’s their first trip of it’s sort for them. This is not how I pictured our first trip to a tropical place with our family, but I am so glad that God doesn’t allow us to know how the road ahead of us will go. I believe that God is still good, even when my circumstances really suck! I have really been stressing about the outcome of the surgery but am reminded constantly that God is with me and He will give me the strength that I need for each day. He is walking with me and carrying me. I am not alone. God is in Mexico too. God is on the flight. God is in each step of my recovery. He already knows what lies ahead and He’s already there. There’s not a single place that I will go that He has not seen. I take so much comfort out of that bit of knowledge. Without my God, I would be a bigger wreck than I am now, because then I would have no hope to hold onto. God is so much bigger than all my fears and He is bigger than anything I will face.

Please pray for us this week as we try to prepare for our trip. The kids have been very “off” because they sense a nervousness amidst their excitement because they know this is not a happy trip for me. They know it will be hard for me. There have been so many extra hugs and cuddles over the past week and I every single time it moves me to tears. I thank God so much for the blessing that my children are to me as they try to comfort me every single moment they are around me. My daughter (who is 5) keeps telling me “Mommy, I wuv you so much and I feel like I miss you and I don’t know why”. My precious child, I miss me too. I miss the joy and happiness that has faded over the past year. I have to try and find joy in the midst of pain. I have to praise God for all His goodness in the midst of suffering. He desires us to give Him all the glory in every situation and in every moment. I must choose joy.

I will probably not be posting again until we are in Mexico. Our flight leaves Saturday morning and I meet with the surgeon on Saturday night. I will post my progress and the exact time of surgery once I know and am able to. I know Saturday will be a very long day and be both physically, and emotionally draining. Please, please keep us in your prayers.

Will update soon.

blessings all.

More than I can handle

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So I’ve had a nagging on my heart to write about this topic. I’ve had so many people tell me this in the last little while, and I need to, Biblically, set the record straight. When I have doubts about what I am hearing as the truth, I turn to God’s Word to see if it aligns with the only Truth.

There is this cliché saying that “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. Well, that’s not true!! That tired, old phrase often sounds more like a taunt than a comfort. When we are down and out and feeling discouraged, hearing those words can cause us to feel like we are not measuring up. It makes us ask ourselves “If I am supposed to handle this, then why can’t I handle it?” I’ve searched and sought out the truth on and I have found answers. Think about Job for just a moment…..do you really think that he was able to “handle” all that he suffered through? Do you really think he had the capacity to just take it? If he didn’t have that firm foundation of faith, would he have still praised God and kept enduring? He did not curse God once in all his trials. He knew that God would stay faithful to him. God keeps his promises no matter what it is that He asks us to face.

So, where did the phrase about God not giving us too much come from? I believe it’s in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Paul writes about people being tempted and often choosing to do the wrong thing. Paul’s warning is tied to the reality of sin and temptation that meets us every day. With the warning, he also gives a promise. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) This is the verse often misquoted.

Paul pointed out that we have a choice when it comes to sin and temptation: engage in sin or flee from it. The promise is that God will always provide a way for us to run from it. But, Paul is talking about temptation, not suffering. With temptation we have a choice, but with suffering we often don’t have a choice. The night before Jesus was executed, He cried out “my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38) Jesus was saying “this is too much for me!”We see that in the Psalms too. These verses teach us that it’s OK to feel like we can’t handle it, like we are going to give up. We can cry out to God and tell Him we are “overwhelmed to the point of death” and find that Jesus suffers with us.

When we realize that life will give us more than we can handle, we find a promise: God is faithful to meet us in the mess and in the pain. We learn to recognize our constant need for Him. God can handle it! But, sometimes when it hurts, God can seem far away. We need each other to move ahead and move beyond tired, old phrases. When life becomes unmanageable, we need to be willing to walk alongside one another. We can help each other carry the weight. When we choose to sit and listen, walk with another, and help carry the load of heaviness, we become living proof that while life can sometimes just be too much, through the goodness of our God, we can move forward.

I’ve debated back and forth if I want to share the health issue #2. I think the biggest reason for me not sharing is, I hate being pitied. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. It makes me feel so helpless! I’ve come to the conclusion that I should share what it is that I am going through, to help people become aware that at any given moment, God can ask us to walk through something that we will not particularly enjoy, but also to realize He will fulfill His promises through our suffering. He will walk beside us. We are not alone!!

I have had an issue with my breast for a year now. It started last May. It became swollen and painful and I was quite undecided on what to think about it at first. I never have any sensitivity when I have my monthly, but I thought to myself that it may be related to that. So I waited. I thought I would see if it would go away or change throughout the course of the month. Nope. It didn’t. So I waited through another month, thinking that it would maybe change….and it didn’t. Along with the pain, I lost all my energy. I became quite depressed as we were kind of in between houses, living on the acreage we had just purchased, in our RV. It is not an ideal space for a family to live. I kept telling myself that it was temporary. That did nothing to console me. The reality was, on the days I had to literally drag myself out of bed and (keep the kids alive another day) was all I could manage, and those days were also days that I could not work on the house. Most of the renovating fell on me to complete as my hubby was so busy with work. It was the toughest summer I have ever had.

I finally went in to see my doctor and he agreed that something was not right with my breast. He sent me for an ultrasound, which was deemed “normal’. I was also sent to see a specialist….well we all know how that goes….wait 6 months to see them. First of all, she told me that just because I am told it’s normal doesn’t really mean that it is. They have to tell patients that when their test is within certain guidelines. Well that did nothing for my anxious heart! Then she went on to say that it could be a possibility of breast cancer, but since I am so young (28) that I wasn’t at a risk, and therefore not worth her time. I was so angry when I left her office. That was a slap in the face!! I waited 6 months to hear that I wasn’t worth her time. Well then….

At the encouragement of others to go back to my doctor and continue to seek an answer, I did. He set up another appointment with a specialist. This time, I only had to wait a few weeks to see him. He was really understanding and agreed that there was definitely something going on. He set up an MRI in Calgary for me. He told me it could take up to 6 months before I could get in. I shared that with our Bible Study group and we prayed about it. God hears our prayers…..I got a phone call that same afternoon that I was to have the MRI in a month. I was so thrilled!! Those long months of waiting are so hard!! Fast forward to yesterday. I had my MRI done. I got quite sick from the contrast dye they used to inject me with. I have had an MRI before but not with the contrast. I felt so miserable and wish that I had been able to find someone to go with me, considering I had to wake up at 4am to make the 3 hour drive to Calgary for my appointment. This morning, I’m still feeling very nauseous, but hope to get some work done on the computer. I do the books for the company that my husband and I own and with my upcoming back surgery, I really want to have everything in order.

Back to my breast for just a moment. I do not know what is happening. I am confident that I will be able to get some answers from the results. I see my doctor next week. I will post about it after my appointment. I feel like the breast is a personal issue, and maybe because if the way I was raised, but to my mind it’s a private part, so therefore a private matter. I don’t like to just sprinkle my problems everywhere. I have only shared this with family and few very close friends, so posting on here makes me feel vulnerable. Honesty is a virtue though, and in a way I feel a burden lifted now that these words are on the screen.

Does it feel like God has given me more than I can handle? Yes!! Breast pain, back pain, and boys that need extra attention. A family to take care of. A business to help run. A farm to take care of and animals to nurture. Yep, it’s a big load. It has made my attitude suck! My kids and husband have suffered under the pressure and pain I feel. It’s not fair to them. I know that God is with me and I will choose to lean on Him and seek shelter under His mighty wings. He has given me more than I can handle, so that I will trust Him more. He will be with me every step of the way. He will never leave me or forsake me (Matthew 28:20)

Now, I will cling to His truth and allow it to transform my attitude.

blessings all.

Strength…

When you think of the word strength, what image comes to your mind? I always think of bridges….interesting right? I often ponder how strong they must be to endure the constant back and forth of traffic across the top surface, and not to mention the rushing of water against the pillars stabilizing the bridge in the river depths below.

How strong do you have to be to endure daily challenges and struggles? I feel so very weak and insignificant sometimes. We have been blessed with two boys that have some extra challenges and they need extra love and attention. Mister R has Autism and Irlen Syndrome and Mister J has ADHD, ODD, and Irlen Syndrome. They are such a joy to me, but challenge me on a daily basis, sometimes forcing me think that I am just too weak to meet their needs. My energy has been at an all-time low, despite trying the most popular supplements and vitamins on the market right now. I am really trying. Then, there’s that to-do list that keeps getting longer as I remember more things that I need to take care of before my surgery at the end of the month. Am I being way too hard on myself? Yes!! Yes I am! I feel like I need to have things in order as I know I will not be able to do my daily duties for a while. I am also trying to remind my kiddos regularly that it’s coming up fast and they will need to be extra big helpers. I also have to remind my dear daughter that she won’t be able to run and jump on my lap like she’s used to doing. She will have to be gentle.

So, how do you stay strong (and sane) when there’s this constant battle within and all around you? How do you find joy in the mundane daily tasks? How do you keep from getting to the point of exploding frustration? How do you still smile, when you feel like all you want to do is scream? GOD. God is the only answer to all those questions. God is the only one who keeps me from completely losing my mind. God is the one who has granted me peace within my heart even though my situation has not changed. God is the only one who can truly give me the comfort that I need. Sometimes it’s through the reading of His Word. Sometimes through the words of a friend.But nonetheless, God is the answer.

I know that God has a plan for me and it’s a good one. I just feel like my road has a lot more bumps and detours and potholes and construction than most others. I know He is shaping me and moulding me into the person He desires me to be through my battles. Sometimes I just get so tired of it all….sometimes I just lose my fight. Today I was encouraged by the verse that says “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust” (Psalm 18:2) If that doesn’t do something to your soul, then I don’t know. I have to remind myself that God isn’t asking me to be strong. He isn’t asking me to carry my burdens alone. He doesn’t want me to be so heavy-hearted. God IS my strength. He is the strong pillar that upholds the bridge, withstanding all the elements raging around. He will carry my burdens and lighten my Spirit. All I have to do is ask. It’s really that easy. Just ask! I am choosing to praise God in all the craziness and tight schedules and deadlines. I am choosing to have joy when deep down I am really afraid.

I mentioned in my last post that I am currently struggling with two health concerns. I am having an MRI done on Tuesday (for health issue #2) and will be able to see my doctor for the results before I leave for surgery (on health issue #1). I am so incredibly grateful for that! Praise God for answered prayers. I was really hoping to get the results so that I could know where I stand. I am hoping to get some answers.

I will leave it at that for today. I needed to get this all off of my chest and now I feel better! Like I said in my first post, I need to let my thoughts out and put them into words to help me process things. It really works!! But, it’s late and the house is quiet as my little ones are fast asleep……I should try to get some sleep too.

goodnight. blessings all

First blog post

Hey everyone! So this is actually my second venture into the blog world. The first time I had a blog, I was a Consultant for a craft company, so I would post tutorials and crafting ideas. Life has taken me down a very different path since then. While I still enjoy crafting, it is not my main objective anymore.

I love to write. I feel like if I put my thoughts into words it helps to actually process what I am going through. Weird, right? I need someone or something to bounce my thoughts and ideas off of in oder to process and move forward. Sometimes I just don’t want to bother my close friends and family with all my issues and if I journal (or in this case, blog) about it, it becomes my bounding board (if there’s such a thing).

My husband and I have always dreamt of owning our own farm and raising animals. It wasn’t a reality for us until just a year ago, when we were finally able to afford the place we had our eye on. It wasn’t anything spectacular or beautiful, but we saw the potential and the price was just right to be able to afford putting in the TLC the place needed. Until we purchased this property, we had been living in our first home in a small town. We bought that home just a few months before our wedding, 11 years ago. It was a relatively fair-sized home with 4 bedrooms and basement. The location was not something we considered when we purchased it, though. It was situated right alongside a major highway. As our kiddos came along, we realized it was not ideal, or a safe place to raise them. So our hunt began to find a place in the country. We found this little gem of a place and the papers were drawn up. It was really neat how the timeline worked out. May 1st was the date of finalization and our journey commenced on our wedding date of June 12th. fast forward ten years, and our finalization date of this property was May 1st and it was officially ours by June 12th (our 10th anniversary). All in God’s perfect timing! We are beyond blessed.

Preparing this farm for our family has been a hard journey and it is still ongoing. We have many hopes and dreams for this place. We started by renovating the tiny little home. As a family of 5, it’s a bit on the small side (with only 2 bedrooms), but we have made it work. It’s a cozy place and our hope is for everyone to feel welcome who walks through our doors. We purchased a few goats, and the kids were so thrilled!! It was such a neat experience for them to have animals on the yard. That was followed by a  dog, a few cats, and most recently, calves, a pig and chicks! Yes, our quaint little place has become quite a zoo, but I love every single moment of it. Our sow had 10 piglets last week (2 of which have since died) but the rest seem to be doing very well. Our one goat had a little one this spring also, so that has been such a fun experience as well.

I have been struggling with some health issues, though, so that makes every day a challenge. We have been blessed beyond words, but yet this road of life is a tough one. I broke my tailbone (or the proper term- coccyx) in January of 2014 and the aftermath of that has been horrible! I am actually having surgery to remove the tailbone on May 30th. I feel that posting about my journey will give me something to do, and hopefully be able to encourage someone else who may be going through something similar. My second health issue is of a more personal nature, which I am not yet completely comfortable discussing with the general public  just yet. I may get to the point of sharing, but I am just not there yet….

I will have to cut this post short, as my power will be cut off in a few moments so the power line can be moved. will update again later.

 

blessings all.