- My back is finally feeling healthy (I have an appt with Dr. W on Christmas Eve and am praying for a full release).
- I have my energy back.
- Christmas is right around the corner.
- I have two incredible children.
- Words cannot describe the love I have for my husband.
- We have an awesome church family who cares for us in all circumstances.
- My friends are the absolute best! I'd put them up against anyone else's friends any day! Oh and we're going to have a wild and crazy girls' night out this weekend!
- There are some great, incredible things on the horizon for us. More to come...
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
2. We put up our tree and only our tree this year. It's just too hard to do more than that in my "condition". Here are some pictures of it. It stands about 15 feet tall. These really don't do it justice.
3. It SNOWED today!!! I am not kidding! The kids absolutely loved it. Here are some pictures...
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
couple of weeks. Anyway, here are the pictures I promised of the cake I made for the LSU/Alabama game. It was really cute and I have to give Brandon credit for the goal posts. We had a great time even if we did lose in overtime. LSU really needs a good quarterback!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Blaine (simultaneously): crying sounds
Me: "It's okay!"
Aubrey (looking at Blaine): "Well, now we're going to be poor! I guess we better start packing."
Blaine (immediately looking at me): "Yep, we're going to lose our house."
Me: "No, we're not. We are going to be okay."
Aubrey: "How do you know that?"
Me: "Because God is in control of everything and He knew who would win president. In fact, He put who He wanted in that position. And, He's going to take care of us!"
Aubrey (to Blaine): "Come on Blaine. Let's pack. We're going to have to live with Maw Maw in Louisiana."
Me: "We are going to be okay!"
Aubrey: "Do you know anyone who voted for Obama?"
Me: "I do." I then named a couple of out of state family members who were Obama supporters.
Aubrey: "Why on Earth did they do that!? Wait, they live in *insert state*!"
Me: "First of all Aubrey, they voted for Obama because they had things they liked better about him just like you had things you liked better about McCain. The thing about having the right to vote is that you also have to accept it when the person you really wanted doesn't win. That's the way democracy works. Everything will be okay. Secondly, they got to vote in *insert state* because the race was for President of the entire United States."
Aubrey: "Are you kidding me!!?? I thought it was for President of Texas! Now, where are we gonna live. Louisiana's not safe either!"
Well, my good counsel may not have helped Aubrey at all, but I'm going to cling to it. God put Barack Obama where he is now. I trust that whether it makes my earthly body happy or not.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I'm beginning to get antsy about my recovery (shocking, I know!). I know I still have three more months of recovery ahead of me, at least, but I'm beginning to think about the future- something I have been putting off because of my back. I've been thinking about the fact that my kids are both in school and I'm only 28 years old. All I have ever wanted to be was a Mom. I remember being a little girl and people asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up and answering "a Mom". I never dreamt that I would be "done" so young and we would only have two children. I go through phases of obsessing over adding to our family. I wish so badly I could have more children. I know there are other ways, but the door just hasn't opened for it. *Honesty time- I am beginning to fight feelings of resentment when I hear friends of mine who can have children say things like "We're done! No way I would be crazy enough to have any more!" I know what they mean. I said the same thing after Blaine was born (remember I had two children 14 months apart!), but now my perspective has totally changed and I don't have babies or toddlers anymore and I realize how insensitive this comment can be. So, if I ever offended anyone by saying something like that, I'm sincerely sorry. End Rant* I am looking at the fact that I stay at home, am 28 years old, and my kids are gone all day. Do I think that's enough for me? Can I really justify staying at home for the next 30+ years alone? If not, what do I want to do? The only thing I seem to come up with is, I want a baby. That makes me sad.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
In the stillness
I know that You are God
In the secret of Your presence
I know there I am restored
When You call i won't refuse
Each new day again I'll choose
There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise
In the chaos in confusion
I know You're sovereign still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will
When You call I won't delay
This my song through all my days
All my delight is in You Lord
All of my hope
All of my strength
All my delight is in You Lord
That about sums it up!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The first view is from the front and you can see the rods on either side of my spine and the screws in relation to my spine. If you look closely you can also see the floating bone graft just between the heads of the bottom two screws. The second view is from the side with my front being the right side of the x-ray, looking at a rod passing through the heads of two screws. You can see the angle at which the screws go into my spine and once again, closely, you can see the bone graft towards the front in the middle of the two screws. So there it is, the reason I am unable to move my torso for the next five months, visually.
I'll update more soon. Thanks everyone for writing. I really do have the best friends and family too (I love you too, Scott!).
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Last night at prayer meeting I was reminded of Psalm 100. Here is what it says:
A psalm. For giving thanks.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
This is such a beautiful reminder. The Lord is good and His love never fails no matter what we have been or are going through. One of my favorite lines from any song ever (and I am a HUGE music person) is from Chris Tomlin's "Indescribable" where he says "You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same. You are amazing God." There is NO one else in all the universe that we could say that about besides God. No matter how your mother or your spouse love you (I use those two because they seem to be the closest you could get), they will never love you the way God loves you. Only we and God know the depths of our hearts and can understand how huge a thing it is to say that a perfect God could know that and love us as though we were blemish free because in His eyes, we are through the saving, redeeming, and perfect sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ.
So for me, for now, I'm going to choose to think on the things of God and fight with all I have to stay away and out of the pit of despair that I am so desperately dangling on the edge of. And if you are reading this and you don't know the love that I'm speaking of and want more or you just need someone to talk to, someone who is right there with you, write me- firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
I'm doing a little better than yesterday. The kids did well at school and I did well for my first day "alone" since surgery. I go to the doctor on Monday to get an update on my progress. I really can't wait to see what my x-rays look like. I'm going to try and get a copy to show everyone my hardware.
My brother, Scott, is coming in from Waco to visit this weekend and I'm excited about seeing him. The distraction will be nice. Oh, and I love my brother. I'll try to take lots of pictures of us doing various things (mostly hanging out around the house) and post them. I just really need to figure out all the picture settings and such on my new laptop. Hey, that's a good job for Scott this weekend...
Oh and thanks no one for posting comments. I love you all! :)- (that's a smiley face with it's tongue stuck out or something like that)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
As far as hurricane recovery, everything is trying to get back to normal, but it will take a while. Not all schools, even in our district, were able to go back today. A lot of people still don't have power (I feel for those poor souls) and even worse, a lot of people don't have homes. My dear friend, Dawn, took a huge hit and I am constantly thinking of her, her hubby, and their five children. I want to help them so badly, I just have to figure out how.
As far as Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (that's the clinical name and my attempt at humor), it's going. Everyone who has seen me says "You're so much further than I thought you would be at this point!" To me, it feels so slow. I guess I'll back up a little. Surgery itself went well. There were a couple of problems with my low blood pressure and that had to be treated in the operating room, but other than that I did well. I came out with a seven inch incision directly on my spine, an epidural, and three drains coming from the area. I had some difficulty with vomiting for the first day, but after that I did great. Ike was looming out in the Gulf so after some begging, my doctor decided to release me one day early to be home for the storm. I really did not want to have to be downtown in a hospital, as safe as it is, without my husband and children during a hurricane. The hurricane itself was scary. They always are, but we made it through with very minimal damage (I'll post pictures of all sorts of stuff at some point). Since I've been home, I am to wear my brace (which is actually a body molded cast that can come off for things like showering and sleeping) anytime I'm up. It's hot (especially when there was no A/C) and bulky. I don't like it. I can walk, but I'm incredibly slow. So slow that I feel like a burden and hindrance to anyone around me. I can sit, but it is SO difficult to get up and down, it's pretty much not worth it. I have a very specific routine I am to use to get in and out of bed so as not to twist my spine at all. It's difficult and exhausting. I can lay on my back, which is comfortable for a little while, or my sides, which really aren't comfortable because of the pain from the bone graft from my pelvis so, I'm having trouble sleeping. I can't do pretty much anything around the house since I can't bend or twist in any way, but I can't really reach forward very far either. Just washing my hands stretches my limits. I'm incredibly emotional. I sobbed Sunday (in front of a lot of people) over milk. Not even spilt milk, actual contained gallons of milk that were brought to us by our Pastor's wife. We needed milk, she responded as so many people in our church have with various things. Our church rocks and I am so humbled by the way people are willing to help us! I knew all these things would be "things", but one thing I've learned is that it's impossible to prepare yourself for being physically disabled in any way for any amount of time. I want to clean my house, I can't. I want to shave my legs, I can't. I want to take a shower alone, I can't. I want a long, hot bath, I can't. I want to do a lot of things, simple things, that I just can't. I know these things will come and there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, it's just hard right now. It's only been two weeks and I am so tired of feeling like a burden to those I love. Just 5 1/2 months longer, at least. Not sure how I'm going to do it, but I am sure that my God will get me through it. I'm clinging to that...
*If you visit, please leave me a comment. I have no idea who looks at this and I think I'd write it even if it was just for me to "vent", but I would like to know that someone other than me is reading and notes of encouragement really do help!
Monday, September 22, 2008
P.S. Don't stop praying for those who lost so much, many of them I know and love. Hurricanes=bad
Friday, September 19, 2008
Did I mention that I'm addicted to Spider Solitaire?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
One thing I do want to address right now, I've heard/read people who don't live in this area wondering what's so bad about being without electricity or "what did they do before electricity?" To try and be polite, that's ignorance. If you really don't see what the "big deal" is, try it. And I don't mean turn off your air conditioner for a day when the weather's nice. I mean no a/c, no lights (even at night!), no oven or microwave (we have a gas stovetop so, I'll let you use that), no toaster, no cellphones, no hairdryer or flat iron (thank God for a gas hot water heater), etc. And right now, NO ONE in our area has power so it's not like we can go have a break at someone else's house or at a store- not possible. Plus, there is a two to three hour wait to get gas ANYWHERE, if you can even get it so, it would be irresponsible to just drive around. The stores are open for limited hours and they let in like ten people at a time, cash only (hope you got cash before hand, because there are no banks or ATMs). They limit what you can buy like one gallon of milk and one loaf of bread. A lot of people have just gone ahead and left town, but that's not an option for us right now either. We take all these things for granted on a daily basis, but right now, in the midst of it, I really don't want to hear people belittle our situation. Walk even a day in our shoes and then we can talk! *Notice I'm not even mentioning having back surgery a week ago because I'm not looking for sympathy, just understanding* Now, I will say that the one good thing that has come from this is fellowship. People are taking care of each other and our neighbor across the street came over to talk yesterday for the first time in more than two years! I love that, but I'd love it even more with electricity :)
Monday, September 15, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Thanks to everyone for the prayers! Don't stop :) I need Ike to stay away now (among other things)! More to come...
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The countdown to surgery has officially begun. One week from today, I'll be in recovery. I am SO ready to be done with this! People keeping asking me if I am nervous. I am, but the hope of being well far outweighs the fear at this point. So, in honor of that, here's a list of things that I am unable to do right now (and for the past several weeks) and am looking forward to being able to do again:
- Walk further than my bed or couch to the kitchen or bathroom without pain.
- Stand for any period of time (more than a couple of minutes).
- Bend over- AT ALL
- Put on socks.
- Wear shoes that aren't slip-ons.
- Roll over in bed without help.
- Get in bed without help.
- Dry off the bottom half of my body after a shower or bath.
- Get in the car and lift my non-leading leg in without having to pick it up with my hands and put it in.
- Do anything without grunting and groaning!
So, here's to one more week until recovery begins!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
For whatever reason, the wonderful city of Lake Charles replaced the street sign with a misspelled version! In Scott's words, this is an absolute "travesty"! Most people probably don't care, but to us, this is our family name and it has two "T"s! So, here's what I did to cheer Scott up:
So, if you live in the area, write your police juror, congressman, governor, whomever. This has got to be set straight! Meanwhile, I'll be practicing my PhotoShopping. Just wait 'til you see me with perfect skin and 70 pounds lighter :)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The kids start school tomorrow and I have my pre-admit appointment at the hospital and my appointment with the anesthesiologist. I'll let everyone know how it goes. Oh, and I'm going to beg the nurse to not make me donate blood again! Wish me luck :)
Saturday, August 23, 2008
The kids go back to school Monday! This has been one of the longest summers ever! Probably because I've been laid up for most of it. Their orientation went well and they both seem to have really great teachers. We're all excited.
I have my pre-op appointment at the hospital, with the anesthesioligist, on Monday, my casting for my brace on Thursday, and lots of other odds and ends to get done this week. I'll catch everyone up when I can. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Well, that was just the beginning. Mom and Cole went to church with us on Sunday morning. We had lunch after and then they headed out, back to Sulphur. About an hour later, I got the call. The call that everyone dreads- "there's been an accident". It's hard to even type this without bursting into tears! They were on Hwy 90 in a real rural area and Mom blacked out (the reason is still unknown). They veered off the road and hit a guardrail and flew about 50 yards into a field. They hit that guardrail with the cruise control set at 70 mph and Mom still unconscious! We headed towards them (as did Scott, who was in Lake Charles. No one could get ahold of my stepdad until much later!) We were told they were being taken by ambulance to the hospital in Liberty (yes, Liberty, TX has a hospital. The smallest hospital EVER). We beat them there. It was so sad to see them each come through those doors on backboards and stretchers. After a long afternoon, they are both going to be okay. Cole has a sprained knee and some cuts. Mom has some pretty bad contusions, cuts, and burns (from the airbag) and a concussion, but overall, they're alright. The bigger concern now, is why Mom passed out. I guess we'll find that out eventually. For now, the whole thing is nothing short of miraculous. God was with them in that car. Everyone: police, witnesses, EMTs, cannot believe they essentially walked away. Somehow, Mom hit the guardrail in the dead center of the car and the engine came up through the center of the console. If she had hit it to either side, one of them would be gone. I am so thankful for God's hand in all of this. I really don't know how I could cope with losing one of them. It's unbearable to think of.
Well, hopefully things calm down this week. I'll keep you posted :)
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
- get Aubrey's flowergirl dress altered
- get the kids school supplies
- back to school orientation
- get the kids in school :)
- come up with some sort of "schedule" for post op care of me, the kids, and our home
- donate blood twice (for myself! this disgusts me!)
- pre-admit at the hospital
- get fitted for my back brace
- have an appointment with the anesthesiologist
- join a gym for my post op rehab
- cancel anything I had scheduled for the next 6 months (like my class reunion, our family church retreat, Christmas! this makes me sad!)
- insert anything I'm forgetting here :)
Friday, August 8, 2008
Well, that's the low down. I'll post when we have a date. Please pray for us. It's going to be a difficult time, but I am so eager to feel better!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
We had Blaine's birthday party Saturday. It was great- Brandon's parents, his sister, Jennifer, her hubby, Donovan, and their sweet toddler came in, as well as my mom and Cole. I love having family visit!
My brother, Scott, arrived back in the States Tuesday afternoon (in the middle of a tropical storm!) after a year in France. It was so great to see him and it's still great to have him here! My mom and Cole came back to visit as well as Scott's girlfriend. So, we've pretty much had a full house since last Friday. I absolutely LOVE it!
Brandon and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary yesterday! I love that man!!!
Some one looked at our house Tuesday night (once again, in the middle of a tropical storm!) for the first time since May! They are really interested, but haven't made up their minds yet. I'm hoping this works out. It's crunch time!
My back is awful. I had a terrible weekend, in that respect. I am back on the 'roids now and go to see Dr. W tomorrow at 7am!!! I'll be leaving here before sun up! I'm really anxious about getting my MRI results. I'll post and let everyone know what the verdict is as soon as I can.
Hope everyone else is well. I'll post tomorrow :)
Thursday, July 31, 2008
As for me, I've been feeling pretty good the last couple of days, but taking it VERY easy. Today will be the test, I have to grocery shop and that has historically been bad news.
This house is still here. No one has even "seen" it since May 22. I'm frustrated. We reduced our price a month ago and added an incentive. Still, no one. I'm really hoping something will happen this weekend (but not during the party!). The house (our dream house) we wanted, but was a little out of our price range, was reduced again this week! That makes the total reductions, since it's been on the market, $170,000! This reduction alone was $56,000! Yes, you read that right. It is now affordable for us and it just seems too good to be true (it may be if this house doesn't sell!). I'm really hoping!
I'll leave you with this. This is what I woke up to on Saturday morning...
Yes, that is my husband (the "I am so totally awesome, you can't contain it." version) standing in front of the bounce house, that he brought in to blow up, in our living room!
Here he is again with it blown up and very proud of himself.
The kids loved it!
The "perfect" addition to our living room!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Brandon got off to Dallas just fine this morning. He decided last night that he would reschedule his flight for next week and go ahead and drive today, just in case he needed to be back for me. When I was awakened by the thunder and rain during the night, I was concerned about that decision, but he did just fine and it may be for the best since his plane may have been delayed due to the weather.
I'm really going to miss him tonight (at least it's only one night again). As bad as I was feeling last night, we laid in bed and reminisced about the "Great Purple Crayon in the Dryer of '03". That story is only one of the reasons Heather hate purple crayons! The best part of it was the fact that when I went through my giant load of light colored, dressy clothes and found them covered with purple polka dots, the large spot of melted purple wax (indicating from whence the purple crayon originated) was on the pocket of a pair of Brandon's dress khakis! There was the evidence, staring me down in plain purple: my husband, not my three or even two year old, was the reason the purple crayon was in the dryer! I'm really glad we can laugh about it now.
Anyway, I'm feeling pretty rotten. I'm taking it way easy. I think we have enough food and clean clothes to get us through the next couple of days so, I'll be spending my day sitting or laying. My kids are so good to me. They really step up and help when they know I'm not feeling well. I am so proud of them and thankful! Later, taters!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Tomorrow our home is on the "Realtor Tour" from 10am-2pm so, not only do I have a ton of cleaning to do, I have to be out of the house for the day tomorrow. I think I'm going to take the kids shopping for school clothes. I'm sure they will complain, but I should do it before it gets too close and Aubrey has barely anything that fits. That girl grows like none I've seen! I'm very ready to be done with all this house stuff, either way. I don't know why I do this to myself. I think I just really love houses, the excitement of moving, and the feeling of having someplace new. There's something wrong with me :)
Well, I'm out. Time for laundry, floors, and bathrooms. Maybe I'll take a nap first...
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Did I mention he has gorgeous eyes? Oh, and he took me to the LSU BCS National Championship game?!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The kids are growing like bad weeds; Blaine will start 2nd grade next month and Aubrey, 3rd. Brandon started a new job here, two weeks ago. He loves it and it was a huge step in the right direction for his career. He is also leading Worship at our church- Summer Creek Baptist. We have found a wonderful place to get connected and could not ask for a better church family. They rock! We have our house up for sale and are looking to move to a different school zone (you know, we don't stay put too long. That gets boring!). So far, nothing. We are going to give it a couple more weeks and if it hasn't sold, we'll settle in for the winter and perhaps try again next Spring.
Now, to the not so good part. This week has been hard. My back had been doing pretty well. For those of you who don't know and some of you who do,but don't really have a good explanation, I was diagnosed a year ago with "bilateral foraminal stenosis" and a "bulging, degenerative disc" at the L5-S1 level. It is a chronic debilitating condition that is very rare and pretty much unheard of in someone my age. The only real solution is a lumbar fusion which, as I am sure you can guess, is not a pleasant surgery. They take a bone graft from the pelvis and fuse it, along with rods and screws, to the disc needing to be fused. In my case, that is L5-S1. The recovery is LONG- 12-18 months! I would have a bad day here and there, nothing I could not handle, and so we decided to put the surgery off as long as possible. I have children to raise! My orthopedic surgeon predicted, at that time, that I would be unable to walk within 18 months. Well, here we are a year later, and I was doing great! Maybe once a month, I would wake up sore and stiff, take it easy, and be up and at 'em by the next day. That all changed last Thursday, I woke up stiff and by 3pm, was on the floor screaming in pain and unable to move my left leg. My kids were in hysterics (Blaine thought I was having a baby!). Poor Brandon got a call on his cell from Aubrey saying "Mom is on the floor and she is having a crisis! You have to get home!" He wasn't far behind. Today is day seven and I am still very uncomfortable and every now and then, in so much pain, death sounds good. I am only getting up and walking when absolutely necessary: a child needs something, bathroom break, food, etc. Even at that, there are times when it is physically impossible to walk- either my left leg will not work or (the more excruciating option) I feel like I am being electrocuted with every single step. Well, I finally got in to my ortho this morning. He is one of the rare ones, the NOT knife happy kind of surgeons. He is really rooting for me and hoping I can hold out as long as possible (The surgery is not always successful and even when it is, it may only have a 15-20 year life. So, every year I can hold out, the better off I am in the long run.). He put me on steroids to hopefully cut down some inflammation and a different pain medicine. I will go back a week from Friday and see what's happened. If I am not better, we'll, more than likely, schedule. I don't want to do this. I am SO scared! My last surgery in 2004 was a complete disaster. I almost didn't make it through and this is far more invasive and serious. Right now, I'm homebound (my poor kids!) and can't even do things that I would normally not want to do, like housework. I really don't know how much more I can take. It's very hard and scary to be unable to walk, bend, or sit. I need a healing! I know it might not happen and that God may have other plans- plans that seem awful to me, but in the end will bring Him glory and will prosper me. I am SO emotional. I am crying at the drop of a hat (I cried for poor Dr. Williamson this morning; he was very sweet!) and that is very unlike me.
Then, Monday I got the call that the doctor I was working for (up until January, but still remained close to), passed away of an apparent aneurysm Sunday night. I am so sad. It was completely unexpected. He was such a good man and doctor and VERY young, in excellent health. Please pray for Dr. Warnell's family, especially his five year old son, Colbie. I remember when he got lost on his way to have this picture taken. I was attempting to give him directions on his cell phone (I had no idea where he was either!), and he stumbled upon the place, late, and stressed. In true Dr. Warnell form, he was still as nice as ever, laughing at me and himself and I'm sure smiling from ear to ear.
You will be so missed!
I know that in spite of everything, we are beyond blessed and this is just a detour. I'm clinging to that.
Well, all that rambling to say: I'm back (at least in the blog world)! And a special thanks to Angela, who over the past two years has not stopped asking me to start blogging again! I love you, girl!