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Friday, March 29, 2013

It's Hard To Keep A Good Man Down

Last weekend I decided to rest as much as possible, so I could get over my cold.  Saturday I only left the house to go for a walk.  Sunday I rested most of the day and then bought groceries late that afternoon.  After my husband and I bought groceries, we hopped back in the car to head home.  However, my car had different plans for us.  It would not start.

My husband called one of his brothers for advice and he tried a few things that did not work. He then called another brother that lives closer by and asked him to come check my car.  I was not feeling well because my IBS was flaring.  My husband told me to call my daughter to see if she could pick me up.  I immediately picked up the phone and called my daughter.  After all, I didn't want him to change his mind.  I felt so weak, I just wanted to go back home and rest.

I am so thankful my husband cared enough about me to let me leave.  I am also so thankful that my daughter cared enough to come to my rescue.

The next day I felt much better and my Interstitial Cystitis (IC) symptoms were not bothering me much.  I had the brilliant idea that I would take one of my daily walks, in the gym at work, on the treadmill.  It was so cold and windy outside, I didn't want to go out in it again.  Apparently you don't use the same muscles to walk outside as you do on a treadmill.  I was so sore that night, I could barely move.

The next day, I worked all day at the office, instead of my usual half day of working from home.  I was so tired that night that I that I laid down early.  When I tried to go to sleep, I was in so much pain that I couldn't sleep.  I had to take a pain pill to knock me out.

I felt better the next day until about 5:00.  I was so tired when I got home from work that I laid in bed for about 45 minutes.  One of my cats wanted to be petted, so it helped occupy my mind for a few minutes to keep it off of the pain.
Later that night we went and picked up my car after it was repaired.

For most of this week, my husband Alan had to get off work early or go in late, so he could take me to work.  I am so thankful that he cares enough to go out of his way to make sure that I had a ride to work and back home.

I am also eternally grateful that my Heavenly Father cares enough about me and you that he sent His Son Jesus to conquer death so that we might have everlasting life. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him." Mark 16:6
 
After Jesus was crucified and buried, Mary Magdalene  and the other Mary were going to anoint Jesus' body.  This was the custom at the time.   They were expecting to find His body, but the stone was rolled away from the entrance of the tomb instead.  They were told not to be afraid by an angel and that Jesus had risen! It's hard to keep a good man down!!

This is the good news.  Jesus is alive!  He died on the cross for you and me.  He came to earth, so that we could accept Him into our hearts and have eternal life!  Without Christ walking on earth, we would not have access to the Father.  

Easter is a time to remind us of rebirth and renewal.  The joy of Easter is that once we believe then we are forgiven and the gates of heaven are open to us!  We all can have a new life!!

Let's all remember the true meaning of Easter this year.  Whether we are getting together with our families to celebrate or we are preparing Easter baskets for our kids (And yes, I still prepare a basket for my 23 year daughter) let's keep Jesus and His resurrection as the focus of our attention.

 I hope you all have a Happy and Joyous Easter!



Share MayFlowers is a public health and awareness campaign focused primarily on the under-discussed topics of female pelvic and perinatal health, launched by Women's Action Initiative.
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Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Kiss Of Death

Me early in the a.m.
Last Sunday morning, I woke up at 3:45 a.m.   I could not get back to sleep even though I tried for about 2 hours.  I finally decided that I would get up and cook my husband breakfast.  I am not a morning person, so I rarely cook him breakfast.  I thought it would be a nice treat for him.

I desperately wanted to go to church.  After breakfast, I decided to get ready to go to church, instead of trying to fall back asleep.  That was my first mistake....

After church, I went out to eat lunch and then brought groceries.  By 5:00, I was completely worn out.  I laid down to rest, but I fell asleep for about 15 minutes.  I hardly ever take a nap during the day, but this was not a normal day by any means.

The next day at work, I asked a co-worker if he knew that feeling right before you get a cold. He said "yes"  I said "I have that feeling now."  Maybe if I had left work, went straight home and rested and then went to bed early, I would not be sick.  However; instead, I drove for over an hour to go to physical therapy, had my pt session and then met a friend for dinner.  I greatly enjoyed going to pt and meeting my new friend, but I needed to be resting.  Those were the last mistakes I made before I had a full blown cold.

Everyone has colds, but when you have a cold AND Interstitial Cystitis (IC), it makes for a miserable combination.  I'm sure I caught the cold from my husband.  It told me he was sick with one and later that night he kissed me goodnight...the kiss of death!  I later thought about it and said to myself "Oh no, he kissed me and he is sick!"

I have really tried to avoid anyone who has been sick.  When my husband had a stomach virus a couple of weeks ago, I avoided him like the plague.  I thought that a virus AND IC might put me on my deathbed or at least make me wish I could die.

This time I did not do what my body was telling me to do.  Which was to rest,rest, rest.  I pushed my body to limits that I normally wouldn't do even when I feel good.  I am paying the price for it now.  I have a cold and I am miserable. 

My husband felt really bad with his cold for a couple of days and then he felt much better.  I have had mine for 6 days now.  I have felt lousy for several days now already.  But my colds have always been very bad.  I can remember being is school and I would be congested and my throat would be so dry that I would get choked and start coughing so much that I would have to leave the room and get some water.

I have tried to figure out why I am sick now.  I have a lot of stress at work and we all know that stress makes our bodies weak.  Stress can even trigger an IC flare.  Stress alone can make you sick.  But what I am supposed to learn from being sick? 

I have learned that my husband will take care of me when I feel my worst.  I have learned that friends and strangers will tell you that they hope you feel better when you have a cold.  I have learned that I need to always lean on God to help me when I am not strong enough.  When I am not healthy God is there for me.

We all are spiritually unhealthy.  We are all so sick that we cannot make ourselves well.   So like Paul, we will cry out "Who  will rescue me from this body of death?" Romans 7:24.  Our body of death is our sins.  We all need to repent of our sins on a daily basis.  But if you are like me, you think,  I have confessed my sins, I am a Christian.  When Jesus calls us to repent, he is saying that we all think and behave badly on a daily basis. “The time has come,the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15.

"Ouch!" that is a hard one.  You mean that try, try as I might that I still sin?  Yep, we all sin everyday.  We are supposed to confess our sins on a daily basis.  If we examine our lives and actions, it is not that hard to see that we all have sin in our lives.  Whether we don't treat others with compassion and love or we overlook a chance to witness to others or we are quick to anger, just to name a few, we all have daily sins.

I thought we could all use a reminder to confess our sins daily, so that God can use us to our full potential.  I also thought I would share this song with you.  It is about having so much on you that you think you can't handle it.  It's true, we can't handle it alone, we need God to give us a hand.  Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we start looking up to God and reaching out to Him.

We're not strong enough to be everything that we are supposed to be without God.  We need to repent of our sins daily and ask God to help us when we feel like we just can't take it anymore, so that we can be everything that He wants us to be.


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

What Is God Up To?

Last Sunday my bladder was not happy.  I felt so much pain and pressure in my pelvic area that it was hard to catch my breath enough to be able to walk at times. That night my bladder felt like it was on fire and my back felt like it had knives sticking in it.
  
I tried a more natural approach to soothe my bladder at first.  I took several long, diaphragmatic breaths and drank some chamomile tea.  I felt sure I was going into a flare.  As I tried to sleep that night, I was in so much pain I had to get up and take a pain pill.  I was able to fall asleep and slept 4 straight hours.  When I woke up the next day, I wasn't in a flare. 

I feel so blessed to have avoided a flare!!  I am also taking Elmiron, the only oral medication that's FDA approved to treat the pain or discomfort associated with Interstitial Cystitis (IC). I am hoping that is why I avoided a flare and why I have been feeling so good lately.  It is a welcomed change.  I'm not going to get overly excited though because I have thought I was on the road to recovery many times only for IC to rear its' ugly head and knock me off my feet.

As I look outside my window today, I see change.  Trees are starting to produce new leaves or blooms.  Flowers are starting to bloom.  People are spending more time outside.  

Most of the time, I don't like change.  However, Spring is one change I dearly look forward to each year.  More greenery, more flowers, more birds and more sunshine.  That is the refreshing change I am eagerly awaiting.

My sweet husband went to physical therapy this week with me.  He learned how to do some of the stretching and trigger point release techniques that my therapist has been doing on me.  It made me feel special that he cared enough to do that for me.

Both my therapist and my husband worked on me Monday.  I was sore afterwards, but I have had so much relief from it all week!  Alan took some time Friday night to do some stretches and trigger point release on me.  Today is Saturday and I feel good.

 Alan asked my therapist, if I should be sitting in the recliner all the time.  My therapist suggested that I need to move around as much as possible and increase my exercise level.  I currently take 2 walks a day for about 7-10 minutes each.  I need to work up to longer walks and increase my stretching exercises and eventually add other exercises.

I have felt good this week, so I have been doing a whole lot better about moving around more and taking longer walks.  That combined with the milder temperatures has made it easier to do. 

He also asked her, if I should be on a heating pad all the time.  She cautioned of over heating the skin and that is never good.  Applying too much heat for too long can cause your muscles to stiffen. Then when you come off the heat you end up wanting more heat because your muscles are stiff and sore.  I told them I would fight them both over my heating pads.  They are not going to take them away from me!

I will try to not be on one as much, but I'm not giving them up yet.  Heat has always been a source of comfort for me.  Warm baths, sunshine and my heating pads all seem to bring a sensation of healing to me.

For many of us with IC or other chronic illnesses, our lives have changed completely.  Some of them are good changes some of them are not.  None the less, they are all changes and people don't like change.

We like to stay in our comfort zone and not step out of the box for any challenges.  But our lives come along and make changes all the time.  Whether it is financial changes, job changes, additions to the family, spiritual changes and the list goes on and on.

Sometime we don't have a choice in the change.  Things change and we must make our adjustments.  Sometimes it is not fun, but it is what is necessary.  I believe our attitude toward change can make a huge difference.  You can either be mad, frustrated and upset or you can embrace the change and make the best of it. Ah! Easier said than done my friend.  Of course it is!! But if you start with a positive mindset and accept the change it will make your journey easier.
 
God brings change in our lives to help us grow and learn.  I think each of us has to figure out for ourselves why we are going through difficult times.  Even Jesus went through trying times.

Mark 1 :13-14At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Jesus's misery prepared Him for His ministry.  What about us?  What is God preparing us for in our lives.  Some of us live with misery, difficult times and change on a daily basis.  God is preparing us for something. We have to examine our hearts and pray constantly that God will reveal to us what He has in mind for us.  Change is not easy, but if we rely on God and His care He can put His song in our heart.

I stumbled across this video today.  I had never heard this song before, but I think it is a great song.  Colton Dixon sings it and he was recently on American Idol.  He is also one of the writers of this song.


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Monday, March 11, 2013

I'll Drink To That

I had a good week. I am so grateful I had six good days in a row!! A good day for me now is one where I didn't wake up exhausted, depressed or in a lot of pain.

I went to physical therapy on Monday afternoon. I told my therapist that I was not sure how much longer I would be able to continue therapy. It is draining to drive back and forth.  It is also draining on my finances.  It is not that I don't want to continue to go, but I am trying to be realistic.  She says I know that we are going to have to "break up" one day.  That is pt talk for not seeing a patient anymore.  She is so funny!

I look forward to going to therapy. Not only for the physical therapy, but for the mental therapy.  I look forward to seeing my therapist.  She gives me positive energy!  Why would I ever really want to stop??!!

We first talked and she went over my food diary with me.  She noticed that I drink 7 Up or Sprite when I am nauseated.  Since I had been nauseated a lot when I did the diary, she mentioned again that the stomach likes it, but it is an irritant for the bladder.  Water is the best choice for the bladder....water is just the best choice all around for anyone! 

This week she continued to do skin rolling on the back on my left leg and bottom. She also did some pressure point releasing on my legs. It hurt so bad that I literally came off of the table a couple of times. However, I know the reward will be pain relief!  When she finished she asked "How do you feel?"  I said "I am sore already!" 

It usually takes about 30-45 minutes before I feel the soreness, but not this time.  She asked if I wanted an ice pack.  I said "Not really, but I guess I will try it."  I do not like ice packs.  I am a heating pack or heating pad kinda girl.

She gave me the ice pack and suggested that I sit in one of the massage chairs.  The fun part about it was that she joined me.  She sat in one of the massage chairs too and we chatted for a few minutes.  She spent extra time with me that not only made my body better, it touched my heart.  She is a special lady to me.

I have not been as nauseated this week and I have made a conscious effort to drink more water.  I have also been thinking about water often throughout the week.

My Mama has been suffering from her diverticulitis for a couple of weeks.  I told her I would print some information about it for her.  When I looked it up, it said that to prevent it: eat a high fiber diet, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly.

Oh there it is again, water, water, water.  As you may know I am a huge fan of water (see blog post "On The Lighter Side" http://bb65ichope.blogspot.com/2012/10/on-lighter-side.html)  Soaking in a warm tub with Epsom salt is almost a daily ritual for me.  It relieves pain and provides stress relief.  It is also a quiet time that I use for prayer and to just think.

Proper hydration with water plays a critical role in your health and well being.  But what about The Living Water? Water is a symbol of our Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings. As water is essential to sustain physical life, the Savior and His teachings (living water) are essential for eternal life.


    

I am going to continue to drink more water and I hope you will too. As an Interstitial Cystitis (IC) patient, it is the best thing to drink for your bladder.  As a human water is the best thing to drink. Choosing The Living Water is the most important decision you will make in your life.  I look forward to meeting The Living Water one day and I can only imagine what it will be like.  I hope you too will choose The Living Water as the one to guide your life.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Move That Mountain

I have to admit that I have been so depressed lately that it has been hard for me to write and try to encourage others.  I have been thinking so much about ME and MY life and how it is not going how I had it planned because of my Interstitial Cystitis (IC).  But part of life is learning and growing from the changes that happen to you.

My beautiful daughter,Miranda, (see blog post entitled A Gift from God http://bb65ichope.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-gift-from-god.html) turned 23 this week.  My husband and I met her and her boyfriend at her favorite Chinese restaurant to celebrate.  On the way in she said "You better not be planning on them singing Happy Birthday to me."   My husband brought in a couple of gift bags and handed them to Miranda.  The waitress noticed the bags and said "Ah, it's your birthday." to Miranda.  We didn't think anymore about it and certainly did not request them to sing.

Towards the end of our meal, we heard singing over their entire sound system!! Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...you know the song. It was a recording of the famous song and it sounded so cute.  They brought out a piece of cake with one candle and they had fruit all around the cake in the the shape of little animals. I was very impressed with their whole presentation.

I think my daughter was more embarrassed than impressed.  But she handled it very well and continued to enjoy her birthday celebration.  Maybe it was not what we had planned, but we all made the best of it and laughed about it.

Our lives do not always go in the direction we had planned.  Things happen beyond our control and we have to make the best of it.  Sickness, pain, unexpected bills, career changes are just some of the things that may modify our lives. That is when we need to have faith that everything will work out.

Matthew 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Our faith should not be affected by the circumstances in our life. But I always have to be reminded that I need to trust God and that everything will be alright.  I have heard this song several times and liked it. Jason Castro sings it.  You might remember him from American Idol and couple of years ago. It is a simple song, but the meaning is very powerful.  I encourage you to pay close attention to the lyrics.










I have mountains (problems) in my life and so do you. We all have problems, but just think of how small your problems are compared to God. God can make even a mountain seem small.  Look at the latter part of the verse. " Nothing will be impossible for you."  How awesome is that?  Our possibilities are endless and all we have to do is have faith!!  So let's remember that when things don't go as we planned, to have faith and believe that God will always take care of us!!


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