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Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Am Toast

 This what I feel like by Friday!
Toast...I am toast.  I could not wait to go home after work, put on my jammies, fire up my heating pads and go to sleep.  I took something to help me sleep, but go figure, I couldn't fall asleep.  

As I tossed and turned and stretched trying to be comfortable enough to fall asleep, the pain was just too much for me to take.  The pain and the game of talking, laughing and pretending that I am not a miserable mess was just too much!!  By Friday, after working all week, etc, etc....I am toast!

When Alan came home I wanted to talk to him and spend a few minutes with him.  I was getting ready to go back to bed and walked away.  He said "Barbara," "Barbara."  I came back to him almost in tears. I said "Why did you call me Barbara?  You always call me "bb."  I knew that I was at my breaking point.  I decided to take a pain pill and go to bed. Do you ever feel that way??!! He didn't mean anything bad by it.   I knew I was overly sensitive, so they best thing for me to do was rest.

My dear sweet husband went to pick up our supper, so we didn't have to literally eat toast for supper.  I took a hot bath with Epsom salt before he came back home.  I felt better my the time he came back.
                                             I can really relate to her!
When I found out that the Administrative Assistant at our church was starting another job, I walked up to the Pastor and said "I will help."  "I can't do much, but I will do what I can." I musta been feelin' good that day, lol. So officially this week I started working at the church on Wednesdays.  I really enjoyed my first day.  The Holy Spirit has been leading me to help in this part of our church's ministry for a long time.

This week I worked at the church and then needed to go straight to my Construction Company job.  Then I went back to church for Bible study that evening...I am beginning to smell smells like toast!

The next day after work, Alan and I meet Miranda at a restaurant to celebrate her 24th birthday...Boy, that makes me feel old!  We all enjoyed ourselves very much.  Even though I loved the time spent with my daughter immensely it contributed to my toast feeling even more.


Each week I work I end up feeling like toast, but each week I also feel blessed to have my beautiful daughter, my caring husband and my church family.  I have a lot of struggles, but I can still do what God needs me to do.  He can use me through my struggles and make me stronger than I ever thought I could be.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Who Needs Wisdom?

Well Informed Owl
We were going to take a small trip to a Dog Show. Alan has been training a dog for a friend and wanted to show her at a nearby Bench Show.  We wanted to eat at a  particular, small restaurant on the waySo we sort of had it planned out. Right??!! 

The only thing we needed was the exact address of the clubhouse so I could enter it into my phone to find directions.  We called the contact number before we left the house.  No return call.  We called several times along the way.  No return call.  We were starting to get frustrated.

Alan knew the general vicinity so we headed that way with the dog in the back of my car in a large carrier.  She is a large dog and she needed a bath.  It was a mixture of coon hound dog odor and the scent of cedar shavings from her dog house...Thank you Lord for cedar shavings!!

The closer we drew to the start time of the event, the more frustrating it was.  Alan was complaining about the traffic, etc., but I knew that if we were late it was really poor planning on our part.

I mean who takes off on a journey and doesn't have the exact directions,maybe not enough money to do everything needed and is racing against the clock?  Hmm, sounds very familiar in so many ways!! 

That sounds exactly like an Interstitial Cystitis (IC) journey.  You don't know exactly where to go or what to do or if you will have enough money to do everything needed.  It feels like you have to do or try as many different treatments, diets or pills (when you least feel like doing anything) or one day you will find yourself alone, miserable and least that is the way I feel!

The best way I know to avoid this is to learn and research as much as possible about different treatment plans from reliable sources.  Use all your resources to shop for the lowest prices on medications. Ask your doctor for samples. Use online coupons whenever possible.  Ask other patients were they find the best deals and what treatments have worked for them.  It is wise to start planning for your future or retirement as soon as possible by paying off as many bills as possible now and set aside some money for when you retire or are not able to work anymore.

So many plans, ideas and dreams change completely when you are on an IC journey, but it is not all bad.  I feel like I am planning better for my eternal future since I have been sick.  I am more concerned about pleasing my Heavenly Father and doing what He wants me to do.  But I am not perfect in any way and I need His guidance every day!!

We finally found our way to the Dog Show by the Grace of God. I did pray along the way that we would make it on time. There were so many twists and turns along the way I never would have figured it out on my own.  We made it in plenty of time for the Show and were so relieved.

She even won "Best of Show."  The only way it could have went better was if we had planned and prepared better before we started on our journey.

Sweet Lexi

Lexi on the bench on her way to victory

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Monday, March 17, 2014

My Old Stomping Grounds

Last Sunday I had an amazing opportunity.  I went with a group from our church to my old stomping grounds.  Into the community where I grew from a baby to an adult...into the neighborhood where I was "born and raised."

I lived in a mill community.  My Mom and Dad both worked in a mill close to our house.  I used to walk to and from school until I was about eleven.  I even remember milk being delivered in a glass bottle to our porch...boy, I'm old!!

Down my street and across the highway there was an restaurant that served ice cream.  They may have even served other things like food and drinks, but all I remember was the ice cream. I was always trying to save enough money to buy ice cream cone.

My best friend and I used to have yard sales, talent shows (really??) all to raise money for ice cream or candy.  Oh, yes there was a company drugstore that had a  small grocery store in the back.  It had a glass case filled with all sorts of candy like Tootsie Rolls, Bazooka Bubble Gum and Sixlets!  Each piece was only a penny.  Yes, only one penny!!

When I was older I started "hanging out" at the Post Office.  Hey, don't judge me!  It was were all the older kids with"street smarts" hung out.  And I thought I fit in perfectly.  And of course I did until my Mom would come to the end of our street and yell for me to come home.  How embarrassing!!!

We went into the community that our church is in to do a short survey.  To find out what the community thinks some of the needs are and what we as a church can do to help with those needs.  We literally went from house to house and door to door. 

If you remember last Sunday was when daylight savings began.  It was the worst day of the year when you lose ONE WHOLE hour!  I was tired all day and I tried to take a nap more than once, but I couldn't fall asleep!

So exhausted little ole me went to walk the streets just like I was a normal, healthy human being.  Our group of ladies went up and down about twelve, steep flights of stairs to ring the door bell or knock on every door we could.  My group was kind enough slow down their pace so that I could keep up with them.

I had been praying about this opportunity for my church for weeks.  I was pretty sure that was all I would be capable of doing.  Walking that much seemed liked it would be impossible for me to do.

As it turned out I did it and I wasn't even sore the next day from walking or climbing steps.  In fact I was fine!  I was truly amazed and thankful.  We were able to reach a few families who seemed to have some real interest in our church and others just had some general questions.

Many times there are outreach opportunities in my church that I think I will not be able to be a part of at all. Sometimes I am just so mentally and physically exhausted that I'm not sure how God can even use me.  But as I grow in my walk with the Lord (pun intended)  I hope that I will be blessed to be a part of more opportunities to serve Him.  I'm glad I had the strength to get out of my comfort zone and show love for church, my heavenly Father and the community that means so much to me.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Set It Free

As I was leaving church last Sunday I walked out to the parking lot and heard "You backed into me!" "No you backed into me!  As they were backing out of the parking lot a truck hit a car or...a car hit a truck.

The first thing I did was ask if anyone was hurt.  They all said no. The tension of the discussion had me a little flustered, but I am more anxious now that I have Interstitial Cystitis and so many other medical problems.  I was calm enough to suggest that we call the Police and let them decide as a unbiased third party.  The lady driving the car had her cell phone out and dialed 911.

The driver of the car and I started talking.  Her husband and the other gentleman were chit chatting as well.  It didn't take the Policeman long to arrive at the scene. He took their credentials and began to prepare the report.

I continued jabbering the whole time and enjoyed getting to know her better, but I was starting to feel tired.  However I thought it was important to provide them with moral support regardless of how I felt.  The police report stated that they were both at fault and each needed to contact their insurance carrier and no one was charged.  We all said our good byes and went our separate ways.

This Sunday I saw her at church.  We talked about the fender bender.  She stated the there was no need in being upset about it.  She said it would not have helped anyone for them to be agitated about the situation.  In other words she didn't let it bother her.  She decided to not have any bitter feelings about the whole situation.

It made me think about this song "Forgiveness" by Matthew West. Most of the time we are so busy trying to "be right" about something we don't care about who we hurt in the process.  It takes courage to forgive and sometimes it is not easy but it is important.  It is important for us because it sets us free.  
Staying mad at someone even when they treat you wrong can bring on much unneeded stress and sometimes medical problems in our lives.

So the next time you are mad at someone and need to forgive them follow that whisper inside your head that is saying "set it free" do yourself a favor and let it go.  Ask God to help you to do what seems impossible...set it free!

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

That Old Familiar Feeling

Whew, what a week.  Monday I went back to work for the first time since being out with the flu all last week.  To say I was tired at 5:00 would be a major understatement. When I came home from work I rested in the bed about an hour I felt a little better.

Tuesday was my six week evaluation at physical therapy.  My therapist asked me some questions, checked the strength in my legs and basically said she doesn't think that the physical therapy has been helping me. I smiled to cover up my true feelings and said "You are not giving up on me are you?"  But I already knew the answer.  We did agree to try a few more weeks to see if it would help.  She left the room to try to work out a schedule for me.  

That old familiar feeling of disappointment of having hope in a new treatment and knowing that is it not going to work came over me and displayed itself by the drops falling from my eyes.  It takes a lot to make me cry now days.  I take so many medications to control the tears, but I truly felt discouraged!  The schedule she came back with would not work with my work schedule at all!  I was so overwhelmed by the whole situation I decided to take a step back and regroup my thoughts about the whole subject and not schedule any I am again with another medical professional essentially saying I'm not sure what to do to help you.

I had such high hopes that physical therapy was going to be the "magic" to relieve my sciatica. The massages felt great even if it was only temporary. Now I'm not sure what to do...I'm just going to put up the walls around me and feel sorry for myself...that is what I did, but then I decided I must keep moving forward.

Wednesday I was so tired physically that I didn't want to go to church.  However I knew mentally and spiritually it would be the best idea for me.  We even made plans to go visit a young couple in our church that just had a baby...ahh, something to look forward to for the next day.

My preacher, his wife, another gentleman from our church and I went to see the baby.  He is only 4 weeks old, but he already has so much character.  With each smile and grunt I could see tears welling up in the eyes of my preacher's wife.  I felt like I knew why...children are a gift from God.  I think either one of us would have taken that young fella home with us.  I look forward to hopefully having grandchildren one day, but for now I will enjoy the personality of this lil one. Just being around the newborn and his family blessed my heart and I didn't dwell on the frustrations of my life.

Me and a bundle of joy!

Was I exhausted before we went? Yep!  Was I more exhausted after we went? Of course!  Did I have to take more pain medication that day? Sure did! Was it worth it? Absolutely!

I'm trying not to dwell on the negative in my life I'm praying for focus and guidance.  I do not know what I need to do next. However; I will continue to research new treatment plans and I will ask God for His direction in my life..."Help me find my way.  Bring me back to You."
Brian Johnson "You're All I Want"
This is a great worship song that I heard for the first time was just what I needed to hear. I hope you will check it out for yourself.

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