Sunday, November 30, 2008
I am amazed at all that Emma was called to go through. The loss of children must have been especially difficult and I can relate to her in some small way. Personally I am very grateful for the sacrifices she made in my behalf.
Especially I am benefited today by Relief Society. Once there was a young married sister in my ward. She shared how her mother had died when she was just 15. Understandably, this was incredibly difficult for her. She wondered how she would get through the rest of her life with out the support and guidance of a mother. When she turned 18 and started attending Relief Society, she realized that the Lord had provided her the help she needed. Relief Society was her mother.
I have never looked at Relief Society the same since hearing that story.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Sometimes I subscribe to the theory that if you can't say anything funny, don't say anything at all.
But I have thought of a few things that make me smile and so in desperation to say something, I will talk about random things that have nothing to do with each other.
Percoset. After complaining to the doctor about Jared's pain which seems to be linked to my pain like an umbilical cord, they gave him a prescription for something stronger than the Loritab.
Of course because of strict drug laws, they couldn't call it in to my pharmacy a mile from my house. Instead I had to drive 10 miles through a down pour and day before Thanksgiving traffic to my doctors office. Indeed I would have crawled on my hands and knees to get something to help him sleep better.
Once I got to the office, the nice secretary told me that the nurse was gone for lunch, and no she had no idea how soon she would be back. I was desperate. I told her it was a matter of life and death and sanity. So I waited.
All in all including driving time, it only took two hours of my day. What else was I going to do, bake pies or something?
Eventually I was victorious after the trip to the pharmacy. Nothing says bonding mother/son time like drugs. Perhaps I will win the best mom award for pushing drugs on my son.
The Percoset doesn't take the pain away, but it makes it so he doesn't care about it quite so much.
Animal Crackers. At a recent jungle themed baby shower, I came home with an adorable box of animal crackers. Honestly I can't remember the last time I had some of these. Because I was starving and exhausted the next day, I ate them for lunch. They were remarkably delicious.
Perhaps it was the happy childhood memories that the taste invoked, but I loved them. Who doesn't love cookies shaped like monkeys, camels, and hippopotamus. Maybe it was the image of Shirley Temple singing "Animal Crackers in my Soup," that made me smile.
Anywho, at this point in my life I will take a smile anyway I can get it.
Phych and Monk. On a week where many of my favorite shows took a bye on a new episode, my old friends from USA decided to pull out the Christmas holiday spirit with brand new shows.
I think the world could be ending and I would still laugh out loud at my good friend Sean Spencer. There were so many of those precious moments in last nights episode for which I am very grateful. I love the banter between Sean and Gus. And the scene at the end where Sean exchanged gifts with his dad made me LOL again.
If you have never seen these shows, rent the DVDs. You are seriously missing out.
Elf. Since I never left the house for most of the weekend, I watched way to many movies while sitting on my couch. From Christmas with the Kranks to Home Alone, nothing says Christmas silly, giddiness quite like Elf. I actually had to be talked into watching this movie the first time. Now if I could only get half of the Christmas spirit that Elf has, I would be set for the Holidays.
If I had been inclined to wrestle the changer away from my son and watch something other than FX, I would have chosen to watch the movies I remember watching at Thanksgiving as a youth.
For all of you young whippersnappers, there was a time when there was no such thing as VHS or DVDS and you were at the mercy of the TV producers to choose what and when you would watch something. I know the horror. Boy such a hard childhood, walking uphill in the snow both to and from school. It seems like I remember watching movies like Dr. Doolittle or Sound of Music on Holiday weekends. And Wizard of Oz at Easter time, if my memory is accurate. This weekend I would have added White Christmas and maybe Seven Brides for Seven Brothers if I had my druthers.
No holiday gathering would be complete without the barn raising/dance/fistfight scene from Seven Brides.
And if that doesn't do it for you, nothing says Christmas like Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Who can resist them lip syncing with the blue feather fans, hair clips and best of all the garter belts holding up their socks?
So if this doesn't put you in the holiday spirit, well then you are in the same kettle of fish as me. Maybe I will follow the Kranks idea where they decided to just say no to Christmas. I can think of a few children in this house who would definitely veto that idea. Oh well I guess I will just have to fake it til I make it, this year.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Given recent life events, both shared and unshared, I have felt in the depths of despair and was prompted to reread this talk. Remembering the times when our faith cups are full is key, I think, to enduring well the times when that same cup seems a bit lacking in the fullness department.
And since I am out of cute puppy pictures to post, I thought I would repost this talk as well.
Just skip it, if you remember reading it last August or if your life is just hunky dory and you have no reason to be reminded about how trials are good for us.
Just keep checking back now and then and the hilarious, entertaining old me may return. I hope so, no one misses her more than me.
Enduring Well Trials and Adversity
In my favorite hymn, "How Firm a Foundation", verse two states:
In ev’ry condition—in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.
The last week of June, Jared was sick with a pain in his right leg and some flu like symptoms. Seven hours at urgent care diagnosed him with a sprained muscle and the flu. We went home with crutches and ibuprofen.
Four days later, he was much sicker. We went back to urgent care. When we first arrived there, his blood pressure was 63/40. He was quickly transported to UMC. Soon it was determined that he had septic shock, or blood poisoning due to a staff infection. Surgery was performed that night to remove his appendix, but this proved to be perfectly healthy. His appendix, was not the cause of his infection.
After a day of heroic efforts to keep his heart going, it was discovered, that he had a pocket of infection in his right hip. Surgery was performed that night, to drain the infection.
Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
Spencer W. Kimball said: "Patience in suffering cleanses the soul. I’m grateful that my priesthood power is limited and used as the Lord sees fit to use it. I don’t want to heal all the sick...for sickness sometimes is a great blessing. People become angels through sickness."
Before we left for the hospital, Jared received a blessing. In that blessing Marion, promised Jared that the doctors would be able to find out what was wrong. There was a tangible feeling of peace and comfort. I was very concerned and worried about him, and yet I felt that things would be OK. What a blessing the priesthood is in our lives and the Comforter has value beyond measure.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
Neal A. Maxwell said: "Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us and do so in ways which sanctify these experiences for our good."
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
In the next two days, Jared would go through two more surgeries to remove more pockets of infection. During this time, he was asleep, as machines worked to pump his heart and breathe for him, so his body could fight the infection.
George Q. Cannon said: "I know that everything will be overruled for our good if we do right. No matter how difficult circumstances may be to bear at the time, they are for our good and God watches over us; His angels are round about us all the time."
I truly felt this, at this difficult time at the hospital. So many people were praying for us, I know this made a huge impact on how we managed to cope with such a frightening experience. Truly I felt ward members reaching out to help bear my burden. Dinners were brought, my house was cleaned, cards received, and calls of support all made such a difference. I am so grateful for my ward family who were here to help, when my immediate family were so far away.
Robert D. Hales said: "We are taught in the scriptures that there must be opposition in all things. It is not a question of if we are ready for the tests; it is a matter of when. We must prepare to be ready for tests that will present themselves without warning."
We have a tradition at our house each Christmas of putting together puzzles. I absolutely love the thrill of taking a huge pile of pieces and figuring out how they all go together to make a beautiful picture. My kids hate it when I do puzzles because they ask me to help them with something, and I say just let me find one more piece.
One of the things that helps the most in putting puzzles together is the box with the finished picture on it. Sometimes you pick up a piece and have no idea where it goes or even what it is and when you look at the box you can see exactly where it fits with the rest of the pieces.
Sometimes when we are faced with trials, we wonder how do all the pieces fit together? How can we possibly squeeze in everything that our demanding lives require of us? What do we do when life throws us a curve ball that we weren’t expecting or planning for?
One answer can be found in Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
We can trust in the Lord because he is holding the box, he sees the big picture. When we can’t figure out how a piece of our lives will fit, we can listen to the Lord. He can direct us so that the pieces all fit together the way the Lord has planned for each of us. Sometimes, the pieces look more similar and we can only see the approximate location of a certain piece. Still the Lord in his infinite wisdom knows exactly where each piece will fit.
Alma said "for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day."
John Taylor said: "In relation to events that will yet take place, and the kind of trials, troubles, and sufferings which we shall have to cope with, it is to me a matter of very little moment; these things are in the hands of God, he dictates the affairs of the human family, and directs and controls our affairs; and the great thing that we, as a people, have to do is seek after and cleave unto our God, to be in close affinity with him, and to seek for his guidance, and his blessing and Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in the right path. Then it matters not what it is nor who it is that we have to contend with, God will give us strength according to our day."
E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.
After 10 days on the ventilator, Jared was doing well enough to breathe on his own again. He was getting stronger each day. It seemed that the Lord still had a work for him to do on this side of the veil. But he was still very sick, and just as we were about to be sent home, the doctors found yet another pocket of infection. So Jared had a fifth surgery to drain that infection as well.
Heber C. Kimball said: "Let me say to you, that many of you will see the time when you will have all the trouble, trial, and persecution that you can stand, and plenty of opportunities to show that you are true to God and his work. This Church has before it many close places through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with victory. To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess this personal knowledge or witness will fall. If you have not got the testimony, live right and call upon the Lord and cease not till you obtain it."
He also said: "Trials gave saints the opportunities to prove themselves worthy of eternal blessings by showing their commitment to God and His kingdom."
Spencer W. Kimball said: "Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery."
In addition, Boyd K Packer said: "You fail to understand that the challenge comes not as an army against the Church, but as the adversary against your individual testimony."
One of my favorite Old Testament stories is that of Shadrach, Mishach, and Abindigo. They had their testimonies and faith put to the ultimate test, when they were unwilling to bow down to a false God. The King then ordered them put into a fiery furnace.
This was their response to the King: "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O King""But if not, be known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." (Daniel 3:17-18)
Dennis Simmons gave a wonderful conference talk about these three young men. He said : "They knew that they could trust God-even if things didn’t turn out the way they hoped. They knew that faith is more than mental assent, more than an acknowledgment that God lives. Faith is total trust in Him."
"Faith is believing that although we do not understand all things, He does. Faith is knowing that although our power is limited, His is not. Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him."
"Men accomplish marvelous things by trusting in the Lord and keeping His commandments—by exercising faith even when they don’t know how the Lord is shaping them."
"We must have the same faith and trust as Shadrach, Meshack, and Adenego. Our God will deliver us from ridicule and persecution, but if not....He will deliver us from loneliness, depression, or fear, but if not....Our God will deliver us from threats, accusations, and insecurity, but if not...He will deliver us from death or impairment of loved ones, but if not, ....we will trust in the Lord."
"Our God will see that we receive justice and fairness, but if not... He will make sure that we are loved and recognized, but if not...We will receive a perfect companion and righteous and obedient children, but if not,...we will have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that if we do all we can do, we will, in His time and in His way, be delivered and receive all that He has."
Howard W. Hunter said: "I promise you tonight in the name of the Lord whose servant I am, that God will always protect and care for his people."
James E Faust had this to say about trials: "It is my testimony that we are facing difficult times. We must be courageously obedient. My witness is that we will be called upon to prove our spiritual stamina, for the days ahead will be filled with affliction and difficulty. As the pioneers had the larger vision in their daily challenge for survival, so also we need to have a greater vision and understanding of our eternal destiny. Our challenges are more subtle but equally hard. Maintaining our spiritual strength is also a daily challenge. The greatest source of that spiritual strength comes, as it did in their time, from our temples."
I find it interesting that Pres Faust says that our challenges are different, yet equally hard as the pioneers. We must do all we can to maintain and increase our spiritual stamina, especially in times when we are not facing trials, so that when trials come unexpectedly, we will be strong enough to endure them.
As we watch athletes in the Olympics compete, we can see how much training they have put into being ready for this competition. You must train in advance, you can not just show up and expect peak performance from your body. It is the same for our spiritual training. We must prepare for the trials and challenges we know are to come.
Dallin H. Oaks said at a BYU devotional "Indeed, we cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing."
Sometimes we want a piece of the puzzle to fit right now, when really it can not be put into place until the other pieces around it are put together.
I love this quote from C. S. Lewis said that Marvin J. Ashton used in a conference talk:
"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of...throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace."
Elder Scott said "Trust in God no matter how challenging the circumstance....Your peace of mind, your assurance of answers to vexing problems, your ultimate joy depend upon your trust in Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ."
Robert D. Hales said: "There is nothing that we are enduring that Jesus does not understand, and He waits for us to go to our Heavenly Father in prayer. I testify that if we will be obedient and if we are diligent, our prayers will be answered, our problems will diminish, our fears will dissipate, light will come upon us, the darkness of despair will be dispersed, and we will be close to the Lord and feel of His love and of the comfort of the Holy Ghost."
Elder Craig Zwick said in conference 2003 "It is the wounded Christ who leads us through our moments of difficulty. It is He who bears us up when we need more air to breathe or direction to follow or even more courage to continue. Trust in His promise of eternal life and allow peace and hope to distill upon you."
I can honestly say that this happened to me, as I sat for hours in the hospital. I felt the Saviour close to me, and even holding me up at times when I didn’t think I could stand one more minute.
Spencer W. Kimball said: "If all sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith...There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls."
It is part of the plan that we suffer and experience both sickness and health.
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
Finally, just over a week ago, after 18 days in the ICU, and 25 days total in the hospital, Jared came home. He is continuing to recover and regain his strength back.
When we tell his story to any one, the first question almost unfailingly is "How did this happen?" The answer is we do not exactly know what caused the infection. It seems inconceivable that a young, strong healthy kid could be swimming in a lake at scout camp, and two weeks later be fighting for his life in the hospital.
Spencer W Kimball had this to say "Answer, if you can, I cannot, for though I know God has a major role in our lives, I do not know how much He causes to happen and how much He merely permits. What ever the answer to this question, there is another I feel sure about. Could the Lord have prevented these tragedies? The answer is Yes. The Lord is omnipotent, with all power to control our lives, save us pain, prevent all accidents, drive all planes and cars, feed us, protect us, save us from labor, effort, sickness, even from death, if He will. But He will not."
Through it all, I felt strengthened and supported by the prayers of family and friends. I know that Jared is doing well today thanks to the faith of so many, and the will of the Lord.
Neal A. Maxwell advised: "All crosses are easier to carry when we keep moving."
And Mary Ellen Edmonds suggested: "At night I turn over all my problems to Heavenly Father. He’s going to be up all night anyway."
I know that each of us will be called upon to endure trials and adversity, and through faith and hope, we can withstand all that life is ready to throw at us.
Jeffrey R Holland said: "Only on His triumphant shoulders can we ride to celestial glory if we will but choose through our faithfulness to do so."
I bare you my testimony that I know that the Lord lives and watches over each of us. Even when we are going through difficult trials, He is there for us to lean on for support and understanding. Not only those on earth helped me through this difficult time, but I have not doubt that many of my deceased family members were there strengthening me at some of the most trying times. I am so grateful for my membership in this church. I can not imagine life with out it.
Also my appreciation for the Holy Ghost has increased. I think I often take for granted, His constant companionship and comfort. And of course my gratitude to my Heavenly Father and the Saviour, for I felt their sustaining love. I know that Heavenly Father will not leave us to face our challenges alone. Ask him to help you solve the puzzles in your life and he will help you put the pieces together so that your final picture looks like exaltation.
It is interesting that when I gave this talk, I thought that the trial was almost over. Now four months later, I am almost shocked to see that it has gone on this long. I suppose sometimes it is good to not know how long a trial will last.
Reading these words gave my faith a much needed shot in the arm. It was looking a bit puny this week. Things will get better. I will get through this and live to face the next hard thing in this life. So here's clinging to the hope that it is sooner than later.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I feel just like Crash Test Dummy, I just want everyone to be happy, including me. Here is something that you can't help being happy about: little girls and puppies. Go ahead, I dare you to look at these pictures and not smile.
Pucker up Puppy!
Three in a hat.
The view from the rear.
Here is the proud momma. She of course gets in on the dressing up with her fab pink sweater.
Here is the group family shot. Puppies are a lot like kids, they don't like to sit still for pictures.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
And here I am with the guys. You know just kickin' it, hanging out together, because we are just best buds and that's how it is with us. And do you see my husband or kids in this picture? No, because they didn't even go to the fireside. I just took myself, because I am a nerd that way. But good news, it is easy to find a seat right in the front, when you are only a party of one. Yes, my family really does think I have taken this fan thing too far, and they try to avoid being seen with me in public or even in the same room when I watch the games. So anyway, I would have loved to have heard these players talk about the crazy old lady that made them pose with her. And I do still wonder if I have ever been mentioned in team meetings. "Watch out for this lunatic lady with a football scrapbook and a turkey bone, she may be dangerous."
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Is reposting something like regifting? Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Kenneth Kope is singing this song. I think he rocks, go out and buy his CD's. And he didn't even pay me to say that or anything. I chose pictures that I thought went with the music.
In many ways it is a good thing to have the chance to be broken so that you can feel the miracle of mercy when the Master heals the wounded heart or hip for that matter.
Happy Sabbath everyone!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
He did complain that his bed was not as comfortable as the hospital bed. I went out today and bought him a memory foam topper. If this makes him more comfortable and helps him sleep better which in turn will make me more comfortable and make me sleep better, then it will be the most precious possession in this house. I was sad because the twin size only came in 1 and 1/2 inch, where as if I wanted a full size I could have gotten the 2 inch or even gone for the gold with the 3 inch pad. Hopefully this will be good enough.
I was however able to renew the love affair I have with my bed this afternoon. I had a nice little nap, which probably paid off an hour of my 30 hour sleep debt. I have pleaded my case to my body and brain, but they are standing firm in their insistence that this debt be paid, no forbearance for me. My brain is even showing me some pretty touch love by refusing to function until the debt is paid. You know like when the power company turns your power off until you pay the overdue bill. Well kind of like that. So if anyone wants to sell me the Brooklyn Bridge, no is your chance. Oh well, I am sure that a functioning brain is highly over rated just like financial solvency.
The highlight of the day would have to be the fact that I was home to watch my beloved Cougars cream Air Force. No that is not the beginning of some sort of cougar cookies. Hooray for football victories. Of course as fate would have it, the home health nurse had to come and visit during the second quarter. Do you think it was bad that I kept stealing peeks at the TV while she was trying to do the intake interview. I did sacrifice and mute the sound, so I thought that was a big concession on my part.
The visit went well, although she had orders to give Jared a shot of blood thinners. Jared really hates those shots and so after just two days in the hospital, the doctor switched him over to just taking two aspirin every day. One of my friends suggested that the punishment for the blood clot scare should be that he has to get the shots. Not a bad idea. Sounds like a natural punishment made in heaven or at least though up by a fellow mother. But I did not talk to her until after the nurse left, so we told the nurse he didn't want the shot and he had already taken his aspirin that day anyway.
What I really wanted the nurse to do was change the dressing on his wound. But of course the medical system being what it is, she did not have any orders about that. So she just told me to do it. That is fine. I have a large box of left over medical supplies from last summer. So no problem. And the wound is all closed up and glued shut with the 22 staples in it, so it is not really hard to clean.
Finally after what seemed like forever and in truth was most of the second quarter she left me to watch the game. Jared took some pain pills and a little nap. The only TV in our house that had the channel with the game on it is in the family room where Jared sleeps. So I was forced to keep a pillow handy to stifle my urge to scream at the top of my lungs when they made a good play. Not my favorite way to watch a game, silently. But sacrifices have to be made in the name of recuperation. I just hope Jared is able to be in a different room next Saturday when BYU plays Utah because there will be no way to stifle the screaming and jumping up and down upon my couch for that one.
Home physical therapy will come and work with him three times a week until he is strong enough to go to outpatient.
I think that at the pace of a slug, life will return to normal, where things will just be plain terrible not fancy terrible with raisins in it.
He came home with 7 different prescriptions, that will require a good deal of managing on my part. I think a spreadsheet will be required. And the total at the pharmacy $90.00. It is ridiculous that it is more expensive after the hospital than for the whole hospital stay. A week in the hospital and hip replacement only cost $200. Once we go back to physical therapy, that will be $15 a visit. Oh well I am sure financial solvency is highly over rated. Eventually we will recover from all this.
Last night was a bit long. The nerve pain has gotten worse. Jared got me up about 6 times. Not very restful, but it will get better. Like the title says, it will be a different kind of hard now.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I got to thinking there are many ways in which a hospital stay is just like going to Girls Camp. Let me see if I can name a few of them:
1. Sleeping accommodations. My lovely faded, well worn, beloved camp cot. It has served me well for three years. So much better than an air mattress that leaves you feeling flat. Much easier to sit on while you put on your shoes in the morning. Not as good as my bed at home, but so much better than the lumpy, bumpy, hard ground.
2. Showers. Even though there are showers at camp and the hospital, I am one of those people who feel a bit uncomfortable about showering when strangers are around and there is no lock on the door. I prefer to shower in my own bathroom and what is four days anyway. Be a man.
3. Food. Something about being away from home and not having to do the cooking makes food taste better. Why is that? And even if the food doesn’t taste so good one meal, you can always fill any empty space in your stomach with snacks. A whole week of not being in charge of what’s for dinner, heaven.
4. Snacks. There is no situation I can think of that is not made better with the right snacks. Whether it is a 20 hour car ride, a week with no shower at camp, or round the clock hospital vigils, having the proper snacks can make or break the situation. Personally, I am a fan of the following: peanut m&ms, sweedish fish, barbeque Pringles, sugar cookies, chocolate in any form, chex mix, salty peanut granola bars, ritz crackers with cheese in a can, and twizlers. I am sure there is more, but my mouth is watering and my brain can’t function properly right now.
5. Friends. No matter what uncomfortableness you have to go through, when you suffer together, it just doesn’t seem as bad. So at camp it is nice to have the other leaders to commiserate with, and here at the hospital I have made several new friends. Amazing how that happens. And besides my new hospital friends, I have my real life Vegas friends, my long distance family friends, and my blogging friends. It just doesn’t get any better than that
6. People who think they are going to die. I have seen it several times at camp, girls who think they will die without cell service and the ability to text for a whole week and they proceed to whine, moan, and share their misery with the rest of us. And in the hospital there are the occasional patients who feel it necessary to whine, moan, and scream out in pain every few minutes, just to make sure everyone knows they are suffering and that they don’t suffer alone.
7. Missing home makes coming back all the sweeter. It is always good to miss the people and things in your life every once in a while just so you don’t take them for granted. And it is good for the people at home to realize that they CAN find things without your help and maybe even feed themselves so they don’t waste away into nothingness. Sometimes they gain a greater appreciation for all that mothers do, when mothers are not there to do it.
8. Paper Towels. I don’t know how it is possible that most every time I go to the bathroom at camp or the hospital, the paper towels are gone and I am forced to resort to air drying. What is up with that? Is there some sort of paper towel gremlin that always runs ahead of me to make sure the dispenser is empty? Well, Mr. PT gremlin, if your entire life’s mission is bent on annoying me, mission accomplished.
In other ways the hospital is not like girls camp. These include the following.
1. No one at the hospital is interested in singing camp songs with me. Camp songs are my most favoritest part of camp. What this place needs is an enthusiastic rendition of Fried Ham or one of my personal favs Princess Pat. No one wants to hold hands around the nurse station and belt out Kumbaya. What is wrong with these people? Don’t they know that music is the best medicine? Just ask Mary Poppins, she knows. And a spoonful of sugar doesn’t hurt either. If I were in charge of hospitals, I would definitely make singing mandatory. No food or pain meds for you unless you join the sing along. So what if you are on a ventilator, show some sickness spirit people.
2. There are way more trees and nature at girls camp. And dirt, there is lots and lots of dirt there. You really get to soak in all that outdoors fresh air goodness. It all does something for the soul. Hospitals are so antiseptic. It is a wonder anything can live and thrive in such an environment. It sucks your soul slowly away. Hear that hospital, you are a soul sucker.
3. On the other hand, you do get cell service at the hospital, which has been my lifeline to the outside world. One point for hospitals.
4. Also hospitals have chefs, cleaning crews, laundry departments, and basically about 200 people doing all the stuff that we have to do at camp and I will have to do at home. You know it takes a village to cure a sick person at the hospital, but once you go home all it takes is a mother.
All in all, there are good things and bad things about camp and hospitals. It is sometimes nice to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
It does mean one more night for me at the hospital. Bummer. Put a fork in me I am done with all this opportunity for growth in the patience and suffering department.
Last night was a bit ridiculous, as the nerve in Jared's right leg was making his leg tingle and be in pain. Good news, when I massage his leg and knee it does feel a bit better. Bad news this seems to put a damper on my sleep when it needs to be done at 4:00 am.
You know that fun time with a newborn, when you just want them to sleep instead of crying, and so you stop patting their back and hold your hand inches away just to see if they have fallen asleep. Well yea, that is kind of how it was, but with a six foot two inch tall kid.
And at one point I had manged to get him to fall back asleep. I knew this because he got a text and didn't even look at his phone to read it. Apparently some kids like to text with him while they are getting ready for seminary. So I knew he was asleep and I stumbled all bleary eyed and exhausted, over to my cot and climbed in trying to make as little creaking noise as possible. I rearranged the blankets and pillows and was just heaving a sigh of relief. You know when you just feel sleep coming over you like a two ton weight. And then just as I was about to fall off the cliff of consciousness the stupid vitals nurse came in and woke him up. Curses. Curses. Curses.
The absurdity of waking someone up to take their vitals, and then say everything looks normal and the patient is doing just fine is not humorous to me. And if looks could kill well there would have been a death in room 319 last night. I even considered using Jared's crutch. That would be a nice 5'o clock news story "Sleep deprived raving lunatic mother beats male nurse to death with crutches, because he woke her sleeping, demanding, invalid son."
Ok. So that was funny and all, but Jared just called me from the hospital and told me that the ultra sound this afternoon said he has a blood clot. I am not sure what this means, but probably we will not come home tomorrow. I am sure it can not be good news. I have to run back. I know you will all pray for me. I will need it. TTFN
The Rest of the Story: After receiving the call and writing this post, I raced back to the hospital breaking as many traffic laws as is possible in a two mile drive. When I got there, I rushed panic stricken to the nurses station. The nurses knew nothing about any blood clot. But I panicked them as well. Isn't that special. Then I went to Jared's room, and he admitted that he made it up to help speed my return. ARE. YOU. KIDDING.ME!!!!!!!! Needless to say I was less than impressed with this news. His male nurse however gave him props for scaring his mother to death. I probably would have died, but I haven't bought my cemetery plot in Cache Valley yet, and there is no way I was going to die and be buried in Vegas. That would just be wrong. So after having chosen to keep the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" I figure I figure I can count the day as a victory. Sorry for sharing the false alarm with all of you. Do pray that my resolve to not murder my son in his sleep continues to spare his life.
Tomorrow will be a better day I am sure. In a cautiously optimistic way, of course. :)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
So I called up my old friends, Anxiety and Fear to come over for a slumber party last night. And they even brought their best friend Panic. But they didn’t even bring any nacho cheese Doritos or chocolate or anything. How rude! Not very good guests are they? We were just getting reacquainted and ready to play truth or dare, when my other good friends Faith and Hope stopped by and asked if they could join the fun. And since Hope had a large bowl of popcorn, I said "Why not, the more the merrier." And then Faith pulled out her IPod and offered to let me listen to my favorite song "My Savior Shall Supply My Need."
And at that point Anxiety, Fear, and Panic remembered that they had a previous engagement and abruptly left the party. This was fine with me, because I am not good at sharing my popcorn, and I had already eaten all the peanut M&Ms and Swedish Fish, anyway. Besides which my son kept saying "Can you keep it down over there."
And so Panic, Anxiety, and Fear didn’t spend the night after all.
But my BFFs Faith and Hope said they were full and didn’t want any of the popcorn, so we had a great time remembering all the good old times we have shared. Like the day I married my sweetheart. Or each of the days when my children were first placed in my arms. Or the one time I lost my wedding ring and three days later had the impression to go and look in some old grocery bags and found it again. Or the time we needed to move so that we could be in a better school district, and we found a house that was perfect and then sold our house the first day we put it on the market.
Yes, we talked, giggled, and reminisced late into the night, like the chums that we are. We were snug as three bugs in a rug, together on my camp cot, except Faith sometimes hogged the covers. But that's OK.. I had such a good time, that I just might invite them back tonight.
And wouldn’t you know it, in the morning Jared’s temperature was back to normal. So I called up Anxiety, Fear, and Panic for nothing after all.
Miss everyone and appreciate so much you comments when I do get the brief chance to get to a computer. I have made it through the shaking part of the withdrawals, so that is good.
It looks like the hospital has found a rehab center that will take children. There is only on in town. That make for an easy decision. I am quite relieved that he can still get care from someone besides just me. At rehab he will get physical therapy for 3 hours a day. So if all goes as planned, he will go to rehab on Thursday and be there for a week. Of course there is no reason to think that things will go as planned because they pretty much haven't so far.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Here is a pre-op picture for your viewing pleasure. Just so you know, I am not the biggest fan of this current hair do, which I think is a don't. But when you are fourteen and have control over nothing else in your life and you never leave the house anyway, I suppose there is no better time to go through a long hair phase.
Jared is making progress. Monday they gave him 3 pints of blood, because the 1 pint he got on Sunday was not enough. It took 9 hours yesterday for the blood transfusion. But I guess they are still a bit concerned about his blood level and are going to give him one more pint tonight.
Today he actually got out of bed for the first time since Friday. And then they made him walk about 10 feet. He will need to walk a bit further before they will let us go home. The doctor is hopeful that tomorrow, Wednesday will be the day. I am cautiously optimistic. (my new favorite vocab word)
Good news I am taking advantage of my hostage situation by spending the day laying on my girls camp cot, in my pajamas, wearing my snugly, cozy, warm, blue fuzzy BYU slippers, while eating a 3 pound bag of peanut M&M's and watching Jane Austin movies until I passed out in a love/happy ending/sugar induced comma. Now that is making lemonade from lemons. And no one is really telling me that there is anything wrong with that.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Jared is still dealing with a lot of nauseousness, I think it is from the pain killers. They have stopped the morphine and will try loritab instead. His pain does seem to be a little bit better today.
His blood test this morning showed that his hemoglobin was low and so they had to give him a blood transfusion. Crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's took all day and so he didn't get the blood until late this afternoon. I left before it was done, but my husband told me that he is feeling much better since the blood. No fun to be woozy and light headed all day.
Jared did finally start eating again this afternoon. That should be a good sign.
I would be very surprised if we came home on Monday because he still hasn't been out of bed yet.
Not having access to the Internet is pretty much killing me. I did however sleep much better on my camp cot last night. And I have played about a million games of free cell on my laptop, so all is not lost.
Thanks to everyone for what they have posted. It is good to catch up when I come home once a day.
Tomorrow there is no school, so Diana will spend the night with our next door neighbor. I just go a shower and feel like a new person, at least I smell like a new person.
Keep up the prayers and a big thank you. I feel that I am being supported through this. There have only been a few times where I have forgotten to breathe while watching something being done to Jared. When I notice that light headed feeling, I hurry and sit down before I pass out, adding to the workload of the nurse.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The saddest news is that I cannot get any Internet service for my laptop there. At least I have not figured it out yet. Last time the hospital had a laptop that they let me use that was set up with dial up. So this will be the hardest part for me to be isolated from the blogiverse. I should get home at least once a day, and if anything exciting happens, I can always have my sister post again for me.
This hospital is not quite as kid friendly. In fact they do not have a pediatric unit. So no child life specialist with endless games and videos to offer. No Popsicles in the freezer. Boo hoo! The fact that we should only be there for a few days will make these small inconveniences bearable.
Originally the estimate was that Jared would come home on Monday. But this morning his right foot was still all tingly like it is asleep, and he is not able to bend it at the ankle. The doctor is concerned about this, but thinks that it just needs a little bit more time to return to normal. Jared's right leg was about an inch and a half shorter than the left because of bone deterioration from the infection. The doctor was able to stretch it back out so now his legs should be the same length. This morning Jared was in an incredible amount of pain, and that stretching could be part of it.
Physical therapy came and hoped that they were going to get him out of bed and sitting in a chair. But Jared was in so much pain that he could only move a little bit in the bed, so they could change the sheets. The therapist did say that maybe tomorrow he will be a lot better. That can happen with young kids. I am trying to prepare myself for them to say that he is going to be there longer.
The crazy thing about it not being a peds ward, is that they want a parent to stay with him at all times. It is too bad because Jared has been harping on me all week to not stay with him every minute. I wonder if he was lining up a steady stream of girls to come and visit him and didn't want his mom cramping his style. But now the hospital rule has foiled his plan, if he had one anyway.
So I spent another night not sleeping at the hospital, last night. The chair in this room does not go all the way flat. Think of sleeping in an airplane seat but with a foot rest included. The best I could get it to be was a V shaped sleeping surface. I think tonight I will bring my girls camp cot, so I could at least lay flat. Even if I was comfortable, there were people coming in and out what seemed like every ten minutes. At some point, I think it was 3 in the morning, they came in and proceeded to build an erector set thing over his bed. It had a bar that goes over the bed and has a little triangle thing that hangs down. Jared can use this to help lift himself up to move in bed. I agree that he needed it, but why it had to happen at 3 am, I can not for the life of me understand.
One good thing about this hospital is that it is only about 5 minutes from my house. It is so nice to be so close when you get out of the hospital and feel too tired to even drive home.
I am glad that I get to be there. There is something so comforting about laying next to your sleeping child, listening to them breathe in and out. It reminds me of having a newborn. You know when they are so helpless and dependant on you for everything. You feel so much responsibility and concern for them. I can remember just watching my newborns sleep to be sure they were still breathing and OK. So even if I don't get much sleep over the next few days, I am grateful for the reassurance that comes from being there.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Also it kind of goes with my stalker personality, my wild and crazy side. And when you are living in a Hamster Wheel, that is the face one might make when they are going insane.
So take the poll, let me know what you think.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Let's see where to begin. Perhaps with the mother of all reality shows, Survivor. When it first came out many moons ago, I did not watch it. It sounded stupid to me and I marveled at intelligent friends who were so involved in it. Finally I caved to peer pressure, and watched the very end. Big mistake. I was ridiculously hooked and am proud in a not so proud way to say that I have never missed an episode since. Well thanks to VCR's and DVR's anyway.
Right now, I am transfixed by Sarah. I feel sorry for her that she is stuck with that jerk Terrance. Seriously girl, kick him to the curb. But I can't get over the feeling that she looks like Elaine Bennis from Seinfeld. I keep waiting for her to say "GEEET OOOUUT! and push Terrance down a flight of stairs or something. Or maybe she even looks like Molly Shannon when she would do the Mary Catherine Galleger skits. Anyway I just can't get over it. And some of her comments. I get the feeling she wants the Race to be like some beauty pageant where every one is nice to each other. That one time she whined "They didn't even say Hi, to Us." Again I say "HAVE YOU WATCHED THE SHOW."
I love all the stuff on BRAVO. Like I said Top Design ends tonight, the suspense is killing me. Not really. Am I the only one who is missing hearing Jonathan Adler say "See ya later, decorator" when people are kicked off the show? Not sure why they changed that.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I hope no one left confused or worse yet discouraged. Bottom line, yes you need faith to be healed, but perhaps you need more faith to wait for the Lord's time table. Every one will be healed, in this life or the next. I tried to explain my wakadoodle theory that all who come to the Saviour are eligible for a miracle. Some times the miracle we get is that our illness is healed, and other times we get the miracle of having the Saviour strengthen us to endure things we didn't think we could handle. Isn't it a big miracle when an ornery natural man/woman, is changed, humbled, becomes submissive, and meek and bends their will to that of the Lord? I see it as an amazing miracle that I am still striving for in my life.
Speaking of miracles, we are just a few days from Jared's hip surgery. Yesterday I donated two hours of my life to preregistering him at the hospital. Today we went and had the blood taken for the CBC, match and cross match test. Don't I sound all medical, just like I was on ER or some other medical show. So everything we need to do is done.
Friday Jared will have to be NPO, which is some Latin term meaning nothing by mouth. No food and worse yet NO WATER. It is going to be a long day for a kid who drinks water non-stop. I am not looking forward to it, and yet I am.
Logically I know that this is what needs to happen. This surgery should change so much of his life to the better. If eventually, he is able to go back to normal life such as going to school, that will be huge. It will be worth it.
Emotionally I am terrified. Just walking back into a hospital made me want to throw up and run screaming from the building. And then to sit and wait for long periods of time, well it brought back too many not so fond memories of last July.
Today when we went back to give blood, we saw where the surgery waiting room is. There were people sitting there waiting with the LOOK on their faces. You know the look that says I hate just sitting here waiting while my loved one is in there where I can't watch and can not control what is going on. The look that says I don't know if I am strong enough to just sit here waiting for even one more minute. Yea, that look.
Friday when we get to the hospital, I will be able to be with Jared before the operation, but at some point they are going to say, "You can not come with us. You must sit in the waiting room while we slice open your son and cut all the bad part of his hip away. You must trust us to fix what is wrong in his body. Hopefully we won't attach his leg backwards. Hopefully the infection is gone completely so that we do not need to do another surgery six weeks from now." These are not words I like to hear.
And of course the most irrational fear of all, that something will go wrong. I really can not stand the feeling of powerlessness. I never knew I was such a control freak. Maybe I did, but somehow I was able to reassure myself that I was just goal oriented. Now I admit it. I hate the feeling of not being in control.
My head knows these fears are irrational. All will be well, it pretty much has to be because I am not a fan of the other option. I have just got to get my heart on board.
Anybody know where I can order a large portion of hope with a super size of faith on the side?
I do have faith and hope, I just need to remember I have it. Kind of like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when she wanted most of all to go home, and she just needed to be reminded that she could do it herself. One way or another, come Friday night we will know a lot more. Knowledge is power and just knowing will be comforting in so many ways.
I need to find something funny to write about to help cheer me up. But if you don't hear from me until next week, you will know why.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Bottom line: cost of a gym membership $30 and a new wardrobe because you have grown out of your old clothes.
Yea, I hate it when that happens.
So get on over to Shelle at Blok-thoughts and read all the really funny entries. It's a great way to start your week.