Friday, December 21, 2012

Downward Spiral: Part 3

escalator at the end of a tunnel
Picture Credit

(During the Fall, my health was going in a downward spiral.  Start reading with Part 1 and Part 2.)

Thankfully, we got to the ER at the perfect time.  There was absolutely no one in the waiting room.  That never happens!  Within 25 minutes of being there I was in a room with an IV in my arm.  Rehydration!  Hallelujah!

But...I was still nauseous.  When they first put in the IV, they added Phenergen, which is a great anti-nausea drug.  But I was still nauseous.  So we tried Zofran, another ani-nausea drug.  But I was still nauseous.  So they gave me Phenergen again, then they tried Adivan.  And nothing was working.  By that time it was around noon.  I had been in the ER for 6 hours and had been sick for about 30 hours.  When you are sick for that long, it starts to feel like it will never stop.  I really thought I might be nauseous for the rest of my life.

At that point, the doctor decided that they needed to admit me for the night just to make sure that the nausea would go away.  Our fear (the doctor's and mine) was that if they discharged me, I would go home and this would just start again.

I got to my room around 3 PM and within 30 minutes, I knew that the pain medicine had finally left my body.  I was suddenly no longer nauseous and I was starting to be in a lot of pain.

In a hospital, you really only get to see the doctor about once a day and only when the doctor feels like coming.  The doctor had visited me in the ER at noon and was gone for the day.  And since nurses can't write prescriptions, there were no pain meds for me.  I had to rely on my best friend - ice.  And lots of it.

It was a very uneventful night in the hospital.  I got lot of fluids and a liquid diet.  My biggest issue was that I had an IV in the bend of my left arm and my right shoulder hurt so much I couldn't move it.  So getting a spoon to my mouth was interesting.  But I made it work.

Thankfully, I got to home after only one night in the hospital.

After my hospital stay, I found that I really had to take it easy.  I hadn't eaten for almost 3 days and had lost 6 pounds.  Tim and the kids took turns "babysitting" me.  He was not comfortable leaving me by myself for long.  I loved the thoughtfulness and attention they gave me.

That whole horrible week was followed by good news.  The MRI did not show a tear in my rotator cuff, so I did not need surgery.  While I was very happy about that, it's very hard to have someone say "We still don't know why you are in pain."

I took my diagnosis of "rotator cuff syndrome" to my physical therapist.  Found out that diagnosis really just means, "Your rotator cuff is inflamed and we don't know why but we'll give you some anti-inflammatory drugs and send you to PT and hope it gets better."  So kind of a non-diagnosis.

Throughout Oct, I worked with my PT and she did a great job of getting my arm moving again.  She recruited Tim and taught him how to stretch out my shoulder (he's a natural, by the way).  As of right now, my shoulder is not pain free, but it is so much better than it was.  I still take some anti-inflammatory meds but I am weaning off of them.  I also do stretches and strengthening exercises every day.  I feel like I'm improving all the time and have high hopes that my shoulder will be pain free soon.

Now comes the bad news.  The downward spiral was not done.

(More to continue later...)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Booksneeze: Isle of Shadows

Isle of Shadows by Tracy Higley

The setting is ancient Rhodes, in Greece. Tessa, a high class prostitute has had her "contract" bought by a powerful politician, Glaucus, a man who is greedy and possessive. When Glaucus dies unexpectedly, Tessa realizes this is her chance to escape but she must pretend that he is alive long enough to plan her getaway.

Aided by fellow slave, Nikos, and opposed by political schemer, Spiro, Tessa must balance her role as a woman, a slave & a courtesan. Can she pull off the deception and escape Rhodes forever?

My Thoughts:

It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did, I really enjoyed it.  

The setting of Rhodes is very unique.  I have heard of the city before but I didn't know much about it or it's famous fallen statue.  According to ancient Greek historians, the Colossus of Helios at Rhodes was destroyed by an earthquake.  Higley uniquely used this in the story by setting the time of each chapter as so many days "before the Great Quake."  You knew it was coming and you felt urgency for the characters to complete their mission before the calamity comes.

The entire story takes place in 7 days and is very fast moving.  There is mystery, romance, intrigue and repentance before God.  It sounds like a lot going on, but Higley does a good job of creating an intricate plot while still making it clear enough for the reader to follow what's going on.

The best part of the book is the character of Tessa.  She is a strong female character who is caught up in a life she doesn't want to lead.  She is smart and well-spoken but lacks the one thing she really wants - freedom.  As a reader, you are gunning for her the whole time, wanting her to find God and find love and find freedom.  Great read!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a complementary Kindle version of this book while participating in the Booksneeze program.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 17, 2012

This momma's heart

It was incredibly difficult to drop my kids off at school this morning.

I've watched all the reports about Friday's tragedy & I've listened to the "experts" tell me that statistically speaking, school shootings are very rare.

Statistically speaking, school is the safest place for your child.

But I can guarantee you that parents in Newtown, Conn, don't care about statistics.  School was not the safest place for their children on Friday.  In fact, most likely none of the children that attended that school will ever feel safe in a school again.

Unless the statistic is zero murders and 100% safe children, then I will always worry.  Instead of wondering if my children are receiving the right education, I worry about how far they are from the front door.  I wonder how much time their teachers would have to lock the doors before a shooter could get in there.

I know in my head that God is Sovereign and that they are in His hands at school.  My head is how I was able to drop them off this morning.

But my heart?  It's a momma's heart.  It breaks every time I think of those mommas in Newtown who sent their kids to the "safest place" they could send them and they didn't come home.

This momma's heart is heavy today.

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's Bragging Time

I love my kids.

I would love them if they possessed all the talent in the world and I would love them if they didn't have a talented bone in their body.

But when they do display an interest in something and work hard at it, then I am thrilled to brag to everyone.

 Julie works very hard at the piano, practicing up to an hour every day.  And better yet, she loves it.  And I love that she loves it. I always dreamed that at least one of my children would share my love for the piano.

I'm so proud of her and I'm proud to share her with you.

This is my talented 9 year old. (Note: You can't see her behind the piano, but you can hear her.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sept & Oct Reading List

I'm reading 24 books this year. See my book list reviews here.

Sadie's Song by Linda Hall

I really had no idea what this book was about when I started reading it. The back of the book made it sound like a mystery but that's not really what it was about. This book dealt with abuse, specifically domestic abuse in a Christian household. Sadie's husband, who is an elder at church, both verbally and physically abuses her. 

There are side stories about the effect the abuse has on her children and there is a mystery about a missing girl stuck in there as well. However these stories are very artfully mixed in there so it doesn't seem disconnected.

The book is written from Sadie's point of view which I think is brilliant. As a reader you really get inside the head of an abused woman. You see her struggle with believing her husband loves her and being upset with him beating her. You feel her transformation as she starts to realize that this is not what love is supposed to be.

This is not a feel good read but it was still an excellent book. It definitely gave me greater insight into the mind of a domestic violence victim. I highly recommend it.

Where the River Ends by Charles Martin

Abby is dying. After fighting cancer for 4 years, Doss, her husband, must accept that the cancer has won. But before it does, he is determined to float his wife down the river, crossing items off her bucket lost along the way.

I've read a lot of Charles martin's books and feel that this book was good but not his best. The hero seems a little too well versed in everything - outdoors man who can survive on a river with a sick wife even during a hurricane, an artist who paints beautiful portraits and a completely devoted husband.

It's a good book, don't get me wrong, just not wonderful. Oh and if you are going to read it, keep some tissues close by. Any book about dying is bound to be sad in the end.

Sickness really puts a wrench in all plans, including plans to read books in Nov and Dec. So this will be the last post in this year's reading list. I haven't decided if I'm going to do this next year or not. It was very stressful to me to keep up with my reading, at least with the books on this list. (I did read all these other books to, though.) I'm all about lessening stress, so this idea may have to go into the "save my sanity" box.