Friday, July 31, 2009

I just sat down at the computer with a big bowl full of fresh fruits. Wendell suggested we have a sampling tonite of what we are taking to the Imm reunion tomorrow. I have to admit, it's so refreshing and delicious. I also have macaroni salad and he may dip into it before bed tonite.. but I think I'll pass. The fruit was very satisfying.
I am doing a bit better today. Still coughing and doing some wheezing, but not as often and I'm getting around now without becoming short of breath. I'd been having 'perpetual killer hot flashes'.. that's the best description I can think of. The doctor says it's the cortisone effect.. it got really bad when I finished my last tablet.. even my patients thought something was very wrong. I was dripping sweat down my neck, clothes more than just damp.. and flushed to the hilt and HOT. The doctor told me to make sure I got extra salt and fluids.. well, let me tell you, I never in my life had anyone encourage me to eat salt.. I do that quite well on my own. But I had lost so much sodium in my sweat.. and then I was so fatigued I wasn't sure I could stand up on my exaggeration here. So I increased my sodium and fluids and by golly, I have a bit of energy renewal here. Who'd a thunk it?
Now it's time for bed.. but I've accomplished much today.. maybe not by others standards, but for me.. it was a lot.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Thursday morning. So far, I'm up, bathed, dressed and am enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Folgers is my favorite. I wonder if that is my favorite because it was my Mom's favorite too? Nah.. It's my favorite because it tastes the best to me.
Today is office morning. I believe I start later in the morning- like about 10am.. I'll have time to eat some breakfast. I like sausage and egg biscuits from McD's.. I take my own coffee of course.
Many office mornings I find myself sitting in the parking area with my copy of Spurgeon's Morning and Evening while I finish breakfast.. my devotional.
Pray for my patients today if you would please.. for no 'events'. And for my skills to be the best today too.
I believe I do feel some better today. Coughing- yes, wheezing- yes.. but slept pretty well last night and I can make it okay through today. AMEN

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CS Lewis quote

A worship service works best when, through long familiarity, we don’t have to think about it. . . . The perfect church service would be the one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God. but every novelty prevents this. It fixes our attention on the service itself; and thinking about worship is a different thing from worshipping. . . . Tis mad idolatry that makes the service greater than the god. A still worse thing may happen. Novelty may fix our attention not even on the service but on the celebrant. . . . There is really some excuse for the man who said, ‘I wish they’d remember that the charge to Peter was’Feed my sheep’; not ‘Try experiments on my rats’, or even ‘Teach my performing dogs new tricks.’" C.S. Lewis
It rained this morning- in fact, it's raining gently right now. I woke up around 4am with a back ache and decided to try the shower to see if it would relieve it. I was able to avoid medication. But I was so tired again.. I'd been up 2-3 times during the sleep hours. I finally succumbed to my bed again around 7am.. and slept till 12pm..
With all the rain and mugginess, I'm wheezing .. not emergency type with the tightness in the chest, but wheezing nonetheless. It's getting old- or maybe I am.
Tomorrow is office day. I pray things are better then. I came home yesterday and washed out my shirt and my jacket , washed up again and changed all my clothes . I'd been drenched at least 3 times with sweat dripping off my clothes and neck. YUCK.
It's a slow day here..

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Here it is Tuesday.. since I last posted I've had some relapse.. and yet, I keep on going. The power was off from about 10:40 to 4am today. That meant no CPAP.. and that meant a sleepless night. Not feeling all that well today. I haven't seen my schedule, but I hope it's a short one. I really don't feel up to anything more. In fact, I don't feel up to any of it.. but I'll go in anyway. I have a portable nebulizer that I'll have by my side if need be.
Today I take the last of the steroids. Things surely will get better soon. I'm tired of wheezing already.. and coughing.. and trying to catch my breath.. I suppose generally speaking I am much better.. it's sort of like not seeing the forest for all the trees.. I just feel punky today and wish it were all better.
Pray for me if you would.. I'd be grateful

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's Monday. I again slept poorly last night, but have had a better day. I was awake a lot likely from the coughing, but also because I slept most of yesterday too. I got up feeling exhausted, but Amanda wanted me to go with them to the glass blowing place north of here, and as long as I didn't have to drive or walk far, I figured I'd give it a shot. I had them stop for breakfast at McD's so I could take my steroid tablet.. and then I had my rescue MDI as well as my nebulizer with me the whole time. I was a little wheezy, but no major attacks today.
I took a nap this afternoon and I've been trying to walk around a bit too. I just feel wiped out.
Tomorrow is office day and I wonder what will happen.. Pray I'm able to do my job without respiratory distress.. and that my patients will be infused without event.
Peak flow is hanging in there at 250 today.. mid way.. caution.. it can drop like a rock if I'm not super careful. Unfortunately, it won't zoom right up if I am... go figure.
Saturday is the Imm reunion. I'm hoping to be able to go.. and then Sabbath afternoon we have been invited to a 70th birthday celebration for my cousin Ken.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Missed church today..sigh..

Despite the fact that I was up much of last night coughing and then fell asleep out of sheer exhaustion, I plan to have a decent day. I thank the Lord that things aren't any worse, and He's teaching me patience. I can't get over this in a day or two.. it takes time and it's a slow recoup.
It's really a lovely day outside.. in the 70s and a bit cloudy. I may take a walk out to see what I can find. I have to remember to move very slowly or I'll end up wheezing and coughing.
It's all part of that 'patience'.
This is definitely not what we had in mind when we retired. We were going to set the world on fire traveling around visiting our family. God has a way of showing us He doesn't want us going that direction.. at least not yet.
Perhaps pray over our health situation here. Wendell is sore and looking at surgery in the coming months. He needs help with following his diet NOW so that he'll be compliant when the time comes. I need to be able to carry a patient load on Tuesday at the office without having to stop to catch my breath.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sometimes I need reminded...

Doesn't God care that I'm poor?

But to the poor, O Lord, you are a refuge from the storm. To the needy in distress, you are a shelter from the rain and the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are a storm beating against a wall, or like the relentless heat of the desert. But you silence the roar of foreign nations. You cool the land with the shade of a cloud. So the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled.
Isaiah 25:4-5 NLT

Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, "I will never fail you, I will never forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5 NLT

Can anything separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungery or cold or in danger or threatened with death?…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Romans 8:35-37 NLT

not a happy camper

I suppose I should mention that we did not get to go to our picnic today. I'd gone to have pictures made to share with the folks there, and then this morning woke up with thrush. The doctor on call called in a script for Mycelex lozenges to treat it. I went to the pharmacy and was glad to know that my copay was all that was needed. Next on the agenda was grocery shopping for a veggie tray for the picnic. I coughed the entire way around the grocery store, and was short of breath by the time I got to the check out line. This asthma is sensitive to any kind of exercise.. I was in a hurry and thus coughed the entire time. It was embarrassing to have people staring at me like I had the 'plague'.. I wanted to scream at them "I'M NOT CONTAGIOUS!!" Fortunately I didn't have enough breath, so I just checked out as fast as possible.
I called our friend to tell her about my problem and to say that there was a good possibility that we wouldn't be there for the picnic. She was understanding. I figure there is a fellowship dinner at our church tomorrow and my cupcakes at least will get taken in for that... provided I can get myself ready for church without having a major breathing problem. I can't be sure of anything with this asthma.
I again remind myself that I always hated taking care of asthmatics and diabetics.. and to be the asthmatic now and have my hubby as the diabetic seems just so unfair..don't you think?
Neither of these kinds of patients can be trusted to be stable for any length of time. They tend to be fine one moment and either gasping or in shock the next.. just not my favorite patient assignment.
I had to lay down this afternoon and when I awoke it was supper time and raining. We decided not to try to go to the picnic.. I was wheezing and coughing pretty hard anyway.


Look who was on my swing today.. it's a young hawk

He had the birds attacking him from every angle and then he flew to the top of the trailer where he scared the daylights out of Charlie's chickens. There was quite a clamor over there.

I took a walk to the garden and picked some red raspberries on my way. I tried eating some but this medicine and the thrush doesn't let me taste my food.. so I lost interest.

These flowers all grow around the property, but
especially in the garden

or along the driveway....

Deer have been here.. it's outside the garden fence..

Here is a general view of the garden 2009



One of 8 or 9 groundhog holes in the yard..
Just waiting for someone to trip and fall...

stargazer lily

It's Saturday. Thursday I had an asthma attack and started steroids. I now have yet another related problem. My tongue is coated in white splotches as is the back of my throat. My mouth feels like sandpaper. It started last night.. it's thrush. I will have spent the past 3 days at the pharmacy trying to get over asthma and side effects of the treatment. I have 4 more days of steroids. Of course it's Saturday and the doctor isn't in, but I may have a script on file for at least Nystatin. I spent a lot of last summer on this med. It tastes horrific, but it does work well and fast. It's a 'swish and spit'.


I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God's mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 NLT

Praying effectively

Paul urges Timothy to lift up requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving.
A request is a need, a deep desire for something we don't have—something only God can supply.
A prayer is a word of praise and adoration. A more accurate translation of this word from the original Greek might be to "worship in earnest." Intercession is praying on behalf of others. Our prayers should regularly reflect this kind of selfless lifestyle.
Thanksgiving involved remembering those past prayers that have already been answered, acknowledging that we not only trust God's supremacy and involvement in our life but also how his hand has moved and guided us in the past.
When we pray effectively, we do more than communicate with God—we commune with him. We become one in mind and spirit and purpose.
Today, let the focus of your prayer time be to connect with God in a very real and personal way, not as a slave would petition his master, but as a son would enjoy the company of a loving and gracious father.

Adapted from a devotional by Frank M. Martin in Embracing Eternity (Tyndale House) p 36

Friday, July 24, 2009

my nebulizer

This is a picture of my nebulizer.. my mouth piece and the medicine cup are a little different, but it gives you the idea. It's tiny and portable.. it even runs on the car battery and I was able to give myself a treatment in the KMart parking lot on my way home from the pharmacy. The treatments last about 3-5 minutes.
Some days I wonder 'what next?'.. I always find out..hehehe
This morning I am doing somewhat better. Still wheezing a bit, but the shortness of breath is gone and I'm functioning. I called the pharmacy to check on the nebulizer med.. and they had not yet heard from my doctor. I questioned them about paying for the Xopenex myself, and they quoted me a price that was reasonable and within our budget. I'll be picking up my Xopenex in an hour or so. The nice thing about the new nebulizer unit is that it plugs into the car adapter. I can get the med and give myself a treatment on the way home. Technology.. ain't it grand?
I'm also getting a new 'rescue' MDI (metered dose inhaler) of Xopenex to carry in my purse. My old one isn't empty, but it is old.. a year old. I think a fresh one is in order, eh?
Tomorrow Wendell and I plan to go to a picnic with a church group near us. They invited us this past week, and we want to meet them. With all our health problems, we have considered going to their church (which is also our RPC) when we don't feel able to drive to our own. I'll be stopping for some veggies for a veggie tray to take with us.
On to the day..

Thursday, July 23, 2009

catching up

It seems as if there is so much going on.. I'd better blog some before I forget what has transpired.. as I grow older, my short term memory gets dimmer..hmmmm
My computer was down.. a crash. I called the house call computer specialists and they said they'd call me back, but they didn't. The guy said he charges $75 to make a house call. Tuesday I mentioned my dilemma to my boss and he said 'whoa.. that's outrageous! get the part and bring it into the office Thursday and I'll install it for you".. or.. and he gave me the name of a local company he'd dealt with that he liked.
My boss is a doctor and he really doesn't have the time to be playing with my computer, so I called the company he mentioned.. Computer Literates.. and they told me to bring the pc on down.. I did so, and in a matter of a few minutes it was ready to go.. and the bill was $41 .. that's everything included. I was so thrilled! As you can see, all is back together again. My computer had to make some adjustments internally to the new card, but it runs as smooth as silk now. The problem is that in those few days I have a bazillion emails to read and I can only read so many in my allotted computer time..

Today I got up with a lot of respiratory 'distress'. I was coughing and wheezing big time and by the time I walked into the office, I was majorly short of breath. I asked to cancel my patients for the day or call my helper in to run IVs. She came in. She is such a sweetheart. I found that if I sat very still, things calmed down and I could breathe almost normally though aware of a distinct rattle on every expiration.
I called my PCP who said to come on over to his office for an eval. I did so and he gave me a nebulizer treatment. I didn't realize how tight my chest was until after the treatment when it was all loosened up again.
I now have my own nebulizer unit, but am having trouble getting the Xopenex for it. I prefer this drug- it gives me relief without side effects. It's my insurance company that doesn't want to cover it. I am also now taking a round of steroids for the week to get things settled. I'm fair tonite. Still wheezing, but not short of breath.
It's rained off and on all day today and last night. I noticed the bucket on the picnic table now has about 6" water in it. That's a lot of rain.

Sometimes I think I live in a zoo. We have 8 active groundhog holes in the yard and one inactive one. We have many groundhogs using these holes and at any one time you can see 3-4 roaming about in the yard. This morning I walked outside to a skunk very near the porch. I let out a warhoop and it skittered into some bushes. Last week a chipmunk nearly ran over my foot on the porch, and we have baby squirrels- cute little buggers. They are about 5" long nose to tip of tail. We've had several nests of baby birds on the house up near the roof. I couldn't see them well, but the mother let me know they were there by dive bombing me if I walked around the back of the house.
Deer are so plentiful.. all over the place..rabbits.. Bunny and Clyde, Flopsie and Mopsie, and I think there are several more now. I haven't seen any bears yet, but John said he saw tracks back in the woods a couple weeks ago and the neighbor DID see the mother and cub. Yea.. just what we need.
John says they have seen red foxes frequently. I've seen them a few times, but they must be nocturnal. I don't see them in daylight hours.
Once in a while we see wild turkeys hike through or a band of pheasants.. and I have noted we now have 6 hawks. They come in pairs and I've seen all of them now soaring and circling..
Yep.. I believe we live in a nature preserve.

Valentine trip

Papa and Eli

One tired little boy

Ice cream with a side of spaghetti.. ?

Eli tried out Asher's bassinet.. yep..he fits, and not only that, but Gayle crawled in too!!

"I hold"

Eli tried on Poppy's hat

He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a ..

Playing big fish/little fish game

"I build a castle, gramma"


We had gone to Valentines to celebrate Esther and Gaylie's birthdays.. little did we know we would be celebrating the birth day of Asher too..

Birthday girls.. Essie is now 7 and Gayle is now 5


I'll try to post a few photos of our trip here.. they will be out of order of course.. :-\