Drowning In Fear

Drowning In Fear

These last ten months have been very hard on me. You see, my Mr had a heart attack in April of last year. My worst nightmare had come to be a reality. Thanks be to God he survived it but, since then he has had trouble with his feet, ankles and lower legs swelling. We have had every heart test done with the exception of a catherization which is not something you just want to easily do. It comes with it’s own set of extremes including death. 


The cardiologist put him on a water pill which really is just a band-aid. Mr also has a 50% blockage in the same artery a way down the line which at this point, I want fixed immediately but Mr wants to wait until his appointment in March to discuss what tests will be needed first and then proceed from there. In the meantime, Mr’s feet keep swelling up like balloons with no rhyme or reason despite the water pill. Now I am not a doctor but I am pretty medically savvy having had my own misfortune of being ill for the last twenty some odd years so I have learned a lot over the years. What this tells me is that Mr’s heart is not working properly and he could have another heart attack at any time and this time we may not be so blessed and if that weren’t enough, Mr went to the dentist the other day to have two teeth pulled and the doctor found something in his cheek so in March we are off to an oral surgeon to have it biopsied as our dentist is concerned about cancer. 


So you see, my anxiety and fear has been at an all time high. 

As I was sitting tonight trying to catch up on the Mass readings for the entire week ( I fell behind due to my own poor health) I came to Tuesday’s reading and it’s from the book of Sirach. I believe the Lord is telling me to listen to him through this scripture but I have to be honest when I tell you that lately it’s been extremely hard for me. I have been praying and begging the Lord to help me trust Him but it’s been a deep, deep struggle for me but this scripture passage has stood out to me like a neon sign and one I think I’m going to try and read every single day. I thought I would share it here for you all in case there are others who like me are dealing with real fear and anxiety over serious life circumstances. 

Sirach 2:1-11


My son, When you come to serve the Lord, stand in justice and fear, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, incline your ear and receive the word of understanding, undisturbed in time of adversity. Wait on God, with patience, cling to Him, forsake him not thus you will be wise in all your ways.  Accept whatever befalls you, when sorrowful, be steadfast, and in crushing misfortune be patient. For in fire gold and silver are tested, and worthy people in the crucible of humiliation.  Trust God and God will help you, trust in Him and He will direct your way; keep His fear and grow old therein. 


I am trying.. Please pray for us…

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Who Am I ?

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Boy, that’s a question we all ask ourselves throughout our lives. I truly thought that once you reach a certain age you eventually find out who you are but as I am aging I am beginning to think we are ever changing and therefor maybe we never really know..

Maybe who we are changes with each stage in life and then again, maybe we are always the same only with different thoughts and ideas. I had believed that over the last fourteen years I changed and for the better. I will admit and without any self pride, I have changed in many ways and I have changed for the better except for one of the most important parts of me that again, I believed I left behind and that is, living in fear. For many years I lived in fear and I don’t mean small fears I am talking paralyzing, life stopping fear. 

I worked very hard to get through that and learned how to live again or so I thought. This past April my husband, the love of my life, my rock, my everything suffered a heart attack. Since then he’s been having issues that all lead back to his cardiac health and once again, I find myself, living in fear. Each day I walk around waiting for the other shoe to drop. Terrifying thoughts of my husband suddenly dying fill my thoughts throughout the day so much so, that they make me wince at times. Each day when I get up I make sure to get myself together as in put makeup on before I do anything else because what happens if I need to go to the hospital because something happens to him? I make sure to always have my bag filled with what I might need, always making sure to have a sweater at the ready if I have to rush out.

This I can tell is not easy and no way to live but the honest truth is, that while I may seem to others to be ‘doing fine’ inside I am absolutely twisted with fear and I really don’t know how to work on getting better this time. So it begs the question for me, do we really ever become who we want to be or do we just go through small changes here and there only to at some point find ourselves where we began?

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Life Updates & Ramblings

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As most of you know we got hit pretty good here in the Myrtle Beach SC area from Hurricane Matthew.  Being without electricity for four days sure gave me a real good appreciation for light. The days weren’t so bad but it was when that sun would go down and everything was absolutely pitch black that by the third night it was seriously starting to get to my brain. We had some damage to our home but nothing too serious and I believe we are very blessed. 

The river near my home is and has been flooding all week long. There are towns in my county that are and have completely disappeared because they are totally underwater.. Here’s some photos..

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So when you I look at these photos and I think about everything that has been lost I feel doubly blessed that we had some minor damage that we have insurance for. 

My husbands feet and ankles began to swell a month ago after being put on yet another statin to try. These are drugs for lowering cholesterol if you didn’t know that. He’s had trouble in the past few months with this reaction to other statins but they wanted to try one more. This time it was Crestor and it’s been pure hell since. I’ve have since been learning a lot about this class of drugs and they are killers. Back to my husband. His cardiologist put him on water pills last week and they have begun to help and I can finally see his feet again but that doesn’t answer why the swelling is there to begin with. When his feet swelled the last time, once the statin was removed the fluid went away. This time, it didn’t and it only continued to get worse. 

Friday found us at a medical imaging place to make sure he didn’t have a blood clot in the right leg as the right foot swelled much more than the left and keeps turning red. The radiologist at the ultra sound thought he saw something but wasn’t sure so they sent us straight over to the medical center so the vascular team could look. They said there’s nothing wrong. We are back to the drawing board.

The cardiologist keeps saying it doesn’t have anything to do with his heart which I find completely mind boggling considering the fact that my husbands feet first began to swell a week before his heart attack this past April AND.. the fact that feet and ankle swelling can have everything to do with heart disease ie: blockages. Tomorrow I will make an appointment with our family doctor to have blood work run on his liver and kidneys as he’s on a ton of pills for his back pain (9 back surgeries will do that) plus pills for his heart and I will also request an EKG.. I am not letting this go. I am like a rabid dog when it comes to my husbands health (I wish I were that way with my own) and I am not letting this go until I have a concrete answer. I don’t care how many enemies I make in the process. 

As you can imagine this is taking a deep toll on me. I am so incredibly wear in every way. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.

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My own health has not been good for 26 years and all of this since April I believe, is finally getting to my body. I am sleeping so much that it’s beginning to concern me and the thought of doing the simplest thing like talking to people some days just seems too exhausting to even try. Not to mention that my brain is constantly going at mach speed trying to figure this all out to the point that I can’t concentrate on any one thing for more than five minutes. The fact that I am even able to sit long enough to write this post is amazing in itself.. 

Until next time..

New Sig

 

Life Updates & Ramblings

nlifeupdate

As most of you know we got hit pretty good here in the Myrtle Beach SC area from Hurricane Matthew.  Being without electricity for four days sure gave me a real good appreciation for light. The days weren’t so bad but it was when that sun would go down and everything was absolutely pitch black that by the third night it was seriously starting to get to my brain. We had some damage to our home but nothing too serious and I believe we are very blessed. 

The river near my home is and has been flooding all week long. There are towns in my county that are and have completely disappeared because they are totally underwater.. Here’s some photos..

14522785_10154555097702716_6266080462509255537_n151007074358-south-carolina-flooding-drone-sanchez-newday-00001420-large-169sumter-county-black-river

So when you I look at these photos and I think about everything that has been lost I feel doubly blessed that we had some minor damage that we have insurance for. 

My husbands feet and ankles began to swell a month ago after being put on yet another statin to try. These are drugs for lowering cholesterol if you didn’t know that. He’s had trouble in the past few months with this reaction to other statins but they wanted to try one more. This time it was Crestor and it’s been pure hell since. I’ve have since been learning a lot about this class of drugs and they are killers. Back to my husband. His cardiologist put him on water pills last week and they have begun to help and I can finally see his feet again but that doesn’t answer why the swelling is there to begin with. When his feet swelled the last time, once the statin was removed the fluid went away. This time, it didn’t and it only continued to get worse. 

Friday found us at a medical imaging place to make sure he didn’t have a blood clot in the right leg as the right foot swelled much more than the left and keeps turning red. The radiologist at the ultra sound thought he saw something but wasn’t sure so they sent us straight over to the medical center so the vascular team could look. They said there’s nothing wrong. We are back to the drawing board.

The cardiologist keeps saying it doesn’t have anything to do with his heart which I find completely mind boggling considering the fact that my husbands feet first began to swell a week before his heart attack this past April AND.. the fact that feet and ankle swelling can have everything to do with heart disease ie: blockages. Tomorrow I will make an appointment with our family doctor to have blood work run on his liver and kidneys as he’s on a ton of pills for his back pain (9 back surgeries will do that) plus pills for his heart and I will also request an EKG.. I am not letting this go. I am like a rabid dog when it comes to my husbands health (I wish I were that way with my own) and I am not letting this go until I have a concrete answer. I don’t care how many enemies I make in the process. 

As you can imagine this is taking a deep toll on me. I am so incredibly wear in every way. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.

matthew-11-28-300x225

My own health has not been good for 26 years and all of this since April I believe, is finally getting to my body. I am sleeping so much that it’s beginning to concern me and the thought of doing the simplest thing like talking to people some days just seems too exhausting to even try. Not to mention that my brain is constantly going at mach speed trying to figure this all out to the point that I can’t concentrate on any one thing for more than five minutes. The fact that I am even able to sit long enough to write this post is amazing in itself.. 

Until next time..

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My Ten Year Old Self…

 

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I was recently asked, if I had the opportunity to go back and write a letter to myself when I was ten years old what would I tell my ten year old self? I thought about it for a bit but not too long because now at forty-six I know exactly what I would have said. My letter would look something like this. 

Hello ten year old self. 

Why don’t you come and sit down next to me here on this cozy blanket so we can talk a bit. 

I know you’re afraid. I know life seems uncertain and scary. I know the kids at school are being cruel to you and I know that you feel like everything has been ripped out from under you and everything has changed. 

In one aspect you are right. Everything has changed but just because it’s changed doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad. You don’t have to be frightened. Your mom will still be with you for a long, long time. You will feel comfortable again in a house that you will eventually call home. The kids at school don’t understand what you’re going through so do the best you can to ignore them and when you can’t talk to your teacher. Don’t be afraid to go to school and when you are tell your mom and she will help you. It’s only a few months until summer and the next school year will be better. 

cartoon-nerd-girl

Soon you will feel comfortable around kids and grown ups again. In time the world will feel secure around you again. It won’t be the same as it was before but it will be alright and you will grow and mature and become a confident young woman who can feel safe and accomplish whatever you put your mind to.

Good and bad things happen all the time and they always will no matter how old you get but even when you feel like no one understands and you’re all alone there is one person that is always, always with you. Jesus is always with you even if you can’t see Him, He’s there. All you have to do is say “Jesus I’m scared” and I guarantee you that in a few moments you will feel better because Jesus will put His arms around you and make you all better. Just like you know your daddy isn’t here where you can see him but you know he’s in heaven and  he is always watching you and putting his arms around you too.

I know everything I am telling you right now seems impossible but I am asking you to hold my hand, trust me and go forward. Your world has changed but all that change will get better and you will stop crying, you will stop being afraid. You will smile again and you will shine again.

 

Love, 

Your adult self. 

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In An Instant

Well, my last post titled “Incredibly Grateful” (click the link to read if you missed it) was unfortunately a bit premature. In that post I was So grateful that the swelling in my husbands leg and foot were as we were told attributed to the massive doses of steroids they had him on for a nasty case of bronchitis for over a month. How I wish that was truly what it was..

On Saturday April 16th in the morning hours, my husband of eighteen years suffered a heart attack. Stunned? I was as well and so much more.. This post should be the one titled Incredibly Grateful. My husband had been complaining of heart burn and indigestion for a few days but we both thought it was his stomach. Due to the high level of pain medications he takes daily because of all his back surgeries his stomach has a tendency to cause him problems when he eats too much red sauce which he actually had three days in a row that week. 

But by Saturday morning he knew something was terribly wrong but still thought it was his stomach. After telling me he didn’t feel well and he wanted to go to the emergency room just in case I , of course panicked in my usual fashion and wanted to call an ambulance. He in his ‘man’ fashion refused to let me do so. God was with us that morning because I was able to weave through traffic doing about eighty miles an hour, we got the ER where they immediately took him into the back and hooked him up to all kind of vitals monitors, they were popping nitro in his mouth left and right along with aspirin and at first nothing was showing on his EKG’s or monitors. Finally the pain hit him horribly, began to go down his left arm and leg. He also complained about the inside of his ears hurting terribly and his head feeling like it was going to explode. I ran and got the nurse and the doctor was following behind. He had gotten back my husbands cardiac enzymes blood work and his words to me and my husband were “Mr. (left out for privacy) you are having a heart attack. We are going to be transporting you to the big hospital in Myrtle Beach to the heart center where they will quickly take you up to the cath lab and fix this. 

You can’t even imagine (unless you’ve been there) the fear in both our eyes and the immediate tears. I won’t go into any further detail because this post would be even longer but I will tell you that as I sit here today I am more grateful to God than I ever thought possible because my husband came home last Monday on April 18th, my birthday, best present I’ve ever gotten. He is doing well, eating well and we will see his heart doctor for the first follow up May 16th. Looking back over the course of the last few months it seems like so many things were happening to him that had no explanation. Almost like everything was coming together for the perfect storm. Have you ever just had that “gut” feeling that “something was coming” and it wasn’t going to be good? I have had that feeling as far as he was concerned since February and on April 16th all the pieces fell into place but, thankfully and incredibly mercifully God said “No it’s not your time yet but now you must both wake up to what is important in this life that I have given you and now regiven you”. I can tell you, our entire lives have changed and we are fully awake now. I will explain all that in my next post.. 

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Thank you all for reading and remember to smile even when you don’t feel like it, and love those in your life each day until it hurts.. 

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I'm Fine Thanks

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Yesterday I posted a video to my YouTube Channel for a health update on me. People on my channel are always asking and since it had been a while I thought it was time. 

In that video I talked about what my plan of action is and I may have made it sound like it’s simple but I am here to tell you, it’s not. The one thing I will do throughout is rely on the Lord to carry me, show me, heal me. I will Trust In Him. Sounds easy doesn’t it?

Some of the comments people left included how they believed I have a deep faith etc. I’d like to think I do but the truth is, for as much faith as I may have it’s not easy trusting in the Lord. It means giving up total control over things you believe you’ve always had control over when in reality you never had but we as humans think we control everything in our own lives. So because of this thinking we all seem to have, when it comes time to hand it back to the One who gave it to us to begin with there is resistance as if it were always ours. It feels like we are putting our lives in the hands of God (where it’s always been) but what will He do with it? What He’s always wanted to. Lead us, guide us. 

I know God will care for me and allow and permit what He sees fit to even if I don’t understand it but even knowing this and believing this will all my heart it’s still frightening. It’s still feels a little bit ‘unknown’. I thought in my video I also came off as having this “well it is what it is and will be and I’ll deal with it” frame of mind. This is mostly true but I will tell you I don’t always “deal” with it. As a matter of fact I’ve run from it for the last thirteen years and I am still as scared as I was when first diagnosed twenty – two years ago. 

Sometimes I think I make my life look like I am handling things just fine when it reality I don’t. Each day is a fight between my body and my mind. Each morning I wake up tired as if I haven’t slept at all when in fact I slept six or seven hours. I go to bed in pain and I wake up in pain. Some have said, ” I don’t know how you do it not having been able to eat a solid meal in thirteen years. My answer is always , “well you’d be surprised what you can get used to when you have no choice”.

That is also mostly true but the whole truth is, I am always hungry. I am always wanting a cheeseburger, a piece of pizza. I salivate sometimes when I finish cooking a meal for my husband. I go to bed hungry and I wake up hungry a lot of times. It’s not easy going to a friends or an event where here in America it’s centered around food, dinners, community breaking of the bread together. So yes, you can get used to something if you have no choice but it’s never 100% and it always bothers you. You always yearn to be able to do that which you can no longer do. You always wish and pray God will just swoop in and take it all away and you’ll wake up and be able to have a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast.

Each day is filled with uncertainty because I may feel fine one moment and the very next my head is pounding and my body feels like it’s been run over by a bus and all the plans I had lined up are now sidelined because I need to rest.. At times, a lot of times, the simplest thing can be the hardest thing for me. Taking a shower, reading a book, walking, talking on the phone. All things most of us take for granted when we are well. 

Then there is the isolation that comes from being chronically ill. Friends are few and far between if there are any at all. There is no social life because those who are not ill stop sending invites because you either haven’t accepted in the past or canceled at the last minute (both because you were ill ) or finally because they don’t want to take on a friendship with someone who is ill all the time and can’t participate in the activities most can.

I know this isolation very well. When I first began getting sick some friends still stuck around but slowly, one by one they disappeared. When we moved from the North to the South meeting people was not easy. We have met a few people since moving and all of them with the exception of two have never once ever asked to stop by, invited me to their home, never suggested meeting for a while even in a park on a nice day just to sit and talk since I can’t walk distances. No one has ever offered any kind of help in the way of could they run an errand, do you need help in the house,  do we need dinner one night, can we offer to take you somewhere.  

The sad reality is, most people, are busy in their lives and too busy to stop to offer a kindness to one less fortunate. I don’t say this because I am bitter or angry. I am neither of those but I am, a realist. This is the sad truth about being chronically ill. Eventually you don’t feel part of the ‘normal’ world anymore. You are living in your own isolated world. An yes, it gets lonely but it seems to be the nature of the beast.

So you see, my attitude isn’t always on the up and up and my days aren’t always good. I can’t always just “push through it” and the health issue’s I do have frighten me, frustrate me and yes, make me feel alone a lot of the time. I know there are many out there who suffer in the same way so in spirit I am not alone but in reality I am.

There is much more I could write but I fear I have bored you long enough and I am not even sure if this post made any sense.

Until next time……

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