Sunday, March 22, 2015

one step at a time...

The soft blue sky of early spring, when it's slightly muted by hazy clouds.  A gentle breeze blowing my wind chimes.  And what feels like hundreds of birds all calling to their mates and warning others away from the spots they've declared their own.

The trees are all starting to get that soft haze of color.  The kind of pale greens and reds that make you squint, not sure if they are thinking of blooming or not.  And my hyacinths that I splurged on last payday when I needed some spring time and happiness are considering blooming.

It looks like spring is peeking around the corner, I guess it heard that it's officially spring time and it is definitely time to usher old man winter out the door.

It seems to be ushering the gloom out of our home and hubby's health too.  He's been on two different antibiotics for four days now.  And... I refuse to get my hopes up, but...

His color is returning, and he hasn't slept the day away.  This is such a positive and hopeful sign. I noticed last night and again this morning that he isn't dragging his leg as much and is moving quicker.  Could it really be as simple as an undiagnosed staph infection that was dragging him down, making him so very ill and weak?  I am so very hopeful!

Those wind chimes are so beautiful.

I am waiting on the last batch of cookies to bake.  I felt he could use a treat.  Someone recently told me to "chop wood and carry water".    At the time, I couldn't relate.  My fear was too real and I wasn't mentally able to tie it into something meaningful for myself.

I've spent the weekend chopping wood and carrying water, in my world it related better to my home base.  I can function in any setting when my "home" base is solid and feeling in order.

So I've carried laundry, ironed, vacuumed, grocery shopped, baked, cooked good meals, and then I have created.

Those things are always going to be at the core of me.

Sitting here listening to the chimes, the cycling of my gas stove, the sounds of outside I have been reflecting. A lot.  I am bone weary after this weekend, and yet I feel empowered and connected to the world around me in a way I haven't felt in months.  I was thinking about my thoughts at the new year, the things I was hoping for that didn't come to fruition.  I am not giving up on those things, I just don't feel they were meant to be in the timing that worked for me.

It's more so about God's time.  Everything happens in his time.  And only a foolish person thinks otherwise.

So this weekend I slowed down, I backed up, I focused on what my heart, my soul and my mind were needing.  When I drove places there were no phone calls.  When I sat quietly to crochet that is what I did. There was no music while I sewed or ironed.  Just silence.

I feel stronger for it.  I feel clear and ready.  I have been neglecting what makes me whole and in doing so I have been creating a very fragile, angry, hurt, sad person.  I am none of those things.  One weekend isn't the cure.  It isn't going to undo months or longer of neglect.  But it is a darn good start.

So as that soft breeze ushers in spring, I am prayerful that it is also ushering in the return of Hubby's health and my return to being whole.

Like I said... it's all about God's timing... now I need to go walk my boys in the sunshine...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

it's been soooo long....

It seems like it's been a year since I've had a minute to sit, to reflect and to write.  I am so sorry.

Life has been on a crash course with itself.  Minutes have become precious and are spent very carefully. Between it being the most busy time of year at work and trying to keep up with the house, the majority of my time has been spent trying to nurse hubby back to health.

It's quiet right now.
He's in the drug induced sleep that he spends most of his days and nights in right now.  We've had two stays in the hospital, a second surgery scheduled, planned and cancelled all in a day. It's been a bit since he's left the bedroom, must less the bed. The top of his night stand looks like a pharmaceutical nightmare (something a medication-phobe like me has a lot of trouble with).

And basically it seems we are simply waiting.  He is waiting in extreme pain, barely able to walk.  Not because his leg won't hold him, it's solid, it's strong.  Because the pain deep inside almost brings him to his knees.

I have found my inner tiger where he is concerned though.  Normally, I will accept what you say, I will accept whatever information you give me as a medical professional.  After all, you spent a great deal of time in school and practice to be knowledgeable about stuff that I am ignorant.

In the past almost four months (it will be a solid four months on Tuesday) I have learned so much.  I am learning more, and I am learning a great deal about the medical field.  Enough to know I am ticked off!

On my sweet daughter's 30th birthday, when we should have been celebrating my precious baby and what an amazing woman she is, we rushed to the ER - on the direction of the doctor that had finally run tests for infection. Hubby had been a mess when we'd gone for a simple procedure that Monday, I personally wanted him in the hospital then, but he refused.

He wanted him in the hospital immediately.  Three and a half hours later they'd finally at least taken him to a room in the ER, only after I called the doctor that told me to take him there and asked why I was subjecting him to more pain and potential sickness sitting in the waiting room.  Two hours later one of the doctors that had seen him on a previous ER visit walked in.  Took one look at him and said "I remember you, you are the one that thought you were in pain".  I told him that I remembered him too, and that I would please like for him to call our doctor and to get me a different doctor as I refused to deal with him.

Many hours later the hospitalist came in.  It was ironic, here it was my girl's birthday and I was sitting in the ER with a semi-coherent hubby, and in walks a "Damien".  The irony, is that my son-in-law truly loved my hubby.  He would do anything for or with him.  It felt like he'd sent him.  The hospitalist was kind, determined to figure it out, and answered all questions asked.  He didn't act like we were a problem, he had true compassion and understood poor hubby was very sick.

The new team was thorough, caring and determined not to listen to the "it's not the hip, it's the back" "it's not the back, it's the hip".  The day time hospitalist was the sweetest woman, that looked at me with tears in her eyes and told me that she would insure we figured it out.  That it was not an option.  That they would bring in anyone they needed to in order to finally heal him.

Many, many tests later, and completely without any solid answers they decided to see if the bulging disk truly was the problem even though they couldn't see how in any of the many, many, many MRI's, X-rays, or CT's they had done.  The initial results on the fluid injected and removed from the hip had not given any other answers.

His numbers were rising indicating infection of some sort, but none of the tests were revealing any answers.

With great hesitancy I brought him home.  Evidently the combination of drugs in his system had him stable enough to feel amazing and they didn't want to risk infection before going into his spine.

Well, that combination wore off before he was home for 5 hours.  And it's been a battle since.

The morning of the surgery, with a migraine pounding behind my eyes I was debating on even going into work for an hour or two before surgery.  Feelings of apprehension were overwhelming me.  Just as I started to dry my hair hubby's phone rang.   It was the hip doctor.  Not the back surgeon.

Ice water ran through both our veins.  One of the cultures came back with bacterium.  They had finally identified a staph infection in his new hip.  The reason for the delay was they were trying to concoct an antibiotic mix strong enough to kill it without harming him.  A few phone calls, a trip to the hospital and several trips to Walgreens later we had at least enough of this combination to get started on treating him, and a possibility of finally curing him.

That was 3 days ago.  He's barely been awake, but seems to be walking better.  I am still praying that this will finally cure him, that he will finally be up walking and living his life.  I know it is killing him emotionally to be laying there.  Even his beloved television isn't keeping him entertained.  I guess the fact that this current amount of medication is making him sleep so much is a positive thing in that aspect.

Me... I'm just waiting for the sparkle to be back in those mischievous blue eyes.  Waiting for the wise cracks and the "funny" jokes.  I'm a bit tired.  Luckily at least for now my FMS seems to know that I need to be at 100%.

Winter has faded in a blur, Spring arrived and I barely noticed.  The routine right now is simply survival.  As he is home from the hospital this weekend, I am going to do some sewing.  I caught up the housework and I will make him some good food to warm his belly and heart.

And I will pray.  I know that we have an army of pray warriors, so I am not entirely stressed.  I know all things happen in God's time, not mine.  But there are moments...

So if I am missing a bit, please understand.  Please know that it is very important to me to help my sweet hubby heal.  To try to keep life as normal as possible.  And to come out on the other side of this stronger!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

My Dearest Friend... I didn't want...

Flipping through posts on Facebook last night bored silly.

I am spending the weekend pretty much tied to my sofa, stupid knee.

And there it was.

It wasn't a beautiful picture, it wasn't flashy.  Honestly it was sort of common place and ordinary.  Just another silly meme that runs around the web.

Yet it opened a window.  And once opened it became flood gates, that had been thrown wide open.  It was another of those times when I feel that things happen for a reason.  Sort of like that person being in my life at all.  Ever!

Those that know me well, know that I am not an overly inviting person.  If I truly let you in, it is because I feel safe, I feel love both for you and from you, and I have decided that I can trust you to do no harm to me. That number is very small.  It is probably my military up bringing.  Too many times too many people left, never to return.  That was the days before the internet and being pen pals never lasted for long.

And today, I want to fully answer that meme....

Last night, just before heading to bed I started listing some of my favorite highlights with the woman that posted it... today, I want to celebrate her!

My ex and I were the sponsors assigned to her ex and her, the welcoming committee to Charleston, South Carolina.  I knew they had two kids about the age of my daughter, and everything I learned sounded like they were going to be very nice people.  But I do not do well with strangers.  I will put up a wall that makes China's look tiny on a good day, this wasn't a good day.

My Mom was very ill, something we'd grown up knowing would happen had happened, and I was struggling greatly with that.  In fact they arrived the night before I was leaving for Illinois.  My Mom was already en route to Mississippi, where they were going to try and save her life.  I was simply not feeling warm and fuzzy.

Sitting in their hotel room, I tried to be nice, I am sure I was distracted.  My natural tendencies and my worry over my mother probably made me a horrid person.  I don't really remember it well, after all it was about 28 years ago.  I remember their two little ones, the girl an adorable spitting image of her mother, and the boy won my heart instantly, he was a tiny version of his dad with personality busting out of the seams.  My daughter bonded to them instantly.  One a year older, one a year younger... our three were the perfect mix.

After visiting for a bit, them exhausted from their travels, me stressed and withdrawn.  Honestly, I was fairly certain I would only encounter them at official functions from that point forward.

When I returned to take back my life almost a full month later, I hardly anticipated an invitation to dinner to basically be waiting.  But waited it did. For weeks...

My ex about drove me crazy wanting us to accept the invite, insuring me that they were awesome folks and I was going to love them.  My heart had already told me that.  I knew that a priceless friendship was waiting at the end of that invitation, my heart didn't want to take the risk.

The three of them finally wore me down.  And one dinner, turned into probably hundreds more.  The details are hazy, now it is just a collage in my mind and heart of all the times we laughed, loved and shared priceless never ending memories.

Both our families were low ranking military families, we struggled, money was never enough and together we found ways to make the ends meet in the middle and still feel rich.

Those dinners together let us pool our resources, they were dirt cheap but nourishing.  She and I would dump our purses, clean out the sofa, dig through the cars to find enough to buy that fifty cent bottle of root beer to serve with taco salad.  Or to have enough to buy a couple of BarNone candy bars at Walmart or K-mart when we were wandering around acting silly.

The men would go play computer games (who knew those darn new fangled things would take off), supposedly watching the kids and we would steal our time away.  Both of us were stay at home mom's, because jobs that paid enough to cover day care were pretty much non-existent.  We needed that break.

The Minnie Pearl hat and feminine hygiene cream that she offered to some strange man, walking around for hours surrounded by the smell of hyacinth, we couldn't afford to buy them so we would just take them with us as we browsed and laughed, then gently put them back. The smell of them is my favorite and always reminds me of her.

Over the years we had ups and downs, years we were apart, times we were there instantly and times we weren't.

I have a beautiful picture that hangs in my sewing room, she made it for me.  Very few people make me things, I guess they don't realize that yes I can make it myself, which means I value it all the deeper because you took the time to make it for me.  And actually it is only one of three, that she made me.  It says we are sisters by heart.  She's right we are.

She is the stronger older sister, I am a more flawed younger sister.  Together her and I mastered so many different things.  We share a love of many things.  Crafting, gardening, cooking, our families and those we hold dear.  I have quilted with her, crocheted with her, done needlework (you should see the beautiful quilt she made when my son was born).

She is one of the most genuine and loving women I have ever met... I am blessed that when I was an idiot she loved me anyway.

She was by my side (my ex didn't feel he could handle it), holding my hand when my precious boy entered the world.  She was the one holding tight as we waited for his first breath.  His heart had stopped a couple of times during delivery and he felt the need for a much grander entrance into the world.  With tears in her eyes she waited for her turn to love that little guy.

I remember waiting with her and the kids when her ex broke his back playing football.

Together we shared tears, the kittens that were savagely attacked, moves, marriages on the rocks, and my stupidity.  Together she and I have a history that can't ever be changed.

When she decided to stay in NM and start her life fresh, I was horrible.  I didn't even attempt to see things from her perspective.  My own past clouded my vision and made me blind. I raged at her.  She needed me the most then, and I couldn't do it.

Our friendship was tarnished by my narrow minded selfishness.  Hind sight being 20/20, I know that I was wrong.  I was desperately trying to hold together the pieces of dreams.  The four of us were always going to buy a bit of land together, so we could forever be close.  The reality is that our friendship was worth more than our youthful marriages.  They had run their courses, I wasn't strong enough, or brave enough to see what she had seen with clear eyes.

I think she forgave me.  When I needed her the most when my own marriage and health fell apart, she was there.  She brought her husband and I remember the laughter and joy being there.  Sadly, I don't remember much more.  I was very ill back then and the stress was too much.  All those memories are tightly wrapped in a hazy bubble wrap and stored far back in my mind.  I wish I could remember him more.  I wish I could remember clearly if she met my hubby.

She has had some bumpy roads recently, and I wish I was there to hold her hand.  They live too far for me to go right now.

I hope that she knows she is in my heart constantly.  She is my sister by heart.  I feel 100% confident that God fully intended her and I to be friends through this entire life....

Here is just a few moments in time for you DH...

kittens, flowers, cakes for shooting, Ray Stevens, laughter in the sun, hats with tags, candy bars, cooking dinner side by side, gooey, volksmarches, trips, touring Germany side by side, mille bourne, jungle juice, green eggs and ham, chips and salsa (I do remember you made me an amazing one in NM), Landstuhl, moving cars, creating dreams and memories, heart felt talks, prank calls, family, pickles at your folks, baby piglets, teasing about hunting and killing melons, meat jumping off of plates, laughing ourselves silly in stores, hyacinth's... oh and so much more...

Thank you, my dear friend.... for making sure I became your friend... Thank you for staying mine!  You are a treasure, and definitely one of the greatest parts of my life... Miles may separate us, but our hearts will always be together!! Thank you for being some of the strongest threads that weave my life together!

In case you didn't know... I love you!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

life is what is woven in...

It's quiet.

I decided against television or music.  The dryer is running and I can hear the cycling of the gas oven.  Dinner is cooking, I decided on a nice soup and some biscuits.

Sipping on a glass of wine and thinking about all the blessings in my life.

Hubby is still in the hospital, it's the right place for him right this minute. Tomorrow we will face new decisions and plans.  Hopefully, they will all lead us to the place we need to be.

But sitting here in the silence, the deep quiet that comes when the world is blanketed in snow (which by the way is welcome to leave... it is March now!), I feel peaceful.

My weekend was filled with love and smiles.  Even when I wasn't anticipating them.  I spent most of the weekend with my sweet little mini-me.  She must have felt that Gramma needed some quality time. We watched Nick, she worked on making her first hat on her knitting loom, she painted, and we visited with Grampa.  The important things in life.

Our new neighbors have been checking on the Hubs almost non-stop.  One of them even drove out to see him in the hospital tonight.  Surprised Hubs when he brought him flowers and sat and visited with him for several hours.

It's taking some getting used to.  This almost Mayberry kind of town I live in now.

The same neighbor took his snow blower and shoveled the driveway and sidewalk of everyone on our street today.  It was wonderful to see.  He even scolded me gently for being too quick and doing my own.  I would have loved for him to do mine, but I had to walk the boys... and the old guy is NOT a fan of snow.

Another neighbor built a huge pink bunny out of snow.  It made me smile, the randomness somehow seeming perfectly normal.

My dear friends are but a phone call away checking up on me and allowing me to vent. Each of them understanding because of things in their lives that have lead them down similar paths.

My sweet girl, bringing pizza and hugs and my son's sweet girl sending me well wishes from the coast.

My life has become a very rich, deep tapestry.  I love it.  Even in the challenges and struggles, there is beauty and light.  I truly am blessed.

Deep night darkness has surrounded me, dinner is done just waiting to be put away.  Sleep is calling, I'm thankful for the exhaustion, it promises me a nice long night full of sweet, gentle dreams...

Tomorrow can wait...

After the snow fall...

There is a soft blowing sound from the fan, occasionally some unlucky tech goes down the hall with the squeaky wheeled vital's cart.  The news is running in the background and Hubby's soft steady breathing is keeping me company.

Still no answers, still just the non-stop we are looking for a cause. I'm still sitting in the horribly uncomfortable wooden chair.  Hubs in the "old" part of the hospital.  By old I am guessing all the stuff in the room is ancient and may or may not work.  Sadly, this wooden chair is much more comfortable than the darn "recliner" that may or may not move depending on it's mood.

I am moving as quietly as I can so as not to disrupt his rest, he had a really bad night and slept little because of pain.  I will probably head home soon.  I can't do much other than be here to keep him company. I was hopeful the doctor would come I would like to know what tomorrow's plan is.

They are fairly certain he needs a shot in one of his muscles, that may or may not be torn or detached.  Unfortunately the insurance company wants it administered outpatient, it's cheaper that way. I would completely be lying if I said this didn't concern me greatly.  That I didn't have a million questions connected to this plan, and unfortunately no answers come with it.

Every few hours they come in, they give him medications to control his pain, medication that I cannot get at Walgreen's.  So how do they expect me to care for him when I take him home?

The more I deal with the medical field and insurance, the less sure I am that any solutions are easy.  I feel more strongly than ever that all the changes in recent years have done nothing but create more challenges and problems than existed before.

The nurse just came in, they will have no more information for me until tomorrow.  I am not sure why I am surprised....

This stress is wearing me down, way down... I am finding it harder and harder to stay cheerful, up beat and supportive to everyone.  This is not a normal way of living for either of us, and it's insane.

I will say the nurses, techs and the Hospitalist have been wonderful!  Even being so kind to our grand baby when she was here cheering up Grandpa.

The snow's stopped falling, but in this hospital room the silence still pervades the senses.  It's dark and dreary... I can't wait for this phase of our lives to be behind us...