Friday, December 31, 2010

Another visit with the Rheum


So, I went to the Rheum again today. He is just old and straight forward. Not much bedside manner. I took my husband with me in order to get a second opinion. He said he could see how I would feel blown off by him. All of my tests came back negative. So, once again, there is no reason why I should be feeling pain. Lovely. The only test that was boredline to being positive was the rheumatoid one. He thinks I might have bursitis, so he took x-rays of my hips and knees. The results should come in tomorrow. Nothing was discussed about my jaw even though it is still in pain. He wants me to see him again in 2 months. He prescribed a different pain med and also wants me to start taking 2000 mg of vitamin D a day. While I was at the checkout desk he came out and asked how the cymbalta was working for me and if I still felt suicidal. There was no one around but the staff, my husband, and I, but I still felt that was an inappropriate place to ask such a personal question. Especially since the lobby/waiting area is open air into the main buiding.  Anyone walking by could have heard what was being said.  Anyways, I am really frustrated with myself and my body and the fact that once again it has pretty much proven pointless to look into what is causing me pain. The only good that has come out of this whole thing is that I am feeling better about talking and I get to see Rachel once a week.

If it would help to scream I would scream but it won't change anything, so I write, cuz then at least I can get the feelings out.
*still haven't heard anything about my x-rays  I will need to call and ask on Monday.*

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge

As our Christmas present this year from my Sister and her husband they took our family to Great Wolf Lodge water park in Olympia, Washington.  We told the kids only that they were going on a surprise somewhere.  We left the baby with friends who were kind enough to keep him overnight and we brought along our 7 year old neighbor boy. 

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot and they could read the sign the kids went nuts! They were so excited, because they have been begging to go there since it opened 2 or 3 years ago.  The place is definitely geared towards kids (and taking money from your wallets).  My husband and I both agreed that we wouldn't want to go back again and that for your money you get more bang for your buck at Silverwood in Idaho as far as waterparks go, but we were glad that we got to experience it. 

Everything there is expensive with a capital "E".  Very little is complimentary and the extras when you have 7 kids, well, they just aren't worth it.  If you have more than 3 kids I don't know that I would suggest going there. 

Here is a pic from our trip.  Like I said, the kids had a blast!  This is the first picture taken after we got there.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year.....

Today is Christmas.  The day that every child dreams of for 364 days out of the year.  Our Christmas this year ended up being wonderful.  Well, wonderful for the most part.  It started out at 6 am this morning.  Our church has a Julotta service at 7 am every Christmas.  Julotta is a Swedish tradition.  Our family loves starting Christmas off this way.  It is a great way to begin the celebration of Christ's birth and remember the reason that we celebrate. 

It is relaxed, so those who want to come in their jammies can and the rest can come in their Christmas best.  I always go in my jammies of course, because that is jut the kind of person that I am.  If I have the option to be comfortable, I will pretty much always choose comfort over beauty.  It is really cute seeing the kids choir sing with half of the kids dressed to the nines and half of them in their pajamas.  My kids, as you may have already guessed, always go in their new Christmas jammies that they get on Christmas Eve. The church is lit by candlelight and Christmas lights.  It is decorated beautifully and we sing Christmas songs, various church members play the piano, sing solos or duets, etc.  There is also always a bell choir.  Then we have a short sermon, sing a couple more songs, and afterwards we visit and eat Swedish cookies.  The years that Julotta has had to be cancelled due to weather conditions it never quite feels like Christmas. 

After Julotta we come home and make breakfast, which usually consists of cinnamon rolls, sausage, and juice.  Typically I always make the cinnamon rolls, but this year Albertsons made them.  (I am really glad, too, since I ended up getting some sort of a tummy bug that has had me running to the bathroom all day.)  As we eat breakfast we each open our stockings and snack on some candy and see what fun little things that Santa left in them. 

This year we started a new tradition on how the presents get handed out.  One person starts and picks a present by random and hands it to whoever's name is on the package.  When that person finishes opening the present it is then their turn to go and pick a present.  The one rule is that you can't choose a gift with your name on it.  By doing it this way everyone gets a chance to play "Santa".  It also keeps things nice and calm, even when there are 7 kids and 8 adults opening up the gifts. 

The kids all did a great job being patient and taking turns.  Everyone was grateful for what they got and had an enjoyable 2 hours of present opening and watching others opening their gifts.  We also clean up the wrapping paper as we go and the kids would take the opened gifts to their rooms so that our fairly small living room area wouldn't get too overwhelming with stuff.

After presents, the kids ate insane amounts of candy, we all snacked on various goodies and such.  Around 4 we ate pot roast, roasted veggies, and dinner rolls.  Then I went and took a two hour nap, because I was just wiped out!

After my nap we "found" a present that "accidentally" got forgotten about.  It was a family gift for all of the kids......An Xbox360/Kinect combo.  Currently the kids are having fun trying to figure out how to use and stay far enough away from the sensor.  I hope that all of you are having/had a wonderful Christmas.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas with the Cousins 12/19/2010
Backrow: Dylan 10, Kamden 9
Middle Row: Brayden 7, Klara, 5, Kalen 8, Kody 7
Bottom Row: Klayton 8 months, Katie 11, Rylin 2, Karson 2 

Madan Family Christmas 12/19/2010
Steve(Husband), Karmen (me), Mike (FIL), Devin (BIL), Erika (SIL)
Nenita (MIL)

White/Madan/Knierim Christmas
Christmas Eve Jammies and Slippers 12/24/2010
John (BIL), Kay (Sister), Karmen (me), Klayton 8 mo., Steve (Husband)
Klara 5, Katie 11, Kody 7, Karson 2, Kamden 9, Kalen 8

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Getting kicked out of youth group

I figured I would tell you the whole back story on why I was kicked out of youth group.  I think it was a series of things that kind of added up.  We got a new youth pastor.  He was the kind of guy who didn't like to be questioned. I am the kind of girl to ask a lot of questions.  I don't blindly accept things, so I would often question what he was saying.  It wasn't ever intended to question his authority, but more to get at the truth and to find out how and why what he was saying was true.

I also questioned myself a lot.  I questioned my faith, whether or not I was really a Christian or not.  Not from a lack of faith in God or in the Bible, but more so because I felt dirty inside and as if I wasn't lovable enough for God to really love me.  I said once that I wasn't sure I was a Christian.  This statement was repeated to my Youth Pastor. He never came to me about it, but I think it skewed his opinion of me.

One night, he was teaching us about sex and that we should stay away from it.  He said that sex was like a bomb and that you should never get close to a bomb.  Me, being me, wanted a more decisive answer than that.  A bomb was too vague.  I asked him what the line was, what was too far?  When did physical activity change from innocent to sinful?  Kissing, past kissing, what?  All he could say was to stay as far away from the bomb as possible.  I believe I just rolled my eyes at him and he assumed that I was much more "active" than what was anywhere near the truth. 

None of this was why I was kicked out of youth group though.  All of the youth sat in a certain pew together during church hour.  I would sit and listen to the sermons and take notes, most of the time.  Other of the youth would act up, pass notes, and be disruptive.  Instead of just talking to us about it, the Church's great plan was to make it so that those pews we sat in were no longer open for use.  They said that it was supposed to be left for the late comers.  Interestingly, that was only the case during the service that the youth attended.  I found the rule to be ridiculous.  I sat and listened, that is where I was comfortable sitting, and I figured that they should be more concerned with the fact that I was sitting in a pew at all instead of worrying about what pew I sat in.

One Sunday I moved the rope and sat down.  My friends came and joined me.  We were told that we had to move.  It was not a request.  I grabbed my things and walked out and went back to my house.  I began attending church with my parents who had left that church about a year before.  I continued to go to youth group though.  One night the Youth Pastor called me into his office and told me that I was not allowed to come to youth group anymore since I no longer went to church there on Sundays.  Interestingly there were about 4 or 5 other people who didn't go to that church on Sundays either, but they were still allowed to go to youth group.

A couple of months later a couple of my friends stopped at my house and said that I should come back.  When I told them that the Youth Pastor had said I couldn't they told me that it would be okay, that he would let me now.  I figured that since one of them was the pastor's son that it would be okay.  I was wrong.  As soon as the Youth Pastor came in and saw me he told me to leave.  He said that I wasn't welcome to come back to Youth Group.  He had a meeting with me later and told me that if I wanted to go back to that Youth Group that I would have to apologize to the church for walking out of service and I would have to start going to church there on Sundays.  Suffice it to say, I don't hold a lot of love in my heart for this man.  Oh, this is the funniest part of our discussion that I remember, he told me that I was the kind of person to be easily led astray.  The kind that would blindly follow someone.  I never have understood his logic or reasoning in saying this to me.  People who question, don't typically follow easily, thus his main issue with me, but I digress.

I went home and told my parents what had happened.  My Mom asked if I told him to F off.  If you knew my Mom at all, you would realize how funny this is and how angry his behavior made her since my Mother NEVER swears and especially not that word.  I told her I didn't, but that I had wanted to throw a little paper weight at his head as I sat there and listened to him.  I also told her that it was a good thing that I had a strong sense of who God was and that I didn't see the Youth Pastor's behavior as a reflection of who God is, because otherwise I might not ever go back to church again.  I never did go back to that youth group, or that church.

 So, that is the story of how I got kicked out of youth group.  Wasn't I just such the wild rebel?!  LOL....I still have to shake my head at the whole experience.  So, when I say that I don't follow rules that are ridiculous and put into place just to control someone, that is an example of what I mean. 


At my last counseling session I was telling my counselor about how and why I got kicked out of youth group when I was 16.  That isn't really what this blog is about, but the gist of the story is that I refuse to follow rules that have absolutely no purpose other than to control people solely for the purpose of controlling them and no other greater good.  I get rules, I understand them, but if you are going to have a rule and expect people to respect that rule then it ought to have a purpose to it.  Rules for the sake of having rules or controlling something that doesn't need controlling is silly and pointless. 

She suggested I look up Free Thinkers.  I just did. Here is what Wikipedia had to say about it:
Freethought holds that individuals should not accept ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and reason. Thus, freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts, scientific inquiry, and logical principles, independent of any logical fallacies or the intellectually limiting effects of authority, confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, sectarianism, tradition, urban legend, and all other dogmas. Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena.

A line from "Clifford's Credo" by the 19th Century British mathematician and philosopher William Kingdon Clifford perhaps best describes the premise of freethought: "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."


I think it interesting that Free Thinking would be ascociated with lack of religion.  That the two are somehow complete opposites.  That makes no sense to me.  Can you not be both?  A free thinker and have a relationship with God?  I say you can.  I am living proof of that.  What do you think, can you think freely and be "religious" (for lack of a more appropriate word)?
If you look around at the world, the universe, just the process of growing a baby and how intricate that is, how can one not see the hand of God touching all of it?  Where is the evidence suggesting otherwise, that he does not exist?  Personally, I find there is insufficient evidence to prove that there is no God.  Chaos never turns to order.  It is the opposite, order has a way of turning into chaos.  Fill a tube with dust and gasses and you will never re-create a big bang.  If it was possible once, why can it not be re-created?  If everything evolved from one base creature, wouldn't we all still be evovling?  If we came from apes, why are there still apes?  Why aren't they all evolving into men, where are the in betweens?  Not ape, not man?  Why would they start evolving and then stop?  That makes no sense.  You can't have a missing link, because there is no link to miss.  I belive that things change and adapt.  That makes sense, but to think and to have a belief that we all came from one original fish goo creature thing, makes absolutely no sense to me and takes a lot more blind faith to believe in than it does to see the hand of God and believe in Him.  Again, not trying to sound or be judgemental.  If that is what you believe then I hope you have really looked at it.  Pondered it, questioned it and don't just believe it because that is what you were shown to believe as a child growing up. 
Can you be a free thinker and not believe in God?  Obviously, lots of people classify themselves as such.  I think that if you are a free thinker, it means you question, you don't blindly accept the world, life, experiences at face value. You dig.  You dig to find the Truth.  I am a digger and a believer.  I don't think that they are opposites.  I think there is a lot of arrogance in thinking otherwise.  In thinking that all those who believe in something bigger than what they can touch and see are somehow blind followers.  To me, that is not free thinking it is closed minded thinking. 
I am interested to see what all of you have to say about this, what your take on it is.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scrooge Awakens

It is so good to be feeling happy again. Like the real me is back and participating in life. I feel like I can dance with  Fezziwig . That our arms are linked and I am not just watching. I hope that I continue to feel like this, that it isn't just momentary while my body adjusts to the new meds. Even if it is momentary though, I will bask in the happy and enjoy it while I can. Happy is such a nice feeling.

It is nice to know that even if I slip back into the not so happy for awhile that happiness is still possible. It isn't a shadow that is completely un graspable. Ahh, life feels good again and just in time for Christmas. I am Scrooge, waking up Christmas morning realizing that I have been given another chance. That life is mine for the living and I want to shout from the windows. "I am alive!"

Am I sounding manic? I hope not. I am just so glad that the happiness isn't shallow, it has some depth to it. My laughter is full and doesn't echo with emptiness anymore. The light in my eyes has returned and I can see the world in colors again instead of in black and white.

My best Christmas gift this year? The gift of a listening Dr. and a comforting counselor who helped to bring happiness back into my life. I know that this journey is just beginning and that the path may not always be straight and flat, but I am just glad to finally see that there is a road and that I am on it. At least when you have a road to follow you don't feel quite so lost.

A Pictoral View of My Life.

A Baby who likes to be inside a box.

He won't sleep in a bed, but give him a box and he is sound asleep, what is up with that?

 Because drinking out of a clean bowl in the kitchen is just not as tasty as drinking out of this large porcelain one.

After a drink from the cleanest bowl in the house it is best to climb trees.  Even fake ones that live inside.

 And of course sibling rivalry must follow.

Being caught is never fun.

Someone around here is usually ready to pull out their hair.  Typically it is me and not the kids though.

It appears that craziness runs in the family.

And what night is complete without watching a movie together as a family?

So, there you have it, a bit of my life in pictures. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's A Christmas Miracle!!!!....

So, my kids and I have this little thing that we do.  If something un-expected happens one of us or a few of us at the same time will say, "It's a Christmas Miracle!"  I can't really remember how that started, but it has been our little thing for a year or two now.

Tonight I got my own little "Christmas Miracle".  I went to Wal-Mart, because I wanted a little bag to keep my embroidery in, so that when I am waiting for Dr. appointments I can have something to do.  I was looking at one really cute bag, but it was $12 and I am super cheap, so that was a bit too rich for my blood, plus it didn't really have enough zippers, so I was looking around trying to find something else that I might like for less money that would work better.  Low and behold I saw it, the perfect bag!  It had lots of pockets, zippers, a place for everything. It could replace my purse, hold my embroidery stuff, and had enough room for Klayton's diaper needs.  Can I say again, that it is the PERFECT bag.  Best part of all, it was on clearance from $20 down to $9.  The cheapskate in me was completely willing to spend 9 bucks on it, so up to the register I went. 

When the clerk rang it up she looked at me and said, "That will be $5.41 please."  What, it was almost 1/2 off the sale price!  I said, "Merry Christmas to me! I love when that happens."  It was my own little Christmas Miracle!  And with the money I saved I went and bought myself a large iced hazelnut coffee from McD's.  Yeah, tonight was pretty much awesome.  Gotta love nights like that!

You didn't think I would blog about the perfect bag without at least showing you what it looked like did you?  So here it is, my perfect $5.41 bag that is exactly what I wanted! 

 The inside of the bag.  With all of my things neatly stored.  Have I mentioned that I love this bag?!
 The outside of the bag.  It is a very cute brown and pink.  Let me say again, $5.41 of pure awesomeness!

I will spare you a video of me doing my finger pointing, white girl, happy "woo hooin" dance.  =)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

happy makers

It is just hard to be depressed while making fudge, baking Nordy bars, and making yummy bits of deliciousness with a name like Muddy Buddies.  Love that I am feeling better enough to bake again.  Baking is definitely a happy maker. 

Being able to snakc on those tasty morsles of YUMMMM = major happy makers!

Hope you all are getting to snack on delicious goodies that bring with them bites of pure happy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What is that weird thing my lips are doing?

 Oh, why, it is a smile!!!! See it..... =o) ...... Yeah, like that only not so sideways.

 I think these new meds are kicking in and doing their job.  Just in time for me to get my Christmas shopping act together.  After doing inventory last night, I have a lot left to do!  YIKES!  Really glad that I have meds that are working or I would be FAH-REAK-ING!!  There are still some of my children who pretty much have nothing yet, plus Christmas jammies need to be bought before Christmas Eve, and other Relatives still need gifts.  I am so behind.  Oh well, thanks to Cymbalta and Abilify I am not going to worry or stress out about it.  This Christmas is just gonna have to be what it is.  It isn't about the gifts anyways, it is about being together and celebrating the birth of Christ and appreciating the gifts that we have been given in our lives.

This year, my children still have a Mother, whose sanity hasn't completely left her, a warm house, food on the table, a Dad with a good job, clothes to wear, and a mostly happy home.  That is a lot more than a lot of kids in this world have.  If they don't get a bunch of "stuff" under the tree, well that is okay.  Maybe they will realize it isn't about the "stuff" and they will appreciate the real gifts in life. 

Or maybe they will melt down in a bunch of tears and it will forever be known as the worst Christmas in their lives, but either way, they will survive and so will I.  I am just hoping for the first scenario to come true as opposed to the second one.  I will have to let you know how it goes. ;o)

I hope that you all are having a relatively stress free Christmas Season.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Describing me

*if you listen to the audio you get a bit of a bonus*

I am sitting here pondering all the "stuff" that is going on. (I am in a fairly good mental space right now, so I can ponder freely without crumpling into a ball on the floor.) I am thinking about my sister's description of me and today's counseling session and last nights running. All this thinking made me wonder about a few things.

1. How would I describe myself? and does that description change based on my thinking?

*My description most definitely would depend on my thinking. When I am in a good and objective space I would describe myself much nicer than I would when I was in a not so objective of a space.

*I am not a perfect Mom, but I try to raise my kids to be strong, helpful, well adjusted little people. I do the best with what I have got. Some days I have more than other days.

* I am a pretty good wife. I try and protect my marriage with my actions and my choices. When I make mistakes I admit to them and apologize. I keep the house running.

*I can be a great friend. I won't ever call you, or rarely, because I'm not much of a phone person, but outside of that I am a good friend. If you need me I am there. 3 am or 3 pm. I will figure out a way to help.

*I am willing to listen to people. I don't always like everyone but I try to be nice to everyone.

*I will protect the weak if I can. I root for the underdog. I am not afraid to confront bullies if they are bullying someone else. Sometimes I can confront my own bullies. More now than when I was young.

*I am not a good talker if I am not comfortable with you. If I feel safe and am comfortable, the words come out much easier, but there are still some words that never come easily or at all, no matter who I am with.

*I find deeper meaning in the mundane. I see things that others often miss, or never think to look at. I have a different way of looking at the world than most people do.

*I often have a running story going in my mind. I tend to write about life in my head as I am living it. Finding the words I would use to describe something, or noticing what I am doing. I am usually quite observant and take everything in.

*I am much too self critical and tend to be obsessive in my thinking.

*When I am in a good space I feel at peace with my looks. Not a raving beauty, or a beauty, but not a beast to be hidden away either.

*I enjoy being creative. Cooking, baking, scrapbooking, drawing. I am not the best at any of those things, but I enjoy doing them. Just for my own pleasure.

*I like to sing in the shower.

*It is hard for me to be taken care of. I like to be the one to take care of others.

*I am quite complex in many many ways.

*I enjoy small and simple things more than extravagent and big things.

*I don't like jewlery. I would prefer getting a new vaccuum cleaner or appliance to any type of jewlery.

*I want to get at the truth of things, even if that truth is hard, hurtful, or makes me wrong.

2. I am curious how you, as the reader of my blogs, would describe me.  So, if you are reading this and you are willing, I am curious how you would describe me based on what you know of me. You can always keep the comment annonymous.  I would like your honest observations.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sometimes I Wish....

Sometimes I wish I had a pull string.  You know the kind that toys have, you pull it and out spill the words.  I want one of those.  I want to pull the string and have the words just flow forth with ease.  Too bad God didn't install one of those when He made me.

Instead, I sit on comfy, pillow covered couch, looking at Counselor and the words get stuck somewhere in my throat.  I sit and look, wringing hands, trying to force something out of my lips.  When something finally does come out it is pittiful and small.   "Uhhm's", "Yeah's", and "I don't know's" are hardly profound and aren't very good at unraveling the tangled knot of craziness that is my mind.

There is such a disconnect between my thoughts and my voice.  If you put a keyboard under my hands I can hardly keep up with the words flowing out of my fingtertips.  Ask them to escape between parted lips and they all run and hide.  What is the deal with that?

Fortunately, my counselor is a wonderful woman.  I find her company very comforting  and I am able to get some words out.  I just wish that they would flow more freely, like they do on here, but I am trying.  I am trying and doing my best and I guess that is all I can do.

So, here is to sitting on comfy couches, covered in pillows two times a week and trying to talk without having a pull string to make the talking easy.  I am giving myself High Fives for trying though.  Baby steps are still steps after all.

*If you listen to the audio that is Toy Story in the background, thus the blog on pull strings LOL*

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Is Coming.....

Christmas is coming, it is right around the corner.  I am SO not ready for it.  For the first time in years I have no idea what I have/don't have/still need.  I am going to have to go through my closet and take an inventory of gifts and figure it all out here pretty soon. 

I am not too stressed out about, because this year Husband and I decided that we were going to do big family gifts instead of a bunch of little individual gifts.  That takes a lot of the load off.  Santa is going to bear the brunt of the gift bearing this year.  ; )

How are you all doing in your Christmas preparations? 

Klara's Christmas play at church is coming up around the corner.  She is so excited!  She wants to invite everyone to come and see it.  She keeps asking me if she can invite her "fingah doctah" aka her finger doctor from the Naval Hospital.  So, if any of you are interested in coming to see an adorable little 5 year old steal the Christmas show with her 5 lines, just let me know. =)  The play is on Saturday evening on the 18th and during church hour on Sunday the 19th.  Hopefully some of you can make it. (Sylvan Way Baptist Church)

In other news, I am deep into the healing and processing of my past.  I am still writing.  Daily.  Most of what I am writing though is too raw and tender for a forum like this, so it is mainly just for myself and my counselor for the time being.  I appreciate all of you that have been praying for me and for all the support I have been getting.  This process of healing is not an easy one and it is taking its toll on me, so if I am quiet for a bit that is why.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Even in the Seemingly Mundane....

I needed more reminding.  God knew I did.  I was checking my email and there was a forwarded message.  I don't always take the time to read them, in fact I often just delete them, but this one was from my beloved Aunt Mary Lou and so I went ahead and opened it.  I had just finished writing a personal blog entry for my counselor to read.  My ending sentence was, "I fear I have more questions than answers."  This is the message that God sent me through my Aunt.


...The Whale... If you read a front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.
A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate ) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them.

Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.

And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude. I pass this on to you, my friends, in the same spirit.

God  is sending me email reminders that His love is always there even in the seemingly mundane.

Currently I am tangled up in my past, stuck tight, weighed down, feeling as though I might drown, but God is sending me those who can help to cut away the cords that bind.  Yes, I am tangled and heavy laden, but once I am free, just watch me spin. 

My Appointment with the Rheumatologist

On the Monday before Thanksgiving I had an 8:10 am appointment with a Rheumatologist.  The paper work I received in the mail said that the appointment would be an hour and a half long.  The office is in Tacoma, about an hour away from my house.  It just so happened that this particular Monday it was snowing, so I gave myself extra time to get there and left my house at 5:45 in the morning.  The roads were pretty good until we got into Tacoma.  They had quite a bit more snow than what we had in Bremerton.  I was in the parking lot by 6:45.  I took a little nap, visited with my Dad who rode with me, and then went up to the office at 8:00.

I waited for about 15-20 minutes in the waiting room before they took me back into a room.  The nurse told me that the Dr. was running late because of the snow.  I laid down and finished taking my nap on the exam table while I waited for him to show up.  An hour later he finally came in. 

He looked at me lying on the table and said to me that I must always be tired.  I am.  One of the questions I filled out on the paperwork was how many hours of sleep do you get at night.  My answer was anywhere from 3 to 7 hours with 5 being the average. 

He asked me a few questions.  He saw that I had checked that I am dealing with depression.  He asked me how depressed I am.  I told him that I am pretty depressed.  He then asked me why.  I just shrugged my shoulders, because honestly I don't know why.  He asked if I had been suicidal or thought of hurting myself.  I said that I had.  He asked if I was seeing a counselor.  I told him that I was going to start seeing one next weekend.  He asked about my marriage, if it is good or not.  He then asked me a few more questions about my health, told me to strip down to my skivvies, put on a gown, and he would be back in a minute.

When he came back he checked my reflexes, pushed on my shoulders, felt my neck, listened to me breath and asked me again when I was starting counseling.  When I told him he said, "good'.  He asked if I had any questions for him.  I did.  I told him that I am pretty flexible and I had seen online that joint hypermobility could cause joint pain and if I might have that.  He looked at me and shrugged his shoulders and said, "you have it."  He didn't offer any more information so I asked him if that didn't really have any bearing on anything.  He said not really, told me to get dressed and he would be back in.  I was kind of surprised at his reaction since my online research said that only a doctor could diagnose hypermobility and that they have a checklist that they usually use to test for it.  I believe it is called the Brighton's Scale or something like that.  Out of the 9 possible points I have 7.  The doctor didn't check for any of them.  I can touch both thumbs to my forearm, I can bend both pinky's back to a 90 degree angle or more, I can bend both knees WAY back past a normal locked position, and I am able to touch my palms to the floor without bending my knees.  The only points I am missing is the ability to bend my elbows the wrong way.  Again, he didn't check any of that.

When he came back in he told me that he couldn't tell me if I had lupus or not.  He said they would draw some blood, prescribed me a non-steroidal anti-inflamatory, and said he would see me in a month.  My hour and a half apt.  ended up being about 10 minutes with the Dr. total.  I left the room and went and had 11 viles of blood drawn.  A record amount of blood drawn for me.  Fortunately blood and needles don't bother me. 

I left feeling very frustrated, blown off, and pretty much like I had wasted my time.  The snow had gotten quite a bit worse by that time so driving home was much more precarious than getting to the appointment.  Looking back on the experience it is pretty much the whole reason why I rarely go to the Dr. for myself.  Fortunately, my Dr. at the Naval hospital is pretty much awesome and he actually listens to me, believes what I am telling him, and is a good communicator.  When I told him how I was treated he seemed to be just as frustrated as I was by it.  If my next appointment doesn't go any better he told me he would refer me to someone else.  So, now you are all up to speed on everything I know medically about myself, which is not much.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Finding God Through the Fog

I know that not all of you who read my words are believers in God, or Jesus.  I am sure that my words for those of you who aren't may seem shallow or like I am grasping at straws, looking for something bigger that really isn't there.  If you don't believe, I can't say that I understand your logic or your reasons.  Your disbelief is as foreign to me as if you were speaking another language.  I am not judging, I just don't understand it. 

No one's journey through life is an easy one.  My journey is obviously no exception to that as I have shared.   God has always been a very real part of my life during my journey.  In good times and in the bad.  He has always been there.  I have never doubted His existance or questioned His goodness.  I have only questioned His love for me.  Not because I doubt His ability to love, but because I have felt so un-lovable.  His love though is very real.  He has shown it to me over and over again.

When I was 3 years old I was laying in bed with my Dad.  I asked him who the man was standing at the foot of his bed.  My father is visually impaired, but can see enough to see if someone is there or not.  He saw no one at the foot of the bed and so he asked me to describe this man.  I told him who I was seeing.  By my description my father said that it was Jesus standing there  watching over me at the foot of the bed.  This is the same age that I was when I accepted Christ.  He has continued watching over me.

Jumping ahead to this chapter of my life His guiding hand and loving, watchful eyes are becoming so apparant to me.  In my blog I wrote the other day where I was asking who to show my white flag of surrender to when I was done fighting I told God that I could no longer see his towers of strong refuge.  A cry of desperation sent out by tired broken heart.  God answers those who cry out to Him.  I found my answer in an un-likely place.  I found it in the broken-ness of a grieving mother.  I wrote about this yesterday, but I was shown so completely this morning that those words she wrote in which she told her son that she would fight   for him was my answer.  It was my answer to the cries I sent out in desperation.  Who do I show my surrender to?  God answered, I show it to Him, I surrender to Him and He will do my fighting when I can't.  Just like my friend who grieves, Christ grieves for us when we are lost and broken.  He will fight with us, He will be there even when I am surrounded by fog and can't see Him.

This morning God broke through the fog and He showed me His love.  He will guide me through this and use those around me to lead the way back to Him.

Stained Glass Reminders........

It is funny, I woke up this morning with an email saying that I had a photo comment on one of the cakes I posted at cake central .  I haven't been on that site in months, possibly even a year, so I was surprised to see the email.  When I went this is the cake that had the comment.

Now, this is the funny part.  The comment was bogus, it was a spam trying to get me to click on a link for Ugg boots.  I find it so interesting that this particular cake is the one that got the spam comment out of all the other possible cakes out there.  Last night I read a fellow blogger friends recent blog in which she recieved a package in the mail of pottery that a friend had made for her.  When she opened it she found that all but 2 of the pieces of pottery had been broken in its journey to her house.   You can find that blog here .  I completely related to the broken pottery in her pictures.  This is the comment that I left for her late last night before I headed off to bed:
I am so sad for you at the broken pottery, but Oh how I feel like that pottery, broken, and splintered. What God crafted in beauty and splendor has been cracked into peices deep and who can put the pieces back together where the cracks won't show? and who can find the little splinters and glue them back into place? And who can see the beauty through the broken-ness and is any part of me left whole? Do I even have two pieces left un damaged? Who can dig in deep to still find them whole?

That is how I went to bed last night.  Broken, splintered, wondering who could make me whole again.  Then to wake to find this image of stained glass.  Something that I had crafted long ago with my own hands.  The Cross, the dove, the beauty made out of broken-ness.  It could be coincidence, but I don't think so.  I think this was God's way of showing me that broken-ness can be turned beautiful.  Because of the Cross, the Holy Spirit is within me, represented by the Dove.  All my shattered bits and pieces can be assembled into something beautiful and whole again.  The cracks just add to the beauty.  The sun will shine again.God is crafting my broken-ness into something beautiful, even if all I can see at the moment is the shards and splinters, there is something better that is coming. 

He is once again reminding me that "Jesus makes beautiful things of my life".  I may just have to break out in song.  =) 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The heart of love..

I have a friend whom I have only seen in person three times, and really friend may be the wrong word to use, but I don't quite know what else to call her. Through her blog my heart has been touched many times and I have shed many tears for her and uttered many prayers. Prayers sent on a river of tears to the throne of God. She had a beautiful baby. Ewan (pronounced you win) was his name. He died from a broken heart when he was only 2 weeks old. It has been 8 weeks since he has passed from this life into heaven. She wrote him a beautiful letter. Once again I found my heart being touched with her words. Here is a part of her letter to her precious son.

Team Ewan: Dear Ewan: "I was in love with you before I ever laid eyes on you. When I finally did see you, I knew you. It would be wrong to say that I loved you any more in that moment, but upon having the veil removed -- getting to see your face and look into your eyes, and to experience you looking into mine -- I knew without a doubt that nothing would keep me from loving you, from fighting for you, from offering every ounce of will I possessed on your behalf."

These are the words that are reverberating into my soul. Her words spoken in love to her son. As I read them Jesus whispered to me through them. If a mother could love her son so much in such a short time, how much more could Jesus, the creator and author of life, love me/you/all of us?! Can you hear Him speaking to you through these words?

Read her words again, read them and imagine that Jesus is looking you in the eye and speaking these words directly to you as you read them. It is true you know. He loves us like that. He removed the veil so that we could someday be with Him and look eye to eye with God the Father. He offered His entire being for US. He died on a cross, beaten and broken for OUR sins. Mine and yours. This is the heart of love. This is the love that we have been given. What greater gift is there than this? This holiday season I pray that each of you know how much you are loved, that there is a Savior who whispers these same words to you that a grieving mother longs to whisper to her son. He loves you, he KNOWS you and He STILL loves YOU, He fought the gates of hell for you and offered every ounce of Himself on your behalf.

This deep love for me is baffling. I look at myself and I wonder why He would or could love me, the broken wretch that I am, but He does. He sees me the way a Mother sees her child. With eyes of love. This is what Christmas is about, this is why we celebrate. May He help me to remember each day that He will fight for me.  He will fight for me when I am too weak to fight for myself. If you don't know of this love I pray you find it. I know I am a poor witness, that my bruises might be screaming louder than my words, but still I hope and I pray that you may find a glimmer of truth in my words and that His love will shine light into your hearts this year.

Linking with Emily and her imperfect prose community today.