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“Prayer/Care Cards” August 12, 2017

        A sunset at Seaside !!!

My family had rented a house in Seaside, for a week. So on July 9th, I had decided to head to Seaside, after church, by way of Rockaway beach. My plans were changed when I saw a lot of traffic, in both directions. Any spot that could be parked in, was filled.   I drove through Rockaway figuring on coming back in a day or so. As I was driving, I was making new plans. You see, I was going to take photos of decorations for my “Prayer/Care Cards” and take photos for my “Remembering Shawn” time. 

For many years I have been frustrated that I could not find the right card to send out to various folks going through difficulties. I call these cards my “Prayer/Care Cards”. I want to remind folks that someone cares and is praying for them, as they muddle through a difficult time.  In years past, I  bought many discounted cards, none of which I really liked. I like the personal touch.   I have come up with my own phrases. I hope to make the photos into cards.

Here is an example:  P.S. I have several colors, not just blue !!!

As I continued my drive towards Seaside, my disappointment lightened.   I asked God to help me figure out how I could use all my prayer/care decorations?  I had decided I was going to get up extra early in the mornings, walk to the beach and get photos finished before the sun would cast too many shadows to work around. Then my mind started to wander as I recalled the many sand sayings  I had made for Shawn, since he died. In time I started making sayings for others, who wanted their precious person remembered. I love making sand sayings.  I hope to get to make more sand sayings, for others not just myself. Mind you, it takes quite a bit of time. I hope to  make my new sand sayings  into cards to send out to those facing difficult times. Oh yes,  I had brought Blotto on this beach trip, in hopes of getting more photos of her at various locations, if time allowed.

 Bob came to Seaside, the following Monday afternoon. He knew how bummed I was to not get my various photos taken.             During my kidney episode I was watching a movie. I do not know the title or what it was about. Only one small phrase: “that  appalling desperation of wanting to keep  the dying person with you.”   I think that is why going to Rockaway is still so important. It is my special remembering place for Shawn. A lot of folks go to a cemetery.    Bob gave me the idea of leaving very early Saturday morning and getting to Rockaway before car and people traffic picked up. What a great idea ! I was sure I could pull out some of my prayer/care suches to make more photos.

Just a few samples: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is something neat. I figured out what I can can do to contribute when with others. You see, I love washing dishes and doing laundry.  So, while at Seaside with my family, I suggested they let me be the official dish washer and take care of the towels and wash cloths. I just wanted to find a way to lighten their load. And, guess what ? They let me !!!     For me, it was easy to do those tasks with joy !!!  

***

I must admit, there are times (many) when it seems God & I are not on the same page.

Friday evening before Bob left, it was noticed that my car had a  flat front tire. Les Schwab was closed. The donut spare was put on. There was such a difference in size that I was not going to attempt driving to Rockaway. I would need to get my tire fixed Saturday morning, changing my plans, again, for a remembering Shawn photo. My brother-in-law said there must be a reason, trust God. As reality set in, the emotion pressures were weakening the doors that do a fair job of restraining my tear flows. Without warning the tears burst out. I was, so, ashamed. I’m sure it is hard for most to understand my need for remembering Shawn.  

***Les Schwab, You Rock !!!***

I am kind-of struggling. I cannot see how God can use my strange life. I do not want folks wondering why Kathy shares everything. I believe I have mentioned before that I am using this platform so my family and friends can have a place to check in to see how I am doing~that way they don’t have to deal with my grief stuff   ??? Also, maybe my sharing will help someone know they are not alone. Maybe (?) all my different ideas or things I learn along the way can be an encouragement to someone ?

The other day, I typed in on YouTube: sermons on moving through grief.   Here is a message I found helpful: https://youtu.be/bx7lS9UkE0s  Joel Osteen, :Don’t Waste Your Pain:  It is well worth listening to.

 At 16:59 Joel mentioned “puzzle”, which reminded me of a project I wanted to try. I took a children’s puzzle and painted over it. I chose a scripture that I need reminding of, often, and penned it the best I could.  It did not turn out perfect, in-fact, it looked so much nicer before I cut the pieces apart. BUT, the words are pure comfort !!!  

 

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A Game Plan !!! August 5, 2017

 

Well hello folks, I am trying to get back into doings.  I am so behind and have been trying to catch up on: home projects, ornaments, organizings, PorQ clips and hopefully weight issues. I guess I need to make a game plan !!! The past 6 months have been very difficult. I think I am kind-of feeling a-self-imposed pressure.  You see, my counselor gave me 5 years  from Shawn’s death, to be dealing better with my grief. This is year 4…                 The gloom has been so thick over me.  I was watching a program about Charles Spurgeon. More than once Charles faced the difficulties of despair. All the while, God’s mission, plan or calling, was unwinding for Charles, in-spite of his ups and downs.  I know there are folks in the Bible who seemed to have quite a bit of sad moments in their lives, yet God used them.

I do not know if many of you out there are in the deeps of despair ??? I do not know if any of  you understand what it is like to dread every moment whilst trying to come to grips with loss. I do not know if any of you struggle with the torments of depression or grief.  I do not know if any of you struggle wondering what your purpose is or what gifts God has given you or how God can use you for His glory ???    Like this tiny pansy, growing through a crack in the pavement and up close to a building.  How and why did it grow there ??? Yet, the several times I walked past this flower, clocking in & out for work, it blessed my heart.  I wonder how many of you know someone who is doubting their worth, while you the onlooker, can see clearly how God is using said person ? Just recently, for me, I was sharing with a new friend that her attitude, her persistence and her acceptance of her situation have been such a blessing to me. She shocked me when she said the same about me.  How could she say that about me ??? You see, my new friend has suffered with Cerebral Palsy, for 70 years. She is reliant on a special lift to get out of bed. She gets tired, easily. She has other health issues that make her life more complicated. To go anywhere, she has to use special transportation. The home she lives in, is lonely. Most of the other folks have some level of Alzheimer’s, or just plain don’t care to be friends. She used to enjoy her 10 year old Apple laptop, until it broke. Her resources are nil, so she cannot afford to get it fixed.  She sighs, yet is grateful for God’s love, care and peace. The many moments she is alone or unable to sleep, being a prayer warrior, she uses those many moments to pray for those God  brings her way. I am earnestly praying that somehow God would send someone her way that could fix her laptop. At-least she would be able to connect with others.

I really  thought I was doing better, until “my little jewel” episode happened.  I have been told happiness is a choice. Don’t think for a moment that I have not given myself  “a here to what for” about trusting God’s moving in my life.

Now, here is where I am most bothered by my kidney stone episode. Not working gave me time to remember a lot of Shawn’s  hospital moments and the many decisions that had to be made, and the regrets or doubts regarding those decisions.

I must admit that the nausea, pain and weakness for 33 days was tiring, but nothing like my friend who has suffered for 70  years with her Cerebral Palsy.  My hope is to find ways to, somehow, encourage my new friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, Hello Folks !!! July 29, 2017

 

Well, hello folks. I am actually feeling better,  from my kidney stone episode, so much so that I have been working super hard on our very tiny yard. If you saw our yard, you would find yourself wondering how I could spend so much time working on it. Fact is I had over done my efforts and my doctor told me to ease up. She was right, Wednesday night I was hurting so badly that I could not sleep. Nothing was interesting on the television and I knew my least liked emotion was brewing~I was missing Shawn, extremely. I decided to do some surfing from my recliner.            

The past several days, I have had several songs repeat many times. These songs I have liked from the early 90’s, when our family was going through some very difficult times. The last song I listened to was: “The Anchor Holds” with Ray Boltz singing. I had noticed another title selection: The Story Behind – “The Anchor Holds” written and performed by Lawrence Chewning.  For some reason the words Lawrence spoke made my emotional flood waters spew forth.  So, instead of posting 1 of the 3 posts I had ready, I am just sharing what I found on YouTube. I will leave it at that. Take care now. K

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Happy B.day, Melissa !!! July 14, 2017

 

Hello Melissa !!! I know we haven’t spoken in a while, hoping to give you plenty of study time. However, I have been praying earnestly for you to score well !!! I hope you have a wonderful b.day. I hope you know I love you dearly !!! I found a piece of amazing art work by: Hannah Dunnett. It is Psalm 139, I hope you can find comfort in it’s words.

I love you, my precious Melissa !!! 

Now a word from cute little Blotto: 

 

 

           Just for fun !!!

 

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Missin’ The Happy~Clappy June 21, 2017

Back in April I had gone into Target. My grief emotions were slamming me extremely hard, that particular day.  As  I walked through the Target doors, there was cheering and clapping. This caused me to have a chuckle moment. So, I did what anyone else would do. I walked out of the store. I, then,  proceeded back through the entrance doors.   Yep,  just what I needed. I decided to go through the entrance doors one more time, just for fun. How or why did that happy~clappy make me chuckle ? It was almost as if a tiny bright shaft of light came piercing out of a thick black cloud that hung over me.  Around May 6th,  I was at Target. This time there was no cute greeting.   I found myself missin’ the happy~clappy.  I did ask a clerk what happened to the happy~clappy. She said it was stopped a couple days before. Apparently some folks said it was annoying. Go figure. Well, if anyone from Target Corporation sees this: I loved your happy~clappy greeting when I came through your doors !!! Maybe some kind of track that plays extra greetings? Kudos to whomever came up with the idea !!! One never knows what might give another a well needed chuckle moment.

  Such a little stone for such a big bother !!!

     It has been  almost a month since my trying kidney stone episode began. Energy has been at an all time low. Which I do not understand, since this is probably the first time in my life that I  have had 100% oxygen level in my system. I have had an awful back and leg pain. I decided to check in with my acupuncturist. She found that my right kidney is having difficulties functioning. She found that my sciatic nerve on my right side is the cause of my leg pain. I have found that the Yoga Pigeon stretch has been very helpful. This video explains the stretch very well:    Sciatica 101: How and Why Yoga Relieves Sciatica Pain, Justine Shelton:   https://youtu.be/69Svhb7tKxA  

My acupuncturist did some research and found a couple of products for me to try, in hopes of dissolving “my little jewel”. I have tried drinking lots of pineapple juice, adding rose water to it. I could not tolerate apple cider vinegar. Magnesium, I was told to take before bed. Oops, here I go, the magnesium kept me awake, apparently most folks find it relaxes them-go figure. I have drunk  A LOT of water !!! Thankfully, most times I am only 13 steps from the bathroom. I have been very nauseated this whole time. It is odd for me to be sick to my stomach. I did get sick to my stomach when I was pregnant and for most of the surgeries I have had, I have gotten very sick to my stomach as the anesthesia is wearing off. Because of these issues, I found work too much. My doctor okay-ed me not to work until this episode is healed.  

Well, my doctor called to check in on me. He had hoped my stone would have passed on its own. He told me that 7 out of 10 folks are able to pass a 3 mm stone with no trouble.  I have until June 22nd, to do due diligence to get this jewel out.  I do not like nor want surgery. To add to the dread, I have been told that the stent is not much fun.  

Oh yes, this tell happened the Thursday I drove after my kidney episode: I do not know how I made it through that day. The pain, nausea and exhaustion were more of a battle than I had expected.  I locked my bus and was walking, slowly, to clock out. A friend was calling my name. She caught up with me. She was wondering where I had been and if I was okay. She commented that I didn’t look so good. I explained. She grabbed me by the arm and jerked me around to look at her. She was laughing while loudly telling me,”Kathy, be glad you are not a horse !”  Wow ! I just didn’t know what to think. She told me that she had seen kidney stones from horses that were the size of a basketball. She told me to be glad I didn’t have to deal with that. Yes, I am very glad I am not a horse. When I told my Aunt about this, we were laughing so hard, tears were rolling down our faces.

Since I have not been able to do a lot, I have been watching tours of gardens.  I re-watched “Rosemary & Thyme”. I have been listening to preaching. I found this message from Rick Warren so encouraging.  “Learn How God’s Goodness Can Restore You” with Rick Warren.   Published on Feb 20, 2017. 

 

 

 

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A Kidney Stone !!! May 24, 2017

 

For as long as I can remember,  it has been said that: A Kidney Stone !!!, is the worst pain.  If that is what you believe, you may want to stop reading, now.  I speak for myself.  I am dealing with the passing of a kidney stone, only the size of 3 mm. It is stuck where the ureter meets the bladder. It has traveled quite some distance, since 12 AM Sunday morning, May 21. I am looking forward to its exit.  

I am going to give a little tell about my kidney stone’s journey.  First, I need to set the stage of my goings on,

On Saturday, May 20th, I was going to take things easy. I went to a couple of stores, I went to get copies made for a new idea I had for my elementary passengers: A Bus Report Card.  An idea I absolutely love. When my passengers heard me tell of it to our troubled passenger, they chimed in wanting one, as well. That tell is for another time. I picked up treats for our neighbor dog and Kombucha, for me. My last stop was to get a watch fixed. When I arrived home, I had only a few short hours before Bob would arrive home. Suddenly, my list of needing to dos seemed overwhelming. Why had I felt so relaxed earlier in the day ?  I plowed into tasks, even added an hour of weeding. However, I did save ironing for last. Bob was working on a project, so I knew I wouldn’t be in his way.  Bob went to bed before midnight, as I was putting the last of the laundry away.  I believe my body was going through a nesting type phase, like the phase before  a woman goes into labor.  

I was restless. I checked my email. I had an unexpected message from my friend , the one who is in Artificial Intelligence.  I played the recording. For some reason my computer, upstairs played the recording too quickly and repeatedly. I went downstairs to see how my laptop played it.          It was Shawn’s voice !!!  I plopped down into my rocking chair, I wanted to send a thank you note to my friend.  As I plopped, at midnight,  I sneezed a very hard pain-filled sneeze. The pain did not stop. The pain grew and I knew I would not be sending out a thank you email.  

As the pain grew worse,  I could not stand to hear extra noise. I thought when I shut off the television that things would lessen. Nope. This strange pain grew in intensity, making it difficult to find any position of ease.  I thought back to see if I could figure what might have been the cause.   For dinner, I had eaten my wonderful Beluga Lentils. They do not cause me digestive problems. But, after my sneeze, that was the prominent taste in my mouth.  I paced around the living room, I do not know how many times. I wish now that I had worn my FitBit Zip. I kept hoping all my pacing would not wake Bob. He had had a rough week. I kept pacing. Every so often, I would stop to lean over the couch to see if I could find relief. I tried  a suppository, drinking very warm water, my natural pain relieving gel~Sombra~ on  the front and back of my mid-section.  I tried my Mini Masseuse-Pro Series. All the while I was praying that God would help me figure out how to get the pain gone. Church was in a few short hours and I needed some rest. I am pretty sure I started begging God to make the pain go away. Only God knows why He let the pain grow.   

It must have been near 8 AM when Bob came down the stairs. The bad taste in my mouth made me not want to be close to  Bob while I was talking, but for some reason, he couldn’t hear me very well. He decided we needed to go to Emergency. I thought I just needed time to deal with the pain, and he could go to church alone.  Somehow, we went to urgent care, near our house. We were sent to a small Emergency type hospital across the road. They recommended a trip to a bigger emergency, for various testings. Bob says I was very slow at walking, in and out of the various buildings, but I knew that a wheelchair would not be comfortable. I even refused an ambulance ride to the last Emergency stop. No way could I get comfortable in that setting. My car was the best choice.  

I was asked the give a number to my pain. 8.5 was my choice. As long as I could walk, even very slow, the pain was not a 10.  I recall Bob telling the E.R. doctor that if I said 8.5 for the pain, it was probably higher. She said when she heard 8.5, she knew they were dealing with a stubborn one. I won’t give the names of the pain relievers they tried. I just know they had to keep increasing. I was asked to sit down for various readings and needle situations. Oh, here is a positive: because of all my hospital times, growing up, I knew I had jumping veins. I told the lab person. He seemed pleased and was able to figure the best approach for my I.V. One little needle poke is all it took !!!   The donut imaging machine revealed a 3 mm sized kidney stone, other tests revealed my white blood count at 16 and the top number for my bp had gotten to 189. I didn’t think to write details down~oh bother !!!  I was filled with fluids, but the awful lentil taste did not go away.

I think it was about 4 PM that we were sent home. I had no idea what to expect.What does a 3 mm kidney stone look like ? Would I notice or would it hurt when it exited ?  So, I had Bob draw me the approximate size.  All the while I was trying to figure out a tinkle kit for catching my kidney stone. I did: a large cup, a strainer and paper towels cut into fourths.

I went to a urologist, on Tuesday. He told me the stone was stuck at the end of the urethra before it enters into the bladder. I was given 3 choices for taking care of it.  I do not like surgery, so I chose to manage the pain as best as I could. He recommended I get a kit for straining. He chuckled when I showed him my kidney stone kit. It was better than what they could give me, especially when I am at work.  He told me that if the kidney does not pass within 4 weeks I need to make other plans for getting rid of my kidney stone. Oh and I was glad he had a different product than Oxycodone. Words of wisdom: if, like me, you have an almost non-functioning digestive system, Oxycodone is not your friend. Because of the Oxy, I have another situation to deal with: my digestive system. Bob said in all our almost 30 years of marriage, that my belly hasn’t ever been this big, for this long.  

The push is on. My goal is to drive bus on Thursday. Wednesday morning I ate helpful things for my digestive system. A positive reaction helped a lot with no Oxy for 28 hours. At 6:30 AM I laid down for a rest. As I was lying on my left side, almost asleep, I felt a kerplunk, in my right kidney area, at which time a sense of gut calm began.  Now the wait !!!

At the beginning of this wordy post I stated: For as long as I can remember,  it has been said that: A Kidney Stone !!!, is the worst pain.  Why would I say that ??? It seems to be commonly agreed to. Well, that saying doesn’t hold true from my experience. Sure my kidney stone is only 3 mm, but it is not the worst pain I have endured. I realize men cannot understand this, but back labor with my daughter Melissa and the limits of medications because of asthma,  that was worse. !!!  I have had a vaginal hysterectomy, with several nurses holding me down while the gauze-the size of a basketball, was being pulled out, that was worse than this kidney stone !!!  Something men and women both can have done: a Nasal/Septo and or a Caldwell Luc- both are sinus surgeries. When the gauze was removed each time, and blood was gushing, everywhere, that was worse that my 3 mm kidney stone.   Also, something men and women share, the actual physical heartache of childloss is far and above worse than this kidney stone episode. No offense meant. A kidney stone is not fun, but as far as being the worst pain to endure, it’s probably not !!!   I anxiously await my little stones departure. I hope Bob and I will learn why God thought we needed another challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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