Archive for June, 2007

It’s 11 PM. I’m exhausted. Rough day to begin with. Hot and stuffy at work and I broke out in a heat rash but fought to stay “with it” and finished my shift.

Too hot for Elmer to go out to eat – so Mom and I were supposed to bring him something back. Restaurant slow. Called Elmer to ask what he wanted. He stopped responding. Phone busy. Called someone to get someone else’s number to check on Elmer. He’d forgotten to turn off the phone. Finally got his order. Everything normal.

Or so we thought. Dropped Mom at Pap’s for a car for tomorrow and I came home, putting Elmer’s food on a tray and breezing into his room announcing that dinner was here – just like always. Except Elmer didn’t respond. He was mumbling, his voice husky, incoherent, one arm not working right, had taken his oxygen off… freaked me out.

First thought: stroke.

To keep him from panicking, I acted normal and tried to get him to eat so I could go call for help. Phone off the hook again. Couldn’t find it. Had to use cell, which was on low battery. Couldn’t find the Hospice number. Not allowed to call 911. Mom not answering her cell. Pap not answering his phones. Panic. Lots of panic and pacing and praying. Finally found a hospice number. Finally able to get his oxygen on him. Nurse finally called. Nurse finally showed. Mom finallly showed. His blood sugar was low. Super low. Put-him-into-a-delirium-low. He doesn’t remember it.

So long past when I was planning on being in bed things were just starting to settle down. Now it’s late again and I have another long day at work tomorrow in temps just as high. Hope I make it.

But this evening was probably one of the scariest events of my life. Mom keeps saying she was glad I was here rather than her (being alone) because I probably handled it better. Doesn’t feel like I handled it – I felt so out of control and helpless and lost and lone and afraid. Prayer helped. IM with Stef helped.

Hope it never happens again.

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stage falls…

Last night I was demonstrating to one of my VBS sketch actors how to fall safely for her part.

What I forgot was the little tin that I had in my pocket, right at my upper right thigh (which takes the brunt of the fall).  I landed hard.  The pain was excruciating and brought tears to my eyes.

Later last night when I realized it was swollen I put some ice on it.  Should have had ice on there much sooner.  It still hurts to walk and now I have this neat little tin-shaped bruise on my thigh.

So much for teaching someone to fall without hurting themselves…

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So in my dream last night there was the most beautiful sunset over this very strange rocky ocean scene – almost glacier like.

I remember thinking in my dream that I’ve never seen anything so wondrously beautiful.

And to think Heaven will be so far beyond that…

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And needed it.

So I think I’m in a fibro crash.  First for a long time.  Because I’d been doing so good.  But with that “not sleeping” thing going on and then me pushing myself the past few weeks with work and church stuff… I think I reached my limit.  I watched my symptom journal as daily numbers rose into the upper-20’s and then to the mid-30’s… the highest they’ve been in months.  And I’m still not sleeping proper.

This morning when I got into the shower, I had a major muscle spasm across my chest.  For a while I had trouble breathing, but as that subsided I was left without being able to move my arms much without causing it to spasm again.  A nap didn’t help.  So with the spasms on top of the pain, weakness, shakiness, racing heart and dizziness, I called off work today.

Now I need to decide if I’m going to the doctor or not.  In times past when I had this much pain/stiffness (back has been acting up for over a week) and spasms, the doc gave me muscle relaxers to help me loosen up a bit (also helps with sleep).  But I have a new doc.  And last time I went to him and told him what they did in the past he gave me a slightly different medicine that made me worse… then the other doc in the office basically ignored me when I went back in a couple weeks later with more symptoms.  *sigh*

I guess for today I’ll try to take OTC pain meds and soak in a hot bath and do this on my own.  But eventually I’m gonna have to find a doc I can trust…

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Who does that?

One of my favorite shows is CRIMINAL MINDS. I love the characters and the team aspect and the quirky genius Reid has always been a fav.

Back around the Superbowl they had this 2-parter where Reid gets kidnapped by this guy with 3 personalities. (One which liked him, one that wanted to kill him and one who was “impartial” but “doing God’s will” and bringing judgment.) As these shows do on occasion, it had a religious theme where some person takes the Bible to (in this case murderous) extremes. Totally out of context.

So Reid is this genius who can speed read and remember every word (among other things) and he had been kidnapped and was trying to give his team clues (he was being videoed with a live internet feed) to find him. And in the process he goes off about classic narcissism and vanity and says “Genesis 23:4, Let him not deceive himself and trust in emptiness, vanity, falseness and futility for these shall be his recompense.”

Now Genesis 23.4 is actually Abraham wanting to buy a plot of land for burial. And because the genius wouldn’t misquote a verse, that was the clue for the team to find him…

But ever since I saw the initial episode I’ve wondered where the verse he quoted came from. So I recorded the rerun last night to get the wording of the other verse. I went to a Bible program and chose the King James (since most of the verses sounded like that version) and could not find it. I finally googled it. It was Job 15.31 – taken from the Amplified Version!

Now, I have an Amplified Bible. It’s really cool because in parenthesis it gives you alternate or more descriptive meanings of some words that might lose meaning in our culture – because in Hebrew especially it is hard to translate one English word for the true meaning… And that’s cool.

But who in Hollywood reads the Amplified Bible and uses it in writing a TV show? Most shows quote the Bible in Latin, King James or NIV… (if it’s accurate at all.)

This bewilders me.

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So even though I’d stopped actively looking for a job and resigned to the retail work I was doing, I was still receiving daily job alerts from CareerBuilder.com. I just never turned it off.

Then Sunday, May 27th I noticed a new job alert that piqued my interest. Church office. 5 days a week, 5 hours a day. So before we left for vacation Monday morning I sent out my resume.

I interviewed yesterday. Reading the job description was like being at home. I loved it immediately and got a good feel for the place. I left feeling good about the interview but trying not to get my hopes up too much. After all, it wouldn’t be the first interview I felt good about that fell through. Still, throughout the night as it crossed my mind, there was a peace in those thoughts.

This morning, promptly at 9 AM, I got a call from the Pastor offering me the job. He told me to think and pray about it and get back to him. So I e-mailed friends and prayer support and prayed and as I did some of my daily tasks, thoughts of working it all out crossed my mind.

After lunch I went into my current place of employment and talked to the manager. He wanted to know if I wanted to stay on like 1 day a week. I said I thought I could manage an evening a week or a Saturday now and again. Which helps with health insurance and office supplies at home!

Coming home on my way to return the call to the pastor to accept a Bible verse kept coming to mind, Ruth 3.18, “Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

The matter is settled. I HAVE A NEW JOB! And I am so excited.

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So today I went to a worship service. On a Saturday. At noon. And it was spectaculer.

Four graduating seniors from my church decided that they wanted to celebrate their graduation from high school by having a worship service. A worship service.

The seniors were each introduced by the youth minister (same one I had) and most of the time was spent engaged in worship. The church’s worship team led us all in several songs that the seniors had picked out. Every once in a while one of the seniors would make some short comments about the next song and what it meant to him/her. But basically, it was an hour of worship and of celebrating the God who brought them this far.

I’m still rather blown away. I mean, I graduated high school. And then from a Christian college. And then from a seminary. And each time there was a Baccalaureate or Convocation service focused on thanking God and congratulating seniors. But those were instituional things. And, sure, there were always graduation parties and many times church recognition of graduates.

But I’d never heard of eighteen-year-olds requesting an hour long worship service to kick-off their graduation celebration. That says something about these kids. Something good.

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Apparently, there’s nothing wrong with me. Maybe it’s all in my head. But the doc gave me some allergy meds to see if that would help. *rolling eyes*

Okay, so he didn’t say that my symptoms were imaginary or that I am a hypochondriac or anything like that. In fact, he said he understood that the symptoms I am having are hard to define and harder to diagnose. He even made a point to say that he wasn’t saying I didn’t really hurt or have symptoms. And therein lies the rub. He worked too hard to make that point – and it was almost patronizing – which makes me think he really does think I’m a nut job. Or maybe I’m just paranoid.

A month ago I was feeling better than ever. The HG symptoms seemed under control and the Fibro symptoms were rare. Felt like I was on the right track. Then I stopped sleeping and everything went downhill… I’m tired of being sick and I’m tired of not knowing how to handle it… like every time I get a handle on it something changes. Frustrating.

Most of my symptoms I guess could be explained.

The on-going stomach issues could be my stomach acid being too high (happens at seasonal changes and under stress) – or could be something off on my diet.

The sore throat, sneezing and even lightheadedness and headaches have been associated with allergies (by the docs in SoCal).

The fatigue, wrist pain, mood swings (depression and/or anxiety) and headaches were my main Fibro symptoms. The dizziness, nausea, trouble concentrating, impaired memory, even the itchy skin and numbness/tingling of hands and feet are typical fibro symptoms and ones that I’ve had before…

So maybe it’s just a flare. And maybe it just caught me off guard. But what do I do about work when I can barely stand or move my head? And what about all the other things that need done and that I told people I’d do…. I started making small committments because I was feeling better – now what?

I am really wishing I had the means to get out to SoCal to see my Fibro specialist. I think getting mapped and making sure I’m still progressing (not regressing) would make me feel so much better about now…

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This is Netanya. It means “a gift.” (“Gift” reference Firefly episode “Serenity Part 1”)

The first picture on the left is her before “the academy.” Brilliant, upperclass young girl happy as can be.

The second is her on the way to “the academy.” She didn’t really want to go, it was her older brother’s idea (who works for the Alliance and knew what they would do to her).

The middle picture is after she gets rescued by the crew of the Firefly. That was the start of my dream the other week. But she’s got lots of secrets.

The last two on the right are her working with the crew on “jobs” using her special “skills.” Note in the first she’s more like herself and in the far right one she’s dressing more like Mal and Zoe – perhaps mockingly? They still don’t like her much. Of course, if some secretive, mute girl with special abilties and a tendency to “freak out” was onboard your ship, you might feel the same way. Let’s just say that she was further along in the progam than River was and had already been sent out by the Alliance on “missions.” But she can also control herself and her command words better than River can…

This story won’t last… and probably won’t get written down… but it’s been kinda fun. Exercise in creativity.

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So I’m sick again. It started with not sleeping like 3 weeks ago and then there were sleeping pills the doc gave me which may have made me worse but it also could have been the new allergy meds and I can’t tell if my symptoms are from the fibro or allergies or something else….

But increasingly my wrist is pain up (main fibro symptom) plus there is increasing headaches, fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea, weakness, shakiness, sore throat, some sneezing, periods where I can’t take a deep breath…

I had to call off work again today. And a few weeks ago I gave updated hours, requesting to work more because I had started feeling so much better (from the diet, weight loss and exercise)… And I guess that’s what really gets me.

I mean, I have a chronic illness… should I expect less? I’ve been expecting more. Expecting the treatment to work and continue to work. Expecting things to clear up – albeit gradually. I knew it wouldn’t be instant… but I keep feeling like I should be further along by now. Most of my complaints in the fall and January were cleared up once I was on the hypoglycemic diet for a while.

So currently I’m back to “what now?” Is this a flare or something else? Something I need to wait out? Something to be more proactive about? How? A sign that I’m taking on too much too soon? Or am I doing myself in, making myself sick from anxiety and fear of the very thing I want so badly – more energy to do the things I am certain I am meant to??

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