Anthony

28 03 2009

dscn0214

My grandson just left after a very nice one week visit. Tony is 17 years old and he is a cool kid.

We talked about everything and nothing. We played some music together. He played guitar very impressively and I sang with him.

God is doing some amazing things in his life… whether he likes it or not.





Happy place

27 03 2009

n562552846_1395593_2407980

This is my happy place. That is my friend and sister in Christ, Helen Fuller. We are blessed to sing with the best praise band in Wilmington.

Come here this Sunday at 10AM to see what I mean.





too overwhelmed to pray

20 03 2009

For a few days, I was too overwhelmed to think straight. It was sheer torture to see Ed in so much pain. I had to remove myself from the room a couple of times because I knew what the nurses were going to do was going to cause him pain but it had to be done.

Have you ever been so stressed that you could not even pray? That is how I felt for the first ten days. I knew God was present with us, I just wasn’t sure what I was saying to Him.

One of those days, our Pastors were with us and one of them said this to me.

“We have faith to pray for Ed. Don’t worry if you are too overwhelmed to know what to pray because we have this for you. We know how to pray for Ed at this time.”

There were no sweeter words that could have blessed my ears. The cool thing is, I never mentioned not being able to pray. They just knew. I let go of some guilt and took a sigh of relief. I am so grateful for friends who stand by you in times of turmoil. 

This reminded me of what happened a few years ago when I was going through the treatment for Hepatitis C. I was on a cocktail of Interferon and Ribivarin for six months. The side effects were pretty hard to deal with but especially what it did to me mentally. I could be driving down the road and completely forget where I was going. Many is the time I had to pull off the road to think where I was driving to. It also made me an emotional wreck. Think of a sick person with ADD on pot and PMS-ing. Yeah, that about describes it. Oh yeah, add to that the feeling that every nerve in your body is on the outside of your skin. And I was depressed. I would cry every night while I was trying to fall asleep because my body hurt every where.

Now, I know that God loves me and that He has saved me for eternity, but, I could not steady my mind enough to pray. I felt terribly guilty about this too. One night, I was really making an attempt to pray and my thoughts wandered off. When I realized it, I berated myself to God. I remember thinking, “God, You must be so disgusted with me. I cannot even pray for a minute.” I heard the inner voice of Holy Spirit say to me, “Why would I turn away from you when you need me the most? I am not disgusted with you. I am here for you even when you can not ask me to be. I will NEVER leave you or forsake you.”

God is never disgusted by our need.

Ed’s surgery went well and he is on the road to recovery. He is a fighter. He was determined to do well through rehab and he did. Ed is due to come home Tuesday, March 24. That just happens to be his birthday.

We are making it through this trial. One day at a time. God has been so very gracious to us. We are surrounded by friends and the thoughts and prayers and texts and emails and gifts and cards and phone calls of family. 

We have a lot to be grateful for.





Just keep breathing

15 03 2009

So, Ed made it through his surgery and immediately went to ICU so they could keep a close watch on the other health issues. He was still under some heavy medication and I had to keep waking him up to remind him to breath. They had him hooked up to bells and alarms that would go off when his O2 level would drop. I had to trust that they were watching him better than I could do and I finally went home to sleep in my own bed. That was a short lived luxury. The next night, I thought I would go home again and Ed asked me to stay just a little longer. The nurse was trying to wash him up and change the bed sheets under him. He had a large foam wedge strapped between his legs to keep them a certain distance apart. Another nurse had come in to help the first one turn him over. I watched as they pushed and pulled him, one nurse in front of him and one in back, onto his right hip. The foam wedge was securely strapped to each leg which resulted in his left leg standing up in the air as he tottered on his right hip. Suddenly, the nurse in front of Ed decided to walk away from him to reach a pillow on the other side of the room. He began to fall forward, all the while yelling, “Hey,hey,hey!!!!!” I ran in front of him just in time for his left leg to hit my shoulder and stop his impending fall to the floor. The nurse who had stepped away put the pillows on the bed and walked out of the room in a hurry. I was horrified. Ed’s eyes were the size of saucers. I asked the remaining nurse what the heck just happened and she smiled and said, “Good thing you were right there.” I just held onto my husband for dear life.

After that, I did not leave the ICU most nights until 10PM when I was sure they were finished moving him around for the night and I returned at 7AM when the shift changed so I could see who his nurse for the day would be. Dear friends came to sit with him so I could go get lunch or run home to get something to eat. Ed’s appetite was kind of puny so sometimes our friends would bring chicken soup for him or a sandwich for me. Every visit, every prayer and every phone call was a blessing.

That was the worst of the hospital stay. I hated every day that we were there but they did get him to the place where he could take a few steps with a walker. Now, he is in a Rehab Facility and he is doing sooo much better. He has learned to walk a little distance with his walker and get himself in and out of the bed and into his wheel chair. Ed is motivated to be home in time for his birthday, March 24. I believe he can do it.

Next post will be about the sweetest words to my ears.





A few set backs…

13 03 2009

The EMTs wanted to give Ed a pain reliever before they tried to move him. Dilaudad. (sp) 

Most of our friends know that Ed and I both had severe problems with drugs and alcohol in our younger days. One of the most severe addictions Eddie had to overcome was an habit on Dilaudad. He refused the shot they offered him. With much anguish- remember he had already been lying on the floor for about 2 hours at this point- they managed to maneuver him onto a stretcher. When the EMTs got him into the ambulance they convinced him that it was going to be a bumpy ride and it would be a good idea for him to take the shot. He agreed.

By the time I reached the emergency room where they had him, he was still in a lot of pain. They gave him another shot of something, maybe more dilaudad, and he began to loosen up. Oh yeah, I  mean REALLY loosen up. His eyes rolled back in his head and remained open. Creepy, but he was not moaning in pain anymore. This is where I had to step up to the plate and make the decisions for his well being. This is when the Mama Bear spirit in me began to stir. Ex-rays revealed a broken hip, actually it was the ball in his hip joint. He needed a partial hip replacement. 

Of course, we wanted them to do it as soon as possible and the surgeon on call was ready and willing to do the surgery right then and there. They began to run some standard tests. It became evident that Ed’s lungs were not getting enough oxygen due to the emphysema and the fact that they had him so drugged that he was hardly breathing at all. His blood platelets were also extremely low due to a liver disease he has had for some 40 years. This was not looking good. His liver doctor had put him on extra blood pressure medication to keep his BP very low and now that became another factor in deciding if Ed was strong enough to undergo surgery. The doctor advised that we try to stabilize all those things before surgery. None of us had any idea that would take 4 days! Surgery was scheduled each day and was bumped each day. All the while, they tried to keep my love “comfortable”. For 4 days, he could barely finish a sentence before he would nod of to la-la land … again. During this time his body began to twitch and jump involuntarily. His liver was not removing certain gases from his body. I spent my days and nights beside him. I was so distraught that I could barely pray.

Thank God for faithful friends and family who were praying for Ed. My first phone call was to my Pastor at 6AM while on my way to the hospital. I actually called his wife because I had her number in my cell phone. I left a message telling them what hospital we were going to. About the time that I realized I was going to be responsible for making some very heavy decisions, Jennifer arrived at the ER. What a blessing. Oh… did I mention that Jennifer has a nursing back ground? She does. Did I mention that she just happens to work at this hospital? I didn’t know it at the time, but, she does. It was such a blessing to have her calming influence there and to know that our Pastor was also on his way.

… there is more to this epic.





Ed and Coni’s excellent (ongoing) saga

11 03 2009

The past few weeks have been intense.

I was absolutely miserable at my job and had a huge decision to make about leaving. After a couple of weeks, I finally reached the conclusion that my life is too short to spend 10-12 hours a day feeling nasty if I did not have to. And, I do not have to. Although I do enjoy SOME of the people I was working with, their inter-action with me was not enough to make a difference. Without naming names, it is just not OK to treat people with disrespect. I say please and thank you a lot. I want folks to know that I do not expect to be served and when I am served, I appreciate it. Wether you are a waiter, a bank teller, a janitor or a celeb, it is common courtesy to say please and thank you. I will refrain from any further ranting on this subject. Bottom line, I don’t want to work with rude, mean people who are allowed to get away with rude, mean behavior. ‘Nuff said.

My last day was on a Tuesday. I slept for 10 hours that night and I cannot tell you one single thing that I did on Weds. I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. Thursday morning I awoke at 5:30 to a banging sound. It is pretty common for me to move to the back bedroom most nights to get away from the roaring locomotive that emerges through Ed’s nasal passages at night. I lay there for a minute thinking, “What crazy neighbor is doing construction on their home at this hour?” My beagle mix, Bella, started barking her head off and I was a little annoyed that Ed was not trying to quiet her. I came out of the back room to hear my husband yelling for me. That will send chills through anyone. He was lying on the bedroom floor where he had crawled to reach the door and he was banging the door against the wall to make noise to wake me. It had taken him an hour and a half to crawl that far from where he had fallen. What a nightmare! He could not move any more. He was exhausted and in agony.  The EMTs were fairly quick to arrive and as they were wheeling him to the ambulance he yelled back to me, “Bring my shoes cause I am coming home with you!” One of the EMTs looked at me and said, “Ma’am, I don’t know how stubborn your husband is but I don’t think he will be needing those shoes. He sure is acting like his hip is broken.”

I followed the ambulance to the hospital after throwing a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and his shoes into a bag.

Sure enough, the man was right. Ed broke his hip and would not be coming home with me. In fact, I did not come home for 2 days myself.

to be continued…..





I sang to a phone on your car because that’s how I roll

9 03 2009
Here’s a fun game for you to play with fellow bloggers, e-mail buddies, or social media friends. Feel free to copy and paste this!
Type out the sentence you end up with in the subject line and forward to your friends.
Pick the month you were born:
January—–I kicked
February—–I loved
March—–I karate chopped
April—–I punched
May—–I jumped on
June—–I smelled
July—–I did the Macarena With
August—–I had lunch with
September—–I danced with
October—–I sang to
November—–I yelled at
December—–I ran over
Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1—– birdbath
2—–a monster
3—–a phone
4—–a fork
5—–a snowman
6—–a gangster
7—–my mobile phone
8——-my dog
9—–my best friends’ boyfriend
10—–my neighbor
11—–my science teacher
12—–a banana
13—–a fireman
14—–a stuffed animal
15—–a goat
16—–a pickle
17——-your mom
18—–a spoon
19—–a smurf
20—–a baseball bat
21—–a ninja
22—–Chuck Norris
23—–a noodle
24—–a squirrel
25—–a football player
26—–my sister
27—–my brother
28—–an iPod
29—–a surfer
30—–a homeless guy
31—–a llama
What is the last number of the year you were born:
1—–In my car
2 —–On your car
3 —–In a hole
4 —–Under the nightstand
5 —–Riding a Motorcycle
6 —–sliding down a hill
7 —–in an elevator
8—–at the dinner table
9 —–In line at the bank
0 —–in the kitchen
Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White—–because I’m cool like that.
Black—–because that’s how I roll.
Pink—–because I’m NOT crazy.
Red——because the voices told me to.
Blue—–because I’m cute and I do what I want.
Green—–because I think I need some serious help.
Purple—–because I’m AWESOME!
Gray—–because Big Bird said to and he’s my leader.
Yellow—–because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars.
Orange—–because my family thinks I’m stupid anyway.
Brown—–because I can.
Other—–because I’m a Ninja!