There’s just so much going on in my life right now, and it seems that not only do I not have time to blog, I really don’t even care anymore. We spent 3 months in and out of hospitals with my mom earlier in the year when she had bypass surgery, and then setbacks afterward.
Then July 8, Bethany had surgery again. Three years ago, she ruptured a tendon in her left ankle. She had surgery on it 2 years and almost 4 months ago. The recovery was long and grueling. The doctor, in order to make her unstable ankle more stable, broke the heel bone and shifted it 20 degrees, and put a screw in it. He stabilized the rest of the ankle by drilling a hole in the bone and running half the tendon through the ankle bone, to tighten it down like a zip tie. She was in a soft cast 2 weeks, and a hard cast for 4 more (I think…it’s hard to remember now). After the hard cast was removed, and she started therapy, the fracture in her heel re-fractured. Back in the cast.
So earlier this year she began to have pain again. The doctor did an MRI and discovered a small, benign tumor (called an intraosseous lipoma) in a bone in the ankle. We thought that was what was causing the pain. If the lipoma grows (which it was) it can cause pain when it gets close to shattering the bone. So surgery was scheduled.
After the surgery, Dr. Moss came out to tell us that he found, in his words, a nasty tear in the same tendon. We don’t know for sure how she injured it again. It could have been the day she slipped on the stairs. He said it would not take much. He did not remove the tumor because he would have had to drill into the bone again, and he did not believe that was causing her pain. He was right…her pain got better after the initial surgical pain was over.
She’s going for therapy twice a week now. She will be going back to work September 8. But we found out her insurance would not pay for therapy this time. She has a $1000 cap for therapy, and some chiropractic care she had a few months back, counted toward that. So the doctor’s office does there own therapy for much less than the therapy place she went to last time.
We are getting ready for our church’s 115 year homecoming on October 10. That means we have lots of sprucing up to do at the church. We’ve rebuilt a walkway cover that was blown away by Hurricane Ike in 2008. We’ve completely repainted and redecorated the fellowship hall. We are still working on it, but it’s coming along. We still have to repair some flooring in it, too.
We “built” a new church library. We had an old office that was being used for a junk storage room. We completely cleared it out, painted, put down new flooring, added bookshelves, and added comfortable furniture. We also ripped up carpet in the secretary’s office and put down new flooring. We’ve added new lighting and ceiling fans.
We have also redone some flowerbeds in the front. They look so much better. Our friend, Karen, put in many hours on that. She is now working on redecorating our older ladies’ Sunday School classroom. It was long overdue.
Starting in September, we are painting the outsides of buildings and repairing siding.
Two weeks after the homecoming, on October 23, Nita is getting married. Nita is 85, but you would never know it. This is certainly not her first wedding (she’s a widow and has been married twice), but she never had a wedding. So I am doing her wedding: making her dress, cake, flowers, and doing the decorating. It’s going to be beautiful, if I say so myself It’s a lavender wedding.
After this is all over, I just want to do absolutely nothing for a while. But you know that’s not really a possibility. October 31 is our Fall Fest. Then November is Thanksgiving. We’ll have a church Thanksgiving dinner a week or so before Thanksgiving. Then, of course, December is Christmas.
I need to go ahead soon, and have my other knee replaced. It has gotten so painful that it hurts every time I take a step. October will be 2 years since the other knee replacement.
Brandon now has Crohn’s Disease. Google it if you don’t know what it is. He first developed ulcerative colitis at 14, but it has progressed to Crohn’s. He may have to go on immunosuppressant drugs soon. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Brandon will be 29 in November.
On June 2, my cousin died of cancer. He would have been 50 this past Sunday. He battled cancer 5 times since he was 21, but he went on to get married and have 3 children. They miss him very much, as do his parents, brother and sister. He spent his last week in a hospice, but he said God would get the glory from this somehow. That in itself is an amazing testimony. We’ll see him again. Maybe sooner than we think.
Last November, Beth was robbed at the Credit Union twice in 9 days. Well, Monday, there was a bank robbery in northwest Houston. The bank robber jumped the fence into the power plant where Steve was working, and they were on lock-down for several hours. I know…my family attracts the crazies.
I’ve changed my background picture to one taken in October 2004, when we had a welcome home party for Ethan. It makes me think of fall, and I am ready for it. We’ve had heat advisories for the last 11 days. Sunday afternoon it was 102, with a heat index of 109. I know…not nearly as hot as it gets in Iraq, but still pretty warm. I’m ready for cool weather.
I’m adding a few pics of our church repairs and flowers for Nita’s wedding. Click on them to make them larger. You’ll just have to look at some of them sideways. They are straight on the computer, but when they uploaded to Xanga, they were sideways. I don’t know if that can be fixed.
And this is Bethany’s incision:
I knew you’d want to see.
Happy 4th of July. The day we celebrate the anniversary of our country’s freedom. Not just a day for grilling hamburgers and watching fireworks. It’s a day to remember all those who are fighting to preserve the freedom of our country. And all those who have served in the past.
Thank you to all those who are serving, and who have served. Pray for all those who are in harm’s way.
This is a song Bethany, Laura and I did in a previous July 4th presentation at church. It’s one of my absolute favorites.
Father, please forgive us for the many times we fail you, and please continue to bless our great country.
2 Cor 3:17-18
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Our freedom comes from above.
It’s been a little over 31 years this weekend since our first date. It was actually May 26, 1979, but it was the Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend in 1979. Steve asked me to go to the beach…sort of. He did not think I would go alone with him, so he arranged for friends from work to have a beach party at the beach house of one of our co-workers.
See, I had turned him down once before….sort of I didn’t know I had. We had a file cabinet behind my desk, full of candy. Everybody in the plant was on the honor system, to take a candy bar and leave money. People were in and out of there all day long. It was good candy.
He came in, stopping at the candy drawer like so many others. But he asked me if I liked Janis Ian. I said, “Not really.” I wasn’t thinking….I was working (thinking was not generally required with most of my work!) He did not say more. In later years, he told me how I stomped all over his little psyche that day.
It’s a long story, so I’ll let you read the whole story here:
Three weeks after our first date, we bought my engagement ring.
And we lived happily ever after…sort of.
June 24, 1979
Most of you see me on Facebook. For those who don’t, here’s what’s been happening:
March 8, my mother went in the hospital (St. Luke’s/Texas Heart Institute in the Houston, TX Medical Center), to have a heart catheterization. She was going to have bypass surgery, and the doctors needed to determine which places to put the bypasses. It was determined that she needed 2-4 bypasses.
Then on Tuesday, March 9, she had a triple bypass. She was in the hospital 2-1/2 weeks at St. Luke’s. She had some serious setbacks there. Her heart did well, but her kidneys did not. She is in end-stage renal failure, and has been on dialysis for a year. She was not able to keep food down, and did not feel like eating, so they put in a feeding tube. That helped her to heal. Otherwise, she would not have gotten enough protein. The cardiologist wanted to release her to a long-term care facility, but that facility did not think she was ill enough to need it. So they let her go home.
She fell that night, and the next day I had to take her to the emergency room at a local hospital, Memorial Hermann Southeast. She was extremely weak, and was unable to do anything for herself. Her mind was not working as it should have been.
Her regular nephrologist (kidney specialist) that she had been seeing for a year, saw her that night in the ER. He was alarmed that her blood chemicals were much higher than they should have been. He said she had not been getting adequate dialysis for some time. I had them call in the same cardiologist Steve saw a few weeks back. He said it appeared that one of her bypasses had already collapsed. He said 30% of them do collapse within 30 days after surgery.
She stayed nearly a week, but since the long-term care facility would not take her, and she was too weak for Daddy to care for, we had to put her in a nursing home across the street from the hospital. I hated that…it wasn’t a place we wanted her to be.
The next morning, I had to take her to the dialysis facility. But we ran into a problem. During dialysis, her blood pressure dropped to 58/20, which is much too low. We did determine that the nurses at the nursing home gave her all 3 of her blood pressure medications that morning before dialysis, and they should not have. They should have only given her one. Any nurse should know that…dialysis drops the blood pressure, so with blood pressure meds, it makes it drop too low.
Back to the ER. She was having a lot of abdominal pain, and a year before, she had peritonitis due to an intestinal rupture. That required emergency surgery then. After several tests this time, it was determined that there was nothing wrong other than an infection. But her mind was still not clear. One day I had to go to the hospital and force her to take her antibiotics. She also had pneumonia. And in her unclear mind, she could not understand that refusing her medications would endanger her life.
She was finally released to the long-term care hospital. They agreed this time that she was sick enough. She was there about 3 weeks, and released one week ago, to a different rehabilitation hospital. She is getting a lot of physical therapy there, so she can better care for herself when she goes home.
But 1-1/2 weeks ago, we found out my dad has Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. He has been extremely tired for a long time, and his latest blood tests showed low blood count (both red and white cells) and low platelets. He had a bone marrow biopsy that showed leukemia.
The doctors had suspected multiple myeloma ( a different type of bone marrow cancer) back 10 years ago. But the tests were inconclusive. They were unable to tell he had leukemia at that time.
I’m going with Daddy to the doctor next Wednesday, so more than one person can hear what the doctor wants to do as treatment. We already know he will have chemotherapy.
And as if that wasn’t enough, we found out Bethany will most likely have surgery again. It’s been 2 years since her ankle reconstruction, after she ruptured a tendon in an accident. She had also had a stress fracture. She’s still been having pain, so she had an MRI 3 weeks ago. It showed that she has a benign tumor in a bone in her ankle. They will have to remove it, so it won’t shatter the bone as it grows.
Bethany is planning to go to Indonesia next summer to see the little girl that she sponsors with Compassion International. She’ll need the surgery before she goes. I don’t want her to be in Indonesia and have a bone break.
So that’s what we’ve been up to since March. And this October, we have a church homecoming. Our church is 115 years old. To prepare for it, we are having a workday at the church every
Saturday until the Homecoming on October 10. Then 2 weeks later, a lady in our church is getting married. I’m doing the entire wedding….dress, flowers, decorating, cake, etc.
So I will still be extremely busy for the next few months. After all this, I am hoping to just get to sit and do nothing.
Please also pray for a couple of ladies at church. One has breast cancer and is undergoing chemo now. The other had breast cancer 13 years ago, and recently found another lump.
I’m not even going to ask what else can happen.