The Post Without a Name........

Today I awoke to the gnawing pain in my bladder for the 8th day. I am at a low point. The pain from the UTI, migraines, jaw and leg infection over the past week have finally took their toll.
My flesh has always struggled to praise God in the midst of physical pain. It seems that this has been my "thorn" throughout life, and one I have often wondered "Why?" Since we cannot choose our sufferings, I have tried to take things as they come with grace and reliance upon my Savior. I have failed many times though, in the face of pain.
I awoke this morning to fear that this infection would set off my bladder condition again to the point where I was at age 19-22 yrs. A point where a young dance teacher was reduced to lying in bed most days,and the only place I was able to sleep was in a hot bath. I lost quality of life and almost hope. There was no medication available that could ease the type of pain I was experiencing. I tried all kids of natural remedies,but nothing worked.
Anthony was young too, and the circumstances he found himself in,left him questioning also. Life seemed far from fair as he worked hard to pay for my medical bills,etc.... We were unable to get quality care because we couldn't afford insurance through his work. Anthony was the one person who got me though each day because I just wanted to go home to Heaven - where there is no more pain or suffering. We weren't always Christ-like in our behavior. Both of us failed many times over this period in our lives, but that is a story for another day.

In early 2000(I believe - it is hard to remember dates now because I was too sick to journal during this time) I found relief, unexpectedly, from a anti-depressant a psychiatrist happened to put me on. From there I finally got a formal diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis and Lupus and cluster headaches(affectionately called suicide headaches by the people who get them.) The lining of my bladder had deteriorated and I had ulcers,and had had an untreatable UTI infection over the course of 4-5 years. I was elated that we could finally get to work on treating my condition.

From there, after over 2 more yrs. of medical treatment I found Garden of Life products. I followed the protocol for Lupus in Jordan Reuben's book -Patient Heal Thyself- I also drastically changed my diet. After 3 mo. I started to feel better and blood tests revealed that the Lupus had gone into remission. I have stayed in remission since 2003. Although my bladder will never heal,unless God chooses to heal it, I.C. pain has been controlled with Elavil taken daily. I also have been able to greatly reduce the amount I have to take for it to be effective. I am so thankful for that medication!

I still do not understand God's timing, as far as when He chose to take away my pain. It is through bitter tears that I remember where I have come from. Anthony says it made me a better person, but that can be tough to swallow!

Please remember to pray for me to recover from this UTI without it sending me into another bad bout of I.C. My tendency is to start to get paranoid and think the worst will happen, but in those times I have to change my thought patterns by taking in God's Word. I am still waiting to hear back from the lab about the culture that sent out last Mon. I am resistant to so many antibiotics and I don't think this one is working - judging from my pain level. Pray that no further damage would be done to my bladder and that I can quickly and effectively get rid of the infection. I am anxious to get back to the place where I can care for my family - I have been pretty useless around here! Pray for Anthony to have some relief from his pain too - we are quite a pair now! He is counting down the hours until Tuesday morning when he can get that gauze and opturater out of his mouth!

Best Case Scenario

God proved Himself to be SO faithful yesterday! After dealing with a UTI infection and spending the afternoon in urgent care (not the way we wanted to spend the day before surgery!)it ended up being a good thing that I went because my left leg had become infected because of the dog bites. Every time I start to complain, I am immediately reminded of a blessing within a certain situation.

After a long day which included pain,a delay in the surgery time and having to exercise lots of patience, I finally got to see A in recovery 8pm. The surgery was a complete success, as far as being the least invasive. He only lost a half a quart of blood and the operation was much shorter than expected. Apart from having a descent size hole up through his mouth into the sinus cavity, things look great! The opturater is wired into his mouth and covers almost 90% of the hole. In the hole is 6 ft. of gauze! The gauze will be removed in a week and things should be smelling pretty awful by then!

Pathology is taking a look at what is removed and if there happens to be enough cancer free bone/tissue surrounding it then radiation might not be needed. The Dr. said sometimes radiation can do more harm than good.

Anthony just ate a yogurt (1st solid food) and is fast asleep, thanks to the pain meds. just administered :) His jaw is quite painful because they had to open his mouth so wide to operate - ouch! My TMJ hurts just thinking about that!

We are hoping for the possibility of a reconstruction skin graft operation to be able to be done. Skin from his cheek, nose and arm would be taken to cover the hole. This operation is very hard, as grafting in that location doesn't take too well, but this would greatly improve his quality of life if possible.

Well, I am wiped out and still in my pj's too. Can't wait for these infections to clear up! I am looking forward to sleeping flat in my own bed (instead of a recliner thing) an we might go home tomorrow! We miss our boys so much.......we were able to Skype today and there was Dr. Loegan dressed up in his medical garb. He even sang Jesus loves Me to Daddy!

God has answered our prayers and we want to give Him the glory for the great things He has done!


Ever have one of those days, week, months when you feel like you are under attack? Well, that is how we have been feeling lately. I am normally not hugely into spiritual warfare and the such, but it has become quite evident that the devil is trying to mess with us – big time!

This past month we have had to go to the emergency room twice. The 1st time was when Kamden got a fishing hook through his cheek. He was carrying my one year old nephew to the car to put him in his car seat, when he bumped into a fallen fishing pole it came back to hook him right in the cheek. I almost passed out trying to cut the line……comical now, but not at the time! The miracle was, other than not being hooked in the eye J, was that Braylin didn't get hurt. If that had happened to the baby he would have yanked the hook out and caused a lot of damage to his face. The doctors were able to remove it, and there is hardly a scar on Kamden's face. The doctor asked if he could take a picture – think hook, lead weight, feather thingy, all dangling from his face. He was quite popular in the waiting room and was very brave. He even got to keep the hook as a souvenir. Whew! What a day that was!

The next trip was today. What began as a quick stroll around the neighborhood (I had 15 min. before Anthony & I had to leave for an appt with the prosthetic doctor) turned out to be a nightmare. I was going to take Loegan in the stroller and have Schuyler come along too, but at the last moment they decided not to come because we weren't going to have time to stop at the playground. I had my Bluetooth, and was intending to finish up some phone calls that I needed to make on my power walk *smile*. This was around 2:00. I only got a few houses down when I saw a neighbor on the opposite side of the street open his front door. Then I saw 2 angry looking dogs bound out the door and head straight for me. I was utterly overwhelmed at that moment and managed to utter "It's ok puppies" in a sweet voice as they stared at me with bared teeth. For some reason, which I am curious to know, they were just really ticked off. A split second later one bit, and then the other - over and over :( I tried to kick, but couldn't because either one or the other was always latched on. I kept looking straight at them - I think I would have turned around, but I knew my kids were back playing in my yard. They had me cornered anyway. I resisted screaming until I couldn't handle the pain. Boy, that hurt!!! A large golden retriever had also followed the 2 "demons" out of the house and was standing there growling and snarling. The noise of it all, coupled with my screams was overwhelming. I was so stunned that I didn't know if he was growling at me or the other 2 dogs. I was so scared of his teeth that I cried out "Help me Jesus!" I kept my arms up and put my hands in front of my face. My dad, who was working in the yard, finally heard me. He thought it was just a dog fight he was hearing, but when he realized it was my voice, he came. The dog's owner seemed to be in shock and it seemed like forever until he reached us. The dogs wanted to eat me I think because they just didn't quit! The owner had to kick the dogs off of me because they didn't respond to any verbal commands. I am really surprised he didn't get bit too. He said "They didn't break through the skin did they?" I told him that judging from the pain I had/was experiencing I thought so. I gingerly lifted up my jeans and showed him the blood. Then after locking the dogs back up he walked down to where my Dad & I were. He said he was really sorry, but I wasn't in the mood to chat. I apologized for having a minor panic attack because of "everything" that was going on in my life. It's hard to be Christ-like when you are scared and in pain, but I tried! Then we were off to the ER.

Anthony had to be at his check the fake upper palate for his mouth(Ewww, poor A!) He would have come if I had insisted, but his appointment was too important to miss. My mom came with me, and the boys stayed cooped up in my Dad's truck until Anthony was done. The wounds, which hurt while they were happening, didn't stop hurting. My lower legs BURNED and ThRoBbEd(like my word picture?;) They gave me ice packs and elevated my legs which helped a lot. They gave me the form to have animal control sent over to my neighbor's house. When I finally was seen the puncture wounds had to be boiled out – and if that sounds bad – IT WAS. I don't believe they don't give you a little "something" before that happens- this coming from a girl who refused any pain meds. during childbirth.

6:00 pm and 1 strong anti-biotic prescription later I was home eating a bowl of chicken soup on the couch, trying to calm my nerves. I am exhausted. Please pray that this situation will be resolved, that the dogs will be up -to-date on their rabies shots and that they will be put down in a timely manner, because I believe they are a threat to others.

I am struck by God's greatness and His protection. Things could have been a lot worse, had I brought the kids with me or had I been wearing my usual jogging shorts, instead of my thicker jeans - ouch! I know that I had angels watching over me. I would really like a quieter day tomorrow though! ;)

If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your dwelling, no evil will conquer you............For he orders His angels to protect you wherever you go.

The Lord says, "I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in My name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation."
~Psalms 91:9,11 & 14-16.

~ What a great passage of truth to hold on too!

-The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up, but the House on the Rock Stood Firm -

Just a couple days before Anthony's cancer diagnosis, Loegan came to me and asked me, "Mommy, can you teach me a new song?" I thought for a second, and then the song, The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock, popped into my head. Loegan and I sang it - complete with hand motions (I was a little rusty .J) I hadn't sang that for years, and I had no idea how symbolic that little tune would become!

Back in the beginning of August, God really impressed upon Anthony's heart to become more of a spiritual leader in our household. Don't get me wrong, Jesus has always been central in our family life, but Anthony's heart was being stirred to go even deeper, to disciple his children on a daily basis and to spend more exclusive time together in the Word. From that time on, each member of our family has individual personal Bible and prayer time each and every day (I read a devotion to Loegan), and we also have a Bible study daily as a family. There have been some days that this fits nicely into our schedule, and other times when we have had to "make" time, even if that meant waiting up for Daddy to come home from work @ 11pm! On a number of occasions when children have been sick or tired and cranky, when I had a migraine or desperately needed to get some things done around the house or when Anthony was beyond exhausted after working a 12 hr. shift, we were tempted to skip it just for that day. We had to come to a point that skipping Bible time is not an option. I am not sharing this to say that we have our lives in perfect order, by any means! We still have a LONG way to go in submitting our lives to Him and aligning our lives and hearts to His will. Rather, this is a testimony to God' s greatness because HE prepared us all spiritually before this trial. We were obedient, but it was our loving Father who guided us to firm up our family's foundation so it would be strong enough to withstand this storm. Fathers, committing to grow your family spiritually is a hard task, but God will bless you for it! I am aware that it can be tough (or sometimes nearly impossible) to get the whole family together in one place, but the time you have to carve out of your schedule to spend in the Word NEVER returns void.

We had no inkling that this "Bible" time would become so precious to us. I am crying tears of joy, and of heartache right now because we don't know exactly know how we will manage spending time with God as a family during Anthony's hospitalization. We have no idea how this will work, but we will probably have to get quite creative! The doctors have told us that Anthony will have great difficulty speaking after his surgery – and from that time on. :( This saddens my heart, but I am convinced that God will take all these struggles and use them. We want God to be glorified through our weaknesses – sometimes that is when God can use us best! I challenge you to prayerfully consider shepherding your own little flock too – while you still have breath and while you have a voice! We wish we had made this commitment sooner, but we are grateful to have had this sweet time – you never know when your time here on earth will run out, so be effective and seize the day

6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:6-10