Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Daily Meditation

I am Resurrection and I am Life, says the Lord.
Whoever has faith in me shall have life,
even though he die.
And everyone who has life,
and has committed himself to me in faith,
shall not die for ever.

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives
and that at the last he will stand upon the earth.
After my awaking, he will raise me up;
and in my body I shall see God.
I myself shall see, and my eyes behold him
who is my friend and not a stranger.

For none of us has life in himself,
and none becomes his own master when he dies.
For if we have life, we are alive in the Lord,
and if we die, we die in the Lord.
So, then, whether we live or die,
we are the Lord's possession.


I've been meditating on these words. I guess when death seems to be sitting in the room with you, watching and waiting, these are good words to drive away any fear. Whether I live or die, I am the Lord's possession.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy, happy, joy, joy

I woke up happy today. No special reason. My life is shit but I'm funky.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jumpin' Jive

Well, it is done

I just got off the phone with St. Peter's, my old home parish, and they are just thrilled that Gary and I want to move our membership back. I talked to a lady named Beth and I could feel the smile in her voice. I told her I had no expectations of pastoral care since I live so far away but the priest does come down to Little Rock to visit people in the hospital and will come by to see me.

I have tears in my eyes right now. Going home, even when I can't be there physically, feels so good.

St. Peter's is the place where I really learned what it meant to be in relationship with God. I was allowed to explore my faith, ask questions, get answers, get no answers, and be involved in ministry. If I saw a need that I thought St. Peter's could respond to I didn't have to go through a million committees. All I had to do was go to the priest with my plan and I was sent off to respond with blessings and support.

I always had a deep response to John 20:21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."

I hope that doesn't sound arrogant because I certainly don't think I'm anything special. It has always resonated deeply with me that we are to love one another and love is action. Sometimes still quiet action and sometimes bold action.

Cats

Cat people, please don't hate me for this but I've decided I'm just not a cat person. I have two cats, Lucy who is 16 and Skitter who is 14. They have decided to make my life even more miserable. They yak up something everyday and not in one place. Oh no, they have to yak in 3 or 4 different spots. And Lucy has decided she doesn't want to poop in the litter box. Near it, just not in it. I think they hate me.

Wiener dogs love me and hang out with me and don't yak and do their business where they are supposed to. They are relentless beggars if I have food but they love me even if I don't.

Dogs rule.

Bless you my friends

Thanks for all the nice comments. I can't tell you how much it means to me to hear from you. I spend most of my time hooked up to machines and I get really lonely, especially when Gary is at work.

Saturday night two of my best friends came to town for a movie and they stopped by Whole Foods to check in with Gary and see how we're both doing. He wanted to go to Conway on Sunday afternoon to visit but I just couldn't do it. Sometimes when I wake up I look like a chipmunk on crack LOL! My cheeks and eyes swell up from excess fluid. Not that I'm vain (ahem) but who wants to go out in public looking like that?

One day this journey will end. For good or not, it will end. The wheel always turns and life goes on to its inevitable conclusion. In the mean time I just try to take each day as it comes and do what I can to feel some sense of normalcy.

Last night I made a squash casserole that is awesome. Gary at 1/2 of it! Here's the recipe.

4 cups sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onion or shallot
Put the squash and onion in a pan with 2 inches of water and steam for 10 minutes. Drain well.
Crush 35 Ritz-type crackers and mix with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
Put the squash/onion mixture in a large bowl and add 1/2 the cracker crumb mixture.
In a small bowl mix 3/4 cup milk, 2 eggs and 1/4 cup melted butter. Add to squash mixture.
Spread in a 9x13 pan and top with the rest of the cracker crumb mixture.
Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Love you all and you're in my prayers always, Roseann

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Comfort food

I love soup. It is the ultimate comfort food for me. Here's a recipe for Cauliflower soup. It is easy and very yummy.

Chop up a head of cauliflower and cook it in chicken broth with a little salt and pepper. Then blend it up using a hand blender or a regular blender. Make sure you get it smooth and silky. If you use a regular blender be very careful! Hold the lid on with a towel so it doesn't send hot stuff all over you and your kitchen. Stir in shredded cheddar cheese and about a 1/2 cup of cream. It is real comfort food.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just rolling along

I spend about 6 hours each day connected to a feeding tube. Boring? There are no words for how boring it is! I find ways to stay mentally stimulated. Coloring mandalas helps me so much. My mind empties of all the worries and I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me and comforting me. I read a lot. Some trash novels... a little mind candy never hurt anyone. I'm also reading Jane Redmont's book which I highly recommend to everyone. I pray for everyone on the MP prayer list and for my family and friends. I play goofy games on Facebook. Sometimes I watch TV. I love Deadliest Catch and Whale Wars. Last night I watched a show about Robert Louis Stevenson and how he researched Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Then I watched a bizarre show about vampires and these pitiful people who think they really are vampires.

I'm having trouble with my arms again. The blood flow in my upper body is inadequate because of the dialysis catheter. Sometimes they hurt so bad that I have to take a pain pill. I don't like being in a drug fog so I tough it out as much as I can.

Yesterday I managed to make a yummy pot roast with vegetables. When Gary got home from work the house was filled with delicious cooking smells and that made him so happy. Making him happy is high on my list of things to do. I'm gaining more energy because I'm getting more nutrition so I do what I can to help. I'm able to help with laundry now, folding and hanging. Just being able to do that little bit to help him makes us both feel good.

I've decided to transfer my membership to my old home parish. It is 30 miles away and who knows when I'll be able to get there. I feel so abandoned by my current parish. Not one clergy has called, emailed or visited much less bring me communion. It is a bad fit for me so it is time to make a move.

I love you all and you're in my prayers.

Love, Roseann

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Night terrors

I was a little late hooking up the feeding tube yesterday so I slept on the couch so I could get al the nutrition in. In the middle of the night the alarm indicating the bag was empty went off. It was like an air raid siren and scared the living daylights out of me! I yelled for Gary, "help me! help me!" and scared the living daylights out of him too. If I had just turned around I would have known what to do but I was asleep damnit and it scared me! LOL!

Ah, life in the fast lane surely make you lose your mind.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thunder and rain

This is one of my favorite types of days. Thunder, rain, nothing violent like strong winds, hail or tornados. Just that sound of the rain with occasional rumblings. This is a day when I can relax and read and color mandalas.

Mandalas, from the Sanskrit word for circle, are a Hindu and Buddhist symbol that represents the universe and its energy. I use them for meditative purposes by coloring them with my colored pencils. I lose my self in the patterns and colors. I don't make decisions just reach into my bag of pencils and let it happen.

Let it happen is where my energy is taking me. Everything has been so up and down, 1 step forward then 2 back. I have no control, no say so over what is happening. I dont know where this journey is leading me or where I will end up. I love God and I trust in God, not that I know for sure what that means.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Broken heart

My arms are swelling again. I had a good day yesterday and today I am in a lot of pain. Mostly my heart is breaking for Gary. When will this suffering end?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Feeling better

Well it has been a wild week. I went to dialysis Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri and I'm feeling a little better now. On Tues I was transfused with 2 pints of blood. A person waiting, hoping for a kidney transplant never wants a transfusion because it builds up antibodies in your blood that make it harder to find a donor. However, being so anemic you can't walk across a room is not desirable either.

I saw my nephrologist today and he told me how worried he had been earlier this week. He's a good guy who really cares about his patients. The swelling in my arms has gone down about 75% and he expects the rest will go by the end of next week. I just keep on keepin' on.

Names I wish I had never heard:
Perez Hilton
Paris Hilton
Brittany Spears
Jessica Simpson

I just hate it that I know anything at all about those people!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Update

Well, I'm on another roller coaster ride. My blood pressure has dropped so low that dialysis isn't working. My arms are swollen to twice their size and I'm having respiratory and heart issues. I'm going to have another dialysis tomorrow where they just pull off fluid. My nephrologist is really concerned but being at home makes me feel better than being in the hospital. Gary is having a hard time with all this because I keep spiraling downward. Please keep him in your prayers.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pain and frustration

Friends, I know this journey of mine is a boring tale. It bores me for sure. It has been almost 2 years since I got so sick and during that time it has been more ups and downs than a roller coaster. I try not to give in to self pity and I try almost every day to be positive and work at wellness. I say almost every day because some days I stay in bed with the covers over my head and whine and cry and ask God why me over and over.

There is something that happens often that I want to share. When I am most afraid, frustrated and in pain, at some point I am overwhelmed with peace. I have these moments of grace that keep me going one more day. Sometimes it is minute by minute. I know there are people who pray for me and I believe those prayers overflow in those moments of grace.

I'm not getting better. Physically I don't believe I will heal. Each week seems to bring a new break down of some sort in my body. To be honest, I am ready to shed this flesh. I will when I will though.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Home Dialysis

I've had some questions about home dialysis and it is not an option for me. First off, I'd have to get rid of my dogs and cats. Second, it is more time consuming in the long run. Most importantly it doesn't clean the blood as well as hemodialysis does.

Are you taking me home now?

Wednesday was a really bad day. They couldn't get an IV started because of my little tiny roly-poly veins. So they had to put in the new permacath with no sedation. Good husband Gary had a feeling something wouldn't go right so he brought me a double dose of pain med and I was able to sleep through most of dialysis.

Then the real fun began. My blood pressure dropped to 60 over 35. Is that dead? No, but damned close. I couldn't even talk. The had to put in almost as much saline as the fluid they'd removed.

They usually don't let family members stay with you in the dialysis room but they let Gary stay. Frankly I think his being there kept me alive. He held my hand and I could feel his energy. I could also feel prayer. I don't know if anyone was praying for me at that specific moment, I just know I could feel God's presence. At one point I said, "are you taking me home now?" And Gary and the nurse were like, "what?????" I didn't mean to say that out loud.

Good news is I'm home now, drugged sufficiently and full of chicken and dumplings.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thanks everyone

Your prayers and kind words mean so much to me. I just don't know what is going to happen but I guess none of us ever do. It is so hard to want to live when I am this sick. I broke down and cried yesterday. I want my mommy, I want to feel good, I want to walk in the grocery store instead of ride the go-cart thing. I want to whine and cry and pitch a fit because that always makes things better, right?

Thanks for listening to me and praying for me. When I get well I'll have a big bar-b-q and you're all invited.

Love, R

Monday, July 6, 2009

Health declining

I am now having problems with blood clots. I couldn't do dialysis today because of blood clots in my catheter. At least they sent me home from the hospital as there is nothing they can do and I'm more comfortable at home.