Ladybug Secrets

Ladybug Secrets:
Don't let the small stuff bug you. And Spot new opportunities.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Friends, Coffee...and Sometimes Tea

Growing up I always wanted a best friend.  I wanted that friend who lived next door and we could talk to each other through our windows.  The friend who would lay awake all night with you to chat about life, boys, and parents.  The friend who knew every single detail about you and still loved you.  A friend you graduated primary school with, then high school, and finally college.  The friend who was your maid of honor and there when all your kids were born.  This was not a reality for me.  Many times I have been sad about this.  We moved a lot growing up.  Not only from town to town but state to state.  Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with a few high school friends.  But for the most part my closest friends now I met in college or since I have had kids.  Right before my surgery I longed for that life long friend.  I needed a person who would visit me in my pain.  Someone who would not judge and lift me up when I fell.  Someone who would give encouragement.  In my tiny mind, I guess I felt one person needed to fill all those rolls.  But God showed me different, as He does so many times!

My sister, Cassandra, became one of my sleepover buddies.  She spent many nights on my futon.  We would watch netflix and talk.  We have always had the "older/younger" sister relationship.  But for the first time, I felt so close to her.  I loved listening to her talk about her plans for the future.  I loved having her hear, close. My kids loved have sleepovers with their aunt.  Right alongside her was my sis-in-law and brother.  They live in Cincy, so they brought me home cooked yummies for dinner.  They brought my niece and nephew up to the hospital.  What a blessing to have little life around me!  And of course my parents and hubby endlessly provided and still do!  My dear Joyce (who the kiddos call Auntie Joyce) has been in my life almost as long as my parents.  She is the one who I rely on when I can't have my mom.  Even though we do not see each other much, she lets me know her love is always there.

It was also a beautiful gift to have 3 women who had been in my shoes as friends.  Kathy had proceeded me in the same surgery with the same doctor only a month before.  And guess how we met?  MOPS, several years ago.  It was when I was on the steering team, and she was a new mom.  She was in my discussion group, and we connected.  Who knew at that time we were both suffering in the same way!? Then while in the hospital I quickly became friends with Jennifer.  She also had the same surgery and lives in cincy.  She answered so many questions for me, and just reminded me how important it was to take it slow.  She was a breath of fresh air, and a great inspiration.  And of course my dear Monica!  She often tells me we were knit from the same cloth.  I do believe she is right.  Even though we have only been friends 2 years, it seems a lifetime.  We think and act almost in the same way.  We share so many of the same dreams, and see the world through the same glasses.  She inspires me daily to never give up my walk with Christ.  To cling to Him even in the darkest moments.

There were so many ladies who have been a blessing in one way or another.  Some other ladies I met through MOPS cooked meals and snacks for my freezer!  You would not believe the amount of food they made.  Beyond that we had endless meals from friends and strangers.  One meal that was brought moved me completely.  It was right after surgery and I felt horrible.  This friend I have only known a few months.  She came with a wonderful spread.  Then she asked if she could pray with me.  I was overjoyed!  She was the first person who has asked to pray with me since I left my church in Athens.  At Brookfield people always offered to pray with you, and I desperately missed that.  So here this new friend sat, held my hands and prayed for me!!!  What a wonderful gift she gave me. Another friend has come and cleaned.  And our dear sweet friend has faithfully come every week to clean my house and do my laundry.  She cares for my kids and listens to me cry.  She does flashcards with Aidan and lets me take naps.  Miss Nonie has been a life saver, and I am beyond blessed by her generosity!  Still another friend has picked up laundry to iron for me! And the Amazing Darla and Brett watched over or beloved Ranger for almost 2 months!!!

This post could go on and on...but it will not! :)  I just have to thank a few more amazing friends.  My dear sweet friend Jen (Aidan's Godmom) and my other sweet friend Jenn (Chan's Godmom) have been huge supporters by taking the kids, fixing food, praying, talking, and just being there for us always!  Many of you know I enjoy to sew.  My 2 sewing buddies have been a source of great comfort to me.  Beth has provided meals, watched my children, taken Brooke to Awana and encouraged me so many times.  Jen has also provided meals, and sent me endless texts just to check up on me.  Every time I get a text from her I smile, knowing that she took time away from her 4 kiddos to check on me!  Friends from our home school co-op have helped Aidan and Brooke to get there so they do not miss out!  My dear friend Jen has listened to emails, texts, and my own voice when I just needed a friend.  Before we moved to Athens she gave me a card.  It said, "We will always be friends, I pinky swear."  I love this card and still have it on my fridge.  Every time I see it, I am reminded of her love for me and my family, and all the times she has hugged me and let me cry on her shoulder!  You do not find many friends like that!  And then there is my Julie!  Julie has been my friend since college.  She is the friend who pretty much knows everything about me, and she still invites me over for coffee! ;)  She has given in more ways then I can even list.  She has done my shopping, cooked, taken my kids, listened, fed me coffee, and just been there.  

As this is only a blog post I can't mention every single person who made an impact on my life over the past few months.  But I am so grateful for all who took even a moment to pray and love on our family.  To be honest, these have been some of my darkest days.  I have felt great abandonment and sadness.  I am blessed beyond measure knowing that God had me in His arms.  Blessed to have a family who would move mountains to help me.  And friends who have shown up in so many ways.  I sit here and know that many uncertainties lay ahead, but I can rest knowing He has a plan.  This post may just seem like a long list of thank you's but for me it is a way to show even something small like prayer or a text can make a huge impact.  We can cause great love or great sadness in others lives.  Think about this for a moment....even with all the love and support I still have felt great sadness.  Imagine a person who has no support, no one praying, texting or loving on them.  Please find a way to make a small difference every day.  God knew just what I needed to get through, and He also knows who else needs some encouragement and love!  Happy Thanksgiving!  Here is a song that inspires me to be a better friend!  love you friends!

I'm With You

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

He will answer...

really have not wanted to write in awhile.  just living daily is completely wiping me out.  do not get me wrong, i am glad i had surgery.  i have found relief from many of the headaches i had.  but as so many with eds and pots have found, you fix one thing and something else rears its ugly head.  this is where i am at now.  and honestly i did not want to write.  did not want to hear myself talking about more problems.  did not want to imagine people reading and thinking, "oh here we go again!"  the reality is though i started this blog to inform about our family as well as educate on chiari, and now eds and pots.  to be an honest place where those like our fam can find comfort in knowing they are not alone.  and for those who are healthy and thriving to be thankful and rejoice in that.

can you imagine waking every morning with the fear of stepping out of bed?  some of you with chronic illness may understand this. i lay for at least 10 to 15 minutes just contemplating getting up.  not because i do not want to meet the day, but because all the way from my toes to the back of my head i can feel the pain. thankfully once i am up for about an hour some of my joints loosen.  but some days i wonder if my legs will support me.  the little cries of chan saying "mama get up!" encourage me.  the dog pacing back and forth needing to be let out, well force me.  so i do it.  grateful to have many reasons to keep dragging my body from bed. 

since surgery i have a new little quirk.  every time i move my head even a tiny bit, i hear crunching.  all day and even through the night this sound fills my ears.  i have to say at moments it is maddening.  it is like a chip bag be wrinkled in your head.  and if i move to quickly i get that horrible pulled neck muscle up through the back of my head.  my neck now cracks on and off throughout the day.  i struggle daily to not let this constant noise in my head get to me.  i also think the nerves in my scalp are over sensitive.  my head feels as if i have a bad sunburn.  i am praying this goes away as the nerves begin to heal.

i have had 2 pressure headaches since surgery.  not sure what causes them but believe it may be due to my csf levels.  dr duranni has ordered a flexion/extension mri for when i see him in december.  all i can say is these headaches are the worst pain i have ever been in.  your head literally feels as if it will explode.  i feel light headed, throw up, and basically just lay in bed moaning.  poor tim last time kept bringing me hot rags for the front of my head while i laid on a heating pad.  and i am not exaggerating when i say it hurts to even speak or listen.  these are moments when i rely on God the most.  my only hope in these moments is an eternal place to rest.  and true joy when the headache passes and can be with my family!

each day i am learning a little more on how to deal with my new range of motion.  driving is hard, and going out is exhausting.  today tim told me again to slow down.  i told him it is hard for superwoman to hang up her cape, and it is hard for me too.  but he is right...i have to not push myself.  i do so love being out though!  being with friends and the world makes me so happy.  we are learning to be content though within our own 4 walls. 

tonight i woke up with a numb hand and a throbbing arm.  my head was spinning.  even though i was sweating, i was shaking from being cold.  slowly i have started to feel better and now i sit here typing.  soft restful music is playing and i am nervous i will be tired today.  along with healing we are still fighting for our house, not sure if we will be able to stay.  tim is working long hours, and is trying hard to keep up here.  bills, dishes, and laundry stack up daily.  we have learned to look past most of this.  we have learned that a family movie, reading a good book, and eating dinner together are important to us.  please know i say all this to show my heart.  so many of us have tough roads, but i have found with Faith and Hope we can get through it.  if we cry out to Him, He will answer.  Love this song...brings me truth!
Plumb "Need You Now"