500 days

I hardly ever think to check my clean day app but remembered to check it yesterday – and it must have been a God thing as it was 500 days to the day since I’ve stopped drinking. I am deeply grateful for this and for the community of amazing women I’ve found as well.

I am even more bothered than usual by the “mommy wine culture” that is everywhere because of something that came to my attention a few nights ago.

 

First, just through a simple Pinterest search, I pulled up these memes:

And, of course, there were about a thousand more.

And it’s not just memes. It’s exercise tops that say “run all the miles. drink all the wine.” and coffee mugs that say “this might be wine” and – now – half marathons that feature wine at each water stop. Ummm, what???

And, before I get to my larger point, I give you the meme that I voted off the island on Sunday morning: the wine serenity prayer.

WOW.

We can do (MUCH) better than this.

In the time since I’ve last written about alcohol and sobriety related issues, I’ve come across several new accounts on Instagram, including one called tellbetterstories2018 that I would encourage everyone to follow that calls out advertising messages that need to be called out and asks questions that really need to be asked.

From tellbetterstories2018

This Instagram account is addressing issues in the mainstream media – and that is so important. And the memes I’ve shown above are from Pinterest – a mainstream site.

What has troubled me even more is that, over the weekend, I read the most recent book by Jen Hatmaker, a Christian writer I just love. I’ve read all of her books over the years. She is a funny, down to earth, relatable kind of “every mom.”

I found the book really enjoyable – except that literally every few pages there was a wine reference and it was almost always related to “needing wine” because of her children. It wasn’t just a few; it was a constant thing, to the point of being truly bothersome.

And I HATE to see this sort of thing appear in the writings that are meant to be circulated in the women’s Christian circles. In the past, in evangelical groups, alcohol would have been a no-go, and I certainly don’t consider this a sign of progress.

Again, don’t misunderstand me – no judgment, I still love Jen dearly – but wine culture doesn’t need to meet small group culture like this.

Now, not only are unhealthy alcohol related behaviors being promoted among women as a whole, they are also being promoted among women within the church.

Umm, no.

So, as always, if you are struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, help is available to you.

https://www.aa.org/

https://www.na.org/

https://www.celebraterecovery.com/

http://www.hipsobriety.com/

my 100 days gift to myself in 2017. a teetotaler thing.

On Instagram, look up the hashtags: #teetotaler  #wearetheluckiest  #hipsobriety

There are many others as well – and a great community. Just have a look around.

Lastly, I know I say this every time – and I always will – if you are in crisis, please present to the closest emergency room. Regardless of your insurance status, they WILL help you. Please don’t hesitate. Help is always available.

No matter where you are right now, you can be free. I promise.

grateful. so grateful.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and blessings.

 

 

 

 

frightening doctor visits.

I remember my very first question on my NCLEX exam for my nursing license being an orthopedic question – my least favorite subject – and me thinking, “This can’t be a good sign.”

And then I REALLY couldn’t believe the irony when I was hired to work the orthopedic floor as my first job – but I transferred to general med/surg as soon as I could because ortho was not my jam.

Well, 15 years later, ortho is still not my jam, but I was sitting at the first of two orthopedic appointments I had for myself today when this doctor I was meeting for the first time started just casually giving me all kinds of frightening information.

After looking me over and poking on me, he determined that, apart from stress fractures and bursitis, an MRI of my hip was needed because a condition called avascular necrosis (AVN) seems likely.

As most of my readers probably aren’t familiar with AVN, here is a brief definition:

As is mentioned above, AVN is frequently caused by long-term steroid use. Also, a major issue I’ve been having – that was so severe I was limping this morning – is pain radiating down my thigh to my knee. As you see listed, that is a symptom. AVN is also linked to lupus. There are many frightening indicators.

So,  the doctor mentions quickly that I need the MRI because of this condition and then says casually to my daughter and me, “The severity of the AVN determines the size of the graft.” He then says, “So we’ll see you to discuss everything after the MRI. In the meantime, we will treat with that as our presumptive diagnosis. So use your walker and don’t fall.” Then he just walked out. No answering questions. No concern for my pain. Just dropped a bomb like that and LEFT.

And the real kicker was that his assistant seemed surprised that I was crying when she came in. I just told her I was in severe pain and completely upset and confused. Based on her reaction, patients must leave in that condition all the time.

Anyway, I took my MRI paperwork and I will have it done. I will then pick up the results and see another orthopedist. I wouldn’t let this one operate on my worst enemy, as his treatment plan for a presumptive diagnosis of AVN is “use your walker and don’t fall.”

And that was just my first appointment of the day.

My second was a followup with my foot ortho guy. And what did he have to say?

Both of my feet are still all kinds of broken – no kidding – and I’m still not a good surgical candidate. (That especially sucks since the hip guy says I likely NEED some hip work done. Great.) Anyway, he said I could come back in four weeks to recheck them – or sooner if I “fall or something.” What the frack? What is the deal with everybody at this office and falling today? He really seemed put out to see me since there is no procedure for him to do.

I decided today to find a new foot ortho doc as well, because I understand that there is no big billing in office visits instead of surgery but somebody has to follow my broken feet. I have multiple broken bones in both of them.

And again I left there crying.

And, just when I got it together to at least get us home, my daughter lost it – because all of the doctor craziness she had seen and heard today had scared her to death for me. She goes with me to all of my appointments and has NEVER reacted like that. Today was just that terrible.

When we got home, my smartchair had been delivered which I am so incredibly thankful for – but, WOW, what a big deal too. Especially with the AVN business, I am so glad it was delivered though. As I mentioned in a previous post, he shall be called Maximus.

He is this style KD Smart Chair:

He is incredibly comfortable and drives like a dream. I was so exhausted today that I really didn’t get to drive him as much as I would like so tomorrow I’ll be learning more – and I’m sure there will be pictures of our adventures once I gather myself.

Even this post is hours after the fact because I totally hugged my Wonderpup and collapsed this evening.

This is some rough stuff, y’all.

All prayers, good vibes, and warm fuzzies are greatly appreciated.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and Blessings.

 

 

changes.

Madam Pomfrey was holding a large bottle of something labeled Skele Gro.

“You’re in for a rough night,” she said, pouring out a steaming beakerful and handing it to him. “Regrowing bones is a nasty business.”

– Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

Well, y’all, I have plenty of news and I’m all kinds of in my feelings right now.

I saw my rheumy on Friday and he finally decided to get moving on the daily injections that will strengthen my bones. While I am hopeful for the therapy, it does last for two years and it is painful – because regrowing bones IS a nasty business – so that part I am not looking forward to. I am waiting on insurance approval right now and hope to start it next week. I pray this will help my feet and hip heal as well.

We are also tapering down so that I can stop my prednisone – which is going to be painful as well – but I am still thankful. Between the crumbling bones and the cardiovascular side effects and the high blood sugar and the weight gain, I am beyond ready to say goodbye to the pred.

We have much going on this week in our home as well.

For our girls, we have our younger daughter going back to school – starting high school – and our older daughter turning 18. It’s hard to believe.

And, on Tuesday, my smartchair will be delivered. I am so SO grateful for it – but I have been a big ball of tears as my better half has been rearranging our house to get ready. I think the gravity of this situation, especially the broken hip, has been sinking in and I just HATE that my body is falling apart so spectacularly.

Still, I am very much looking forward to being able to get around and go and do again. So, on Tuesday, as our youngest says, Speedracer will be at it again. . . =D

As for right now, I’ve been dealing with some sort of respiratory illness and I feel just awful. This has called for lots of resting in bed with Henry – and Steel Magnolias is keeping us company at the moment.

Wishing y’all a fabulous week!

Be well, everybody.

Grace and Blessings.

 

 

 

my Jesus

The other day, when my husband and I were driving through our town, we saw this sign at one of the local churches and I just said, “WOW.”

We chatted about it a bit then. And again that night. And again the next morning.

It just wouldn’t leave my mind.

So, last night, when I took Sir Henry for his ride, I stopped for a picture and decided it was time to share some thoughts as to why this is really bothering me so.

I grew up in a Baptist church where we sang out of the old Baptist hymnal (as I imagine this church is probably still hymnal singing too) and we sang this song often. It’s been in my head these past several days as I’ve been mulling over this “Turn Or Burn” signage – and why I fear it can be so destructive.

See, so many people already have this judge-y idea of church and church people. Or they’ve already been wounded by church at some point. Or they don’t have any experience with church other than what they see on signs and television and whatnot.

And then they pass this sign. . . 😦

And I understand where the church is going with this. . . but my Jesus didn’t present Himself to people in this way.

During Jesus’ ministry, not only are there frequent descriptions of masses of people following Him, but even small children were drawn to Him. This tells me there was a noticeable gentleness about Him.

Some thoughts from The Ragamuffin Bible.

Not only were children drawn to Jesus, He also ministered to the Samaritan woman, crossing social bounds, both with a woman and with a Samaritan. There were many examples of Him valuing women in a society that didn’t. He was compassionate with the religious leader, Nicodemus, though he was part of the group of people who would ultimately bring Jesus to trial.

And, on the last night of His life, He was washing the feet of His disciples to teach them to be servants. And, of course, He said this:

We are to be people of love.

They will know we are Christians by our love.

And they will come in our churches for our love. I believe that.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and Blessings.

One of my favorite songs:

this is really happening

The past few days have been surreal in terms of my mobility.

Every step is unbelievably difficult with my right leg. Pain radiates through my hip, groin, and down into my knee. I am taking tiny, shuffling steps between the bedroom and bathroom and calling for family members for things like water refills.

And it finally really really hit me this evening: I am wheelchair bound. Soon.

I mean that in a completely different way than I did before.

Earlier when I wrote about the wheelchair, it was still very much needed to help me with my perma-broken feet, as I am not able walk distances on them and the pain is intense at times. But I can make the feet go if I have to for a bit.

This hip is something else.

I must have an assistive device soon to help me ambulate at all. My walking is worsening by the day now. As much as I hate this, it is true. 😦

And I will, of course, do everything in my power to heal it. But I am afraid, as we know, my body does not heal well.

And I have quickly learned how much of the world – despite all of the progress that has been made – is not friendly to the disabled.

Over the weekend, my husband and I were going to attend a concert here in town with tickets that were a gift from several months ago. Taking into account that I would need plenty of time for rest breaks and whatnot to get to our seats, we arrived very early only to learn that the venue had begun charging a “premium” parking rate of $40 in the area of the handicapped parking including the handicapped parking. That’s right. A penalty basically for being handicapped.

Needless to say, we left. That was an absolute NO.

And I emailed the vendor the tickets had come from and they were profoundly apologetic and actually refunded the tickets. I was appreciative that they did so but that did not change the fact that we had to miss the concert and that the venue was doing this in the first place. It’s just terribly wrong.

I will be emailing the city where the event took place as well. This is simply not acceptable.

I’ve also noticed that many places are difficult to access so I am going to have to learn to navigate differently as I go about my day to day life.

I am also simplifying in our home and our day to day life as much as I can in every way. We are clearing out to make space for assistive devices and I am reducing some medications that obviously aren’t helping as well at an appointment later this week – and I am determined to get off of this infernal prednisone.

oh, prednisone side effects are the best.

Tonight I’ve been looking through Pinterest – and crying (who wouldn’t) – and reading articles about navigating the world using a wheelchair and learning what to expect and making a board and doing all of the things a woman does when she has a stinker of a situation and has to figure it out – because, like everyone else who has been able-bodied their entire life, this is all new to me.

But I can do hard things.

I came across this blog post from another blogger that really touched me that I just wanted to share as my own “invisible illness” is now becoming so visible:

http://inkblotsofhope.com/invisible-illness-became-visible/

And, lastly, as small thing that matters to me, to make me feel a little better – Thank you, Lord – I found about a million pins about wheelchair friendly travel – including this lady’s story –  which helped my feelings, when it comes to future plans with my bestie, that all is not lost:

It’s so nice that God is still in the little details, even on the hard days. 🙂

But, way, way, way before I get there, I have to make to the kitchen to cook dinner on a regular basis. And my appointment with the new hip doctor is next Tuesday. So please send all the prayers and warm fuzzies and good vibes you have my way. I need them.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and blessings.

 

mother mother

For whatever reason, somehow my biological mother – who I haven’t seen in 18 years (and that was a traumatic run-in at the ob-gyn’s office I wrote about in one of my Mother’s Day posts) – made one of her occasional pop-ups on my Facebook tonight.

That hasn’t happened in a couple of years either and it definitely caught me off guard to say the least.

Don’t misunderstand me – she made no contact – it was just a “friend suggestion” type thing. (And, no, Facebook, I don’t want to be friends.)

For new blog friends, my parents divorced when I was two, and my dad raised me with my grandparents next door.

two year old me – with a cat. there is always a critter. 😉

I saw my mother for visits briefly when I was young and then she was gone, only to attempt to reappear when I was an adult. That didn’t go well. She now has four other children, who I’m sure are lovely people, but they are total strangers to me.

I want nothing to do with her.

All of that said, I was a bit shocked when her name appeared on my Facebook tonight and I guess curiosity got the best of me and I looked at her public profile.

Though I was nauseated by the whole experience, I really didn’t see anything unexpected at first. She lives in a small town about an hour and half from me and we live completely different lives. I saw her kids, her job, the usual. . .

THEN, as I was about to take some deep cleansing breaths and move on, as I was done, I saw it: Mother. Of. Five.

Five. Counting me.

Huh?????

Y’all, I’ve written about it before on Mother’s Day: I’m almost 40 years old, but mother abandonment – especially at two freaking years old – cuts deep. And it takes a LONG time to deal with. And it always hurts in its own way.

And it does matter.

And it also matters that she has the audacity to count ME after all these years.

So, for several minutes I saw red. I was so freaking pissed. I mean, ready to hop in Janis the Bug, drive to their little town and go door to door on my broken feet and hip – which has hurt worse today than it ever has – until I found them and enlighten her as to why she has NO right to count ME kind of pissed. Luckily, my better angels have since prevailed.

Now I’m just a bit astonished as to how anyone can be so clueless.

And I’m also profoundly grateful – to the amazing women in my life.

To my precious Grandmother, to my aunt Barbie, to our wonderful Mom now.

So I won’t be bitter.

As I said earlier, my life is very very different from hers.

And, despite my illness, God has given me many blessings and more than I could have ever asked for – and I know that removing me from some situations was His protection. He had better plans all along.

Oh, and I’m making better use of Facebook blocking now too. 😉

Be well, everybody.

Grace and blessings.

Merry Christmas!

I’ve always liked Christmas a lot – but, until I met my husband, I think I honestly would have told you Halloween was my favorite holiday (and I still do love it!).

However, with our first family Christmas as a couple, we had a wonderful family Thanksgiving at the lake all together with Mom, Pop, GJ, Courtney, the kids, and me, then we watched Christmas movies all season at home and had a beautiful tree that we put up together – even in my tiny apartment it was perfect – and then we had the most wonderful Christmas with our family at the lake spending time together – and Mom’s gorgeous decorations and yummy food and laughing and talking and Christmas stockings and. . . I can’t even explain. Just Family Christmas.

The whole season was the best.

And I turned into a HUGE Christmas person.

And then I got sick. And I really REALLY had to learn to make my own sunshine.

And, last year, right before Halloween, we unexpectedly lost one of our closest friends.

I was so sad and so sick. It was also my first year at home, due to disability. So, when I mentioned to my husband that I really wished we could put up the Christmas tree, because he is wonderful, he did.

So, in the name of choosing joy and celebrating and enjoying Christmas as long as possible, our holidays begin November 1st in the Hippie Hut now. 🙂

(Ooooh, AND I now have a three foot perma-Christmas tree in my office that I am in the process of decorating! I’m sure it will make an appearance when it is finished!)

But, of course, now we are in the midst of 97 degree, melting summer. #fixitjesus

Yesterday, our daughter, Sara, and I had actually made it out and about to run MANY errands. It was so nice to be out with her for the day – even if it was for things like turning in cable boxes and whatnot.

We had been out for several hours and were worn out and trying to get finished when my husband called to report some magical news: Christmas in July – all Christmas music all weekend on our local radio station. Falalalalalalala!!!

So, to Sara’s dismay and my great delight, we cranked up the Christmas tunes for the rest of our outing.

And my husband and I also have tickets that were a gift from several months ago – I want to say Valentine’s Day? – to see Counting Crows and Live tonight. Yes, that’s right. An actual date night for us. With musak. I’m so stoked.

And church day tomorrow. 🙂

And the Christmas music continues all weekend as well!

So, Merry Christmas to me this weekend!!!

I am so thankful.

Be well, everybody. Happy Saturday and Merry Christmas!

Grace and Blessings.