And God Laughs
I told God my plans and He laughed. So now I am living, laughing, and loving according to His Plans.


6:51 PM

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

My last post was written on one of the most difficult nights of my life, as I was helpless as my mother faught for her life following emergency surgery. For six long days she was on life support and all I could do was hold her hand and be her voice to make sure she got the care she needed and the dignity she deserved. For seven more days she required high level medical care, and I spent every single day at the hospital with her (minus two when she was on life support and I was sick). When the doctors wanted to send her to a nursing facility in the area to recover not only did Mom refuse but I politely informed them that they could do so only over my dead body and wheelchair thrown in front of the vehicle. So Mom came home with "skilled" (oh the joke!!!) home nursing care, physical therapy, and a nursing assistant. Before she left the hospital I learned how to do everything the nurses were doing for her, things I never could have imagined being able to do but love speaks another language and God provides strength enough for what you face. Its a good thing too because that "skilled" nurse was only good for providing the medical supplies we needed. It is now seven weeks later and it has been a journey of faith. Faith and hope have been our sustenance, and a wicked sense of humor that allows us to laugh at even the "tragedies" in life. God broke through Mom's stubbornness to allow me to call 911 just in time - another 30 or 60 minutes might have swung the outcome to fatal. God lined up the best surgeon, the one who uses the most modern and aggressive infection fighting techniques. God prevented her from going septic. God prevented pneumonia or blood clots as she has a clotting disorder and laying unmoving is a huge risk factor. God knit her back together from the inside out. God guided her through a process where 60% of patients die within 30 days of surgery. We are blessed. At times one or the other of us gets weary, frustrated, angry, etc. But then we remember all of the blessings, we remember how faith has fortified us and hope sustained us.
This Christmas we were unable to enter into the material aspects of the holidays. No cards were sent, no presents purchased. We did put up the two trees - a 4 foot tree and a table top 18" tree- and decorated them because Mom loves the lights and we both love the memories of the ornaments. By not geting swept up in the commercialism of this season we were able to really see all of the presents we have received - the love of family and friends, the gift of redemption, grace, mercy, hope, faith, life, memories, health, all different kinds of healing, joy, and an abundance of blessings.
My own medical issues and needs were put to one side as much as possible as I have been engaged in assisting with Mom's recovery. She is still weak, still healing. And she will undergo another surgery sometime in 6-9 months. I ran on pure adrenaline and some adjustments to my medications for far longer than I imagined. The adrenaline is now gone and I am a disaster, dealing with the effects of now and the effects of weeks ago and untended medical issues. As things get stable, I will be getting the medical services I need and trying to regain some ground I have lost. Another concern, although I am choosing to have faith in God to provide (prayers are always welcome), is that my COBRA insurance runs out the end of February. My Social Security appeal is at court level but can take 9-18 months to be determined which rules out medicare. The medicaid program I qualify for has no funding. I can afford to purchase a single person policy but there is no pharmacy coverage and you are limited to 2 dr visits per year. I do not qualify for the Obamacare Pre-existing condition insurance because I have had insurance, and you must be without insurance for 6 months prior to qualifying. I can not go 6 months without insurance. I can not go a month without prescription coverage without a high risk of mortality. Thankfully God is a God of impossibilities and moving mountains.
Now that I have a bit more down time I will try to keep my journal updated and write more. I hope everyone had a Christmas full of the gifts that are too precious to be bought, and enters into a New Year that provides them with enough of everything they need but never so much as they forget to appreciate it!
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Job 8:21

"He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

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Wild Olive

Wild Olive

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Creative Victory

This is Me

I am a thirty year old enigma who has defied every expectation ever placed upon me and refused every definition created for me. My greatest passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs and their families. As a special education teacher I broke all of the unwritten rules to make sure that my kids received the services they needed and had a right to receive. I have never been so proud to be reprimanded before in my life. Now, due to unpredictable twists in life, I am learning first hand what life is like when you rely upon a wheelchair for mobility. I am a medical puzzle with the pieces slowly being identified and put together, and my medical bills alone could fund a small nation. It takes a village to keep me alive. :) However, I am not defined by the genetic misspellings. I am a teacher, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a dreamer, a reader, an amateur photographer, a writer, an advocate, a star gazer, a world changer. I am stubborn, situationally shy, quick to use humor and wit to make others laugh or cope with a situation, sarcastic, fiercely independent, giving, compassionate (sometimes to a fault), protective of those I love, defiant of arbitrary boundaries, perfectionistic, self conscious, self assured (yes you can be both!), articulate and occasionally dramatic. And that is just what I could fit in two sentences! :)

Who's On First, What's On Second, I Don't Know! (Third Base!!)*

Simple Vocabulary Definitions for those who may not speak fluent medical :)

Undiagnosed Progressive Neurological Disorder- This is the diagnosis that is believed to make everything else fit together. It explains my frequent infections, my muscle weakness and dystonia, my dysautonomia, my cardiac issues, my inability to regulate blood pressure, my dysphagia, my ataxia, my severe fatigue, my extreme nausea, my gastrointestinal dysmotility and IBS like syndrome, my unbelievable migraines, my sensory changes in my arms and legs, my vision issues, my hearing loss (so much for blaming medication), and so much more. Going back to infancy and childhood, this would explain the severe apnea, the significantly delayed motor skills, the reason why I could never keep up with my peers in physical activities, the neurogenic bladder, the malfunctioning thyroid, and my frequent illnesses and vomiting. This is the diagnosis now being used since the DNA testing for Mitochondrial Disease came back odd and I can not afford the expenses of a workup at the Mayo Clinic. We are treating symptomatically.

Pan-Dysautonomia- "Pan" means that it impacts many different systems of my body, "dysautonomia" is a failure of my autonomic nervous system or the part of my brain that does all of the automatic things that do not require conscious thought like telling your heart to beat, regulating your blood pressure, adjusting your body temperature, maintaining balance in space, digesting food, hunger and thirst, etc. It is believed that I have had this from birth based upon my history of symptoms, including severe life threatening apnea as an infant, but the cause remains elusive at this time

Dystonia- abnormal muscle tone and spasticity, including painful spasms, that primarily impacts my feet and lower legs and is now starting to be a problem in my back

Ataxia- difficulty maintaining balance and coordinating/executing movements

Dysphagia- difficulty swallowing due to any number of causes including muscle weakness and poor muscle coordination

Adipsia- the absence of a sense of thirst

Other Medical Issues- Lupus Anticoagulant (autoimmune disease that causes me to tend to form blood clots and has already caused two deep vein blood clots and one mild stroke), Migraines, unknown connective tissue disorder, abnormal gastric motility, allergies, history of v-tach and severe sinus tachycardia, changes to my echocardiagram that include leaking valves and a new murmur, low blood pressure, ataxia, untreated PFO (small hole in my heart that increases the risk of stroke), chronic lymphadema in my left arm, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Narcolepsy/Idiopathic CNS Hypersomnolance (believed to be a result of the dysautonomia and my brain's inability to regulate the sleep/wake cycle), mild hearing loss, malformed optic nerves, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies

* Title comes from an old Abbot and Costello routine that I chose to memorize in 6th grade and absolutely love.