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Showing posts from December, 2007

2007 Review

This has been a year of not going anywhere. Just home, Church, and the grocery store for the most part.

Each time we had travel plans, they got canceled.

Wes started working for Appriss in the Summer, after contracting there for about seven months.

Commute to Louisville every day.

Months of me without a vehicle.

Summer at the pool down the street.

My fibromyalgia is WAY BETTER than it used to be. So is my hypoglycemia. Thanks be to God, and the guaifenesin protocol. I'm firmly convinced that it is the Holy Spirit who inspired doctors and scientists to make helpful and life-giving discoveries and breakthroughs with medicine and knowledge. Glory to God for all things.

Homeschooling all four kids now, instead of just the three youngers. Loving how our family life is. Kids loving each other, being kind and peaceful.

Kids learning German! How cool is that????

Jessamine county homeschool coop for Biology and P.E. in the fall. Still debating about what the spring semester …

A New Beginning

Well, I gained so much weight in December that I might as well count today as a new start. Me and everyone else in America, no doubt. I did learn something: That I rely far too much on food and drink for comfort, rather than turning to the Heavenly King....

I got to go to Vespers by myself this evening. B was having a rough day and so Wes stayed home with her and the other kids so I could go out to tea with some friends after prayers. I was hoding Ian (he's about 9 months old) during the service, and St. Herman helped him to calm down. I think St. Herman likes little wigggly baby boys. It was worth it to hold wiggly little Ian, though, because his mother got then to sing in the rather dimished choir this evening, and she has the voice of an angel. So beautiful to hear her sing.

Today was Wes' birthday. He's 38. I'll tease him mercilessly until I turn 38, three weeks from now. Just kidding. I think we are both feeling the whole "middle age" thing. …

A Christmas Post

Christ is born! Glorify Him, Alleluia!

"Those who sat in darkness have seen a great light." And for me this gospel truth really sunk in. I think this has probably been the darkest Christmas of my life. Wes and I are just grieving over our daughter. No, she's not all better. She might never be.

And into the dark world, where things like psychosis, and schizophrenia, and terrors exist, into this dark world of chronic disease and financial strain, of expensive doctors and medicines, of car troubles (Wes' car needs a new engine)...into THIS world God is born. He takes on our flesh and becomes Immanuel-God with us.

And there is a Kingdom, and it is not of this world. And we can be a part of it, and all this stressful, grief-inducing stuff is put into it's place. The suffering has an end and the cross hums it's glory. Yes, there is death. But because of Christ there is the resurrection. And because he was born in a manger we have hope. Not just a se…

St Nicholas Seoul Christmas Liturgy

From all over the world!

Christmas Carol Singing

Snippets of Christmas Caroling around the world. This is the St. Marys Orthodox Church choir, 2nd place in the Kairali carol singing competition.

Afghan fight for the dinner bill

This is funny. I can't understand a word and it's still funny. Hope you enjoy it, too.

USA and Torture

I think anyone would have to be really naive to think that our government does not regularly find ways to flout Geneva conventions, commit various war crimes, and torture prisoners. The other guy is doing it, so why can't we? Or why can't we at least get "the other guy" in on the act and let him do it for us? (Just for the record, I truly and deeply wish America were the white hat wearing, upstanding nation that we like to image ourselves to ourselves as being. I know we are not, and it saddens me, and I'm against torture of all forms.

Peace, goodwill towards all men, and all that stuff. 'Tis the season...

So here is my small offering for Geneva-convention friendly softening-up techniques our government might consider using instead of heinous activities such as waterboarding and electric shock. Just looking around at the faces I've seen, I think people exposed to this stuff regularly get pretty worn out and could use a break:

-acquire those cou…

Feeling Low

I wish Christmas were not next week. I have no plans. They got cancelled. Now I suppose I have to figure out what to cook. I don't want to cook. I think I'm going to buy a frozen lasagna and some pies and be done with it.

I'm feeling very low today. Last night, I was already tired and my husband was working late. At 8:30 he called me to tell me his car wouldn't start and that he'd called a tow truck. So I loaded the kids in the van, got gas, and some caffeine, and drove the hour and fifteen minutes to Louisville to pick him up. And then we waited for the tow truck together, got some snacks, and headed home. It was midnight when we got here.

My eyes have been bothering me. Seems like I need new glasses about once a year. I'm so sick of that. Even my reading glasses are less than perfect for reading. And my regular glasses just make me tired. But I am tired. To the core, and perhaps that is the only trouble. I'm going to wait a while before …

What's Going On?

Today, B is crocheting a cute hat. M is busy trying to learn the dance aerobics section of the new Weight Watchers workout DVD I bought. (I got worn out on the cardio basics section.) A is on the computer and E is lazing around.

My plan is to get some room cleaning done today and then take at least some of the kids to the dollar store to do their Christmas shopping.

B is getting better each day, but woke up this morning with tears, wondering if the government was planning on killing all the autistic kids. Scary thought! Paranoid.

I got nice and fat over the past few weeks. So, now I'm trying to get back in the game with Weight Watchers. Hard to do the week before Christmas. I'd lost ten, and then regained almost six. I refuse to be depressed about it. I forge ahead.

But it does show me I need to learn better coping mechanisms. I guess I'm an emotional/stress eater. Duh. And I didn't even realize.

We made it to Church yesterday, which was absolutely won…

Every little bit counts

Each day B gets a bit better and better. Today we went for a short walk, and she spent some time playing her recorder beautifully, just like before. She also has been working on a gorgeous crocheted shawl that is so very soft. We found this light blue yarn...several skeins of it...at the thrift store one time. She let me work on the shawl while I was in the hospital and she was too sick, but most of the work on it is hers, and the project is hers, so I need to find something of my own to do.

She also took several long naps, and got carsick. If you are praying for us, please pray that: her meds will no longer make her nauseous and headachy and dizzy, that her energy can improve, and that she will continue to improve to the point of starting school work up again in January.

The doctor we went to see today reminded us of this fact: This is physical. Just because we don't yet have the right test to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong in her brain, it is still physical. Psy…

Auuuugh!

I was out on my back porch reading a book, bundled in a sleeping bag. Reading. At home. I come in, and on the dining room table is a blueberry cobbler and a CD.

None of the kids saw or heard anyone come in and drop it off.

I am so creeped out. Someone came into my house. While I was at home, without me knowing it. Someone I know most likely...but still.

Update: I figured out who it was. Safe person, etc. ...but still...

Everything's Changed: Random Thoughts

There really is such a thing as peace that passes all understanding. I have lived it this past week. Mostly. I had some bad moments last Monday when she went catatonic and I didn't know what was going on, before all the medical testing was done.

I'm still processing everything I lived through, so the blogging will be much about all of this for a while, I"m afraid.

It's something holy, helping a helpless human being. We do it all the time with our infants, but when a person is physically mature (or more mature) and yet helpless, see the holiness of it becomes more obvious. The vulnerability of the very young, very old, and mentally infirm was highlighted for me. "Whatever you have done unto the least of these..." came to mind as I watched my intelligent, brilliant teenage daughter grasp a popsicle by the frozen part like a baby would, forget how to chew and swallow and loose all sense of self dignity.

We have such the wrong idea of what life is, if we …

I'm so tired!

We got up early this morning because B had an 8:30 appointment with a therapist. This is the guy who is going to be doing all her psych testing, to determine the extent of psychosis/neurosis, what is what, etc. At least, that's what I've been told. Seeing him is part of the package deal with her psychiatrist...can't do one without the other, which is good I suppose: They are being thorough. I just wish it weren't so expensive. Well, we'll have our deductible met by the end of February, most likely, between psych, therapist and meds.

But over-all, it felt like a big waste of time today. We got re-acquainted. Three hundred dollars of re-acquainted. How lovely. I truly hope Humana is cooperative about this. I guess there are worse things in the universe than financial ruin, because that is what this will do to us if Humana doesn't pay.

On the way home I stopped at Kroger to pick up a few things, hoping to be out long enough to swing in to Weight Wat…

Home!

Thank you all for all of your prayers. We got home this afternoon. Has it really been NINE DAYS?????

For the sake of my daughter's privacy, I don't feel comfortable being very specific about her diagnosis or treatment here on the blog. We ruled out any medical (germs, poisons, toxins, damage) cause for what was going on, and then started experimenting with meds, and yesterday finally found a combination that works, after trying two other different things that did not work. So, we are grateful.

I can say nothing but good about the doctors, residents, nursing staff and other workers at the University of Ketucky Medical Center. Everyone was WONDERFUL.

This is going to be long-term, so continued prayers always appreciated.

And God is good. And we felt God's goodness in so many ways this week. Many of those ways were very mundane, practical, ho-hum, but they made a huge difference: The moment last night when my dd could eat microwaved chef boy-ar-dee ravioli with a …

Update

My daughter is still sick. The hospital is wonderful, facilities, staff, set up, doctors, all of it. The MRI came out clean, the CT came out clean. Nothing showed up on the EEG. (But they might do a 24 hour long one at some point.) Her neurological symptoms are getting worse and she's experiencing delirium. I'm staying with her, mostly, and don't have access to the computer while there.

It's like a medical mystery...like a House M.D. episode, only the doctors are nice people who care about the patients, who listen well, and who are actually rather cautious. In real life they don't throw meds at a situation willy nilly the way they do on that show. But the show is still fun to watch.

Actual life in the hospital: I've beaten a track between our room and the coffee pot. I raid the clean linens closet on a regular basis and I'm the one helping with the bathroom trips when I'm there. I'm sure the nurses all love me for it. UK feeds the paren…

Please Pray!

Dear blog readers,

Please pray for my daughter, Bethany! She's in the hospital. So far the only test that has come back abnormal are elevated ammonia levels in her blood. We do not know what is causing it, or the symptoms that led us to take her to the ER tonight.

I give thanks to God that we were able to find a babysitter for our other kids very quickly this evening. Now I am home and I'm supposed to try to sleep, while my husband is at the hospital with her. Tomorrow we will switch places.

Pray for the doctors and for her healing. She just participated in a service of Holy Unction last Wednesday. She is scared and confused and in pain. I'm scared and peaceful and exhausted, all at the same time. It is strange. Lord, have mercy!

Matins and Advent

Lately I've been praying Matins out on the back porch. The sun comes up and the light of my candles in the darkness fades as the sky pales, yellow, gray and purple behind the familiar tree branch lace. The birds join me on some days, but not this morning. I could see my breath in the cold, like clouds of dubious incense.

And these prayers have become my Advent journey. It seems particularly fitting that Matins prayers start out with the "end of the story": Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among me. (three times). Followed by: O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise. (twice).

Ok, so there's an element of faith there, and dependence on God's work, and not my own. I need that, early in my morning. Lately I've been all tangled up in need of God, snarled feelings and stressed. Even first thing in the morning. I'm glad His mercy is new every morning. It is God who opens my lips.

What follow…