Monday, September 29, 2008


Amber loves me just right.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You're Still The One

To an imperfect husband from an imperfect wife...
Thank you for being my love, my partner, my friend, my cohort, my caretaker, my hero, the one who stood together with me for these last 13 years. I love you.
Happy Anniversary Honey Oat Bran.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Confident Trust - HooHaws And TahTahs

This post is going to take the long jump WAY over the line of information that you may want to know about me, so you may want to reconsider and come back for a less personal post. The ultrasound results are in and if you just want to know those, you can scroll down to the big bold text toward the bottom.
You have been warned.

Yesterday was the big UroGyno appointment. My day started way earlier than I would like because the doctor's office is 3 hours away. On my way out the door, I saw THIS on the counter...

Rockin'! It's already a great day. I was really having stress about this appointment because I felt like we are really getting to the end of the road for options and doctors who could possibly solve this problem. Plus, I made the mistake of investigating the doctor's website where I read things like 'urodynamics' and 'robotic assisted gynecologic surgery' and 'cystoscopy' and all manner of torturous things. Praying and being still was the only thing keeping me from flying out of the car and hiding in Mexico.
We were able to find the office with little fuss and went straight up to get signed in. They had sent me the paperwork to fill out in the mail, so I had already done all that. And I had worked really hard to make sure that Dr. Urogyno had all my previous records and was hopeful that he had had time to read them prior to my visit. These are the things I had with me that brought me comfort...
Took my Chicas with me in the form of my chickie socks that were gifted to us at one of our retreats. You guys were even with me during the exam of neverending torture.

This is my most beautiful, quilted, Bible study bag - hand made specially for me. I will make a special post just to show you this bag, and even tell you where you can get one. It was so peaceful to just hold the handle and rub the beautiful stitches and know that each one was placed there in love for me. I rubbed the handle almost the whole way up there.

I also had the comfort of being accompanied by my husband who had returned from his efforts in Texas. Thank You Jesus. On the way up there he offered such a sacrifice to me that if this became too much, then I could tell him and we would stop pursuing it. That he loves me and we would work it out. I cannot tell you the relief I felt and the overwhelming feeling of someone being willing to sacrifice out of love for me. I didn't ever know that I would see my husband modeling God's love for me.

Finally, I had my Bible. Speaks for itself, does it not?

The nurse took me back to the exam room even before my appointment time. That happens like once in century. My husband came too. She said, you two can go ahead and sit in the chairs over there (bypassing the ominous stirrups). She told us that the doctor likes to talk a lot before he ever examines. We sat and waited and waited and finally the doctor came in - yes, 15 minutes AFTER my scheduled appointment time. Which I was a little irritated, but not a lot because I figured, you know, maybe he just hadn't had time to go through my records yet and so he was doing that now. I mean I guess I can't expect him to take my stuff home and read it over dinner. Sadly this time left to ourselves in the girlydoctor's office, caused us to ponder if doctors such as these subscribe to magazines such as vagina weekly. When he came in, he had an electronic notepad. Made all his notes on there. Conspicuously absent were my medical records. Hm. So, we talked for a while about what was going on with me. I said - oh, I made sure to have my records sent over. He said - oh, I don't have those. I raised my fists in the air and growled out loud. Here is the thing - not only do I not want to spend my office time rehashing all the junk that you can read - I CAN'T REMEMBER EVERYTHING. I NEED YOU TO LOOK AT MY RECORDS SO YOU CAN KNOW WHAT WAS ALREADY DONE FOR ME. So we talk some more, he gives his thoughts on what it could be - he's pretty sure at this point that it is Interstitial Cystitis, which I say, I believe me and all my very personal friends had ruled out. But he explained that it can be illusive in certain kinds of tests but there were some good ones that were pretty sure to identify it. Yes, well I don't know if those have been done because we do not have my records. He talks about the option of physical therapy, which just sent me into a tailspin of trying to imagine what on earth kind of physical therapy you would DO for the tip or your urethra.
So he says, okay - The blue one there goes on top, open to the front - the white one is for your lap; I am going to step out while you COMPLETELY undress because we are going to examine you from TOP to BOTTOM. Yes, I said from top to bottom. TahTah's to HooHaw and beyond. So, my husband and I have one of those retarded discussions. "Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble. If I stay it will be double...." I am stressed, and my mind is going a hundred miles an hour and I can't possibly know what to do. My poor husband really doesn't want to stay, but doesn't want to be a jerk if I want him to stay. So I think, he really does not need to see what is going to happen to me. He'll just have to read about it. Haha. So we agree that he can go out and about and I will call him when I am finished.
The doctor comes back in and tells me all the things you girls already know - place your feet in the stirrups, and lay back. As he is doing the breast exam I tell him about the 'mass' that was found on my mammogram and he says, "Oh? I don't feel it. Don't feel a thing." Then looks at me and says, "It's nothing to worry about." So he finishes that and then on to my abdomen and pelvis. Poke poke poke (Do you know that that hurts? Geez.) He finishes that portion of the move to the south and then he moves to the end of the table and says ~ say it with me ladies ~ "Slide on down to the end of the table." WHO can 'slide on down'?? There is no graceful way to get to the end of the table. None. No not one. But, truly, at this point how lame is it that I am still caring about my dignity? Do I honestly think I have a shred of it left? By the way, I had had a discussion about this the prior evening with my Chicas, and as a result, I literally laughed out loud when he said that. Thanks girls. So, as previously discussed, over the last three years we (me and my personal friends,otherwise known as every doctor in the southeast) have determined that it is the TIP of my urethra that is the problem area. And as we also know, each new person that comes to the party has to determine that for themselves. He did the most thorough interior exam I have had to date.
Does it hurt here?
No, just when you bother the tip on your way to "here".
Okay, here?
When is the last time you had intercourse? We tried yesterday. *Wishing that the table would just swallow me whole*
Hm. Does it hurt here?
Um, I can't tell if that hurts or if you are pulling on the tip.
Okay, here?
YES!!*My foot automatically responded by making contact with his nose, and my thumbs went in my mouth.* *Well, maybe that didn't EXACTLY happen.*
That IS the tip.
YOU THINK?*Some crying going on now. Trying so hard to be brave*
Okay, yeah - it is definitely just that tip.
Thank you. It is nice to have confirmation of that. Again.
Now you are going to feel some pressure in your Anus.
HOW have I not completely dissolved from utter humiliation?
Okay good.
I want to rule out those std's that we talked about before and I can do that with swabs, so we'll do that now. Tell me if I am hurting you.
Okay *quiet tears* (That really hurt; my urethra AND my heart.)
I don't think you have either of those things, but at this point we need to be sure to be certain we have ruled out all possibilities.
After that was all done, he let me sit up so we could talk about what he thinks now that he has done an examination. He is less convinced that it is IC, but he wants to have certain tests done for that because, again, at this point we have to be sure that we are certain we have ruled out every possibility. HE, however, does not do those particular tests. Only a urologist can do those tests, and you may remember that my urologist moved his practice to Houston.
SO - guess what?? I get to go see YET another new doctor. Oh but the exciting news does not stop there. No. There is more. I have to wait until Dr. Urogyno (who can't do some urology stuff) tells my primary care manager that I need to go to a urologist and then wait for HIM to request the referral from Tricare. Hopefully without requiring me to make an actual appt and come back in to discuss the whole matter. And then wait for THEM to process it.
So where was I? Oh yes, our course of action. He tells me that I am not really a candidate for physical therapy because my muscles are all in great shape. Except, of course, for urethral massage. Mmhm. He thinks, that when I had my weekly sessions with my gynecologist for this lovely adventure, that we just didn't do it enough times for long enough. That it really could help to desensitize the area if given proper time and attention.
So, what I want you to do, S4J is to MASSAGE YOURSELF TWICE A DAY FOR FIVE MINUTES. EVERY DAY. AND KEEP TO IT. DON'T GIVE UP. You are the best person for the job. You are very in tune with your body, you know exactly where the problem is and you can just reach in ~ and I am not kidding here folks~ he actually made a motion at himself of 'reaching in' and wiggled his fingers to give me the general idea of what I would be doing.
Keep on taking the Neurontin - it's a great idea - take it long term. It will need time to take effect. And go get those tests. I am sorry, but there may be no answer to your problem. We may just have to do pain management. Has anyone suggested numbing creams or gels such as lidocaine?
Oh yes. Been there, done that. No worky. Not.Even.A.Little.Bit.
Okay ~ we will have the results of the std tests by Monday and we will call you. I will call Dr. S and request that referral. And you will do the things I told you and we will go from there. You can go ahead and get dressed and head out.
Thank you and goodbye.
Now I am weary and sore and sad and tired. I clean up. Get dressed and slowly walk out of the office cause walking is painful. Call my husband as I am heading down in the elevator and we make our way to the car. Slowly. Did I just have a baby?? Geez.
Hubby offers to take me shopping as we drive by Hobby Lobby. Had to say no. Had to say no to all shopping because I wouldn't be able to tolerate the walking. So hubby found us a big city place to eat lunch - The Macaroni Grill. Here is our table covering. (As always, you can click on the pic to enlarge)

We finished lunch and decided that we needed to get on home as the kids were riding the bus home to an empty house if we didn't show up. I was really done with the day and just wanted to get home and sleep it off. In my room. With the door closed. And no one else there.
Sorry. Not yet. On the way home, we got this....

For this...

Wow. That is a day. We got home, I went straight to my room and went to my bed. With the door closed. And no one else there.

I finally heard today back from the hospital about my ultrasound! The ultrasound shows that the mass is a cyst. That it has no blood supply of its own and the follow up needed is a mammogram in six months. Thank You, Lord for mercy.

I am most sad that I missed the opportunity to tell Dr. Urogyno that he has not met my God if he thinks there is no solution. I pray that the Holy Spirit takes over next time and gets the job done where I am lacking.

Again I say...
In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.
Psalm 4:8

Please Stay Tuned

Hi All. I just wanted to drop in and let you know that I haven't forgotten about this wonderful world we call (or maybe just I call) bloggyville. I just have been unbelievably unable to focus on my own wants lately. My needs yes. Wants no. Anyway, some more needs are in the way needing attention today, but I hope to be able to write you a nice, lengthy, funny, poignant, hilarious, enthralling, riveting, memorable TMI post later.
Or maybe I'll just tell you my business and you'll be grossed out 'cause let's face it, I'm not the likes of writer as some other blogs we know and love and give 875 comments to. But some day...oh some day bloggerworld. I shall. I shall.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hasta La Vista Ike, Hello Power!

Well, Ike has left the building ~ so to speak. He is still making messes north of here and still enjoying a good bit of power. And speaking of power...
Ours came back on just about 1/2 an hour ago. The whole family cried out (minus the man) with glee when the lights suddenly came on! Way to go Cleco. Really wonderful timing actually, cause I was just feeling the connection between the window a/c and the extension cord going to the generator, and it was HOT. We were going to have to turn the thing OFF. Oh woe. woe is me. It is absolutely amazing to me how cranky being hot can insight me to get!
On a happier note, it took me a whole 1/2 hour to get to blogging because I put nice fresh, clean sheets and pillowcases on my bed and am blogging right from it this very minute. A little silver lining to being married to a hero called to duty - I have the bed to myself for just a wee bit of time and I am taking advantage of it.
I am thankful that my husband is willing and able to help people in need, even at risk to his own self, and even when they were dumb in the first place. How could I complain at such a blessing?

Ike Update - Selfish Ranting Involved

Still operating on generator power. The electric company is saying that they may have the power back on by late Monday night. Cold showers are awesome. It's getting dark now so we are going to hunker down for the night in the living room with a window a/c unit.

I am feeling pretty selfish and angry at this moment, so you may want to turn your eyes away, or just skip the rest of the post. I just had to say goodbye to my husband who has been deployed to Houston for search and rescue operations. Yes, you read right. My husband had to LEAVE HIS FAMILY and go into HARM'S WAY, in order to find and rescue PEOPLE WHO WERE TOLD TO LEAVE THAT AREA AND DECIDED TO IGNORE THE ORDER.

Thank you very much from Mr. Hero's wife and children who are now without their hero because you didn't feel like evacuating. Awesome. When you see him, tell him I love him.

Obviously I need to get on my knees.

Ike Is Visiting

Just an update to let everyone know that we are doing okay. The cable ~ which is also the internet and the phone went out several hours ago. That was followed by the power going out. My husband discovered that the cable came back into operation a few minutes ago, and we are using generator power for the internet modem, TV and refrigerator. I'm thinking later on we'll be running a window a/c. Geez! It is windy and rainy here and the yards are a mess, but no trees down so far and the water is still at full pressure. If I see anything interesting to take a picture of, I will post them as our internet access allows. So far our cell phones still work.
Ike is massive and is making a massive mess. I guess it should go without saying to pray for those people in its path.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Saying, "Goodbye" to my precious little crafties! Do you see why I hoard? Do you SEE?

*if you click on the picture you can really see how sweet they are*

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm Just Like The Marines

These are some of the things I used before 8am. Just like the Marines.

Okay. I used these things before 11am....
Okay, okay - by ONE O'Clock I had used all of these things and more.
So, maybe I'm more like a retired marine.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Confident Trust - Scheduling The Ultrasound

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.
Psalm 4:8

I am truly sorry that I have dragged this on for so long. I meant to share with you much much sooner how things went down with the ultrasound, and then I forgot!

I went down to the radiology department on my way to pick up my medication and scheduled the ultrasound appointment.

Radiology Lady With Kooky Fake Hair: "Our first available appointment is September 11th at 10:45"

Wanting Some More People To Look At Her Tah-tah's Lady:"Hmmm. September 11th is ringing some bell in my head."*wonders now if that had anything to do with the TWIN TOWERS - HELLO*

RLWKFH: "Better to be safe than sorry, how about September 12th at 10:45."

Me: "Okay thanks."

There it is folks: more waiting.(Sorry to do that to you)

I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for Him."
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him,
to the one who seeks Him;
Lamentations 3:23-25

Isn't it interesting that this passage is found in a book called, "Lamentations"? That even while Jeremiah was struggling through what was, to the world, a horrible situation and lamenting about it, he had confident trust in the Lord.

What does this mean? Well, it means that though man may even perish in sorrow, God endures. And because God endures, the great purpose and workings of God endure. God never does anything temporarily; all that he does endures forever. Jeremiah sees that what God has taught him in his grief will have a practical use. Even if he were to die in the midst of his grief, God's purposes endure. God is simply preparing now for a work yet to come. God is not limited by time. He is eternal. His throne, his authority, endures to all generations. In practical terms, the prophet is realizing that after he has been through this time of grief, he will have learned a truth about God that will make him absolutely impervious to any other kind of test. Once he has been through this, nothing can reach him, nothing can upset him, nothing can trouble him, nothing can touch him or overthrow him. He is now ready for anything. And in God's great purpose there will be an opportunity to use that strength. (commentary in gray by Ray Stedman)

Me too.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Confident Trust - Epic AND TMI

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.
Psalm 4:8

Confident trust. Seems to be a theme that many are struggling with these days. Waiting takes confident trust. Not the kind of waiting where you are whining and fussing and scrambling around working toward a solution without ever having consulted the One who can do all things and loves you so much that He sent His Son to die so that He could have a relationship with you. No. That is not confident trust.

Confident is defined as, marked by assurance, as of success. It comes from the Latin confidere which means, to rely on.

Yesterday I went to the doctor for two reasons. The main reason was to see my primary care manager in the gynecology department to request a referral to go see a urological gynecologist for my girl problem. Yes it is still a problem. Yes. After THREE years of doctors, tests, procedures and medications it is still a problem. The second, and ironically enough, lesser reason I was there was to have my mammogram results read by the doctor so that he could prescribe a course of action. You may remember that I had gotten a call from MY gynecologist that there was a mass detected on the mammogram and it required follow up. That was Wednesday. I had to wait a week and a day to see the doctor.

I was irritated at the inconvenience of having to go to yet another doctor so he could do yet another examination just so I could wait to be able to get an appointment to go see yet another doctor. And irritated at having to wait to get information about where the breast health journey is going to lead me. And by the way, "I am NOT sitting on that examining table with the stirrups. I am sitting in a chair. You want me in stirrups, you're going to have to work for it." Hm. That somehow doesn't sound too appropriate. I suppose it is good I didn't say it out loud.

The doctor came in holding only my urology records and my mammogram results. Did you ever watch that show Ally McBeal where they acted out whatever was in her imagination? Like, one time, her crush said something that hurt her heart and you see a red arrow going right to her chest and piercing it. She was fine of course, it was only her imagination. Well, I imagined whipping out one of those sticky rubber hands and smacking him upside his noggin with it. I said, "Those are only my urology records, there is more." And he said, "Oh, they only gave me these..." grr. "So, what are you here for today?"

Oh. it's going to go down like THAT is it? *slips on boxing gloves and oils up naked bulging muscles* So after feeding him some leather giving him the, "I want to go see another doctor and you need to tell me what is up with my cha cha's and stop making me wait some more" talk, we settled in and had a nice get to know me conversation. He asked me to tell him all the things I could remember about what has been done so far about my issue. Well let's see, there was those four weeks where I had a weekly tea party urethral massage with my gynecologist, or the time that big camera ignored the do not enter sign and showed me the inside of my bladder on tv, cystoscopy, or the myriad of medications which have helped me to now move into the category of obese according to your lovely, uplifting little chart there.

Truth be told folks, I liked this doctor. You could see his wheels turning in earnest interest and medical consternation. I just wish that he had done the reading first. So he says, "Okay - I know of another nerve drug that we could try and I will also put in the referral request for you to go see the Urogyno." "It's possible that we may not be able to fix this." "What you mean like EVER?" "Yes." "Like, NEVER?" "Yes." "Like, for the rest of my life, for always and ever, I may never have intercourse without pain??" "Yes."
"That is not acceptable."
And now, on to the mammogram. "Ah yes, I see that they detected something on your mammogram that they would like followed up on. I'll go ahead and put in the order for the ultrasound. You'll just need to go down there and schedule it." That's all you get Mrs. MoCracka S4J.

Oh no you DI'INT! "Hey, Dr. S ~ is this something that should be marked urgent, or right away or something that I need to be FREAKING OUT about?" "Nah, not urgent." Well thank you man of many words. "Now, are you up-to-date on your pap?" *rubber thing snaps and this time takes out an ear* "I HAVE NO CERVIX YOU JACKAL Um, yes. My last approved visit with my gynecologist was used for a well-woman exam. Which is in those records that you don't have in front of you." "And how long ago was that?" "Just a couple of weeks ago." "Okay, we'll skip the exam today then." *Raises fist in the air and brings elbow back in excited cheer* (yes I really did) "THANK YOU!"

"Oh, and come back and see me in two or three months so we can see how the medication worked and also I am pretty curious about what Urogyno comes up with." "Well, it is certainly my pleasure to satisfy your curiosity."

Okay - explanation of the medication which I started taking yesterday. The theory is that there is a nerve that is misfiring, causing pain when it is disturbed(and by the way this is my lame'mans explanation - please do not publish this on [cause I know you wanted to]). So we are going to try to convince it that it can give up the game with the use of Gabapentin(neurontin). I am starting at the lowest dosage which is one 300mg capsule three times each day. I will try that dosage for one week. If it doesn't work I will take two 300mg capsules three times each day for one week. If that doesn't work I will take three 300mg capsules three times each day for one week. If THAT doesn't work we know it's not GOING to work and I will be done taking it. If it does work, I could be taking it the rest of my life. AND also, nurturing my marriage the rest of my life. so there.
I know the medication is affecting me already (no we didn't try it out you dirty-minded GGG)because about 2 hours or so after I take it, I get WHACK. Like super funny. So funny in fact that I crack myself up. Regularly.

What else? Hmmm What WAS the other thing? I'm trying to think but can't remember so much, and I see that this post is really long already. I guess I will have to wait for another post to write about it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It Is Well With My Soul

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.
Psalm 4:8

Tomorrow I will share the results of my visit to the doctor.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Season Of Love

I was out on the front porch gettin' my worship on and was inundated with love. Love from the Father, yes - but more in my face and in my way - love from the love bugs. Yes, the season of love is upon us.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hurricakes ~ Gustav Update ~ 02 September 2008

Happy to report we lost power for only about 8 hours last night. Up this morning making wheat pancakes for my family (even some to freeze). Gustav was a great storm for practicing the evacuation and preparedness plans that resulted from the absolutely devastating storms of 2005, Hurricane Katrina AND Hurricane Rita. Rita is the storm that was most devastating to our neck of the woods and seems to often get altogether overlooked for the more highly publicized and deeper public outcry over Katrina. Still, there are homes 3 years after Rita with trees smashed directly through the middle of them and others with tarps where roofs should be. I thank the Lord that most people heeded the evacuation orders this time around and pray that they do not become complacent due to the anticlimactic results of Gustav.

And what is up with news people?? They stand out in the storm in cities that are under mandatory evacuations saying things like, "Whoa! Did you SEE that debris fly by?? That is why you should NOT come out of your homes!!", "We are now in a city (which is under mandatory evacuation) that has no power, water, or sewer. PLEASE do not come back here." I would like to suggest stationing unmanned cameras with remote controls around the areas you want to report from and keep the people safely in shelters where they should be. Somehow seeing a person able to stand in hurricane force winds and talk to me about it, makes me feel less inclined to take it seriously.

I am thankful that the worst complaint I can muster for my Gustav experience is that I still cannot go get McDonald's. Come on Ronald - give a girl a McMuffin!

P.S. - My husband would like me to tell you of his harrowing and most dangerous story of how he was outside doing something manly and heroic when a tree came flying at him and he punched it away with his fist. Saving himself and the little old lady behind him.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav update - 01 September 2008

7:46pm and all is well. It has been raining for a few hours and the wind has picked up. It's getting dark outside. I'm going to go take a hot shower now while we still have power.