Friday, August 30, 2013

August 2013 Journalling

1.The weather has changed. August is so hit-and-miss weather wise. That’s why I prefer to take vacation in July, the one month you can be sure of good weather in Canada.

2. I’m feeling down today. This has not been a great year for me health-wise. I don’t know what’s up with my abdomen and shortness of breath, but something’s not right. I am booked for an MRI of my brain and spine because of my right leg weakness, and then nerve conduction tests if the MRI is inconclusive.

3. I have my lesson prepared for the September Women of Faith meeting. It’s another Scarlet Thread; Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life in the book of John. It looks at death bed conversions, and how Jesus raised people from the dead at different stages: recently deceased (Jairus’ daughter), during the funeral procession (son of the widow of Nain), after four days (Lazarus), Himself (unique, raised self, glorified body and did not die again), and then all others at the Resurrection and Judgment. Isn’t He amazing?

4.We had a guest over today. While we were eating inside, we heard a loud crash on  the deck. Our patio table spontaneously splintered into a thousand pieces. Weird, eh?

5. I’m not well. I can’t seem to do much without getting winded. I have my suspicions. I think it’s ovarian cancer, already spread to my diaphragm. I have it on both sides of my family. I don’t say anything to my husband, because I’m such a hypochondriac, and he thinks it’s just fibroids, but I don’t have the usual symptoms of bleeding and pain from that, and fibroids don’t cause shortness of breath. I have painless vague abdominal symptoms. I am full as soon as I eat a little bit and my abdomen is growing measurably. A month ago I wore a skirt to a wedding, because the others wouldn’t fit. Now that same skirt wouldn’t close. There was about two inches of space at the top. That is noticeable. I don’t know if the right leg weakness and low iron are related, or if they are three different issues, but something’s not right. I feel the fullness in my abdomen along the lower right side especially, but it’s overall just really firm.

6.  If I’m right about what’s going on with my health, this is my last normal day before I have to really cope with serious issues. I am more concerned as my shortness of breath is even worse and I have some discomfort in my right lower abdomen. I was already thinking about it last night and prayed that if God wants me to go through the valley of the shadow of death, that He’d go with me, because there is pain, darkness and fear there, and I couldn’t cope without Him.

7. I went for my abdominal and pelvic ultrasound this morning. It was a little uncomfortable when she was pressing down on my abdomen. I was a little suspicious when she asked about pain when she was checking out the right side, but my doctor won’t get the results for 3-4 days. It’s hard to wait. I just want to know what I’m dealing with and get it fixed. I napped two hours yesterday and today. No energy. I don’t really tell my husband my fears because he’s used to living with this hypochondriac. Here’s a joke: What was written on the hypochondriac’s tombstone? I told you I was sick. He just tells me to wait and see what I’m dealing with. I’m discouraged and depressed. I know something is going on in my abdomen. I’ll be the happiest person if I hear this is just fibroids. The alternative is so scary to me. Since my husband is at work all day, and my daughter is cat-sitting for my sister, and we have no dog to walk or keep me company, I’m alone with my morbid thoughts. On a positive note, I did write 2,600 words on my novel today, and passed the half way point on the way to my 60,000 word goal. I am excited about that project and it is flowing well. Plotting has made all the difference. I am writing Biblical historical fiction. The Bible has so much to work with by way of action, adventure and intrigue.

8. I got a call from Occupational Health today. I’ve got to get a Doctor’s note. I guess I have to make an appointment for tomorrow morning. I was hoping to wait until she had the results of my ultrasound, as I hate to go there just to get a form signed, especially since I’ll probably have to spend my whole morning there, waiting.

9. Going to visit my daughter’s home tonight. My mom, her sister and my mother-in-law are also going. It’ll be their first time visiting there.

10.So yesterday morning I went to the doctor’s to get a note for work. As I went there I started to feel even more short of breath. I asked to be seen right away because of it. When I got in the room it got worse, and I started weeping, and my hands and feet started tingling and then ringing, it was so bad. I also had numbness and tingling around my mouth, then my hands cramped and turned inwards like in a Trousseau’s sign when a person has low Calcium levels. My doctor ran in, made me look at her, told me I was hyperventilating and made me focus on something and breathe. She got me an Ativan and then it started to pass. Apparently it was a panic attack. That was my first and hopefully my last. It was so scary, I didn’t see it coming at all and didn’t know what was happening. The only way I can describe it is it’s like being alert through a seizure. Then I went to lie down in another room for a while and my husband came to pick me up. Anyway, in the meantime, she told me the results came back from my ultrasound and she had a note to call me to tell me the results since she knew I’d be worried. I guess I did my usual and internalized it and now this is what happened. So my ovaries were fine. Thank God! I’ve never been so happy to hear the problem is uterine fibroids. That’s why my abdomen has grown so much in the past two months. She also said I went back to work too soon. I’ve been off two weeks, and she’ll see me again in another two weeks to decide what we’ll do. In the meantime, she ordered a chest x-ray and echocardiogram to investigate the shortness of breath. I will be going for the brain MRI in early September because she thinks my right leg weakness, which is getting worse, is probably neuromuscular. I will also see a gynecologist. It may be necessary to have a hysterectomy, but we’ll see. So all that drama in the morning, and then we spent a nice evening in Burlington at my daughter’s home.

We had turkey burgers, corn on the cob and cherry pie. Today we cleaned, in short spurts, my husband finished staining the deck and cleaning out the hot tub. I also prepped food for tomorrow.

12. We had a guest speaker this morning. He is a young man, who is with Compassion Canada. We had him over to eat with us. I made stuffed mushroom caps, bruschetta, chicken pot pie with herbed dumpling crust, salad, and carrot cake and key lime meringue pie.

13. This week we’re at home and next week at the Carey Conference, then summer is over. L Of course, occ. health didn’t receive the forms from the doctor so now I have to head out to find a fax machine somewhere.

14. I had my chest x-ray on Saturday and am going for my echocardiogram today. My mom and her sister are in London till tomorrow. Packing for the Carey conference. My doctor said to go even though she gave me a sick note. I’m not well enough to work, but the conference should be relaxing.

15. We went for lunch today at my son-in-law’s parents’ restaurant. They serve only breakfast and lunch. They are Egyptian but it’s an Italian restaurant. It was good. They make their own pasta, too. They wouldn’t let us pay, of course. They said, “This is our house.” Then we went up the road to visit our daughter at her work at the Scott Mission Camp.

16. Also, I was visiting with my aunt and found out what I’d suspected; university is free of charge in Finland. They only pay for their books. Their taxes are very high, but they get quite a lot of services and they have a high standard of living. She said some Finns are not happy that non-residents can come there and also get a free education, even though they don’t contribute to the tax base, which is what a social democratic system is based on, so there’s some animosity because of it. Just thinking of my daughter’s university costs; $6,000 per year for her undergrad, and then about $25,000 per year, plus books and living expenses, since she wants to move out at that point. She’ll be looking for work and a bank loan for that to happen. We only promised to pay for any undergraduate degree. I’m thankful that we’ve managed to do that for both girls, so they didn’t graduate with any debt, like we did.

17. Heading to the Carey conference for a week. Staying in the same trailer as last year, but without our puppy. L Because the fax that my doctor’s office said went thru, didn’t, I was late getting the medical forms to occupational health, so I didn’t get a pay cheque. I made some calls and they are fixing it. Like most people, we live paycheque to paycheque, and this was an unexpected surprise.

18. Settled into our trailer, but what is that buzzing sound outside the door? I hate bees. My husband will dispatch them tonight. My hero!

19. Teeny tiny water tank in this place. No Hollywood showers. I have to pretend I’m in a submarine.

20. The main speaker, Conrad Mbewe (Em-Bay-Way) from Zambia, is very good. I’ll post the picture taken when they were over for dinner. Nice to renew acquaintances and friendships again. Also invited a young family over for a campfire and got to know them.

21. Went into Paris (Ontario) for lunch. We had a big campfire at our place tonight.

22. We’re having the speaker over for supper tonight.

23. Last day of the conference. It always goes so quickly. Excellent preaching. . I was so relaxed this year at Carey. No menu plans, no laundry, plenty of naps. My leg weakness is more pronounced than even two weeks ago when I saw the doctor. I think I should be more worried about it than I am, but I can’t go there. I don’t want to think worst case scenario every time, but I can’t lift my right leg more than one inch off the couch if I’m flat on my back, and I can only do that much because I use my abs. There has to be a reason for this. I hope when I see the doctor on Monday, I can have her try to move my MRI appt. up because it’s not till Sept. 14th.

24. My brother-in-law’s birthday party tonight. Lots of laundry to catch up on. Today I woke up and suddenly I could lift my right leg straight into the air! How could that be? It was getting progressively worse, affecting my walking, then sudden improvement! It could still be something like MS since that tends to come and go, but each time it comes back it’s worse. I guess I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. My MRI is September 14th and I see my neurologist and family doc after that.

26. Our youngest daughter is 21 today! We love her and are proud of the woman she has become. I have a mammo this morning (ack!) and a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. I hope to be able to go back to work in some capacity this week.

27. So in spite of my desire to go back to work, my doctor wants me to wait another month till I’ve had my MRI and neurology appointment. A little frustrating, since I’m not “sick” in the strict sense, but I have health issues that affect my stamina and stress levels. I also found out the Chest x-ray revealed I have old stress fractures in my ribs. They have never bothered me, but it was a surprise to learn the reason is probably that I have osteoporosis. Why not? Add it to my list of issues. Today I pushed myself and walked two hours to go to several stores, since I have no car while my mom is still down east. The time is more of a reflection of how slowly I walk than how far I walked. I’m so out of shape.

28. What is the smartest thing you did today?
      I set a daily word count for writing (981) and exceeded it. I wrote 2,037 words today. Since I’m off for at least 25 days I’m going to make the most of it and treat my writing like a job. I have about 25,000 words to go on my first draft. I’d love to finish it by the end of September, Lord willing. A goal is a dream with a deadline, after all.

29. My mom, aunt and sister came back from their trip down east yesterday. It’s good to have them back. They had a great time. Wrote 1,035 words today, but they didn’t come easily. I guess all that matters is I got ‘er done.

30. Ready to start writing. I think I’ll write the scene about Saul’s slaughter of the priests and people of Nob. That should more than amptly meet my word count for the day. Dinner is a roast chicken from the grocery store, sweet potatoes and salad. Yesterday we had Atlantic salmon, teriyaki vegetables and fresh bread. I am a lazy cook so we end up eating the same 15 or so meals every two weeks. You wouldn’t know I was such a boring cook if you saw my Pinterest boards.

31. It’s a long weekend but we don’t have very exciting plans, except maybe invite friends over for a bbq on Monday. The EX is on, but it would be too much walking for me.


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