Thursday, December 4, 2014

First Draft is Done!

November Journaling

1.     We attended a workshop at church this morning on George Whitefield and the Great Awakening. We could only stay for the morning, because our son-in-law’s brother was getting married today.

2.     Sore from too much Egyptian dancing last night. It was a beautiful wedding. Our pregnant daughter was one of the bridesmaids and our son-in-law was the best man for his brother. They said their own vows which were beautiful. The reception was a lot of fun. At one point the groomsmen took off their shirts and revealed superhero t-shirts.

3.     So it’s official; I have fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Starting to research it and what I can expect.

4.     I have circulation problems, but only on one side of my body. The right side of my body is colder than the left. Is that not strange?

5.     Saw a recipe for a five minute fudge made in the microwave with only four ingredients. Must try it. I need/don’t need it in my life, you know what I mean?

6.     Our social calendar is starting to fill up. I hope I can keep up, since all my energy goes into my work week, I tend to get flares of my FMS on weekends, or I’m struggling to do the regular things I used to be able to do so easily a year or two ago, like shop for groceries, clean or do laundry. Even cooking is a chore. I hate fibromyalgia, but I’ve found a few helpful books and websites. One of the books is by a Scarborough doctor. I’d love to get a referral to her. My Rheumatologist is rather detached or aloof, and I’d rather have one who is so into this illness and is doing research into it.

7.     See my earlier post on What does Fibromyalgia feel like? to get a sense of what my life is like now.

8.     I started a small savings fund for our new grandbaby. Just $10 a week, so that each November I can buy a $500 savings bond for them, so by the time they’re 20 they’ll have an additional $10,000 plus in savings. It’s not a lot, and we’ll still be buying them all kinds of things anyway, but at least with a bit of effort on our part, there’s something more practical than another toy or clothes.

9.   I’m really enjoying Pastor Randy’s preaching. He sets a full table, spiritually speaking.

10.   My husband has a temporary promotion starting in the new year, for nine months. He’ll be the manager of Water Supply at the main pumping station. If there’s a crisis, he’ll be the one who’ll talk to the media.

11.  Work is busy but okay.

12. I was on my way to work tonight, had even paid my train fare, but realized I couldn’t work because I must have taken one of my sleeping pills by mistake. I was so impaired. I won’t make that mistake again.

13. I went back to work tonight.

14.  Today I only slept two hours after my night shift because I had my counselling appointment. I’m finding it to be so helpful as we look at the whole idea of forgiveness. It’s about the offended more than the offender. My anger doesn’t have to control me and make me bitter. My husband is going on a men’s retreat with the men from church. It’s at a hotel in Niagara Falls. Nice. Good for him to go and get to know the men better.

15.  I went to a Women’s meeting at our new church. I was happy to see Emily there as well. We women are having a harder time adjusting than the men; and Emily even more than me. I guess it’s because her children are still at Faith. This afternoon I went grocery shopping, did laundry, changed linens, planted tulip bulbs, and napped a bit. My husband has called three times so far, so I guess I’m not the only needy one.

16.  Church today; strange since it was mostly women and children with two dozen men gone to the retreat. My alarm didn’t ring, and I had only an hour to get ready. I usually need two hours these days, since I move so much slower. I was glad to go there though. The missionary talked about how missions has changed from back in the day to now. Then since I was alone, I made myself a nice supper of salmon and stuffed mushroom caps. Also had a delicious vanilla cupcake for dessert. Perhaps a nap before Gary gets home.

17.  Shocker. Our nurse manager was fired, for some unknown reason, as well as a few others. Some nurses on other units were also fired. It seems management suddenly has a taste for letting people go. Strange times, as people can only speculate so there’s not really much to talk about.

18.   I woke up at 3 a.m. with a nightmare about Kody. He’s been gone for a year and a half now but I’m still grieving.  In my dream I opened the side door of a van. It was empty inside except for him. His fur was matted and he was struggling to breathe, as if he’d been trapped in a hot vehicle and he was dehydrated and hot. I picked him up, even though in reality, I wouldn’t have been able to do that. Suddenly the other side of the van and the back of it were open and there was a coyote or wolf there threatening to attack. In my mind I knew I couldn’t move fast enough with him to avoid the attack, so I woke up. That happens often if some event in my dream is too overwhelming. My heart was racing and for the longest time, I just thought about that dream and how helpless I felt. He was sick and in danger and I couldn’t save him or protect him. That’s how I felt about having to put him down. In my mind I know we had to do it, but I felt like I failed to save him and also like I betrayed him when we brought him to the vet that day.

19. Considering whether to enter any writing contests. One has a deadline of the end of this month.

20. I slept well today. Then I went to counselling. It’s surprising to me how quickly I’ve moved from anger and hurt to feeling it’s possible to forgive, while realizing it didn’t make the offence any less or that it didn’t matter, because it did. I am choosing not to let it come along with me for my future.

21.  Flare up of FMS today. Also ran out of meds. Bad timing. In other news, I can finally announce that the first draft of my novel is finally done! I wrote, THE END!  

22.  I had a Pastoral visit from Pastor Randy today. It was good to talk to him and let him know how this change of churches has impacted me and also on a positive note, to talk about finding my place in this new church. I am starting to get excited about what God has planned for us here.

23.  We went to church with our daughter and son-in-law. Their church is huge, with thousands of people, and this was a baptism service, so it was very encouraging to hear the testimonies of about thirty people and witness their baptisms. Then we went with them to lunch and IKEA to buy the grandbaby’s furniture and transport it to their place, since we have a bigger vehicle. She’s seven months pregnant now. It’s getting very real now.

24.  Psyching up for four nights.

25. I’m sleeping so much better with my new meds. Sleep deprivation was such a big part of this illness, creating its own set of problems and exacerbating others.

26. I finally saw my husband after two days where he had to work late and I had already left for work. That doesn’t happen too often, thankfully. Also my mom is still in London, Ontario so it’s very quiet here alone. Times like this I really miss my dog.

27.  Last night. I hope we get the third nurse we need. One good thing about our new nurse manager is she likes to keep our staffing quota at three on nights, whereas we had been struggling with the workload with only two for so long.

28.  Counselling this afternoon after a truncated sleep, then we went to one of our tri-annual dinner parties. We had a seafood feast. It was delicious, but my back started to hurt, so I took some medication and lied down on the couch, and to my embarrassment I fell asleep.

29.   I woke up at 3 a.m. with a nightmare. It’s now five a.m. and I decided to stay up. We’re getting up at 7 anyway to head to the Niagara region for a friend’s 50th birthday luncheon. It’s a women-only party, but my “driver” is coming and any husbands can play together in Daddy Daycare. I mean, the men will find something to occupy their time together.

30.  Good to be back at our church after missing last week. Today is the 75th anniversary of the start of the Winter War, when the Russians dropped bombs on Helsinki. Also, I did a last minute entry on a writing contest. Another one coming up in a week.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What does Fibromyalgia feel like?

I was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (FM) after a year of pain and negative tests for everything else from arthritis, to lupus, to multiple sclerosis.

The other day one of my coworkers asked what the pain of FM feels like.  

First, I’ve learned that everyone’s experience of FM is different so my answer is not THE ANSWER to the question conclusively, since it’s a syndrome. It’s sometimes called FMS for Fibromyalgia Syndrome. But for me, this is what I feel.

I have a constant dull headache, which sometimes worsens to the point I had five severe migraines in five days. Before FM, I rarely had headaches. Now they are my daily companion.

My back is always sore, usually an achy feeling, which moves all over my back, but is worst between my shoulder blades. Although massage or heat help somewhat, as did physio, acupuncture, chiropractic care, mostly nothing helps my backache as it’s not caused by any injury.

My muscles are stiff and tight, especially around my upper back, neck and shoulders. I take magnesium and muscle relaxants and though they help somewhat, but the muscle stiffness never completely goes away. Heat eases it somewhat.

I have stabbing pains in the front of my thighs. This is the most acute pain I experience. It happens suddenly and the pain is so intense it brings tears to my eyes (and I don’t cry). It will pass within a minute so I don’t take anything for it. When it happens I don’t touch my leg. I just wait for it to pass. The first few times it happened, before I knew it was related to FM, which I didn’t know I had, I feared the worst. But the fact that it moved around from thigh to thigh and in different areas of the thigh confused me. I knew it couldn’t be a tumour since it wasn’t localized to one area. It was a mystery, until now.

I clench my jaw in my sleep and grind my teeth. I used to sleep with my mouth open, but now my jaw is clamped shut. X-rays show wear and tear on my TMJ or tempero-mandibular joint, which is right at the base of the ear where your jaw opens. I’ve heard many people with FM also have problems with their TMJ. I now sleep with a mouth guard on my teeth, and it prevents problems.  As well I have toothaches and headaches. Jaw clenching, teeth grinding and TMJ problems are common.

My joints are stiff and movement is very slow. I feel like a sloth sometimes. I also used to sleep mostly on my left side. Now I have to sleep on my back as both hips are very tender. I will wake up sometimes and my whole pelvis, knees, ankles and shoulder joints feel like they are on fire. Burning pain is I think the worst type of pain I experience with FM, although the stabbing pains are a close second. The stabbing pains are of shorter duration. The burning pains in my bones and joints are so deep and almost throbbing in their intensity, as if the flame gets turned up or down. I take so long to turn over in bed, even a quarter turn, say from back to side, and I almost don’t want to move because it hurts even more, so I’ll often sleep for hours in the same position, which makes problems of its own. Or I’ll wake up every time I change positon, then I can’t get back to sleep, or I’ll reach over for a pain killer like Tylenol or Advil, so I can try to get back to sleep once the pain subsides.

Sleep disturbances are common as a result and people with FM have trouble getting to the deepest level of sleep. Sleep deprivation then has its own problems and it becomes a vicious cycle, with lowered pain tolerance, irritability and headaches. People with FM often wake not feeling refreshed, and instead feeling like they’ve been run over by a truck.

I also developed anemia, which then made my fatigue, headaches and shortness of breath worse. I also had mononucleosis which made my fatigue more extreme.

I was also recovering from surgery and my pain threshold was lowered. My hormonal imbalance also caused hot flashes which were severe enough to interrupt my sleep, which only added to my extreme exhaustion.

I also had problems with my balance. I almost fell several times. I always use a handrail when I take the stairs. I had also developed a limp, the cause of which was never determined.

I had heart palpitations and could hear my pulse in my ears, especially when I’d be trying to sleep. No cause was found for this either.

I also had chest and left shoulder pain, which was investigated and ruled as non-cardiac pain.

I had abdominal pains, some of which were attributed to gastritis from Naprosyn. I stopped it, of course. An abdominal ultrasound was normal, but the abdominal pain continued.

I experienced weight gain, both from some of my medications and from my decreased activity due to the pain and fatigue.

I experienced mental fogginess (sometimes called Fibro-fog). This was a problem at work (I’m an oncology nurse). I seemed to take longer to do my job and never felt like I finished on time and feared I’d make mistakes or forget something important. I dreaded going to work and just getting through each shift was a chore.

I also developed anxiety. This was new for me and very distressing. Apparently anxiety and/or depression and stress intolerance can occur with FM. I didn’t have depression but I did feel discouraged through my two years of testing without any diagnosis. I knew something was wrong, but every test was inconclusive or negative. In a strange way, I’m happy to at least have a diagnosis so I know what I’m dealing with and can try to find some treatment.

It’s hard having an illness that is so little known or understood. It’s also hard having an illness that can’t be seen. I may look well, but I’m not.

The problem with FM stems from the body’s inability to process pain signals properly. It’s not a fatal illness, and it’s not progressive (meaning it won’t worsen over time) and will not cause lasting damage to any organs. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that every case is different, it takes a long time to diagnose, mostly by ruling out other causes and the presence of pain for at least three months. It often develops after accident, illness or injury. In my case, it started a year ago after I had infectious mononucleosis. It’s still poorly understood by the medical community, difficult to treat and there’s no ‘cure’.

For one glorious month this year, I had no pain. I was on Baclofen (a muscle relaxant) and Naprosyn (an NSAID). I could work freely and didn’t feel like I was missing something. I had energy for projects at home and cleaned out cupboards and painted furniture. I couldn’t have done that before. I was so happy to be pain free. My husband came home and asked his usual, “How’s your pain?” I said, “What pain?” He was shocked.  Then the medication suddenly stopped working and the pain returned worse than before. I was so upset and frustrated. If I would have known I’d only have a month, I’d have done more.

 I felt I was falling apart and no one could tell me what was wrong with me.

My doctor told me it was possible for the medication to stop working. I also stopped the Naprosyn which caused the gastritis (inflammation of the stomach). She switched me to new medication, which took a while to find the right dose. They also caused some dizziness and not quite as good pain control.

I am trying to learn all I can about this illness and what I can do to help myself. I bought a book by Dr. Alison Bested called Hope and Help for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. I also joined a facebook page support group for Fibromyalgia sufferers called Fibro 360 Community | Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers.  All these things help to validate that I do have a real illness with real symptoms. The problem often with FM is that you begin to feel it’s all in your head.

To ask, “Where does it hurt?” is harder to answer than, “Where doesn’t it hurt?” I hurt all over.

There’s the short answer to how it feels to live with Fibromyalgia.

Terrorist Attack in Canada

October Journalling

1.     Work, although busy is manageable. I don’t feel so stressed about it anymore. Thank God!

2.     Finished painting the desk, shelves and table for my writing room.

3.     I am a Dollar store junkie. Just wanted to share that. Oh, and staffing at work is just ridiculous. We had 17 patients for two nurses. Really? Eight or nine patients each. That is just unsafe. And then for some reason, I couldn’t sleep AT ALL after my night shift even though I was so exhausted.

4.     Going out with the ladies from church to celebrate the birthday of one of them. I like this group.

5.     My co-worker’s wedding is this evening. We’ll miss church, but I’ll catch the sermon I missed on-line. Oh, technology!

6.     I don’t know why I am so sore. Since they refilled my prescription of muscle relaxants and I’m taking more, it’s like I am as stiff and sore as before. Did they give the wrong medication, or maybe a generic type that doesn’t work as well, or a placebo? I can’t figure it out. This morning I woke up at four a.m. in pain and couldn’t find a position that was comfortable, so I got up and took some Naprosyn, which is an anti-inflammatory. I tried to crochet and listen to the Bible on kindle audio. I’m so frustrated. I had pain control for only one month! So I have the chronic nerve pain syndrome, and the chronic muscle and joint pain syndrome, but how do I explain the bone pain in my pelvis and spine? Arrrgh!

7.     Work is okay, but I am worried as I am having sharp pains in my abdomen and I feel lumps in various places, which were not there before.

8.     More abdominal pain this time in my upper left side. Trying to cry in secret. Trying to stay calm as I’ll see my Doctor on Saturday. Gotta get through.

9.     Finished my last night. On my way home I had a sharp pain in my right upper abdomen and I feel a large lump over my liver. Do I wait till after Thanksgiving to deal with this or go to emerg? I would tell someone else to get it checked it right away, but will a few days make a difference?

10.    I went to my doctor and it seems the Naprosyn caused gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach, so I have to stop it. Also, the muscle relaxant stopped working, so she’s changing it to something else. Apparently that can happen. But I only had one month pain-free! Sigh. And she’s sending me for an ultrasound.

11.   Shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.

12.  I woke up early and decided to surprise my family with baked cinnamon rolls and apples. The house smells delicious.

13.  Happy Thanksgiving! My back was aching so much. If we didn’t have everyone bringing something it would have been harder. We had 3 apps, 3 mains, 3 carbs, 3 veggies and 3 desserts. A pretty complete meal, I’d say. The other downside is I started to have a panic attack but my youngest daughter knew what to do and we stopped it halfway without any meds. I only had the first one a year ago. That was scary since I didn’t know what was happening.

14.  Hard to work tonight since I haven’t been able to sleep in the day. My new meds still aren’t available at the pharmacy and the old ones are not working or stopped so my chronic pain is more acute.

15.   Mid-October already? I haven’t even planted our tulip bulbs yet. I had to stay home from work tonight. I went to bed crying and woke up crying three hours later. Just starting on the new med, not a lot of relief yet. So tired of being in pain. Thank you for attending my pity party. Complimentary tissues at the door.

16.  I stayed home from work a second night. Until these new meds start working, I’m in agony.

17.   My husband and son-in-law and brother-in-law left for their weekend fishing trip with the guys from the Soo. My eldest daughter is coming to stay with me. I had an appointment with my counsellor this morning, mostly talking about leaving church and how to work through the forgiveness process. As time goes by I feel less sad and more angry. My biggest fear is to become bitter. Also got to hear my grandbaby’s heartbeat when my daughter went for her midwife’s appointment. Sounds like a boy to me! Then we bought a few baby things and maternity clothes.

18.  Spent the day at a Bible conference with my daughter and 200 others. It was called Kingdom through Covenant with Dr. Peter Gentry. I appreciated that my daughter was willing to go there with me.

19.  My daughter came to our church today. Our men returned safely, having caught their limit of six large fish each, mostly trout.

20.  I have my abdominal and pelvic ultrasound today. If there’s no explanation for some of my symptoms, I’m going to start to wonder what is happening in my head. Results to my doctor by Friday. My husband and I started going through the worksheet on forgiveness together. This grieving process is going to take a long time.

21.  Back to work tonight. Apparently my ultrasound was normal, which is good news.

22.  Today there was a terrorist attack on Ottawa, and an unarmed reservist soldier was shot in the back while guarding the tomb of the unknown soldier at the war memorial in Ottawa. He was 24. Then the terrorist ran into the Parliament building and started shooting. He was killed by the Sergeant-at-arms. This is the second attack this week. Another soldier was intentionally run over by a car.

23.  The country seems to be reeling from the attack yesterday in Ottawa. It’s the end of our innocence.

24.   After work, I slept two hours then went to counselling. I would have liked to stand by the highway of heroes to watch as the soldier’s body went by. The situation was so sad.

25.   We attended a three hour class today at church on the basics of the gospel, done for anyone interested in church membership. Then we will get info on the church itself, see if we agree with it, then write out our testimony, meet with the elders, then we’ll present our testimony in front of the church.

26.  I missed church this morning due to pain. I searched pain clinics but it seems the wait times are measured in months. So discouraging.

27.   I need to see about changing my meds. Hard to get through my day.

28.  I’m increasing my meds until we get to a dose that works for me. Work at least, has been quiet this week. Also was given a sleeping pill so I can feel more rested. Also, finally a diagnosis. I have fibromyalgia.

29. I saw my counsellor again and we are breaking down the big pain/grief I am feeling into all the small events that made it so painful. I feel my emotional pain is decreasing, but mostly because of distance rather than time. If I had to see the people that had caused me pain, on a daily or weekly basis, it would bring it back up again. I hope to one day be able to forgive the people I feel have hurt us, even if they never ask for forgiveness. I’m learning that forgiveness is about the offended, not the offender. They may never apologize, but I don’t have to be held captive by the hurt they caused. I don’t have to become bitter.

30.   Working through the process of forgiveness has been helpful for my husband as well. We talk about what I’m learning together and verbalizing the hurts validate them. Then we can put them behind us.

31.  Happy Reformation Day! It’s sad how few people know what happened on this day in church history 497 years ago. Google October 31, 1517 and see what you find.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Empty Nesters

September Journaling

1.     Just a quiet day at home, bbq-ing burgers and cleaning a bit.

2.     Another good writing day, my last before I head back to work tomorrow. Also went out for coffee after dinner, with my husband. Am I a bad mom if I say I’m enjoying the first day of our empty nest?

3.     Back to work tonight. I’m nervous about it only because my pain has been getting worse and the pain killers are slowing me down. Straight from work in the morning I go to see a specialist. A Rheumatologist; they specialize in problems with bones and joints and muscles, like arthritis and lupus. I’m hoping to get a step closer to a diagnosis for what’s been causing me pain for the past year and getting some relief. The Robax aren’t holding the pain off for longer than two hours now.

4.     So after driving through rush hour traffic (I don’t know how people do that every day) to the wrong place at first, then waiting another hour to see the Rheumatologist, she told me she doesn’t think I have Polymyalgia Rheumatica, but a Chronic Pain Syndrome brought on by the Mononucleosis I had last summer. She said if that’s the case there’s no cure. She ordered more tests to rule out other things, and told me to wean off the Robax and gave me Naprosyn and Baclofen, a Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and a stronger muscle relaxant. Relief would be nice, I hope it works. But it was discouraging to hear there would probably be no ultimate relief from it. I’m only 50. Do I have to look forward to a few decades of pain? I can see how this could lead to depression. At this point I was hopeful that it could get better. Even if it had been the PMR instead, that is usually self-limiting and goes away spontaneously after about two years, which would have been okay since I’m already into the second year, but alas, it’s not. But at least I know it’s not in my head, and that I don’t have to worry that each new ache or pain is some new dread disease. A girl can get paranoid.

5.   A good night last night. Hopefully, I’ll have a good sleep today.

6.    The medication has made me light headed, but I don’t mind, because I can move much more freely with these new medications. 

7.    My mom is coming home from Finland tonight after 10 weeks away.

8.    Back to work for four nights, but I don’t even mind because my pain is 85% improved. Thank God! I don’t feel light headed anymore either. For the first time in a year I am not thinking about my pain every minute. I am leaping around the house, jumping for joy! Here is a picture of me, jumping for joy, from a few years back, but that’s how I feel now.

9.  Wow! What a change! I have energy and mental alertness. I feel like I can do my job. When my husband came home and asked how my pain was, I said, “What pain?” I haven’t answered him that way in almost two years.

10.  A very busy night, with only two of us instead of three, but I got all my work done and didn’t have that feeling that I missed something. That’s a nice feeling.

11. Slept poorly again.

12. Slept all day, then cleaned out a closet.

13.  We went to the maternity home I volunteer in, and my husband put together a change table for one of the new moms. I was glad he was able to come and see what Wings is all about, and meet Marion and get a tour. I think he’ll be helping there as well as much as he can.

14. Being pain free has given me so much energy. Cleaning and rearranging cupboards and furniture. Also had a doctor’s appointment to rearrange meds. She was shocked to hear my pain was controlled.

15.  I had my first meeting with the counsellor and even though I didn’t think I’d cry, just bringing up the pain over leaving Faith did it. I also didn’t realize how many losses I’ve been dealing with these past two years. Yikes! Anyway, this was just an assessment day, and they’ll assign someone else to be my counsellor. This one knew my daughter and said, “She’s awesome! I know we’re not supposed to have favourites, but…”

16. Work. Thankful when my mom offers to cook for us. I can sleep longer or just wake up slowly.

17. My husband is taking a course at Toronto Baptist Seminary on Early Church History. He’s loving it. He’s only auditing it so he doesn’t have to hand in assignments but he’s trying to do them anyway, just to challenge himself. Dr. Haykin is a great teacher.

18.  I volunteered at Wings today. They didn’t need anyone for childcare so I helped with lunch. I made a homemade tomato soup, and they also had chicken pot pie, Caesar salad, broccoli and pumpkin pie. Delish! I didn’t realize how fast time would fly and navigating in someone else’s kitchen slowed me down. I was thankful she eased me into it this way, where I wasn’t responsible for the whole meal. I’d like to do that again. What a challenge, but so much fun.

19.  Weekends fly so fast, but I have more energy. I almost forgot what it was like. Also we had friends over from out of town. They were just over for about six hours, for dinner. My husband made jerked chicken, and we had a Jamaican meal. The best part was that they were so supportive about our church situation. They go to our former Pastor’s son’s church and he has been very understanding as well.

20. So this is what summer is supposed to feel like! It says something about how bad our summer has been when the first heat alert occurs in September.

21. I can’t get over how much easier work seems since I am not in pain every minute.

22.  Oh. My. Goodness. What a busy night! Fifteen patients for two nurses. But it’s over and I’m off for four nights.

23.  I got a message from the daughter of a former founding member of our old church. She read the book I compiled, Testimonies of Faith, and encouraged me. She said I did a great job. Nice to hear. Someone else who read it said it’s a great legacy to leave at Faith even if we’re not there anymore.

24. I went to the walk and talk with some women from church. It’s nice to get to know some of the women.

25.  My appointment was changed again as the counsellor had a family emergency. Now I’ll be going in two weeks.

26. My youngest daughter came home for a day to attend the funeral of her Pastor here in Toronto. Not a nice reason to come, but it was nice to see her. I also had a good day reading through my manuscript to see which final few scenes I need to write and what I still need to research. I also went through each scene to see that I knew what the goal and conflict was, and looking for plot holes that needed to be filled.

27.  My new church had the first women’s meeting/breakfast of the fall season. We also brought baby clothes for a local pregnancy care centre. (I also bought something for my grandbaby). I also bought paint for a desk, but I won’t start painting till Monday.

28. A great day at our new church today. Pastor Randy started a series in the evening, going through 1 Samuel, which is great for me, since that impacts my novel writing set in the same time period. I’m trying not to think that today is the 50th anniversary service at Faith. It breaks my heart to think about it. I think as time goes on, the pain seems to get worse. We also got two calls yesterday from people there, asking if we’d come back and saying they miss us. When people don’t know what happened, they imagine things, and don’t understand why we couldn’t come back. What would we be coming back to? What would we be celebrating? No, our days there are over, but I’m still upset about how it happened and the stories that are still circulating. We’d like to move on.

29.  I started painting my desk, table and shelves. It’s kind of brighter green than I expected, and shiny, but it’ll be a statement piece, if nothing else. I can’t tell you how much of a big deal it is for me to even consider a project like painting. I haven’t had the strength, energy or motivation to work on a project for two years.

30.  I also went to Value Village and got two wall shelves and a low square desk for $11 which I will paint the same colour as the desk and put them in my writing room. Good deal, eh?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Grandbaby Number One on the Way!

August Journaling

1.     I couldn’t share the news until today. I’m going to be a Grandma! Well, a Mummi, to be exact. Our eldest daughter is pregnant and due in early February. I’m sooooo excited! She actually told us way back at our other daughter’s graduation dinner. She gave my husband a gift for Father’s Day. It was a small box and inside was a soother. On the inside of the box it said, “Can’t wait to meet you, Grandpa! Love Baby M”. I caught on a little faster than he did, but it was still a shock, since they told us they didn’t plan to have kids for five years. Surprise! I cried happy tears. I am so happy for them. J

2.    We announced it on facebook and twitter and I posted some pictures, including the 12 week ultrasound and a pro-life pin of the size of the feet of a baby 10 weeks in utero. Church this morning, burgers and corn on the cob for lunch.

3.    Holiday today; Simcoe Day. It’s a civic holiday for the man who founded York (Toronto). We’re making jerked chicken and grilled veggies. We had to cook it in the oven because of a storm. Four people were struck by lightning today.

4.    Today we are attending an event at Queen’s Park with the Lieutenant Governor celebrating Emancipation Day. The event is put on by The Ontario Black History Society. We were invited because our daughter works there and they invited the parents of the summer students. They had to do a check on us before they sent the invitation. Then we’re staying downtown for dinner and I’m going to work.

5.    A quiet night. Stressed because tomorrow night they transfer our few patients elsewhere and may close our unit. I dread going to other floors.

6.    Oh. My. Goodness! We were sent to a Haematology unit. This is why I don’t work in haematology anymore. I had a patient who had sepsis and a knicked hepatic artery and ended up in ICU. Crazy busy does not describe it. So exhausted and my back was killing me. Then when I woke up we went out for Japanese food.

7.    Cleaned all day then went to a friend’s place for bbq. There was another couple there from our old church. It was good to see them and we kept away from the painful topic of church.

8.    Another great bbq today and a chance to learn about the new church we’re attending.

9.   I’m working four nights this week before vacation again. I am sure I’ve slowed down somewhat. I seem to take longer to do the same tasks I’ve done for years and I don’t feel I communicate in the same way.

10.  I had a very sick patient last night. He is dying and doesn’t want to die in hospital. He pulled his I.V. out and begged me not to put one back in. Sad. Of course, we followed his wishes.

11. I’m exhausted and I missed my train because we had an inservice so I got to bed later than usual.

12.  It’s only another two weeks before our youngest heads off to law school and we’ll officially be empty nesters. I have mixed feelings about it as I’ll miss her company but I’m excited about this time in our lives.

13. Last night. Gotta get through.

14.  We had an appointment with the bank to confirm her loan for law school. I also packed for the Carey conference and baked two blueberry pies.

15.  First day of Carey. I was worried about it and my husband said we wouldn’t go if I wasn’t comfortable which I appreciated him saying, but I thought it would be awkward seeing our former Pastor. He broke the ice though and said hello. We haven’t seen them in two months. We also had friends over for pie.

16. Our former Pastor preached this morning. He is a fine preacher and that was never the issue. The evening preacher is Jeremy Walker from England and he is very good.

17.  Excellent message this morning by Ken Davis. This is a no-fuss Carey. I didn’t even plan my menu since it’s just the two of us, and we have more than enough and to share with friends.

18.  We went into Paris, Ontario for lunch at a restaurant with a rooftop patio overlooking the Grand River, which isn’t much more than a creek, at least at this junction. We’re at the halfway point of the conference already, six out of twelve sermons delivered already. My husband met with our former Pastor today in the hopes of achieving some sort of reconciliation, but not much happened that gave him hope.

19.  We are having the speaker and his family over for dinner today. Since I know the people who are serving them lunch are giving him roast beef, we’re just doing a chicken Caesar salad with garlic bread and a key lime pie.

20.I hesitated to come because of all that has happened in the past two months, but I’m glad we came to this conference, because the support we’ve received has been so uplifting. They say our character and behaviour over the past thirty years speaks for itself and they understand the character of the other party as well. We were encouraged once again to take the high road as the truth will eventually come out. We will just rest and heal.

21.Back home, unpacking and doing loads and loads of laundry.

22. Outfitting and packing our daughter up to leave the nest on Wednesday. Then we’re going to a 30th anniversary for a couple who my husband was in their wedding party and he was our best man.

23. Even though it’s Sunday, we’re going to the beach with our daughter and her husband. I don’t feel terribly bad about it since we just heard twelve sermons in six days and we’re going to be getting more involved in church in the fall.

24. Dentist this morning, then packing my daughter’s things.

25.  Our youngest is 22 today.

26.   We moved our daughter today. My husband was anxious with the moving van since last time there was a little incident that cost us big bucks, so he didn’t relax until it was delivered safe and sound. I can neither confirm nor deny whether there were any tears when we emptied our nest. There was a vandalized stop sign that said, Don’t STOP believin’. It was encouraging. The church our daughter plans to check out is a few blocks away. You can see the lake from her place as well.

27.  I woke up from a bad dream and now I can’t get back to sleep. That hasn’t happened in a long time.

28.  I am still grieving leaving Faith. I know there’s no going back, but I’m still upset about how it happened and the timing of it. I am angry at Brian and yet I still love him. I fear getting bitter. I worry about settling into a new church and if it will ever feel as comfortable as Faith was for us.

29.  I wrote another long, important scene today. One step closer to finishing. Then I had a date. Still on vacation till Wednesday.

30.   Going to IKEA because our daughter’s desk was too big so we had to bring it back home. Then we’ll bring it to her on Sunday after church. Then when we say goodbye, it’ll probably be until Thanksgiving. We’re going to a TFC game this evening; it was a gift for my 50th from my sister and husband. Then we’ll check out the EX. The game was horrible, our team lost 3-0.

31.  Good message at church today. I’m starting to get to know the people. Then we drove to Kingston to bring the new desk to our daughter. My husband assembled it while my daughter and I walked around downtown. Then we went to a rooftop patio for lunch.