Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Year In Review

So I haven't posted in a very long time... but I thought I would give an update on the happenings in our family over the last year. Its just a small review as I obviously can't mention all the details of our year in one post! Well I could... but it would be extremely long and no one would read it. :) At some point I would like to return to more regular postings, if even for just my own enjoyment.

Kaleb turned six years old in May. He is active, inquisitive, imaginative. Always playing and exploring!

Kirby turned four in July. During the summer he started speech therapy but after two months the therapist said there was not much she could do for him since he was not talking or being vocal at all during their sessions. Kirby is very shy outside of our home, but here at home he has lots to say... in his own language. We still don't know what is causing his speech delay, but the therapist agreed with me that she also feels it is by choice. He is just choosing not to talk.

This summer Kyle started working with a friend from our church family that owns his and runs his own custom car company. He offered Kyle the opportunity to learn from the ground up, welding, fabricating and all aspects of automechanics. As his mother I really felt like God had opened this door and gave my son direction where there had been none. Since then Kyle decided to joing running start and is working towards pre requisites to get into the autotech program at Green River Community College. So far this year Kyle has gone to one semester of Community College and completed drivers ed, all while working in his spare time.

My wonderful husband started a new full time job in February (he lost his job last Christmas when the company he worked for shut their doors for good). He works for a company that is contracted through a large Airlines. He loads baggage onto airplanes. The work is very physical in all kinds of weather conditions, the pay is bad and the benefits are non existant. But it is a job and I thank God for that!

Newest member of our family is Cooper. Cooper belonged to my mom and Stepdad Richard. They got him as a pup

Sad events:
On May 2nd, one day before his birthday, my Stepfather Richard passed away from cancer. There are so many things that I could say about this man. He was an amazing person. He was funny, loving, hard working, generous and talented. He could build and fix just about anything he put his mind to. He struggled for two years with cancer and he was bound and determined to not seek conventional medical treatment. My mother researched and did whatever she could to help him treat his cancer naturally. The tumor in his stomache decreased in size at one point, but then all the sudden it came back and he was horribly sick. Throughout all of this, Richard showed amazing faith. He truly believed that God would heal him. One week before he passed away, he told me how proud he was of me for how I was dealing with my health problems. There he was sick and frail, full of faith that God would heal him... and he was telling me how proud he was.And these lyrics come to mind....
"And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Home Hemodialysis

Since I started in center hemodialysis I have been asked multiple times if I wanted to do home hemodialysis. Shortly after having my peritoneal dialysis catheter removed, one of the nurses came up to me and said "so you will be doing home hemo then right?". My response was "Uh, no".
Heres the thing with home hemo. You dialysize more often (5-7 days a week insteads of just 3 in center) and for shorter of periods of time. The result of this is less drastic physical 'ups and downs' in between dialysis treatments.
My reason for not wanting to do it? Number one, kids. With my kids at home with me at all times I'm just not comfortable with the idea of having needles and sterile equipment around them. Two, space. We absolutely do not have the space to store the needed equipment, nor to set up an area in the home for me to do it. Three, time restraints. I don't have time to dialyze every day. It may be for shorter periods, 2 hours a time insteads of 4 hours. But you have to set up and clean up before and after every dialysis session. To me that equals a lot of time.

Today in the dialysis center a man came in to say hi to the Techs. One of the Techs asked him "how are you liking home hemo". He responded by saying "Its fine, but its a lot of work. A LOT of work."

That was enough for me to hear. I don't have time for a lot of work. My life is a lot of work already! I will be sticking with in center hemo dialysis for the time being! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Homeschool Advice From a Friend

The other day I received some wise advice from a friend. The interesting part of it is this is the third or fourth time in the last few months that I've received the same advice, from different friends. Often times I think we hear things over and over until we are ready to accept it as truth.

In May my middle son turned five years old, making him Kindergarten age as of this September. Since he turned five years old I have wanted to start school at home with him. My plan was to find a curriculum and start working on it as early as May/June of this year. However, May and June went by, then July, August, September.... and still no formal curriculum. Once September got here I really started to panic. Then I started to second guess myself and my abilities, and I started to look into putting him into a Christian School. I thought that he would get a better and more consistent education if he was taught by someone else. There are so many limitations to what I can do right now due to this chronic illness that I have come to the realization that I can't do everything I want to. Right now being a mom, a teacher, a cook, a house cleaner, along with all the myriad of chores is too much. Truth of the matter is it would be too much even if I didn't have a debilitating illness! Homeschooling is hard for all moms, I know this because I hear it so often from others that are struggling to keep up with it all.

The advice I was given was that at this age, a formal education isn't as important as we sometimes make it out to be (matter of fact there are those that argue you shouldn't teach children too early). Kids learn from their environment and if the home environment is an educational one (meaning learning games, activities, being read to, having a parent that uses teaching moments, etc) they will learn so much. Of course as a parent who cares about my children's education academically and spiritually I have not wanted to just do nothing.

But once again I am hearing that voice telling me "you can not do it all on your own". I'm starting to listen to it more and more. I can't do it all on my own. I need God! So in September in the midst of my 'panic' I really cried out to God. I asked Him for guidance, to help direct me in the way I should go with schooling my children. I asked Him to open the doors that needed to be opened and close the doors that needed to be closed. He did close the doors to putting Kaleb into a Christian school. We just could not afford it and we couldn't get enough financial assistance to make it work. So for the last 5-6 weeks I've just been 'waiting' on Him. I still didn't know how I was going to do it all, but I had prayed and laid it at His feet and now it was just time to wait. Two weeks ago a darling woman from my church called and asked if I would like any help with the kids, she said she would enjoy doing crafts with them. I told her that would be wonderful as its one of the areas I haven't done so well with. She is planning to come once a week for one hour to do crafts with me and the kids and one hour to help clean. Then a week later when I least expected it another sweet woman from my church came up and started telling me about how she is a certified teacher, although retired. She asked me if I would like help once a week with my kids, for 1-2 hours and that she would especially love to teach math! I took a deep breathe and said "YES!". Shortly after, another woman came up to me and asked if my children knew how to swim. I explained that they love the water, but I had not yet put them into swim lessons (that is one of the things on the huge to do list). She offered to take them to the YMCA sometimes to go swimming! Last Wednesday was their first opportunity to do this and they had so much fun!

I know that God answers prayers, but often times it takes my breathe away in the way that he does it! We have so many needs right now and these women are helping to fill some of those needs! What an amazing God we serve! One of the greatest things to remember is that its always in His time. God doesn't always answer us right when we want or expect Him to. But I truly believe that if we ask Him, believe Him, and trust Him that He will meet our needs!

I'd just like to encourage all of you out there, whether you are a mom or not, that whatever you are going through in life, trust God completely. He does care about us, our needs and our hearts desires!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review: Whispers in the Wind - Wild West Wind 2

Lauraine Snelling is the author of this second of a series, Whispers in the Wind. My review is on the second book, but I will say that if you have not read the first in the series, I highly encourage you to do so!

Whispers in the Wind starts off where the first book left off. The story follows Cassie Lockwood on her journey as she finally finds her fathers property and the family that currently lives there. The story takes us through the emotions Cassie suffers while trying to learn to take care of herself and her friends. We watch as two different  families work in unison to become one and share a home. This was an easy to follow story, clean and wholesome.

 I was captivated with this series from the first book, but I will admit that this second book was a bit harder to get through. It was a bit redundant and slow in spots. However, having said that I feel that it is still worth the read as its a very interesting series and I look forward to the third book coming out!
I enjoy the overall story, time period and setting of this series and can't wait to find out how the entire story pans out!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my own, honest opinion. I was not compensated for my review.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Today another minor surgery

So today I head to the hospital once again for another 'minor' surgery related to dialysis. This time they are removing the peritoneal dialysis catheter in my abdomen and the IJ catheter in my neck. It is true that I have decided to not pursue PD (peritoneal dialysis) any further. There were so many complications over the last 6 months with the fluid leaking into my lung multiple times. The next option was to see a thoracic surgeon about having the hole/leak repaired surgically! Yikes, something tells me that wouldn't be classified as a 'minor' surgery... but you never know!
About two months ago my Nephrologist changed my hemodialysis schedule from the normal three times a week to only two times a week. I'm sure that change has played a huge part in my decision to stay on hemodialysis. Two times a week is sooo much better than three, it gives me time to recover, breathe and live a normal life for a few days in between treatments. Where as three times a week was only time to recover from the treatment and then go right back, it consumed me mentally and physically. Of course the only reason I can do two times a week is because my kidneys are functioning well enough that two treatments does the job. Thank you God!
So heres to hoping that todays minor surgery goes well, that I won't react badly to the anesthesia when waking up, that I won't have to stay overnight in the hospital (unless I need it... there is something good to be said for those electric hospital beds right after having abdominal surgery). Oh and I am requesting they do NOT give me the anti-delirium medication this time! Sure, it kept me from freaking out when waking up (I am never aware of these episodes, only the limited information they tell me after), but then I threw up all evening long. Yuck, no thank you!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Depression and Illness

As a teenager I suffered from severe depression. Some people may know that fact about me, but others may not. I was a very angry, lonely, depressed teenager with low self esteem. As I got older though, and especially after I became a mom the first time, the depression left. I think that for me, being a mother gave me a real reason to live. Life wasn't just about me anymore... although it never should have been just about me to begin with but back then I didn't have the relationship with God I needed to have.

Since becoming ill, and starting dialysis I have heard some talk about depression and chronic illness. It is said that when someone has a severe illness such as kidney failure, cancer, etc that they go through a grieving process just like someone that has lost a loved one.

The reason I bring this all up is to say that I have not dealt with depression in years, matter of fact I never expected to have to deal with it again. But it has tried to rear its ugly head again. I know this is part of the devils plan to reek more havoc in my life. To keep me down and out emotionally and spiritually. In the last year I have suffered 2-3 bouts of depression, the good news is it was short lived, praise the Lord! Mostly just a few hours where my brain could not handle 'handling it well' anymore. The depression just came on me like a wave, choking and suffocating so I literally could not breathe. I will not go into the dark thoughts and feelings that I have dealt with during these times... just because I don't want to give voice to it. But for those of you that have suffered from depression, I'm sure you can imagine some of what I may have felt. In these instances I for whatever reason was not able to call out to God immediately, but He called out to me and when I grasped a hold of Him He didn't let me go. God is so good. He gives us grace and mercy, even when we fail miserably and make the wrong choices. One way God helped me recently was through a rogue Christian radio station. I was just searching through the stations and came across a somewhat fuzzy station I had never heard before... and have not heard since. Unlike the regular Christian radio station that usually plays so much garbage, the songs playing that day spoke to my heart and helped to bring me out of the dark. Was that God? I believe so, but even if you argue it wasn't, it sure was good timing!

If you are going through something difficult in your life, regardless of what it is, cry out to God. He will be faithful to answer you!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some things just can't be explained.

Since my last post regarding my improved Kidney function, not a lot has changed. Other than my increased confusion and a new determined sense to just trust God.
There are two tests that measure the creatinine. One is a blood (serum) creatinine test and the other is called a 24 hr urine clearance test. It would be very hard for me to try to explain the difference between these two tests so if you are interested, in more information, here is a link.
The 24 hr urine creatinine indicated that my kidney function had improved. However the blood creatinine test indicated my kidney function was decreasing. My Doctor said the longer I went without dialysis the higher the blood creatinine would get and I would also be at risk for increased potassium (which leads to heart problems). I decided to just trust my Doctor because I couldn't make sense of any of it.
All I know is that I am still feeling better, I still have increased urine output and I still have little to no swelling (fluid retention). These are indicators of increased kidney function, regardless of the numbers. I can't explain any of it and I'm not going to try. I am thankful that I am able to do dialysis two times a week instead of three. I am grateful that I have more energy. And I have decided to NOT complain about waking up 3-5 times a night to go to the bathroom. Sure it means a decrease in quality of rest, but my body is creating urine, YEAH! :)
I will trust God completely. He will heal me in His timing. I do not at this time believe that a miracle must be instant, complete and permanent in order to be a true miracle (as described in the book Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God's Power by Tim Stafford). Who are we to put limitations on God? Some things just can't be explained.