Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stress Relief

Last week, when my Mom was hospitalized, I cut my hair... in the hotel bathroom...with pretty scissors I bought at Target



...without a comb or a hand mirror.



Just so you know, I did clean up the hairy mess in the hotel bathroom.

This is not the first time I have done such a thing but it is the first time I wondered if it is my own little form of stress relief. 

In my defense, I did go to a hairdresser first. I showed her a photo. She glanced briefly at it and then told me she didn't need to see it anymore. Then, she gave me a haircut that she thought I would like, with not much regard to that photo. Later, back with Mom, we found long hairs hanging out that she hadn't cut and big chunks of hair she'd attacked with one chop, leaving the hair looking rather weird in the back. I was going to try to live with it but it was so uneven! And I desperately need "even"!

Sometimes, you just have to take things into your own hands!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mom's Vacation

Last week my Mom had some adventures. It isn't my story so I won't go into details but I will say that my Mom has a funny way of vacationing. Some people enjoy special attention at a spa but Mom received her special care in an ER followed by some days in ICU. She didn't have to cook or clean or even choose her own clothing each day. That must have been relaxing.

When Mom seemed to be getting kind of tired of the fun she was having at one hospital, she accepted an offer for a 2 hour ride with a comedian in the back of an ambulance. It was actually a trip out of state. Again, she got a lot of special attention. Again, she had people waiting on her hand and foot. They brought her injections, bags of fluid as well as special drinks that she usually did not get to enjoy at home... barium, potassium, etc.

While I was doing the tag-along thing on my mother's vacation, my family at home tried to get their own special attention. At least 3 other family members during that week required medical attention, including 2 trips to the ER. Talk about trying to steal Mom's thunder! We received word of the most recent one just as Mom was finally discharged from the hospital. It upset us both and kind of took the "fun" out of the whole experience. You can read about that situation right here. It is actually kind of a horrible/sweet story so I hope you will hop on over to my daughter's blog for a second.

Anyway.

I think the drama may be over. Mom is recovering well, although a bit worn out. You know how vacations can do that to a person. I am home. Life is getting back to normal. I am doing laundry and it just does not get any more normal than that!

When I first returned to town yesterday I went directly to check on the little granddaughters. I was so sweet to get hugs from Cordelia and Elise. Elise greeted me with, "I'm okay!" She told me the doctor made her all better. I noticed that she pretty much just ignored her broken arm and did fine with just one.




As a special bonus, my niece, Stephanie, and her boyfriend stopped in as well. That was a nice surprise!




So, what did you all do last week? What do you like to do for a little time away from it all?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Get Well

Mom is better! She is much, much better!

I wanted to share with you the get well wishes sent to her by my daughter, Maria, and her little girls.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rejoicing Through Times of Trial

Philippians 4:4-7 is a scripture I have read many times and even memorized in the past. This week, however, it is like a stabilizing anchor.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything. But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NIV)

This is a difficult week, not so much for me but for my Mom, who is sick and suffering. I came upon these verses again and decided I needed to memorize them and keep them right on the tip of my tongue while also tucked deep into my heart.

It is hard to think about rejoicing during the bitter days of life but that is what we are called to do so I am going to try.

I rejoice that God is God and no matter what is happening He is in charge. That's a big deal! He loves us and he is... Well, he is God.

I rejoice in the fact that we are living in a place and a time with medical care available. I especially rejoice in choices, specifically the choice to go where better care is available.

I rejoice that God has me wrapped in a loving web of family and friends who give me the support and assistance I need to better offer support to my Mom.

I rejoice in small things that bring her comfort...warm water, heated blankets and soft pillows. We know that many sick people don't get even that much.

I rejoice in technology so that I can remain in touch, even from Mom's hospital room.

I rejoice that Mom has so many people who care about her. She knows she is loved by family and friends. (If you are one of her NutriSystem Friends, know that she gave permission for this post mainly so you would know she had not dropped off the face of the Earth.)

I rejoice in big hospital windows and sunshiney days.

I rejoice in hope. I know there will be better days.


Monday, October 13, 2014

I Hope I Don't Get Grounded



 I'm still at my Mom's house and I am currently unsupervised. I needed to use my Mom's computer to do some work and having finished that, I decided to look through her photos on her computer. I'm pretty sure she won't mind that I did that.

She may mind that I'm posting a photo I found of her. I love my Mom and this photo make me feel happy so I'm posting them... She looks so pretty, don't you think? She won't mind my snoopiness and illegal use of her photographs (or whoever's photographs), will she?


Really, what's she gong to do about it anyway?


I sure hope I don't get grounded!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cheerleader Quilt

I am at my Mom's home today and I woke up to admire this pretty quilt. It was one made by my Grandma Rose many, many years ago. I love it!



As pretty as it is, the fabrics aren't typical quilt type fabrics. There is a reason for that.

Although there were five girls in my Mom's family, I don't remember hearing that any had been cheerleaders. Nevertheless, my Grandma was the cheerleader seamstress. I guess she made their uniforms for a long time. She was a talented lady. Anyway, this quilt is made from scraps from those uniforms. Grandma never left anything to waste! 

I enjoy anything that brings Grandma Rose to my mind.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Betty and the Piggy

The girls are adorable, of course, but Betty the Basset is the one that steals this show.  Well, that is not all she steals!



Thursday, October 09, 2014

A Capitol Wedding

Mike and I had business in Cheyenne today so before we came home, we took time to wander through our Capitol building. Did you know you could do that?


We thought it was quite well maintained and such a pretty building.  Nothing is in session right now and there weren't many other visitors around but we did keep coming upon this couple. It seems they had just gotten married and their photographer was taking their photograph throughout the building. I didn't realize that they were actually standing on those stairs posing for the photographer until Mike made the suggestion we photo bomb them.  Thankfully, I was able to stop him.



I did zip around so I could take their photograph from above as they came on down those stairs. I'm always on the look-out for a blog post opportunity!  Well, really, how often does a person happen upon a wedding on a Thursday afternoon in the Wyoming State Capitol Building?  







Monday, October 06, 2014

Sunday

We had company this week-end and were busy. Yesterday afternoon, though, Mike and Our guest went on an adventure with some friends so I took my favorite little girls to the mall.  It was our own little fun adventure!
It was Cordelia's to do the photo booth thing.



We stopped to see Alaysha, Sam's girlfriend. She took a lunch break with us which was short but nice.



Maria met us at the mall later and she took the girls home from there. When they pulled into their place she sent these photos...



Later,I responded with my own.


Sunday, October 05, 2014

For Mom

One of the things I did this past week was to post a healing service for my parish nursing class. We were instructed to incorporate from our own denominational traditions.  It was one of our assignments and I spent a lot of time on it, partly because I experienced technical difficulties but also because I wanted it to be meaningful. I kept thinking about my Mom as I did it. She is deep into her radiation treatments right now. She is not a complainer. I believe the resulting symptoms are rather brutal and exhausting her, but this is what she said when I asked how it was going, "Well, it's not fun." That is it. That shows what a complainer my Mom is. Still, I know she is suffering.

Anyway, I decided I would post mine for my Mom.  Perhaps someone else out there feels in need of healing today as well, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual.

****************************************************

Confession and Forgiveness
Leader: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All: Amen
Leader: Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen
Leader: Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another. Most merciful God...
All: We confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.  Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
Leader: In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins.
Leader: Let us pray. O Almighty and most Merciful God, through your bountiful goodness, keep us from all things that may hurt us. Heal us both in body and soul so that we may accomplish all that you would have us do. Grant us wisdom, courage and patience as we seek your will in all things.  Grant this, we pray, though you Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
All: Amen
Reader: Psalm 107:19-21 (NIV): Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He sent out his word and healed them;  He rescued them from the grave.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Please feel free to come to the altar for communion. As you leave the communion station you are welcome to go to the side stations where you will be anointed with oil as you receive words of healing. 

 Reader:  Psalm 103:2-4 ESV
   Bless the Lord, O My Soul, and forget not all his benefits.
   Who  forgives all your iniquity,
   Who heals all your diseases,
   Who redeems your life from the pit,
   Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.

Prayers of Intercession
Leader: Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.  Father in Heaven, to You we lift up our hearts and our souls.  We put our trust in you and we look to you for guidance and wisdom.  We ask that you teach us your paths and give us the strength to follow your will. You have led us down trails of love and faithfulness, enveloping us in your tender mercy. Lord in your mercy,
All: Hear Our Prayer.
Leader:  Lord we seek your grace, your mercy and your tenderness during our times of trial. We ask that you also wrap your compassion around those in pain who do not yet realize they need your presence. Lord in your mercy,
All: Hear Our Prayer.
Leader: God of all kindness, protect us today from calamities and distresses.  We pray that you bring health where there is no health, peace where there is no peace, and joy where there is no joy, Lord in your mercy,
All: Hear Our Prayer. 
Reader:  Psalm 46:10 (New Living Translation)
 Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation.  I will be honored throughout the world.
Leader: May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May he look upon you with favor and grant you peace.
All:  Amen
Leader: Go in peace and serve the Lord.
All:  Thanks be to God!


Saturday, October 04, 2014

New Technology!

Sorry I've been gone a few days. I've been busy crazy out of my mind. That may be an exaggeration. I do have the Parish Nurse Class overlapping with my 4 volunteer positions right now, and then this job thing as well. I have been overwhelmed.

 I wanted to go see my Mom this week-end but we have a church-related visitor coming for the week-end so I am home and plan to spend the day cooking and cleaning... If I can make myself out down this new phone!

 Yes, I have a new phone and I have a new blogging app and right now it is typing for me while I am speaking. Isn't that weird? It's not exactly perfect though.  It's  kind a like when word correct helps you text.  It is kind of fun, even if I have to make a lot of corrections. It types something about the infant with me... That would have caused some questions!

Here's a funny story (not).  I put this app on my blog and did an entire post with cute photos like this one...


Then, when I posted it I discovered I had apparently made a brand new blog and I do not even know where it went. �� So, I started over. At least it gave me the chance to use that funny face emoticon.

So, this is my second post today, and apparently I have another blog out there in blog land. If you find it, let me know.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

About Whooping Cough

The following is my parish nurse article for our church's newsletter this month.  I thought maybe some of you would find it helpful.

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Whooping Cough

Recently I learned that my cousin’s daughter in Gillette had come down with whooping cough, also known as pertussis.  Due to an allergic reaction to her first dose of the pertussis vaccine, she is not able to maintain that protection.  A growing number of parents have opted to avoid vaccines for their children over the last decade and many adults do not realize the vaccine needs to be boosted every 5 years or so. Those are just two of the reasons pertussis is making a comeback in our country, even here in Wyoming.

Pertussis is an airborne disease and is likely transferred to others when an infected person coughs or sneezes, perhaps well before they are aware of their own illness.  When a person is exposed, they may develop symptoms within 5 days but it can also take up to 3 weeks.  The vaccine is not 100% effective but those vaccinated, if they do develop symptoms, usually have a less severe case of this disease.  In the case of my cousin’s daughter, the entire household had to go on antibiotics, even though they were all immunized.  People of all ages can catch pertussis but it is often much more dangerous to the very young.

Do you know the symptoms of pertussis? Early pertussis usually begins much like a common cold with the usual runny nose, mild cough and low fever.  After a few weeks the cough can become much more severe.  During this time a patient has paroxysmal coughing, making it hard to catch their breath between coughs. This is when the “whooping” sound begins, as the patient struggles to quickly inhale during the fits of coughing.  The coughing can be exhausting and so severe as to cause vomiting.  This critical time can last 6 weeks, occasionally even longer. 2-3 more weeks of convalescence occur once the patient starts to recover.  The coughing lessens but can continue to occur for weeks.  It is a slow process to recover from pertussis.

We expect my cousin’s daughter to fully recover.  She is a high school senior and strong enough to get through this.   Even so, she is at risk for complications such as broken ribs or passing out from the coughing.  Infants and young children are at greatest risk for the most severe complications such as convulsions, pneumonia, infections spreading to the brain or even death.  Persons with underlying respiratory or immunity problems also have an increased risk or complications.  Approximately half of infants with pertussis will require hospitalization.

Pertussis can be treated with antibiotics to lessen the severity and to help reduce the risk of an infected person spreading the disease.  Besides the regularly recommended childhood vaccinations for this disease, adults can receive booster vaccines as well.  It is believed that pregnant women who receive a booster may be able to transmit that protection to their infants.


So, now you know a bit about pertussis.  It is a disease to be taken seriously but thankfully there are steps to take to prevent or treat this disease.  If you want to read more about it I’d direct you to seek out websites such as the Wyoming Department of Health, Mayo Clinic, or Medline Plus.   I found much of the information in this article from the Center for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cordelia, Age Five

We've had a fun several days celebrating Cordelia's 5th birthday.  I so love that girl! It seems those 5 years went by so quickly but on the other hand, it is hard to think of a time when we didn't even know her.

Tonight, I feel such gratitude. I was standing behind Cordelia and looking across at Maria as we sang Happy Birthday. Suddenly, I was reminded of how I stood by Cordelia in the hospital right after she was born and I looked across her to Maria.  I remember being very aware that Maria was bleeding. She was bleeding much more than what is normal. I so clearly remember looking at that new baby girl and realizing she might be raised without her mother. It was an awful moment. Still, I think it is important to remember it as it just makes me so, so grateful for how that story went.  The doctor saved Maria's life. Her wonderful body was designed to rebuild the lost blood. She recovered and she has been an absolute wonderful mother to her beautiful girls.

OK, enough of that.

Now, enjoy photos from Cordelia's birthday party.


 Cordy invited her preschool teachers, who were so gracious to attend.
Kylie and Gwen were her teachers from previous years.


Amanda is her current teacher.
Cordelia really, really loves her teachers!



The cupcake pinata was a hit.


 One of Cordelia's guests was a little boy who lives across the street.
He and Cordelia were born on the same day,
in the same hospital,
delivered by the same doctor.
Isn't it strange/cool that they ended up living
across the street from each other?

Maria and Eric did such a nice job with this party.
They didn't spend a stupid amount of money.
They got out all their fun stuff, spread
it around the backyard and let the kids
just be kids.

It was great!
As the party progressed, the
play got a bit more wild and crazy.
The kids had so much fun!





















The kids loved all piling into the tent and rolling!













I didn't even ask...







One guest was very young but
Cordelia enjoyed her as well.


Happy Birthday, beautiful granddaughter!









Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friends

Today was Cordelia's Birthday Party with her friends. Maria and Eric did a wonderful job of throwing a party where kids could just have fun. It was a lovely party. I will get my photos together and give you a taste of the joy of the day, but for now, I just want to share this one.  It is just so sweet.



Friday, September 26, 2014

Adam




Our nephew, Adam, is in town for a visit. Of course we have known Adam since he was a baby, long enough to tease him about his childhood and all that. Today has been a fun day just spending time together, getting to know him as an adult.  What a nice guy he is, interesting and fun to have around.  I wish he lived closer!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sparkle Hair, Freckles and Firecrackers

So, I've always said that when I started going gray I was going to dye my hair red. Then, when I was working as a chemotherapy nurse, I tried on a redhead wig. It was a beautiful wig, but not on me! I guess I should have realized I didn't have the right skin for red hair but it really was a bit of a disappointment. Maria, however, looks great with red hair! That's a consolation to me. I enjoy seeing it on her.




I was then planning on coloring my hair at least my normal dark brown color. However, my hair grows very, very quickly.  I think it took about a year to go from hair just below my ears to hair this long.  That may not seem like a problem but when you are a Chia Pet, you are going to have roots growing out so very quickly! I do NOT like the idea of roots showing. So, what to do? Well, I'm thinking I should just let it happen. I decided I will just gray gracefully. Truthfully, I only have about 4 of them but they are actually kind of pretty... so far.
I've decided to think of my new hairs as my "sparkle hair".  Doesn't that put a better spin on it? I also have a lot of freckles on my hands. I INSIST on calling them freckles, not age spots!  I always wanted freckles.  Now, I just need to think of a positive sounding name for wrinkles.  I always wanted dimples?  Maybe if I get enough sagging in my cheeks, some of it will sink inward. 

A little aside here... I recently met a patient with a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l dimple. When I complimented her on it she told me it was fake. I thought she'd had consmetic surgery to get it but that wasn't it. She'd been hit in the face with a firecracker as a child and it left behind nothing more than a deep and delightful dimple. When she told me that story I exclaimed, "Why couldn't I have been hit in the face with a firecracker?!"

Anyway, I'm not really fretting all that much about this aging process. I've not really claimed it yet. It doesn't seem possible that I am closer to 60 than 50 when I'm not even quite used to being in my 40s!  Does anyone else feel this way?

When I was young, I guess I figured older people felt like that was just who they were...an old person. I had no idea that inside that older person was someone wondering what happened to themselves? 

OK, I'm done rambling about aging. I don't have time for that business anyway.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Girl Time

After time in Mom's beautiful back yard, we moved inside for a girl's evening in.

 Our granddaughters enjoy getting rides with my sister, Tina. Her motorized wheelchair is quite intriguing to them.









We were happy to also get to spend some time with my sister's daughter, Stephanie.  Just so you know, she's not only a beautiful young woman but she's also a talented musician. It was fun to spend some time with her.