Finding Peace During Uncertain Times

So this evening it finally happened!  I went out for a walk with my husband, as a part of his medical recovery as as we stopped for him to rest we sat down and discussed the future.  We are still struggling to come to terms with the fact that our stable life was turned upside down  after being chewed up swallowed by a killer whale who wasn’t a fan of the flavor and spew us back out for us to pick up the pieces of whats left and move forward.

The reality is; we are living in uncertain times.  Reminds me of many bible verses but in my younger adult life I wasn’t able to correlate it to my life as I can today.   My husbands career is in the balance. We don’t know if he can return to his career due to the extend of his medical needs.   And even if the surgeon clears him there is going to always be that lingering thought in the back of our minds if something will happen.    Also what if he can permanently only work light duty, would he have to resign?

The one thing that is certain, my faith remains strong and we pray for wisdom for today and tomorrow.  We are being proactive and cutting back on non essentials and paying off  debt as we prepare to tackle medical bills, expensive co pays for treatments.  Let me say, it is so hard to downsize your lifestyle and account for every penny.  It is a struggle but we are working hard to become minimalists.   I mean come on, how many people actually plan for medical emergencies?  Can you pay your mortgage off one income? Can you then maintain all essentials i.e Lights, water, health insurance, food, school lunches for the kids?   These are the things we face but not stress about.  Trust me I’m a person who in my opinion is genetically disposed to see the glass as half EMPTY.  Stress should have been my middle name at birth.  If anyone knows how to be stressed, worried and be anxious about any and everything, its me!  I’m currently reading Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado which I am using some of the main Ideas to assist me in keeping my faith and not stress.  I realize that while we are in uncertain times we have ALWAYS been in uncertain times–   as life is never promised to any of us day to day.   We life each day anticipating a tomorrow but tomorrow is not promised.   Knowing this we don’t sit around worried that tomorrow wont come. We press forward, dream and work hard on having the life we want.  With that being said,  Our focus is planning for the worst possible financial situation, weathering the storm and coming out strong.  Plan, pray, refrain from worry and thank God for the peace he will provide during these uncertain times.

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Lessons Along The Way: Self Care

As I make my way through the journey of being a caretaker I’ve had to learn this very important lesson pretty early on. Self Care must be a priority!  As I lay in my bed sipping on tea and warm soup trying to recover from bronchitis. Running, not properly dressed for the weather definitely lead to this.  Oh and it doesn’t help that post surgery my husband as poor body temperature regulation.  It can be 80 degrees outside and in the house and he still needs on pants, t shirt, long sleeve shirt and sweatshirt/ hoodie.  He’d probably also ask for the heater to be on but I’ve stood my ground on that one unless temperature drops below 75.   I’ve resorted to wearing a fan around my neck that shoots air up to your face as I pour sweat trying to accommodate his needs.  I’ve found myself running out the house without taking my own meds after making sure he has had all of his, a nutritious heart healthy low sodium breakfast and healthy snacks packed as he goes to his cardiac rehab and classes 3 days a week.     When I became stricken with fever, body ache, chest congestion, wheezing, and the host of other symptoms guess what? My husband still needed me for 90% of his daily needs.   I still had to close the rollator and left it in the car… he has poor balance and can’t stand up without support more than 1 -2 minutes tops.  He can’t lift more than 5lbs. Rollator is easily 15-20lbs.  He still needs his blood pressure taken, He still needs to weigh daily. While he can grab a snack.  His meds make him extremely sleeping and he can’t be relied on to operate the stove.  He definitely can’t use the oven.  He cannot drive.  He cannot put on his compression socks.  I know I know this list seems daunting but there is so much he CAN do that is so critical like put on clothing, shower (we have a seat), self grooming. I assist as needed with putting on clothing only if issues arise.

I’ve barely made it mentally and physically this week.  Then it hit me!!!  I need to value myself enough to take care of me.  That is exactly what I have done.  I”m behind on lots of house work as a result but I made sure i slept/ rested when my fevers spiked.  I had the kids work on keeping the house tidy after-school.  They are 10 and I can’t pick up after them any longer. That ship has sailed! Oh Yeah! They are plenty old enough to pick up their socks, shoes and put away some laundry.  See they had been assisting but since I had been out of work as a caretaker I put in on myself to do it all which has been quite overwhelming.

Yeah so ya girl will take 30 mins private time a day as well as a 4 hour portion of the day to myself to get out once a month to do something relaxing for me!  Once a week I’m going to declutter and cluttered area of the house until I can completely get organized and decluttered.  Know some blogs or tips for decluttering? Link me!

Hard.

My husband survived surgery.   I prayed so hard and felt completely humbled that he had made it.  I was grateful that my kids had more time with their father.   After 22 nights and 1 day in the hospital we went home to start our new normal.  Life after Aortic Dissection (Type A) has been hard.  There is no other way to describe it.   Its hard but the alternative would have been devastating so we are graciously taking the hard.     There is nothing like a medical emergency to turn your life upside down.   No one ever goes to the ER feeling sick and think they’d get a bad diagnosis.   The world continues to move at its fast past while you are slowly processing your new fate.    No one wants to read or hear about your struggle as it brings them down.   The calls & text messages slowly stop during the most critical time; adjusting to home life and your new not so normal, normal.   Its hard to pray but pray is what we do while actively trying to find solutions to the issues we face after surgery.   My husband has what they believe is neuropathy in his feet that shoots up his legs now. At this time no medicine is working to ease that.  Which, in turn, means we are up all night most nights.   There is also balance issues that we don’t understand. He cannot walk without a rollator and can only stand unassisted for 1-3 mins tops.   We are currently feeling like a piece of paper in a pile of thousands of papers being shuffled from doctor to doctor for 10 minute appointments.  No time for questions or to really address your ongoing issues.  We only know my husband has an artificial  valve b/c we overheard the surgeons talking to each other at follow up. No one has really told us what the F*CK was done to fix his body.    Everyone is always so nice at all the doctors offices but we just want to leave feeling like we are getting somewhere.

Pause.

Its been along time since this blog as been touched.   I’ve decided to pick back up on blogging as I’m in a pause right now.

My husband and I would consider ourselves hard working people.  I work 8 to 5.   He’s a Deputy and works his regular hours plus 2 more days a week the majority of the time.  Yep,  that is 7 days a week!  Sometimes he’d even pick up a contract after those jobs ended.  He prided himself in being a good provider.  Our daughter danced 4 days a week. Our son did Football 3 week days with Saturday game day.  He would typically be playing baseball right now but decided he’d like to give soccer a go.  We lived on fast-food especially Monday nights and Friday’s.   While we rarely ever fried anything (talking once a year if that) our diet was pitiful and all of our weights were spiraling out of control.  We needed to get our life together and be more mindful, spend quality time together, work less and increase self care.   We always said we would start Monday, or the next day.  We said we’d go on vacation this year and not put bills and work over family time and self care.

2018 hit us like a ton of bricks. I was overwhelmed at work.  Felt like I couldn’t keep up with home/ work and that I needed to go out on leave.  I constantly spoke of leaving my job.  I had finally got to the point that i was burnt out.   I was barely hanging on . All I could do is pick up fast food on the way home, lay down while the kids ate then shuffle them on to the next practice.  I’d then go to bed where insomnia kept me awake most nights.

Hit the last week of February and I found myself nervous about my coming birthday on March 4th.  I was overwhelmed with grief over my brothers passing on the 4th of DEC 2015.  I was sick / overwhelmed with anxiety for some reason.   I was unhappy at work, worried about bills and debt and how to pay it down so I could take on a less paying less hours per week job.

All that spiraling out of control came to a pause.  Life as we knew it stopped at approximately 9am on March 4th. However, we did not realize it until the ER doctors on March 6th came back with the news that would rock us to our core.   My husband should have been dead by now. Yes dead. On my birthday, march 4th he had a Type A (Type I) Aortic Dissection from opening where blood vessel leaves heart.  The tear went down into his abdomen area.  He was bleeding out and blood in his abdomen, a blood clot in his right leg and absolutely NO blood flow and no pulse in that leg.  That leg was also numb. He needed emergency surgery right then and they began to immediately prep his body.  We hugged, embraced.  It all went by so fast.  I wiped tears.  I called his parents then my mom.  Her words helped me pull it together emotionally.   My husband needed to look at me and believe me when I said he would be okay.   I wiped his tears.  His nurse..  pure heaven sent asked if she could lead us in prayer.  I may never see her again but the love I have for her will never fade. The heart felt prayer she blessed Gods ears with on our behalf did not go unheard.  We humbly fell at the mercy of God as we entered into the unknown.  You see, what we were facing should have already killed my husband soon as it happened then we were pushing over 48 hours now and the mortality rate was already increased another 50%. Most people don’t make it out the ER after initially surviving the type A dissection. We had beat those odds. Now we wait after pouring out hearts out for grace and mercy for us and wisdom and guidance for the doctors trying to save his life.   He had less than 20% chance statistically but even lower due to the progression of the aortic disease.  So many people pouring their heart out with prayer for my husband. NOW. WE. WAIT.

 

We ran and ran verses living life and now we are here: Pause

Our Season Has Ended.

One day I as I sat alone feeling hurt and vulnerable it hit me like a ton of bricks.   I had no one to talk to about my latest tragedy and the issues I was having. As I sat there, palms to face; tears slowly began to fall.  I needed a girls night in- a good chat with my best girl friends to make things right again.  What happened?  How did I find myself with no one to call.  Reality began to sink in.

Life happened.  We grew up. Started families. Moved to various parts of the country. Our priorities changed.  We made less time for each other.  We no longer held our friendship to the value it once had.  Our friendship is no longer important.

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13 Must Do’s Before 40!

Have you ever woke up in the morning or perhaps stayed up late at night and thought , “I can be doing so much more with my life?”   When I was 18 I sat down and wrote out my life goals.  The goals I set then were modest yet seemed so far out of reach.  Well about 5 years ago I realized I had accomplished all those goals.  All of them were related to education and financial stability.   I knew that I wanted a certain career, income, and to become a home owner.  I Also knew that  I wanted to be married one day.    I realized I set no goals to have fun and explore the world around me.  I’ve only been to two other states ( both by car). I’ve never been on a vacation.  I’ve never been out of the country .   I want to focus more on overall wellness, financial security and  life experience for myself and my family .  So without further ado :

 13 Must Do’s Before 40

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DIY: Dresser Makeover!

I’m so happy to share my first DIY project with you all.  If you are on a budget this is a great little project; to refurbish an old dresser and make it into something your child can love for years to come!   Here are a few helpful tips when looking for a cheap dresser on places like craigslist or local resale groups on Facebook:

  1. Look for solid wood pieces.   These are more durable and can withstand sanding and have a lot of life to give!
  2. Set a budget! Makes no sense to spend what you would on a new dresser!  Look for good deals.   I purchased this dresser with the matching desk for $75.00!  I haven’t had time to work on the desk just yet but i’ll be sure to post it when i’m done!  The cost for paint, sanding materials, brushes was approximately$19.00.
  3. Be sure to look over your prospective purchase for things like bedbugs, etc! You don’t want to bring anything to your home that will cause more problems than its worth!!

Here’s the craigslist photo for the dresser.

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Here is the After Picture!!!  My daughter picked this paint color and she loves it!

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And here is the video tutorial!  Let me know what you think!

Mediocre

Ever felt like you’re just mediocre at everything?  I do!  I’ve heard and tried to embrace all those sayings about not comparing someone’s middle to your beginning etc.  I work hard to be original; to find my own voice yet I constantly come up empty.  Reality keeps me from going after my dreams with all my heart because I constantly look at the big picture (it tells me the odds are against me).

For example lets talk about my photography. I have loved taking pictures since I was a child.   I joined a photography forum and got my first DSLR in 2008.  I’ve spent a small little fortune taking online classes.   I can see growth in my work but its just so average when I look at all the amazing work there is out there.    I’m stagnant in that I am not able to grow my artistic eye.  I believe its because while I love photography I’m not naturally artistically inclined.  I have to work hard to create what a  naturally artistic person can create in a second.  I feel like I am trying to be something I’m not, An Artist.  But I want so badly to be one!  I want magical images.. images that evoke emotion.   Its so easy to become so insecure & quit while watching others have the drive to going and keep building their foundation.   I can clearly see the growth in their work while I pout internally about mine.   So today I take my mediocre thoughts head on and try to find the beauty in my work again.   To once again, believe in dreams. Even if they don’t come to pass I will proudly say that I gave it my all!

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Things that Disturb Me: No Cursive Writing?!

On more than one occasion my child has been reading a book where it inserts a letter between characters that happens to be in cursive writing.   Every single time I have to read it to my child.  I thought to myself, what will she do if she is reading a book when she’s twenty and finds it to have cursive writing in it? Will she have to call me, her dad and ask us what it says or will the government put a band on cursive writing in books by then?  This thought disturbed me.  Are we really going to sent children out who will become adults that can’t read books with cursive, menus at fancy restaurants that tend to have some cursive, and most importantly historical documents?  What’s the plan here?  I mean fine if you want to do away with cursive but since you are making kids illiterate to it why not ban it from books, historical documents, fancy graduation invitations, fancy restaurants, etc?

My child actually wants to learn it now that its been seen in books so many times but guess who has to find time to teach it?   Yep,  ME!  Now I’m not upset that she had a desire to learn it. I’m frantic because the hand I’m dealt in life does not give me the luxury of being able to be a SAHM with time to teach cursive at home.   I send my children to school to get a well rounded, good public education that no longer exists.   I’ve purchased cursive handwriting books for my kids to work on at home BUT from the time we walk in the door at 6pm its a busy time of homework, dinner, 30 minutes nightly reading, bath and bed by 8pm, 8:30 at the latest.  So we have 2 hours – 2 hours 30 minutes to love on them, hear about their day , do homework and prep for the next day.  When can I teach cursive handwriting?  Why is it that I will now have to be a home school teacher on the weekends in my house to make up for things removed from public education?  So many WHY’s and few answers. Continue reading

“God Makes No Mistakes”

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What exactly does , “God Makes No Mistakes” mean?!

Who coined that term and under what circumstances?

It’s the worst saying used to rationalize tragedies in life.

Atleast in MY Life, this life;   saying “God Makes No Mistakes” to a person grieving the

untimely death of a loved on is like saying ” God meant for this to happen this

way..suffering is His will”

If you are like me and don’t really understand this saying (in the context of justifying

tragedy) you might not want to use it to console anyone.

Try a scripture or inspirational saying but please spare me the “God

Makes No Mistakes” when it comes to consoling the grieving.    Be a friend, lend a helping

hand, be supportive but don’t provide empty words in this life.  Empty words don’t explain

tragedy. Sometimes there are no words and thats okay!