Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving - Turkey Trot

Scott, Jon, Daniel and myself will be beginning our Thanksgiving doing The Turkey Trot (the Park Glen one). Then we will join our families for a wonderful time of fellowship. I will be focusing on family and faith - not on the food.

When we go the church where the registration is setup, I was met by one of my students. He is a young boy who makes my day brighter each day. I am so thankful I get the privilege of having him in my class. He is there with his family beginning their in a healthy way.

Jon and Daniel ran the 5k.  Scott and I walked the entire thing. I will have to admit that it was difficult. At the time, I had barely increased my walk to 2 miles. A 5k was pushing it. When we were getting close to the end, I look up and there is Jon and Daniel. They were coming back to finish with me. They gave me the additional stamina to finish. We turned the corner toward the finish line and I see my student come running to me. He wants to walk across the finish line with his teacher. I am so grateful/ thankful for the blessings in my life.

I finished the turkey trot - goal one met. I was not last - goal two met. Bonus - I actually passed quite a few people and I finished in under an hour. Great way to start Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The power of NO!

Grandma Dell and Grandpa Bob
Jon, Spencer, Morgan, Daniel

I have so many things to be thankful for - family and friends are close to the top! However the thing I am most thankful for are the times God told me "NO"! I was not thankful for them at the time - but His "NOs" led me to where I am today - Scott, Jon, Daniel, being a teacher, wonderful in-loves, a great relationship with my Mom and Dad, a wonderful sister and her precious family and for new dreams that are slowly being revealed.

"Thank God for saying NO!

• “No” doesn’t mean the world comes to an end. It simply means not now, not yet, not necessary, or not in your best interest

• If you wait for what your heart desires, you treasure it more when you finally do get it.

• Kicking and screaming and having a bad attitude while you wait is no fun for you or for those around you.

• Getting the thing you want might be the worst thing for you.
I thank God for the nos and the not yets in my life. Though they may not be what I want, they are exactly what I need. God is getting me ready to receive the promised Land……..
God’s dream must be experienced God’s way. If you settle for anything else, you’ll never be satisfied.

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” (Isaiah 30:18)"
 Lysa Terkeurst, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

God's New Journey in Me - 1st Month

On October 1, one month ago today, I began a new journey. It is a journey to get healthy both physically but more importantly, spiritually!!!!!! WOW!!!! It has been an amazing month. I still have many challenges on both ends, but I know I am so much closer to God and am listening to him more and more each day! This journey all started in a Weight Watchers meeting and someone mentioning a book called Made to Crave. She was beginning a bible study on craving God more than food.

 This really struck a note with me and gave me a stirring in my spirit.

Now to this point in my weight gain process, (not loss) I knew I needed to lose weight but did not have the strength or want to enough to stick with it more than one day. Something else was always taking priority over my time and my drive to do what needed to be done. I had developed a food addiction. I needed that bean burrito or French fries or ice cream or cheese. It was calling to me day and night. I went to bed thinking of food and woke thinking of food. I truly craved food more than I craved God. I used it as a drug to fill to calm me when I was stressed, comfort me when I was sad, frustrated or angry, fill me when I was lonely, blind me when I felt guilty for eating bad stuff, it was my companion when I was bored.

The problem with this kind of god – is no one ever talks about it. There are lots of plans out there to try to help you lose weight, but I had never found anything that truly addressed the real problem – a much deeper problem than I had ever realized – my food addiction and weight were a spiritual problem not just a physical problem.
Well back to Oct. 1 and that stirring in my spirit. I now realize God was calling out to me. I went home, fixed breakfast – a healthy one (I always cook a healthy breakfast after a Weight Watchers Meeting). Then I grabbed our nook color and looked up the book. I downloaded it immediately and sat down and read the introduction and then the first two chapters. Then I began to listen to the prodding’s of God and my new journey has begun.

This month has not been easy, food is everywhere. I have to eat it for nourishment. I am learning, still learning – it is a daily battle – sometimes minute by minute battle. But my God is bigger than food, He is my portion, He is my strength. I am also learning that the Bible has A LOT of food references in it. I am learning to put scripture in my mind and heart and that God will help me through this process. I am learning to be healthy – spiritually and physically.

With God’s help the beginning of my journey has been successful. I did not say easy. I have had to retrain my mind in so many areas. I have quoted “All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial” so many time I think it is really a part of who I am now. I have had to deny myself some things – I have enough points – but it is not healthy for me. If it is a food that I crave or that gives me comfort, I am choosing to deny myself of it for a time and rely on God for that comfort. Satan has attacked me in so many ways. Difficult times, a hurt child, a sick family member, many events that have food and pushers trying to get me to eat, a baby shower where I am a hostess and serving punch, Halloween, a Kindergarten teachers convention – just to name a few. God has been so faithful though it all. He has wrapped his arms around me and given me comport and peace. He has been my portion, when I needed him. He has sent scripture to my mind and heart – just when I needed it.
I finished reading the book and was praying where God wanted me to go next, he clearly said read it again. He also said, “I’m not finished with you yet.”

I am almost finished reading it a second time. I already know what God is leading me to read next, but I have to wait until this is finished reading this a second time – self control!!!!! However, I am so excited and eagerly wait to see where he is guiding me. He is also calling me to be public about my struggle so that it may bless others that are suffering in silence. Food is something we had to have to survive. It is all around us. I am so grateful that God has opened my eyes, softened my heart and guided my path so clearly this last month. I have a long way to go and many more things to learn. The road will not always be easy, but with His strength, I will be successful and He will be glorified.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

God's strength

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For where I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“God’s power is made perfect in weakness. This stirs my heart. Weakness is hard, but weakness does not have to mean defeat. It is my opportunity to experience God’s power firsthand. …….. Resisting temptation allowed promise upon promise to be built up in my heart, and that create empowerment. This is God’s power working through my weakness. ……….The struggle to say no may be painful in the moment, but it is working out something magnificent within us. “ Made to Crave, Lysa Tirkeurst

Boy I felt that power yesterday. I stuck to my plan at the baby shower. But that is not all – it was a stressful type day with a meeting before school, a meeting during planning, a student observer, a student with a birthday and that means cupcakes, and then the baby shower. And as if that were not enough for one day – I was hungry all day. It gave me the opportunity to pray a lot. I was not sure why I was hungry – but I was. I really was not craving anything – just hungry. So I prayed, and then I prayed some more and then I prayed some more. Sometimes my prayers were frustration – God why do I have to be hungry – TODAY! This is too hard, or sadness and tears – why does this have to be so hard. However, at the end – there was rejoicing. God with YOUR help, I did it. YOU kept me strong, YOU reminded me of your blessings, YOU allowed me to share YOUR greatness to a friend, YOU are wonderful and strong in my weakness. It was a difficult day, but a wonderful day. I know I will have more days like this, but I know in my weakness – your power is made perfect.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Amazing week

It has been an amazing week. I finished reading Made to Crave by Lysa Tirkrurst. It is a fabulous book. It is transforming my relationship with food. I was praying and asking God to lead me to what I should read next. His voice was clear as a bell, “Read it again, I am not through with you yet.” I do not hear God’s voice that clear often – so when I do, I listen. Then that evening, I got a call from a family member saying that they may have a life changing situation occurring. I cannot share who or what yet – as it is not my story to tell. Needless to say this rocked my world. I am a stress and emotional eater. After finding out this information, I felt so hungry. I wanted to eat and not healthy stuff. I have learned that I need to rely on God and not food to manage my stress and emotions. This is a struggle for me and I am glad God told me to re-read this book. I prayed for strength and was able **** that I was hungry but not for food, for comfort. God wrapped his arms around me and gave me peace. I have a lot more learning to do and with His guidance, I will thrive and give Him all the glory.

On a food note, my goals the past two weeks were:
1. Cook every night or for every night
2. Exercise 3 times for 30 minutes each week
3. Pack my lunch every day and eat only what I brought
4. Track everything
5. Make a plan for traveling to KTOT

I did pretty well this week and I lost 5.6 lbs over the last two weeks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

KTOT - First test

This past weekend, I attended a kindergarten teacher's conference (KTOT).  I knew it would be a fast, fun and food event if I allowed it to be.  One thing I have learned in weight watchers is to plan.  There would be some places I would go that I would have no control over, but I did have control over my choices at that place.

I went for a walk with Scott, and verbally planned out my trip.  Here is what we came up with:
*  Take a sack lunch for the drive up there so I did not have to eat fast food on the way.
*  Dinner - grilled chicken, rice/ potato, steamed veggie or salad
* At breakfast, eat oatmeal if I could and fresh fruit.  If not, a scrambled egg with fruit.
*  Lunch - boxed lunch provided by hotel for conference - eat sandwich, trade out chips (or whatever else was in there) for my baked cheetos I had brought, don't eat cookie
*Dinner - Make best possible choice where we stoped.
*  I packed apples, carrot slices, cheese sticks and wheat thins for snacks during the weekend.

I did not follow the plan exactly but was proud of most of my choices.

Lunch - we got to the hotel early and ate there - fabulous lunch with a chicken and rice soup filled with broth, white chicken chunks, veggies and I ate a salad,  I also ate two rolls.

Dinner - we went mexican food - I ate chips and salsa, but I counted my chips and wrote them down.  I ate grilled chicken, rice and about 1/4 c. refried beans.

Breakfast - followed my plan.

Lunch - Followed plan except I at the cookie

Dinner - made good choice of a sandwhich with turkey and cheese and baked chips.  I also bought fudge to take home to the boys - I should have put it in the trunk.  I ate some of it before we made it back.

All in all - Pretty good weekend.  I followed my plan for the most part.  I had exercise points and WPA's for anything extra I ate.  The key revolution was that I made the plan, wrote it down, took it with me and it made food choices easier.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lesson Learned - Check first

We had teacher in-service today, that means we get a long (1.5 hours) lunch.  This does not happen often - so we always enjoy the treat.  My team decided to go to Jason's Deli.  I ordered a club lite, baked chips and fresh fruit. I looked up later the points- the club light has 12 points - WOW!!!!!!!  Went into this weeks WPA's for that one.  That is a place my team likes to frequent.  Before the next trip - I will decide ahead of time what I will order and know the points - or just bring my lunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

What A Day!!!!!!!

James 1: 2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Permission to laugh at my day is granted. It is so crazy it is funny – frustrating – but funny!
Background to what lead to today:

I have dealt with my weight for a long time. This weekend I went to my regular weight watchers meeting. One I have attended while still gaining weight – not weight watchers fault – I just did not follow the plan. When I got there – someone was sitting in my seat! The nerve – I have been here for years and that is my chair - lol. Well I sat in a different spot, near a friend named Angela. Before the meeting began, she shared with me a new bible study she had started based on the book Made to Crave. It is about craving God more than food.

I got home from the meeting and could not get that out of my head, but I also could not remember the name of book. I facebooked her and she got it to me very quickly. I ordered it on my nook and began reading the introduction. It really began working on my heart and spirit. Then I read the first few chapters. I finally realized that my weight issue is more than a food issue – it is a spiritual issue. I crave food more than I crave God. WOW! Not something I wanted to admit.
Now to today! This has been day filled with frustration, revelation and laughter.

I woke up this morning – STARVING! I mean stomach growling and hurting. I prayed hard for God to help me crave Him more than I crave food. This is where the frustrating yet humorous day begins.

* I went in and got my cup of coffee and took it into the office to begin working on a report I needed that day. I spilled my entire cup of hot coffee all over myself. I had never done that before.

* I changed clothes, and went to make my oatmeal. I had the bowl in my hand and went back into my bedroom for something. I sat it on top of the TV so I could pick up something and it fell and spilled all over the floor.

* I went back into kitchen, determined to stick to my plan for the day and made another bowl of oatmeal. While it was cooking, I took my rolling cart out to my car. When I went out the front door, my lunch fell out to the cart on over the ground (Picture me running down the sidewalk chasing my apples).

* I come back in and eat my oatmeal and a peach. I am still HUNGRY! I look at Scott and say Satan is trying his best to break me today. As soon as I recognize the attack – I am no longer hungry – in fact I am completely satisfied! Thank you God!

* At lunch, I open my frozen dinner and the flat bread is mushy – really mushy! I HATE mushy anything. I decide I am going to eat it anyway!

* I take it back to my classroom. I take a big bite and almost gag! There are two flatbread dinners – chicken that I love and steak I detest! I had grabbed the steak this morning by mistake. In the past, I would have gone down and gotten chicken rings and mashed potatoes. All I need is fuel for my body and so I choke it down.

It has been clear to me all day that Satan is trying to make me put my focus on food and not God. What is so awesome is that I have been filled with scripture and praise songs all day. I have smiled more than I have in a while!

Through the day I still had cravings or desires for food. Each time I would pray for more strength. Each time it was given.

What is in the picture for tomorrow? I do not know, but it will start with a prayer for God to help me crave Him More than I crave food.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday, Day one of this journery Refections and success

Sept. 2011
Sunday, October 02, 2011

I went to my weigh in at weight watchers yesterday and I knew it would not be good. How could it be? I ate breakfast burritos from sonic 2 times. Monday, I cooked. - that is a start. Tuesday - dollar burger night at sonic - about to change, Wednesday - BBQ take out, Thursday, after 4 hours at ER with son, Taco Bell, Friday, wheat thins, strawberries, string cheese. Lunches were weight watchers frozen dinners. I think we also went out for hot fudge sundea's two times. Needless to say - I did not work the weight watchers plan. I did the kim watchers plan and that one always gains weight.

I know something has to change. I am 42 years old. I have been flirting with 200 lbs for a while. I can barely walk without getting winded. I can get on the floor but getting up is getting very difficult. I can no longer sing and dance with my kindergarteners without getting very winded. This is not living to my fullest potential - it is survival and not a good one at that. My cholesterol is high and I am pre-diabetic.

Enough beating myself up. Change begins NOW!
I attend a weight watchers meeting at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday. I love these wonderful people. I admitted yesterday that I had gained back everything I had lost plus some. I set two reasonable goals for this week. 1. Cook everynight 2. Track everyday. Well I changed #1 just a little - cook for everynight. That is exactly what I did yesterday. I made 5 meals that are either in the freezer or refridgerator. Here is what we are having this week: refried bean casserole, bbq chicken, salsa chicken, onion soup burgers, taco soup and hot dogs (will grill on the day we eat them). All points are calculated and all we have to do is heat them up and add veggies. That way if something comes up (like the ER this week), food is prepared and we do not have to eat out.

As for tracking what I have eaten. Saturday is done! YEA ME!

Saturday is date night for my husband and myself. Last night we went to Cheddars. I ate healthier choices, calculated the points to the best of my ability and wrote it down. Then I suggested we go for a walk at the park where we first met. I was very winded at a pretty slow pace- but we walked for 30 minutes. This was a first for me - I hate exercise with a passion. I know I need to do this so I am just going to "suck it up" (phrase from 15 year old son) and do it. I need to get healthy and yesterday was the first day of the rest of my life and the new beginning of my journey.

I joined Dr. Oz's transformation Nation and now have that resouse as well.

Everything is permissable' - but not everything is beneficial" (1 Corinthians 10:23) This is a scripture I found yesterday in my new bible study. It really spoke to me. I can have a donut, count the points, track it and go on - however, is it beneficial to my my health and goals in life - NO! So I don't need to eat it.

Off to a great Sunday!

Here I go again

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Transformation Nation: This is so exciting. I love weight watchers and I love Dr. Oz. Nothing better than combining the two.

The sad thing for me is that I have been going to weight watchers meetings and gaining weight. Not weight watchers fault because even though I have been attending the meetings I have not been following the plan. As a result - GAIN!
I really want this time to be different. I want to be healthy. Along the path this time, I am also reading a new book: Born to Crave. It is time to look at my relationship with food from a spirtual perspective. I know what to do - Now I need to want to do it. My prayer will be for God to give me the want to in order to make the neccessary changes in my life.

This will not be easy - I LOVE FOOD! There I said it - I love UNHEALTHY FOOD. I LOVE PROCESSED FOODS. I LOVE SWEETS - cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, donuts. These foods give me a temporary satisfaction. Now I need to break this unhealthy relationship with foods. I am worth it!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Meeting With the TOS Specialist on Thursday

After meeting with the dr. I planned to sit down and update my blog.  However, blogger was down - Very Frustrating!  I ended up writing it in my notes portion of Facebook.  Today I was able to copy and past what I wrote there. 

Good news and bad news today - but we have answers and it is always better than not knowing.

I will have to have surgery and it is scheduled for June 28 (it was then or late August - don't think so- kindergarten teacher). Best news is that this surgeon is the leading TOS specialist in the nation and he is up on the latest surgical techniques. I will only have my first rib removed and some minor muscle detachment. This is so much better than what I was reading and had heard before from other doctors. It is a 3 month recuperation process. The first 6 weeks, I am to use my arm some but with many limitations. The other good news it that the first 6 weeks will end the Tuesday before I have report back to school. I am glad Jon will be able to help me set up my room and I will call in the troops (my large family) if necessary.

The doctor is most concerned with my loss of motor function (strength) of my right arm. Your dominant arm is supposed to be 2 times stronger than your non-dominant arm. My dominant arm (right) is half the strength of my non-dominant. Here is where the very bad part comes in - I may or may not get it back. It will be the last thing to heal, so we will not know for a while.

Here is the funny/sad part - I have never broken a bone in my life. Now I have to have one removed.

God is so good. He has guided Scott and I all the way. He has led us to a leading expert and he is only 45 minutes from our house.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

When I was in Kindergarten, I knew two things I wanted to be when I grew up - a teacher and a mom. I am so thankful that I am a teacher, but I am blessed beyond words to be Mom to these two wonderful boys. 

 Daniel 12         Jon 14

My day started out with a wonderful surprise - Breakfast in bed.  Now many of you have had that before, but I am an early riser.  I natural body clock wakes me up around 5 a.m.  Needless to say, I am usually awake before anyone in the house.  However, this mothers day, I slept in till 6:30 a.m.  I woke up and heard banging and glanging in the kitchen.  Scott turned over and said, "Stay put".  A few minutes later, Daniel came in and brought me the most wonderful breakfast.  He made scrabled eggs - by himself and even heated up some kolaches.  All this with a cup of coffee - just the way I like it.  He was so proud of himself. I think I was  more proud and excited than he was.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

God is Good All the Time!

I met with Dr. Robertson last week.  He said I had some signs of TOS but not a clear cut case.  He is very concerned about my right arm weakness.  I told him I would be worried if I were a clear cut case - as I have never had anything medically normal happen to me.

He has referred me to Dr. Urschel at Baylor Dallas, a thoracic surgeon.  This guy is an expert on TOS.  I called to set up an appointment that day.  I had to leave a message and they called me back on Good Friday.  Dr. Urschel is an expert in a rare condition.  Bad news - he is not on my insurance.  This concerned us very much.   Scott and I began to pray about this.  Scott and I talked about it and decided to get his opinion and then if I need surgery, I would find another surgeon.  I was not totally at ease with this decision.  Not the part about Dr. Urschel, but getting another doctor to do the surgery if I need it.  But I also do not want to put my family in financial difficulty. 

Before I can schedule an appointment with Dr.  Urschel,  I have to see Dr. Chase for two different tests.  One is an EMG - let me tell you I am not liking the idea of having to do that again.  Last time I only did it on the right side, this time I have to have it on both sides - YUCK!!!!!  I will see him on May 3rd.  I will then see Dr. Urschel on May 12. 

Yesterday, I was planning to ask Dr. Modlinski to begin looking for another thoracic surgeon - one that would be on our insurance.  I was at physical therapy and told Brian that I was experiencing extreme muscle weakness in my right hand.  He had me do another test that measures the strength of each hand.  My left hand measured 60 pounds of pressure and my right measured 15.    This is not a good.   My hand seems to be getting weaker.

I have always felt God's hand leading me to what is wrong.  I have always felt at peace in everything.  Dr. Modlinski came to talk to me towards the end of my pt session yesterday.  He agrees that I need to see Dr. Urschel.   He also told me that he would write a letter to my insurance company stating that I needed to see this doctor and he would also get Dr. Robertson to do the same.  This would allow us to see Dr. Urschel with in-network benefits.  My peace has returned.  Thank you Lord!

My God is so wonderful!!!!!!!!! God led me to the expert.  God is taking care of the financial end of things.  God is giving complete peace through it all.  God is good all the time, all the time God is good!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wonderful day!

Every now in then I get a day with little to no pain.  I enjoy these days so much.  Yesterday was one of them.  When I have these days I am careful to not over do it.  I was able to do a little house work and go to Daniel's soccer game. 

I wanted to do something fun, get out for a while,  and move around.  I talked Scott into taking Daniel to Fort Worth's Main Street Art Festival (Jon did not want to go.)  Daniel has been starting a new interest in art over the past few months - so I thought he would enjoy it.  That was an understatement.  The artists were so kind answering his questions.  I will have to admit -  I was very nervous at times.  Daniel is not known for his coodination and when he is in obsessive interest  mode - he is not aware of his body in space.    We had to keep reminding Daniel of the cost of some of the items - I was scared he might break something. 

I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the art.  However, I loved seeing the Art show through Daniel's eyes.  Thank you God for giving me this day to enjoy the beautiful weather, a wonderful husband, and my precious Daniel.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Power of a Giggle

Wednesday was a VERY rough day for me.  I was in a great deal of pain all day.  I think the reality of what I am going through finally started to kick in.  In addition - I am tired of hurting.  All this caused me to have a very hard day.  I cried off and on all day.  The kiddos at school think I have very bad allergies and I just let them think that.  I tried all day to just focus on them, but it was so hard - I was hurting and that was all I could focus on.  Then I went to therapy - pain meds either did not work as well or I started off in more pain - but it was a very painful session. 

Thursday was better.  If I kept my arm in one position it did not hurt as bad.  I looked funny - kinda like I as saying the pledge of alligiance all day - but I did not care - I was not hurting as bad.  Then at 2:20 it started.  My kiddos had worked hard all day and got everything done I had planned so we had time to go to free choice stations (new name for centers). 

Three boys were playing with magnets when B. got tickled about something.  He started giggling and could not stop.  His smile was so bright that it was lighting up the whole room.  Then the other two started giggling.  It was the most wonderful sight.  Three boys without a care in the world just giggling.  I started to smile and just watch them for a while.  Their giggles were so contagious.  Then I found myself starting to giggle.  I began to feel something I had not felt in a while - JOY!  I have been in pain for so long that I lost my smile, laughter, giggles, and JOY! 

It happened so gradually that I did not notice.  That is often how satan works - you don't change over night - it is a gradual process.  I was so focused on myself and my pain that I could not think of others.  I felt as if I were going into survival mode instead of living the life I have been Called to live.  I was slowly allowing satan a foothold into my life.  God, however, can change you in a moment - a 5 year old boy giggling moment.  He reminded me in  that moment that He is in control of everything and that He will hold my hand in the painful times.  If I will quit focusing on myself, live the life He has called me to and allow Him - He will help me help me see JOY in my struggles.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Iphone fun

This is a test blog from my phone.

I just sent the above from my Iphone.  I just send it as a text message and it posts to my blog.  This is so cool!  I can now blog from my phone.  I also figured out you can then edit it when you get to the computer.  Too fun!

No Torture At PT - Praise God!

PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!  PT was not torture yesterday.  I am so thankful for the pain medication Dr. Modlinski gave me for therapy.  I still felt some pain, but it was SOOOOOOO much easier.  Brian was able to do what he needed to without me fighting him.  I was also not so emotionally drained either.  I am feeling some muscle soreness today, which is to be expected.  Thank you God!

Set up my appointment with Dr. Robertson this morning.  I will see him on April 21.  I am so thankful  for only having to wait 1.5 weeks to get in.  Specialist often take much longer for a new patient appt. 

I did not share my story for a long time.  I really thought I was dealing with whiplash symptoms from the wreck - I did not want to seem like a wimp.  I was trying to go on with my life, in pain, without complaining (except to my family and a few teacher friends).  Now I have found out I have something unique (I like that word better than rare).  There is very little out there from patients who are going through this.  I completely understand. There are not many of us out there. TOS wears you out.  Therapy hurts and makes you even more tired.  Pain meds help with the pain, but mess with your sleeping patterns (that is why I was up at 3 a.m. this morning).  Using a mouse or finger pad makes weak muscles very tired if you use them too much.  Typing too long makes the nerve pain worse.  God is teaching me that I can share for His Glory what is going on.  I may have to do it a little at a time, but I can do it.  It all comes back to slowing down, and this time I am listening to Him.  It is like this post today, I have typed for a few minutes - now I will rest, drink a cup of coffee, and spend some quiet time with the Lord.  Nothing better than that!  Then God will help me through whatever today holds. 

Blessing to you all!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

lessons from Learning Left

With TOS, there are many times, I have limited use of my right arm do to weakness or nerve pain.  As a result I am leaning to use my left hand more.  If we allow him to, God uses all of our life to help and bless others, teach us new things, open our eyes to what is there and many more things. Right now he is teaching me to slow down, ask for help and to make adjustments.

When I was teaching my boys how to brush their teeth, I would often get frustrated at their awkwardness of doing it. Lately I have had to learn to use my left hand more.  Things like brushing your teeth, carrying a coffee cup, eating, drinking from a cup, grabbing for anything, writing on the white board at school, signing your name, filling our paperwork are no longer brainless activities.  I have to slow down and think about what I am doing.  Do you know how hard it is to brush your teeth with your left hand or  use a fork or spoon with your left hand?  Let me tell you - VERY HARD and many times frustrating. 

I have good moments and bad moments with my right arm.  I get tired very easily.  I am leaning to say no.  I never thought much about that word.  I am a pleaser.  I want to help everyone.  As a result many times in the past I have overextended myself.  I was helping others so I never really thought about who I was hurting - my family.  I was not there to help out at home.  That changed about a few years ago.  During the school year, while I am teaching, I have learned to say no.  There are some things I do, but many time I have to say no or just do not volunteer.  I am just so tired.  Looking back now I can see that may have the beginning stages of my TOS. I was having the my primary doctor check for everything that could make you tired - everything but my blood sugar (which I have had trouble with since I was 16) was normal.  God was beginning to prepare me then for what I am going through now.  It was not clear then, but it is crystal clear now.  I have to slow down.  As a result, I have begun to see things more clearly. 

Asking for help has been the hardest.  I am very independent and can do it by myself.  God has been trying to work with me on this one and I knew it but was still  not letting go of some stuff.  Little things like setting up a room for summer spectacular at church.  I would do it all myself and never ask for help.  I did not know then that I was actually not allowing other people to server, bless and honor God and that was a selfish act.

Things have gotten a little more extreme at home.  There are many things I can no longer do or only do to a small extent.  Little things I never thought of before, I have to ask for help for safety reasons - especially in the kitchen.  If I have pasta on the stove that needs to be put in the strainer - I have to ask for help.  This is one thing I have to have my right arm to do.  I am dropping so much right now that I could easily drop it and burn myself.  Learning to brown meat and stir with my left hand has been difficult.  However, if I slow down, I can do it.  God is now telling me to teach my boys to cook so that they can be a blessing to their wives. Never thought of it that way.

Then there is laundry - the never ending battle in all families.  Scott has always washed and dried, I have folded and sorted, the family put up their own stuff.  Many times I can not pick up the basket to fold.  I have to ask for help.  I can put stuff on hangers, but I can not lift it into the closet - I have to ask for help.  It has been a very humbling experience. 

Making adjustments is also difficult.  I am a planner and I like things to go according to our plan/ schedule.  Having a child with high functioning autism has not helped me in that one.  However, one thing we must teach him is something I need to learn myself - how to adjust.  Having physical therapy every Monday and Wednesday has forced this on me. I have to leave school by 3:30 on those days to get to therapy by 4:00.  The world did not end because I left some stuff unfinished at work.  I can work on it tomorrow.  I have to adjust and be more organized - not my strong suite.  I have learned to make to lists, ask for help from parents on some stuff they can do and make sure my calendar is always up to date.  My friend Shelley posted on her facebook account about an app called Cozi.  It is a family organizer.  It has been a lifesaver in keeping things organized between home and school.  At home on therapy days I am almost useless when I get home.  Scott has been a life saver at home - on those day he has to do everything.  Adjustment - I can put dinner in the crock pot before I leave for work.  That way it is ready when I get home and we can just eat.  The other adjustment I have had to do is rest more - not sleep, just sit down and rest.  If I do not the pain increases.  I can use those rest times to talk with my family or just watch a tv show together or spend quality time with the Lord. 

Slow down, ask for help and to make adjustments - these are important lessons for me (and many others) to learn.  I am so thankful that God is allowing me to see my molding while it is happening. Molding can hurt, but it can also bless many people - if we allow it to.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)

I am not the worrying one in my family. I say God has gotten us through a bunch of stuff and he will help up through this one. I was a little nervous about my dr. appt Friday. I had an EMG done Thursday and they may have found 2 more problems with my neck and right arm. God will get us through this, I just want to know what it is he is getting us through.

Thanks to all the prayers of friends,  I was at peace when I met with my dr. yesterday.  We found out that I have thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). I have compression of the nerves in my thoracic outlet (between the clavicle bone and 1st rib) My EMG showed significant nerve loss in that area. It is what is causing all my neck pain, nerve pain and loss on strength in my arm and hand.

I will have physical therapy for the next 5 weeks trying to relax my pectoralis minor muscle. I started this week and it was the worst pain I have ever had. The dr. gave me a pain medicine to take right before therapy so that Brian (my PT) can do what he needs to do. If we do not see significant improvement in the next 5 weeks I will have to have surgery which will involve cutting pectoralis minor muscle then reattaching it to another bone and taking out a rib.

Dr. Modlinski has referred me to  Dr. William (Bill) Roberson at the UT Southwest Medical Center who specializes in TOS. I should see him in the next few weeks.

Surgery does not sound fun so I am asking that all my friends to please pray PT works.

God is so great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I know that God is in control.  He has always guided my path and allowed me to help others in whatever trial I have been through.  I pray I can honor Him in my steps.


It All Began With a Sneeze

Why am I always surprised when I see God's hand in my life?  He is always there, but sometime it is SOOO obvious. 

My latest journey began a long time ago, but no one knows when.  However, 8 weeks ago the journey became very obvious due to a sneeze.  Funny?! Strange?!  Weird?!  GOD!!!!!!!! 

I was driving to work on 820 near Rufe Snow during morning rush hour!  Anyone who knows that area would cringe at this location.  It was stop and go!  Then I sneezed - a big sneeze!  My foot slipped of the break and hit the gas.  I hit the car in front of me.  After insurance was exchanged, I drove on to work.  It was a very minor wreck, only a few scratches on my car and they could have been there before.  As the morning progressed, my neck started hurting.  I ended up going home and to the doctor.  She was concerned enough about my pain she ordered a MRI.  She was thinking I might have broke my neck.  MRI was clear, so rest, pain meds and muscle relaxer were prescribed. 

A  week later I was still in A LOT of pain.  I decided to call the orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Modlinski,  who helped me with my knee.  He looked at my MRI and did not see anything massive so he ordered pt for pain management. 

I went to pt for about 4 weeks and went back to see Dr. Modlinski.  I was still in a lot of pain, so he ordered an EMG.  This is a study of the nerves.  It took a few weeks to get in so I continued pt. 

God decided it was time for everyone to see what was wrong with me. 

On Monday March 28, Dr. Modlinski was sitting in the PT room talking to Brian (my pt).  Brian was doing deep tissue massage of my neck at the time.  All of a sudden if felt like I had lost all of the blood flow in my right arm.  I immediately told  Brian.  Both Brian and Dr. Modlinski's eyes got really big.  They said something about Thoracic outlet syndrome and they decided to have Brian do some tests to me on Wednesday.  On Wednesday I went in and Brian did all these tests and said I had some positive signs of TOS and some that showed negative.  He decided to add two new stretches to my home therapy and showed me how to do them.  The first one no big deal.  The second one, you have to roll up a bath towel and lay down on it with the towel down the center of your spine.  Brian got really quiet which is not like him at all.  He checked the placement of the towel.  Then told me to be still and that he was getting Dr. Modlinski.  When you do this stretch your shoulders are supposed to be parallel.  My right shoulder was about 1.5 inches higher than my left.  If felt so tight.  Dr. Modliski started taking pictures, pushing down on my shoulders and poking a spot that hurt!

Life started changing right then.  The following Monday and Wednesday, therapy changed from pain management to pain infliction - no really it was therapy that was to try to loosen my pectoralis minor  muscle.  The pain involved was so extreme.  I have a high pain tolerance, but this was toooooooooo much for me.  Then I had to go back on Wednesday and do it again. 

Thursday was my EMG.  Luckily they only did it on my right arm.  I will have to wait until Friday afternoon to get the results.  He said words like atrophy and nerve damage and slow nerve travel.  All this kinda made me nervous. 

Sorry this is so long.  I wanted to make sure I captured all my thoughts of what happened.  My next post will be about what we find out from Dr. Modlinski.

God is so wonderful. He is there- always.  He led me to the right doctor last summer when I had knee trouble - so I already was at ease with the doctor and physical therapist. I sneezed and had a very minor wreck.   My physical therapist was there when I lost use of my right arm for about a week.  He saw me Thursday (fine) and then on Monday (loss of function).   Dr. Modlinski was there when I lost the blood flow - sitting right next to me.  Dr. Modlinski is willing to think outside the box when his first diagnosis does not seem to fit.  All through this process, it has been so obvious and fun to watch God's hand leading everyone. 

Monday, January 3, 2011