Seaside, Nov. 14

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hello? Anyone there?

Hmmm, so March 5th. So many things have changed since then and its crazy to think that the last time I sat here and did this was months ago.

March 5th:
I was deep in the muck and mire of another UC flare which I have come to know is severe.
I had no energy and the couch and I were really good friends.
My car had just died out on me and we weren't sure what to do with it.
I needed a proceedure and we weren't sure how to pay for it.
. . . and . . . and . . . and

Now life seems like a runaway train. The engine seems to keep the coal shoved in and the caboose is struggling to stay attached as it waves back and forth, tipping from side to side on the tracks as onlookers flee in panic.

About two weeks ago, I went in for a procedure known as a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. Those of you familiar with a Colonoscopy pretty much know this procedure. A "Flex" as I like to call it--makes conversation a bunch easier--is a Colonoscopy, the doctor just doesn't go as far up your colon. Many people are afraid of this procedure. I love it, although I'm not too happy about why I'm enduring it. First, I have to be poked with a gigantoid needle (okay, maybe I'm a bit shy of metal being shoved into a protected vein) that delivers "saline solution" into my system. Quite frankly I loved it this time because of the prep. I wasn't able to have anything by mouth for the 4 hours prior to the proceedure and was required to finish the "lovely mineral water taste"-ing prep solution 6 hours prior to the proceedure. My proceedure was at noon. The math meant that I was waterless from 8 to 12! For those of you who know how much water I drink, that's EONS!! By the time I wabbled in to the room, I was requesting as many electrolytes as they could shove in me. Lightheadedness directed my path and I was all to excited to get the Flex over with.

While in the procedure room, they gave me "fun drugs" which made me dizzy. Not the kind of dizzy that makes your knees buckle on the bridge and cling to the nearest handrail while heaving over the edge, but the kind of dizzy that is fun. As I lay there, I could see the machine telling me what my blood pressure was, and . . . all the other numbers. When my doctor gave me the fun drugs, the numbers started slow dancing with each other, but my head was still on the pillow.

DON'T READ if you're sqeamish

Here's the cool part (and could be not-so-fun part). I am laying on my left side looking at the screen the doctor looks at and I get to see my colon and intestine! Because I'm a bit dizzy, it looks weird. It seemed like my intestine were discolored, in the brown-ish, off-colored way . . . instead of healthy pink with veins. I didn't see much, but then again, I can't say my eyes were in the best of working conditions either :)

START HERE if you skipped
Then, she slammed me with the news. I was diagnosed with moderate to severe UC, but on my paperwork, it was severe. She then told me she was putting me on a potent drug--one I never thought I'd be on, and walked away.

I'm finding it quite difficult to deal with people who aren't willing to talk with me about what's going on with my body. A change is definitely in store.

Because of the results, my life has been rocked.

This drug effects pregnancy, BIG TIME. That means we can't even try to conceive. It wouldn't be too great an idea now anyway because the Flex drained us financially. The drug seems to be effecting me, but I still can't nail down how. The last couple days I've been in PMS land for no reason. I've felt like its the end of the world, and I also don't have any energy. I'm just licked!

Mike has been in the dumps too and he said such an amazing thing to me the other night, but I have to lead in to it.

Because of my emotional earthquake, I've really been leaning on him for support and leadership. He, however, is also quite drained. I basically unloaded my tears on him and part way through our conversation when I said, "I really need your support right now", he responded, "It's hard to give support when we're both spent." Not the same words, but you get the idea.

How true is this? When I'm spent, and he's spent, there really is no energy between the two of us to give support. So now is when we are so dependent on God. All we can do is cling to each other and hope that the last 4 years of our marriage will not be indicative of the rest of our lives. We can only hope for God's intervention.

Meanwhile, the apartment is still "home" and life still goes on. I am doing a fairly good job keeping up with my goals of reading the Bible (now in 1 Sam, but should be somewhere in Psalms), keeping the house clean, and keeping up with myself.

While writing this, I feel like it might be hard to follow. If that's true, just know that its my meds talking :( Clarity is unfortunately, something I've lacked since the procedure.

The only thing I feel I can hold on to is God's promise to us, and a life much different from that we are living now.

More to come later.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Wow, almost 4 and feels like midnight. The last weeks have been spiraling so fast. While our schedule has hit sonic speeds, there are some consistencies that I appreciate!

For the last week, as of today, Mike and I have been KILLING our muscles at insane hours. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we wake up before God pulls up the sun, and sleepily put on our clothes hoping to remember everything we need. At a bright 5:45 we are geared to start sweating.

This is a HUGE change for both of us. The typical morning consists of the alarm going off, one, two, or MANY MORE times screaming at Mike to get up. Of course, we all know that the consistency of the alarm breaks our desire to snooze. So whether or not we want to, getting up is the only choice. Then, we rush to get everything together to get Mike out the door -which sometimes is quite a feat. After the mass exodus - of one person :)-the whirlwind of adrenaline has peaked and is now plummeting towards the center of the earth at cheetah speeds. My brain is hoping to connect and keep a thought process, but ends up crashing in brilliant colors.

Now, instead of being alarmed (double meaning meant, and enjoyed by me as I like plays on words!), we "wake up" once and get ready to meet the chilly morning. By the time we get there, we are "ready" to go and begin with lunges and other warm-up exercises. We are sweating in no time at all. And man can I tell you that this routine is so good. Of course in the process, my exhaustion is telling me QUIT! Oooooo, the burning of muscles, paired with non-endurance and stench . . . gotta love it :)

I love the residual effects. Just as we thought, our muscles are feeling a bit used, and Mike and I are beginning to laugh at ourselves. Things like his feet don't fit in the TRX handles because he's huge! TRX straps hang from the built-in "Monkey Bars" (just like when we were kids) and basically suspend either your feet or hands above you to add a crazy hard, core strengthening to any exercise. Figure this, push ups with your feet swinging left to right because they're not on solid ground, or reverse abs in the push up position with the same swinging. Hard, but afterward, Mike and I are happy with the lingering burn and tightening of abs. You see, I have a six pack, it's just hidden by insulation.

The hardest part I feel is not the effect of exercising, its the sleep! Yo-yoing between 5:00 mornings and recouping the other days isn't good. I haven't yet been able to wake up on Tuesday or Thursday feeling rested. Maybe one day soon, I'll just go to sleep, and then wake up. Sounds so simple doesn't it . . . but I'm guessing that most of us can relate. There are a few more go-to-sleep, wake-up patterns before the sun rises and I'm actually supposed to get up!

Well, gotta run because I'm off to another session. Soon, I'll be less of me and I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Super Sunday Night and Beyond

Wow have I been learning a lot about life!  With everything in my "to keep doing" pile I am becoming overwhelmed, yet confident that somewhere in the future the sun will shine on Mike and I.

These past three days, Mike has been in Las Vegas attending an EIFS class to get certified.  Just hearing what the city is and has become is quite saddening.  He had to deal with quite a bit, but is now home and happy :)  While he was there he expressed how much I mean to him which subsequently melted my heart.  

After dropping him off at the airport on Sunday, I was able to make it to a Sunday night service our church calls "Super Sunday Night".  Lots of things happen at the service, but this Sunday, I think that God had a divine intervention planned for me.  Part way through the night, I just got completely overwhelmed.  Everywhere I looked there were children.  As much as I tried to "be happy" and convince myself that it didn't matter, it did.  I excused myself to fill up my water bottle, and began wading through the aisle amidst the 3,000 people or so situated worshipping in the pews.  As soon as I hit the back of the sanctuary I could feel the burn in my eyes - a familiar sting.  I filled up my Nalgene and tried to gather myself to go back in to sit down.  I got about half way and my emotions took over.  With tears streaming down my face I took a place in a back "corner" (the building looks like half a sphere and only has a type of supporting post in the back).  I tried so many times to be okay, but my heart wasn't allowing my tears to dry and go back.  While in the corner, I had a friend console me and ask if someone could come pray with me.

(Sorry if this is long.  I like writing too . . . just the story of my life!)

A woman, who I didn't know, came beside me and looked me straight in the eye with conviction and deep love.  She and a group of others had been praying for me ever since Arie died.  Her words flew and yet she didn't miss a beat.  So many things she said to me that night still bounce around in my head.  She said that Arie had a purpose and that she lives out that purpose in me.  Arie will never be forgotten and although I have been in a winter season, I will soon be recognizing the blossoms of spring in my life.  
I am beginning to come out of my winter!  Even though the loss of my precious baby girl still brings tears to my eyes and tugs on my heart, she also brings me smiles at times.  She is right now the most influential person in my life.  And if all of this just means all of that, it's enough for me.

Since Sunday night, I have had the opportunity to chat with some friends, talk with Mike and read away.  All of this seems to be making me think all that much more.  Fortunately, God likes thinking people and I have taken the plunge in to that pool right now.  

. . . . . . . . . . 

On a different note, it's weird to be home alone after I've been together with Mike for so long.  It's nice to have the bed all to myself, and at the same time, I'm craving his warmth.  All the chores still beckoned, life still moved on, but in a different pace, with different meaning.  Quite odd.
Mike is now back home and we are going to be starting a new adventure!  We have weighed the cost and measured the benefits.  We have decided to participate in athletic classes.  At first it really will be like personal training because the company we are going through is trying to get bigger and are just starting the classes.  But it he future, it will probably end up a little more populated.  Right now, we will have the opportunity to work out almost one-on-one and reap the benefits of doing it together.  We are both hoping this will help us get healthier, sleep better, cause us to appreciate common ground, and the benefits just don't end!  

Onward ho, to the next adventure we go!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Moving Day

Well, I wish that this was actually the topic for us, and although it's not, it is still exciting! Today we were able to move my parents . . . which means that they have actually sold their house and are making the transition from the house they've lived in for years to another transition home.

This cottage that they are renting for the time being is super cute. As you walk in there is a cozy front room in which you can see the dining room and kitchen as well. The floors are hardwood . . . and I think that they're actually real wood. It's got two bedrooms and one dainty bathroom. When you walk in you get a warmth that is indicative of previous owners who loved the house. My mom is able to look out the kitchen window and gaze on birds and trees instead of the back door of a neighbor's house. She will absolutely love it. My dad doesn't yet have his Man Cave--I'm referring to either his super testoerone-filled mechanic's room, or his den where only men with the secret password can enter so as not to taint the essence of the room. I do, however, think that he will find things to do to keep himself busy.

I was able to hang with my sister for a bit and enjoyed unpacking the kitchen with her. While all the men were grunting and creating the foul aroma we like to call sweat, Melissa and I conversed about where the salt should go. We left all the insane lifting (like my mom's upright piano) to the men who like to use their bicep guns to get-r-done. Melissa and I haven't had the opportunity of speaking in quite a while, but even being around her for a while was a sweet reminder of what an amazing woman she is. I have appreciated her in my life and am looking forward to her maybe moving nearer sometime in the future (okay, if I'm speaking realistically, the WAY FAR OUT THERE future).

We were all fitting in to what seems like the new groove for my parents. After clearing out the trailer, my dad treated us to dinner where Norma and Paul (long-time family friends), Aunt Diane and Uncle John (Mom's sister and husband), Uncle Don, Aunt Patti, and Carrie (Mom's brother,wife, and daughter), and Mike and I chatted for quite a while. The room sparkled with smiles, fun stories, catching up with each other, and the unspoken excitement my mom felt to be within ten minutes of people she cares about. When she wanted to go home, she realized that it was just down the road, instead of hours away. Through the tiredness of moving, I could sense her anticipation. Ooooh, all the fun she is going to have being near family again.

On a different note, Mike and I have been crazy!!! Recently we were looking in to what it might cost to work with a personal trainer (whewie!). Albeit expensive, we were able to attend a "class" and see what they were capable of doing, and wow was it super cool and fun. Because of where the business is, we were the only two there. Meaning, the trainer could really whop us! Mike seemed to outdo me, which was sad because I have been working out forever with a friend, and he hasn't. Mr. Man was able to get his workout in and so was I. We basically cross-trained with a focus on suspension bands . . . These things are awesome (and CRAZY hard might I add). Hanging from a metal loop on a brace drops a flat nylon cord with two handles attached. From this, you can do just about anything--suspended of course. So we proceeded to do bicep curls, push ups, abs, triceps, forearms, and on and on and on! Needless to say, this was on Thursday which means that super soreness re-enters our life on our parent's moving day (Wahoo! . . . ouch)

Lots of things have been happening for us. To name a few, we've been doing all the normal keep up our life things like grocery shopping, and added small group, Mike's Photo classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, I go running with a friend every night of the week we can, meeting with two different sets of couples, moving our parents, looking at starting a Photography business (link to come soon hopefully--we've got the logo and everything . . . I'm anticipating what this might mean for us), trying to find a home, wait, nope, wait, yup, wait nope, wait, what was happening, and of course, the still fresh dealing with Arie emotions.

We'd love to get a house, settle down, and just be downright boring for a while. Anybody hear me? Boring sounds a bit nice right now :)

Hopefully, I'll update this more than once a month! So much happens. I just have to realize and be comfortable with writing a paragraph (I just get too in to writing!)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I sit here, thinking about what to write. I haven't written for so long and right now, crazy enough, its 2:20 a.m. As my eyes wouldn't fall asleep, of course my girly brain wandered and tripped on thoughts of Arie. It's amazing how ginormous thoughts get when we're tired! I've just cried for a while, then tried to go to sleep, then tried to distract myself by doing things on the computer. For some reason, I just can't sleep.

My thoughts have recently wandered to what might it be like now for us if Arie was here. She'd be sitting up stronger now and able to look at us with acknowledgement. She'd be able to smile at us with her cute little lips and snuggle in for sleep time. The crib would have had to be lowered because she could probably roll herself out of it at the height we currently have it. I would be hoping to share her with all the mommies in playgroup and all my friends. Her little cry would most likely become somewhat tiresome or annoying by now and Mike and I would be playing "it's your turn" at all times. She would have had a few check ups that said she was crazy tall for her age--no wonder, she's got a few tall genes in her swimming pool.

Grandma and Grandpa would be dying each week to know how she was and what she was up to. Her name would be cherished and pronounced right by now, cause it's a bit of a hard one until you get it down. I'm sure they would call to coax us over so they could play with the little tyke and give mommy and daddy a break to actually sleep.

She'd be really loved.

Well, she is really loved. It's just not the way it should be. And although our faith has gotten stronger through this mayhem, I still struggle with so many questions . . . how come God took her? Was it my fault (less on the nutritional/did I miss something side, and more on the life/personal sin side)? I hope she didn't hurt. Is she with my Grandparents?

It's really hard to believe that God loves me as much as He says He does, but I have to keep my mind strong and choose to believe His word and truth, rather than my thoughts. That's quite a battlefield sometimes. And battlefields at 2:30 in the morning become more like wars because of the exhaustion!

. . . On the other hand, being up this late has its advantages. We're pretty assured that we won't get interrupted, no one will be calling, or emailing (well maybe those night owls), and so we can focus! Right now, I've pretty much caught up on checking out a new financial program using Mr. Dave Ramsey's grandma principles called Mvelopes (kinda cool for the techi in you) and done some other work that needed to be done. All in all, I'm hoping that writing accomplishes two things right now. The ability to update my post, and the necessity of droning off to sleep (which is apparently a very bad idea in front of bright screens!).

Hi-ho,Hi-ho, it's off to sleep I go. I'll lay in bed, and wake at dawn, Hi-ho, Hi-ho, Hi-ho, Hi-ho.