Friday, August 5, 2011

News Flash

Today was my regularly scheduled every 3 month dreaded appointment in Shreveport with my rheumatologist. Today I left smiling. I saw my physician's assistant as usual. First she talks to me. Then she squeezes my fingers, hands, toes, and feet. Then she makes(I guess leads) me to do circular motions checking my ankles, knees, arms, and shoulders.

The news? She said I was doing very good. Improving greatly! She said no swelling in fingers and toes. (I still have one bad toe and one bad finger ha ha) She was impressed with how I could rotate my arms, shoulders, ankles, and leg. She said I was improving enough that I can wait 4 months to come back AND after that if I am still improving I don't have to go back for 6 months! I've come a long way since May!

One of the ladies working in the office said....I remember when you were here a few months ago. You were scared to death and worried about taking shots. Now look how good you look!

I have been excited all day. I feel so much better and now the doctor confirms it! Tonight on the way home, I had the radio really loud, singing to the top of my lungs!! Something I haven't done in a long time. Here's what I was singing......

This is the first day of the rest of your life
This is the first day of the rest of your life
'Cause even in the dark you can still see the light
It's gonna be alright s´gonna be alright

Another one of Matt Maher's songs that I'm obsessed!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I am so proud

I was having a conversation with sweet niece who loves her Aunt Laura very much. We were talking about her night at a friend's house. I was asking the questions about who was there, what they did and of course how late they stayed up. I stayed up to 1:30 or 2:00. Some were already asleep but she was still awake....then she said...her friend turned on the TV to watch Family Guy but she told her friends she was not allowed to watch that show.

I was SO PROUD! I wish I had that. You know that gutsy, stand up for what is right sense of morality! She is 9. How many times as adults do we laugh at that joke, watch something we shouldn't, or talk about someone we shouldn't or not stop someone from talking about someone? I am guilty!

I learned a great lesson from a 9 year old.

By the way, they turned it and watched something else!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I needed my glasses

The other day I was on my way home from Lafayette and had forgotten my sunglasses in Jason and Leah's vehicle. So we decided to meet at a convenient and get my glasses. I needed my sunglasses!

Mother has to have her 3 pm coffee everyday! I was going in to get a drink and a candy bar so I would see if they had coffee. But mother decided to get out. Slam went the door and in stayed the keys and our cell phones. OH SHOOT!

The people in the store were really nice. They called the local pd. NO answer. Called the parish pd. NO answer. answer. answer.

Jason and Leah arrive. They go back to the little town before to see if the deputy could help. He couldn't come into another parish and had no tool to use!

Back at the store after an hour of calling again and again....called pd finally got someone. No one on duty in the local town. The parish finally answered had 4 officers who were all busy and only one had the tool. BUT they good call pop a lock...without asking me!

Meanwhile Leah was calling a friend to see if he could do anything. No success.

All this time I am going in and out of the store. The girl working in the store and I talked back and forth as I was in and out of the liquor store! I forgot to mention this store is a major intersection for alcohol traffic. People in and out buying their evening loot. People of all kind of race, sex, jobs. I saw a lot. One guy even offered to help us open it with his big dozier. I declined!

Finally we called pop a lock, after no police officer was to be found anywhere, after Jason scratched my truck up using a hanger, after staying in the parking lot for over an hour.

Conversation with pop a lock guy
Me....I need you to open my truck.
Him...where are you the store. someone working on it.
me...yes but he cannot get it open
him....let him work on it some more and then call me back because it is about 10 miles there.
me...really. hold on. jason are you going to get it open. you better come on

REALLY...i called you! You say keep trying to get it open!

I went back in the store to tell me the girl pop a lock was coming. She says I really need to get back in church. I was shocked. Where did this come from? I said that would be good. It was a short conversation because someone else was waiting to buy their alcohol.

The pop a lock guy came in a few minutes. Doors open. On our way.

I started telling Mother about what the girl says. I couldn't imagine why she would say she needed back in church. There was no talk of Jesus, God, church, anything religious.

After driving awhile, I realized why she had said it. I had on a softball shirt from the Grace softball team. (GO Pro-Zack). A shirt. A shirt! She was reminded where she was in her relationship with Jesus by the shirt I was wearing. WOW.

The verse on the shirt...

Ephesians 2:8(NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Divine appointments

You know how you when you were a kid, teachers always ask you and made you write, tell, or draw a picture about what you did over summer vacation. Well, I'm going to share what I did over my summer vacation.
I'm not sure you are ready for this.
1. End of May...I started taking shots for my arthritis. I was devastated. Cried and cried. It was so overwhelming.
2. Blow out in Shreveport. Cried. Cost a lot to get it fixed. Financially I was struggling because of doctor bills and focusing on the circumstances instead of everyday activities which helped me get behind.
3. Truck breaks down in Shreveport same day as blow-out and started taking shots. It was a horrible day! It was my alternator.
4. Starting feel sick the day before school was out. Stayed sick for 2 before going to Dr. to find out I had an ulcer...I'm sure from all the worrying over #1......wait!
5. ER trip during VBS because I was horribly sick. Not an ulcer.
6. One week later....gall bladder out. Surgery. Not a good patient but wanted to be. :) ask my friends.
7. Flat tire.
8. Let down by people.
9. Locked my keys in my truck in the heat! No one to come help! Crazy folks. Paid pop-a-lock.
10. Someone bumped my a little scratch and dent.
11. oh yeah no fairy tale.
Oh yeah it was a great summer. bahahaha!

It's all good! OK so at the beginning of the summer I cried, cried, and cried at every little thing that happened. This list really happened in the order I wrote it. As the summer has passed by my attitude has improved. I'm still working on the positive attitude! But hey I didn't cry for a few of the last things that happened. I'm growing up because I did not even cry when I had my truck bumped into.

I would like everyone to know I am improving and getting better! The shots are helping much more than I could have realized. I am almost off some of my daily medicines. My hair is growing and not falling out. (medicine side affect) This was a big deal. :/ My truck is fixed. The tires are good. My brother was there to help. Someone else was there to help me with the flat. I didn't have an ulcer. Since having my gall bladder out, I am feeling much better. My mother and my friends took care of me after surgery. Groceries, gifts, cooking, babysitting me, prayers and blessings galore! I know who my true stick with you through thick and thing friends are. We made it home safe and Jason was there to help through locking my keys in my truck. The guy who bumped my truck...we are now friends.

I know some may not understand but I found that I couldn't not be upset with the guy who hit my truck. He was so upset and sorrowful. Yes there is slight damage and he is going to pay to have it fixed but I simple could not be mad. I'm a softy I guess. ;) Looks like grace showed up after a long summer of doubts and let downs for me. THESE ARE NOT MY WORDS BUT I COULD NOT HAVE PUT IT BETTER!

"Today had all the legitimate means to be a bad day...but it was a good day!! What was the difference?? God showed up! As He always does in my darkest moments! Thing is...He's always's just that the Light is most visible in the darkness! Lately I've allowed life's hurts, habits, and hang-ups to blind me with "self-light" (pride, anger, arrogance, selfishness, impatience)...And God shut me down!!...and today blessed me thru a stranger...who I in turn blessed with "PATIENCE" of all things!! You know...You just can't see God's light in Him or others if you are shining a light upon yourself! Thank you Lord for my bad day!! : )"

I was that stranger....

Its been since Sunday.....

Its been Sunday since I wrote mainly because I don't know where to go to next. I wish I could say that after a diagnosis and medicine it go better. That I picked myself up by my boot straps and headed back down that road of weight loss. Nope I didn't. Here I am 10 months short of 2 days...October 4th is the day that I feel like it all changed.....and I am 100 pounds back toward 438 lbs. I am not there yet but I have gained 100 pounds back of the 170 I lost. People are so kind to say you don't look like it but I know that I do. I see myself. I put the clothes on or really I don't because I can't fit into those clothes. I have gone back up sizes. It is so tough. I can remember thinking I would never go back over 300 pounds. Too late. I do not want to get back to 400 and I'm not there yet. THere's the head knowledge of what to do to stop this but the heart the fight to do it is not there. My heart need to get with my head and figure this problem out because Lord knows I miss my old new self!
When I was 400something.....I was a confident person. I really thought I could conquer the world. No joke. Size did not matter. I was loved by all that knew me. But was often looked at by those didn't as the fat girl until they got to know me. Then they loved me too. Well..maybe.
As I started loosing weight, my confidence grew even more. Actually I think it changed. I was confident, proud, had a sparkle, sassy....all of the above but in a different way. So now here I am gaining weight as I type(probably). As I have gained weight, I don't have the big girl confidence that I once did or the confidence I gained as I lost weight. I didn't know what being smaller was really like. And well now I do...I like the smaller version of me. I will never be the confident big girl because I want to be the smaller self assured La.
I often sit and think about where where my motivation and security are that I had before. It feels lost. I lay in bed at night and pray that I wake up the next morning ready to conquer it. I don't want to wait to Monday. But then I wake up and its not there.
Will I ever get to that 175 pounds that I was so close to getting too. Realize that I less than 100 pounds to getting there. I think I feel more overwhelmed trying to get to the goal now than I did when I at my largest. Why? Because now I fight a different fight. A fight against myself, against arthritis, against weight, against emotions, against what?

Is it physical, emotional, or really is it a spiritual fight? I believe it's spiritual. As I write this I think about the verse...Ephesians 6:12......For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

So I got out my Life Application Bible to read and see how it explains this verse. Well it sent me to 1 Peter 5:8 ..... and all I could think was about "a roaring lion" actually there's more....
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The explanation for this.....Lions attack sick, young, or straggling animals,; they choose victims who are alone or not alert. Peter warns us to watch out for Satan when we are suffering or not alert. Feeling alone(check), weak(check), helpless(check), and cut off from other believers(sometimes), so focused on our troubles that we forget to watch for danger.

So what to do during these times of suffering...what do to what to do! Well on the next verse...James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
I'm not a big fan of the Message but I love this...So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. James 4:7

Final word. In closing...ha ha! Been in church a long time!

Flee the devil. Say NO. Focus on God. Keep your eyes on him and not the suffering. Don't submit to circumstances, but submit to the Lord who is still in control!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Diagnosis. I cried all afternoon knowing that I finally had an answer. It was shock, concern, and a big WHY all rolled into one.

That was almost the end of November. I would love to say I started medicine, I got better, and started back on my weight loss journey. Well it didn't happen like that.

It went more like this. I started medicine. I started improving slowly. Physically a inch by inch. Emotionally still down. I was still fighting. My weight began to steadily increase. By this time I had probably gained 40 maybe more pounds.

Over the next few months I was better but not completely good. I could function but only with arthritis medicine. The only fight I had in me was to fight the pain, there was nothing left to fight the weight. It was so much easier to grab something because I literally did not feel like cooking. If I did cook it was not healthy, it was quick and easy. This caused more weight gain. Then on top of all of it, emotionally broke down from the pain, not being able to do like I had before and other things missing from my life, I ate. I found comfort in food. Its not something I'm proud of or like to admit. But its the truth.

I found I was headed back to a life of unhealthy foods and no exercise instead of the things I has once craved like healthy foods and working out.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Feed back

Just a little side note. If you are reading my blog could you just let me know on FB or on here. I know I know I'm quirky but I just have the need to know if anyone is reading so I can continue on......

TerribleHorrible No Good Very Bad Season!

Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day.......the day my mother had to help me get undressed. Thinking back this had to be the worse day. It was a Wednesday. I went to church. By this time, I had a terrible rash on my stomach. No actually horrible. I would show anyone. All my medical friends and non-medical friends. I wanted someone to diagnosis the problem so I could get better. No one could tell me.

My tummy was awful and I could hardly move. I wanted to scream. Cry. I did. A LOT. Usually everyday in the recliner at home after a long hard day.

My emotional state was at an all time low. No one could ask me how I was doing because all you would get was a cry. My mother decided she needed to come over and stay the night with me. That night between the physical and emotional pain I could not stop crying. I couldn't get my clothes off. Mother had to help me get in the bed.

I believe this was about a week before the first doctor couldn't find anything.

Back to that day....
After the doctor called, I was very upset. Mother decided to call Aunt Jackie. She recommended a doctor in Ruston. I called and he saw me that day.

I'm not sure what Dr. Wood thought about me this day. I cried so hard. I told him everything. Start to finish. He was kind and he listened.

Over the next couple of weeks I had an MRI. It showed arthritis. WOW. That's what wrong. I heard it but didn't really believe that's all it could be. How I suddenly over a month and 1/2 could I have gotten that down because of arthritis. But with this answer came medicine. This medicine began to help somewhat....functioning but not back to where I use to be.

Remember I said that my stomach was broke out. It only got worse. About three weeks after the diagnosis of arthritis, I took a trip to the er. My aunt jack was working and the er doctor checked it out. I believe they were both shocked. The next day I went back to see Dr. Wood.

He looked at me. Then ask to allow his colleague in. OF COURSE! I need help. They looked at me then looked at each other. I was listening as they discussed. The other doctor ask...have you had any muscle or joint pain. Yes. That's why I came in originally. More discussion between doctors. Then Dr. Wood looks at me and says you have..........psoriatic arthritis.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Next Chapter

If you an still reading...on to the next chapter of my journey.

After my wild experience at church, I cannot tell you how stressed I stayed. Some of you who are reading this may say really? Yes really. Only a few friends knew how stressed I was. I was constantly worried about passing out again. I worried because there was no specific medical reason lets give her some medicine, lets do this or that to prevent it from happening again. So panic, anxiety, whatever the word set in. I was afraid it would happen again in church, at school, driving, with friends. It was so nerve racking! Emotionally straining and draining.

For two weeks, it stayed this way.

Then something else began stressing me....pain in my shoulder blade on my right side. Oh my gracious. One morning I just woke up in pain. At first I thought I was sleeping wrong. Then maybe pleurisy. Except it starting getting worse. The pain was in my back, then it hit my shoulder. It was all I could do to get up. Take a ibuprofen. Get to work. Make it through the day. I began to believe that maybe I had hurt my back sometime during all my days of working out! I just thought the pain was bad. Looking back now the pain went from bad to worse to severe over night. I went from the pain in my back to pain from my head to my toes.

I had to pray every morning....Lord help me get out of bed today because if you don't I can't. I couldn't move my neck side to side. I could not raise my right arm. My legs were stiff. My feet hurt. It was the most horrible pain. I went from being able to workout like a 2o something young long to a person with years of wear and tear on their body.

I went to visit a local doctor. Actually I went more than one time and each and every time.....nothing. She could find nothing. She couldn't figure it out. I had x-rays done. I had lab work done. Exams. No answers!

The final straw....the nurse calls....we found nothing. Silence. Me...well? Nurse...hold on. Nurse....the doctor says we can refer you to an orthopedic doctor. OK thanks. are my doctor. You are letting me go and you cannot give me answer or the next step. Where do I go? What do I do? Why is this happening! I got so mad. My poor Mother. She got the kick of my meanness. I was so upset. I was crying. I knew something was wrong. So many thoughts went through my head. So many questions with no answers.

Let me catch you up where I was in my life.
spiritually......let down and desperate

It felt like my world was crashing down. My health had been stolen. My once carefree loving spirit gone. Sparkle gone. Spiritually there were so many questions.

Many days were filled with the struggle to just survive.

And the weight was starting to come more stress factor.

More to come......

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lyrics to Sing over your Children Matt Maher

I have listened to this song over and over again. It is number 3 on the Alive Again CD. This has been my go to song recently. I'm not even sure why. Something about the words heal and comfort my weariness.

I flirt with the world

It steals my love for You

My fear grips my faith

And I am left unmoved

Your gaze stops my heart
Your voice fills the dark

Your love is the spark that lights this life

So we rise

Out of the depths you cry

Come and be satisfied

Father, You sing

Father, You sing over Your children

You quiet the storm

Inside my shipwrecked soul

Your spirit will lead

It calls the wayward home

At the sound of Your name
Our sin is washed away

In Christ we're crucified
In You we die, in You we rise

Out of the depths you cry

Come and be satisfied

Father, You sing
Father, You sing over Your children

Let us see through Your eyes

We are Your great delight

Father You sing

Father, You sing over Your children

And we're singing along
Your daughters and sons

We're singing Your song

We are Your children

Out of the depths you cry
Come and be satisfied

Father, You sing

Father, You sing over Your children

gloom, despair, & agony!

On the the gloom, despair, and agony part of this story.....

Remember the three antibiotics, a shot, and a tooth pulled and four days later.

That Sunday morning, October 4th 2010, was no different than any other Sunday morning. I got up, sat in the recliner, probably checked my facebook, ate breakfast, raced to church to get to Sunday School because I was teaching the youth that morning. You know normal for me. I don't remember what I had for breakfast, what time I got up, or what my status was that day but I do remember what happened about 11:34 that morning.

I was in my usually spot. On the fourth pew sitting with my Pro-Zack and AJ. Usually I sit between them but this particular Sunday it was AJ, Pro, then me. On the other side of me was a cousin of one our youth. Her first time at EBC. Yep...first time! Song service. Fine. Offertory. Fine. Fellowship. Fine. Good special. Fine. Guest speaker was there that day. BR549 was there but not preaching. I remember paying attention to him. I could even remember some of the things he was saying. I could hear him. I see him. I see BR sitting there. And there's Prozack, AJ, Diana over there, Jeff, Brett, I see Billy and Suzonne. Wait something is not right. I see everyone but there is something wrong. My ears are making a strange noise. What's he saying? Huh? I can't hear....
Me...Zack. I think I'm going to pass out.
Me....Zack I think Im going to pass out.
Me...leaning heavily on Zack...
Zack...what do you want me to do?
Me...Get my momma(don't forget Im on fourth pew. Mother second pew from back)
Zack to AJ....LL is going to pass out.
Zack....LL is going to pass out get her mother.

Me sees AJ get up and walk.

Me to Pat(in front of me) I need help I'm going to pass out.

Me passing out in Zacks lap!

Side note.....Now Zack will not sit by me in church or at least he will not sit AJ, Zack, LL

LATER....Preacher still preaching.
ME....hollering and me. something is wrong. help me.
L!et me explain how I was feeling the second I came to. I was so desperate for help. I remember my eyes being wide open. Panicked. Scared. Helpless. I needed help. I knew something was wrong and it felt like no one was working fast enough to do anything. I also remembering looking into Hero's eyes and wanting him to do something. I was clinging to Jenn Mac begging her to help. Looking into the eyes of my friends, wanting them to do something but them so desperately doing all they could to just calm me and figure it out. BTW...911 had been called by this time. People were standing praying. The preacher had stopped preaching and was praying. Everyone who had been with me was suddenly gone and a whole new set of people were there. I had my own medical team surrounding me.

(Time out.,..... You know I really believe our life without Christ is like this situation. Desperate. Sinking. Needing help.)

After a few minutes with the help of this great team and the prayers of my church family, I was able to settle down. But then all I wanted to do was walk out the back door! I asked Hero but he wouldn't let me. He said I was not walking out. So they made me ride out in a rolling office chair. Now if the passing out was not embarrassing enough. Being wheeled out in a chair topped it off!

That day I took my first ride in the ambulance. 1. I had to go potty. 2. I did not want to the emt to get blood on my dress! He did good.

I was admitted. Watched over night. Ran test. Sent to cardiologist. Stress test.
Results.....nothing. NO idea what happened. Hasn't happened again. Praying it never does.

The doctors seem to think that my body had overload. With all the medicines and tooth my body just shut down. I passed out then I panicked because it scared me so bad. There was no pin point reason to say that it happened. Not blood pressure. Not blood sugar. No explanation.

This was what I feel was the beginning of the one of the most stressful times in my life....

Pictures from a great summer

Sioux Falls...Guitar Center...faking it!
Best World Changers Crew Ever! Shreveport
MY BUFFALO! Michelle!
Faith's First Day of Pre-k
World Changers Birmingham!

1 year 2 months!

One year and two months is how long it has been since I blogged. 1 year 2 months! So many things have changed in the last year and 2 months!

The year in review.......

I spent most May, June, and even July watching Pro-zack, AJ, Alyssa, and B.randy play coed softball and even some basketball. Watched Seth and Avery through regular season and All-stars. Avery's team went to Alexandria and took state with the 7 & 8 year old girls! Two World Changers trips in July....Shreveport and Birmingham. Then back to Sioux Falls for year 5 at the end of July! I was able to flllllyyyy to see Abs and Boom-daddy early. It was one of the best summers.
School was a mess! We had to pack up our classrooms and move to Southside. As you see from summer was crazy! So when I got back from SF(two days after school started!) I had to get very busy! My classroom along with Susie's and Gayla's was in the gym! Man was it a crazy chaotic time! But thanks to a great technology headed up by a great leader....we moved in a few hours into our rooms. friend Michelle threw me a birthday party! It was a surprise!
With school settled and life getting back into a routine, it was time to get off that extra 20 pounds I had put on over the summer. Yes 20 pounds! Considering I had lost 170, 20 pounds seemed like no big deal. But it was hard to get off. I tried getting back into it with no success.
I cannot remember when it started sometime around the time I started working out seriously in November of 2009. But I started having serious issues with my hair and scalp. It was thinning and I had the worse I thought. I went to the doctor. Medicines. Oils. Shampoos. NOTHING helped. I would go to my Sister-n-laws salon just to have them scrub my scalp. I even tried mouth wash. Yes I put Dr. Tichenor's on my raw scalp. Yes it hurt and burned. I was desperate. I also had an antibiotic.. Off and on until the about the end of September 2010 I did EVERYTHING. It was so bad and embarrassing. Writing about it now even bothers me. To understand how bad it was, someone saw it when I had it pulled up and thought I had burned my head. They were so upset. In October 2010, I went to the dermatologist. He said you have seborrheic dermatitis. Finally an answer and a shot of cortisone!
All about the same time.....about two weeks before all this.... my face started swelling. Yep an abscessed tooth. No pain just swelling. I looked terrible. Of course no one could tell but me and maybe my mother. Two antibiotics and a pulled tooth later, I was back on track. WAIT PUT ON THE BRAKES!
Let me catch you up....shot, 3 antibiotics, tooth pulled all in 2 and 1/2 weeks! Can I stressed!

Do I go on.....there's more gloom and despair and agony coming! I know I know I know but I have to tell you all of this to get you to where I am now in July 2011! More to come after I see if anyone is reading this blog again.......Next a great summer turns into a terrible fall.