Mother’s Day Blessings

It wasn’t that many years ago when Mother’s Day was filled with homemade cards from the boys and tiny plants they brought me from Sunday School.  Not a person in this family has the “gift giving” love language, so no one goes to great lengths, unless it is Christmas.   That’s fine.  I’ve seen the hurt it causes when there is an unequal yoking amongst the love languages, especially gift giving.


Last year, I was struggling after my back surgery.  I’m so glad that is behind me.  I don’t remember that Mother’s Day.  In fact, I don’t remember a lot of what happened in the weeks following my surgery.  Blessed be the name of the Lord!


This year, I’m still weak, but not because of my back.  I AM, in fact, getting better….from my newly diagnosed diabetes.  The word is out on the fibromyalgia, since the new medication I’ve been taking is causing some side effects that make me exhausted and lethargic.  Much of the energy I had regained is gone again.  I am weaning myself off that drug, which has done WONDERS for my pain level.  I just can’t handle the way it makes me feel.  Very frustrating, indeed.


Both the boys are in college now….Andrew still at home and I’m so thankful for that.  He has grown by leaps and bounds this year…thankfully, not physically.  6 foot, 4 inches is big enough!  He has become much more independent and has developed a circle of friends in the members of his Campus Crusuade for Christ Bible study members.  He went into it, feeling a bit like an outsider, since all the other members live at one dorm on campus, but I feel like much of that is dissolving.  He respects his leaders and have developed some friendships within the group.  He is going to miss this this summer as many of them will go back “home” and not be in Raleigh.

He strongly desires to get a job, but so far that has not been possible.  Even in highschool, his physical limitation have made it impossible.  He is trying to get a job on campus this summer, but knows that our first priority for him is to work hard at the physical therapy that he has been given to strengthen his body.  He has loved swimming this past semester and will continue that three times a week.  His PT also wants him to go to the gym for some specific exercises 2-3 times a week.  That is more important to me than a job.   He is not lazy.  He was fretting this morning at his low funds because of Mother’s Day.  I told him what I really wanted, which was help with planting things on the deck that is hard for ME.  Initially he thought that was lame, but when I expressed how much is means to me to watch those things grow, bloom and bear fruit….maybe he got it.  It will be a rich blessing for me…not only to have the help, but to have the time to spend with him here.  He’s gone much more now that he has outside friends.  I’m ok with that, but I’m feeling the emptiness of my nest.  At least it’s gradual.


Samuel isn’t here much these days.  He is busy with school at NC State…only one year left!!  He is so excited.  I wasn’t sure I’d see him today, but I was so blessed when he came into my bedroom and wrapped his arms around me.  I looked up and saw the straggly hairs on his chin first thing.  He’d had a haircut.  It looked cool.  He’s preparing for his internship this summer with the Asheboro  Copperheads, a minor league baseball team about an hour or so away.  I’m going to miss knowing that he is only 10 minutes down the road.  I mean, he’s gone to Alaska for a whole summer before!  But this feels different.  I think because it is the last summer before he graduates college.


Kenny was taking a nap this afternoon; meanwhile the boys and I were in the family room talking about their “childhoods.”  I put that in quotes because they are still my children, but they are not “children.”  You know what I mean?  We laughed about temper tantrums, sibling caused concussions,  and swing sets with forts.  We remembered the night of Hurricane Fran, camping out in the family room eating Cheezits and listening to trees fall around the house.  I can still look outside my back door, in the winter when the leave are not obscuring my view, and see “The Leaning Over Tree.”  That was a gift from Fran where one huge tree fell over, only to land in a bifurcation of a nearby tree that prevented it’s complete collapse.   Who needed  monkey bars when you had a Leaning Over Tree!  I can still picture the boys climbing that thing…straddling it and hanging on.   I wonder if my future grandchildren will climb it one day?


Samuel and I chatted a lot about his internship and possibilities for jobs after graduation.  I see a young man who is ready to spread his wings.  Part of me would like to clip those wings, but at the same time, there is no way I would.  I don’t know what the future holds for Samuel.  I just know that as long as he seeks God’s direction and follows it, I will be happy and blessed.  That is all I want for him, and for Andrew.  I don’t want them running home to me.  I want them running to their FATHER…..their Heavenly Father.   I want to watch them, whether up close, or far away, willing to deny themselves and follow Him.  I want to see them go against the grain, walk into the wind, swim upstream….in a direction that is contrary to the enemy and the ways of the world.  I want their faces to be seeking HIS face, and no other.


I don’t need a gift for Mother’s Day.   THAT is all the gift I will ever need.    I am a blessed woman, indeed.

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The Beginning of a Busy Week

After a couple weeks with very few appointments, this week will be much busier.  To most people, having two doctor appointments in a drop in the bucket.  Their kids are still little and they are constantly doing the homeschool taxi thing.  If my ill health could come at a good time in my life, I think it did.  Both the boys are on their own, even though one still lives at home.  He doesn’t need much from me though.  I can sleep in on those mornings when the night before was wrought with pain and restless legs.  I can nap anytime I want or need to do so.  The house may LOOK like it is crumbling at my feet, but that’s only the laundry.  At least it’s clean!  If you want a clean towel, it’s on the couch!  Take your pick!


I go see my regular doc tomorrow, and I really hope they do some blood work.  It hasn’t quite been three months since I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, so they might not want to do an A1C yet.  We will see.  I’m anxious to see my BP reading, since it seems to be creeping up.  I’ve not upped my meds in several years, so it might be time.  He’ll be glad to know that I am down 10 lbs though!!  I can’t take much credit, when my diabetes meds make me want to hurl at the sight of most foods.  But regardless, it’s going down.


Thursday I go back to the endocrinologist office.  I see the assistant, I think.  I’m hoping I can keep taking this Victoza and that the side effect will continue to lessen.  They are slightly better in the last 24 hours, but supposedly, my dose isn’t even theraputic yet.  LOL!  I had a fasting BS of 107 this morning.  That’s pretty good to me!!  I have found that the mornings after those really rough nights where I’m wrestling myself to fall asleep, my BS is much higher.  Yesterday’s was 155.  It’s amazing what the stress can do to the chemicals in the body.


I am pleased to report that my pain is much better.  The bad news is that it might be due to this new med that I think is causing my tremors and rapid heart beat.  Figures.


I’m ready to feel normal again!  …..maybe I should say, I’m ready to feel BETTER than normal!!  LOL

It’s Been Almost a Year

It’s  Been Almost a Year…

Since my back surgery.  And, boy, what a year it has been.    When people mention Cinco de Mayo, my mind goes to a totally different place than that of most people, unfortunately.  But, I must say, I am not in that kind of pain any longer, so that is good.


Since my last post, there are some new things happening….some good and some not-so-good.  The GOOD is that my blood sugars are coming down nicely.  I’m still on the Metformin, now 1000 mg twice a day.  I’m also taking Victoza, which is a daily injection, that helps the BS come down even more.  It makes me feel quite queasy though, and I’m still praying that THAT will go away.  If it doesn’t, we will be trying another med.  I feel about as bad as I did before getting diagnosed and that kind of defeats the purposed, to me at least.  So the side effects, that would be the not-so-good.


That respite I had for a few weeks has made it quite difficult to be content where I find myself this week.  I want to plant veggies in my pots on the deck.  I want to go for a long walk.  I want to cook a dinner that takes more than just a few steps.  I want to open the refrigerator and not feel like gagging at every option before me.  I want to FEEL like going out with my friends for lunch!!!  I went out a couple days ago and so enjoyed the fellowship with my friend, Marcia, but I felt like a dog, especially after getting home.


I also want to come here and feel like I have more to say than commenting on my physical condition.  I’m going to really try to blog more and dig deeper into myself and see what might be worth writing about.  I am so blessed and I need to make myself share those blessings with others.

God’s Perfect Timing…Health Update

God’s Perfect Timing…Health Update

Boy!  Lots of changes in my life since my last post.

I have been continuing with physical therapy and have been quite pleased with Sports and More Physical Therapy.  They are not affiliated with any particular physician’s office and I like that.  They don’t have to worry with being loyal to anyone but the patient.  Works for me!  The aquatic therapy has been quite soothing and my strength is increasing in my core.

In February I was diagnosed with hypopnea, which is a form of sleep apnea.  It is when there is a partial obstruction in the airway but the oxygen level consistently drop.  I now have a C-pap machine, which is not my favorite thing in the world, but I do think I’m getting deeper sleep.  I thought it would make a huge difference in the exhaustion I felt all day, and the need to sleep till noon many days, but it didn’t.

About a month ago I was at a place in PT that I felt I was hitting a wall.  The exercises I had been doing were exhausting me when I did them and I was unable to keep progressing to more difficult levels.  I also noticed that I was loosing weight.  Normally I would say, GREAT, but I was not trying.  I lost 7 lbs in two weeks.  I was also detecting a weird taste in my mouth at times.  And like I said, the exhaustion was all consuming.

I asked my dad to come by the next morning with his blood glucose monitor.  I had a suspicion.  I was right.  My fasting blood sugar was 339.  I had/have Type II Diabetes.  The doctor said with the double whammy of heredity and sedentary lifestyle due to my other issues, I didn’t have much of a chance.

I changed my diet right away, even before all my other labwork was back.  Within a week I was feeling better.  My AIC was 11.2, which is pretty bad.  Triglicerides through the roof.  Anyway, rather than go into all the details, suffice it to say there were lots of changes to be made.

I have been working with Jude Carr, the PA with Carolina Family Practice and Sports Medicine.  He has been AWESOME to work with.  He is a young guy, patient with me and explains things so well to me.   It looks like my blood sugar hasn’t been checked since 2007.  If I let myself “go there” in my mind, with all the other blood work I’ve had to determine what was wrong with me, I could get pretty upset about why this wasn’t found before now.  But God’s timing is perfect and I know it’s best to just accept what the Lord has allowed into my life.  So when I go there, I shoo myself back out of there!

My blood sugars are coming down, with my diet changes and with Metformin 500 mg twice a day.  Jude thinks I might need insulin as well, but I’m hoping that won’t be the case.  I also see an endocrinologist in a couple weeks, one I am familiar with and was glad to see him added to my health care team.    I have been back to church, on Sunday mornings only, for two weeks in a row!  I have felt soooooo much better.  It is unbelievable!  I don’t spend 90% of my day in bed any longer.  I SLEEP in my bed.  I might occasionally lay down to rest my back, but it is not home base like it was.  I still have a ways to go with increasing my strength, but I am progressing well with PT, now that we figured out what that wall was that I kept hitting.

I never thought I’d be happy to have diabetes, but honestly, I AM!!

A Couple of My Favorite Gluten Free Soups


A Couple of My Favorite Gluten Free Soups


Last week when the weather here in NC was so bitterly cold,  we chowed down on a couple new soup recipes.  I thought I’d pool several of my favorite soup recipes in one post and share them with you.  I’ll post the recipe as I originally received it and put my changes in red, in case you want to share it with someone who can still use the gluten version.

Cheesburger Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (I left this out…we don’t do celery)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (white rice flour)
  • 2 cups cubed Cheddar cheese (I used shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Directions

  1. In a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine over medium heat: cook and stir vegetables and beef , until beef is brown.
  2. Stir in basil and parsley. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Melt the remainder of butter in a saucepan and stir in flour. Add the milk, stirring until smooth on low heat.
  4. Gradually add milk mixture to the soup, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Stir in cheese. When cheese is melted, add sour cream and heat through. Do not boil.

Let me say…this was GOOD soup.  I doubled the recipe so I can also say that it freezes well.   I originally left the sour creme out and my family loved it, but I personally added it to my bowl and it REALLY enhanced the flavor.


Delicious “Virus Killing Soup”

Friends of mine shared this recipe with me when cold and flu season began.  I didn’t think much about it till we started getting some cold symptoms so wanted to give it a try.  I thought it was going to taste nasty, but to my surprise, it was awesome!  Now I make it just because we love it.   The orginal sourse was a blog called “Eat At Home.” I”ll post the recipe as I make it.

Ingredients

  • the meat from one whole chicken
  • 1-1 1/2 bulbs of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • cayenne pepper, about 1 tsp.
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 boxes gluten free chicken broth
I begin by using boneless chicken to the equivilent to one whole chicken.    Add the other ingredients listed above.  I usually eyeball it, but occasionally will add water to have more broth.   Start by bringing this to a boil and then down to a simmer while the chicken begins to cook.

At this point add the vegetables…
  • sliced carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped  (I omitted)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb (I omitted)
  • 1/2 cup white wine, optional
  • 1-2 cans diced tomatoes
After adding the vegetables, I usually scoop out the chicken, chop it up, and then add it back to the pot.  Cover and allow the  ingredients in the pot to simmer for an hour or longer if you desire.   You may need to add water as it cooks down.    Don’t worry about the tons of garlic or the cayenne.  It is not overwhelming with garlic flavor and the cayenne warms it up and opens your sinuses but it not “spicy hot” at all.  Enjoy!


A New Decade is Upon Us

A New Decade is Upon Us


January 1st, 2010!  When I was a kid I could never fathom years that began with a “2.”  Just seemed to futuristic to me, like a Sci-Fi movie or something.  But God has allow us to enter into the year 2010 and it is our responsibility to honor Him in each and every day of it.  I pray I look more like Him at the end of this year than I did at the end of the last one.

Many of my friends started their “read the Bible through in a year” plans today.  I honestly wasn’t planning to start one because I’ve always failed to complete it in the past.  I don’t enjoy reading.  I know, sounds awful, but it’s true.  There are certain books that will grab me from the get go and I’m in there for the long haul, but in general, I am NOT a bibliovore.  But I know I am missing so much by not committing to this exercise in diligence.

As I was looking at plans and talking with Andrew, he suggested I go to Bible Gateway and check out the auditory Bible readings.  So I did and I absolutely LOVE listening to Max McLean read from the scriptures.  Since my fibromyalgia has taken on a life of itself, reading has become increasingly difficult.  Well, I should say that it is the comprehending and focusing that is difficult.  I can read something four times and not be able to tell you what I read.  But I decided that I would follow a chronological plan, which makes more sense to my brain, and listen to it online while following along in my Bible.  I loved it tonight!  Andrew was in the room with me and we even discussed some of what we read.  It was neat.

Anyway, whether you commit to reading the Bible through in a year or not, we desperately need to be IN the Word daily.  Please prayerfully consider it if you have not.  I have failed so much this last year and my spiritual walk proves it.  I need His healing power, not only in my body, but in my spirit.

Blessings to you as you begin the New Year!!!

An Alternative to the Everyday Meatball

An Alternative to the Everyday Meatball


Our family really enjoys going to Carrabba’s to eat as it is one place where I feel like they actually CARE about gluten-free customers.  Not that no mistakes are made, but rest assured, the manager is all over those guys like white on rice when they don’t use a fresh bowl to mix my salad and a lone crouton makes it’s way into my salad.

Anyway, I got this idea from what Andrew orders just about every time we go.  He gets spaghetti, something Samuel and I cannot have there,  because the pasta is wheat pasta.  But it looks goooooood!  It comes with two rather large Italian sausages on top of this huge bowl of spaghetti.  That part looks a little weird, but that’s just me cuz I live in the country and have nothing but men in my house.  The sausages just look a little…uh…like something your pet would leave behind.  OK, ok….doesn’t sound like something you’d wanna eat, right?  Well, Italian sausage is GOOD.  So, what I did at home was cook the sausages on the grill (you could probably just use a frying pan) and then cut them in slices when they were cooked through.  I then added the sausage slices to my pasta sauce and let it simmer a bit.  Yummo!  Really nice change of pace  and much easier than making your own meatballs, that’s for sure!!

Guess what’s for dinner tonight!?