2011 Update

Fast Forward . . . Life happened.

I have now had a total of 9 surgeries on my throat. One major where the “bad” scar tissue was removed. One minor post surgery to stretch the new scar tissue from the surgery.

I am now waiting for surgery #10 sceduled for April 1st. Yes, April Fools day. I am hoping to find a mannequin head to bring a long as an April Fools for my doctor. He has a good sense of humor.

The rest of the family is well. I can’t believe how they have grown.

T is 8 and doing 2nd grade work. I have the blessing/priveledge of beinb his teacher. It has been a challenge this year as I have been struggling to wrap my mind around Dyslexia. I am grateful for a dear friend who has guided me to some good curriculum.

C is coming into her own. She dresses herself and does a pretty good job most of the time. Skirts are almost a constant, but they must be worn with pants. She also enjoys helping in the kitchen with cooking and around the house with cleaning. Yeah!

Our newest addition is a Boston Terrier/ Pug, also known as a Bug, named Chewy. He joined our family just before New Year. He is a warm bundle that squirms with excitement when you get home. He loves to snuggle and even tolerates the mauling dished out by younger family members. He is a welcome addition.

Well that is all for now. I’ll add more as time permits.

Trusting God with tomorrow,
~Jennifer

Moving?

It has been a little over a week since we returned from our road trip to Idaho to see family.  We had a good time on the Salmon River with Trevor’s parents.  Then we ventured to Idaho Falls, Idaho to see my parents.  From there, we visited Yellowstone Park. 
 
Before this trip to Idaho, Trevor and I had been talking about moving.  We had been tenatively swaying that it would happen in a year or two.  Then Trevor found out that his obss was interviewing for another job while we are vacation.  This got him thinking that maybe now is the time that we are supposed to move.  While in Idaho Falls he called about several jobs, looked at property, and heard about other job opportunites that included going back to school.  On the drive home we decided to put the hosue on the market when we returned and see what doors God opens and what doors God closes. 
 
We have had several potential buyers come through, but no offers yet.  Trevor found work through a previous job contact and should have work if or until the house sells.  In the mean time, I am trying to get rid of all the extra, the stuff we don’t need to take with us when we move.
 
So we are sort of in limbo, trusting that God will lead us.  We’ll keep you posted.

Finally some answers

Today I went to a doctor that deals with digestion.  This is the most recent doctor’s apt., I’ve had in my journey to discover what has been going on with my health.  My past visits and procedures include an endoscopy, where they looked at my esophagus, stomach, and the beginning of my small intestine; and another visit to a different digestive doctor (I’m sure they have a more scientific name, but I don’t know what it is.), who discussed the results of my previous acid reflux test.  The final prognosis is that I have a hiatal hernia which allows the acid reflux which is causing my trachea stenosys (scar tissue).  To prevent the acid reflux, I can change my diet, eat 3 hours before laying down, and take a pill (Prilosec) twice day.
 
As I’ve said before, It is good to have some "answers."
 
I’ve also seen results since my diet change.  I’ve lost 15 lbs.   Of course I feel better and I like the way my clothes are fitting or not fitting.
 
I thought that I was over my miscarriage, but there are days when emotions get the best of me. 
 
Through all of this I have been looking to God for direction, strength, and support.  He has proven Himself faithful again and again.  Here are some verses that have really encouraged and directed me at this time.
 
Matt 7:7-11
7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
NIV
Phil 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
NIV
 
Rom 12:2-3
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
NIV
 
I see life as a journey.  I don’t have the answers or the map.  God does.  He is my guide and I need to look to Him and trust Him.  When I do this the journey may not be easier, but at least I know that I am following my God and not the lost world.

 

It’s not about me

Do you ever find that you are hung up on yourself?  I have really been struggling with this for a while.  Yeah, I’ve had it rough, but there are those out there who have it rougher.  When I had the flu, lost my third child, and went through a second surgery to correct a growth that shouldn’t be there, I was reading Safely Home  by Randy Alcorn.  It is about a Christian in China.  It is based on fact, but is fiction to protect those who face persecution daily.  When I think about it, I’ve got it pretty good.  I don’t face beatings or ridicule for my beliefs.  I don’t fear for my family.  I have it comfortable. 
 
This weekend again, I was faced with the choice to focus on myself or glorify Jesus, my risen Savior.  I’m sorry to say, that I failed.  I chose to focus on me.  After finding out that I was pregnant with my third child, I went through a cycle of emotions and finally acceptance, then joy.  I thought we were done.  I had wanted more, but my husband did not.  He had waited too long to get the procedure done and we both miscalculated with my cycle.  The pregnancy was God’s intervention.  Then in three weeks my world was turned upside down again.  Now it is Easter, Resurection Sunday, and my husband is at home recovering from his surgery.  He has been laying on the couch watching movies all weekend while I take the kiddos to Easter events and church.  I am constantly battling my emotions and frustration.  I have to forgive him and move on. 
 
I love him, and when we married, we agreed that we would work through it all.  We’ve faced a lot, but have remained united.  I am not going to let this end all that I have worked for.  I am in this for better or for worse.  I realize that it isn’t about me.  Today is about what Jesus did for me, for him, for humanity. 
 
The world was perfect.  Look it up in Genesis.  God put Adam and Eve in charge and then Adam and Eve chose to go against the one rule God made.  A rule He made to protect them.  Ever since then the world has been full of pain and suffering.  God promised that He would send a Savior.  You can follow His plan through Genesis with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and the nation of Israel.   Israel was supposed to bring God to the world, but being human they could not.  Someone perfect was needed.  The story follows Israel through kings and finally brings them to occupation by Rome.  This is when Jesus is born.  He lives a perfect life.  There are 4 accounts of His sinless life, given by men who gave their lives to proclaim what they believed to be true.  At the end of His life He is crucified on a cross.  The story doesn’t end there.  Three days later, Sunday, today, He rose again.  Jesus is alive now.  He conquered death.  He appeared to His disciples and many others.  Again the accounts are in the gospels.  Finally He left the earth so that He could send the Holy Spirit as a helper.  Those who accept His death as a sacrifice for their sins receive the Holy Spirit as a helper to get through life.  The Holy Spirit is kind of like your conscience but better.  He guides you toward Jesus.  He helps you become more like Him. 
 
It is the Holy Spirit who has been reminding me and helping me to forgive my husband and move beyond my hurt and frustration.  I have been blessed with two beautiful children and there will always be children in my life who will need my love.  They don’t have to come from me to receive my love.  I can love them regardless.  Then why is this so hard?  I believe it is because God is still working on me.  I have not arrived.  I am so glad that it isn’t up to me to earn my way to heaven, because I wouldn’t make it. 
 
Jesus, thank you.  To you be the Glory.  Please continue to change my heart and make me more like You.

Not Food Allergies

So I went to an allergy doctor today and had allergy testing done.  I tested for wheat, milk, potatoes, corn, and eggs.  My results showed that I was not allergic in the slightest to any of them.  I discussed this with the doctor and he said that the skin prick test was more accurate than blood testing.  He did however say that I might have a food intolerance.  He told me to weigh what I have been told and what the results showed and then make my decisions based upon what I have experienced and have facts for. 
 
Good advice, but frustrating none the less.
 
This hasn’t been a completely fruitless venture.  I feel healthier and can now relate to those who truly do have food allergies/intolerances.  I think I will stick to my diet and continue to focus on losing weight. 
 
I still have some more doctor’s apt.s  so I might still learn something new.
 
On a happier note.  Clara cut her first tooth yesterday.  She isn’t too happy about it.  She has had a fever and has been very cuddly.  Momma is enjoying it.  She is usually a very active, don’t hold me type of girl.  I’m sure she will be herself again soon.

Food Allergies

In my quest to find out what is going on with my throat, I visited a naturoapth.  He suggested that I might be allergic to milk and wheat.  For the month of February I have been primarily milk, wheat, peanut, oat and processed meat free.  (The other foods have been included either because they are similar to milk or wheat in composition, or because they are a common allergen.)  Since I didn’t think I was allergic to foods before this, I was never aware of how many things these items are in.  I am getting better at reading food labels and coming up with meals that are free of these items.  I am beginning to suspect that I am allergic to other foods as well.  I am now also removing eggs and corn.  I’ve been reading books from the library and getting information from groups on the internet.  It is amazing how a diet effects you.
 
My health is a good motivtor.  Another motivator is the testimony of my friend.  Before I knew her, she discovered that she was allergic to corn.  After removing it from her diet she went from a size 12 to a 2.  Many of you know that I am not necessarily happy with my current weight.  I’ve been trying to lose it for several years now.  I thought that I was eating healthy.  I don’t usually eat a lot of fatty foods, and I don’t overeat or eat out very often.  I also used to Jazzercise 3-4 times a week for a year and a half.  I saw some weight loss, but not a lot.  I am back down to the where I was before I was pregnant with Clara, so I am happy about that.  I have also recently joined the local Y and am starting to work some exercise back into my schedule. 
 
Yesterday, I went to a family doctor who gave me a referral to an allergist.  Hopefully they will be able to help me in my quest to discover what I am allergic to. 
 
I’ll keep you posted on my progress. 

Life hit hard

Wow, did all that I went through, really just happen?
 
Looking back now, I am doing ok, but when I was going through it all, it was miserable.  Let me fill you in.
 
Jan. 22 ~ I went to see my pullmonary specialist about my throat.  He wanted to schedule a CT scan for the following Thursday and then determine the next course of action for my throat. 
 
Jan. 23 ~ I took a pregnancy test because I was late.  I knew I had to make sure I wasn’t pregnant before I took the CT scan.  Surprise, surprise, I’m pregnant.  #3 is on the way.
 
Jan. 28 ~ I went to a homeopathic Dr. who thinks I might be allergic to milk and wheat.  He has suggested that I ellminate: dairy, wheat, oats, peanuts, and processed meats.  He believes this will help me lose weight and stop the growth of the tissue in my throat.
 
Jan. 31 ~ Trevor stays home because he isn’t feeling well.  He sleeps all day.
 
Feb. 2 ~ Thomas has a fever.   Clara has a runny nose.  We stay home from church the following day.
 
Feb. 4 ~ I’m sick.  I start coughing and can’t catch my breath.  We drop the sick kids off at our friend’s the Imes and take me to Urgent Care.  They send me in an ambulance to ER.  I have a virus.  ER sends me home because I have a bronchoscopy scheduled for the following day.  I sleep in the kids’ room with where the humidifier is.  All of us are up throughout the night.
 
Feb. 5 ~ Bronchoscopy goes well.  PreOp scheduled for the following day.  Surgery scheduled for FEb. 11.  I’m spotting.  Kids are sick.  We take them to their Dr.  She says they are handling the sickness well.  Keep them hydrated.  I call my Dr. to get a referral to an OBGYN about my spotting.  Her secretary tells me to go to Urgent Care.  We stop at the one in Port Orchard, and they tell me to go to ER.  I decide to skip the hassel and go home.  The kids aren’t feeling well, and I’m exhausted.  My fever spikes to 106 around 5pm.  We get it down to 101 by 7pm.
 
Feb. 6 ~ PreOp was just a chat with the anesthesiologist.  We go to the Urgent Care in Gig Harbor and explain that I have probably miscarried.  I need to confirm this because of my surgery on Mon.  They are much more understanding.  They get me into an OBGYN who does an ultrasound. 
 
Feb. 7 ~ Trevor returns to work.  My morning body temp is 97.6 meaning that I am no longer incubating an egg.  I have an apt. with an OBGYN.  He confirms that I have most likely miscarried, schedules blood draws for today and the next day.  I just want to go home and heal.  I don’t want to be poked.
 
Feb. 11 ~ I fast all day and go in at 11am for surgery.  I wait forever and finally go in for surgery at 2pm.  Surgery goes well but recovery takes forever.  The hospital is understaffed and it takes forever to get me out.  I finally make it home around 7pm. 
 
Feb. 12 ~ I go to the Y to let Thomas play and get some exercise.  Walking around the track is easy with an open airway.
 
Feb. 19 ~ I go in for a PH study (acid reflux).  They said this was going to be easy.  It was not.  The first part involves putting a tube through my nose down the back of my throat into my stomach.  Then the RN measures my muscle strength as I swollow liquid and jelly.  He does this and different positions throughout my throat.  This tube is not small and this is not pleasant.  Once this part is done, he removes the tube and puts another tube in.  This tube is 3x smaller, but it stays in all day and night attached to a computer that I get to wear.  I have to eat one full meal and record when I cough or lie down by pressing buttons.  This is not a pleasant experience.  I am miserable.  I am constantly trying to ignore the unpleasant feeling and the awkwardness of the tube and computer.  The kiddos are fortunately understanding and helpful.
 
Feb. 20 ~ I arrive at the PH study office when they open so I can have the tube removed asap.  I don’t think that I refluxed during the test.  I am still waiting for results.
 
Feb. 22 ~ I go to my homeopathic doctor again.  Now that I am no longer pregnant, he is able to give me an herbal remedy to help reduce the build up of mucous in my system.  He is encouraged by the look of my skin and believes that the change in diet is doing good.
 
Today Feb. 24 ~ The sun is shining, church was encouraging, the kids are good.  We work in the garden and all is well.  Looking back on it all, I know that God was/is there.  He never left my side.  He hurt with me when I lost the baby and He welcomed the little one with open arms.  One day I will get to meet him/her.  Life goes on and I have two little blessings already in my care.  God is good.  He didn’t promise life would be easy.  He promised He would be there.  For that I am thankful.
 
 
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