Saturday, February 9, 2013

happy birthday doug

Today is Doug's birthday. I am now married to a 60 year old man. I wouldn't have it any other way. I met him when I was 18 years old. He was my boss. He was the best nurse I'd ever met.  I learned so much about real patient care from watching and assisting him. I am so lucky that he fell in love with me, married me, and wanted a large family just like I did.  He has supported me in the way I thought it was right to raise babies and breastfeeding as long as I thought it should be done. He supported me in all my career choices. Any time I have been sick, or had surgery, he has taken care of me like no one else could have. He has always had a work ethic that meant he knew he had to work, knew the kids needed a parent, and adjusted as he needed to.
Is he perfect--no way!  Still smokes, still knows I hate that he does.  Still knows the thought of being without him scares me to death and when he smokes that's all I think of.  Still knows he needs to loose wt and exercise.  Still cusses more than I like. Still gets impatient. But if he was perfect, then I'd look really bad.

Loved him then, love him still, always have, always will.

Wishing my back was healing faster.  Pain and asking for help are not things that go well with me. I hate taking drugs, they make me drowsy for days. My blood sugar is still wacky from taking steroids.  I am going to just give in and go see and endocrinologist and start all over. The one I have now is just not what i need.
Teenage drama, again.  You'd think I'd be an old hand and it wouldn't bother me as much.  I love each one of my children so much.  The pain they can cause me is so intense. But I decided long ago, I'd never give up on any of my children, no matter what. I give them up to God every night.  I know i have know no real control over anything.
Stopping the worrying is the hard part. I know the Bible says it over and over that we shouldn't worry.  That is one of my struggles. And just like God, he gave me a nudge yesterday, on facebook with the scripture I needed.

Monday, February 4, 2013

God's Timing

When you can see the results of God's Plan, it makes it easy to be a believer.  When you don't see it, it causes doubt and challenges your faith.
I hurt my back at work on August 27th.  I been a nurse for 30 years this year.  I worked in hospitals 3 years prior to that.  I have pushed and pulled and lifted and been lucky, until now.  What appeared to be muscular kept getting worse and worse instead of healing.  I tried to do the physical therapy, and give my back the time needed to heal, but it didn't work.  During this time we had a wedding and a baby on the way, no not me, my daughter.  I was also trying to start back to school.  Needless to say the decrease in income because of my missing work due to my injury made paying for school impossible.

The process I went through with workers compensation was unreal.  Everyone has their specific job, but few knew what the next step for me would be.  Frustration was daily.  Work was and is busy daily.  To have someone down as a nurse, but yet cant work as a nurse is hard on everyone.  I tried to do as much as I could daily, but it wasn't what I would have been able to do as a full person instead of an injured nurse. My feelings would be hurt by overheard remarks about what could be done with me.

During all this life went on for the rest of the world.  Mine had stopped, but only for me.  My niece, Brittany, had her water break 6 weeks early.  She really was scared, as any mom would be, and wanted me with her.  I was blessed to be there when her sweet Tucker was born.  I felt really valuable to be able to be there and know she appreciated my knowledge and that she felt more secure knowing I was there.
It also felt like going home.  She had the baby at a hospital I worked at for 20 years.  Seeing familiar staff and doctors, her nurse grew up with my children.  It all felt good.  A job was open that could have worked for me.  But, because of my injury, I wasn't free to even consider changing jobs.

After my 90 days post-injury, I was to be cured and go back to work, or not work.  Finally the doctor ordered an MRI.  The next week I saw a surgeon.  I did not want surgery.  Most back surgery, that I have been aware of, have not worked well.  I had to choose a surgeon from a list in about 10 min.  None of which were at my hospital, none of which I had heard of ever before.

When we met my surgeon it was very clear what needed to be done.  Surgery was scheduled the following week.  During all this time my grandbaby had been growing well.  My daughter was healthy, and I loved feeling the baby kick.

The first week after surgery I barely remember.  The muscle spasms were so intense.  My meds were increased and so did the stories I told!  I went for a follow-up test because of my pain blut we weren't abe to do it because I couldn't lie on my back.  An alternate test showed no problems.  Solution was steroids which means insulin for me.

The night after my test my mother had a car wreck.  She was trapped upside down, in the seat belt.  She ended up with 3fractured vertebrae.  My daughter went to see her.  On the way out she tripped, didn't really fall hard, but fell.  She traveled back to my home to ask me what to do.  I sent her to labor and delivery/triage where she ended up staying for 4 days, and getting steroid shots.  She was only 30 weeks pregnant.  I was terrified.  Because of my career, I knew the consequences of babies this early.
It was so hard to have spent my entire career taking care of patients in her exact situation and yet not be able to take care of my own daughter, or even be up there with her. 
I couldn't visit my mother, or my daughter, or take care of myself.  Agony!

Fortunately after 4 days she was discharged on bed rest.   Mean while I am working on being able to get up and go to the bathroom by myself, and keeping my blood sugar below 300!

On Dec 31st I got the second call of the year, first my niece, now my daughter.  Her water had broken prematurely. Again total helplessness.  It is the only part of medicine in which I am an expert, (as far as nursing goes), and yet I am unable to do anything. The labor did not progress for the first few days but on day 4 full blown labor.  Baby Asher was born at 33. 6 weeks.
He went to the NICU, but never had oxygen and only had IV's for a few days.
I worked NICU before I ever worked labor and delivery.  Then over the years I worked it a different times until I decided I really wasn't comfortable in there "occasionally". 
He ended up having to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks.  Man, I have 6 kids, did the whole no sleep thing, but it is way worse when its your child.  Amber was so strong.  She stayed with him all except one night.  She was there for every feeding, every 3 hours.  By the time she fed him, pumped, ate, she barely had time to close her eyes before starting again.  And of course you know you get soooo much sleep being in the hospital.
Because I was off from my surgery I was able to go and visit and help her as much as I could.  Not gonna lie, the days were painful.  But this is where the "plan" comes together.
IF I hadn't hurt my back, IF the treatments hadn't progressed exactly as they did, IF my surgery hadn't been done when it was, IF she hadn't fallen, and gotten the steroids when she did, IF he had been born earlier, or later, then I wouldn't have been available to help.  IF I had already gone back to work I wouldn't have had the days off the help her.  IF I hadn't already had the surgery, I couldn't have helped her. 
Could she have survived without my help, of course.   But breastfeeding was very important to her.  I was able to help her quite a bit in that area. My comfort level with premies helped calm her and help her gain confidence.
I in no way claim to know God's plan for myself or anyone else.  I have many questions and fail to see how his plan has worked in some other heartbreaking areas of my life. But sometimes, I think he gives me a peak.  I am blessed.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

how we are all dealing with life after our loses

The past few weeks have brought back many memories of loved ones we've lost.  I still haven't been able to write part 2 of Ashley and Nicks story, so this will probably be as far as I get.

Most know that Nick was a very confident, young man. Sarcastic, stubborn, well you get the idea.  But he grew on us.My daughter loved him, and so we accepted him.  He was the oldest of 3 boys.  And from the stories I've heard those boys had some huge knock down drag out fights. But I also heard about how they had each others back, no mater what.  He got to know many of Andrew's friends and they became the siblings he could pick on.  My daughters became the sisters he never had.  My grandparents became another source of family for him.  He was even kind to my uncle Buddy.  My nephew Cory became very close to him because they both could relate to being bigger than most of us.  He even had 2 of my daughters live with him and Ashley.  He offered them help in ways no one else could have.  And they squabbled like siblings.   As he dealt with his pain and frustrations he offered to set Ashley free so she could have a better life.  Of course we don't abandon those that need us, we just stick closer.
He had a special relationship with Andrew's friends.  They all loved picking on him and he gave it right back.  I can't remember all their nick names, one was "the blond one", that didn't have blond hair. The boys showed their love by making a special facebook page just for him to be picked on.  
I don't know when it started, but somewhere in all this, he would end conversations with ,'I love you".  Then the boys started telling each other the same thing.
When Nick died it was awful.  It was so hard for everyone.  Ashley was a widow after only 7 months of marriage.  Stephanie lived with them at the time and lost a big brother.  Nick's family lost someone that had been special in many different ways to them.  During the funeral so many came and told us how Nick had helped them in one way or another.Nick's home health patients called to check on him and were devastated to learn he would never be back to take care of them. They had known, and often had called him on his days off and he would go and check on them.
My niece Sydney and Nick had a running joke that a very small closet in the house was her bedroom.  For some reason they had a pancake sausage joke between them.
He'd tried cutting trees, and had to have my dad come and fix a couple of those disasters.  He'd taken some sleeping pills one night and now one wall of the house has the time theory forever drawn on the wall.  
All those things kept running through our minds after the loss of one we'd had for such a short while.
The boys were devastated .Loosing any one as a teenager is rough.  They each wanted to do something and  if they had been asked they would have dug the grave or built the casket.  They were hurting.  It was the closest poor Andrew had to a big  brother.  Several went to Pulaski and stayed with us for visitation and the funeral, and then back for family volleyball a few weeks later.  Even know we talk about him and you can see the hurt in their eyes.
Ashley has been one of the strongest people I know through it all. We all have strong faith in God.  She has definitely been a testimony to faith.  She will admit, she hasn't been happy with God.  But feels she was meant to be with Nick, to take care of him when he needed it, and probably the only one that could deal with him when in pain and not being very nice.
We miss you Nick. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The roads traveled.

pulling weeds gives you a lot of time to think.  Something I think many of us don't have.  We fill our lives with things to be busy.  Either a TV on or music on or just being on the computer.  Since my 30th wedding anniversary is in 2 more days, my past was on my mind.

  Basically I think I was lonely most of my life. I grew up way out in the country.  I remember when we had tv and telephones, and when we didn't.  They weren't expected to be there but nice when they were.  I had 2 younger brothers that I played with for hours, outside.  No air conditioning. No central heat. No indoor bathroom. I remember walking a mile or more if we needed to call someone.  I remember phone party lines and having to wait on the other person to get off the phone.

Our lives revolved around farming. I have said many times, the best thing my parents did, as parents, was keeping us with them.  We played while they worked, until we were old enough to help.  I have great memories of the songs my dad sang to us. Silly songs, country songs, and even donald duck voices.

 I remember holidays, not specific presents, but the presence of family.   Open presents at our house, go to my grandmothers, then my Mamma and daddy Lynn's.  Not to get presents everywhere, but to be with family.

In the mention on loneliness I need to add I was the only girl grandchild for many years.  My playmates were either my brothers or male cousins. Many times I was labeled the outcast because of being a girl.  I don't remember being lonely then, it was just the way it was.

I switched schools in the 5th grade due to my parents divorce. I remember being late a lot because I didn't like the buses driving by while I walked.  I guess going early never occurred to me. I became life long friends with one of my cousins that year, David Sorrell.  I knew I had cousins, but don't really remember being aware of anyone outside of first cousins.

Having an outhouse was normal for most of our neighbors.  It was an inconvenience, but didn't bother me until I started into junior high. I met my bff, Robin Gallaher.  When I spent the night at her home I discovered a whole new world.  I became aware of how truly poor we were. I only had a few friends that really saw our home.  Only those that had my trust.  Robin has never betrayed that trust.

When I first had my "period" was a time that now I realize how alone I was.  My mother had many other things going on at that time.  I don't remember even telling her about it.  My guess is my laundry gave it away.  My grandmother was sent to the store for me.  My grandmother did not even tell my mother ,when she was young, that this would happen to her.  My poor mom thought she was dying.  You can imagine how she must have been embarrassed having to shop for me. She came back with the dreaded big ole pads and a belt to hold them in place.  I doubt they are even made anymore. I was not bold enough to ask anyone to shop for me.  I used lots of rolled up toilet paper.  I think Robin probably supplied me more than anyone.  Until I was old enough to drive and shop for myself it was not a fun thing each month
When I had daughters becoming that age I was nursing their siblings.  I would wonder if the lack of me modeling the behavior would be negative for them.  I think having young aunts helped some.  I think also since my career has been with pregnancy my girls weren't shy about discussing most things.  I hope that none of them remember it as traumatic.

I remember wearing bras until they were gray and dingy.  Once, after I'd been to the doctor, and he saw my mother at work.  He told my mother she had better buy me some better bras or I'd be sagging to my navel before I was 20.  Prior to that I wasn't even aware it was a bad bra, or that other people had one for every day.  Another thing I tried to make sure my daughters had, enough bras.

Both of my grandparents had roots in churches.  My parents not so much.  Because farm life was not always fun, school and church were both breaks for us.  I don't ever remember our parents telling us we couldn't go to church.  I am very thankful for those that invited us to churches, to vbs, or church activities like skating.  The Daniels family came and got us for many, many Sundays.  I don't think the church had electricity.  I know it had an outdoor bathroom.  But what I remember the most is a family that came one Sunday to sing.  The youngest of the family especially stood out.  When it came time to sing "I saw the light", he would stand taller and sing louder than anyone else.  His love for the song and his joy shined out of his entire body.  I visited many denominations.  I have no idea what that small country church's affiliation was, but loving God is all I remember.

I dated in school.  Even though I was poor, didn't have a wardrobe like others, I guess I wasn't ugly.  When I was 15 I was able to get a job and could buy myself some clothes.  By then we had one bathroom in the house so I was also much cleaner.  I dated but even though I thought I was in love a few times, I'm not sure I was loved.  I always told myself fidelity was the most important part of any relationship, and that marriage was gonna be forever.  Very thankful now that non of that became my life until I met my now husband.

When Doug and I first started hanging out together it was with a group of friends.  I truly felt like we were friends before anything else.  He was my charge nurse and because of that I admired and respected his nursing skills.  I helped him hold children while he would hunt for a vein that I couldn't see.  Even today I'd trust him and his skills to start an IV on me.  He hasn't practiced bedside nursing for over 15 years.
While we were getting to know each other he talked a lot about his family.  His great-aunts that lived with him, and his life as a child.  He is the first person I believe I trusted completely.  I had no problem taking him to my parents home, my grandparents, or any place where I grew up. My grandmothers both loved him immediately.  They both remembered him long after age had erased me from memory.

Because he was a nurse, my husband was surrounded by women.  I chose from the very beginning, to trust.   Either I could trust him, and stay married, or why ever marry him.  We talked a lot about church.  As we added to our family we visited many churches.  One of the reasons we live in the town we live today is because of the church here.  My sisters talked so much about our church that I felt like I knew everyone.  When we moved here it was like coming home.

Doug didn't know me growing up.  He hadn't seen me as a very poor child.  Someday I am going to ask those I grew up with  how they remember me.  Did I look lonely and lost?  Was I nice to anyone or was I mean? I was reading a book, "a thousand blessings", and one part was a conversation between two old friends.  The older friend said I just hope I have blessed someone in my life.   I hope as an adult I have been able to bless others.  I am far from perfect.  But somehow, some where, I hope I was a blessing.

I loved my mission work.  I haven't gone on one out of the country recently.  I try in my daily work with pregnant patients to be a blessing.  I don't preach, but I try to act in a Godly manner and treat each patient with dignity and respect.  Knowing the roads I have been on, I never want to assume a patient that may be a drug addict or a working girl is on their final road.  They may turn their life around and be my boss someday.  Through God all is possible.

I haven't been lonely since my husband and I have been together.  I probably used to bug the heck out of him because I wanted to know what he was thinking, doing, ect constantly.  Not from lack of trust, but because of that trust and just wanting to know him better.

Anyone that thinks married life is easy, is wrong, and right.  Making the decision that you are in this no matter what, makes the choice to work things out easy.  Getting things worked out is the hard part.  I could have never dreamed, way back, walking on gravel roads, barefoot, to the neighbors house to use the phone, where I would be today.   I could have never dreamed of 6 children.  Six that make me proud everyday.  Not that I don't ever wanna jerk a knot in a tail, but proud anyway.  Thirty years have been a long winding road.  I am glad I found the one man that would stay with me for the entire trip.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ashley and Nick, part 1

Writing about all this now is extra hard. Ashley and Nick met several years ago at Stonecrest in the ER, where they both worked. Ashley in admitting, Nick as a nurse. They dated some, broke up, then a few years later got back together. He proposed while I was still in Haiti, although I knew about it. Doug even got in on buying the ring for her before Nick returned. She was very surprised and shocked.

The wedding date was originally going to be in October, but the church they chose was not available and it was moved to September 10. Her sister Amber helped to organize and choose a theme for her shower at church. Amanda, Steph, and Rachel, as well as her aunts Annette, Renee, and Amy helped with everything.
I was invited to go along for the bachelorette party. India even came to help celebrate and be in the wedding. We all had a good time!

My cousin, Casey Mackie, made some beautiful pictures for the engagement pictures. She and her friend Alyssa came to the wedding and did an awesome job on those pictures!

They bought their house, closed on it, and got married on the same day! Very hectic. Our cousin Cindy Farmer came and did hair for all of us girls. It rained, didn't get as many pictures as I wanted, but it was a great day. The reception was at our church in Pegram. They honeymooned in Cancun.

A happy couple, off to a great start!


forgot to add that the cruise began the time of Amanda being back home! She lived in California for a year. It was hard, but felt like it would be good for her.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 2010 cruise

In june I finally had all my family together for a cruise. Amber brought Adam. Ashley couldn't convince Nick to join us, but then he had just started a new job also. Stephanie brought Taylor. Andrew had to bring a small crew, Brady and Dustin. Amber and Adam drove down separately. Ashley flew down and met us in Tampa. The rest of us all bonded in a 12 passenger van. We took turns sleeping in the floors, seats, anywhere. The cruise was great. The kids were all great. yes even the boys. No one fell off or was thrown off the boat. Yes I'd do it all over again.
before we left we even visited with doug's cousin Julie and husband Matthew, briefly, but good to keep somewhat in touch!