Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New View

     Sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders for the soul. We spent 6 years living and working in our home in Hartsville. Literal blood, sweat, and tears were poured into that old, old house. It was a season of life that yielded many lessons. When everything changed in January, it necessitated a move. Leaving the old for the new. I was fearful that moving would not be an option. I saw the house through the lens of all the projects left to do, and not through the true picture of how far we had come.
     I posted the house for rent, and to my amazement, and by God's goodness, the response was overwhelming. Every person that came to see it wanted to sign the lease. It made me look at our home in a different way....a new view. I needed that and our family needed that.
    We packed up and landed in a much larger town. We wake up every day to the lovely view of our new community court yard and the pool. It is just what we needed. A new view for a new chapter in life. We are not in a big home, but we don't need that. We have no projects lurking in the corner, no fear of the plumbing, or even taming the lawn. We simply get to just enjoy living as family spending time together. Right now, we are enjoying the new view.






Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't

Don't underestimate your strength.
Don't overestimate your strength.
Don't live in the past.
Don't fret over the future.
Don't feel possessive of many things.
Don't waste too much time.
Don't forget to rest.
Don't be lazy.
Don't make excuses, even if they are valid.
Don't stop trying.
Don't be angry...long.
Don't live your life by someone else's rules.
Don't forget God.
Don't doubt God's promises.
Don't wait till Monday.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Toddlers, Toilettes, and Tennis Shoes

My days are very full of chasing a certain baby. His new love....putting tennis shoes in toilettes and trash cans. He is quite the sly little fella. He knows exactly how to open doors that we are certain he cannot, and send everything for a swim. He also figured out how to pull on my aprons in the kitchen just right to wiggle the hooks that in turn wiggles the chalkboard, making the blue chalk fall so he can try to eat it. He laughs all the time, and has no soft volume. He is a pro at making the shhh sign because he sees it all the time. He is rough and tough and the cutest little rascal around....my Lincoln.


Glu...What??

My take on a Gluten Free Dinner with the Amazing Sweet Potato!
     Our new doctor is from Ghana, Africa. I think he is pretty neat. Since my husband and I both spent time in that part of the world, we have enjoyed beginning this new way of life with him guiding the way. He communicates with us weekly through email, and he has his own vitamin shoppe where one can find an array of neat things that are not on many store shelves. He seems more like a doctor of the past, and I think that is wonderful. He has a totally different approach to medicine. He terms it practical medicine, which simply means do not come to him for a prescription, rather come to him to discover why your body is doing whatever it is doing and fix the problem as naturally as possible. If medicine is necessary, then he he will prescribe.
    
      The challenge for us is going gluten free and low glycemic at the same time. Finding products that meet both criteria can be a bit challenging. Gluten free options exist. Gluten free and sugar free....uh forget about it. We have been eating mostly veggies and proteins, but we all need carbohydrates, especially the boys. It is challenging.

     The doctor wants to eventually test both boys for this same condition because it is quite hereditary, and if they have it...us knowing may prevent them from developing diabetes! The studies on this are still in the early stages, but the findings have been pretty neat. The testing is expensive, and we are already living the lifestyle for Kevin.   Eventually, we will have them tested to be sure. Both our babies had allergy issues when they were small. Lincoln especially shows signs of heading this direction due to the protein allergy he was diagnosed with in his first few months. Being healthy in our food choices all the time has to be a way of life for us. Eating out now is rare and difficult. The price is too high to pay not to do our best. We know what life is like living back in our "dark ages". I can give up a lot things if it means not returning there.

     So, I am on a food mission. I am going to find ways to have good carbs that are both gluten free and as close to sugar free as possible. I have read so much already, and I have combed recipes. I think Food network needs a gal like me to give families out there viable options....I just got to find them first! Watch out Paula and Giada....I'm coming after ya! 

B Charmer

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Coming Out of the Dark

I feel like a stranger here.  The girl who once sat at her computer and compiled random blog posts has gone missing. I still look like her and I still have all her tasks to do, but she and I parted ways somewhat at the turn of the year...she is in the past.

I am here, in the present, a very different person.

So many things have transpired.  So many are still happening.  I am resurfacing and the warm, spring air feels so nice. The last two months were hard and cold.  They were scary and a bit cruel.  I woke one morning to a changed world rather abruptly.  My oldest child came running to my side in the darkness of morning.  He was teary and noticeably sick.  I carried him to the bath and held his little head while he finished the job.  During the chaos, I heard my husband's alarm going off for him to wake for work.  It just kept going and going.  I could not leave my little boy.  My frustration was growing with every beep of the clock.  Somewhere between the tears and tub, the thought crossed my mind that something just might be wrong.  It was.

I went to his bed side and tried to wake him.  His eyes opened slightly and immediately rolled and closed.  I knew it was his sugar.  I sent the little one to the living room with an emergency bucket, and tried to calm myself.  I went to the kitchen and grabbed a few things and some juice.  I returned to our room and tried in vain to pull him out of the diabetic shock he was in.  I tapped his cheeks, shook his chest, turned every light on, and in vain tried to get any tiny morsel in his mouth...any drop of juice.  His teeth were clenched tight and everything was coming right back out.  I begged him to stay with me while I dialed 911.  The ambulance was coming.  I called my dad to come.  Then, the minutes slowed to a crawl. The little one on the couch was hearing my calm leaving.  I kept trying to get something into my husband.  I was shaking.  Why was I shaking?  I am not a foreigner to this...but it had never been this bad. 

The paramedics arrived.  They were unable to raise his sugar in our home, so they loaded him into the ambulance and asked me to follow behind.  It was still quite dark and very, very foggy.  I worried what he might do if he regained consciousness in the ambulance.  I worried what I might do if he did not.  I prayed to My God.  I prayed for strength and wisdom.  I prayed for the fog to lift between me and that ambulance.  I prayed for my husband.  I prayed every inch of the way to the ER.  I was still shaking. 

When I arrived at the hospital, they lowered his bed from the ambulance.  His arm reached to me and he grabbed my hand.  He whispered that he was sorry, and every tear in me that was staying put broke loose.  I think I breathed then for the first time in all the chaos.

That was the beginning.  The beginning of the end of a way of life we used to know.  That instant the flood gates broke loose and everything started to change. 

When we returned from the hospital back home, I was was worried.  Worried for my husband and my children that both now seemed to have a stomach virus.  The baby was now throwing up, the older boy would not eat, and the husband's sugar continued to plummet every few hours.  Somewhere in those days time started running together.  One Dr.'s appointment led to another.  In the span of thirty days we visited the Dr. nineteen times....NINETEEN! 

Each appointment yielded more difficult news.  First, it was his heart.  Something was not right with his heart nor his heart rate.  Major testing was done.  Then it was his blood work....then, the eyes. I can still feel the way the air felt leaving my chest when I sat in the dimly lit eye specialists' office hearing the word...blind...completely....and the phrase.... less than 2 years.

I lost my voice that day.  Completely lost my voice.  I wanted to scream, ask a million questions, but every ounce of my voice was gone.  I just listened and watched.  I watched the pictures of the blood vessels, the concern on the Dr.'s face, and the look on my husband's face.  I looked at my hands a lot.  I thought so many thoughts. I prayed until I ran out of words. I read and read all about the eye at home, I tended to the sick little ones, and took blood sugars from my husband around the clock.  I waited. 

The baby got a double ear infection.  The baby got RSV.  The baby got a nebulizer and a cabinet full of medicine that had to be administered around the clock.  The baby got another double ear infection.  The big boy ended up in the ER with the same virus and swollen ear drums.  The big boy had an allergic reaction to the meds given to him.  The baby lost weight.  The husband was tested for every problem one can imagine.  The baby had to change medicines.  The big boy had to change medicines.  The baby had to go to the hospital daily for antibiotic shots.  The momma...never...slept...
The husband found out that his commute to work would never end unless we moved.  The momma kept getting substitutes and working when she could.  The momma was putting together music programs in the wee hours of the night between sugar checks and nebulizer treatments.  That was the dark side. 

Here comes the miracle. 

My family and friends rallied behind us with their prayers.  The heart tests came back fine.  The blood tests came back fine.  The babies healed, the ears cleared, the lungs cleared.  The retina specialist introduced us to experimental eye injections that seemed promising.  The diabetes doctor recommended food allergy testing.  The momma....put the ole house up for rent.  The eyes received the medication beautifully.  The food allergy showed a gluten intolerance.  This finding could be the reason for the diabetes all around.  You see, my husband is young.  He is fit and trim.  He takes his insulin. He looks fine.  He just has this terrible diabetes disease that cruelly steals things from you when you least expect it to.  It is a mystery.  But seeing those results on paper and hearing the words from the doctor that this allergy could be treated, therefore making the diabetes much more treatable was like opening the doors to freedom. 

The eyes were rechecked.  Vision had been restored.  Swelling was gone....amazing results.  Our house rented in less than 7 days, and we found a place six miles from my husband's work. 

In two months we have ran the full spectrum of emotion.  We have seen the miraculous.  We have felt the fear and the praise.  We have moved homes and changed our lives.  We have lost gluten.  We have gained time together.  We are out of the "project restore" house and into a city town home.  We run on treadmills and eat dinner together every night before dark.  The sugar meter shows that things are getting closer to where they should be.   The momma heart meter....well, it is off the charts.  It is full.  God saw us through those dark, scary days.  He put just the right people in our paths, and He permitted healing in the bodies.   Mostly, he heard our prayers, and the collective prayers of our family and friends.  He answered in a mighty way.  He is still answering.

We still have a long way to go. Things are still changing.  We are finding a new normal. We are coming out of the dark in more ways than one.  Everything is different.  I hope you will join me on this journey.  I have so much more to share....

Leah




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