Tag Archives: Energy

Focusing on the grace…not so much the race

17 Jan

This is a post I’ve wanted to share for a long time. I’ve written probably fifteen iterations of it over the last few months and every time I let fear win…I delete…I walk away…I keep it to myself.

I’ve not landed on a word for 2020 yet. I had one last year…I’ll probably decide on one this year, but it’s something I do with prayer and intention…but I can tell you that a theme I keep hearing in music, in scripture, in prayer and in life – is SHARING. So, I’m going to DO THAT. When I feel something resonate with me that I hope can help others, I have a natural inclination to want to share it. So here it is today:

Having something wrong with you that others cannot see is a struggle. When I show up at Bible Study with my hair curled, a dress on and my shoes actually match…you don’t know that I had to wash my hair the night before because there’s no way I can wash, dry and fix my hair without a break in between. You don’t know that I had to pick out my clothes the night before to make it easier for myself the next morning or that I decided against makeup because holding my arms up for extended periods of time makes me exhausted. You don’t see the tears I cried last night because I didn’t feel like cooking dinner for my family because I knew it would wear me out and that a bath would be out of the question….because even that is tiring. You don’t see the depression that cycles from missing out on life events…the anxiety that comes with planning anything – literally anything – because I am afraid that when it rolls around I will be too fatigued to show up. You don’t see the worry that comes from letting people down and fearing that they won’t give you grace – again.  You don’t see the disappointment from getting excited about getting out and doing something but then it’s “one of those days” and there is NO way you can make it out of the house….and quite frankly, the bed.  You don’t see the way I miss the race of deadlines and a work family and last minute presentations.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a THING.  It is one of MY things and I have truly tried to own it.  To just live with it…to give MYSELF the grace that I’d extend to any of my loved ones.  To pace myself. To do what I can and focus on THAT.  Focusing on the things I can’t do…the things I run out of steam for…the things that do not get crossed off of the list? That leads to frustration, shame and sadness.  Which puts me in a funk…which leads to a depressive state…which….are you seeing a pattern here?

When you see someone with a cast or a sling or hear them coughing or see visible scars – is your inclination to judge them or feel a certain pang of hurt for their illness/injury?  Just because all scars are not visible does not mean that we don’t all have them and need that sympathetic/empathatic smile you’d give someone that you knew was going through something based on their appearance.  I have to tell you, I barely made it through this afternoon.  I overcommitted myself this week and I was struggling this afternoon.  Once I had the chance, I got comfy and I slept for HOURS. I needed it. It didn’t mean I am lazy or worthless or unproductive.  It meant I was taking care of a need.  I needed rest.  But don’t think I didn’t go to my calendar, make a line for rest, draw a box AND CHECKED IT OFF.  Focus on what you CAN do, friends.  It makes a world of difference.

*******SIDE NOTE TANGENT BELOW*******

While I’m at it…a reminder…check on your friends.  The sick, the well, the strong, the weak.  The busy, the bored, the employed, the retired, the traveling, the homebodies….ALL THE PEOPLE.  Ask how they are…and listen to the answer.  And y’all…if someone asks how you are, TELL THEM.  I don’t know about you but I mean it when I ask someone how they are really doing….I want to hear the truth.  I don’t want to a hear a standard answer or a flippant reply.  I want to know HOW they ARE….how can I be praying for them….have the prayers I’ve been praying been answered?  I value my friendships…I value my prayer time…and I want to be sure that my friends know I am praying for them with intention, as specific as possible and as often as I say I am.

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 4)

27 Dec

I said I’d update after Mike’s appointment and I promise I meant to right away but……Christmas!  Whew!  What a busy and amazing and wonderful and blessed time of year….but….busy!  🙂

His appointment was A LOT.  I had several questions, naturally.  He had a few too….but he let me go first!  (He is SO smart, y’all!)  I had some small questions about his new meds and new diet and exercise….but my biggest, scariest, most important question was…..how likely are we to go through this again?  I know there are no guarantees and that there are so many variables that are involved but I also know that many health conditions or episodes are likely to happen again once you have had them once.  I wanted to be realistic and knew that the answer might be one I didn’t want to hear but I needed to know.  She gave me the best answer EVER.  Through a lot of technical reasons (lack of blockages in his other arteries, success of the stent, etc) and historical data….she says it is very likely that this could be an isolated incident!  Of course, that all depends on him taking his meds correctly, exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, decreasing his stress and addressing his sleep apnea.  That is a long list of things to do, yes…but I think he is more motivated than ever.  He detests the thought of a C-PAP machine but he has promised to try it.  (He’s been kicked out of the sleep lab before hahahahaaha – y’all he’s kinda hard headed and every machine he’s tried has not been a good fit for him.)  He had just started to exercise more regularly and has an amazing friend that is willing and a such a blessing to us that he will help him in that area.  The food is my area since I cook for him and he has promised to be more open-minded about trying different things (fruits and veggies are a big deal and he hates about 99% of them).  He also has committed to taking a lunch every day and actually getting out of the office.  His Dr has had several conversations about this with him and how important it is for him to take a brain break.  He is also going in later than usual so he can sleep a bit longer and THAT is a blessing to me (and also is going to take some getting used to as that was a good thing for me to get up early and get my Bible time in…so I have to figure out how my day is structured when I get back home!).  The hospital we use has a great cardiac rehab program that he will be taking advantage of and I am happy that he was open to that immediately.  He already has an appointment with a sleep specialist so we are on our way to a healthier (and hopefully less dramatic) 2020!
We are currently in NC visiting our families and enjoying this season.  It has been great to rest the last two days…since leading up to Christmas is a bit of a crazy time….and we have done just that.  Mike is still a bit tired and the Dr says that is normal and expected.  He played golf yesterday locally though and said he felt tired towards the end of the round but that he never felt “winded” as he would have normally.  THAT is such a blessing to hear!  I am telling you, God can make any situation GOOD.  I am so thankful that Mike is feeling better, is heeding the warnings and is listening to the team that is caring for him.
Again, I cannot say enough thank yous to all of you who have been praying for him (and me too) so faithfully.  We feel the love and we are so grateful.
I’ll update again in a bit once we have more information on the sleep apnea because I know that will make him feel so much better if he can get GOOD sleep!!  Hope each of you had a Merry Christmas!!!

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 3)

17 Dec

That was scary, y’all.

Though I have heard all the words that revolve around heart attacks and heart issues, learning about them through the lens of how they affect my husband has been quite an experience. I think in Part 2 I left off with us getting home on Thursday. I think we both slept SO hard that night. Post-hospital exhaustion is so real!!

Mike listened to the advice of the physicians and took it very easy over the weekend. No working, no lifting, just lots of rest and fluids. I was very proud of him for being a good patient. He can be very hard headed in case that was not obvious to y’all by now! 😉

Monday was a big day! He went back to work…but instead of getting up at 4:50 and leaving around 5:45 or so he got up around 6:30 and left around 7:20….which of course changed my schedule around but soooo worth it if it alleviates some stress for my sweet hubby!

I took him lunch around 11:45 and he sat in the car with me to eat for about 30 mins…not talking about work but just chit chatting about kids and our upcoming trip home to NC and how he was feeling. No rushing to get back in the office, just enjoying the time together.

MJ had a basketball game that was earlier than normal and he met us there a few minutes before 4 pm so his day was short. It was probably the perfect scenario for the first day back from his episode last week. The Lord really worked that out for him….not a stressful day back at all. So many of his work days are and I am so grateful that the Lord saw fit to spare him in countless ways!

He has been SO tired. Exhausted, really. I am not sure if it’s the meds, the after effects of the trauma and emotions and lost sleep or the return to work yesterday but he was asleep by 8 pm last night! I had to wake him up to take his nightly medicine with some toast! His wrist was sore last night, likely from using his laptop keyboard – and it’s his right hand – and he’s right handed…so I sort of expected that. The site of the entry looks fine – so thankful for that! He has had ZERO chest pain since before the stent. Other than a mild headache he has really been amazed at how he feels!

We have had so many conversations about how the whole thing went down last week and there are so many ways that we can see how God shaped and orchestrated the days leading up to THE DAY. There are ways that we have both been blessed by family and friends and strangers that I can’t even recount them all. There are new fears and new worries, yes. But there are also renewed promises and faith and knowledge that through it all, we were blessed.

I can’t thank everyone who was praying for us enough. I heard from people far and wide and we felt your prayers. We felt peace. We felt love. I am so incredibly grateful.

Mike’s follow up appointment is tomorrow and I sure hope they are ready for me…I mean him! LOL Let’s just say I.HAVE.QUESTIONS. This post heart attack life is going to be different….we are going to learn from it and we are going to move forward with renewed hope that we can make it through anything with faith and with one another!

I will update again once we have that appointment with any new information that we learn and I am certain I’ll have more thoughts and emotions and yes…probably more questions!!!

Weight Loss Chronicles ~ TOC

24 Feb

I cannot tell you the number of times that I have been contacted by a friend from high school, a neighbor or a perfect stranger to ask for help as they decide whether or not to take the plunge and have Weight Loss Surgery.  It can be SO intimidating and stressful throughout the process and especially when thinking of maintaining a new life and a new relationship with food.  I am always SO happy to help and always direct them to this blog as well as my Instagram feed for WLS (username:  rnyftw) but I have noticed how hard it is to go back and reference each stage of my journey so I thought I’d link it all here to help anyone (and myself!) who may need to see a specific one:

WLS Chronicles – The Decision

WLS Chronicles – The Initial Visit

WLS Chronicles – Pre-Op Testing

WLS Chronicles – Pre-Op Diet

WLS Chronicles – Surgery Day!

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Days 1 -3 Clear Liquids)

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Days 4 -13)

WLS Chronicles – Emotions

WLS Chronicles – HELP!!! (links to apps, and support talk)

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Days 14 – 20) ~ Semi-Solids

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Day 21/Week 4 – Day 41/Week 6) ~ Soft Foods

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Day 42/Week 7 – Three Months Post-Op)

WLS Chronicles ~ Week 14 Update

WLS Chronicles ~ Dining Out

WLS Chronicles ~ Maintaining

I hope that makes it easier for everyone to reference the stage they are looking for!  If you have ANY questions beyond what I’ve blogged out, please please please reach out to me!  My email is mrsjmejones@gmail.com and I truly do enjoy helping others in their journey as well!

 

Promises, Promises

23 Feb

I am so human.  SO human.  I am also SO thankful that Jesus is much more than that.  That His promises are guarantees.  That said, I am going to promise you that I am going to update you, in due time, on all of the changes that have gone on in my life in the last year.  I will try to follow through with this but I will likely fail….but I do PROMISE you that I have good intentions!  If you have followed or known me long at all, you know that I love lists…so I will just jot down here the changes and come back here to link once I actually type it out!

In 2017 – we……..

  1. Sold our NC home.
  2. Lived with my Mom and Dad (and without my hubby!!!) for two months.
  3. Moved to Texas.
  4. Road tripped to Austin, Houston, Waco, Arlington, and Galveston.
  5. Lived in an apartment for several months.
  6. Started an amazing Bible study, through Community Bible Study.
  7. Continued weight loss.
  8. Built a house.  An amazing, beautiful, creation if I do say so myself!  (see #10 for referenced IG acct to see pics)
  9. Started backyard projects.
  10. Started a home decor Instagram page (due to that nagging fear of my friends/family growing tired of me sharing home stuff) at http://www.instagram.com/sweetcharmhouse
  11. Visited NC in July and December.
  12. Stepped up our prayer life.

SO, happy Friday and have a great weekend!  I’m going to work on my blog catch up posts!  🙂

 

WLS Chronicles ~ Week 14 Update

6 Apr
I have not posted lately about my progress with weight loss surgery so I thought I would while I have a few minutes on my hands this morning! It has been 14 weeks and 2 days since my life changed in a major way. I am only on ONE medication now (which I can’t shake – you know thyroid meds NEVER go away once you start!!). I have more energy than I can ever remember in my life. My diet and meal planning still are a huge part of my day. I have been able to dine out with friends more lately and even last night had dinner at a friend’s house. You wouldn’t believe the anxiety over worrying about hurting someone’s feelings by not eating a ton of their home cooked food. (Yes, I know not everyone would have this anxiety but when you are someone who is super sensitive you are more sensitive about other’s feelings and some of y’all just should thank me right now for that because SOME people just don’t care about anyone’s feelings! I digress…) However, we had a wonderful time and I explained and we were done with that!
I have kissed blood pressure and diabetes meds goodbye. I have kissed 80 pounds goodbye. I have kissed lots of foods goodbye. I have kissed LOTS of clothes goodbye (5-6 sizes down!). I have welcomed new friendships made by this journey. I’ve enjoyed exercising which I have really never EVER looked forward to before. I have adapted to my new tummy and my new emotions and new habits….and I have even turned into the most COLD NATURED PERSON I KNOW. (Well besides Shannon :)) EVEN IN TEXAS! LOL I have felt stress about new things. Not eating enough protein, drinking water too quickly, having 1 too many carbs… It is crazy to think of the differences in my diet and lifestyle. There is absolutely no way to tell you in words the emotions and pure joy that I have in my heart over this opportunity. The coolest thing is that people have reached out, privately, to ask questions. To get advice. To tell me they have been considering it. To dig deeper. To get support. So while I’m already in my feels over here, let me tell you that I am OVERJOYED to support others and their personal decisions to make changes to better themselves. Whether that means surgery or diet changes or lifestyle changes – if it makes you better….if it makes you live longer, if it makes you able to enjoy your family more, if it makes you healthier, DOOOOO IT.  Will everyone agree with you?  NOPE!  I can tell you that firsthand.  Side note, don’t get me wrong….those that don’t agree with you likely won’t tell you that to your face…but the whispers happen.  The “why didn’t she just exercise and eat better” questions….the “wow, that was drastic” conversations…the people who just act like it didn’t happen (that’s by far my favorite….hahahahaha….like, do you NOT notice I look crazy different?  now you just seem weird.)  Honestly I used to be offended by the thought of someone not agreeing but then I read a few memes (HA HA HA!) and felt better.  You know the ones…
Also, the support of family and friends means a TON. It is still second to my relationship with Jesus. He is the ONLY reason I have been successful in this because I AM WEAK. Alone, I’d be searching out some Shipley’s Donuts right now. But here I sit, coffee with Splenda & sugar free creamer in hand. Happy. Blessed. Grateful.

WLS Chronicles – Pre-Op Diet

15 Feb

Let me start by saying, every individual is different.  Every surgeon is different.  If you are reading this and you are on your journey to weight loss surgery, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS listen to YOUR surgeon and medical team.

My surgeon instructed me to start a “liver reduction diet” two weeks before my surgery.  The purpose of this diet is to make it easier for the surgeon to move your liver out of the way so they can focus on your stomach during surgery.  The first week of the liver reduction diet is made up of a daily diet of 2 bariatric protein shakes, 2 bariatric snacks (crisps or bars) and one meal of lean meat and green veggies – NO/LOW carbs, NO caffeine, NO sugar – and 64 ounces of liquids.  I started on December 13th and this part of the diet was not THAT complicated or difficult but that one meal a day was CHERISHED let me tell you!

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Hamburger Steak, asparagus, green beans and a pickle!

The second week of this diet was very simple.  Five bariatric shakes a day.  Only that.  No solid foods, no snacks, no cheating.  This was HARD.  I missed chewing.  I missed real food.  I could still have hydrating liquids and that included sugar-free popsicles so they were my jam.  They still are.  Yummy.

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My protein shake – Bariatric Advantage Cookies & Cream

The liver reduction diet requires planning, willpower and commitment.  Basically this sets you up for success after surgery as well.  It also gives you bad breath, low energy and dry skin!  By the last few days, it was all I could do to get those shakes down.  The last day, I think I only drank three.  There was just no way.  I was tired of them and just tired in general.  Keep in mind that on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I was on liquids only.  My family was so kind and understanding and did everything they could to make things easier on me.  During this time I still cooked for my family and was around food…I knew that it was going to require me to keep doing that after my surgery so I figured I should start learning to resist temptations!  Easier said than done but I did it!

Twenty-four hours before the surgery, I had to stop all red and purple liquids.  That means only orange sugar free popsicles!  🙂  As usual, nothing to eat after midnight the night before surgery.  My surgery was scheduled for 10:30 AM so I had to be there at 8:30 AM.  I was so beyond ready.  Prayer helped me so much here.  I felt a peace that I couldn’t have come by alone.  I was ready.

WLS Chronicles – The Initial Visit

13 Feb

Once you have committed in your mind that you’re going to go for it, the work begins.  You may not even commit until after the first appointment…or the third…or the tenth!  Personally, I had to commit in my mind before I even walked in to the office.  My first appointment (Aug 8, 2016) was a flurry of activity.  I was assigned a caseworker (Kevin, very helpful) and weighed (ugh).  I sat down with Kevin and he presented me with two important documents:  Surgery Estimate and Bariatric Checklist.  The estimate was FABULOUS:

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Now, this is not normal.  However, when your sweet husband spends a week in ICU due to double pneumonia, you have certainly met your out of pocket maximum for the year.  Thank you Jesus for health insurance.  Yes, you are seeing that right.  This surgery cost me exactly ZERO dollars.  (Hmm, I guess that should have been on my first post about this!  It was a factor!)

The Bariatric Checklist was the piece of paper that looked the most intimidating.

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All those highlights were something I had to do…which meant (to me) something to worry about.  (Let me just pause here and say that my prayer life was being tested and built at this time and I believe it was God’s plan to teach me how important it was!!)  The first thing I heard Kevin say was:  “Okay, your insurance requires four months of weight loss visits – basically four months of us weighing you – before surgery.”  I thought I had NO chance of getting this surgery squeezed into 2016!!  He then told me that this visit would count as my first one…so my window was TIGHT!  I had a ton of things to do in a short amount of time and we began scheduling appointments and making plans!  It was organized chaos and I was up for the challenge.

I met the surgeon and we discussed the types of bariatric surgeries and the pain I was feeling in my left side as well (my aforementioned femoral hernia).  Dr Tyner was very helpful with the tons of questions I had already and gave me some information on apps to use and diets to read up on to get myself ready for this huge change.

When I left the office that day, I cried like a baby knowing that this was going to be hard.  I cried harder out of joy, knowing that I serve a risen Savior who would equip me for this battle.  I literally and figuratively leaned on Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

xoxo

Small J

WLS Chronicles – The Decision

13 Feb

There are many steps of Weight Loss Surgery and possibly one of the hardest is making the decision to go for it.  Many weeks or months or even years go by while someone considers it, most often.

For me, it was a few factors.  I had been diagnosed with diabetes and put on meds for it.  I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and medicated for that.  I lost an Uncle last March who was obese and we believe that led to his passing.  I had more time on my hands than EVER, after retiring from my job in July.  I was referred to a surgeon for a pain I was experiencing (that we thought was endometriosis related and turned out to be a femoral hernia) and this particular surgeon performed bariatric surgery as well.  I prayed.  I talked to my hubby.  I talked to my Daddy (who had lap band surgery in 2013).  I talked to my Mama (who was the chief cook/warden/support for my Daddy!).  I stressed, I worried, I prayed, I read, I researched, I cried, I decided.

I needed to do this for my family, for my health, for my LIFE.  I have ALWAYS battled with my weight.  I have hypothyroidism as well, which does NOT help.  I am an emotional eater.  I had a very stressful job for 5+ years with travel and meetings and “no time” to plan to eat healthy – so I didn’t.  Yes, that’s an excuse.  🙂  I was all about convenience.  I was being selfish.  Why not be selfish enough to take the time and energy and opportunity to push the reset button on my health?  My family was the most supportive.  I knew I would face criticism and the whispers of “why can’t she just diet and exercise?” and worse.  The thought of this negativity made every little bit of positivity mean that much more.  I clung to it and decided to move forward with the surgery, not really sure of which procedure I would land on.  I was open to all options and began praying that I would have peace and clarity about which one.  The procedures (lap band, gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, gastric bypass) all varied in their effectiveness as well as their chance of complications.

Research online helped tremendously as well as information from my surgeon’s office.  (I went to Bariatric Specialists of North Carolina.  Cannot say ENOUGH about how awesome they are.)

If you are considering bariatric surgery, my advice is this:  Research, be patient and ensure you have a support system that understands the full process.  Research the surgeries as well as the surgeons.  Don’t settle for mediocre care as you may end up with mediocre results.

I plan to chronicle each phase of this journey and would love feedback or questions!  You can reach me at mrsjmejones@gmail.com.

xoxo

Small J

 

Patient Patience

23 Sep

To say that I’m exhausted from pain is an understatement.  Let me just give you a quick rundown of what’s going on….(and if technical, lady-business words make you uncomfortable – skip this one!)  I posted this ten days ago but updated it today 10/3/16.

April 2013 – intense pain and cramping during periods, had an ablation to help with pain

October 2015 – pain starts back up and surgery is scheduled, due to endometriosis

December 2015 – hysterectomy performed (partial, kept ovaries)

June 2016 – pain is back, but only in left side…checked for cyst – negative….GYN thinks due to endometriosis.  Suggests removing ovaries will kill estrogen and therefore stop feeding endometriosis.

June 2016 – Ovaries removed. No hormones prescribed so as to remove as much estrogen as possible.  Pain continues.  While performing surgery, notices there is significant endometriosis on colon.

July 2016 – Pain continues. Visits to primary care physician, GYN and general surgeon to discuss options.  Surgeon orders colonoscopy and EGD to check for any blockages or other issues.

August 2016 – Colonoscopy performed.  No blockages.  Colon is “floppy” but not showing any signs internally that endo has damaged.  Surgeon not convinced that endo is source of pain.  GYN is sure endo is.

September 9, 2016 – Follow up with general surgeon and he now wonders if pain could be from femoral hernia.  He checks and feels “something”.  He performs ultrasound and sees “something”.  Orders CT Scan.

September 20, 2016 – CT Scan performed and awaiting results.  Still waiting.  Not patiently.

I’m so hoping this pain can be a distant memory soon.  Until it is, I am just taking one day at a time….sometimes an hour at a time.  The pain is on my left side, is worse when I’m standing and appears for most of the time when I am standing/walking/sitting and if I am laying down it is more than likely THERE but maybe not as “sharp”.

September 26, 2016 – Follow up with general surgeon to discuss CT Scan.  He started to say the words that I dreaded hearing…”The scan did not 100% confirm….” and I have to be honest, I didn’t hear much else.  I broke down in tears and just stopped listening.  When he was finished I confessed that I wasn’t listening and he started over with “I still think you have a femoral hernia…” and that was enough to make me feel better.  He thinks maybe the scan didn’t show because I was lying down and the hernia could correct itself while I’m lying down – so he wanted to proceed with surgery.  While discussing the surgery details, he let me know that he wanted to perform the surgery using robotic assistance so that slimmed down the time slots and hospitals.  It would be at Rex’s Raleigh campus and the day was up for grabs (depending on who could proctor and when the robot rep was available to be on call).  He wanted to use this means in order to explore my abdomen/intestines/colon to check on the endometriosis.  OH YES…..I was so happy.  We scheduled the surgery….and then rescheduled (based on all of the above) for just 4 days later, Friday, September 30th.  I was so happy it was going to be on Friday instead of Thursday since Mike was in Boston but due back late Thursday night!  (To be honest, I would have still had the surgery, but I was glad I didn’t have to without him!)

September 30, 2016 – Surgery day!  Woke up at 3:30 to leave the house by 4:30 am.  Traffic was very light!  LOL  Getting the IV in……not easy.  This is just one of my arms and the other was as bad…I think they stuck me around 6 times.  When they finally get one, they broke my heart by saying, “Since your surgery is robotic, you have to have two IV’s.”  They quickly followed that up by telling me they would do the second one after I was asleep. (Thank you Jesus!)

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My Mom and Mike were there (my Daddy and in-laws were on MJ duty at a school program) and by my side until they took me back.  FAST FORWARD —

When I woke up from surgery, I remember being so scared!  I remember worrying right then that I’d still have the pain that has been my enemy!  I panicked and they gave me more oxygen as it had fallen to 91%.  After that, I was okay…got more pain meds…drank Ginger Ale, ate my graham crackers and got out of there!  I was so ready to be home and in my own bed.  I don’t remember much about the ride home at all!  Just that Mike checked on me and held my hand most of the way!

October 3, 2016 – It’s been a few days now and I have to tell you I’m really surprised at how much these incisions hurt!  They are bigger than my previous surgeries (and I mean my poor belly button has had three surgeries now in just 10 months) and feel more tender.  Getting up and down out of a chair or the bed feels a bit like someone is ripping muscle in my abdomen….but no big deal…ha!  I do feel better every day so that’s a positive.  The leg pain that had started as a result (we believe) of the hernia is GONE – praise God!!

I am so thankful for friends and family who have reached out, helped out and prayed diligently.  I may not have a large family but I have an amazing husband and kids, an awesome set of parents and in-laws and many cousins who have prayed and checked in on me.  I’m blessed.

I can’t believe all that has changed in three months.  I went from a workaholic to a stay at home Mom.  A relatively healthy 37 year old to a 37 year old hermit in chronic pain.  Making the decision to leave my stressful, travel-heavy job was a hard one but I am so grateful that my husband and family supported me in it so much.  There is absolutely no way I could commit to working at this point.  I’m thankful that I have always had a job, since I was 15 (shout out to Jimbo’s Grill and On Cue!!) and I have had amazing opportunities, met wonderful people and learned many things (shout out to pivot tables, vlookups and incentive programs).  The season I’m in now is one of waiting and being still and having faith.  It’s uncomfortable but I do believe that the Lord is with me and is guiding me through this.  He is giving me strength to do things that matter.  Homework with MJ, moving my oldest to college, getting ready for doctor appointments, cooking dinner for my sweet husband….the important things.  I am just learning every day to be a patient patient.  It’s not easy.

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