Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

"The greatest gift you will ever receive will never be found under a Christmas tree.
It is far too valuable to be stored in any other place but in the depths of your heart." ~Anonymous

Don’t you just love the daily excitement of never knowing for sure what will happen during the day? I am always amazed at the crazy things that actually do happen.

My Christmas vacation started off with just such an event and my trip to Omaha was not without incident. The plane was an hour and a half late taking off and I had nothing to eat and my stomach was turning. When I am on a plane I always order water, but this time because I was hungry I ordered tomato juice to see if it would curb by appetite. The plane was not full and there was no one in the seat beside me and no one across the isle from me. The attendant pulled down the tray next too me and I just left my tomato juice there. I had my hand around the glass so it wouldn't slide off. I had been awake since 4:00 a.m. - I fell asleep. The pilot came over the intercom with a booming voice - I jumped - tomato juice flew all over the place, in my lap, down my pant legs, even down the side of the plane. I tried to clean up as well as I could but can’t do with a little handy-wipe. I walked off the plane looking like a street person. The tomato juice dried in an ugly dark red color. When Johanna picked me up she wanted to go to lunch, I said "no way" I have to get these clothes off. We put my coat and jeans in the washing machine and my coat turned out very well (thank goodness).

I was very anxious to see Johanna since I had not seen her since her back operation two months before. She was doing surprisingly well. Through this last series of events that took place for her she wound up with drop foot on the left. She now wears a brace and special shoes. She does well when she wears the brace. The thing that is most disturbing to her is her lack of energy. I tried to tell her that it was not going to come back over night. Her body has been through major surgery and it will take at least a year. She does want to keep her part-time/full-time job that requires much traveling. She is no longer in a position to lift anything, let alone a suitcase. We will just have to wait and see what takes place in the near future.

We did go out to lunch a couple of times. There were guest for dinner several evenings and someone was dropping by all of the time. They both keep a very hectic schedule. We of course were able to do lots of shopping. All in all I had a wonderful time. Johanna and I were able to have a fast lunch with a couple of my cousins, so good to see people from home.

Update on my special prayer requests:
On Friday morning, December 30th, Jeanne’s great-great niece, Chloe, passed away. She was only 4 years old…now she is in the loving arms of Jesus and she is out of pain.
Katy just had a birthday and she is 4 years old now. She was back in the hospital in December and this will probably continue monthly until she gets a new heart.

Continue to pray for Chloe’s family and continue praying for Katy to get a new heart. We are not ready to lose another precious child.
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."                                          
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bulging disc

As life goes on, the daily blessings go on and on. I cannot believe that this year is almost over. Goodness, time goes so fast. My biggest accomplishment this year was to get a part-time job as a dietary aid at Little Sisters of the Poor, which is located right behind where I live…so convenient. It has not been without complications on my health…but I love the extra money and I love the people I work with. It is such a wonderful place.
I have osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine and have constant pain. I usually can tolerate low-grade pain and have learned to live with it. This past week the pain increased to my right hip and down the leg. Right – sciatic nerve. I am sure you all have had this pain at one time or another…not pleasant. I had to take some days off at work and I finally decided I needed to see the doctor to get some pain pills…I cannot take Advil per doctor’s orders and he was very upset because I was taking them for the pain.

I saw the doctor on Thursday afternoon and the news was not good. As I described my pain and how it is different this time, he said, “You have a bulging disk.”  Oh great, what am I supposed to do now. I am giving up my job, temporarily, but I am in hopes that they will find something for me that is not manual labor…like part-time receptionist. I will wait until the first of the year to pursue this further. I really do like the extra money but cannot justify giving up my health for it. The doctor said it would take about six weeks to start feeling better. I am just hoping that it does not interfere with flying to Omaha for Christmas and I certainly do not want it to rupture.

Little Sister’s knew that I had back problems when I went to work for them and they were very willing to work with me on my schedule and the hours I worked. I am not blaming any of this on the job even though I don’t think it helped any. I am just a little depressed over this.

Causes of Sciatica
A primary cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging intervertebral disc that compresses the nerve root before it joins the sciatic nerve.

Several nerve roots leave the spinal cord and exit through holes in the sacrum to combine and form the sciatic nerve, which then passes between layers of the buttock muscles into the deep muscles of the back of the thigh.

Causes of Sciatic Pain

Sciatic pain results from the inflammation of the sciatic nerve and is usually marked by pain and tenderness along the course of the nerve running across the upper buttocks and the rear of the thighs.

Sciatica Symptoms

Sciatica is usually a symptom caused by a herniated or bulging intervertebral lumbar disc. Its distinguishing feature is pain in the buttocks and behind the thighs.

Usually, extreme trauma is not the cause of sciatic pain. An action as simple as bending over may bring on sciatic pain.
                                 Standing, lifting, sitting, or straining may aggravate it.
When someone says, "Life is hard," ask him, "Compared to what?"

Jesus delivers me from my fears.
Jesus comforts me in my loneliness.
Jesus forgives me when I have sinned.
Jesus died for me so that I could live forever.

Jesus, I owe you everything. From the bottom of my heart, I thank You.