I love rainy days! I get that from my sweet mama! It is so relaxing sitting on my back porch listening to the sound of the rain aimlessly falling from the sky. Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm for South Carolina, so I am also enjoying hearing the rustling leaves on the trees blowing in the wind toward the southeast. This sends my “sun, moon, and stars” wind chime into a tizzy, but I absolutely love listening to the “ting, ting, tinging” sound that it makes.
I’ve had that wind chime for a very long time! Relaxing outside in my South Carolina beach chair, on this perfect rainy Saturday, allows me time to think.
First of all, my thoughts and prayers are with those lives affected by Hurricane Florence, mostly to our neighbors in North Carolina. Hopefully, as it sits and spins with no jet stream to push it back to the ocean, we will all escape any major flooding for the inland.
As I reminisce, I can tell you that this time last week I was playing “hair and nail spa” with my five year old granddaughter Avery. She spent the weekend with us and we literally played “spa” for eight straight hours.
We only stopped for lunch and supper! We styled each other’s hair from crazy hair to beautiful hair. We also treated one another to manicures. Yes, we had more than one manicure that day. We created some very precious memories.
In September, 2017, this time last year, I was between medications to help alleviate the intense pain, stiffness, and swelling in my joints. My rheumatologist had to stop the medication I was on because it was beginning to affect a vital organ.
My liver enzymes were elevated so we stopped the medication immediately. I had been on it since January 2017 gradually increasing the dosage. It did help alleviate some of the inflammation surrounding my joints, but never placed me back in a state of happiness and bliss like I was before it all started. I was only taking daily vitamins that my doctor approved for me to take, but nothing at all for pain and inflammation. Just a reminder I didn’t want anything to mask the pain until I received a diagnosis.
AHHH…HAPPINESS AND BLISS!
What is that? I haven’t experienced much happiness and bliss since my incredibly amazing road trip in June 2016!
In September 2016, this time TWO years ago, my daddy had a cutting edge, newly FDA approved, life saving, heart surgery for an aortic valve replacement. (TAVR)
I went to the hospital to visit him and although he was in the intensive care unit, it appeared that he was faring much better than I was! I stayed for many hours so I had to sit in the waiting room for much of the time. If you’ve read previous blog posts, you will know that sitting for prolonged periods of time is harsh on my joints.
My older brothers, sisters, and other close family members, wanted to visit him as well, so we had to take turns going into his room. He and my sweet mama have a bunch of crazy children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. When we are all together, it’s like a big party, even at the hospital. We can fill up a waiting room in a matter of minutes. I love them all!
Sitting there on that day I felt like a party pooper! (Or pooty parper as me and my sister say.) I did feel better being next to my daddy. I would pull my chair up close beside him when it was my turn to go into his room. I felt God was watching over and protecting him. Even from his hospital bed, there’s an aura that my daddy exudes that places God all around him with exclamation marks all over the place! Just ask the nurses. None of them will ever forget my daddy.
It was miraculous and unheard of that he was discharged the day after his surgery directly from the intensive care unit. I believe it is more customary to be moved to a regular room for at least a day from the ICU first, but my daddy was different. God, you may ask? Indeed it was! A local news crew interviewed him several weeks after his surgery at the small, Independent Baptist Church where he pastored for twenty-nine years.
At the time of his surgery, I had only visited two doctors. They both had drawn blood for testing. I was also pushing myself, and struggling through a low impact aerobics class that I had just signed up two weeks prior to his ground-breaking surgery.
It’s Time to “Exercise” the Demons for my exercise antics!
Little did I know, my family doctor was so far from any type of diagnosis or conclusion to my very significant pain. (My rheumatologist appointment was still many months away.)
Also…little did I know I had an angel sitting in the chair adjacent to me at the hospital. I’m sure I was sitting with a miserable and forlorn look on my face. She had her laptop opened, (for other reasons I’m sure), but I guess she saw my hopeless demeanor as an invitation. She just had to ask! The “nurse” inside of her confronted me and the awful monster relentlessly gripping the joints inside my body.
At that particular moment, I was unable to say, “I’m good, I’m good,” but this sweet angel was also by my side in the emergency room the following year when my battle cry, “I’m good, I’m good,” was uttered from my mouth for the very first time.
I haven’t forgotten to share that story. I will do so in due time. It is indeed quite comical. Yes, when I was at my lowest, we were laughing uncontrollably. She was right there beside me, alongside my husband and sister. My next post will reveal who she is.
Until then, God is still giving me precious breath, so I must “carry on, and smile along the way!”
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psalm 43:5 KJV (always)