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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A change is happening......

I'm looking forward to a healthier life for us all. My husband's MRI results were good considering the spinal damage. There wasn't anything alarming (new infection pockets) and the specialist doesn't know why his inflammation levels escalated. He's recovering from his recent knee surgery and he will be completing a physical and seeing a urologist for the blood in his urine. Otherwise I'm starting to feel hopeful and more at peace with our life. "I think" 

However I am getting cabin fever. Continuous hospital and medical appointments, adding some grocery shopping doesn't touch the void of enjoying the outdoors and all the activities that we used to do. So I'm keeping optimistic that soon a healthier life will allow us to become the family we once were. We are all feeling that lifestyle where illness controls and isolates us from the rest of the world. Change is needed. 

While spring is in the air and March is fast approaching I've been antsy waiting for my University application approval. I've been thinking about future hikes and adventures. That the future is ours! I have six enrolled into summer camps. I am hoping we can manage camping again. As much as I shouldn't expect, I have expectations of a healthy life. To conquer goals and to move forward like we always do. 

And because I've found myself obsessing over my husband's health, I have decided to change up my blog. After this post, there will be a new look, a new title and writing style. Thank you for following all these years and supporting us.  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Keep calm

My husbands knee surgery is over with no complications so far. We are in the early days and we are keeping our fingers crossed for no infection. We don't have the MRI results back yet, hopefully soon we can figure out what's happening with his spine. As he's recovering I've been busy organizing our home. I was curious on how others handle stress. I keep busy. When I'm busy, I don't have the time to over think what I'm stressing about. Today reminded me about when my husband was hospitalized. I literally went through every room in our house and rearranged and organized everything. Like today, while my husband was sleeping, I had homeschooling going, I planned some upcoming field trips, did some home school ordering to replenish a few curriculum items, reorganized three dressers, cleaned our home, and a multitude of other things! By the end of the day (not only did I feel productive) I felt good. I wasn't watching my husband's chest breathe in and out anymore. Nor was I worried about anything. It was an excellent Monday. Sometimes I find myself sharing too much "online" (oops) because it's my stress reliever....
I'm not sure how many of you have experienced living with a very serious sick partner or child, it can be life consuming for everybody involved. Even now as I write (while he sleeps directly across from me) I'm looking over. My definite answer to all this madness is productivity. Honestly, I don't think I've vacuumed so much in my life before and our home is already clean. A friend of mine stated that we should have shares with the hospital because we practically live there at least three to four months out of the year. I was thinking, that's about right. Even this week I have to bring Emily (our daughter) for her hip x-rays to find out if her plates will remain or come out. Which means another admission that I'm not looking forward too. Our poor daughter doesn't understand due to her cognitive abilities, so when she goes in for any surgeries it's a very sad and helpless feeling for this momma. I thought it was hard when our teenager son went for lung surgery after having three pneumothoraxes, however it's nothing in comparison when you have a child that doesn't understand fully what's happening. Anyhow this is our life lately. I'm addicted to David's loose leaf cinnamon Rooibos Chai tea and those little cinnamon hearts and cleaning. Normally "my" happy place is outdoors except that our yard is a unfinished mud pit right now due to illness and all this rain. Usually hiking is my Zen of choice but for now it's several cups of warm tea while plunking along accomplishing tasks I never knew existed! "Make work projects" And you know.... even with all our challenges, I still wouldn't change our life's choices. I might come across completely crazy stressed lately however I truly believe in this quote. "You (I) were given this life because you're strong enough to live it" And I am. My husband is still alive today because he has the will and stubbornness to live. We still are a strong team surviving our journey. We also have many individuals that support us. Our family and friends. Our community. Yes, through our online support networks. So thank you for listening to me, reading, commenting and/or adding advise. I appreciate it more then you know and I hope to come writing with more inspiring stories soon! PS - Happy belated Valentines from our family to yours ~  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I can keep this ship afloat!

It's been a week. Again, I probably shouldn't be writing however when the urge hits (every writer knows) its like a pen meets the paper. Thoughts need to explode. To update my husband, he has had his MRI although we don't know the results yet. I do know..... when his left thumb clicks uncontrollably while having severe pain in his lower spine that something must be up. Especially when his inflammation levels escalated from 6 to 38.5!  We aren't out of the woods. Tomorrow, which isn't tomorrow anymore (Feb 12th) we are going ahead with his knee surgery. He is at high risk at this point and not because of the knee surgery itself but for complications and infections. A doctor asked us recently what's important to us..."Quality over Quantity" One may think this is a hard question but for us it's easy. It's quality. It's a very personal question and for me to write about this can bring up several opinions that honestly won't make a difference. I know for a fact that my husband wouldn't want to live without quality. There is so many things that people are unaware of that are happening. When a man that comes from a history of provision, hard work and values becomes broken to task and can't provide as planned is the worst mentally. You can't loose both. So when you loose it physically....then what? This is why the knee surgery is happening with risk. In fact while you're reading this, the knee surgery is probably over. Which leaves us hoping we bypass infection and that his MRI results gives us more answers. For me.... it's hard. I've always been the organizer, the parent that keeps everything rolling smoothly. I'm not someone that cancels however I have canceled on dates and it throws me off. I feel that I can't express myself. A - because I'm the strong one. B - because I can't add to the stress. C - I go back to A, I am the only one. So daily I watch look and listen. I keep everything afloat. Everything running smoothly on a daily basis. Is it hard on me? Yes. However I'm physically healthy and I have that strength for my family. I'm knowledgeable. I know I can also save a life. So we might not be or never be out of the woods but I can keep this ship afloat. And that's my only thoughts....that I can do this because right now, I am the only one that is. MRSA - Prematurely I feel we will beat you. If not, I guess we die trying.  Too conclude; I will post how we are doing when I can.....and to end, honestly - life is too short, please get out, enjoy it with each other and while you can! (Hugs to all)  

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sweet Somethings

I arrived early to a routine medical appointment with our one daughter so I decided to walk the Old City Quarter in downtown Nanaimo. As I circled I noticed this cute little store and went inside. I started talking with the owner and he was explaining that their little business might have to shut down after their lease is up. As I looked around it was packed with candy. Packed with great prices too! I didn't purchase anything for ourselves but I purchased a twenty dollar gift certificate to start an online game, guess this place? ( I think I called it) Anyhow with the owner's permission I said I would help support his little store. Sweet Somethings is a candy and confection store. It's full of candy that you can't just find anywhere! Sweet Somethings does not only sell candy inside their store, they will do candy buffets, gift baskets, weddings, kids parties and corporate events and did I mention already that their prices are excellent too! On their pamphlet that the owner kindly provided has pictures of mouthwatering fudge, they have chocolate caramel pretzels, chocolate and caramel apples (and I will add they look fantastic!) They have pecan clusters, caramel popcorn, a large variety of bagged candy including my favorite, Bon Bons! I know Valentines is next week, so I suggest if you're looking for something sweet and perhaps something slightly different, try Sweet Somethings! Sweet Somethings is located in Nanaimo's Historic Old City Quarter. 309 B Wesley Street. Now I know sometimes I would like to treat our children to something and this is it! It's different, it's cute and there's lots of items to choose from. Including ice cream! Another thought.....Easter is around the corner too! The baskets purchased at a chain store would be nothing in comparison that this store can do for you! Think out of the norm and go unique! Lets start supporting local businesses like this store. Lets keep them in business. This area in particular is cute. The Old City Quarter I think gets forgotten and there is lots of nice little shops to meet all needs and including excellent little restaurants! Do you want something different to do? Walk the streets where I did and check it out! You will not be disappointed! 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The unknown

Social media......I keep questioning myself if I share too much. Then I keep reminding myself that if some one doesn't want to read or see what I post, they wouldn't. Writing is definitely a therapy for me....So here we are one week into February. As I write today I am full of mixed emotions hence why I shouldn't be writing in the first place. I love my family and friends very much. It seems that every one that has come into our life has made a huge impact in one way or another. I can literally sit and think about some one, then I will just smile with joy and love in my heart. There is so many individuals that I can reminisce and acknowledge. The list is lengthy. I'm rich with the abundance of love that surrounds our family. Even when I'm feeling down (like today) I can think about some one and I feel such warmth in my heart.

However the truth is, like many of yours, our life isn't easy. We are honestly taking it one day at a time. Plunking along accomplishing what we need too while taking sometime to enjoy life - the great outdoors with each other! This morning my husband was at the hospital visiting his specialist. He has developed an infection in his ankle. This is on top of his ongoing body and heart pain. I witness and watch over him daily. Thankfully I know what to do in case of an emergency and it semi puts my mind at ease. However it can be exhausting. The continual worry and stress can catch up to you. Kinda like today. I am thankful that he is alive, and that our family is moving forward daily. And the breath that we take every morning is another beginning to be thankful for. I get that. I will tell you something what's hard....I claim to have this strength, this power that keeps our family going every day like clock work. Be positive! Keep the hope! Pray! Believe! I have all that and I (we) will continue to keep plunking along......but I'm only human. I have fears. Like how I reminisce about all the individuals I love and that make me smile, I also remember almost loosing my husband. I worry about our children loosing their Dad. I know I'm not suppose to have these thoughts but how can I not?  His condition every day (today) is just an ongoing reminder that we are never safe from illness and accidents.

Thinking about our children I often wonder how they're coping with a sick father. I know they have their thoughts and sometimes they share. I try to give them their space and allow them to share their feelings when they're ready or wanting too. In one way I see our children being so resilient. In another (like me) there is worry, stress and feelings that exist. Some behaviors have escalated and some of our adult children have distanced themselves. Whether that is because of our life, theirs or both, there has been a shift since my husband became sick. I now understand the difficulties and challenges an illness puts on a family. You can be that person looking in and say, "Stay positive!" However it really has nothing to do with remaining positive, staying optimistic or hopeful. That's just a piece of the equation that we're fighting to maintain. The reality of our situation has a very helpless feeling. I so understand how families feel when some one is battling cancer with a unknown future if they will survive or not. The unknown is a horrible feeling that never goes away, like grieving. 

To conclude, Gerald for two days has had blood and urine testing. His inflammation count has escalated from 6 to 38. The specialist doesn't believe it's coming from his infected ankle. It's coming from internally, possibly his spine. His chronic body pain has escalated, he has ongoing chest pain and he's drained physically. He's currently struggling to use his left hand. A MRI is scheduled ASAP.  For now he remains home with no hospitalization. I will continue to monitor his health and watch for signs of sepsis and/or heart attack. I won't lie....I fear for our family and I wouldn't wish this condition on anyone. 2016 I really thought was our year.......just maybe. I'm 50/50 sitting on the fence post waiting which way it will turn. And we're getting tired emotionally. All I know is I don't want to see a person suffer every day like he does. He remains strong and hides it well for his children and others, however he needs health and freedom from MRSA. We all do......and that I pray.