Dec 30, 2009

Be an advocate for your health

I have seen first hand how important it is to be your own advocate especially in the area of health care.  If a dear sweet lady at church who is only about 10 years older than me had not pushed and persevered, most likely her cancer would not have been found in time and maybe the treatment she is now receiving would not have been as effective.

To that end, I sat down today to make a spreadsheet to track everything I need to keep up with. 
  • Blood sugars, check at least 4 times daily
  • Lung function. check several times a week
  • Migraines, how often, what triggered them, how I treated them, etc

It's a lot of info to keep up with, BUT in the long run it will help me stay in better control of my health and help my doctors.  I do wish I had thought of this sooner. But better late than never.

I have been tracking things seperately, just not in one big spread sheet.

I've got it all printed out for the year and in a 3-ring binder.  It's bulky, but will also be too big to misplace, I hope.

Of course I keep thinking of other info I could have added to it, but my goodness, it's already 14 pages long and 11 columns wide.  I think I'll just jot in my weekly weight check like I have already been doing.

So, what does this have to do with being your own health advocate?  Well, the way I see it, you can't stand up for yourself if you don't have evidence.  The log will be my evidence.

It will also help to keep me on track and hold me accountable.  Don't you hate that word?

Dec 24, 2009

My Husband is My HERO!!

My dear, sweet, hardworking husband does NOT like to do plumbing jobs. Yet yesterday he cheerfully, tirelessly, successfully fixed the leaky faucet in the master bathroom!

This was not an easy task. The original, 1960 era faucet was frozen to the sink and was stubbornly refusing to go. It was very happy where it was and wanted to stay forever. It seemed that it was going to win the battle. But my husband was unwilling to give in. So he went above and beyond and did the unthinkable!

First he tore out the cheap cabinet that appeared to be supporting the sink and banished it from our home. Then he unhooked the water lines that were so friendly with the leaky faucet. Finally, with a mighty heave, he lifted the sink from its mooring and took it to the kitchen where he placed it on his workmate workbench to perform the necessary surgery.

It was an ugly sight. But we all remained calm and fetched whatever the intrepid surgeon needed and in just a quarter of an hour the patient was returned to its home, reunited with the plumbing, and providing us once again with a leak free place to wash our hands.

Thank you darling, you did a wonderful job.

Dec 19, 2009


After months of non-stop migraine I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I have known for a while the MSG was a big trigger as were almost all chemical odors. I had been avoiding MSG as it was listed in foods, but was still having lots of headaches. Then I picked up a book at the library's used book sale about food sensitivity in kids who have ADD. Lo and behold, there are a lot of the same sensitivities. So using the info in the book, I fine-tuned my diet and within 3 days, of very strictly avoiding the many names that MSG can hide behind I was 95% headache free and have stayed that way now for 3 weeks!

I see a new neurologist on 12/31 and I hope that I will be able to start weaning off of some of my preventive meds.

For anyone reading this, please take the time to do a really thorough migraine diary. I know it is hard to do, but it is so worth it to find the triggers and to eliminate them if at all possible.

Great Migraine Community
Migraine Tools

Dec 15, 2009

A Simple Christmas

In keeping with our belief that Christmas is about Christ we have always focused on simple gifts. We seek to give gifts that came from the heart instead of from the pocketbook. Sometimes the gifts appear to have been costly.

An example is the year both children received full size mountain bikes. But if you look closer you can see that the bikes are second hand. They were fixed up by the kids and their dad. So not only did they get a bike, they also received the gift of working with their dad doing something they all enjoy and learning skills that will serve them in latter years.

Some of my most treasured possessions are items made for me by the children and David. The stained glass jewelry box David gave me when we were dating. The welcome sign for the front door Sarah made for me. The earrings Daniel has made for me.

Treasures all, costly none.

This year once again we are crafting and creating. Plans are made and secrets kept. Photos printed, yarn crocheted, wood carved. What will be created by their hands? How are they using the skills and imagination God has given them? Only time will tell.

The photos were taken at Polk Memorial

Dec 14, 2009

Humility & Prayer

By Bayless Conley
Humility is a very important key to effective prayer. In 1 Peter 5:5-6 we read this,

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.

God resists the proud. He gives grace to the humble.

Humility, more than anything else, is an attitude of the heart that says, "I recognize I am not self-sufficient. I am open, I am teachable, I am thankful. God, I am willing to bow my heart before You and confess that I am in utter need of Your assistance."
Contrary to what some people say and think, humility is not to be equated with lack of courage. In fact, it takes great courage for a person to admit they have need. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is a sign of strength.

King David said in Psalm 18:35, Your gentleness (or Your meekness) has made me great. Moses was called the meekest or the humblest man on the face of the earth, and yet we don't think of him as a weak person. He is one of the greatest leaders to ever step out of the pages of the Bible, and very few people in history have had power with God in the place of prayer like Moses did.

Jesus, our Savior, said, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart" (KJV). Friend, that ought to be one of the hallmark qualities of our lives - especially when we are praying. It is a key to effective prayer.

Dec 9, 2009


My children both enjoy writing. Writing for school assignments is one thing. They do it and do it well. But writing on their own, from their heart produces a completely different style and finished product. 

I quite often find one or the other huddle in some corner writing in a journal.  When I call them to history (science, math...) they are certain to ask for five more minutes to finish their thoughts.  How can I refuse?  This is NOT time wasted.  Most often the writing they are doing (from what I have been allowed to see) has been praise to our Father!

This writing I do not ask to see. I do not correct for spelling or grammar. I do not comment upon. And since I do not ask I am often given the privilege of a tiny glimpse of what they have written.

That is how the previous post came to be on the blog. I didn't ask or suggest. Sarah, for some reason known only to her, wanted to share. And for that I am most blessed.

Writing by Sarah, shared with her permission

As I walk through the valley of death You are with me Oh Lord.
As I praise You in a storm Your hand is on me.
Every step of the way You are with me.
When I stumble You pick me up.
When the hard times are over You will still be there every day.
Through it all You are there.
You are my GOD and I will praise you in the storms of my life.

Sarah, age 11

Dec 3, 2009

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming,
The goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha' penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha' penny,
Then God bless you
     Christmas is coming. For many this time of year does not bring joy and anticipation. It does not bring time with family and friend. Instead it brings only anxiety and loneliness.
     For some it brings an annual visit to church. Or maybe it is their semi-annual visit with Easter being the other.
     As true followers of Christ, how do we respond to all the hype and commercialization of Christmas? The fall equinox has hardly passed before the carols are starting to play, (I LOVE the music), the decoration are going up, the advertisements are playing on the TV, What are we to do?
     I think it is fitting that the Founding Fathers placed Thanksgiving Day just a few short weeks prior to the celebration of Christ’s birth. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is just a tiny blip, a day of stuffing the turkey and ourselves, but forgetting to really give thanks. Yes we prayed and asked His blessing. But did we take time to share our thankfulness with the ones we gathered with?
     I know I didn’t. Am I thankful? Yes.
     That leads me to the reason for this post.
   As I was practicing the piano this morning I was playing a song by Steve & Vikki Cook entitled “Hide Away in the Love of Jesus, (You can hear a beautiful piano rendition of it by clicking on the title.)

Come, weary saints, though tired and weak
Hide away in the love of Jesus
Your strength will return by His quiet streams
Hide away in the love of Jesus
Come, wandering souls, and find your home
Hide away in the love of Jesus
He offers the rest that you yearn to know
Hide away in the love of Jesus
Hear Him calling your name
See the depths of His love
In the wounds of His grace
Hide away
Come, guilty ones weighed down with sin
Hide away in the love of Jesus
The freedom you long for is found in Him
Hide away in the love of Jesus

Come, hopeless hearts, do not despair
Hide away in the love of Jesus
For ten thousand joys await you there
Hide away in the love of Jesus

© 2008 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Worship(ASCAP)

How many of us this Christmas season are weary? Weighed down? Counting on works that we do?

O how we need to listen for His voice and see the true depth of His love and allow His grace to cover our sin.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Jude 1:21
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

1 Peter 1:8-9
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.