Saturday, July 27, 2013

KEVIN SPACEY - 54

Guess who turned 54 yesterday? Kevin Spacey. Happy Birthday! He also had an opportunity to throw out a pitch for the Orioles recently. He also is nominated for an Emmy this year. Sorry, I haven't seen the series since it is on a pay per view network. Congratulations though! Busy man.

My friend, Liz, posted the pitch photos so I borrowed a few for this site. I agree with Liz. Get out of the suits, Kevin!





Friday, July 26, 2013

STILL IN PAIN!

It has almost been a week since my fall. I'm still in so much pain and my spine is still inflamed. I've been taking some Tylenol 3, but only at night because I can't stand being fuzzy brained. The medication I take for systemic lupus pain doesn't seem to be touching the added pain and inflammation.

It has been a hard week. Hard to move. Hard to function. Hard to endure the pain. I'm a terrible person to say this but sometimes I wish those closest to me could feel the pain I do just for fifteen minutes so they could understand how bad it feels. Maybe then they wouldn't say flippant things that hurt so badly. Do people really understand how painful words can be?

Then I stop myself and realize how horrible it would be for someone else to feel this horrific pain every day. I truly wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Yesterday I plundered through my pantry and dug out a few cans of food. One by one I've emptied out the pantry. A dinner of instant macaroni and cheese and canned corn may not seem like much to someone else, but it was all I had. I'm thankful I had it to throw together. It is the end of the month. I'm counting pennies. I'm stretching canned food. I'm praying the Government doesn't shut down. If it does, I'm in trouble.

If I didn't drop to my knees, ask for God's protection and thank Him for providing for my needs every day, I wouldn't be here today. I wouldn't make it through the horrific pain I live with day after day, year after year. I couldn't stretch the pennies I have after basic bills are paid, medications are filled and some food is purchased. How do people get through this world without Him?

If I didn't drop to my knees every day, I would be completely hopeless, never sleep,would be a basket case. I'm thankful I can ask for peace and let the stress go before I sleep. At least His peace doesn't come with a price tag!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DECK OF CARDS

Yes, I'm Afraid!

In the news today, the Republicans decided to use the fight against Obamacare to shut down the government. That means my income won't deposit on August 3rd. I have $12 in the bank. How do I pay my rent? My electric bill? My phone (I keep for emergencies)? My medications? My water and sewer? I have a good landlady. She holds my rent check until August 3rd when my deposit comes.

WILL there be a deposit? Congress is going to use this opportunity to play games once again to put our lives on the line. I'm scared. I'm a nervous wreck! What will I do? I have nowhere to go for help. I have no family. No one to run to. How dare they play with our lives!

I'm still healing up from a fall from Saturday that reinjured my back and spine. Now add to it the extreme stress and worry of where I'm going to find $450.00 to pay my rent come August 3rd and the plus $200 to cover the other utilities until the government decides whether they are going to play their games and shut down the government.

I can't take the stress anymore. STOP playing games! You're playing with the lives of real people, people who are suffering, most of whom did not ask to be in this situation in the first place! It is a stressful way to live. Don't add to the stress!!

If only Congress would listen to real people!

WHEN YOU'RE DESPERATE....

You list what you have when you're desperate. There's $12.00 in the bank and food is low in the pantry. Time to list on ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/maryjcal/m.html?item=321171230107&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

THINK ABOUT THIS

Think about this the next time you pass someone who is in need. Think about this the next time you go to church and use the "sharing" time as an excuse to gossip about someone instead of putting action behind your prayers. Think about this, but don't just think, do something.


Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured below) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service....only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food....NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit in the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.

As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation........"We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek"....The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation.....The homeless man sitting in the back stood up.....and started walking down the aisle.....the clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him....he walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment....then he recited

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning...many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame.... he then said....Today I see a gathering of people......not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples...when will YOU decide to become disciples? He then dismissed service until next week.......Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It's something you live by and share with others.


Monday, July 22, 2013

IT'S BEEN A HARD DAY

It's been a hard day. The rain came in and I'm thankful for the cooler temperatures. But the pain already surging through my body from Saturday's fall was intensified by the rain. I'm still having problems breathing. It hurts to breathe in too deeply. Sore ribs, bruised arms, bruised back and injured spine.

On normal rainy days I can barely walk. My joints are swollen and painful. Today I could barely move. Just turning my head hurt.

Last night I woke up with a high fever. Welcome Lupus flare! Time will tell how it manifests itself.

Looking at the camera I can add the "counting pennies" to the stress list. Waiting until August 3rd is a long time for income. It is hard to stretch pennies.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Promise Keepers

Many things are important to me:

Don't lie to me. I won't lie to you.
 
And
 
Don't make a promise you don't intend to keep, especially when you made the promise to begin with!
 

HURTING!

Last night I went to the local free concert on the green here in Wilmore. Sat with some friends. It was too hot to do so, but I went any way. Sat in the shade. When the sun peaked through the trees, I moved my chair.

After a short while, I realized my chair didn't feel right. It felt uneasy. Something told me to get up and out. I didn't listen. Then the back leg crumbled and down I went! I hit hard on the ground, hit my head and landed on my right side. It literally knocked the wind out of me. I couldn't move for a few moments. My chest starting hurting and immediately I thought about the impact on the aneurysm near my heart.

"Be careful of falls. Impacts can cause the aneurysm to tear," the doctor said.

I didn't move for awhile because I wanted to make sure I didn't tear the aneurysm.

When I was able to pull myself up and onto a bench, I realized how dizzy and hurt I was. People who had set up the chairs checked to make sure I was okay. One lady said she tried to double check them to make sure there were no cracks in them. After what happened to me, it wasn't long before they replaced a chair with another person near me. They found a crack in a leg of her chair.

I sat through the first part of the concert, but left at the break. When I tried to stand up, my knees buckled under me. When I arrived home, I took meds, ibuprofen and crawled into bed. It was several hours before I could breathe normally again.

Today I've been in bed except during times to feed the cat. The right side of my body is bruised and frozen in pain. My spine and lower back are more damaged than before. It will take longer for that area to heal.

Someone said, "Her pride is more hurt that she is." That hurt me worse than the fall. People really don't get it. They don't realize how much severe pain I suffer with from the time I open my eyes until the time I close them at night. This fall just made it worse.

Pride? I haven't had that in so many years I wouldn't know it if it bit me in the butt. I have nothing to be proud about. Be careful of your words. They can do more damage than you think.

It is times like these that make life so hard. Most days I can deal with the suffering this disease and its offspring brings. Today I can't. I want a family member here with me. Life is just too hard to do this alone. I'm tired. I'm tired of being sick, tired, and suffering. I'm tired of counting pennies trying to make it to the end of the month. I'm so tired of explaining why I can't do normal things others take for granted. I'm so tired.

My life the next week: healing from a fall. What I wish my life would be: normal work week filled with family and friends.

My verse for today: "Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit." Proverbs 15:4

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

YIKES!

The heat index was 100 today. I felt it, too. People don't understand that even though I'm inside, the pressure of the heat and temps squeeze in hard! It hurts. We're blessed now with rain. Thank you God for rain! Even though the swing in the barometric pressure is wreaking havoc, it is cooling down the temps. 

On days like I this, I count down to Fall. Cooler temps, shorter days, fewer storms. I will be free of four walls and can go outside to walk and enjoy the fresh air again. Being trapped inside is horrible, but necessary during the summer, especially when you have a horrible disease like systemic lupus (plus other illnesses added on top). I'm so thankful I have a roof over my head. 

Life can be hard. I still count pennies by the middle of the month. Scares me to think of how I'll make it. But I have to stop and thank God for the peace in my life I have now that I did not have in Alabama. It is by far worth more than any riches anyone could gain.

Friday, July 12, 2013

OUCH!!

OUCH! My back has hurt so much today! Spinal stenosis added with osteoarthritis added with systemic lupus! Strained it from the yard sale last week dragging boxes out and in. Hurts to stand. Hurts to sit. Hurts to lie down. Took forever to fall asleep last night. Wish the flector patch was large enough to cover my entire back!

A friend asked if she started my lawnmower if  I could push it across the yard. I told her I couldn't for several reasons:

1. I can't feel anything from my knees down. Now I can't feel anything from partial thighs down. Hit a hole and down I go.
2.  Heat makes me physically sick.
3.  Sun exposure is a big no no for lupus.

I once told a friend if I ever wanted to leave this world, all I had to do was stop taking my meds and stay in the sun for a day. Yes, it was a joke, but there's a lot of truth there.

It is so hard to explain what it is like to live in a body that has been so destroyed by this horrible disease for eighteen years. Add to it no functioning thyroid (without medication), an aneurysm below my heart, lung damage from the disease, nerve damage in my hands and arms, a TIA and lupus damage that has affected my memory and thinking process, etc, etc., etc. Unless you experience it yourself, you just don't understand it. I try to be kind to those who don't get it, but it is so frustrating. I want others to care enough to try to understand.

Years ago I use to teach school, go to my dad's on the weekend, clean his house, cut his grass, go home and clean my house, cut my grass, grade papers until I fell asleep and start all over again. Now I can barely walk across the floor without suffering.

Never take one day for granted. Be thankful if you can work. Be grateful if you don't have to take twenty different medications a day. Be very grateful if you don't have to visit multiple doctors. Be extra extra grateful if you have family. Be extremely thankful if you don't have to choose between buying food, filling medications or paying bills.



 

Monday, July 8, 2013

HEAT IS BACK

Even though the rain hurt, I enjoyed the low temperatures so much! Now the heat is back. When I walked outside to go to water aerobics this morning, my breath was taken away. Heat makes me terribly sick. Rain makes me terribly sick. Cold makes me terribly sick. My doctor was so right - lupus patients are walking barometers.

Now I won't be able to go to water aerobics anymore. The pool is just too cold. When I crawl into a freezing pool, my joints freeze up, pain is horrible, and within a few moments I cannot move. I lasted thirty minutes today and that was with pushing myself. When I came home, I landed in bed the rest of the day because the pain was so bad. Today is my last day trying to push myself in freezing pool water. Sad, too. It is the only exercise I can do. When you can't feel anything past your knees, have little strength in your body to walk a few blocks, etc., your options are limited. I'll miss it, but when something does more harm than good, it just isn't worth it. After all, I'M the one who has to take care of me. No one else will do it.

Sad when you have a craving and can't go and get it! Today I've craved ice cream - chocolate ice cream! Oh what I wouldn't give to have chocolate ice cream! But it is too hot for me to walk several blocks to get it and if I did, it would be a big puddle by the time I finally made it back home. I've learned to do without so much because living on $800 a month is next to impossible. But when you have no one to get it for you, that also removes the possibility of filling the cravings.

I'm so tired, so very tired tonight. Lupus fatigue has set in. When I was in the pool today, I felt the fevers setting in. Will it ever settle down enough for me to recover? How I wish I had my family still - someone near. When you're sick, you need that comfort. It is so hard when you're alone in the world.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

GOD'S PROMISE

No matter how much it rained, God's promise still shown in the sky late yesterday when the clouds cleared out.

Genesis 9:13-16

13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”





Saturday, July 6, 2013

SATURDAY'S YARD SALE

It RAINED and RAINED! Still, I pulled out two card tables, borrowed from a friend, and set up my yard sale on the front porch, and put other items under the tent she set up in my driveway. Wilmore had their City-wide yard sale today. No matter how hard it rained, there were faithful souls who came out in the rain to shop. I sold a few things, but nothing like I hoped to sell. I don't have enough left to do another sell. What's left won't sell on ebay. Overall, I didn't make it close to $100. I'm still thankful for every nickel, dime and quarter I did make. It may have rained all day, but the temperatures were perfect. Was a super cool day. I was not exposed to sun! After we put my stuff back inside today, I crawled into bed and slept two hours. Now I can barely move.

Was it worth it? I'm not so sure. The pain is horrible. I'm swollen from head to toe. I am having a hard time breathing. There has to be a better way to make it to the end of the month, to choose between food or medications. I can't kill myself like this to make it to the end of the month.

Tonight is the Concert on the Green. Since we've had Noah's floods in Wilmore, it will be at the old Campgrounds Tabernacle. I promised my friend I would help her serve food since she's the food for the evening. Helped last night and went very smoothly. She's suppose to have extra set of hands tonight. Helps to get a free meal!

I can see what next week holds: bed rest. I'm sure Rascal will enjoy having the company again. He's stuck to me like glue every time I sat down this week. Poor baby! He will have a lot of company after tonight. I won't be able to move once I return home.

Hoping to find another answer to stretching the month besides a yard sale.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY - RAIN!

It is STILL raining! The temperatures never rose above 65 degrees today. I LOVE the temps. However, the rain has beaten me up! The pain is horrible. Anyone with systemic lupus knows when it rains, pain sets in joints. It has rained off and on for days. It has been a heavy rain the past two days.

I've been unable to sleep because pain keeps me awake. With the change in barometric pressure, I sometimes feel like a grape being squeezed in a vise. This morning I just gave up, rolled out of bed and tried to function early enough to go to the parade. Surprise! They cancelled it. Bad weather.

So my friends decided to had lunch together and watch a movie instead. It was a nice relaxing afternoon. As soon as I returned home, I crawled into bed in hopes of the pain subsiding. Oh how I wish it would have done so! If there were a magic cure for the extreme pain that comes during rain, I would make a fortune marketing it.

I've found two positive sides to having stone block walls: one: they are much cooler in the summer. two: they silence a great deal of sound from the outside. Even though it is pouring rain outside, I had no idea there were neighbors setting off fireworks until I took the trash out. I have decided I'll sacrifice the cold in winter for the silence and cooler surroundings in the summer.

The Wilmore City wide yard sale is suppose to be Saturday. My living room has a walking path to the door. There are boxes everywhere with yard sale stuff inside. I am praying the rain subsides by tomorrow so that we can have the sale on Saturday. I NEED to have the sale. I need the extra money. Ebay just isn't selling now because of the bad economy. All of my stuff is tagged and ready to go so Friday I'm sleeping in. I'm to the point I cannot move another muscle.

Please, Lord, let this rain subside so that we can have the yard sales on Saturday. Cloudy skies are welcome - the sun will just make my lupus worse.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

LUPUS AND RAIN!

It has been a LONG June! Now one more day before I'll have funds in my bank account again. Sad to say, but it won't be long before they will be gone as well. Saturday is Wilmore's City-wide yard sale. I've been pulling out everything I don't use to put in the yard sale and praying I'll be able to make some extra money without being exposed to too much heat and sun and then finally ending up in the dreaded place I've managed to avoid since moving to Wilmore - the ER! Since I get the full morning sun, my friend, Julie brought over a small tent I can put up to hopefully give some shade. Praying for cloudy weather and cooler temps, but the 80's and above tend to be too much for me. If I didn't need the money so badly, I wouldn't take the chance. I do without a great deal, but my cat has to eat.

Rain has been strong and full in Wilmore this week. Since my system has been so weak from last week's throwing up episode number three and having a lupus flare behind it, the rain finished me off with attacking my joints. I can feel the inflammation and swelling before the clouds roll in. Yesterday I went to water aerobics. We had to wait fifteen minutes to make sure the thunder rolled over before getting into the pool. Never thought about the cold. Yep. Was freezing! I couldn't stay in because I feared it would push my flare over the edge. As soon as I crawled out, changed my clothes and waited, I felt the pain cut through my joints like a knife. It is so hard to describe what is going on in my body to people who don't experience this. All they have to do is flip a switch and turn on the heat half an hour before we are scheduled for class. I don't understand why the college doesn't do this. All goes back to people don't understand unless they live with it.

So tired from lupus fatigue tonight. Have so many other things to tag, but I just don't have the strength to do so. Thank goodness it is only Tuesday night. Haven't gone to bed at 8:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night in a long long time. Time to go to bed.