Monday, December 30, 2013

Bright Spot in The Clouds - THANK YOU KEVIN SPACEY!

It has been a dreary weekend most of which I spent in bed. For the past couple of weeks, I've had a hard time walking on my left foot. I don't have feeling in my feet anymore, but I can feel the bone pain! It was hard just taking down the tree yesterday and packing decor away.

One day has run into another. Time tends to do that when you're alone. But today was different. I received a card in the mail from Kevin Spacey! THANK YOU KEVIN! You made my day!! You put a smile on my face.

Tomorrow is doctor day once again. This is a new rheumatologist. Had to wait three months to get in. I hear she's worth it. Hoping! I cannot imagine going into a doctor's office sick and actually feeling like they helped. It has been a long time. Just like most people in the world today, doctors don't seem to care anymore. Just praying she does.

BRRRR it is cold outside! Cloudy. Where's the snow??? If it has to be cold and dreary, we might as well have snow. When I was in college here thirty years ago, there was snow on the ground from November through March. Now we're lucky to have snow for a day. Come on snow!! :)

Today's plans were to clean. But the weather has beaten me down once more. Another day!

Rascal has decided that this computer is in his way. Time to get offline and cuddle with the kitty.



 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Hardest Christmas

Today was one of the hardest Christmases I've faced. Alone. No dinner. No family. No friends. I slept most of it away. It was the only way I could endure being alone at Christmas. Thank you, God, this day is over.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

My friend cancelled Christmas dinner. So it looks like I'll be alone at Christmas again. My heart is broken. It was the one thing I thought I could count on this year.

When I awoke this morning, there was a dusting of snow on the ground and flakes falling. The clouds have cleared out and it won't last much longer, but I am so thankful for a short white Christmas Eve! Thank you, God, for the nice gift this morning.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Two More Days...

Two more days until Christmas. Most are excited. I'm just thankful it will soon be over. Just two more days.

First Tornado Siren

Went to see "A Tuna Christmas" at the Woodford Theatre in Versailles, KY last night. It was late when we came home and the weather was wacky. It was around 11:30-midnight when I heard this crazy sound outside. Opened the door expecting two cats yelling at each other, but instead was greeted by a tornado siren in Wilmore.

Went back into the bedroom and turned on the news to find out there was a tornado nearby. Then I heard a loud sound like a train above my roof. I grabbed Rascal and headed into the closet. Since I keep a lantern in the closet, I turned it on and we waited.

It was so fast that poor Rascal didn't have time to react. After about fifteen minutes, he realized I put him in the closet. So he started pawing and meowing to get out. I finally opened the door and watched him sprint under the bed.

Quiet. Turned on the news again to find out the tornado had moved up and east. Checked outside and nothing seemed damaged. Not sure if it was a tornado I heart, but it scared me.

It was pretty late when we finally went to sleep. With the weather soaring up to near 70 yesterday, added with rain and yuck, it really wreaked havoc on my body. It is the barometric pressure. Now it will dive the other direction by morning. Wouldn't mind the cold if it came with snow, but no snow.

 

Friday, December 20, 2013

MY Take on "Duck Dynasty"

He quoted the Bible. Had every right to do so to back up his beliefs. 1 Corinthians 6:1-12. If other people condemn him for stating his beliefs, then those who do the condemning have no right to say anything when someone condemns them. Sad that the world doesn't work this way. Instead they allow Miley Cyrus to be on TV repeatedly. A&E is showing "Duck Dynasty" marathons to capitalize on their own "self made condemnation." It is all about the money to A&E.  

IF Phil had not been interviewed and asked specific questions, he would not have backed up his beliefs. Since they come from the Bible, I believe in the Bible and God, I stand behind him. God does not change.

OUCH!!

OUCH! The rain has come in and the temps are yo-yoing again. It feels as though someone is taking a 2x4 and beating me from the inside out. I cannot function when the temps do this, when the rain sets in. Bed rest again. The days run together so much so I have to look at the calendar to know what day it is.

So easy for days to run together when you're sick and alone. Sad, too, when the mail comes and leaves nothing in your box. Very few Christmas cards this year. Must be the economy.

I remember those who are alone because their family has passed on, they have no children, or they've reached the age where it is easy to fall between the cracks. I fall into the "no family" category and there are many days I feel invisible. Many days I wonder how God could possibly use a broken bodied person like me. It makes my heart heavy.

Lupus, along with all the other illnesses that have spawned over the years, has really taken its toll on my body, mind and soul. When you're in a position like this, you rely on God more. I am so thankful to be in His loving arms.

Please think of those alone at Christmas. Don't just think, do something for them. If you look around, you'll see there are many in your own neighborhood. Remember that a smile and a hug cost nothing but love.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Final Answer

I called my cardiologist today and asked him to take a look at all three tests. He said the aneurysm is 4.7 cm - off by .6 cm as told to me by the surgeon. Now I have a full year to look for another surgeon.

Thankful for no surgery yet!

A NIGHT OF MISERY!

A few hours ago, I started throwing up and experiencing diarrhea. I finally leveled off. This is happening far too many times now. I knew when I crawled into bed early this afternoon something was coming. I just don't understand the frequency and severity of it all. Tried eating crackers but did not work.

This adds to the misery of the Christmas season for me. Loneliness is consuming. Now illness has set in.

If you have family, be thankful every day for them. Dealing with illness alone isn't fun.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

And STILL Confused!

Went in to see the surgeon expecting to hear surgery plans. Instead he came in through the backdoor and straight into my exam room.

"It looks good. See you in a year."

"Wait. What? The second test showed it was 5 cm."

"The last test says it is fine and stable. That is why I asked for the CTA scan."

"You also asked for the echo cardiogram."

"I did?"

I asked many questions including the following:

"So those who read the second test just worried me for nothing?"

"Well, it depends on who reads these tests."

"It was my cardiologist who read the test. He was highly concerned and said it was 5 cm. Wouldn't let me go home until he was certain I was okay."

"Well, it doesn't matter. The size is 4.1-4.4 cm."

"It was 4.7 cm last year."

"I don't care what it was. It is what I wrote on your chart."

He didn't look at the cd of my scan, just read off a sheet of paper.

"Why did I have to come all the way into Lexington to hear you read off a paper for five minutes?"

"I don't set up appointments. Nurses do that."

Something is not right. I call my cardiologist tomorrow morning to find out what he thinks. Geesh this is stressful!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Lonely Weekend

It has been a lonely weekend. Spent most of it resting because the rain came in and caused a flare. For some reason the rain hurts me physically, but not the snow. Wish it would just snow instead of rain.

Spent a lot of time talking to God asking Him how on earth I would ever recover after open heart surgery when I have to do it alone. If I had someone in my life, a family member (all of whom have passed away), facing surgery would be so much easier. As it is, I worry about how on earth I will be able to function afterwards.

I'm still waiting to hear news about the last test. Turns out it was nothing more than another cat scan with more dye.  See http://www.scandirectory.com/content/eb_ct_angiography.asp

Will find out results when I see the surgeon on Tuesday. Just want to get it all over with.

December is hard for me. Even though Christmas is a celebration of Christ's birth, the world has turned it into a celebration of family. It is for this reason I do not go to church in December. The void of family is magnified ten fold. The heartache is worse.

Having no money to buy Christmas goodies, presents, etc., my small Charlie Brown tree is empty underneath. Nothing to open on Christmas day. That's okay. I don't need things. What I truly need cannot be wrapped in paper. While families gather together to celebrate, I sit alone in my freezing cold apartment.

And worry! I worry about how much out of pocket it is gonna cost me for all of these tests. I was prepared for two doctor's visits this month and a scan, but that has increased to three doctor's visits and three tests. Sad when you have to juggle money for food, living expenses and medications. Tag on medical bills! Overwhelming!

Holding my breath until December is over.

So let's just assume I go through with the open heart surgery. Lupus magnifies my chances of not waking up. If I do wake up, I face having to deal with recovery alone. How do I care for myself, wash clothes, cook, clean? How do I take care of Rascal, Buddy and Tom?

And let's just assume I don't wake up from the surgery. By far I will be in a much better place - Heaven. But if that is the case, this will be my last Christmas. Still alone. Still lonely, but relying on faith.

Those are the thoughts I've been struggling with this weekend. Tomorrow I will make myself go outside this door and walk. May not get far, but the walls are closing in. I can't bear them anymore.

Here's to hope for a better week.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ANOTHER TEST!

My thoracic surgeon decided to schedule another test. This is a CTA scan scheduled for Friday at 12:15. I have an appointment with him on the following Tuesday.
It appears he's going through the steps to reach the goal of open heart surgery. No matter what, I won't agree to it until after the first of the year. I just want one more Christmas no matter how lonely it will be.

It is so hard getting news like this and having to deal with it alone. I'm so stressed out! But truth be told, if I don't make it through the surgery, it won't affect anyone's life.

Just need the strength to endure a lonely Christmas. The last thing I want to think about is surgery.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Echocardiogram

Talk about a turn around fast! Went in for the echo cardiogram. The tech was very thorough. He left me in the room for awhile and I was wondering what happened. When he returned, he told me he had a concern about what he saw. Turns out it was an optical illusion. THEN he said my aneurysm was 5 cm and didn't want me to leave until a cardiologist read the test.

Luckily, my own cardiologist was on call to read tests today. He said I should be okay to go home for now until the surgeon saw the test results. There was a huge difference in size from what the cat scan showed to what the eco showed. Now we're at the wire for having surgery. Open heart surgery.

I was stunned when I heard the news this morning. My thinking had to turn toward facing what was ahead sooner than expected. But my best friend said something today that settled my mind.

"No matter what happens, it will be okay." I knew either the surgery would make a difference or if I died, I'd be in a far better place. So it will be okay no matter the outcome.

So now I'm stuck waiting on the surgeon to make a decision.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

And the Ice Storm is coming!

There is ice, sleet and snow headed our way. Today the temperature dropped more than 30 degrees from the day before. Gosh how that hurts! The Up and down temperatures cause my lupus to flare considerably. Let's just say the cat slept better than I did last night. The pain was far too great.

Rain tends to put me in bed. My joints swell and the pain is bad. Today was a cold and rainy day. If we could skip the rain and just have snow, my body would be more pleased.

Tomorrow morning I go back to Lexington for a echocardiogram. They want to make sure the aneurysm isn't leaking. Have to be there at 8:00 a.m. That puts us leaving at 7:15 a.m. So what am I doing now? Wasting time instead of going to bed early! I'm having difficulty breathing tonight. When I lie down, I can't breathe! So tonight may be spent in a chair instead of bed.

Realized today that Christmas is only a couple of weeks away. Why does it seem that December flies by while the summer months crawl like snails? I put up a tree, a small tree. Sometimes I wonder why I bother since there are no presents under it and won't be for that matter. One of the side effects of not having any family and being alone in the world. No Christmas dinner under this roof either. Hard when you juggle cost of medications, medical bills and whatever is left goes to food. So no goodies here.

Top today off by losing my camera! Won't power on. No, it isn't the battery. My best friend and I determined there is a connection problem within the camera. In other words, it can now rest in peace. It is officially dead. Bad timing! This weekend is Wilmore's Old Fashioned Christmas. I so wanted to take photos. Not this year.

So it seems appliances and me do not get along well. My best vacuum cleaner just quit. I am not sure but it appears its years have come to an end. Add to the list my tv is going as well. I guess these things come in threes. Well, the electronic deaths can stop now. That makes three.

Better to head to "bed" in my chair soon. Going to check to see where Rascal is since he ran when I turned on the vacuum cleaner.

 


 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

TEST Results!

Today I saw a new doctor - a thoracic surgeon I was pushed onto after mine moved back to Boston. My other doctor was kind, understanding, and took time with me. This doctor only gave me test results and scheduled an echo for Friday.

I was told the aneurysm near my heart has increased in size and would soon be ready for open heart surgery, but not this year! I was also told the nodules in my lung had disappeared. Yet more news was there are no other aneurysms.

I go Friday for an echo cardiogram to make sure the aneurysm isn't leaking. When they reach this size, they can do so.

One more doctor's appointment this month and that's it. Won't be another until Jan. 6th.