Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Tribute to my Daddy

Today is my daddy's birthday. He would have been 94 today. He died twenty years ago. The pain is  still as fresh as it was way back then. I've spent the entire day in tears. Grief knows no timetable.

With only a sixth grade education (he had to drop out to help his family work a sharecropper farm), he was the hardest working man I ever knew. One of the hardest lessons I learned was when I graduated high-school. I was told to find a way to go to college (meaning pay my own way) or get a job tomorrow and pay rent and utilities. I got both - worked in a sewing factory on my feet for eight hours on the night shift. Walked between the hemming machines adding pillow cases to be hemmed. Slept five hours, got up and went to college full time. Would never have happened if he had not been so tough on me. I ran out of gas on the way home from work. Was two miles from home. Of course the country store and gas station had been closed for hours. I called him. Daddy said I'd better start walking then. When I made it home, there was an empty gas cap on the table.  He said to take it with me when I walked back to fill up the car. He was a teacher of responsibility.

His grade latest gift was being content with what he had and being where he was. This quality is what I yearned to learn. In a world focused on being more, getting more, and moving up the ladder of success, I am thankful to have had a Daddy whose focus was to provide and care for his family, working hard and giving his children a strong work ethic. Never handing us things, but teaching us hard work and respectability was important to surviving. He always said just giving us money or things instead of us learning how the real world worked would not be doing us a favor. And he was right.

He was a WWII veteran, a carpenter,and a gardener. When he was young, he worked in the CCC camp so that he could send money home to his family. He was a fisherman who supplied many fish to feed our family during hard times. During that time he had a large garden that fed us all.

He had a great compassion and love for all animals, and they in turn loved him, too. I am thankful to have inherited his love for animals.

Most of all he is my Daddy and I miss him everyday!

Monday, August 22, 2016

What a Bad Day!

When I woke up this morning I had the fleeting thought of how happy I was that I wouldn't have to go back to see a doctor until October. Then I went to the eye doctor! Went in for a plaquenil test and came out with a $40 charge just to get a new glasses prescription, cataracts on both eyes, glaucoma, and plaquenil toxicity. Two more exams to go - one next month with her to check my eye pressure and waiting to hear when I go to Lexington to see a retina specialist to determine damage med has done after taking it 22 years. Can't go off cold turkey because lupus would put me in the hospital. Plaquenil controls the fevers and flares. It is the only medication (besides Benlysta) that controls the flares. All of the other fifteen medications control symptoms. 

So now I have to come up with money for a pair of glasses, to copay eye doctor visits and retina specialist. Once I am safely off the plaquenil, they will start doing cataract surgery. Can you say "cha-ching!"

I am still in shock with the diagnosis. Any prayers you can spare would be appreciated!

Friday, August 19, 2016


The temperatures and weather here has been off the chart. One day hot, next day cool. Several rainy. Today I've been in so much pain. Just can't get comfortable.

One more doctor's appointment on Monday. Time for a plaquenil test and eye exam. For those who don't know, plaquenil, a drug used to treat lupus, deposits on the back of your retinas causing vision damage. Has to be checked at least once a year. I've only been checked once in four years.

Lupus caused a great deal of damage to my vision over the years. Before I left Dothan, I was diagnosed with pre-glaucoma. Not here. I miss the eye doctor I saw in Dothan.

I've been blessed this week. Thank you Christy!

Time to head to the shower. Hoping a hot bath will loosen the pain.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Never Thought About It

Yesterday an old college friend asked me if I had a support system. Actually I had to answer the truth. Nope. No one encourages me every day, I never get hugs and as of today it has been six days since I've seen another person. I guess you could say this illness and suffering from it for so long has caused me to lose faith in people. Always said when the day comes where I didn't have to spend the Christmas season alone, I'd start believing in people again. But just like anywhere else I've been, talk is cheap and lack of actions speak so much louder.

Please don't tell me people mean well and expect me to believe it. As I write this I'm alone yet another day and another night.

Cost of medication is rising. My kitties are out of food already (thanks to that neighborhood dog, whom I haven't seen in two weeks). And I need food as well. The past two weeks have been terribly hard. The stress from July caused some pretty severe flares, fevers, swelling joints, and huge sores on my body. Today was the first day in two weeks I've been able to sit in the living room most of the day.

So to answer her question, no, I don't. I've simply grown used to having to deal with all of this alone. She's right - no one should have to grow used to this!!

So if you're out there suffering and have at least one family member or friend who checks on you, helps you in any way, be thankful. It is a rougher road alone.

There's not a moment I wish to go back home to Alabama (more frequently after a doctor's visit and lack of care. Then I wish and pray hard for God to open a financial door for me making my desperate need more real. Dear Father God please send me all the support I need to restore my home to Alabama again and bless me with the gift if my rheumatologist there. I can't do this alone. I need help in every area. If humanity has truly become the uncaring selfish people I believe they have, please send down angels and the Holy Spirit to get the job done. My hope rests in You!

On these dry miserably hot days in Kentucky, and yes they cause all kinds of pain with humidity and the barometric pressure beating on me. In these days I beg God to bless us with rain to quench the heat, send water to the vegetation on earth, to water the glorious and unique animals who live among us. Tonight I heard thunder and looked out the window to see rain. Miss little bit and I did a gig for joy! Well a small gig (b
Hard to dance on two feet and legs with permanent nerve damage while balancing yourself with a cane! It has been a long while since we had rain and every drop helps.

I lay my head down on my pillow and dreamed of the ocean, of Panama City beach FL. Memories of walking in the sand after the sun went down, feeling the warm sand on me when I sat down, hearing and watching the birds hunt for supper. Remembering how cold it was one December where I had to go to Walmart to get gloves, scarf and hat, and warmer closed in shoes before I could walk the beach. It was bbbbiiiitttteeeer!

But if I ever came into money, I would live on the beach. I recall a time when the staff went to the beach for a planning retreat. I spent most of my time looking at the waves and letting me be hypnotized by them. My favorite spot was on the screened in back porch just feet away from the water. I would si and write stories and poems. I'd also allow the waves to rush over me with their healing touch. It was there I felt calm, at peace and knew God could and would do anything. He was in charge of this mere existence my small  life shown. God's word is powerful and strong. Know He is the beginning and the end. I feel closer to Him at the ocean than any other place on earth.