Thursday, October 28, 2010

GLOOM -- yet God Inhabits the Praise of His People

I've been going pretty much cold turkey to quit the Lyrica, the Morphine, and the codeine (percocets and tyl. #3's) I was chuffing down before surgery. I don't need the pain meds now --though it's just been a week since the back surgery. I've been very emotionally vulnerable --can't explain depression--it just can come after events like this --and when you're getting off drugs, I'm sure. I feel the pain and misery of the whole grey world --and can't get motivated to do all I was going to do with Rob gone to Costa Rica on a mission trip and my mother at my brother's home this week. Jon gave me 1/2 Celexa tab, anti-depressant -- but I hope to do without it and not get addicted, but I'll take again if I really feel bad.

About food, I don't feel hunger --but I feel like I'm going to be ill if I don't eat --like I'm queasy. I feel like I have a bit of a bug --a gastrointestinal bug. And a young friend in the church to whom I've been giving rides and taking out to eat occasionally, has been so afflicted with similar symptoms. She's pregnant. I've wondered if my problems aren't hormonal as hers may be.

I've had longer periods of uninterrupted sleep --and slept til 10 this am which may sound lazy to you, but was good for me. I was feeling emotionally vulnerable when I got up, while pushing myself to put one foot ahead of the other, brushing teeth, sponge-bathing, etc --can't shower unless I have my husband home to change my band-aid on my back. It's interesting how clean and dry the incision has been for days --since they took the drain bag out at the hospital, I've had almost no residue on the band-aid, so I seem to be healing well.

While feeling gloomy, the phone rang.

IT was Focus on the Family --thanking us for a modest donation we made. The gentleman prayed with me. It seemed like the Lord's own call!

I came downstairs and blogged briefly --and then decided to look at the pool and the plants. Yes, the pool water level was precariously low, nearly below the skimmer, which would make the pump run dry which wouldn't be good --and some plants were near death.

So I rallied to the tasks --and while in there decided to sing the doxology and other praise songs while in there where the acoustics are great. What a lift to the soul --with the sun shining on the golden leaves seen through the windows.

I tend to feel distant from the Lord in times of depression and stress --and then I was reminded that "God inhabits the praises of His people." It's a Bible verse from somewhere. He DWELLS in our praises! So if we praise Him, He is nigh~ And I was in good voice, despite the ordeal of intubation that initially affected my vocal cords.

I felt such a lift. Got my jobs done. Decided to write about it.

One thing about pain, suffering, depression --I feel empathy for the miserable of the whole world --and I feel like a spoiled American to have any complaint. And to read of the difficulties of Christians around the world --and to know how someone in another country would just have to endure a cyst on their sciatic nerve. No question about it, when I feel this weight of the world's misery, on top of my own blessed life, I would rather just slip from life peacefully in my sleep, than to go through the depressing miseries that so many live with daily. I would rather go to Heaven than endure depression, but I know I must be patient. It's not that I long to die --hardly--but I hate this feeling!

I was upbeat during the surgery time --oddly felt times of elation and joy in recent weeks despite my problem --perhaps from Lyrica, etc. I want that sense of well-being from the Holy Spirit, and I notice that He is indeed helping me.

It does take a leap of faith --especially if you aren't raised to have faith as I was --to believe that one is online with the Creator of the Universe --that He is personal --that He cares for us --just as the Bible promises. But Jesus came to assure us --and sent His Holy Spirit to comfort us in His physical absence. As Thomas, who had to see to believe, said, "Lord, help thou my unbelief!" And Jesus said how blessed the people would be who believe in Him without seeing.

So I walk by faith --and not by sight.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


We bought a new bed and should've given the money to missions instead. We had our old bed for 38 years --bought when I was expecting our first child, Stephanie. A good Stearns & Foster --but it was badly dipped and springs poked through that we had covered successfully with layers of memory foam which my husband loved. So you would think we'd love a Tempur-Pedic mattress and got one with the foot and head lifting mechanisms --actually 2 twins --anticipating problems when I came home from hospital and need for help sitting up in bed --or lifting legs for circulation --old person problems that might come our separate ways at separate times --so separate beds together as a king with separate controls.

Right away Jon thought it gave him a back ache --so he put on the old foam layers from the old bed --and it's ok with him now, but it looks bad with his side 6 inches higher than mine. And I'm beginning to think this springless slab of dense NASA designed memory foam is unforgiving --it's the Tempera Cloud --their newest and softest with the air chambers built in for cooler effect, they claimed --and I do feel this thing is going to feel hotter than Hades in the summer. There is no "spring" to it --like they advertise you can turn over and not bother your mate. It's like dead weight --or you feel like dead weight on it. It's initially comfortable --but now I'm having just a little lower back ache --and one might say, "duh --you had surgery there and are going off the meds!" Yeah, I hope that's what it is.

After they installed it, they gave us a book about the lift mechanisms --and there is a weight limit --and we are precariously close to it --and my husband is over it slightly. Well, he's not using the mechanism either and I am typically preferring the flat position now --as you sort of feel like your rear is slipping down with all your weight on it when your head is up.

This was the Tempura-Pedic mattress with the Ergo mechanism. The price was shocking, but -oh, I forgot --one reason for it was that my pain doc said he recommended for back problems either a very firm bed (which my husband didn't want) or the Tempur Pedic --but not the air beds (Sleep Number.) So we were following doc's suggestion.

On TV there is a 90 day trial period "before you decide to buy" --but we didn't notice that before we bought --and Banner Mattress said we could possibly return the bed system for $500 or so for the shipping.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm Baaaaack! Said the little lamb....

I just got out of the hospital today after surgery on a synovial cyst on the sciatic nerve. I felt better immediately --missing that electric current down the leg --and the unrelieving fist of pain in the hip --especially after tortured hours of sleep at night --when the nerve was compressed by the cyst for long periods --and would get especially excruciating when I would awake and try to move. I'd use a walker to slide, weeping, yelling, moaning all the way to the "do-nut seat" --the toilet --which allowed decompression of the nerve enough after 15 minutes or more --so that I could walk back to bed fairly silently and start the compression of the nerve all over again--because no way that I lay down could avoid the compression on the nerve. Sitting upright was tolerable during the day but to decompress, sitting on the do'nut was the most relief --along with pain pills which put me in the camp with Rush Limbaugh --abusing the pills --I'd take one every 2 1/2 to 4 hours to survive (sometimes less during the day) --morphine alternating with codeine --which I had in an earlier RX. Understand, I did not use all the pills I had --and am aware of no addiction tendency. I got pain relief --and now I am still getting some post-surgery incision site pain relief --but that pain can't compare with the sciatic nerve pain of this past summer --and especially the last 6 weeks or so. I've been complaining of a hip pain for a longer amount of time --and it remains to be seen how much better at walking and standing I'm going to be without that cyst.

One draws closer to the Lord in times of pain --begging Him as I touched the hem of His garment with all confidence in His reality and His power to heal --I was disappointed when, at the height of my pain, He didn't relieve me as quickly as I would have preferred --though the pain did subside if I could get to the do-nut!

I knew of a man once, who lost His faith, because God did not heal Him of back pain at a healing service --one where the Pentecostal speaker suggested that sufficient faith WOULD result in healing. I was disappointed that my child-like faith did not effect healing of my father from colon cancer when he was 58 and I was in my early 30's --and He died.

Nevertheless, God sent to my hospital room this lovely Nurse's Assistant whose husband had just died at 40. She said, "I'd heard of you as I used to go to Dr. So and So and my parents went to your husband," and they said you were " a wonderful Christian woman --so I am glad to meet you." And then she told me her husband died of pancreatic cancer at 40 just recently --and she told of how strong her faith was through it all --and her confidence that God sees us through these sufferings --even when He doesn't heal us --that He is good all the time --that He has purposes and plans in what He does. That His mercy and Grace are sufficient through our sufferings (which the Bible also says, along side the promises of healing), that His funeral service was a time of praise to God with all her children performing or speaking --a testament to their father's Godly witness in their lives. She spoke of a church and ministers who upheld them at every step.

My minister, too, came to us before surgery --and read a comfortable passage that I will share later when I remember what it was.

I know that we all will die of something. I know that suffering is part of our mortal journey through life. I am confident that immortality where there is no more suffering, pain, or death is our destiny --because the risen Jesus said so. I have experienced the comfort of the Lord through His presence in the midst of pain--the feeling that He IS there --that I AM His child --I am a sheep who belongs to the Good Shepherd --a lamb of the Lamb. I have known the beauty and blessing of the Body of Christ who ministers to us in our times of need, pain and sorrow.

Now, I praise and thank God for American health care --for the kindness and patience of nearly every employee with whom I had contact. For my skillful surgeon, Dr. Spetka --and his neighbor at the Toledo Clinic, Dr. Travedi in pain management. It's wonderful how these people can be so patient and caring, day in and day out --and also so skilled.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

The Truth about Anita Hill's Accusation of Justice C. Thomas

I watched the Senate hearings on Thomas's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

A Professor Chillicothe from Oral Roberts' U. was a witness after midnight. A white-haired gentleman, he said that Thomas had helped Hill get a job teaching at ORU --was a reference for her. So she invited Thomas to speak to the student body and he came. The professor later had them both as guests at his dinner table.

He said something like this, and this is certainly a paraphrase, but I'll never forget the word "conviviality" that he used: "Such conviviality (joyful fellowship--joy of life) was evident between them. They laughed and laughed --loudly, heartily-- and enjoyed each other's company immensely and seemed to have a great friendship. When it came time for Thomas to go to the airport, Anita insisted that she drive him herself."

Now, this was AFTER the alleged harrassment as her employer.

Years later, what exactly was the nature of his harrassment according to her? Well, it was a couple of things that she knew his Christian, socially conservative, supporting base would find offensive --making him seem to be less than a perfected saint at best -- an insincere hypocrite at worst --but NOT a sexual harrasser. Supposedly there was a hair on a coke can --and he said it looked like a pubic hair --and supposedly she had visited his apartment once and found he owned inappropriate things for a Christian to own --porn video or Playboy or something of that nature.

"Sexual harrassment" in those days included making a "hostile work environment" by sexual vulgarity that would make a woman (or anyone) "uncomfortable." So his remark and possibly others like it made her feel "uncomfortable," in that way, she claimed.

Nevertheless, he helped to get her a job at ORU with a reference letter and his own high profile in gov't as support, and she used her relationship with him to get him as a speaker to the students, and afterward, enjoyed him immensely at dinner and insisted she be alone with him in a car to take him to the airport.

So Prof. Chillicothe was "shocked" to hear her accuse Clarence of something so vile as "sexual harrassment."

Another testified at the hearings that Anita wanted to marry and had marital designs on Clarence --and that he disappointed her greatly when he up and married his, incidentally white, wife. I can appreciate that she would have been keenly disappointed, after Prof. Chillicothe's description of them together socially.

She was "used" by the liberal left feminists, elevated as a public heroine, a whistle-blower on behalf of all working women who endure the rudeness of men in high places. She has nothing to gain and a lot to lose if she would admit to his wife Ginny Thomas that he never really harrassed her in any way --but was always a friend to her, in fact.

Ginny is asking her to search her Christian heart and come clean and admit to the public that she over-stated her accusation of "abuse" by sexual harrassment in the work place. But that would be an admission of guilt on her part. No wonder Anita reacted badly--she can't admit that she maligned him unfairly --every job she has gotten since has been because of her high profile history as a noble woman who came forward --achieving black woman against achieving black man.

Reports at the time from ORU students were that she was not a good teacher. I wonder what her students say today. Maybe she has improved in that regard.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Anita Hill's response to Clarence Thomas' Wife

From Rob

Virginia Thomas left a message on Anita Hill's answering machine stating her desire to put the issue of Hill's accusation of Thomas' husband behind them discuss the issue and consider an apology for the accusation.

Here's the message:

"I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day,"

How does she react? She call's Brandeis University's security department who turned it over to the FBI!

Really Miss Hill? What's the high profile judge's wife going to do to you?

Later, Anita Hill says to reporters as she is moving to class, "I need to get off this street and I don't want anybody to get hurt," she said. "I don't have any comment right now. Please, let me go teach my class."

Is this the response of a victim or of someone who's been hiding the truth?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Catholic Church Problems --Response to the ol' Mudrake

Thought I'd check on Mudrake after long absence --he has a topic about his wife's class reunion --about the 68 year old women who are still letting the Catholic Church affect their lives negatively --run their lives. My reply (because he will not publish it at his blog.)

Doesn’t sound to me like these women let the church run their lives at all! The one did not annul but got a divorce–even though annulment would have squared her with the church. Because of her mother’s beliefs concerning the status of the grandchildren. Not because she feared the church. She went ahead and divorced and re-married. The other lady, the heavy-drinking Catholic had no respect for the church clearly–and the church has no practices or beliefs to help the laity stay sober.

The Foundation for Life, e.g. is having a reception to raise money for the pro-life cause –and charging $60 a head for snacks and the open bar –no dinner. There will be a speech by a former Planned Parenthood director and I intend to attend in order to support the pro-life work of the foundation. But it’s sad that most of the $60 ticket will support the open bar which was considered a selling point in promoting the event. I said to the really sweet young lady at the FFL office, “O you Catholics!”

Catholics “lapse” in faith because the church has been headed by such extreme hypocrites –Evil –way too many pedophiles and uncelibate homosexuals and alcoholics in the priesthood. what kind of teaching can come from such a church? what disillusionment for the young with parents and priests addicted to nicotine, alcohol and perverse sex, affecting their temperament, behaviors, reputations.

Sepp, my experience of church has been wonderful. I go to a really “functional” church (Holland FMC on Angola Rd.) –with a history of “clean living” without nicotine and alcohol. All the pastors I’ve had were really godly and not hypocrites. Genuinely loving and sweet people. Right now, we only have a VERY few “body lice” in my congregation to test the saints with irritable personalities or control tendencies common in church lay leaders —(“Saint” meaning “believer.” ) Our pastor preaches the Bible to us –HE doesn’t tell us how to live; the Bible does. And so we know we are to be patient and forebearing with one another, “Kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven us.” And to be filled with the Holy Spirit and not excessive wine. To be sober all the time.

The music is uplifting and varied with traditional and contemporary music –most always aesthetically pleasing. And the minister is intelligent, insightful, educated, practical and inspiring.

Now, a final word about the Catholic Church:

They are leaders in the pro-life movement and some priests are surely godly men. The sincere and devout have FAITH in Jesus as the Savior of the world --on that we agree. And the sincere and devout also live lives such that their children receive the baton of faith from their parents. A Catholic layman brings our church baked goods for us to distribute after our Sunday service --from area merchants. I guess his church doesn't want to distribute these on Sundays? I'm not sure why we are the beneficiaries of this good work. And the devout Catholics also practice good deeds to neighbors --as the Bible teaches --as my mother's neighbors did for her, an elderly widow.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Sunday, October 3, 2010

MY LIFE LATELY! if anyone is interested....

In August, my daughter, a teacher, had an emergency appendectomy just before her school year was to start. So I drove her back and forth from Maumee to BG to Jerry City --to finish preparing her classroom, loaned her my Rascal scooter to get around in the school building. Then my sciatica kicked up --for which I had curative pain shots at the end of June successfully. This time the shots didn't help. I got worse and worse until I had an MRI --during which I was as comfortable and snug as a bug in a rug --despite my apprehensions about claustrophobia. But when I went to get off of the high, narrow table a week ago Tuesday, I could not move any which way without this thing in my hip "catching" and giving me tremendous unrelieved huge, sharp pain--talk about a pain in the A!!! pain down the right leg and my right toes and part of my foot feeling as though they were bandaged. SCREAMING, NOT PRETTY FEMININE HOLLERING as in on tv --but hoarse screeching like in a horror show. The worst pain EVER --NUMBER TEN TO THE MAX! And no one could help me. I knew they couldn't without just putting me under and there was no one around the MRI unit to do that at night--so I suffered helplessly to the car and could hardly get in --or get out at home --or get into the house --but then if I sat on the toilet, I had already learned that there would be some relief --as sitting on the doughnut shaped-seat seemed to gradually release the aggravation of the nerves.

What was it??? The MRI showed general disc disease of lumbar spine (common to my age?) , a bulging disk, some narrowing of something or other, and a CYST on a joint space near the nerve endings to sciatic nerve -or something like that --my layman's interp. I had two more of these screaming bouts when getting up from lying down before the pain clinic shot me up again two days after the MRI. Dr. said he tried to aspirate and flush out the cyst -so it wouldn't fill up again. But I don't think he was entirely successful. I've had some relief, and am getting around --but I have that tell-tale pain in the right "buttock" as Forest Gump would so plainly tell you --when I lie down. Otherwise some good days --and various pills --Lyrica, Percocet as needed, Celebrex --and sometimes Motrin as needed. A previous hip x-ray didn't reveal a problem in the joint where I feel it.

Meanwhile we've just signed up for a Tempur-pedic ? bed with the adjustable head and feet feature --thinking ahead. Our Stearns & Foster bed is as old as our oldest child --37 1/2 years old. We bought it in St. Louis when I was pregnant. Before that we were on a studio bed --one side mattress --and one side just flat springs. The current old bed is lumpy and dippy and no support compared to the beds at Banner Mattress. We also bought those wedge pillows for the car seat --as sometimes I can hardly move into the house after driving. Those seem to help. Unfortunately, Hubby still likes the old mattress which we have layered with a couple of memory foam layers --but I know my side of the mattress is aggravating my condition.

MOREOVER, my husband has suffered a terrible pain for a year, which started ruining his happiness in August --for which he had surgery--and his was due to an abscess that he thought was merely the family hemorrhoid curse --until the doctor looked into the matter. He is healing and was immediately relieved by the surgery.

91 year-old Mom? Nothing wrong with her!!! And I'm glad, because we don't need any more problems right now. I tell the Lord we've been tested like Job enough for one summer.

Mom had a birthday party last week --and I thank the church ladies who were available for hire to get my house caught up --and for Rob's help, too. Her sister and husband in their 80's came; her son and wife; all of our kids and our 2 grandchildren --15 total.

The party started here with appetizers, fall decor, floral bouquets and candles --then we went to show the visitors our daughter's new beautiful park-like home in Whitehouse at dusk, and then to Biaggi's Restaurant for a wonderful meal--and back to our house for cake and gifting. Mom was well-honored, and delighted. She has been taking the new higher dose of Aricept lately and it seems to me she is sharper --answering the phone which she couldn't figure out before --and speaking of her sister and husband by name instead of as "those people --the ones who are my relatives" and "my aunt and uncle," which they are not hers, but mine.

She still thinks her birthday was a certain day that it wasn't, the same numerical day as mine --instead of the day which has always been on her birth certificate and ID card. She complained to the hairdresser that no one celebrated her birthday on her birthday nor agrees with her about when it is --which is progress in that she even knows that her dream birthdate passed. She says to me with exasperation, "I know what I know. You weren't always around back then!!!" She also thinks she and her father looked at our property before there was a house on it --and also came to the Toledo Airport when it was being built, which is highly doubtful. She thinks she recognizes a lot of places which aren't really in her history.

Mom stays in her room all day except for her daily trip to the mailbox --which will usually have a copy of her hometown newspaper. She spends her days looking out the window and re-organizing her photos, her clothes, my mail. If she can, she saves old kleenex boxes and candy boxes and the like--they're pretty and they might come in handy. She also tears her table napkins in half to get more use of them--and likes to use one square of toilet paper at a time. She gets her hair done on Saturdays--Rob drives her. I do the baths. He does the breakfasts. Sunday morning she is likely to change out of the clothes which I put her in, into something of her own choosing --which usually isn't' color coordinated --if she gets a chance. Unfortunately, whenever it is time to go anywhere, she heads for the bathroom again--just in case --even though she was just in there 5 minutes earlier. She will brush her teeth with a tube of hand creme if I'm not there to show her her toothpaste. She is out of sorts if she doesn't get her favorite breakfast, a fried egg, 1 piece of toast which she slathers with huge amount of jelly, orange juice and instant coffee with milk. She is not even polite about substitutions.

She did go to a bridal shower brunch with me Saturday morning and enjoyed that --I think. She and I do not go anywhere fast --what with my painful gait and our similar slow penguin walks.

I'm using a beautiful, Gandalf-like cane --a hickory stick, highly varnished and polished by Wayne Altman, of Holland, now deceased, who gave it to my husband many, many years ago. I do feel a little witchy using it, but it helps a bit to take weight off.

I'm trying a diet --no night-time eating. Lost a little. Plan to get back to daily swim --which I had not been doing mainly because I was busy trying to get two things done during this pain siege --driving a young mom to and from her community service obligation at Toledo's Botanical Gardens (right beside the old Mudrake's home --I drove by there once to see if he was there for me to wave at.) Then I would drive her baby over to a sitter from my church. Both lovely people --the baby and the sitter. Adorable baby!

Between the morning and afternoon trips, I was trying to learn the new Publisher 2010 computer program I bought in order to do a church newsletter for outreach to our own and others. I started it in August and had to keep changing the articles because the events I was promoting in September had passed --so I just wrote about them as re-caps in the past-tense. I had trouble using the newspaper format --I am very unskilled and had to have a friend wave her magic fingers over my keyboard --and had the publisher try to talk me through some problems like how to send it to them. I did take this to Welch publishing to print --in order to get it done fast without imposing on the church office.

We mailed it Friday after closing time at the Holland P.O. and people said they got it Saturday! Hooray!!!

My hat is off to the medical profession--and the post office! And Welch Publishers did a lovely job!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Respect Life Sunday in Maumee --The Faithful Take a Stand

Because I just finished a church newsletter as outreach for my church, I was aware of Respect Life Sunday and their Life Chain being today, the first Sunday in October--and promoted it at my church today. I was counseling a young teen, however, and didn't have time to be in the chain myself, but my friend and I drove up by one of 3 area churches participating --St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Maumee, OH. There they were --at least 30 mostly gray-headed people holding colorful posters with a pro-life, Biblical message --various verses and statements --like "Lord, Forgive our nation." They filled at least one block as they took their stand for one hour between 3 and four --as did Christians of Christ the King Church in Toledo and Dayspring Assembly of God Church in Bowling Green.

Next year, I'm hopeful we'll get a chairperson to arrange for the posters and our involvement at my church in Holland, Ohio.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible