Bald Blind BEAUTIFUL

Yesterday, our daughter posted a selfie on instagram. In her own words, her hair “was falling out in handfulls, and I told myself I wasn’t going to loose my hair to sickness or medications, and if I was going to be bald it would be because I was confident enough to not feel like I need my hair to protect me or make me beautiful and to be able to shave it off myself, so that’s exactly what I did”.

In synopsis, since September 8, we have been in two ambulances, three emergency rooms, countless doctor’s offices, and inpatient in hospitals in two states, three times. We know a ton of information about what is NOT going on, but no clear answers about why she is struggling.

She hasn’t fainted in three weeks now. She is still totally blind (lost eyesight within 48 hours). Over half of her hair fell out, in individual strand cascading like a waterfall, (over two weeks) then in huge chunks as large as 4×6 inches of baldness at once (over 36 hours)! We broke down and shaved the remaining hair on Wednesday after another huge section on the side of her head came off with the beanie she wore to school on Wednesday to camouflage the large patch missing off the back of her head. One area fell out in a nearly-perfect heart shape, so once we shaved her remaining hair to ¼ inch, the bald heart looked intentional.

Today will be our third doctor’s appointment of the week. She is very frustrated by the amount of school she is missing. We are tying to emphasize that our priority is her well-being. The teachers, school staff, and her counselor are being fantastically supportive. The school started her on learning Braille on Wednesday and started mobility safety training with her VI (visual impairment) teacher today.

We are on the waiting list for a referral to an “undiagnosed conditions” program out of state. Please join us in praying that she will be accepted into the program (they receive so many applications that only a small fraction of kids actually get in). Also pray for doctors to have wisdom to figure out what’s going on and be able to help her. According to God’s perfect will and timing, we are simply requesting full healing for our girl, whether He wants to accomplish that through the common grace of medical aid, or to move miraculously to bring about dramatic healing that glorifies His name by leaving the medical community without explanation!

It is a HARD road we are walking. (If you don’t know the backstory, I told more at missed-deadlines and literal.) We are clinging to God’s grace through the darkness.

I cry to you, LORD;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
– Psalm 142:5 (NIV)

Literal

My heart leapt with joy at the sound of singing coming from my daughter’s bedroom a couple weeks back. Beautiful melody is common from my teen who has won multiple talent shows and serves as a lead singer on her youth group’s worship team. What caused this song to capture my heart was the literal way it illustrated this blog’s “In Darkness Sing” theme.

 

At her request, over our past month, I have refrained from sharing identifying details. However, issues have now progressed to a life-altering levels, tested and researched enough to lead us to believe we may be facing these challenges for the long-haul. Hope and peace continually collide with fear, anger, and grief.

 

What made my songbird’s worship touch my heart so deeply 15 days ago (and every day since)? The understanding that just the day before her song reverberated down our hallway, her eyesight had totally vanished, after just a 48-hour battle. In the terrifying wake of uncertainty, blind faith in her Creator was being very literally tested. Her grace astounded, challenged, and convicted me as I wrestled through my own confusion.

I am writing from our 3rd hospital in 3 ½ weeks, this time a major, out-of-state one we had to fly to on Sunday. Monday involved 4 ½ hours of one-on-one appointments with two different specialists.  Yesterday was another 6+ hours with an even more unique sub-specialist. We were admitted last night and got little sleep as major testing unfolded throughout the wee hours.

 

Questions and theories abound.

 

Answers remain few.

 

Our daughter remains sightless.

 

As we were sitting in our first appointment of Monday morning, our son called with his own fresh, raw, devastating news. Rick flew home on Tuesday to get back to our boys as one of them walks his first real grief journey.

 

My in-laws have been here. I’m so thankful. However, they cannot stay past Friday. Since testing could continue into the weekend or beyond, I’ll be checking into another Ronald McDonald House for an indefinite length of time. We are hoping there will be a room available tomorrow. In times like these, I really miss my ability to drive!

 

This I know:

Earth is temporary and fading. God is constant and eternal.

 

If my girl can sing praises to Him, in the midst of her darkness, I choose to do the same.

Missed Deadlines

I’ve missed at least three deadlines and a doctor’s appointment this week. I’m sorry if you were one of the people I let down. I’ve reached my limit and I know it!

One of my children had to go back to Renown (where they were admitted 2 weeks ago) via ambulance from school yesterday. They sent us home last night so that we could go to a previously-scheduled appointment today (fastest treatment plan). We went to that appointment with hospital bags packed, in case we got admitted to Saint Mary’s (other main hospital in Reno) today, but by God’s grace, those bags were not needed.

My child will not be allowed to attend school again until at least Oct. 8, and will have an MRI as soon as insurance approves. Vision is the immediate concern, as yesterday’s hit to the head darkened this child’s eyesight dramatically, now only seeing lights, or details about two inches from the nose, about 17% vision.

The bigger scare is that this is day 18 of the underlying medical crisis we still don’t have clear answers over. We now counted about 11 major (and a few minor) events in 2 1/2 weeks.

Rick is out of country until Friday night. He has been amazingly supportive to the best of his ability, but it is really hard on him to be so far away. Please pray for our other kids too. Our parents and adult son are taking up all the driving duties as I’m still without a driver’s license since my strokes.

Physically I’m utterly fatigued, exhausted. I fell asleep today in the length of time it took a son to go get a drink of water. We were talking when he came home, while I rested in bed after a medically-intensive day. He was thirsty, so ran to the kitchen for a drink. When he came back a moment later, I was asleep. He tried to tiptoe out of the room, but the phone jolted me awake. Our entire family is in desperate need of long, refreshing, restorative sleep tonight.

I don’t have words to even try to describe God’s grace and peace in the midst of this storm though. I’m afraid any attempt will come off sounding corny. Simply know this. Life is very hard. God’s love is so much bigger!

Guidepost Writing Course

I love to write.

I love to help other authors polish their skills.

So when I learned I could review this product and tell you how to receive two hours ($90 value) worth of Master’s level video writing instruction, plus all the course extras, all for less than $25, I was ecstatic! You’ve got to check out the amazing Guidepost Academy training course, How To Tell A Great Story.

That this advice is offered through Guidepost, a magazine known within my writing circles for being a really tough magazine to break into, has me especially intrigued. Since I hope to submit a story for their 2020 competition, I really want to hear all they have to say!

Given our past month (Who am I kidding? Make that seven years!) of medical craziness, I have honestly not had opportunity to complete this entire course yet, but I am so looking forward to doing so.

Read what others have said about the high value of this incredibly low investment:

Guideposts Academy 5 Stars

By Patricia Parish

July 8th, 2018

This course an incredible opportunity for me. No university could have done better. So much for so little money. I thank you all so very much. Will be sending something to you all regularly even if all I get is rejections! So grateful for the helpful information, I am tearing up as I write this. Patricia (Pat) Parish, Blessings to the teachers and all your personnel.

Rating: 5 of 5

Quick Course that is Very Helpful

By Barbara Litchfield

April 30th, 2018

Thus course is excellent!  The short recorded sessions with Edward, Rick, Colleen, Jim, and Amy, were full of helpful information for writers in any genre.  The workbook download helped me with note taking and reinforced the learning.  I also am grateful that I can retake the course whenever I need a refresher.  It is definitely worth $24.99.

Not The CODE BLUE I Know

Our school’s “Code Blue” is NOT the same as a hospital flat-line code.

Just sayin’.

This would have been really nice information to know before one of our kids’ schools called me at 9:30 this morning, to say they had to call a Code Blue on this kid today!

 

Our school’s code blue simply means “serious medical concern”. It is an all-staff call for medical assistance, not usually a statement of resuscitation needed!

The cardiologist’s decision late yesterday afternoon, to try to cut medication dose in half, was an utter failure.

The good news is, this child was on a 48-hour heart monitor, so whatever the heart did or did not do during this episode, is now recorded, and will become known early next week when the test gets read.

We went to the orthodontist at noon, as that appointment has been rescheduled 3 times, due to medical events, and was now WAY overdue. I only earned a few eye rolls from my child when I insisted on caution at the speed the dentist chair reclined on was straightened back up afterward.

We also tried to go get my temporary orthotic for my toe, across town, only to find the staff left at noon today.

*sigh*

Otherwise, my child is now home for the day, as the school wouldn’t risk the liability of further attendance today, even though they have been feeling fine since half an hour after the incident.
Exciting times.
Yet we will praise Him!

What a lead in to the announcement I was typing up when the phone rang…

I’m launching a new community for my author page TODAY – facebook.com/groups/InDarknessSing – for all kinds of griefs and heartaches, like infertility, pregnancy / infant loss, death and bereavement, brain injury and stroke, chronic illness, marriage or parenting struggles, disappointment, disability, discouragement.

Please come check it out. I’m trying to grow my numbers really rapidly as publisher eyes are on this project. I hope to build a real place of support and encouragement where heavy hearts find hope in Jesus. Please spread the word!

On my PAGE, facebook.com/HarvestingHope, I try to gift you with near-daily inspirational content to uplift and encourage you. It’s my “give-out” page, yet I know it is hard to interact as a community here.

So today I invite my readers to a private GROUP where we can interact together and make friends. Please join me at facebook.com/groups/InDarknessSing and share this link with all your friends looking for a home of hope.

When you join, AND EACH TIME YOU SHARE THE LINK and leave a comment and link to your share, there on the group, I’ll enter you in a give-away! I’m planning to draw a gift winner ever 100 new likes over there. Share however you can: your blog, message boards, social media like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, even word of mouth (just have new members tag you, so I know to count your word of mouth share that led a new friend there).

Please be a Burden Bearer and help lift one anothers’ loads, as we strive together to sing praises to, and worship, our loving King, the LORD Jesus Christ, in the midst of our deepest struggles, and darkest trials. InDarknessSing is a community where my readers can joyfully fellowship and encourage one another through ongoing interaction.

Best Foot Forward

I’m talented.

Ankle bruise was already there before base of big toe got injected.

The joys of poor balance.

I have SEVERE (as in x-ray doesn’t even show a joint exist anymore) arthritis at the base of my big toe on the less-stoked side, as well as that bone spur of extra bone growth. It took both the doctor and his nurse – that’s two medically trained, full-grown adults – pulling with all their strength, to separate the joint enough to insert a thin needle between the bones.

Another thank you from the strokes. Nearly 7 years of putting excess pressure on my “good” foot, developed serious degenerative arthritis.

Wednesday evening, I just got two CCs of 2 kinds of steroids and 2 anesthetics, injected into the joint. I go back in 3 weeks to have a specialty insole molded, and as soon as possible (today or tomorrow I think I have a ride?) to get my temporary orthodic.

Oh, and both of my big toe bones grow crooked too (fun side note, not stroke-related).

I’ll be posting an invitation on Friday to my new In Darkness Sing interactive hope community on Facebook. See you there!

Again

Our family is WAY too acquainted with Emergency Rooms, ambulances, hospitals, and medical tests! This is the third immediate family, overnight hospitalization, of 2018.

We were back in the ER Sunday night, after 3 closely-related medical crises in less than 24 hours, for one of our children. (If you know us personally, please don’t ask details or name names publicly, as kids get tired of being featured in my blog posts! Contact me privately if you have questions, please. I’m happy to talk details one-on-one.)

As we were being discharged after one o’clock Monday morning, the issue repeated, so discharge papers were changed to transfer papers and we took an ambulance ride across town, from our smaller satellite hospital, to the children’s hospital at our big, main branch (where I lived after my strokes).

There was serious talk of ambulance transport to the huge medical school children’s hospital hours away, but in the end, we came home late on Tuesday instead. We now have three local specialists lined up for appointments in the next week or two.

We started new medication Wednesday morning, and have now gone 44 hours without another event (7 major, and 3 more mild crises between Saturday night and Wednesday afternoon). We are praying this new medication prevents further events.

Three specific prayer requests are:

  1. Significant reduction in the severe nausea this medication is causing. (Side effect lists indicate it could resolve as we adjust to taking it.)
  2. Profound increase in thirst and ability to tolerate hydration. (Nausea is making it very hard to take in fluids.)
  3. Resolution of symptoms, allowing a safe return to school and outside activities, and ability to quickly get fully caught up with all missed assignments. (Missed this entire school week. As our kids, jr. high, high school, college, are getting older, a solid week of missed school, plus the additional classes that will be missed for follow-up care, is a pretty big deal.)

Our church has been beyond amazing. Several friends showed up in ER, bearing hugs and gifts. Then the next day of admission across town was a fairly steady stream of encouraging visitors. We feel loved and very blessed!

This child could hardly fit in the hospital bed that was so piled with cuddly comfort items. Even the nurses were amazed! I was awed by the boldness and maturity this kid exhibited in seizing the platform to boldly share Jesus with lots of hospital staff.

I am a tired Mommy.

God is good, all the time!

One Night…

What Does It Take?

One of my favorite things about writing a blog is that people introduce me to all kind of cool products. They do so in hopes that I’ll share them with you. Mind you, I am very picky about things I’ll actually share here.

I get way more  review requests, than hours have available to review. So, right out of the starting gate, I’m quite selective about offers I’m even willing to try. If I say I’m going to honestly review something, I’m going to commit the time to really exploring that product. My first consideration is deciding if it is something I feel meets my needs and could bless my readers.

If you are taking time to read what I write, you are placing a certain level of trust in the validity of my opinion. I value your trust! I don’t take your loyalty for granted. I never wish to compromise or minimize the confidence you place in my words.  Please know that I have your interests at heart, am treating you as a personal friend, when I tell you about something that makes me own life happier.

I ask myself if I feel a product world be worth spending my money on, in order to have it in my life or not? Encouraging you to get something that I’ve talked about here, will typically involve expense on your part, and I don’t take that idea lightly. (So, yes, I’m telling you about a product that has been supplied to me for free, in exchange for my honest reaction.)

This kind of careful evaluation takes time, so something has to really interest me to begin with, in order for me to be willing to invest that time.

What Do I Want To Share With You Today?

I signed up to review the ONE NIGHT advent story calendar for two reasons:

1. I love  entire season surrounding the celebration of Jesus coming to earth. #Christmas

2. I’m trying to cut way back on sweets. Is it even possible to replace the cheep cardboard countdowns I buy each year, with something that offers anything better than candy behind each door, while still keeping my kids excited?

(For the record, my young-adult son thinks ONE NIGHT is far superior to any advent calendar we have ever used, but suggests that I also buy giant chocolate bars and hand out individual squares to each person to enjoy while we are exploring that night’s continuation of the month-long story.)

Why?

We had passed the first test. I liked the premise of the product enough to want an in-person look.

Then a HUGE flat box showed up at my door. I wish I had thought to take a picture. Instead, I was too curious about the contents of this box to think to grab my camera. We excitedly opened our mystery parcel and were blown away by what we saw. No tiny, cheep cardboard with plastic windows here! 

Did I mention this thing is really big? Here it is pictured next to a pair of my shoes and a big Bible study dictionary. Oh, and that guy holding it in the first picture is about to turn 13. He’s on the rather larger side of the growth chart, for a boy his age range.

Better than candy, these flaps hold the greatest Story ever told. The Story progresses over 24 days, facts told through the fictionalized perspective of two shepherds who were watching sheep the night angels interrupted their evening to announce the birth of the King. Beautiful black and white, hand-drawn images lead the imagination through a detailed journey of wonder that holds true to time and culture.

I’m Impressed.

Solidly designed to last, this new part of our family’s Christmas tradition reminds me of a picture book. Here, let me give you a close-up of the book-like binding construction:

The Book of Luke (2:8-20) says that on the night of the first Christmas angels visited shepherds tending their flocks and told them to visit their newborn savior.  ONE NIGHT reimagines the story through the eyes of one of the shepherds.  

Set against the turbulent backdrop of ancient Judea under Roman rule, ONE NIGHT follows the shepherd as he risks his flock to journey through the countryside in search of the baby Messiah — and the elusive promises of worldly and spiritual redemption.

There is a long and diverse artistic tradition of imagining the story of the shepherds.  In our telling, we have tried to capture what it would have really been like to be there the night Jesus was born, and how a regular person might have tried to make sense of that extraordinary event.  The story is intense, exciting — and even a little spooky.  

It’s a feeling that’s echoed in the stunning visual art.  Rendered in the style of a classical draftsman, ONE NIGHT feels like an ancient document, full of timeless drama and mystery.

Whether you know the Bible inside out, or you haven’t read it since you were a kid, we hope ONE NIGHT will surprise and move you with its riveting portrayal of its characters’ search for goodness and a better world.

How YOU Can Help:

This exciting tool is NOT available to the general population for purchase YET. The author and artist want to produce them for distribution soon. YOU can help bring that mission into reality. Check out this video from their Kickstarter campaign.

Any pledge, even just $1, will help fund production! A gift of $30 or more will also earn YOU your own beautiful keepsake story calendar ($40 retail value) in time for use THIS December, 2018. (As  long as they get all the funding they need over the next month, as I suspect they likely will since they are well on their way and this is a worthy investment.)

Recap:

ONE NIGHT tells a story in 24 parts.  Each part of the story is hidden behind a numbered door (1 through 24) that you open to reveal an illustration and text.  You can open one door each day, from December 1 through December 24, counting down to Christmas.  Or you can binge-watch, by reading all 24 parts in one sitting, like an illustrated book.  

Printed on heavy-weight paper wrapped around millboard, ONE NIGHT is a sturdy, free-standing triptych that you can place on a mantle, table or windowsill as an amazing Christmas decoration.  You can also close the triptych and keep ONE NIGHT on your bookshelf or coffee table.   

 

Feet

I just got brave and bought my first pair of “heals” (look, the wedge is tall enough to pass the first joint of my index finger!) and I’ve actually managed to wear them twice, with orthotics to help maintain balance.

They are “doable” now, at least for the short term, but I’m honestly very anxious wearing them as know I’m not making an overly safe decision. They will have to be saved for very special occasions, worn only on indoor, smooth floors and for limited stretches of time. Using my cane is a must when I attempt to wear these very daring sandals!

Shoes must be very flat, very balanced, either designed with great arch support and a little cupping of the heal for my foot to sit down into, or the proper width to accommodate my orthotics, and hold onto my foot in at least three key places: behind my ankle, across my toes, and strapped across the front of my ankle. Slip ons, like Mary Janes that come only half or 3/4 up the foot, are a no go.

Flip flops, or any style of shoe without a back, or without support around the front of the ankle, are out too. Even if the lack of angle grip were not an issue, I’ve learned that I can’t wear anything designed with a piece that comes up between my toes, since this is too painful to my wonkey nerves now, so those flip-flops have another strike against them.

Dawgs

I’ve lived the summer in these Dawgs that supportively cradle my foot without inserts. They have served me for everything from pool water therapy to a couple of weddings! I probably feel safer in these shoes than in any other pair I own.

Snugly-fitting, lace-up tennis shoes are a good choice for me. Many kind of boots (as long as there is NO added heal height) work too. 

 I see the podiatrist in three weeks. Surgery may or may not be an option right now, for a bone spur at the base of my right toe. (I have pretty much ignored the pain for about four months, but my new flower heals highlighted the problem, so I finally got in to see my primary care doctor and got x-rayed this week.)

I have an “imbalanced muscular-skeletal system” thanks to the strokes. In other words, I put far more pressure on my less-stoked right side than on the left. I’ve started arthritis in the joints on the right. Unless God chooses to intervene, this will be an ongoing, progressive issue, and the entire right side is susceptible. 

Lord Jesus, I present my request to you, asking that, if to Your highest glory, You will to reverse this course. Please bring healing to my joints and entire system of balance. 

Life

My strokes happened 6 years, 10 months ago, during a chiropractic neck manipulation, in Reno, Nevada, USA. On October 25, 2018, we will hit my 7-year “re-birthday” or stroke-a-versary.

I initially started my “Stroke of Grace” blog with the several-times-per week, weary detailing of the early years of my catastrophic stroke recovery journey. As I’ve gotten farther and farther away from the moment-by-moment shock and anguish of being plunged from able-bodied, into instantly trying to survive while being considered medically too fragile to sustain life, my blogging has become more infrequent, but has progressively focused less on stroke realities and more on the great grace God has been unveiling through the process. I’ve moved from primarily focusing on physical deficits, to my own name-based domain where I share many aspects of life, in anticipation of future book projects.

This week it occurs to me that I haven’t given my physical therapists, nurses, doctors, other stroke survivors, and families of Strokies, a very recent look into post-stroke realities. This post isn’t meant as a “downer,” but is an intentional attempt to contextualize the Grace aspect of my posts, against the ongoing physical struggle of post-stroke life. For those looking to hear about weight, hair, pain, eyes, ears, walking, exercise / therapy, emotions, family, ongoing upkeep, and a sample week, here you go!

Weight:

In 2010 and 2011 (pre-stroke) I was intentionally working hard at loosing the 40 pounds I weighed heavier than my medically prescribed “ideal” for height /age / gender. While I have faced a, sometimes highly debilitating, chronic illness since my teens, I did NOT smoke, drink, do drugs, take birth control pills, or engage in any behavior that put me at risk for heart attack or stroke. Those 40 pounds were my biggest health enemy, so I was safely and steadily whittling them away. As a late 39th birthday gift to myself, I bought a lovely leather jacket in my ideal size. I had been eyeing it for months, but waited to make the investment in celebration of that accomplished weight loss goal.

I had little time, a week I think, to enjoy the jacket while it fit properly. I soon was on a feeding tube and RAPIDLY loosing weight. It was estimated that my body was initially burning about 5,000 calories a day, just to sustain life in the face of such massive brain injury. As we transitioned to oral food, my regular meals were supplemented with 6 Boost-laden, full-fat, ice cream shakes per day. By the time I left the hospital around Christmas, I was about 20-pounds UNDER weight and the new leather jacket hung limply on my skeletal frame. (Since I couldn’t coax my left arm into a coat sleeve anyway, I wasn’t initially very aware of this loss.)

Gradually brain function stabilized and caloric requirements reduced. Since I had so much ground to regain, I keep those early eating patterns the hospital had trained me to develop. I gained back that lost 20 and kept right on going, also regaining my hard-fought 40 pound loss. Since my energies went to sleep and therapy, I focus little on the “vanity” of numbers on a scale.

Around 2014 – 2016, I began to put some thought back into food choices and prevented further gain, even whittling away at the excess weight again. By early July, 2017, I was nearing my goal range of 125-133. I was at 134 one week, and one a dime, GAINED 15 pounds within 10 days.

Since we were traveling, and I was indulging in soda (not part of my normal diet), I thought this sudden jump must be a combination of fluid retention from air flight, and short-lived poor eating choices that would soon reverse. However, within about 13 months, I pack on a total of 45 pounds, breaking my all-time highest weight record (far heavier than my highest pregnancy weight).

This brings us within a few weeks of today. After seeing my primary care provider, specialists in several different fields, and running huge batteries of tests, the conclusion is that my thyroid and other functions seem fairly stable. A nutritionist and bariatric (weight) doctor are now coaching me. The current working theory is that I had still been taking in between 2,000 – 3,000 calories on an average day. Most individual food choices were of excellent quality, I was just so messed up in my perception of hunger and intake verses calorie expense, that, upon aging (I turned 45 the month I started rapidly gaining), and with continued brain connection improvement reducing energy fuel needs, that something flipped in my body’s inability to cope with so much extra nutrition.

I’m now keeping a food log of every single thing I eat or drink, measuring portions and recoding everything. (MyFitnessPal, an app I tried to understand a few years back but still couldn’t quite grasp yet, has been the best tool in this round of this fight!) Without factoring in my twice-a-week water therapy, my body seems to burn around 1,400 – 1,450 calories per day right now, so my current daily goal range is to consume between 1,200 – 1,400 calories daily. I have already lost a little weight even during these first couple highly stressful weeks I’ve been starting to pay attention to these numbers. (My plan is to start logging in earnest next week, when my schedule becomes more predictable again.)

I have no significantly changed my fluid intake pattern, but by charting everything we have discovered that I typically drink two to three times the average daily recommended 64 ounces. My doctor says that for many people this would be a problem, throwing off electrolytes and dangerously diluting various needed elements in the body, but that my levels are exactly where they need to be, so I should keep listen to my body’s accurate fluid demands.

Fun Facts: Altoids Arctic mints are 5 calories. A stalk of celery is 6 calories, and your body uses 1 calorie to digest it, for a net gain of 5 calories.

This Week:

The past week has been pretty intense.

A week ago Thursday, found me at the eye doctor with a sudden onset of a painfully crusty infection that required two different kinds of antibiotic drops and gel, treatments 5 times a day, through Tuesday. I guess this is the result of all the massive west coast wildfires and how my eye, with a still profoundly effected tear duct, reacted to the prolonged on slot of smoke allergies.

The swelling and eye infection wasn’t clearing up quite as fast as it should have been, but I started mega doses of steroids on Monday (in preparation for my year MRI and CT scans on Wednesday) and the eye infection responded beautifully to the steroids and was totally clear by Tuesday!

Wednesday I took 167 mg (starting dose is 4 mg) of Prednisone and mythelPredniSolone within 13 hours, YUCK!!! Plus 50 mg Benadryl. I then went and did the tests and got “fun” contrast dye pumped into my veins. I think the CT tech thought I was being over dramatic when I winced and cried out as he pushed the dye, but I felt a little validated when that particular vein was visibly bruised on Thursday, showing clear evidence that the IV push had actually been as painful as I had acted!

I had planned on a much longer post tonight, but I will need to hit topics of family, emotions, therapy, walking, eyes, ears, hair, business, writing, and pain, in another post, along with pictures. I’m currently on Benadryl again and too brain-exhausted to type clearly. Tonight, yes, more than 78 hours after testing (but also 14 hours after my final step-down lowest dose of steroids) I went and welted out in hives. *sigh*

Since hubby is out of town, both our adult son and my parents are on stand-by to take me into ER overnight, if needed. I’m praying that Benadryl will kick in, I’ll soon be asleep, and there will be no further need for medical intervention!!!

Yesterday I posted to facebook:

I haven’t slept much since Monday. Tomorrow is last dose of steroids. 
TIRED. OH-SO-EXHAUSTED!

This morning I posted this praise update.

Life:

I was asked Thursday, “If you got offered the reset button for your life, would you push it?”.
My firm reply was simply, “NOPE!”

Later I added, “If you had asked me 2, 3, or 5 years ago, the answer likely might have been different, but now I realize I’m living the best “reset” God perfectly planned for me and I’m so very thankful, now, that I wasn’t given that option then!”

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