Thursday, April 16, 2015

When the decision is not an easy one...

I spent some time in the mountains recently.  Can you imagine how beautiful this would be in the spring and fall?  Imagine being on that porch looking at those mountains with leaves of spring green or the beautiful gold of fall. Lovely I think.  Just lovely.

I was there for a women's retreat and it was good for my soul.  The past 9 months have been long.  And hard.  The academic year will be ending soon and I will be making a decision to stay or go.

To stay with the familiar. The known.  The comfortable. 

Or leave for something new.  Something unknown.  And definitely uncomfortable.

While at this retreat I did some soul searching.  I looked inside to try and decide what the Lord is calling me to do.  I prayed.  I sought wise counsel from women I respect.  I listened.

I came home and shared my thoughts with my husband.  He asked questions.  I asked questions. We shared ideas and I STILL do not have an answer.

I still do not know what I am going to do.

Leaving my job will be hard, but staying may be harder.  When I started my series on change, I intended to share how my job changed.  How it went from something I loved to something difficult, something hard. How I changed from being excited to go to work everyday to something I dreaded most days.  Instead, I ended up sharing about my illness and how the Lord used non-traditional methods to bring physical healing.  I guess that was what I was supposed to share at that time.

But now I have to make a choice.  If leaving my job is what I am supposed to do, then I need courage to do that.  If I am supposed to stay, I probably need even more courage.

Sunday evening I told my husband that I do not want to stay because it is safe and comfortable.  I do not want to stay because it is the easy thing to do.  If I stay, I want it to be because I KNOW - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that it is His will and His desire for me to remain in my job.

If I leave, I'll be stepping away from the safe, the secure and the comfortable.

Maybe it is time to get uncomfortable.  Maybe it is time to leave the secure.  To venture into the unknown and see what happens.

Maybe...but I'm still not quite sure.  Right now there is no straight, clear path for me to follow.

I make difficult decisions by praying, seeking His will by reading the Bible and listening to my gut and the counsel of wise people.  I am working through that process these days.

When faced with a difficult decision what is your decision making process?

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Change...Part 4

I started sharing a part of my story the end of January.  Then my computer got sick and I was out of town two different times.  I am now trying to wrap it up.  You can read parts 1, 2 and 3 here.

I was devastated after I the infectious disease doctor said she'd never had a patient still have headaches 2 months after being sick.  And the neurologist able to see me in 5 months???  I was so sad that afternoon.

It dawned on my later that the infections disease doctor might not see the patients after they leave the hospital.  She had not wanted to see me after I left the hospital, so maybe she didn't see most of her patients outside the hospital. 

Maybe...just maybe she would not know if they still had headaches or not.

I'd done enough research to know that the headaches can linger. For a VERY. LONG. TIME.

I finally called the neurologist's office back and took that appointment that was 5 months away.

Then I called every other day.  EVERY. OTHER. DAY and talked to with the person answering the phone. I would explain my situation and see if there was a cancellation.

After 3 weeks, someone took pity on me and found an opening in December.  Only 6 weeks or so to wait.

I could see the headache specialist in 6 weeks.  I said a thank you prayer right away.

When I went for that appointment I was truly impressed with the thorough examination that the doctor.  She asked so many questions.

She asked about what I ate.  What I drank.  How I slept.  Was I under stress?  Where did my head hurt.

I told her that I'd been using some essential oils on the back of my head and it seemed to make a difference.  She asked me where I put the oils and what oils I used.  She told me that they would help.

Then she asked if I was willing to try acupuncture.  She had an acupuncturist she recommended and frankly, I was willing to try anything.

She told me to start tracking my headaches and told me about an app I could download.  She gave me a list of foods that I was to not eat for 4 weeks (including chocolate).  She gave me some other do's and don'ts.

There are many more details, but let me get to the point.

People...the oils and the acupuncture WORKED.  I scheduled an acupuncture treatment for the next week.

After one treatment I woke up without the relentless pressure in the back of my head that I had been having EVERY DAY since September.  I was far from head ache free, but it was getting better.  And fast!

The biggest surprise was that the doctor did not suggest pills.  She said to give the acupuncture a try and continue with the oils and massage therapy that I was doing.  She wanted to see me in two months and sooner if my headaches didn't improve or I felt I needed to come in earlier.

If these options didn't work, then we could talk about taking some pills.

I was THRILLED to not have to take medicine.

I was SURPRISED that she suggested acupuncture AND that she said the essential oils could make a difference.  Because I wondered at times if I was imagining it.

Imagining that they were helping.  I was desperate for something to help my head...maybe I was making it up.

The "cure" did not take the traditional path.

The "cure" for my headaches did not look like I thought it would look.

The "cure" involved trying something new.  Something I'd never tried before.

And it worked.

There are many things in life that do not take the traditional path.  Things do not work out like we plan or think they should.

But in the end they work.

His plan doesn't always look like we envision it.

His plan takes twists and turns and goes up and down and eventually, if we let him lead, we get to where he wants us to go.

When I went back to the doctor in early February I'd had less than 10 headaches in January and just a few in February.

I am still not headache free 100% of the time, but I am so much better.  In January, I was given additional job responsibilities that are have caused some additional stress.  So, I have had a few more headaches lately, but I am working on letting go.

Remembering that the path I envision, isn't necessarily the path that He planned.

A lesson that I have to re-learn almost every day!  

I'll share more about essential oils and how I am LOVING them in another post, but if you want to learn more now, then e-mail me or leave a comment letting me know how to get in touch with you and I'll get in touch with you.

In the meantime, remember...the cure for my headaches was not traditional.  The cure was different, yet perfect for me.

There are times in life that the different is the best.  Don't be afraid to try something different.  To experience new things.

To never know what is at the end of the road...or the top of the stairs!


Monday, March 23, 2015

An FYI and some things you should read...

I never intended to be away from this space for a month, but that is exactly what happened.  There are times in life that the best laid plans go awry.

My writing plans went awry when my computer got sick.  In a major way!

It went to the computer doctor and was hospitalized for more than 10 days.

Then I went out of town and I am just now getting back to normal.

I am hoping to be back in this space later this week.

In the meantime, here are some things that I love from around the web.

This by my friend Diane Bailey on the Deeper Waters blog. I know that is a lot of links in an 11 word sentence, but all of the links are worth checking out!  Denise Hughes started Deeper Waters last year and it is a refreshing place to get a drink and renew oneself.

Shelly Miller moved to England, but she waited 8 months for it to happen. She about breaking the cycle of worry in this post. I love it!

Don't miss this by Emily Freeman. Wearing better pants is a spiritual discipline? Check it out

Rhonda wrote a beautiful post about her love story.

My friend, Robin, wrote about letting go and empty nests.  It was SO. VERY. TRUE. 

Enjoy...have you found anything that I should read?  Leave a link in the comments.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The change...Part 3

A few weeks ago I started sharing a portion of my story.  You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

I first got sick the night of Friday, September 19th and went into the hospital on Wednesday, September 24th and went home on Saturday, September 27th.
Getting home from the hospital did not turn out to be the magic fix I was hoping it would be. I still had this raging headache. One long continuous headache.  It NEVER went away.

I needed sunglasses in my house because the light bothered me.

Every step I took made my head pound.

I could not turn my head without pain.

I could not read a book. I certainly could not look at a computer screen. 

I could watch television a little, but mostly I just slept.

John, rarely left my side at the hospital.  He was there everyday, but there were major transitions going on at work and I knew he needed to be at work on Monday morning.

Three friends volunteered to check on me throughout the day. One of them is a blogger and you can find her here.  They rotated in and out that first week I was home. Bringing dinner and doing whatever needed done around the house.

I was still taking some serious pain medication and my headaches were not getting better.

Meanwhile, my boss was being EXTREMELY understanding.  She told me to come and go as I needed and if I wasn't able to get to the office at all, then please let her know.  Otherwise, I was to do whatever necessary to take care of my health.  That was to be my first priority.

While in the hospital, my heart rate went very low and a cardiologist was called in to evaluate me. I had a follow-up appointment with him on October 10th and was still having daily headaches. Debilitating at times. He suggested I see a neurologist and to follow-up with the infectious disease doctor that saw me in the hospital. (My heart is fine, although I did have to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours and I DO have a follow-up with him in April!)

I made those phone calls as soon as I got home that day.  The infectious disease doctor told me that I should be 100% better and headache free by then.  She had never had a patient that still had headaches almost a month out.

When I called the neurologist I was told they could see me in March.  That was 5 LOOOONG months away!

If I did not already HAVE a headache that day, those two phone calls would have GIVEN me one!

If you are kind enough to be reading this series, 
thank you.  
And hang in there...the very best part is coming up!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Excited for a change...part 2

This is part two of a portion of my story.  You can read part one here.

I was sure that at some point I would get assigned another program, but it wasn't happening any too quickly.

In mid-September we were going out of town for a wedding.  The wedding was on Friday night.  It was a few hours from home so we left Friday morning and attended the wedding and reception that evening. We were invited to a picnic with the family of the bride on Saturday. We had rented a condo in a resort not too far from the festivities and as we were driving home from the reception on Friday night, I felt a twinge in the back of my neck.  A mild pain.  The beginnings of a headache.  I did not drink too much at the reception and was careful to drink plenty of water, but it was late - almost midnight - and I don't stay up that late.  I wrote it off to being tired.

In the middle of the night I woke up with a fever and a horrible sore throat.  I could not get warm.

When morning came, I felt better, just a nagging headache.  I had no fever, so we went on to the picnic, stayed for the afternoon, but I was really tired.

We went to mass Saturday night at a church in town, stopped to get something to eat, but I really did not feel well. We went back to the condo for the night and would leave the next morning to drive home.

Sunday morning came and I was miserable.  John got the car packed and we headed home.

I slept the entire way.  And went straight to the couch when we got home. I slept until 3 p.m.

My headache was getting worse and I did not go to work on Monday.  In fact, I told John if I was light sensitive, then I would say I had meningitis. I'd had it many years ago and that is how my head and neck hurt.  But the lights were not bothering me. So, I assumed that was not the problem.

I went to the doctor Monday afternoon and he said it was a virus and could take 7-10 days to run its course.

I did not go to work on Tuesday or Wednesday.  When John came home from work early on Wednesday and found me still in my pajamas and in bed at 3 p.m., we went back to the doctor.

I was immediately sent to the Emergency Room and admitted to the hospital.  I did indeed have meningitis. 

This head and neck pain associated with meningitis cannot be described. I don't have words for the pain. I could not turn my head. I could not open my eyes. Every move I made hurt.  Unbelievable pain.

I had viral meningitis, so there was no antibiotic that would make me better.  I did receive narcotic pain medicine to help with the pain.

I remember very little of my 4 days in the hospital.  I should have stayed longer, but I insisted I wanted to come home.

I wanted to be home.

I wanted to resume my normal life.

I wanted...but I would not get what I wanted.

My fall semester wasn't going as planned.  My life wasn't going as planned.

My PLAN wasn't going as planned!

My trust muscles were getting a work out.

I'll be back with more of this story as time permits and my heart can write it out.

Have you ever had an illness that
changed the way you looked at life?