Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday, Monday ....

This weekend's update was going to be great, believe me.Tim felt relatively well and even made it to church Sunday morning for the first time in weeks. The IV fluids they gave him at the doctor's office on Friday really set him up well for his weekend Interferon injection and customary oral meds.

After church he was fatigued, but not much else. He slept on and off the rest of the day.

I breathed easier, feeling like we'd turned a corner dealing with the side effects of the Hepatitis C treatment that is supposed to go on until May of 2012. Staying hydrated is key and Tim seems to dehydrate at a more rapid rate than the usual patient. The two IV fluid treatments he had last week really made a difference in how his body reacted to all the meds this week.

Then came this morning.

Oh, Monday, Monday ...can't trust that day.

Charley came to wake me up around 6:40 and he wouldn't leave me alone even after repeated commands.

At the moment I turned my head to check the clock, my phone rang. I missed getting to it, but immediately checked the 'missing calls' feature -- to find that Tim had called me. That was alarming, to put it mildly. I checked our enormous king size bed -- no Tim. Got up, put on my robe and slippers and checked the kitchen -- where he should have been eating breakfast and having his morning meds. No Tim.

Then I heard groaning coming from the TV room and darted in there to see Tim lying on his side on the couch, white as a sheet and groaning continuously. He could barely talk, he was in so much pain.

I didn't even know where to start.

Breathlessly, he told me that he couldn't eat so he hadn't taken the one medication that requires food with it. He'd been up since 5:30 with the pain -- his joints, his muscles, his skin, and, most alarmingly, his kidneys. He was also horribly nauseated again.

After a dose of pain and nausea meds  plus some water, he eventually felt well enough to eat two scrambled eggs and to take the missing medication -- he was late with the dose, but it couldn't be helped.

Then I assisted him back to bed, where he is still as I write this. I've been checking on him about every hour, and, except for the ache in his kidneys, he is feeling much, much better. So much so that he felt compelled to inform me that he would be better off sleeping and not being awakened by me to see how he's feeling -- but he said it with a little smile on his face and a loving tweak of my hand.

We have no idea why the change came and why the side effects were so fierce today after such a good weekend. Last week's labs showed no sign of kidney distress, although we do know that he is becoming anemic from the treatment. The doctor will see him tomorrow morning and we will discuss the situation.  

For now, though, he is stable and relatively comfortable.

Monday, Monday .....

- Catherine
PS -- the best thing about Facebook is putting out a prayer request and having 30 people respond! What a blessing for both Tim and me!! Thank you, all!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for a little more information about me than you might ever want to know. You're welcome.
With thanks to Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond, away we go!
1. Do you put Christmas decorations in every room of your house? If not every room, what rooms do you decorate? I decorate the living room, mainly. My mother did it that way and I've just never thought about doing anything beyond that one room. Plus, if I did, then I'd just have more stuff to dust! I will say that Number 7 decided he'd like a few things in the family room where he spends most of his free time, so he set up the Christmas village down there this year.

2. If you could visit one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) which one would you choose and why? Now that is something I've never considered. I've seen some views of Iceland while watching HGTV's Househunters International, and it looks intriguing. But I think I'd probably prefer to visit Norway and the fjords.

3. What does the word faith mean to you? Faith with a small "f" means believing even when you cannot see tangible proof.  Faith with a capital "F"  is my relationship with my Creator and it is the ONLY thing that truly and deeply sustains me through life on this earth.

4. You can go back to your childhood for one day...what day and age would you choose? I would be five years old on Christmas Day. I don't remember who gave them to me, but I received white fur earmuffs and a white fur (hand) muff that year. I just loved them and I can still remember them very clearly. Also, Christmas Day was always a gathering for everyone on my mother's side of the family and it was a day that we kids could count on some peace and harmony in our household.

5. When did you last have 'punch'? If it's not too much trouble share your favorite punch recipe. I made punch for my son's wedding in October. It contained mango-peach juice, orange juice, lemon juice and ginger ale. Optional is some champagne or white wine -- which I didn't do this time since it was for kids as well as for adults. I floated sliced lemon and lime in the top.

6. Do you fill stockings at your house? Are stockings opened before or after the bigger gifts?  We never did stockings at home as a kid because my parents couldn't afford that extra bit for Christmas -- and because neither of them had had stockings as kids, they didn't think we really needed them. My grandparents had stockings for us when we were very small, but I think that ended by the time I was 6 or 7 because my recollection of them is very hazy. As an adult, we did stockings while my daughter was growing up, but we don't do them any longer. It's kind of sad, but my husband just isn't into the Christmas scene enough (he grew up not celebrating Christmas at all, so there were no traditions for him).

7. What takes your breath away? Those precious moments when you see major growth in your kids. This is what my God-given job as a parent and step-parent has been about, and when I see one or more of them suddenly make a breakthrough in maturity or excel at something or surmount a challenge, I just want to jump for joy!

8. Insert your own random thought here. Randomly speaking, I finally made it into the Christmas spirit after taking my Aunt to the local civic symphony and my granddaughters to the local production of Nutcracker this past weekend. I'm ready!!

If you want to join in the online fun, answer the questions on your own blog and then go to Joyce's blog to link yours with everyone else!

- Catherine

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bullying revisited

[Warning: Rant]

In March of 2010 I wrote this:

I'm a little tired of the bullying Facebook status updates that end with "Post this on your status if you support (fill in the blank)" or worse, "I'm proud to support (fill in the blank). 97% of people are too afraid to post this on their status update. I dare you to be among the 3% who will." or words to that effect.

Stop bullying me.

There are many ways to support something -- not just through a Facebook status.

For a while, it seemed that the bullying had stopped. But it has started again in spades.  And I am sick of it it. THINK about what you are saying, please!!

For the record: Jesus is my Savior. And I'm not ashamed to say that. (Note that I started this paragraph with that statement.)

But the use of Matthew 10:33 -- but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven -- as a way to guilt people into posting about Jesus on Facebook or anywhere else is just plain Wrong.


It isn't Jesus asking me to affirm Him -- it's you. A human being. And also for the record, my refusal to yield to your bullying and repost your status about Jesus does NOT in any way translate into my denying Christ. God is NOT a bully. Ever.

No one knows if Jesus would have had a Facebook page. In fact, if God had wanted his own Facebook page, he'd have sent Jesus now -- in the age of Facebook -- and not then, in the age of, well, rude mangers in dirty stables.

So, can we stop the bullying? At the start of this school year there was a much copied status on Facebook that challenged children to think about what they were saying to and how they were treating their fellow students at school.

The adults need to read that one again.

Bullying someone is no way to evangelize the world for Christ.

[Rant off]

- Catherine

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Today is Wednesday and Joyce over at "From This Side of the Pond" has provided us with seven thought-provoking questions to answer, plus one opportunity to express anything random.

And away we go ....

1. Will you be hosting any house guests between now and the end of December? Does that thought make you happy or crazy? Do you do anything special for your guests to make them feel at home? How long should a house guest stay? I am not hosting anyone this year. The kids in Canada aren't able to come visit. And with Tim in treatment for Hepatitis C, our Christmas season will be much quieter than usual. 

2. Walter Elias Disney was born this week (December 5) back in 1905 ...what's your all time favorite Disney movie? Here's a list in case you're struggling...and yes, you have to pick one. All time favorite remains "The Little Mermaid."  Buddy Hackett as the seagull is hilarious, and the music is some of the best ever produced for a Disney movie. ("Now I stuff you with bread. It won't hurt 'cause you're dead!")

3. What was the last thing you purchased that you realized was a mistake after the fact? A 7" refurbished tablet/e-reader. I purchased it for my hubby because he doesn't like the Nook that I bought him last summer, however the refurb tablet needs a firmware update and, at the moment, refuses to connect to any wi-fi. Word to the wise -- don't by refurbished tablets.

4. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?  It depends on the year. This year is squarely in the 1/3 range. Some years it has been as high as 2/3, actually!

5. Amaryllis-snowdrop-poinsettia...your favorite winter blossom? I don't have any favorite winter flowers, I guess. Do holly berries count? I like them a lot.

6. What is one thing on your personal Christmas wish list? I think we all want peace on earth so let's make this answer an actual item. A Caribbean cruise. Fortunately, I am in charge of all Christmas lists, including my own, so this wish will be fulfilled in the spring!

7. If you could only use one word today what would it be? Exhausted. (I had absolutely not a wink of sleep last night.)

8. Insert your own random thought here. Randomly speaking, my aunt, on a good day, is a total hoot. I went to visit her after dinner yesterday and I started out in the usual way. "What's new?" I asked. Without batting an eye, she answered "New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire ...."  Then she gave me a sly, mischievous look. She cracks me up!
If you wish to play along, Dear Reader, you should answer these questions on your own blog and then link up with everyone else over at Joyce's blog post.

- Catherine

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

When life becomes messy

I don't think I've been this disorganized in my entire life.

I clean my office and two days later it's utter chaos. Papers everywhere.

I clean my house (or hire someone to clean my house -- thank you Erin!) and within four days it looks like a rubbish heap. Clothes, shoes, stuff everywhere.

I'm afraid to get the mail because there is so much more paperwork to do with Aunt Muriel's affairs (both health and financial) now added to the mix of paperwork that haunts the average person.

Word to the wise -- if you are approaching the age for Medicare, get your filing system organized now. Scan and keep copies of everything health related. And be prepared for any and all phone calls about and to Medicare (Part A, Part B, Part D, Part XYZ, etc.) to be a minimum of 30 minutes long while you go over and over and over everything again and again and again. (Get the picture?)

It's getting to me, this disorganization.

I'm purchasing organizing thing-a-ma-bobs like crazy in an attempt to keep up.

It ain't workin' honey.

Seems you have to actually take the time to organize as you go -- time that I just don't seem to have if I'm also to have something that resembles a healthy life (you know -- exercise, racquetball, time spent with friends, etc.).

I'm not whining, really. I love my life. Love my hubby, love my aunt, love my job. I just need an extra four hours in each and every day for the rest of my days on this earth.

Is that too much to ask?

- Catherine