Saturday, July 30, 2011

Health news on the Homefront....

Let's see... where do I begin?

June 29 began as a normal day. Mark had gone with Paul up to his college for some placement tests. I was at home putting up vegetables. I had blanched and frozen summer squash and was in the process of canning Italian tomatoes when the boys got home. Mark asked if I needed my jars from upstairs. He proceeded to go get a couple of boxes and my large water bathe canner.

Unfortunately, he missed the bottom two steps and landed on his left upper leg and knee. Upon hearing the crash and my husband screaming in pain, I ran into the living room to find Mark lying on the floor in piles of broken glass with his leg left in a rather awkward position. We ended up called the EMT's and spent several hours at the emergency room. The next day, Mark went to see Dr. Scott where he was examined, x-rayed, and given an MRI. Surgery was scheduled for the following morning - July 1.

While Mark had landed on a wood floor our home is built on a concrete slab and so his fall did some major damage. Dr. Scott told me after the surgery that Mark's leg looked as if a bomb had exploded in it - totally shredding his quads and ripping it away from the kneecap. He had to reconstruct Mark's quads and then drill three holes in her kneecap to reattach the quad. Unfortunately, Mark is in for a long recovery. He will be in a brace for four months and unable to drive during this time. Mark begins his physical therapy in 2 weeks which is six weeks after the surgery.

Please keep Mark in your prayers since he begins his marching band camp this coming Monday, August 1.

Now, I will write encouraging news about my health. When I talk to most people who have Sjogren's and get on the support sites, I realize that God has truly blessed me. First, I do not have the other diseases that many people seem to get along with the Sjogren's. Since getting my immune system stabilized my issues are really just my tear ducts and salvia glands. I have been able to keep my eyes healthy with the special eye drops and supplements.

Okay, I will admit that I can get winded and my joints can hurt but honestly, I believe that is more due to my weight than Sjogren's. So today I am joining a gym in order to do water exercises. When I was first diagnosed with Sjogren's my knees were in great pain and now I can sit Indian style, again!!! I hadn't been able to sit with my legs bent like that in years! Basically, I feel like God has been blessing me - greatly!

I believe that God has been teaching me to slow down and to stop saying yes to everything and to do the things for which He has called me to do. Sjogren's made me really learn to set priorities and NOT feel guilty about saying, "No," when asked to do something.

Also, I think that God wants me to take time to do good stuff for me. I think, as wives and moms, we tend to put our needs on the back burner. We will kill ourselves for our children and spouse but put our needs on hold. I have come to realize that when we do not take care of ourselves then in reality we are hurting our families who need strong, vibrate, healthy, and happy moms and wives.

I took pictures of Mark’s leg after the surgery; however, after thinking about it I have decided to spare y’all the photos. They aren’t exactly pretty.

Here’s what I think God is teaching Mark and me through our circumstances – we can slow down and the world and live will still continue! Michael has picked up and started doing all the physical things that Mark used to do around the house. Things are still getting done just not exactly like Mark did them. Amazing! Mark is also going to have to let his students act like responsible High School students and allow them to handle things. If they mess up, they will have to suffer the results because Mr. Baskin will not be able to run around like a chicken-with-his-head-cut-off and get all the stuff they leave behind.

I also have discovered that I would have made a HORRIBLE nurse. I had gotten accepted into nursing school when Michael was diagnosed with dyslexia in 1991. While I never have regretted homeschooling him, I was disappointed that I couldn’t attend nursing school. I accepted the challenge of schooling Michael and moved forward in life. God showed me, in a huge way, that I would have HATED nursing. Mark fell on Wednesday and by that Friday I was praising God for changing my life back in 1991. Believe me, I am a much better teacher than I would have been a nurse.

So, this is my update on our health. I will post our book writing update tomorrow!

Blessings to all.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trying again!!!

Several weeks ago I tried to upload several pics into my blog and after waiting for hours.... they never went through. Ugh! But, it's time that I give a little update on our lives.

Since I last blogged....

Michael did his senior project defense presentation, graduated from Brewton Parker College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis on Film and Script writing, and celebrated with a cook-out here at the house. Paul graduated from high school and had his Eagle ceremony. We are extremely proud of both of our sons!

We were blessed to be able to share all of these events with dear friends.... some traveled up from Florida or down from north Georgia. Linda O. flew up and helped keep me on track with Paul's Eagle ceremony. I do not think that I could have managed without her help. Debi and David M. drove up from Arcadia, FL and helped with the final touches of the decorations and David was in charge of the official ceremony. Linda had spent hours for the past several months sending out letters for me, creating the program and basically being my brain for the event! God has blessed me with dear friends. Several dear ladies baked wonderful cakes for the dinner and Rebecca A. and Kathy R. (along with Linda) came out to the church on Friday and helped me cook nearly all day long. Linda O. had the U.S. flag flown over the capital in Washington, D.C. and Lynda T. had the Georgia state flag flown over the capital in Atlanta, GA and both presented these gifts to Paul during the ceremony.

Paul getting his Eagle Charge.

Jessie N. presenting Paul with his Eagle badge.

Mom getting a hug from her Eagle Scout.

Paul pinning his Dad.

Eagle Scouts will usually present mentor pins to those who encouraged them on their road to becoming an Eagle. Paul decided that two men were influential in his journey. David began with Paul as a Cub Scout in Arcadia, Fl. Jessie was Paul's Scout Master here in Vidalia.

Paul presenting a mentor pin to David M.

Paul presenting Jessie N. with a mentor pin.

However, Paul insisted that two other people influenced his life not specifically in becoming an Eagle but in becoming the young man he is today. He wanted to honor these individuals at his Eagle and High school graduation ceremony.

Paul presenting Michael K. with a pin.

Paul giving his second mom, Lauri G., a pin.

Two very special ladies giving Paul special gifts!

Linda O. giving Paul the U.S. flag she had flown for him.

Lynda T. and Paul.

Lynda Talmadge giving Paul the Georgia flag.

Mom & Dad presenting Paul with his High School diploma.

At the reception!

Three Eagle Moms - Me, Linda O. and Debi M.

Michael's cook-out also became a group endeavor with Jimmy and Patricia D. helping us by providing a tent canopy and many other items. Lauri's sons, Glenn and Taylor both came down and helped with the set up, too and attended graduation. Mandi K. attended graduation and helped with the set-up. Danna D. and Daniel her son, drove over from the Macon area and celebrated with us, too. We hadn't seen Daniel for several years and it was wonderful to see him. Michael was blessed by all of the folks who came to rejoice with him.

Michael at his Senior Defense presentation.

Michael and Professor Jones.

Michael and Dr. Brucie.

Graduation DAY!!!

Sitting and waiting during the graduation ceremonies....

Our college graduate, Michael!

Time to celebrate with a few friends!

Mandi & Tayor


Michael & Daniel

Three Friends - Patricia D., me, and Danna D.

Jimmy D., Patricia's other half!

Lynda T. - one extremely special lady!

Mark, one proud Dad!

After two extremely tiring but happy weeks - Michael's graduation and cook-out followed the next week-end by Paul's Eagle ceremony and dinner - Linda O. and I managed a short get-away to Savannah before she had to fly back to Florida. We had a lovely but too short a trip. We went on a historic tour, caught a musical, dined out, and soaked in the hot tub!

Arriving to dinner in style in a limo!

Friends! Posing for a photo in the limo.