7 Quick Takes #2

— 1 —

Confession. Reconciliation. Penance. Good things happen there. Especially when you ask God to help you make a good, honest confession. Something enters your mind that you hadn’t considered mentioning. Apparently God had something to tell me.

God nudged me this afternoon; and, believe it or not, this post is part of it.

Crucifix

— 2 —

Psalm 41: 10-14 ~ (10) Even the friend who had my trust, who shared my table, has scorned me. (11) But you, Lord, have mercy and raise me up that I may repay them as they deserve. (12) By this I know you are pleased with me, that my enemy no longer jeers at me. (13) For my integrity you have supported me and let me stand in your presence forever. (14) Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel, from all eternity and forever. Amen. Amen.

Someone whom I trusted hurt me. A lot. This someone still jeers at me. A lot.

When I first read this, I looked at verse 11 and thought it sounded a lot like revenge. However, perhaps it means something a little different. Perhaps it is more about my attitude and outlook. When the Lord has mercy on me and raises me up, that in itself is the repayment this person deserves, in that I am not controlled by that person’s hurts and jeers.

I think there is a secular saying about this: Living well is the best revenge. I don’t wish revenge on this person; however, I do wish to live well. And it is by God’s grace and mercy, as well as my integrity, that I shall.

Decoupage Cross

— 3 —

Legofan saw his pediatrician this week, who was pleased with how well he is doing. He warned me to expect growth of approximately four inches over the next year. Ummm… can we do that all in the summer time so that the length of his pants doesn’t matter??? He’s already coming close to looking me in the eye. How bad does a 40-something year old woman look in these?

High Heel Boot from JustFab.com

— 4 —

One of the things I’ve been doing for LegoFan is giving him Plexus Slim and ProBio5

I actually signed up with the company so I could get the products at wholesale. The ProBio5 is a probiotic, which many doctors suggest for kids on the spectrum. The Slim was actually designed for diabetics, but has improved the lives of many by helping them get off various medications.*

*(Standard disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I cannot diagnose, prescribe, or treat anything. If you are interested in these products, not only will I make a commission, but I would suggest you talk to your doctor before using them. I am only sharing our experiences with them.)

LegoFan has shown some incredible improvements after using these two. In general, he has become more compliant and less argumentative. He has allowed himself to step out of his comfort zone and actually talk to people. And his art has improved! He used to rush through art and barely follow the directions. Now he takes his time and actually puts details into his creations. I love these positive changes we are seeing!

Bowling

— 5 —

Diva has been amazing me with her creativity and sewing ability. She watched a video about how to sew one of the Mario characters out of felt. This video came with a template and she set out to make it. Ever since then, she has been designing her own patterns! She has made Captain Toad, Waccas (your guess is as good as mine!), Benny the 80s Spacesuit Guy and a Micromanager from the LEGO Movie, and the Unknown (don’t ask me which one) from Pokemon. Most recently, she has designed a princess doll, but she’s not finished with this yet, so I don’t have any pictures. This girl is amazing!

LEGO Movie Benny
Sew - Captain Toad
Sew - Micromanager
Sew - Waccas

— 6 —

For me, I am loving that spring is finally here! Despite allergies, I am enjoying having the door open in the house, and the windows down as we drive. Flowers and trees are starting to bloom, and even parts of the city are starting to look pretty.

Flower Up Close

Rose

— 7 —

April is the month for Autism. Given that LegoFan is on the spectrum, and I run four different businesses, I decided to team up with some other vendors to do a fundraiser for an amazing group called Pathfinders for Autism.

LegoFan has benefited directly from their services, and we just love the ladies associated with Pathfinders! To that end, I am donating a percentage of my profits from all of my businesses to Pathfinders this month! So, if you are in the market for…

Hair Jewelry from Lilla Rose

Hair Jewelry from Lilla Rose

Personalized Jewelry from Origami Owl

Personalized Jewelry from Origami Owl

Health & Wellness products from Plexus

Health & Wellness products from Plexus

Essential Oils from Young Living

Essential Oils from Young Living

… please click on the photos and they will take you to my sites. You can order directly from there, and then come back and post your order number in the comments (I can delete order numbers so they don’t stay on the blog). That way I can track things and make my donations accordingly.

* Just in case I wasn’t clear, the links will take you to my websites, where I will make a commission off each sale. In this case, your purchases will not only help me keep my kids home, but they will also help a worthwhile organization, Pathfinders for Autism. Thank you for helping us!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tough Decisions

Like I said in this post, I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome on both sides of my body. You can learn more about it here, here, or here. Even with all this information (and there’s a ton more out there), I find myself very conflicted.

Or, maybe because of it.

I have had two thoracic surgeons examine me and perform tests; they both came to the same conclusion: this is a debilitating disease that will only get worse if I don’t address it via surgery. I have been through physical therapy with no improvement. I have taken pain meds which only last a little while, if they work at all. I have been at a healthy weight (when the symptoms first appeared) and at a “less than” healthy weight.

My symptoms are getting more and more difficult to tolerate. I wake up daily with pain in both shoulders and numbness or tingling all the way down to my fingertips. I have difficulty ~ pain, heaviness, fatigue ~ in every day things like brushing my hair, shampooing, dressing, baking. I go numb when I type (I have taken several breaks while typing this post) and when I drive. Sleep is difficult as I cannot get comfortable, or I go numb when lying on my side. These symptoms are not easy to ignore; and they are getting progressively worse. I am actually starting to drop things.

So here’s my dilemma: The docs both say surgery is the only way to alleviate the symptoms; they say I’ll recover quickly and feel much better, returning to normal activities within a few days. Though some say I’ll create more problems than I will solve with this surgery.¬† I want to make sure that it is a decision I can live with – literally. It’s not like they can put my ribs back in once they take them out.

Lord Jesus, send your Holy Spirit to guide my decisions. Help me to do what is right for my body and my children.

Trust and Faith

I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.Mother Teresa

I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Raynauds’, and Scoliosis. Now my eye doctor thinks I may have the beginnings of Glaucoma. I am in my early forties. I was diagnosed with the scoliosis around the age of 12, so it and I have been together for a while. While I never had to have surgery for it, I did have to wear a fiberglass brace underneath my clothes – not a good look for the teenager who does not want to look pregnant! If it weren’t for the scoliosis, the doctors told me, I’d be about 2″ taller than my nearly 6′ tall frame already is. As a result I have always had lower back pain and one leg longer than the other.

At the time, these things scared me. While my family was very active in our faith, I don’t recall leaning on God to get me through my teen years. Though He was most certainly there.

Until about a year ago I had never heard of Raynauds’ or Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It was only though visits with doctors concerning my endometriosis – for which I ended up needing a hysterectomy – that we discovered these two mysteries.

The first mystery was the Raynaud’s. Apparently, there are two versions of this and I have the milder of the two. Basically, a few of my extremities are extremely sensitive to temperature changes; cold especially. My mother always used to say, “Cold hands, warm heart” in reference to me and my hands. I never thought much about it; until the diagnosis. What cinched this little discovery was that my toes were a delightful shade of purple – or was that blue? Now, I wear lots of warm socks, slippers or shoes in the house (at all times), and I take a baby aspirin every day. While in the house, I have made a couple of other adjustments; such as, not stepping on the bathroom floor without something on my feet. I also make sure the shower is warm before I plant those tootsies on the basin. For the time being this works…

The second mystery was one I had struggled with for a long while, but had yet to realize that it was a problem. You see, my right arm would go numb while sleeping, driving, using the computer, etc. After a couple of years of this and many appointments, specialists, and tests, I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The first mistake I made was to look it up on Wikipedia. It listed a few people who had died as a result of this condition; people who were in much better shape than I am. All that did was make me depressed and scared. New game plan…

What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome? In a nutshell, the space between my clavicle and my 1st rib is too narrow. The major artery, vein, and nerve become compressed; causing numbness, tingling, swelling, pain, and loss of fine motor skills. I am starting to drop things and it’s really getting annoying :>

My surgeon, yes that’s how doctors ultimately deal with this condition, said I was a surgical candidate for the right side. I have it on the left side as well, but it’s not at the stage of surgery just yet. She offered me an alternative of physical therapy – which I took. But I’ve learned that this is only a delay; kinda like a band-aid.

Most recently, my legs have begun to get this numbness and tingling, without explanation. In the past week, I have had a vascular test and an MRI – both negative/normal; which is both good and bad. Good for the obvious reasons; but bad because we still have no idea what’s happening.

In the middle of all this, I decided to go get a new pair of glasses. I haven’t worn glasses in about ten years, so I thought it was time to get back with the program. Little did I know, God had something else in store for me. This is where the Glaucoma comes in. The doc’s not positive yet, but he’s seeing the indications. Not what I wanted or expected to hear. I mean I just wanted to update my prescription and get a new pair of glasses.

As you can see, my plate is full – Scoliosis, Raynaud’s, Thoracic Outlet, Unexplained Numbness, and possibly, Glaucoma. I have at least two surgeries in my near future. By all earthly standards, I have reason to be scared, even a little mad. What about a little self-pity? And, as a human, I do experience these feelings. However, I choose to look at this differently…

I choose to give this plate to God; to place it at the foot of the Cross. I choose to ask for help with healing, if it is His will for me. I choose to have faith; and trust that God will use all of this for His greater purpose. It all reminds me of a song I’ve sung in church, based on Psalm 91, called “Eagle’s Wings”

And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,

Bear you on the breath of dawn,

Make you to shine like the sun,

And hold you in the palm of His hands.

I want Him to hold me in the palm of His hands. I can’t handle all this alone. But, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians).

I’m sure I’ve broken some kind of blogging rule for the length of a blog post. I am sorry this got kind of long. But this is something I’ve had on my heart and mind for the last couple of days.

Would you mind saying a prayer that I am able to maintain these choices? That I am able to leave this full plate at the feet of Jesus?