Sunday, September 28, 2014

Room 610 ( My 5 Day Visit to the Hospital)

On Monday, September 22, this was me at a motives makeup party...all fancied up right before bed. Two days later, I sat in the ER looking a little less and feeling a lot less becoming. Oddly, the Saturday morning before this I woke up, took myself to the gym for the first time in about a year. I was gung ho, ready to go. I still have 25 lbs of  pregnancy weight to lose and I figured since the kids (most of them) were in school, it was about time to get in gear. On Monday morning, I head back to the Y, but something was different. It wasn't just pure exhaustion from lack of movement for a year. I got on the elliptical for 10 minutes and I couldn't breathe. So I left. Great way to start a fitness goal.

Tuesday Morning, I woke up, met my in-laws for breakfast feeling kind of flu-ish. I was achey and my nose wouldn't stop running, so I laid down the majority of that day but felt like I was Ok to have company over later than night. And I did.

Wednesday Morning, I woke up, still feeling flu-ish, achy, runny nose,slightly congested...but I felt I could handle it and Jeff went off to work. Within an hour of him leaving, I was almost completely unable to breathe. It was extremely sudden, so I called him home and asked him to bring me to urgent care. My main concern was that I had pneumonia or bronchitis or something, and I didn't know if it was contagious or safe for me to keep breast feeding. I have dealt with asthma my entire life, and the major asthma attacks have been few and far between. I seriously don't remember having anything major in probably 10 years or so...and most minor attacks could be controlled with a rescue inhaler. Or so I thought.

I got to urgent care and the doctor said I had absolutely no air going through my lungs so he gave me a breathing treatment and a shot of prednisone (in the rear) and I was able to at least catch my breath but in no condition for anything else. He sent me by ambulance to the ER...and after 2 more breathing treatments and 6 hours gone by, I was on my way home.

Wednesday Night, I knew when I got home that taking care of my kids (and bathing them for their school pics the next day) was impossible. Thank you Dry Shampoo! I felt worse than I did in that morning. I couldn't even feed Wyatt properly, because the angle that I had to hunch over non stop to even breathe was not a good angle to breastfeed. The entire night I laid on the sofa next to him, trying to gasp for breath. I knew I should have went back to the ER in the middle of the night, but I had four kids was I supposed to manage this? SO I waited. Waited.

Thursday Morning. By Morning, I couldn't take two steps alone without help. I had to get out of my house because I didn't know if there was something in my house causing this. So Jeff had to drive me over to my church so I could sit in there with the windows wide open. I couldn't even carry my own purse, because the amount of air I had to even walk to a room to sit down was all I could get. I sat there for about an hour, while he kept Wyatt, brought my kids to school (as well as the little girls we watch in the morning) and I called my doctor who told me to go back to the ER and when Jeff finished with all the kiddos, he brought me back to the ER. After an hour long breathing treatment, I was admitted to the hospital for 24 hours of steroid injections, breathing treatments, etc.

Friday Morning & Saturday Morning. Well to say I felt better is an understatement. When you can't even carry you're own purse and you have to hunch over with an aching back for days just to get a breath, anything feels good. So I felt good in comparison. But it was determined to stay another couple of days, because I was still wheezing and getting short breaths and low oxygen, just sitting in a bed alone all day. What would happen if I were to go home to my messy house and 4 kids and 2 animals all wanting attention? So, even on Saturday, I was yet given another 24 hours to stay...

And today, Sunday. Today, he said I am still wheezing... and don't sound great. But it's up to me whether to stay one more day and take advantage of treatments or go. I'm taking the day to rest in here, but plan on having my husband pick me up tonight to go home to my family. I miss them. But am a little nervous to go home to the chaos that awaits me. I don't know how Jeff did it alone with 4 kids, one of them being a breastfed baby, but he did...and he deserves some major props!

I just wanted to give an update for those of you who were offering your help and prayers and visits and whatnot. Thank you all so much. I had read of a respiratory virus HERE going around that started off like a flu, but suddenly changed into a major inability to breathe, especially with already asthmatic patients. We can only assume that is what was going on. The things we take for granted some days is beyond me, especially when you lose it. I was in so much pain, just from hunching my back to breathe. I am thankful to be mobile, breathing and at 94% oxygen. Haha.

I sat in my room all week watching the Influence Conference feed on Instagram as well as the Kindle the Flame Conference feed on Facebook, wishing I could be at either of those places, but mostly I just wanted to be feeling better and home. I also sat watching my newsfeed of other people (kids mostly) in hospitals needing prayers far more than I probably did, and lifted them up to the Lord. And I took heed to the warnings of the doctors to stop living on my inhaler and get this issue under control.

Thanks to my mom for stopping by several times, bringing me goodies and taking me home from the ER the first night, picking up groceries and diapers and dog and cat food...and letting Jeff use your truck. Thanks to my friends & family for bringing meals, offering breast milk, taking my kids out so Jeff could get a break. Thanks to my brother in law for cleaning mold out of our house ( a possible suspect in the asthma attack). Thanks to my sisters and brother in law and dad for stopping by to say hi and chat with me for a bit! And thanks to everyone for your prayers and encouragement.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Update: Wesley (one year later)

Seriously! Is this happening? How is he a 5th grader already?
It's funny because when I (or anyone else) looks at Wyatt, we immediately see Wesley when he was a baby. 11 years goes by so fast Mommas. I wish someone would have told me. I'm sure someone did, I don't think you don't really get it until it's gone by. You are in the smack dab in the middle of learning about raising this kid. Not just kids in general, but *this* kid and suddenly this kid is a big kid. When we say every kid is so different, wow, is that true.
Last year around this time, I wrote about how Wes was tested for Aspergers and he was *diagnosed* with anxiety and depression in this post Aspergers & Emotional Disability or Fearfully & Wonderfully Made?. I talked about how I knew that was not Wesley's identity. I knew we had things to deal with, obviously, otherwise he would have never been tested but I also know God has a plan for Wesley's life and those words aren't included. Over the course of his 4th grade year, he was also tested for ADHD in which the results came back borderline.

Let me just say something about this, for all the parents that struggle with faith vs diagnosis. I know for some of us, we feel that if we find out whats going on that we are not standing in faith concerning the issue. But for our family, it has helped us so much.

Clearly, over the course of almost 11 years of life, we had our struggles. In and out of the principles office he went. Meetings with teachers every year since pre-school. In the beginning, we just all thought "Wow, he has a temper or boy is he emotional." Everyone else thought "Wow, you need to discipline him better or Boy is he naughty." Until the ending of 2nd grade, his teacher recognized something familiar and just made mention of it. Once we started testing, therapy & diagnosis process, he has only progressed. There has been nothing negative in the process. We are, as his parents in full control what we have him do. No one is forcing us to do anything. And we (especially I as his mother) go to the Lord about everything. If I ever needed the Lord's help, it was in this area of parenting. Seeking his wisdom concerning each of my kids individually is on my agenda-DAILY!
Wesley has had lots of prayer from my family too over his life and I am so thankful for that.

But as a mom, I appreciate just knowing I am not alone. I also appreciate knowing he is not alone. And I am learning daily how to communicate with him. It doesn't hinder my faith in God to know what I'm dealing with because I know where we stand. And I know that He is greater and lives inside of us. It doesn't help me to pretend that we haven't struggled with things. What helps us and him is knowing what is going through his mind and how he interprets things, so that I both know how to pray with and for him and also know how to communicate with him.

He is getting older, so with the territory comes eye rolling and attitude on occasion, but my biggest and main concern is that Wesley knows he can talk to Jeff or I about anything as he grows into a teenager. I make sure to sit down with the kids. I go to their rooms and talk to them about their friends, their classes, what they like and dislike. Not every day, but I do it because I want them to be able to confide in me. All of them.

Wesley is so completely different from Jada. And Jada is so completely different from Leila. It's seriously crazy how different these kids are, but I love their differences and I can see God using them so much in their lives and futures.

This past year, he was moved to public school after being in private for 6 years. He has been able to take advantage of special education and school counselors, which were not available in private. But he has not had one single issue where he even needed major intervention since switching schools. The only thing the special ed teacher has helped him with is remembering his homework each day.
He was feeling rushed at the end of the day and he would get distracted, forget his homework, which in turn would cause him to get in trouble and was creating a lot of anxiety for him the first few months of his new school. So we remedied that. And since then, he almost always is joyful, loves school and has a good attitude concerning it.

If you have ever dealt with similar issues, you can't imagine the relief we had at the end of his school year as everything turned around for him. Not a single principals office visit all year. Not a single out of schedule meeting with the teacher. And after we dealt with the homework issue, he was in a better mood, he started making friends at the end of year and he is happy. So I am happy.

Towards the end of his 4th grade year ,we received an email and had a meeting with his former principal at the private school he attended, in which he welcomed Wes back for 5th grade this year. I don't know why, but even though we had been praying for this to happen, I just didn't feel it was the right fit for Wes yet. I kept talking to the Lord about it, but something didn't feel quite right. Maybe he wasn't ready, I don't know. But I just followed that quiet voice inside me. So he is back in public. Next year he is off to middle school and we have another big decision to make, obviously. Do we keep him in public or put him back in his old school where the kids knew about some of his shenanigans. I wonder some days if he still has a reputation or if he will be accepted because the Wesley they knew caused quite a commotion some days.

As the year progresses, I am keeping the middle school situation in prayer obviously. I see so much improvement. I am so thankful. He is so full of love. And he is so smart. And I push him a little socially & physically to do things that he doesn't always want to do (because he'd rather be on the computer in his room), but he is always happy afterwards and wants to improve even more so.

This year has been a defining year for me as a parent. I have never thought more about intentional parenting as I have this past year. And I love it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

What Good Is The Internet?

Some days I really struggle with the internet. I struggle with the good and bad of it.
Let's face it. There is a lot of bad. There is greasy, dirty, whiny, angry, gossipy & downright sleazy all over the place.  It's gross. It's meant to suck people in.  And it accomplishes what it sets out to do. All we have to do is see a pretty picture or a catchy title and suddenly with the click of a mouse or tap of our phone we are engaged in what so and so thinks about so and so and the 7 reasons why.

And if we are not careful, we begin to feed our hearts with trash. It may not look dirty, but it makes our hearts dirty. We read it. We involve ourselves in argument and debate over it. We dwell on it. We infuriate over it.  And suddenly, Jesus is not first and foremost. This thing is. This issue. This debate. This gossip.

So why do we fall for it?
Why do we spend our time accommodating the patterns of the world? That's not who we are.
Romans 12:2 says Be not conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing & perfect will.
We are called to be more. We are called to protect our hearts. Do you want to know why?
Because everything we do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23) 
Are we protecting our heart with every click of our mouse?  Are we allowing the life of God to flow out of us?  Or is what flows from our mouths and fingertips something else? 
It's something to think about.

1 Peter 2:9 -"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
What I see here is that God has chosen you. You are prized. You are precious. You are holy and royalty. And you are different. And because of that, you are called to show the goodness of God. That is your purpose here on this earth- to show others his goodness. Whatever you do, whatever you speak, whatever you share, let it bring glory to God alone.

The thing about the internet it has given anyone and everyone a public voice. This can be a good thing if the right people are using it, but more often than not it's doing the opposite. Some people don't know when to keep their mouths closed. Some people entertain idol argument too quickly. And some people just just want to tell the world what they think.
But as a man or woman of God, that is not what we are called to do.
That's not who we are supposed to be.

Yes, we are to defend the gospel, but we should allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into doing so with the right words.

The internet can be an excellent tool if you use it correctly~If your intent is to honor God with your words and not yourself, if your intent is to honor God and not dishonor others. There are certainly very talented speakers and writers and debaters and actors and politicians that have the ability to captivate us and persuade us and entertain us. But talent & persuasion don't equal truth.
Let's not take every word out of every great writer or speaker and cut it up and swallow and digest it as truth just because it's said with eloquence. On that same not, let's not take every word and throw it out just because someone is imperfect. 
If we renew our minds daily with God's word, and ask him to open our eyes, we will know the truth inside of us.  We just will.   And that is what we should be sharing. That truth that brings glory to God. We shouldn't let ourselves to conform to the thoughts and patterns of the world we live in.

Our voice, if we should decide to use it publicly (which most of us do to some degree nowadays if we own any sort of social media account) is to be used to breathe the life of God into any given situation. If we are not using the online voice we have, (however little or big it may be), to bring God glory, what are we using it for? If we are speaking up on this or that, we need to be sure our heart is close to God's heart and our voice is guided by Him. Because when it comes down to it, our opinions are not what matter. We can certainly have them, but they aren't what matter. What matters is bringing God glory. And bringing people to see Jesus.

And likewise, let those who do wish to glorify God, be brave enough to do it publicly. We need more brave people online pointing people to Jesus, not just away from things or people. Give people somewhere to look, not only something to look away from.

Let's ask ourselves this question before we speak, 
"Will they see Jesus in what I am about to say?"
And if the answer is no, maybe we should lay that thought quietly down for awhile and let God work in us what HE wants us to say. Or we can say nothing at all. Sometimes that is better, ya know? It just is. I hold back a lot of my initial thoughts. Because it's just that, it's my thoughts and my reaction to other peoples thoughts. That's all.  And I want to be sure that when I speak it's not hasty and when I speak, it's really very simple, I want people to see Jesus.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you  have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you  have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 4:11

The internet isn't going away anytime soon. But as we engage ourselves in it's use, let's not get tangled up in the grossness of it. We need to learn to recognize when what we read or what we say is a ploy meant to shift our focus onto people or ideas rather than the Lord.  Instead, let's use our voice on the internet to boast about the NAME that is far above every other name that calls out to us.
The name of Jesus.