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Archive for January, 2008

Yummy

I made a very yummy dinner this evening and thought I’d share the recipe with you all.

I found it at this website, which has oodles of yummy recipes that we are trying out this week. I served the pepper steak over brown rice, and used a lower sodium soy sauce and beef broth to make it more “heart healthy” for mom. I also served it with a fresh salad.

We are really working hard to eat our veggies and keep the carbs in check. Mom is doing a lot better than me; she doesn’t free range in the cookie bag like I do between meals. In an effort to curb that, I didn’t buy any cookies this week. If they aren’t here, then I can’t eat them, right?

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She’s Home!!!

Yay! My mom came home on Tuesday afternoon from her stay in the hospital. She still tires really easily and is very sore from the bruising from the heart cath., but otherwise feels good. She keeps saying she just feels “lighter”, like weights have been removed from her body. We’ve had a few bumps in the road since she’s been home. Her blood glucose monitor decided to stop working that first night, so we haven’t been able to monitor her sugar levels like we should. The company is sending her a new one; it should be here tomorrow. She needs antibiotics, which cause her to feel icky while she’s taking them. I think that is a major reason for her tiredness at this point. On the up side, though, she and I have been eating really healthy (at least for us!). I had just (a few days ago) confessed to a friend of mine that I didn’t know how long it’d been since I’d had a fresh vegetable. Now I’ve been eating fruits and vegetables for three days, cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m not sure how much I like all this cooking; it requires way too much cleaning up! {smile} I’m trying to follow the Heart Healthy/Diabetic diet that she was allowed while in the hospital, although when I went shopping, I didn’t think to get low sodium, low fat stuff. Next week, I’ll do that. But the diet itself isn’t difficult at all to follow, as she has to have four carb choices at each meal, in addition to a serving of protein, and a serving or two of vegetables. I’m actually having a hard time finding four different carbs for each meal, because I’m trying to make sure she has plenty of variety. She could just drink two cups of chocolate milk and eat a hamburger patty with a raw carrot, but that just doesn’t sound…healthy. {smile} So, this is a learning curve for me. She says that I make the best salads…I’m glad she thinks so, since we’ll be eating a lot of them!

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Update on Mom’s Health

Well, she’s still in the hospital. She had initially gone there just for a ct scan, with dye, of her carotid arteries and her kidneys, but because of the allergic reaction, she ended up staying. Now, they’ve performed the heart cath., and inserted a stent somewhere in her heart, as they found somewhere some blockage. She should be coming home tomorrow, and the fruit and I are going to stay with her until her rooms here at the new house are finished, which could be a month or more. She came through the surgery great and is recovering well, although she has a small hematoma at the entry point on her leg. The doctor said that it was shrinking, so should cause no problems. Her blood sugar is super high because of the Prednisone they gave her to counteract the allergy to the dye, so she is taking insulin, which is new. She is tired, but I’m thinking that is to be expected with all the drugs they had in her for the surgery, the toll all the stress and allergic reaction had on her, and her blood sugar.

So, there’s the update, and I am so thankful that she came through it all so well. She has been an exemplary patient, according to her doctors and nurses, and that makes me happy that she is such a wonderful witness for Jesus.

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In Other News…

F3 needs braces. She’s only nine. The orthodontist wants to put on what he calls a 2×4. There will be a brace on her four top front teeth, with brackets around the six-year molars for stability and of course the wires that run between. She has what they call (I think) and anterior cross-bite. One of her adult front top teeth is falling behind one of the bottom adult teeth, pushing the bottom tooth forward. The other front top tooth (also permanent) lands directly on top of its matching bottom tooth, which is causing it to chip away. I guess when I find a way to pay for it, we’ll get the braces on. Until then, I’m praying not a lot of damage is done to her teeth. Our dental insurance ran out at the end of December, so it will all be out of pocket. I’m just trusting God that He will make a way for it to happen, because on our own…we are overwhelmed.

F1’s team won their basketball game last night, 21-18. F1 played the best game he has ever played: he made four out of the five shots he took, stole the ball, blocked and intercepted the other team’s passes, and was aggressive, but in control. I am so proud of him! He was a star last night.

The weather has been…strange. As it has been everywhere in the country apparently. Warm temps have melted almost all of our snow and the ice on the pond. We had severe thunderstorms the other night, along with tornado warnings and last night brought some really wild wind. It is supposed to be cooling down again, but the Fruit are outside right now, enjoying the 41 degree temps and building a castle. I didn’t have the heart to make them stay inside all day, “doing school”, when they have so few of these warmer, not so wet, days to be outside.

F7, our sweet new little girl, is continuing to grow as she should, is head down, and sticking her toes in my ribs just like all her brothers and sisters did before her. I’ve really got to get busy getting her things ready, but am a bit unmotivated due to the lack of permanence in our sleeping arrangements. Hopefully soon, we will get this house finished and everyone and everything in their proper place.

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Mom’s Health Problems

Sigh.

On a Saturday mid-October, my mom and I were just sitting around at the old house (where she is still living until her rooms here at the new house are completed) chatting, when she suddenly grabbed her head, then slumped to the side in her chair, unconscious and jerking while making odd, guttural noises in her upper chest or throat. I pulled her back into a sitting position, very gently, and she immediately came to, not even having a clue that she had passed out. I asked her to do the signs of stroke thing; she was able to speak coherently, her tongue stuck out straight, she could raise her arms. She felt fine, said she had just gotten this dizzy pressure feeling in her head, and that she has had those feelings for years. This is the first time she’s ever passed out. In the end, we didn’t end up going to the hospital and I went home a couple hours later.

My brother took her to the local urgent care on the next Monday, because when she called her family physician, who’d been her doctor and friend for over thirty years, to make an appointment, she was told that he had passed away the previous Wednesday. The doc at the urgent care gave her an ekg and set her up with a blood workup and mri. All of that came back normal, except for some indicated changes in medicines for her diabetes and blood pressure from the blood work.

We found a new general practitioner, who ordered an eeg and set her up with a cardiologist and neurologist. The eeg came back completely normal, but said that it did not completely rule out a seizure disorder (which makes me ask, why did we do it if it couldn’t rule out a seizure?) and the cardiologist sent her for tests at the hospital. A cardio-stress test, a carotid artery ct scan with dye, and a ct scan of her kidneys with dye. The stress test just happened Monday, and she was very worried about it, because the last one she had fifteen years ago or so left her so weak she was in bed for over a week. This time it was fine…not anything she’d volunteer for, but definitely not as bad as she remembered.

We thought the ct scan, which took place yesterday, would be no bid deal, because she’s had many of them, with and without dye in the past several years due to her many health ailments. The technicians completed the tests and suddenly, Mom’s throat became very hoarse and gruff. The nurse took one look at her and ran out of the room to snag the doctor. In the few moments that took, she began shaking like she was having a seizure, and the doctor asked her if she could breathe. Within moments of that, her throat started to close, her lungs began filling up, and her sinuses filled up so that she couldn’t draw a breath. They treated her with benadryl and epinephrine, and she spent the night at the hospital for observation.

She was supposed to be released this afternoon, but the results of her stress test came back showing a blockage. Now the docs want to do an angiogram to determine location and size of the blockage and are keeping her overnight again. The angiogram involves more dye, which she is now allergic to, so they have to pre-treat her with benadryl and steroids to prevent another reaction. They are waiting on the results of the ct scan and consultation with her cardiologist before doing anything else.

Sigh. I was so hoping that these tests would show nothing and she could get on with her life without all this drama. She hates drama. But here it is, snapping at us. I am just so thankful that God is here with us, an ever-present help in time of trouble. Even through all of this, I can see His hand in everything that has happened, His stroke upon this canvas. I keep reminding myself as I drive her to her appointments or to the store for groceries, or wherever she needs to go (the doctors don’t want her to drive until they can figure out what the original passing out episode was all about, which is really stressing her out and causing a real depression to take hold of her) that this is all just a season that will pass and the next season will come. I am thankful to God that through every season, He is here, guiding us, comforting us, and keeping us.

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Last year, I posted this, outlining my goals for the year. I only chose three things to do, believing that it would be very do-able. Sigh.

I did join a book group at the beginning of this school year – it is with other homeschool moms (there are four of us in the group) and we’ve read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Animal Farm so far. We also did a poetry study for the first session. Now we are reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and in February will read Mama’s Bank Account. I am really enjoying the discussion and the group, although having to have the book read on time doesn’t allow me to take notes like I would like and branch off into other areas that the book takes me. But it does get me through the books.

I also bought a book about digital photography, and read a little in it, but really didn’t get the chance to get too involved in it before we bought the new house, my dad died, and life sort of passed on without me learning anymore. So that is a goal to re-analyze this year to determine if it is where I should focus a part of my life on or let it slide a little more.

Walking. Insert uproarious, uncontrolled laughter here. I did do a lot of walking outside with the fruit, but I know I couldn’t have possibly reached my set goal. As the year wore on, I walked less and less. The treadmill is still at the other house, and probably will be for a while longer, until we get it’s home ready here.

Now on to this year’s goals. I still think that having three fairly broad goals is a good idea.
1) I would like to do more with my reading, so I’m going to make a goal to post 6 times this year to my literature blog. I need to do more communicating about what I am learning about in addition to the reading itself.
2) I am doing Starting Points: A Worldview Primer by David Quine this year, in preparation to be able to help F1 do it next year, if he feels it fits in with his mission. I really like it, find it interesting and challenging, but it is also time consuming for a mommy of nearly 7 fruit, so I’ve had a hard time sticking with it. However, all excuses aside, I really want the fruit to each go through this course for themselves when they get to the logic/mid-scholar stage, so I need to set the standard and inspiration and get through it and learn as much as I can from it. Besides the fact that I think it will really help me as I go through my own scholar phase.
3) I’m thinking about embarking on a part-time career that I need to do some learning about. I would love to take the self-study course that I found, but need to also find the money that goes along with it. Then I would have a certificate to go along with the studying that I could show. More about this later, if and when I decide I want to do it. I’m still praying about it. So this is sort of a quasi-goal; I guess the goal is to decide if I want to do it, and then complete the study program that goes along with it if I decide in the affirmative.

Hopefully, next January, I’ll be able to report that I’ve made steady progress on these goals and that, perhaps, I’ve even achieved them! If not, I’ll have been enriched in the process, so I’m not going to let myself get down about it. Life sometimes has a way of redirecting our goals, and we end up learning, doing, and achieving things we had no idea in the beginning of the year were going to be important.

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