Tuesday, November 29

Is There a Miracle Move in the Works?

Oh wow, is my procrastination catching up with me now.  We are 6 days away from the movers coming to pack our things in boxes.  I have a refrigerator full of food, mail I haven’t opened, and addresses I haven’t changed. I still have loads of laundry to do before I even attempt to pack our suitcases. I feel a bit queasy thinking about it, or that could be my gallbladder acting up again. There is probably going to be another break in the blogs for a bit until we get settled again.

I wonder, with the miracle of my holy heart being healed do I deserve peace in other aspects of my life. Well, of course I deserve nothing, but do I have the right to ask for something? I mean really having the hole in my heart close is pretty spectacular. Besides my absolutely beautiful daughters that God is allowing us to parent, I’m not sure what else I could really ask for. Peace on this Earth would be cool.

However, I am experiencing some severe turmoil. I am not resting on the Lord. I hate this feeling of not being prepared. Every moment I spend sitting at the computer, reading, shopping, or watching one TV show, I am beating myself up about not sorting through things or organizing things for the move. I also spend too much time thinking about things that don’t matter at the time. Does God have a limited amount of miracles he gives out per person, per family? Why some people and not others?

I am surprised that I have the “Why me?” question for my healing. With all my accidents, misdiagnosis, mental and physical health issues, I never said, “why me.” I was always of the thought, “why not me?” I have a trust and faith in God that carries me through the trying times. For the most part I am a positive person with a good ability to put on a good face (mask). I trusted He knew what He was doing and eventually it would get better. Now that God has healed the hole in my heart I now wonder, “Why me?” There are so many people with cancers, severe pain and anguish that I think would be so more deserving. The men, women and children who do not have any resources or support, why not them? 
What really perplexes me now is how can I ever ask God again for anything? I am having a hard time preparing myself for this move from Vegas to Tucson. How will we bring in income? How will we pay the bills? Will I get my act together quickly enough in Tucson to be able to get Christmas decorations up before Christmas? Will I be able to get my girls the #1 gifts on their Christmas lists despite them being out of stock all over the country? Does it really matter?

I have been avoiding some really necessary tasks. I keep telling myself to cast my cares upon the Lord. I just know that I am not doing that as much as I could. I don’t doubt that I still need Him. Deep breaths…. I just don’t know if it is fair of me to ask, like God has some finite amount of help He hands out. How absurd is that!  Well, I never said it was rational thoughts that I have, random yes, rational, only sometimes. Actually I have obsessive thoughts, analyzing different angles sometimes missing the most obvious. I don't need a miracle to move, just some peace and grace.
In the midst of my philosophical musings, I need to get moving. I will go conquer the laundry. The movers will come even if I am not ready. They will pack dirty clothes, but I have an issues with that so off I go.

Saturday, November 12

God's Amazing Healing Power, REALLY!

It has taken me awhile to write out my complete miracle story, being concise doesn’t come easily for me. I could write a whole book on my life, but I’m not sure anyone would want to read it. Instead I will try to summarize it for this blog. There are many miracles I have experienced in my life. I only have listed some highlights before going over the big miracle.

·        No broken bones or death despite falling off a horse and getting amnesia, being hit by a car while on a bicycle, and several bad car accidents.
·        A simple faith in God that prevented me from following through on suicide despite a serious undiagnosed, at the time, inherited mental illness.
·        Survived many episodes of self medication with excessive drug and alcohol usage. Also, I avoided any accidents or consequences of my DUI. I only became addicted to food, not anything illegal or alcohol despite years of abuse.
·        Receiving Jesus and accepting Him into my heart after fully understanding the salvation plan.  
·        Adopting two beautiful baby girls that share the same biological parents from the foster care system.
·        Surviving 3 major surgeries despite severe allergic reactions to general anesthesia and pain medications.
·        Living to the age of 33 despite a serious congenital heart defect, sinus venosus atrial septal defect (hole between upper chambers of the heart and a vein going in the wrong direction). The hole was > 2.7 cm, slightly larger than a quarter and my heart had enlarged 5 times the normal size of a heart to compensate.
·        After 10 years of complaints to doctors, finally finding one who listened to my symptoms and didn’t explain them away as suffering from obesity or a properly medicated mental illness.

Now I come to the awesome miracle of my latest healing. Please indulge me while I give some history I don’t think I covered my previous blog post.

In 2008, six years after my corrective heart surgery, I had some fatigue. After a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), a cardiologist discovered that the hole in my heart had opened. The cells in our bodies have a memory. Mine clearly were duplicating what they had known for 33 years. However, the hole was < .5 cm, smaller than a pencil eraser. My pressure, saturation and oxygenation levels were well within normal.  Many people can live to old age while having a tiny hole in their heart, no worries. In 2010, the hole got bigger. For the most up to date history about the hole in my heart you might want to read about My Almost a Clear Bill of Health for My Holy Heart
I had a cardiac MRI done October 24, 2011 at UCLA. I have my official written out results, confirmation of my healing. THE HOLE IS GONE! My MRI shows there is no flow or evidence for right to left shunt. My pulmonary venous connections appear normal. Here is some great medical jargon. There are: No interatrial or interventricular septal discontinuity. No pericardial effusion. Both ventricles show normal contractility throughout with normal myocardial systolic thickening. No focal mural thinning or regional hypokinesia. No delayed myocardial enhancement to suggest myocardial scar or inflammation. The aortic valve is trileaflet with normal opening and coaption, no evidence for dephasing jet. After all that mumbo jumbo, trust me, the report says the hole is gone. Alleluia! It is confirmation of the Lords miracle. O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You have healed me.” Psalm 30:2

While the doctor went over the results I was thinking of the questions that I had for him. One of which was, “Can I do aerobic exercise now?” The interesting result from the MRI is that from a cardiac standpoint I am healthy and can resume aerobic exercise. However, to get a complete answer to that question, I have to follow up with my primary care physician. It seems that through incidental imaging of the upper abdomen, it demonstrate Cholelithiasis without evidence for biliary obstruction, but at least two gallbladder calculi, the larger measuring 2.0 cm diameter. There are also mild intervertebral disc bulges at T8-T9 and T9-T10 level, as well as, at T12 level, well defined 1 cm rounded cystic structure within the spinal cord. A well-defined high signal structure apparently invaginating the spinal cord at T12 level, with otherwise normal appearances of the cord - although SSFP sequences not optimal for evaluation -, and some lower thoracic disc bulging noted.

I find it amusing that I thought it maybe my heart that would prevent me from doing aerobic exercise, but instead is it my back. Although I don’t accept that it is an excuse. I know there are plenty of people with back problems that exercise successfully for weight loss. I just have to get my doctor to clear me despite what my back may indicate. Now my getting into the doctor before I move maybe the issue since he is so popular in the military community. Maybe there is another miracle waiting for me!

Sunday, November 6

Career moves

Today you get another perspective on our decision to move back to Tucson. This is in my husband's words, an answer to a family members concern about his quick retirement decision.
“Thanks for your advice. I have already officially applied for retirement. To put you at ease, this was not a snap decision from emotion but one of thought, prayer, and Christian counsel from fellow retired officers, and of course with Leslie. Also, it is not really half pay but more like 1/3 pay. And, yes it is a down economy but that does not limit God. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. And quite frankly, I am excited for the first time in many years. This opens many opportunities to more fully let God work in our lives. I have so many options that it is difficult to choose.

I can go back to school get a second master's degree in Ranglend Management at the U of A for free and get a housing stipend plus my retirement with the GI Bill. I can get another job in weather, not what I desire, but a possibility. I can go into ministry as an assistant pastor with my current masters. I can join the Guard or Reserves. I can start a home based business or a real bricks and mortar one like a U-Swirl franchise. I can stay at home and home school my children.

Public school is absolutely never an option in any way what so ever. Our young children should not be left for a majority of their daily lives having their faith and ours assaulted. There are statistics after statistics to support our decision that public school is not an option. It is a whole different discussion left for a different time. If interested check out: www.exploringhomeschooling.com

I can be a college professor at the bachelor's level teaching meteorology 101. The list kind of goes on. But, the main point is I now have multiple choices. The down economy will make a challenge but it is not insurmountable. I refuse to let the government be my crutch. In the grand scheme of things, my career is over. The military will not provide the growth I want and only more separation from my family. I have served faithfully for 20 years, put service before self, and now it is time to say thank you and look forward to the next stage of life before the Gov sucks the life out of me. God led me into the military and I feel now He is leading me out.

Leslie could go back to work. I am not worried about finances God will work them through. But, I do want to get the Tucson albatross off the neck and get that taken care of instead of kicking the proverbial can down the road. We will still get health services as good as they are mostly from my experience they have been great as long as you are healthy and don't need care. Getting a renter $800 to $1000 a month below our mortgage is not a viable option. We have to get a principle reduction, short sale, or significant interest reduction. And unfortunately, our current system and who broke the system in the first place makes us liable to be sued as investors (rental property) but as home owners with a significant reduction in salary we "qualify" to get some relief. Further, they can't hold my clearance over my head that would be non-relevant at that time. Bottom line, thanks for the advice but the retirement is in motion. Leslie and I have a peace about it and look forward to what God has in store.

And yes, it is awesome that Leslie will not need open heart surgery any time soon. The hole is negligible, it is her tricupid valve that is not working properly due to the years of her enlarged heart. She has tricuspid regurgitation that she is dealing with. It causes her exhaustion, edema, etc... Keep us up in prayer for guidance. I am good with our decision and look forward to it."