Feb 22, 2010

More doctors for me

Last week I wrote that I'd been to the Hematologist Oncologist.  They aren't saying I have cancer, but this is the person you go to when you have enlarged lymph nodes in various parts of your body that are continuing to get bigger.  Many things have been ruled out but they still don't have a clue what it is.  (Where is Dr. House when you need him, really?)  So they took many blood tests and we're awaiting the results - Due March 9th.  Should know something by then. (Hopefully).

Today, I went to a new cardiologist.  Why?  Because I was diagnosed years ago with mitral valve prolapse with mild regurgitation, tricuspid valve mild regurgitation and mild to moderate pulmonary hypertension.  After a million tests, they couldn't find out what was going on.  Seemed to have a whole lot of "false positives".  Nothing like that to make you think it's just all in your head.  That Cardiologist basically gave up and said, "Can't do anything else for you."  So I went back to ignoring my symptoms.

The past couple of weeks have been a lot of symptoms (OK, let's get real ... chest pain).  Thought I'd get back into a cardiologist just in case.  Afterall, not sure if you remember, but 2 years ago, my Dad almost didn't make it due to an occult heart condition and it's genetic.

So today was the first meeting.  No exam, no tests, just talking.  He got a very clear history, went over all my previous tests from 1 1/2 years ago and that was that.  He wants to run some blood tests but thought we might as well wait for the ones from the oncologist and see what all HE ran.  Maybe it will point us in the right direction.  I have another appointment in 1 month with this Cardiologist.

In the meantime, I can't help but be a bit frustrated.  I have these growths in my body getting bigger and no one knows why and chest pains (including short of breath) and they can't find the cause.

I don't want to be sick.  I DON'T want there to be something wrong with me ... but the truth is ... something is and I just want to know what it is or I want the symptoms to GO AWAY.

God is my healer.  He has done many, many, many mighty miracles in my life and those around me.  He will pull off another one.  I'm sure of it.

But I don't know about you ... but He often takes me on the "scenic route".

Feb 19, 2010

Trying something new

Going out on a limb here ... trying something new.

I think you know I'm a motivational speaker and trainer.  I get in front of crowds of people all the time.  In fact, the bigger the crowd, the better I do.  Let me at 'em!  That's when I come alive.

About a year ago, I started blogging ... writing my ideas and random thoughts down, things I "Reflect" on ... thus the title of "Today's Reflection".

I got this crazy hair-brained idea to start video taping some of my messages periodically instead of writing them.  Little did I know this would be harder than it seemed since I don't have clue how to do do video editing (so I have to do this right in one take with no editing).  I don't know how to add stuff to it to spice it up (like a title, music, etc.)  But it's a start.

I also had no clue how incredibly P A I N F U L  it would be to watch myself on video.  You have no clue how many times I just about hit the delete button!

But here is take one, scene one.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvUpvxstdm8

Feb 16, 2010

Florida State Fair 2010

We live only about 5 miles from the State fairgrounds so every year we make a trek out that way.  The kids have come to love certain aspects of the fair and want to do those same things over and over.  Feed to the goats, carrots to the giraffes, eat saltwater taffy.

This year was fun right up until the very end when a tornado hit the fairgrounds and knocked a tent over (right next to us) and injured 7 people.  (No pics of that.)

So enjoy the sites of the Florida State Fair!

Feb 15, 2010

Not so hypothetical anymore

I don't know about you but I've heard a hypothetical religious debate for years.  It goes like this:

People are discussing what happens to people/souls after they take their last breath on Earth.  Whatever people believe, they are often very, very firm in their beliefs on this topic.  But the truth is ... we don't know.  I mean I believe the Bible so that's my point of view, my lens from which I view this debate.  But the truth is ... it's still a step of faith that this is the way it is.

Then there are differing viewpoints even within Christianity.  And those people are SURE they know what happens.  Most people believe something akin to - Good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell.  But it's not that simple.  Somewhere along the lines, the question arises:

 "What about babies born in China?" 

Then there are two main points of view at this juncture. 1) God is a just God and if you did not receive Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you are doomed to hell. Even if you died soon after birth.  2) There is some kind of "exception clause" for such cases.

Then people go on their merry way and don't consider it any further.  Afterall, they are just hypothetical babies anyway.

So what's the problem?  They're not hypothetical children to me any more.  Starting this year (hopefully), we will be taking these babies into our foster home.  We plan to take some of the critically ill babies.  Some might not survive very long.  This is NOT hypothetical.

Now I am personally at peace about this situation.  I personally have a point of view in which I am not tortured by this question.  But as we go forward, I'm noticing I'm tripping over this line with a lot of people.  Each time, I'm having to deal with it again.

My point?  What do YOU believe happens to these non-hypothetical babies?

Feb 12, 2010

Some words are just yuckier than others

I think I'm finally ready to tell my story.  Some of you know this and for some it will be a little shock. 

May 2008 I got strep from the kids. Antibiotic. Drug reaction. Stopped the drug. Still had rash. Guttate Psoriasis was the diagnosis. Topical and oral steroids. Done.

During that time, I had a lymph node in my armpit that was enlarged.  That's what it is SUPPOSED to do so I thought nothing of it. 

A year later, it was still there.  Oh. Doctor visit. She wanted it biopsied so she sent me to a surgeon. The surgeon wanted to do further tests first.  Mammogram, MRI, Ultrasound.  All looked fairly normal ... just a whole bunch of swollen lymph nodes all over. All looked benign.  Great!  Surgeon said to come back in 6 months for another ultrasound.  Primary doctor was not happy, she wanted them out, but deferred to the Surgeon.

Last week was the 6 month follow up with ultrasound.  Showed the largest one was about the same size but the second one was a bit larger.  Still looked completely benign.  (Still good.) 

The weird part was that I can now feel a lot more.  One in my left armpit, some in each groin, several down the back of my neck and one just above the collarbone.  I have no symptoms of being very ill, just minor stuff.  (Hey, I'm 40, I figured I was supposed to start aching.) 

The surgeon was greatly concerned and got me in to see the Hematologist/Oncologist.  (THOSE are some of the yuckiest words in world I think.)  The surgeon wanted to rule out lymphoma.  She wanted him to do a workup since this is his area of expertise.  If not lymphoma, it's something systemic.  See the lymphs are still doing their job ... collecting yucky things in my body.  But what?  What is being collected? THAT is the question. 

Today was the visit with the Hematologist/Oncologist.  It was surreal just walking in there.  There were about 20 chairs in this one room all set up for chemo patients.  Just kinda took that in for a second.  So many, many sad faces in that room.  There was a hush in there.  Zoe was with me and she didn't understand why thy all looked so sad.  I told her they were just sick and didn't feel well.  And she said, "Jesus heal them!"  I think He heard that prayer! 

The Doctor was very nice.  He asked questions.  He felt the nodes.  He ordered blood tests.  We will know more in a few weeks (some of the tests take 2-3 weeks to run).  In the meantime, he said he didn't think it felt like lymphoma.  (I hadn't used that word but he knew this is what all my symptoms point to.) I felt a huge weight come off as THIS is the doctor who feels these things.  He says this doesn't feel like it.  AWESOME news!  But he was still a bit concerned that I should have so many.  They're not HUGE, but there are a lot of them and they are all over the body. 

So what is it?  We won't know for a while probably.  He is still leaning against biopsy at this point.  Which is great with me as I'm always against being cut open!  All things point to something viral or systemic.  We just don't know which one so we don't know how to treat it. 

We are praying for divine intervention.  It can just go away on its own or I will take medicine when we know what it is.  Either way, God gets the glory and HE is my Deliverer, Healer, Protector.  The rest of this story is just not written yet.  But I'll give you a hint ... it ends with me being healthy and praising God. 

Feb 8, 2010

Swallowing my peas

When I was a little girl, I hated peas.  I'd eat anything else on the planet but peas? ugh!  Truthfully, I'll still avoid them if I can.  But I would put them in my mouth and hold them there.  I wouldn't chew.  Wouldn't swallow.  Just hold a mouthful ... forever!  So there I was tasting it constantly instead of getting it in and out quickly.

Mom would eventually make me swallow but I wouldn't chew.  I'd swallow them with a big gulp of water like pills.  I'd then have a tummy ache from drinking so much water and having unchewed peas in my stomach. 

Clearly, this was a bad idea. 

Fast forward to now ...  I still do the same thing.  Not with peas but with metaphorical ones.

But first, and I can't be the only one who does this.  But I may be one of the few who will actually ADMIT that I do this.  I hide. 

If I have an unpleasant task that I don't want to do, I hide.  I might just go hang out in the other room.  I might actually crawl in bed when I'm supposed to be working.  But I hide. 

Eventually, THAT doesn't work so I do the next thing.  I find distractions.  I will do ANY task, even ones I HATE just to avoid the thing.  Like yesterday, I reorganzed under the kid's bathroom sink - I even de-gunked the toothpaste/toothbrush drawer.  I put all of the bows and barettes and twisties and ribbons in a whole new order.  (You get the idea?) 

I then cleaned the fridge and the freezer. 

ALL of this to avoid doing something. 

What, you might be wondering, could POSSIBLY be so bad that I'd rather hide or do all those jobs just to avoid it? 

a phone call.

I am now using Blogger as my accomplice to avoid making this dreaded phone call. 

So then I sit there staring at the task for hours, making myself nuts about it, thinking about it, dreading it, looking at the phone number, rehearsing what I'll say.  Why don't I just swallow the dang thing?

Gotta straighten out Zoe's health insurance.   It will probably be a lot better in the end but between here and the end is a lot of calls, patience, paperwork, begging, arguing, pleading, banging my head against a brick wall, talking to lots of enept people who have no clue what they're talking about, telling the story 1037 times, and just general ucky-ness. 

So unless any of you have any unpleasant tasks I can take care of for YOU, I have to make a phone call.




Feb 4, 2010

Doctor calls, doctor visits, doctor updates. ugh

The Bermuda triangle has converged at the Gore household and all 3 ladies of the home have been sucked into Doctor world with upcoming visits.  Just the very thought sends shivers down my spine.  

Why?  Well, thanks for asking.  My parents didn't frequent the doctor's office with me as a kid but the few times I went, I left with them scratching their head, "I don't know what it is."  (A phrase that has become all too common in my world!)  The axiom "If you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras" comes to mind.  Most doctors say to me, "It's not like any horse I've ever seen."  

Then you add the fact that in their attempt to help, I am often worse off than before.  Quick example:  Summer 2008 kids got strep, I got strep. I have had allergic reactions to antibiotics before so I held out going to the doctor until my heart started being affected.  I went.  Drug. Allergy.  Rash.  Stop drug.  Rash wouldn't go away.  Now I have strep AND a rash.  (How is THAT better?)  Doctor says a drug allergy would have gone away by now ... this doesn't look like it but I don't know what it is.  Go to  Dermatologist. He says he hasn't seen it before.  Great!  Skin biopsy.  Get results. Skin biopsy site gets infected.  Need a ... antibiotic!  

That's just ONE run-in with the doctors.  

So I now almost break into hives when I have to go see the doctors.  I went this week for *something* and I've got the test results back but not the interpretation thereof.  I'm waiting to see what is next.  So today, I have to call my Primary and the Specialist to see what is next.  (Can't I just blog all day instead? Laundry? Clean the toilets? ANYTHING?) 

Meanwhile, Kaley had a fall off a bike almost 3 weeks ago.  She had a lump on her side that is painful to touch.  It's going down every day but not gone.  Last Friday, the Doc said that if it wasn't entirely gone by today, we need to do more testing.  Well, she's in that Gray area.  So Dr. Baldwin will have to make that call.  But here's the difference ... I love this Doctor!  She is awesome.  She "gets" us.  She knows I don't cry wolf or ignore important things.  She knows she can trust my judgment and that what I'm telling her is accurate.  She is conservative but not overly so.  I KNOW her advice will be sound.  

Finally, Zoe.  I got a call from the head surgeon from her craniofacial team.  Love, love her too!  Very competent and conservative ... she says Zoe needs the surgery.  We have scheduled a VPI for her on Feb 23 with the follow up p-flap surgery for the first week in March.  For those who don't know those acronyms, it's a test where they put a camera down your nose into your throat and make you talk, then squirt radioactive dye into the nose and make you talk some more while videotaping the whole thing.  Testing to see how the back of the throat is working.  The p-flap (pharyngeal flap) is where they take a section/flap of your throat and attach it to another part and create a sorta back of the throat.  It's mostly helpful for speech but would have some other uses in Zoe's case as well.  I've gone back and forth on this surgery for a year now!  I am finally out of time.  I have to call the office to schedule the surgery today. 

Oh ... and I get to call and deal with insurance today on behalf of Zoe.  Yippee.  

So that's my day. Now you see why I'd rather do almost anything?  And it's not just one phone call, it's like 10!  

But wait ... I think I just heard a faint cry in the distance.  I think it's the garage asking me to rearrange it instead.  Or was that the septic tank that is asking for maintenance?  

Feb 3, 2010

Time distortion

I'm a huge LOST fan.  I really love how there are flash forwards, flash backs, trips in time and now what the heck is going on?  I feel all warm and tingly trying to figure out the mystery.  I'm actually THANKFUL for the commercial breaks so I can get my blood pressure down and my brain around what I just saw.  I'd been looking forward to this season premiere for MONTHS.

In my own life ... I HATE time distortions.  They drive me batty.  Like I was waiting for something that was 6 months away.  Seemed like a blink and it was 5 1/2 months.  Then the last two weeks D R U G on like 2 months.  Or today, I'm waiting for a call and it seems like every minute is an eternity.

I think God sees time in a different way than we do too.  If a day is like 1000 years ... uh, we have some MAJOR time distortion going on.  So if that's the case, no wonder it seems like an ETERNITY to us and it's just a blip on the screen for God.

I don't know about you but God seems to have a sense of humor about time.  At least He does in MY life.  Metaphorically speaking, it seems he waits until the first stroke of midnight to show up in a situation.  Up until that time, I'm worrying, figuring, planning, eventually give it to God, pick it back up again, lay it back down at the foot of the cross, repeat.  Then SWOOP.  In pops the Hero and makes it all right ... better than I could have done.

I'm learning how to wait later and later until I start my worry loop.  It used to be at 10 pm, then I extended the worrying until 11 pm.  Now, I'm actually pretty good.  I can wait until about 11:55 pm before I start to panic.  (THAT'S progress!)

I am learning that He WILL show up.  He WILL be the hero.  I think where I'm stuck now is making sure I'm doing ALL *I* am supposed to do while I wait and not just be sitting on the couch hoping God will take care of it ALL.

I'm famous for ministering this to people ... People say "God, guide my steps" but they aren't walking, they're couch potatoes!  God (rarely) makes people get off the couch and start walking.  It's hard to guide the steps of someone who is sitting!!!  So if you need God to guide your steps, get up, start walking.  Then listen.  He WILL guide where you should place your steps.  But if you're like me, He probably won't give any/much of a game plan until AFTER you take your first step.

It's like wanting a flower garden but not planting any seeds.

The time is NOW.  It's the first stroke of midnight.

Feb 1, 2010

Nominate a teacher for Teacher of the Year Award

Did you have a teacher that was amazing? Who inspired you? If so, please consider nominating him/her for Teacher of the Year.

For information on how to nominate him/her - go to http://www.destinyscrossing.com/teachers_in_taiyuan.html

Our organization will be going this Summer and taking Teachers with us to help renovate a rural village school in China. As a result, 200 plus school aged orphans will be able to attend school for the first time.

So go by the site to learn how to Nominate your Teacher of the Year.

Also, if you know of a teacher who might want to go with us, let me know ASAP. As I am still taking applications but only for a short time. 

Finally, feel free to donate as well towards this project of renovating the  school.  Every penny goes towards helping get needed supplies for the school.  We are a non-profit 501 (c)3 so all donations are tax deductible.

Beth Gore