Thursday, October 29, 2015

Yay for Rachael!

A while back, I posted a video of Rachel Farrokh, who was asking for help  on youtube as she battled severe anorexia. I am Facebook friends with her now, and just look at her now after being in a treatment center in Portugal. Miracles do happen, and our prayers do work. Keep it up Rachael, I am proud to call you a friend.

Liver function test

Came back normal. I'm healthy!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Slow Healing

First of all, I want to apologize for anyone reading my blog lately that got upset at all my talk of death lately. I think it may be a remnant of my 18 months of depression, but I do have some physical problems that need to be addressed.  Aside from the meds from my doctor, I am also taking NAC to reverse liver damage.
I am also taking black elderberry syrup which is the most anti viral known to man. Adults get 1 teaspoon twice a day, and kids get half a tsp.  I gave Annalise 1/2 tsp of it last night, and she was Bouncing! Off! The! Walls!  Finally at 10:30 I begged her to please, please go to bed.  She has been coughing, and I thought it would help, but Good Lord.

I called a company that sells last will and testament for $69.  I am going to order one and fill it out with the following:

Cash on hand and emergency savings will go to my parents. 
Annalise will go to her father and stepmother and I will require them to allow her to make the decision herself of whether her stepmother gets to adopt her.
My brain will go to Tourette's research.
My heart and lungs to a person with cystic fibrosis  (A full heart lung transplant increases their longevity greatly, and I have had friends with this disease).
My car goes to my cousin Mercedes, who doesn't have one. 
My cats go to my ex mother-in-law. 
My clothes donated to my favorite thrift store, Value Village
Quilts I made go to Annalise. 

Whether or not this liver thing kills me, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  I am going to write letters to Annalise to open at different milestones of her life.  Put some in envelopes, and a copy on this blog.  One dying mother did that, and I thought everyone with kids should do it. 

Again, I apologize if this is upsetting my readers, but we all must face the end sometime.  I found myself wishing I could call my friend Brenda who passed away.  She was clergy, and would have good advice for me.  But I'll see her in the next. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Dream whip cake

I learned this recipe when I took Wilton cake class 10 years ago

Dry ingredients:
1 box if cake mix
1 box of pudding mix
1 packet of dream whip.

Wet ingredients:
4 cups of milk
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of almond extract.

Best cake ever!  Whip it all together and bake for an hour or so at 375

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hurricane Patricia

Patricia is the last thing I need right now!!!! The eye hit Mexico, but we are still getting the other parts.  Many parts of southeast Texas are flooding.  The good thing was that Postmates offered a lot of financial incentives to work today.  I worked just enough to get them and went home right when the storm started coming in. 
One of my fellow postmates was in an accident today!  I drove through high water and messed up my sparkplugs twice this year.  Not doing that again!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thankful for this

I found this video on youtube when trying to find healing meditations that did not involve a lot of breathing.  This woman does not have the best singing voice in the world.  But it's not a song, it's a chant.  I listened to this over and over until I fell asleep. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bad News

I went to the doctor today for my bronchitis follow up, and my doctor told me my liver was enlarged. I could feel it when he pushed really hard and told me to take deep breaths. It was a horrible feeling. Apparently, this is common when you have an upper respiratory infection, but my liver enzymes were elevated last month and hepatitis was ruled out. When the doc told me my liver was enlarged, I felt like whatever it was, it was something that I'm not going to survive. I immediately began seeing the room spin, I saw spots, my arms were shiny with sweat, and I could not answer the nurses' questions and had to go lay in a room. She had to draw my blood laying down. I could really use some p&pt, tonight I am staying with my parents, Anna is with her dad, and I just need to self reflection.  Annalise's dad is taking her to a swimming lesson at 7, and I want to go, but I am afraid that when I see her, I may break down in hysterics.  She is so innocent, and she would loose that if I passed away.  She and I had the time of our lives yesterday doing google image searches for Grimace and laughing at all the variations of this character.  I think there is a part of me that has known for a long time that I don't have much time left.  
I think I could overcome fear of death in time to be at peace that way, but I can't bear leaving my child behind.  When that thought crosses me, the same grief a grieving parent has comes over me.  (Not that I know what grieving parents feel like, but that's just what it seems like)
I reached out to some of my closest friends and registered for something called the Brain Bank for people with Tourette's syndrome.  This means that my brain tissue will be donated to Tourette's research.  It's just some brain tissue on slides- not going to be like my brain in a jar or anything.  But I had to leave my mom as next of kin, and her religious beliefs prevent organ donation.  I didn't tell her about the brain bank, but I told my cousin and BFF, who is a shrink.  She promised to tell my mother about it and see that it gets done if I pass away.  I am devistated and I just want this to pass, but I really feel like I need to acknowledge what is screaming inside me, and that is that I don't have much time left.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Future Is Now! - 10/21/15 - A Special Message From Doc Brown

When we were all kids, we probably watched Back To The Future, where in 1985, they travel to precisely this day- October 21, 2015.

Who knew that this epilogue was filmed just for us to open on this day?  Doc Brown has very good advice!  The future is what we make of it, so make it a good one.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wonderful Movie

Yesterday, I watched the movie Mooz-lum.  It's an independent film that goes back and forth between a young man's middle school years and college freshman year.  If anything explains religious identity crisis well, it's this movie.  I'm so glad I watched it. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

I'm withOprah on this one

I like to look at all religious viewpoints with an open mind, but I'll be honest.  One group rubs me the wrong way, and that is atheists.  Not very tolerant of me, but I'm not perfect. 

One controversy circling now is that Oprah should apologize to atheists for comments made when interviewing Diana Nyad.  Oprah said she doesn't consider Diana an atheist, even though Diana just said she was one.  Oprah's reasoning is that she is not an atheist, because she looks at nature with awe. 

Diana goes on to say that after death, she believes the soul lives on.  Ok, then Oprah was right.  Atheists don't believe that!  IMO, they should stop demanding an apology from Oprah, and Ms. Nyad need to do some soul searching. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My journey through bronchitis

A few weeks back, I went to the store-front urgent care for coughing and was diagnosed with bronchitis.  They gave me a cough medicine in liquid form and also a medication called benzonatate.  I finished these meds, and went back a second time because I was still coughing.  This time, I was given two inhalers and a prednisone packet.  I finished the prednisone, and was still coughing, so yesterday I called my insurance's 24 hour nurse line.  The nurse asked if I was having trouble breathing.  I said "a little".  She did not accept that response.  It seemed that in her eyes, you are either having trouble breathing or you are not.  She asked if I was turning blue, if I could speak (I was speaking to her!) and if I was keeling over from not being able to breathe.  No, no, and no.  But there is a feeling in your chest that comes with bronchitis that makes it "a little" harder to take deep breaths without coughing.  Also,  I have Tourettes, which has been in remission for over a year, but lately it has crept back with the development of a breathing tic where I feel I have to occasionally let out a forceful exhale.  This is exacerbating my bronchitis, but I'm not bringing it up with the urgent care doc, because I don't feel like raising awareness about Tourette's.  It's exhausting.  Common misconceptions of Tourette's are that the tics are "involuntary", but they are not.  They are a neuro-muscular urge to carry out a weird movement, but the tic itself is controllable.  People often don't believe I have it, but I have developed ways (both on my own for survival's sake since I was 7 and through traditional therapy for Tourette's) to mask or suppress the urges. It's a lot of explaining, and I just don't have time for it anymore. So I did not tell this to the nurse on the phone, either.
She eventually seemed to get fed up with my answer of having "a little" trouble breathing and told me to go to a hospital ER. 
I waited until the next day, which was today.  I had my daughter this weekend, and did not want to call my ex or change plans.  Today, she and I had plans to go to my parents'  church which was having a birthday party for the priest immediately following.  Anna was excited about the party, and so was I.  But the real reason I didn't go was because during internet searches, I found the story of a young woman who was a non-smoker and went to the hospital for a cough, only to have a chest X-ray reveal stage 4 lung cancer.  Never google health problems, you'll almost always end up convinced that you have cancer.  I went to bed trying to suppress that anxiety.  I woke up in the middle of the night to find Anna sleeping on the floor next to my bed.  She picked up on the fact that I was really sick and was worried.  I hate that! 
This morning, I made the painful decision to go to the hospital ER.  I drove Anna to my parents' house and just the three of them would go to church and the party.  I walked into the ER mildly crying and gave a brief history of the past few weeks.  They took me back immediately.  I was quickly given a chest X-Ray and let three different people listen extensively to my lungs.  I was then moved to a results waiting area.  I played on my phone to distract myself.  I thought about, what if I die?  If I die, I thought, then at least my apartment door was unlocked so my family could go get my things and my ex could get Anna's things in order to raise her without me.  I had flashbacks of the day my mom, aunts and I went to my grandmother's apartment for this same reason.  She had just died the day before.  I was the only grandchild there, and I was almost 14.  My mom and aunts were crying on and off.  I found a stuffed mouse that I used to play with at my grandmother's apartment.  My grandmother had a total of 8 children (including one that died at age 4- how on earth did she survive that?  I do know that she'd never speak his name just refer to "my boy").  The stuffed mouse had an apron dress with 8 pockets and on each pocket, there was a baby mouse.  On each pocket containing one baby mouse, my grandmother wrote in dark ink the names of all of her 8 children.  She never spoke his name, but she wrote it that one time, and I played with that mouse all the time. 
When I tried to keep it that day, one of my aunts reprimanded me and said this was not a free for all to take what we want.  She snatched the mouse from me and threw it in some pile.  A few moments later, one of my other aunts gave me an ugly gold watch and said "Here!  You need to take something to remember your grandmother by!"  I wish I would have spoken up that day about the mouse.  If I did, I would have it today. 
But that's besides the point.  I wondered if my ex-husband remembered when I told him I have memorabilia for Annalise on the top shelf of my closet on the left side, including scrapbooks.  If I was dead, he would only go through Anna's side of the closet and not mine.  Things I tell him almost always go over his head.  I thought of the cats.  Annalise wouldn't just loose me, she'd loose them too.  My parents, my ex, and his wife are all allergic to cats.  Then I remember my ex-mother in law.  She kept her mother's cat when she died, I'm sure she'd take my two.  But my ex would get pissed if I texted him early on Sunday morning with "Ask your mom if she'd take my cats if I die."  When we were still married, he exasperatingly bought me a book called "The worst case scenario handbook" and was irritated that I always expected the worst.  (I'm a lot better now). 
In the waiting area, I was in a chair with a privacy curtain.  There was a man on the other side of the curtain who kept burping and saying "Excuse me".  Was he saying it to me?  I was the only one around.  Then he started whispering in Spanish, and I recognized enough of the words to realize he was praying.  I started crying almost profusely.  I gained my composure enough by the time a nurse came into my curtain area and said my X-ray was fine.  No pneumonia, and no tumors.  They gave me another round of prednisone and a Z pack.  I'm not going to take my inhalers for a while, if at all, because I don't see that they help. 
I came home, and went right to sleep.  I had taken the first dose of prednisone and of the Z pack.  I woke up an hour later feeling a ton better.  When my mom called after the party, I talked to Annalise.  I told her that I went to the doctor, and the doctor made me better.  She was happy.  The plan was that she'd spend the night at my parents', but I was feeing good enough to ask my mom to bring her home to me.  She not only brought me my baby, but she brought me food and mucinex. 
Tonight, we are relaxing.  I'm coughing a lot less.  But I need to ask myself, what if I do die?  It's not just the afterlife I'd need to consider.  I'd leave a child heartbroken.  I'd be too young.  I'd feel unfinished, like I hadn't completed my life's purpose.  My mother would probably kill herself.  When I die, I want to be old and fulfilled.  I would want my parents to preceed me and not deal with that pain.  I'd want Annalise to be an adult and for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be the ones going though my things and not my ex husband.  I'm just not done yet, and if it were me with that lung cancer diagnosis instead of the beautiful woman online, I'd be so angry. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

CASA for Children: Christopher's Story

This video was shared on facebook this morning, and I in turn shared it.  It's a wonderful 4 minute clip of a little boy, his adoptive parents, and his CASA volunteer or child advocate. 

My interpretation of why the adoptive parents were going to the caseworker about their concerns was that they probably wanted to invest in a high-up dead bolt lock on their door and were trying to see if CPS would pa for it. 

Financial benefits for foster parents and (especially) kinship caregivers are a tricky rope.  There are laws in place for them to be received by foster and kinship homes, but CPS can quickly turn it around on you and say because you are asking for it, you must not be able to care for the child.  This situation, dealing with a safety issue, was a double whammy, and probably caught the foster parents off guard. 

I also dealt with this as a child advocate, and helped 4 kids to remain with their very loved grandmother after she massively exaggerated financial hardship in order to receive money from the state. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

No time for bronchitis

I have bronchitis, and Sweet Brown was right.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Mental health day

Annalise came home from school one day last week feeling depressed, but couldn't put her finger on what was wrong. The next day, I gave her a mental health day, and we went to the children's museum. They celebrate Halloween the whole month of October, so Annalise wore her costume. The day after that, she went back to school and I arranged for her to talk to the school counselor.  The counselor called, and we came up with great solutions. I so dont want my babyz inheriting depression, but I think it's inevitable.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Who Are You.....Really?

This video is a must watch.  It is beautiful.  I have fallen asleep to it for several nights now

Friday, October 2, 2015

What would you tell a shooter?

All over the news is the story about the mass shooting in Oregon.  The word is that he specifically targeted Christians.  Before shooting someone, he'd ask what religion they were.  If they answered Christian, he'd shoot them in the head, and if they answered otherwise, they'd get shot in the leg. 
Christians are constantly asked what would they do if in such a situation.  I honestly thought about it today, and honestly- I would not say I was a Christian.  I would answer otherwise.  I would do it not just to spare my life, but because most of my Christian walk has been filled with "better" Christians challenging my faith.  Challenging faith of individuals is an every day thing for Christians.  They are either asked if they "really" believe, be accused of being "lukewarm", or told they don't believe even if they think they do.  In my life, it has caused an identity crisis that probably matches no other.  Why should I loose my life after a lifetime of such torture?  I can only see some of the Christian people in my life lowering my casket into the ground and saying "Well, I hope she was REALLY a Christian." 
Because, if she "really" wasn't, then you know what that means about where she's at right now!
Yes, I would deny Christianity in the face of a gunman to spare my life, and when I did get to the eventual end of my life and God asked me why, I'd ask him right back why he sent so much of that identity crisis.  Even my favorite DJ on the Christian giggled and joked about getting saved multiple times as a child, just to make sure it really took.  I told my radio, "Copellia, you can LAUGH about that?"  That precise thing destroyed me! 
I know it might be controversial for me to say what I just said, that I would deny Christianity to spare my life, but it's a deep feeling I wish to share here.  My reasons go all the way back to 8th grade.