Tag Archives: Texas

Focusing on the grace…not so much the race

17 Jan

This is a post I’ve wanted to share for a long time. I’ve written probably fifteen iterations of it over the last few months and every time I let fear win…I delete…I walk away…I keep it to myself.

I’ve not landed on a word for 2020 yet. I had one last year…I’ll probably decide on one this year, but it’s something I do with prayer and intention…but I can tell you that a theme I keep hearing in music, in scripture, in prayer and in life – is SHARING. So, I’m going to DO THAT. When I feel something resonate with me that I hope can help others, I have a natural inclination to want to share it. So here it is today:

Having something wrong with you that others cannot see is a struggle. When I show up at Bible Study with my hair curled, a dress on and my shoes actually match…you don’t know that I had to wash my hair the night before because there’s no way I can wash, dry and fix my hair without a break in between. You don’t know that I had to pick out my clothes the night before to make it easier for myself the next morning or that I decided against makeup because holding my arms up for extended periods of time makes me exhausted. You don’t see the tears I cried last night because I didn’t feel like cooking dinner for my family because I knew it would wear me out and that a bath would be out of the question….because even that is tiring. You don’t see the depression that cycles from missing out on life events…the anxiety that comes with planning anything – literally anything – because I am afraid that when it rolls around I will be too fatigued to show up. You don’t see the worry that comes from letting people down and fearing that they won’t give you grace – again.  You don’t see the disappointment from getting excited about getting out and doing something but then it’s “one of those days” and there is NO way you can make it out of the house….and quite frankly, the bed.  You don’t see the way I miss the race of deadlines and a work family and last minute presentations.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a THING.  It is one of MY things and I have truly tried to own it.  To just live with it…to give MYSELF the grace that I’d extend to any of my loved ones.  To pace myself. To do what I can and focus on THAT.  Focusing on the things I can’t do…the things I run out of steam for…the things that do not get crossed off of the list? That leads to frustration, shame and sadness.  Which puts me in a funk…which leads to a depressive state…which….are you seeing a pattern here?

When you see someone with a cast or a sling or hear them coughing or see visible scars – is your inclination to judge them or feel a certain pang of hurt for their illness/injury?  Just because all scars are not visible does not mean that we don’t all have them and need that sympathetic/empathatic smile you’d give someone that you knew was going through something based on their appearance.  I have to tell you, I barely made it through this afternoon.  I overcommitted myself this week and I was struggling this afternoon.  Once I had the chance, I got comfy and I slept for HOURS. I needed it. It didn’t mean I am lazy or worthless or unproductive.  It meant I was taking care of a need.  I needed rest.  But don’t think I didn’t go to my calendar, make a line for rest, draw a box AND CHECKED IT OFF.  Focus on what you CAN do, friends.  It makes a world of difference.

*******SIDE NOTE TANGENT BELOW*******

While I’m at it…a reminder…check on your friends.  The sick, the well, the strong, the weak.  The busy, the bored, the employed, the retired, the traveling, the homebodies….ALL THE PEOPLE.  Ask how they are…and listen to the answer.  And y’all…if someone asks how you are, TELL THEM.  I don’t know about you but I mean it when I ask someone how they are really doing….I want to hear the truth.  I don’t want to a hear a standard answer or a flippant reply.  I want to know HOW they ARE….how can I be praying for them….have the prayers I’ve been praying been answered?  I value my friendships…I value my prayer time…and I want to be sure that my friends know I am praying for them with intention, as specific as possible and as often as I say I am.

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 5)

14 Jan

So – I am WAY behind, what else is new?

The last time I updated Mike and I were still in NC and he has had a couple of appointments since then so I thought I’d just type out a little update for those that have asked…and for me too…because my memory…YEP!

Since we returned home to Texas he has been seen by his Primary Care Physician and his Pulmonologist here in College Station.  His PCP reviewed his labs, notes and all the information from the cardio team and did not find anything alarming or that he felt that was missed.  He agreed that on paper, Mike was not at risk for a heart attack…which is one of those things I keep hearing but also keep thinking of all the ways we could live better, exercise more, blah blah blah…but in the end, I truly believe that was God’s plan.  All the things are, and that was His plan for my hubby on that day and I will just have to rejoice and be glad in it.  Okay?  OKAY?  🙂  It taught me a few things and I’ll get to that eventually but for now….just trying to stick to the facts!

His Pulmonologist has suggested another sleep study (scheduled later this month) and Mike is VERY receptive to finding a CPAP mask that will work for him.  We already know he has sleep apnea.  He has been kicked out of a lab before because basically it was very clearly and quickly seen that he had it…that he needed a machine….but he has very very very particular about this process.  So…this is a huge triumph as in the past he has been….ummm….well….ya know.  I am ever so hopeful that this will be a game changer and will give him a restful sleep.  He wakes up SO tired and I can see the exhaustion by the time he comes home at night.

Speaking of him coming home at night………I am PROUD to say that he has been going into the office later and leaving every day by 5:30!  This has NEVER happened in the history of our marriage (and likely before) so I am extremely happy that he has taken this drastic measure and has the support of his team at work as well.  Finding a work/life balance is a huge issue for so many and I am very thankful that it didn’t cost my husband more than it did before he made this change.

His first Cardiac Therapy appointment is this week so he will learn more then about what is expected of him exercise and diet wise.  He is already eating better and eating less (portion wise)…drinking more water…trying to make better decisions and just getting more active, but he knows he needs to be guided by this great group of people that specialize in heart patients!  Again, this is a win – if you know my sweet but stubborn hubby.

Okay, without getting all mushy and in my feelings, I just wanted to give y’all the facts you want about “how Mike’s doing”….and I’ll keep you updated.  I cannot tell you how much it means to him and myself to get a text, email, phone call or card that asks about how he is feeling….it really does lift his spirits, and mine too.  We have for sure been blessed by some amazing family and friends.

Bye for now…more later…much much much more!  🙂

JJ

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 4)

27 Dec

I said I’d update after Mike’s appointment and I promise I meant to right away but……Christmas!  Whew!  What a busy and amazing and wonderful and blessed time of year….but….busy!  🙂

His appointment was A LOT.  I had several questions, naturally.  He had a few too….but he let me go first!  (He is SO smart, y’all!)  I had some small questions about his new meds and new diet and exercise….but my biggest, scariest, most important question was…..how likely are we to go through this again?  I know there are no guarantees and that there are so many variables that are involved but I also know that many health conditions or episodes are likely to happen again once you have had them once.  I wanted to be realistic and knew that the answer might be one I didn’t want to hear but I needed to know.  She gave me the best answer EVER.  Through a lot of technical reasons (lack of blockages in his other arteries, success of the stent, etc) and historical data….she says it is very likely that this could be an isolated incident!  Of course, that all depends on him taking his meds correctly, exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, decreasing his stress and addressing his sleep apnea.  That is a long list of things to do, yes…but I think he is more motivated than ever.  He detests the thought of a C-PAP machine but he has promised to try it.  (He’s been kicked out of the sleep lab before hahahahaaha – y’all he’s kinda hard headed and every machine he’s tried has not been a good fit for him.)  He had just started to exercise more regularly and has an amazing friend that is willing and a such a blessing to us that he will help him in that area.  The food is my area since I cook for him and he has promised to be more open-minded about trying different things (fruits and veggies are a big deal and he hates about 99% of them).  He also has committed to taking a lunch every day and actually getting out of the office.  His Dr has had several conversations about this with him and how important it is for him to take a brain break.  He is also going in later than usual so he can sleep a bit longer and THAT is a blessing to me (and also is going to take some getting used to as that was a good thing for me to get up early and get my Bible time in…so I have to figure out how my day is structured when I get back home!).  The hospital we use has a great cardiac rehab program that he will be taking advantage of and I am happy that he was open to that immediately.  He already has an appointment with a sleep specialist so we are on our way to a healthier (and hopefully less dramatic) 2020!
We are currently in NC visiting our families and enjoying this season.  It has been great to rest the last two days…since leading up to Christmas is a bit of a crazy time….and we have done just that.  Mike is still a bit tired and the Dr says that is normal and expected.  He played golf yesterday locally though and said he felt tired towards the end of the round but that he never felt “winded” as he would have normally.  THAT is such a blessing to hear!  I am telling you, God can make any situation GOOD.  I am so thankful that Mike is feeling better, is heeding the warnings and is listening to the team that is caring for him.
Again, I cannot say enough thank yous to all of you who have been praying for him (and me too) so faithfully.  We feel the love and we are so grateful.
I’ll update again in a bit once we have more information on the sleep apnea because I know that will make him feel so much better if he can get GOOD sleep!!  Hope each of you had a Merry Christmas!!!

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 3)

17 Dec

That was scary, y’all.

Though I have heard all the words that revolve around heart attacks and heart issues, learning about them through the lens of how they affect my husband has been quite an experience. I think in Part 2 I left off with us getting home on Thursday. I think we both slept SO hard that night. Post-hospital exhaustion is so real!!

Mike listened to the advice of the physicians and took it very easy over the weekend. No working, no lifting, just lots of rest and fluids. I was very proud of him for being a good patient. He can be very hard headed in case that was not obvious to y’all by now! 😉

Monday was a big day! He went back to work…but instead of getting up at 4:50 and leaving around 5:45 or so he got up around 6:30 and left around 7:20….which of course changed my schedule around but soooo worth it if it alleviates some stress for my sweet hubby!

I took him lunch around 11:45 and he sat in the car with me to eat for about 30 mins…not talking about work but just chit chatting about kids and our upcoming trip home to NC and how he was feeling. No rushing to get back in the office, just enjoying the time together.

MJ had a basketball game that was earlier than normal and he met us there a few minutes before 4 pm so his day was short. It was probably the perfect scenario for the first day back from his episode last week. The Lord really worked that out for him….not a stressful day back at all. So many of his work days are and I am so grateful that the Lord saw fit to spare him in countless ways!

He has been SO tired. Exhausted, really. I am not sure if it’s the meds, the after effects of the trauma and emotions and lost sleep or the return to work yesterday but he was asleep by 8 pm last night! I had to wake him up to take his nightly medicine with some toast! His wrist was sore last night, likely from using his laptop keyboard – and it’s his right hand – and he’s right handed…so I sort of expected that. The site of the entry looks fine – so thankful for that! He has had ZERO chest pain since before the stent. Other than a mild headache he has really been amazed at how he feels!

We have had so many conversations about how the whole thing went down last week and there are so many ways that we can see how God shaped and orchestrated the days leading up to THE DAY. There are ways that we have both been blessed by family and friends and strangers that I can’t even recount them all. There are new fears and new worries, yes. But there are also renewed promises and faith and knowledge that through it all, we were blessed.

I can’t thank everyone who was praying for us enough. I heard from people far and wide and we felt your prayers. We felt peace. We felt love. I am so incredibly grateful.

Mike’s follow up appointment is tomorrow and I sure hope they are ready for me…I mean him! LOL Let’s just say I.HAVE.QUESTIONS. This post heart attack life is going to be different….we are going to learn from it and we are going to move forward with renewed hope that we can make it through anything with faith and with one another!

I will update again once we have that appointment with any new information that we learn and I am certain I’ll have more thoughts and emotions and yes…probably more questions!!!

Promises, Promises

23 Feb

I am so human.  SO human.  I am also SO thankful that Jesus is much more than that.  That His promises are guarantees.  That said, I am going to promise you that I am going to update you, in due time, on all of the changes that have gone on in my life in the last year.  I will try to follow through with this but I will likely fail….but I do PROMISE you that I have good intentions!  If you have followed or known me long at all, you know that I love lists…so I will just jot down here the changes and come back here to link once I actually type it out!

In 2017 – we……..

  1. Sold our NC home.
  2. Lived with my Mom and Dad (and without my hubby!!!) for two months.
  3. Moved to Texas.
  4. Road tripped to Austin, Houston, Waco, Arlington, and Galveston.
  5. Lived in an apartment for several months.
  6. Started an amazing Bible study, through Community Bible Study.
  7. Continued weight loss.
  8. Built a house.  An amazing, beautiful, creation if I do say so myself!  (see #10 for referenced IG acct to see pics)
  9. Started backyard projects.
  10. Started a home decor Instagram page (due to that nagging fear of my friends/family growing tired of me sharing home stuff) at http://www.instagram.com/sweetcharmhouse
  11. Visited NC in July and December.
  12. Stepped up our prayer life.

SO, happy Friday and have a great weekend!  I’m going to work on my blog catch up posts!  🙂

 

WLS Chronicles ~ Maintaining

25 Jul

It has been almost SEVEN months since my surgery and I am still absolutely overjoyed at my decision.  I have found more energy than I EVER remember having, am only on one medication (hypothyroidism) and I am feeling more confident than ever.  This surgery has given me a new lease on life and I LOVE it!

Now, I make the best decisions with ease on food and drink choices.  I eat a LOT of cheese.  A LOT.  Mostly I eat eggs, bacon, chicken, broccoli, more chicken, cheese, beef, cauliflower, more cheese….ha ha ha!  I drink coffee.  A LOT OF COFFEE.  Splenda, sugar free creamer and the occasional sugar free Torani syrup are necessary in this new life.

I find myself with tons of energy during the day, when you are supposed to have it!  Moving was still exhausting but I could tell many times that I was able to do more, lift more, move longer when we were packing up our home of four years!  (We moved from NC to TX….not sure if I blogged on that…will do if I haven’t!)

Do I get hungry?  It depends.  If I miss a meal, I get hungry around the six hour mark.  I usually eat every three hours…so I can tell if I missed one easily.  But the hunger is different.  I crave protein and healthy foods.  I love roasted veggies.  I feel like I can TASTE foods better because I’m eating so much healthier.

Do I cheat?  I guess it depends on your definition.  I eat a few M&M’s (peanut) with my cheese and crackers if I am creating my own bento box.  Peanut M&M’s do contain protein so it’s not a terrible choice.  But I eat a max of FIVE.  It gives me enough of a sweet taste but will not wreck my life plan.  I ate a bite of my Mom’s birthday cake.  I have licked icing off of a knife.  In the last few weeks (since my nutritionist told me to treat myself every now and then) I have let myself have more carbs a few times a week.  Sweet potato – yessssssss.  (with butter + cinnamon + splenda)

Do I have cravings?  Yes.  As mentioned before I crave healthy foods.  I do have unhealthy wants as well.  I want soft, white bread.  All the time.  LOL  I do not cave on that one and I won’t.  Sandwiches were a go-to for me and I do miss them but I would rather stick to my plan.

All in all, I am doing quite well at adjusting to “life after bariatric surgery” and have had VERY few issues.  I have had “dumping syndrome” a couple of times, both after having something with a large amount of milk.  I (obviously) now avoid large amounts of milk.  I find that if I don’t plan, I see either a stall or I don’t feel my best.  SO – I plan!  🙂

In all honesty, the hardest parts of this journey have been been:

  • the planning – it can take as much time as you want it to take…from a few minutes to stop and think “do I have my water and a healthy protein” every time I walk out the door to a few hours meal planning/grocery shopping/prepping.  You get what you put into it.  It is SO worth it to take the time to figure out what works for your schedule, your new tummy and your family/lifestyle.
  • the change in habits – (I mean I am from the South where EVERYTHING revolves around eating!)  Thinking about food nonstop is a really hard habit to break.  We are inundated with Food Network, recipes/videos on Facebook, food everywhere we go – it is extremely hard for someone who is trying to live a new lifestyle of eating to live and not living to eat.
  • the emotions from support and nonsupport – This one is pretty self explanatory but the support I have received from my husband, parents, children, in-laws, friends and weight loss surgery family has been nothing short of amazing.  The feedback on my progress, on pictures, on my meals….I can’t tell you how important it has been.  It’s the reason I had to “come out of the kitchen” (my Dad coined that!) a month after my surgery.  I had all intentions of only telling a few people but I quickly realized that the cheerleading and kudos and encouragement meant far more to me than my privacy or pride.  The negative side of that, of course, is opening yourself up to criticism, snarky comments or judgements.  The worst thing you can do to someone who has lost 105 pounds is NOT MENTION IT.  I promise.  It is awkward.  I feel like I’m searching for the reason they aren’t noticing or mentioning it or is it me or am I not that different or or or or orrrrr….I feel like saying, “You mad, bro?” when someone doesn’t!!!   (One day I am going to post a Dos and Don’ts I PROMISE!)
  • the impact on my family (good and bad) – I think I covered most of this already but it does impact every day life, of course.  I prefer to not go to Texas Roadhouse.  I LOVED it.  Truly.  BUT THOSE ROLLS THOUGH.  That one is a hard one.  They are EVERYWHERE.  I am certainly not going to ask my family to not eat them, so I just don’t go there.  It is where they go without me and have their own dates and I stay home or find something else to do.  No problem.  Am I jealous when they all get dessert?  You betcha.  I’m human.  Occasionally, I’ll have a bite (depending on what I have eaten) but I have resisted overdoing it.  We truly have to plan our day trips, date nights and dinners out in a way that we have never had to before.  Our kids are picky (ok, so is Mike) so we’ve always had to plan ahead – look at menus – but NOW it’s an extra challenge with my new tummy.  I am SO appreciative of understanding kids – they really have never complained about the changes.  Of course, I feel like that’s probably because they see the good in this new lifestyle.  They see me healthy and energized…and most of all, happy.

 

Monkeys in My Bag

A Missionary Momma Doing Life in Central America

Mommy Musings

An Independent Girl's Journey to Dependence

Mommyfriend

...finding perfection in imperfection daily.

Fancy Little Things

Bringing the True, Pure & Lovely...

Prego and the Loon

Pregnant and Dealing With Domestic Violence

AnotherSlice

Short stories and photos shared with humor and love

megacouponblog

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Crusoe: Celebrity Dachshund

The Dachshund Who Thinks He's More of a Celebrity Than He Really is (For Now)

The Worst Preacher's Wife Ever

Just another WordPress.com site

Teri Lynne Underwood

Lopsided Living Encourager, Passionate Bible Teacher, & Girl Mom Encourager

LIVE IT OUT! -- Sarah Francis Martin

Living out the Kingship of Christ

Life With Ladies

riding the hormone train

%d bloggers like this: