Friday, December 16, 2011

When our plans change

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11.  Our plans for Thursday - go for a CT Scan @ 12:15 and then to a retina specialist @ 1:30 just a few blocks away.  We didn't plan on all the rest and it is amazing how we (with lots of help from friends) actually accomplished it all. 

It started Wednesday when my van decided not to work - it would start but wouldn't stay started.  So as I am trying to get to Sydney's Christmas party at school, I was able to call a friend and she came to my rescue and took me to school (thanks Ginger!).  So after the party, I try the van again - still no luck, so I call another friend for help with the little girls after school (thanks Lori!).  We had church parties on Wednesday night and Mike was able to get home from work and his much needed chiropractor appointment in time to get us all to church for all the fun - thankful for his new truck that runs great!  When we arrived at home after seeing many friends at church who are praying for me - thanks Capshaw friends, I opened the sweet gifts from some of the Merge 54 children.  A gift card, a beautiful ornament, a yummy bag of goodies, and a beautiful cross night light.  This is God's way of showing me his humor.  For those of you who know - it was a night light that started this journey and we just had to laugh at the irony of the precious gift.  God knows all, He knew my accident was going to happen and He knew this young man (and his mom) would pick this gift.  AMAZING!

We decided to deal with the van Thursday morning.  Thursday morning arrives and Ashlie is sick (not part of the plan) - fever, aches, pains, sore throat, and lots and lots of congestion - she was perfectly fine Wednesday.  So I call the doctor and we get a 9:50 appointment.  I also call the car place to get the van towed and diagnosed (again, not part of the plan).  The tow truck arrives around 9:30 - van in tow.  Mike and I are able to take Ashlie to the doctor - go straight back and a few tests later - Ashlie has strep.  We all know that is good - because she can get medicine to hopefully fix her quickly.  Next stop - take Ashlie and I home and Mike is off to get the medicine.  Now we need another friend to help - Ashlie is home (remember - not part of the plan).  We call Dick and Nancy - our go to, practically adopted grandparents for help.  Dick has an appointment to go to - but he can bring sweet Mrs. Nancy over on his way out of town to sit with Ashlie.  So now I am clorox wiping down everything to make sure Mrs. Nancy doesn't catch strep from Ashlie.  Ashlie is to stay on one side of the room and Mrs. Nancy on the other!  Mike and I are finally off to accomplish the plan.  We get to the CT scan office in time and wait a little before I am called back and begin the IV process - ouch!  First stick - fails!  Second stick - the technician uses a "very small needle" and it works - not in the best location - but at least it was only two sticks.  I lay on the machine and it begins to not work properly.  She needs to re-boot.  Okay - several re-boots later and another person into help and the machine still doesn't work.  Remember the plan - 2nd doctor appointment @ 1:30 right down the street, I have to leave.  So with IV thing in hand - wrapped tightly (ouch!), I am off to the next appointment with a new plan to come back here to try the CT scan again.

Now we are at the retina doctor, not too bad of a wait - but I am starving by this point (I forgot to mention I couldn't eat or drink prior to the CT scan).  I finally get back for part one of the appointment.  More eye tests and I could actually see pretty good with the injured eye through the thing with the small holes - this is good.  Then lots of drops were put both eyes and eventually my eyes were dialated (my eyes are watering just thinking about this).  Then after waiting for all this stuff to work, I see the specialist and he does all this looking with special things and calls out all this information about lots of stuff.  Some interesting things I learned, the cut is from 7:00 to 2:00 and is ~ 3/4 the diameter of the cornea.  The reason I can't see very well is the location of the cut.  The repair looks excellent and we get to wait and see how well it heals, which is a slow process (months) due to no blood vessels in the cornea.  He did determine that the retina and lense and other stuff behind the cornea all look good - this is great news!  I go see him again after Christmas to dialate the left eye again and compare just to make sure there is no change. I keep doing the drops as prescribed to ensure no infection.  So this appointment was long, but we learned a lot of good things and now we get to go back to try to get the CT scan.

Back at the CT scan office, they send me right back, the machine is working, she is able to use the IV thing - YEA!  She does the first scan, puts the dye in very slowly (remember the very small needle), and she does the second scan and we are finished.  She removes the IV things.  Now we are able to go home.  The CT scan was performed to ensure there are no foreign bodies floating around in the eye - we will know these results next week.  I'm still hungry - but if we get straight home now we can actually get the van that had been diagnosed and repaired by this time.

We call for some more help to take Mike to get the van and a friend can pick him up after he returns from work in a little while (thanks Wade for his willingness to help!).  Meanwhile, Dick arrives back at our house earlier than we had thought, so he is able to take Mike on over to get the van.  The timing allowed Mike to get Katie from BJHS soccer conditioning (so we didn't have to call Karen - who had left us a message graciously offering to help as needed with Katie!).

Just in case you are still reading this - Ashlie is home with Nancy, Dick, and Maggie.  Katie and Mike arrive home from soccer in the repaired van.  Lori arrives a little while later with Sydney who had went to her house after school, hung out with Lori during Kaylee's first dance class and then Lori got Sydney to her class and brought her home after dance (thanks again Lori!).

So as the verse said at the beginning - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.  God has blessed us with many friends and yesterday's plan could not have been accomplished without many of them.  THANKS FRIENDS!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Back to the eye doctor

I have had a really good week.  I am so thankful for the prayers and comments from so many friends and family.  My eye is much better than last week physically, but my sight is really about the same.  So keep praying for restored sight if that is part of God's plan for me.

I went to the eye doctor yesterday and the eye looks good.  Dr. Lee did an ultrasound yesterday and is sending me to a retina doctor tomorrow and for a CT scan with dye this week as well.  The nurse told us these are very standard things for eye injuries such as mine and not to worry.  I return to Dr. Lee in two weeks to discuss any findings from these other appointments.  Dr. Lee was able to answer several questions I had.  I can begin easy exercise (no heavy lifting or straining type exercises), I don't have to wear the shield at night (so no more sticky tape residue to remove each morning), and the stitches get to stay in place for 6 months (I was really hoping this timeframe would be shortened - but it wasn't).

So I will continue to pray for healing and know that the Lord is in control.  Many of you have commented on my facebook and I am so thankful for your encouraging thoughts and prayers.  And one scripture was posted to my wall that I am thankful for after yesterday's visit is, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10".

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A light bulb moment

Mondays at my house are usually filled with straightening the house from the weekend and doing laundry. This Monday was much the same with a little bit of finalizing the Christmas decor added into the fun. I had straightened some, laundered some, and began sorting through one of the piles of papers that was cluttering the office. So a very normal Monday. 

As I walking from one task to the next, I noticed the hall night light wasn't working - so I decided to change the bulb. So I took the light with me and tried the bulbs to make sure they weren't working - and they weren't. I went to our light box and got a new pack of bulbs and put one in and decided to try it in the kitchen first to make sure it works when it exploded and part of the bulb hit me in my left eye. That was my light bulb moment. It was not part of the plan but who really does the planning? "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

At the next moment, I thought my eye was probably injured and I had a piece of glass stuck in it. So I found my way to the phone, and had to decide, to call Mike or 911. Mike is ~ 20 minutes away and the new HEMSI station is ~ 3 minutes away - I called 911. They called Mike for me, Mike called Col. Dick on his way, HEMSI came quickly and they didn't see anything in my eye. But they flushed it with saline and my neighbor from across the street (who is a nurse) came and held my hand and called Mike again to give him a little more info - he only knew that I was hurt and had asked that he come home. Col. Dick arrived to help and another neighbor did too.

This all started a little before noon on Monday. Once Mike arrived he called his eye doctor and they were able to see me immediatley. Thanks Dr. Walters and Dr. St. Peter for seeing my in my time of need. Once they saw me, we knew the problem was a little more serious than we thought, hoped, and prayed. They told me the cornea was cut (lacerated) and it was a pretty significant cut (all the way through). I didn't know much about the human eye - but I could tell this wasn't good. They recommended we go to a cornea specialist and called Dr. Lee's office for us and informed them of the situation and off we went to Huntsville to see the specialist. We arrived there around 1:15 and we waited just a little before being seen by the nurse and then the doctor who told us again that the cornea was cut all the way through and would require surgery. I think Mike and I both thought this might be the case - but didn't realize that meant Dr. Lee (the surgeon) would move me to another room and do the surgery right then. So sometime around 3:00 Dr. Lee carefully stitched my cornea while I was awake. I did have sedation in the eye, so it didn't hurt that much, but it was really creepy.  So I have 5 stitches in my cornea.  The Dr. explained that the repair went well and that after it heals (in months) he will see if the vision can be corrected with glasses.  And if not, I will probably be a candidate for a cornea transplant.  So we are praying for healing and ask that you join us.

During this process, I prayed and prayed. I prayed Romans 8:28 - "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.". I prayed John 1:1-4. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men." I learned these 4 verses in John when our big girls were in the AWANA program at church. I am so glad because as I would say them over and over in my head it just made the whole situation ok. God made my eye. God is in control. God knows the plans he has for me and he can use this for his good. Even now as I have to cover my injured eye to make sure of no typos - God is in control and hopefully one of the reasons this happened is so I will rely on him more and more and tell others about him and their need for a savior.

The rest of the story is several phone calls and text messages were sent to friends to ask for prayer and they prayed and told a few others to pray and our church family and friends were praying and helping as needed and are continuing to do so. Our friend Amanda came to Dr. Lee's office and was waiting for us when the surgery was finished. The Lord has blessed us with wonderful friends and we are so fortunate to have all of them. Our friend and neighbor Lori became the caretaker for the two little girls and the big girl came home to an empty house with a text to call Dad. Our friend Amanda came to Dr. Lee's office and was waiting for us when the surgery was finished. The Lord has blessed us with wonderful friends and we are so fortunate to have all of them. Before we can get home and let others know about this - the word had spread and the prayers were happening. I thank all of you for your prayers for healing according to the Lord's will for my left eye. And if you don't pray very often, maybe this will be just the beginning for you. 

Another thing I remembered was to pray for others that have more needs than yourself. So as the Dr. was stitching my left eye I was able to pray for those who have no sight - our vision is such a precious thing. My right eye is fine and my left eye may get better in the months to come. But either way, I am going to focus on another verse that keeps me thinking positive thoughts - "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8.