Wellness Wednesday- Treatment Starts This Week

Buyer’s remorse is when a person regrets a purchase for various reasons. I observed that a few times when I sold office furniture in the 1980s. I am experiencing buyers remorse but not about anything I bought.

After several years of advocating for myself, being gaslighted at times medically, being told I did not have what it ended up that I actually do have, seeing various specialists, I got the official diagnosis last Friday. It felt anti-climatic at the time.

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This week the reality of the treatment regiment is on my mind. I must confess I am one of those people who reads about meds and potential side effects. After reading about potential side effects, I almost wish I had not been diagnosed. Thankfully I can dialogue with others. One young woman who has what I have and is also a Christian shared this with me in a Facebook message.

“God will meet you where you are, but treatment is the start of a necessary journey that will help you, but know that it will take time.”

Such wisdom at a young age. No wonder I have always been impressed with her.

I will take my first dose Thursday evening. From what I understand, the next day can be a downtime day. So Friday I am planning to be a day to relax, listen to worship music, and binge watch some shows.

I would like to share one of my young friend’s YouTube videos about living with chronic illness.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Birthday in Brazil

My first trip to Brazil was in 2013. I landed in Rio de Janeiro on my birthday that year. The travel time from leaving my place to go to the airport to when I landed in Curitiba Brazil, my final stop, was about 24 hours. One thing about international travel is that I cannot sleep on planes. So there I was waiting in the Curitiba airport for an hour for my ride to Rio do Sul which was a three hour drive.

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I was exhausted as we approached Rio do Sul, so I asked the pastor if I would be going to my host home. He told me he needed to stop at the church first. We stopped there and went to the back and saw there was cake. They had two kinds of cake for my birthday. It was also the first time I drank Guarana which is a soda made from a berry that grows in Brazil and by the way has a lot of caffeine, After two pieces of cake and a few cups of Guarana, I had a caffeine/sugar buzz going which allowed me to stay for an hour. But then the crash came and it was time to go to my host home.

As the group of brothers and sisters in Christ I had just met sang Parabens to me, Brazilian birthday song, I thought best birthday ever to land in Brazil on my birthday.

What is one of your favorite birthday memories?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- A Surprise That Was Not a Surprise

In 2008, my birthday was on a Sunday. My Sunday group at that time had a young couple from Brazil, a young couple from Germany, a young couple from South Korea, a married couple of an American husband and his wife from Vietnam, a woman from Belgium, a businessman from Japan, two young men from Congo, a young woman from Ukraine, and three young people from India.

They were busy students that weekend preparing a surprise for me. Their plan was to be in the room with the lights off and yell surprise as soon as I walked in at 9am.

Only one problem- one of the young men from Congo, Olivier. I had a meeting at 8:25 at the church, so I asked Yoshio from Japan to pick up the two young men from Congo. When I arrived at the church at 8:20, Olivier came out to the parking lot, shook my hand, and took my book bag and carried it in for me.

As soon as I saw Olivier, my first thought was, “why is Olivier here at 8:20. He came with Yoshio. Yoshio is always about 5 minutes late.”

It did not take me long at all to figure out what was going on, but trying to be a good teacher when I walked in the door and they yelled surprised, I acted surprised. I did not want my friends to feel bad. One of them came up to me after class and whispered, “Were you really surprised?” I just smiled.

Memories like this one are ones we treasure for years. We remember the people, place, and everything that happened.

Do you know who remembers all of the things you have done for him? God. Hebrews 6:10 says:

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them

God remembers everything little thing we did to love him by helping his people. He remembers things we have forgotten. Even something as little as helping someone with a ride. No action performed out of love for God and others is ever forgotten by God.

The following year, there was no attempt at a surprise. But we still had fun. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Weekends with My Spanish Speaking Friends

It has been a wonderful blessing to have my weekend groups going again. I am starting small which is intentional on my part, so there is flexibility if the whole COVID situation changes. My groups have five friends who speak Spanish, two from Cuba and three from Mexico.

We have bonded quickly as a group. We have a lot of fun studying together and laughter fills in the room. They are people who normally would not be able to go to a class during the week due to work schedules, so being able to come Saturday and Sunday morning means a lot to them.

Yesterday we went out for lunch after our morning class. One would think it would have been at a Mexican restaurant, which would have been great for me, but they wanted burgers, so off we went to Red Robin and had burgers.

This morning after we practiced English for 45 minutes, I read a bible verse to them in English and then in Spanish. It is a verse from John 17 where Jesus tells God the Father that he wants us to be with him in heaven.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

“Padre, quiero que los que me has dado estén conmigo donde yo estoy. Que vean mi gloria, la gloria que me has dado porque me amaste desde antes de la creación del mundo”

Then I shared the music video What A Beautiful Name with them first in English and then in Spanish. They have asked me to remember to pray for them, which I happily do

I shared a closing thought with them that I want to share with you based on the verse in John 17. Jesus wants us, wants you in heaven with him for all eternity. It is the reason he came and died on the cross for us and defeated death for us. If we trust in him, have faith in him, he shares eternity with us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Relaxing Summer Friday

Yesterday after I did onboarding with the public school system here, I hung out at. Can you guess? Yes a coffee shop.

One of the fun things for me for me about hanging out at a coffee shop in the summers is seeing fellow educators I usually only see in passing during the school year. When we run into each other in the summer it is time to catch up on life,

Yesterday I ran into my friend who is a French professor at the university in my city. We met in the coffee shop when she was speaking German with her husband. When I hear other languages being spoken, it draws my attention. I greeted them in German that day and we chatted.

Back to yesterday, it was wonderful to see my friend again. Last summer was the shutdown so no hanging out at the coffee shop. It had been a long time since I chatted with my friend. We talked about Europe, places we have both been to there, French food, and teaching language.

Life is so interesting when one day i can interact with a fellow educator who is trilingual-English, French and German- and the next day teach English for friends from Cuba and Mexico, I get to practice my Spanish with them too. I will also see my Brazilian friend and practice Portuguese.

It is funny that I am trilingual as well but in English, Portuguese and Spanish, So my French professor friend and I have to talk in English with each other.

Life is back to normal for me. I wonder if I should say that because my life has never been normal. lol

What will you do this weekend?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Today Is The Day

The day has arrived. This afternoon I will have my appointment with a Rheumatologist at the University Medical Center. First appointments with a Rheumy can be a bit of a wait. It feels almost a bit anti-climatic.

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My friend from church will drive me to my appointment. That is real friendship driving one hour to and one hour back from an appointment for a friend. 🙂 The reason I am not driving is fatigue. I am not sure if I would feel like driving the one hour back home.

I am somewhat hopeful for a diagnosis today. Hopefully a treatment plan can begin. But I am not getting my hopes up. It is wait and see. So off I go this afternoon for another appointment to be x-rayed, have blood tests, and be examined. Other than that it should be a good day. lol

After the appointment, I will reward my friend with a steak dinner at a restaurant for driving me there.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When God Speaks to Us Through His People

Have you ever had one of those conversations that you realized God arranged for you? That happened for me this morning in church.

My Rheumatology appointment is this Wednesday. After having seen various specialists the past five years, I must admit in the back of my mind I have had doubts about my upcoming appointment.

This morning in church I was talking with a few women who asked me what my appointment is for. I briefly shared with them about my experiences trying to get a diagnosis. One of the women is a retired nurse. She shared with me about how her son has gone to the same clinic I will be going to and how great they have been.

As she shared with me, I realized I am going to the right place. When I walked to the worship center, I thanked God for that brief conversation.

If we are open to God’s leading, he will direct our paths even in little things like the conversation I had this morning,

Now I will go home and take a nap. 🙂

How is your Sunday?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Small World in a Coffee Shop- Part 2

Earlier this month I shared a post- Small World in a Coffee Shop– about how I met the daughter of one of my best friends as a child. That led to me interacting with my friend from my childhood, Todd.

Yesterday Todd and I met at the same coffee shop. It was so much fun as we reminisced about our antics. He reminded of that time when he and his brother got new Walkie Talkies and I told his brother Paul if he bent the antennae he could hear people from around the world. His brother believed me and tried it but broke the antennae.

We laughed as I sent his brother a message on Facebook apologizing for getting him in trouble by telling him if he bent his antennae he could hear around the world. Todd suggested adding-‘if you put your iPhone in water you can hear the ocean.” We laughed loudly as I sent the message. I don’t think Paul will fall for the iPhone line though. 🙂

We caught up on each other’s lives and the best part for me was discovering that Todd is my brother in Christ. We are both Christians. I had prayed for an opportunity to share Jesus with him only to discover he is already a Christian, It was the best discovery I could have.

We will meet again for coffee. When we meet again, it will be fellowshipping with my brother in Christ which is the best part.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Small World in a Coffee Shop

Yesterday afternoon I was hanging out in a coffee shop. I know that comes as a surprise. 🙂

A young woman was sitting near me and was studying. I joked with her that homework is an exciting opportunity to learn. We talked a bit and I found out she is an English Education major. I asked her what high school she went to and found out it was one in my city. I joked I graduated from a different one in my city a few years before she graduated. She smiled as said her dad graduated from there in the 1970s. I asked what her dad’s last name was. I recognized the last name, so I asked what his first name is.

I found out her dad was my best friend when I was in elementary school. Boom- small world. I regaled her with stories from the childhood of her dad and myself including the time her dad and I tried to invent the secret power potion when we were about ten years old. I wrote about that a year ago- Two 10 Year Old Boys Creating. Now she can tell her dad she heard all about him when he was a boy.

I love meeting new people in coffee shops. That is how I met my current assistant and my assistant the year before. One of my favorite things to do while in a coffee shop is when I see someone reading the bible. I walk by and say, “I read that book. Jesus wins in the end.” Then I apologize for giving away the ending.

Where do you like to hangout?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.