Nurses-Wonderful Nurses

Several months ago I shared a post I Love Nurses. My recent hospital stay a few weeks ago highlighted for me why I love nurses. They are awesome.

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My nurses were the ones who took time to explain things for me step by step including the cardioversion I had. They were the ones who checked on me frequently. They were the ones who listened to my concerns. They were the ones who brought me chocolate ice cream.

The three nurses I had were also the ones who laughed at my jokes. Perhaps only to humor me. 🙂

Nurses help me feel calm. Doctors make my blood pressure go up.

Whenever I go a doctor, I enjoy talking with the nurses as they go over my medications and reason for my appointment.

So this short post of mine is a shout out to nurses. You are awesome. As a person who lives with chronic illnesses, my appreciation for nurses is high.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Chronic Christmas

Thanksgiving has come and gone already. It feels like it zipped on past me quickly. It was nice to spend time with friends last night sharing friendship and delicious food. But it is over now. The rest of the world will be full speed ahead to Christmas, but I am not ready for it. I do not mean about shopping. That is a five minute thing for me on Amazon.

I wonder how many crazy people will wait outside in the cold to be the first ones in the stores for shopping. How many will be sane and do it all online like me. 🙂

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I feel like calling this year My Chronic Christmas as in chronic illness.. I have a follow up appointment with my GP next week to follow up on my recent hospital stay. I have a rheumatology appointment on Dec. 21st and a follow up appointment with the cardiologist on the 23rd. I also have a MRI sometime before the rheumatology appointment.

So that is four medical things before Christmas. UGH.

The one good thing about Christmas, the best thing, is that it is a reminder that Jesus left heaven to be born as a human baby, so he could be Immanuel-God With Us. I am grateful Jesus is with me at medical appointments.

Are you ready for the whole Christmas holiday thing?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Conversation Shows My Motivation to Write

After reading the timeline I wrote regarding the years after my first health struggles and remembering the timeline I wrote from childhood to my first health struggle, my therapist said, “You have overcome so much in your life. What’s next for you now that you have overcome so much?”

Me-“I don’t know. Maybe Jesus will take me home to heaven.”

Therapist-“What would you like to see happen?”

Me-“I would like to finish and publish my book about Jesus Understands Trauma. I think I can get it translated into Spanish and Portuguese. I would love to share about it in Ensenada Mexico and in Brazil and maybe here in the USA. I would like to continue teaching and helping refugees/immigrants.”

Therapist- “Those are great goals.”

Me-“But at my age I am not sure how much time I have to do them.”

Therapist-“You could have many more years.”

Not verbalized to her my thought-“I don’t want many more years of pain, Maranantha Lord Jesus. Come quickly Lord Jesus.”

Even this morning was another morning of waking up in pain and wishing I could stay home all day. But I will go teach three classes today. Each day is like that for me living with chronic illness. But there are more people to reach with the love of Jesus and I do hope to follow what 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God

That is my motivation behind the book and my desire for future ministry.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Tired Teacher

Fall break is here for all of my classes. After a morning teacher’s meeting today, I am off until next Wednesday. Last night I realized how much I need it. It is safe to say I was TIRED. One of the issues that bothers me the most, besides constant pain, about living with chronic illness is fatigue.

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While other teachers were talking about short trips to visit family or projects to get done around home, my thoughts were of doing things like sleeping and taking naps. 🙂

But I have a feeling that next Monday and Tuesday will also involve time at the coffee shop to do more writing. I might even see other teachers there who are summer regulars at the coffee shop, but too busy to hang out there during the school year.

The top of my list for next Monday and Tuesday is along the lines of Luke 5:16 and following the example of Jesus.

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

It is from times of prayer that refreshment comes and this teacher needs that.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Please Pray for Her- Alisa Turner

My favorite song is My Prayer For You by Alisa Turner. She has suffered terribly from Lyme Disease for years. While she was doing better, she recorded her album Miracle or Not that my favorite song is on. It is the only CD I play in my car. There have been times that I repeatedly play My Prayer for You on days that are rougher for me living with chronic illness.

I first heard My Prayer for You after I was diagnosed with Celiacs and had to deal with all that included. No offense intended to anyone with Celiacs, but for me it has paled in comparison to Psoriatic Arthritis. When asked by a doctor about my pain levels, I always answer something like- a 5 to 6 on a good day. Then if asked how many good days I have, my answer is about half the time. That means at least half of my life is spent with days that pain ranges anywhere from a 7 to 9. I also have those days that it is a full blown ten.

That is why My Prayer For You is playing so much in my car, The lyrics, written by someone who suffers from a chronic illness, speak to me. Lyrics like:

For anyone who’s prayed a thousand prayers
And still can’t find the answer anywhere
Fighting off the lie that no one cares
For anyone who’s out there losing hope
Feeling you’re forsaken and alone
Clinging to the last strands of your rope

May God give you eyes to see, He’s still greater
Courage to rise and believe He’s able
May God be your peace in the fire you’re walking through
This is my prayer now
This is my prayer for you

So when I saw her post about her need for medical treatments and her current struggles, it hit home for me. Please pray for her. After watching her video about needing medical treatments, watch My Prayer For You. You will be glad you did.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thanks to Generous People- I Have A Car

I feel so blessed to be able to say that I have a new to me vehicle. Jesus worked through his people in a wonderful way. People I have never met before in person, but who know Jesus were so generous to donate for me to be able to buy this vehicle. I really don’t know how to say THANK YOU!!!

I looked online at the various dealerships in Lincoln and what they had in used vehicles and kept coming back to the one I bought. I asked some friends about the type of vehicle I was looking at and they told me they were good vehicles. So I prayed and asked Jesus to keep the Hyundai Tuscon there for me. I spotted it last week online.

When I went into the dealership, they took good care of me. They saw my teacher ID for the school system here. More than one person told me they had a teacher in the family. They asked me about teaching during COVID. They gave me a good deal and when I went to finalize the papers, the guy I spoke with told me I had a 3 year warranty which I did not anticipate.

One of the first things I did was to call Pastor Oleg at the Ukrainian church to let him know I had a car now, so there would definitely be no problem for me to teach the refugees at his church. I also called a few Hispanic friends to let them know if they need a ride on Sunday mornings, to let me know.

Then I enjoyed the fact that my Hyundai Tuscon is easy to get in and out of. That is HUGE for someone living with psoriatic arthritis.

For everyone who donated, in God’s eyes, you have partnered with me in my ministry. Every time I drive to teach, visit, help, refugees and immigrants sharing the love of Jesus, you have partnered with me. THANK YOU!!!

It reminds me of what Paul wrote in Philippians chapter 4:

They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

By donating, by praying, you have greatly blessed me. I pray God blesses you as well.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Small Change I Hope Will Make a Difference

In June 2021, I started taking methotrexate for Psoriatic Arthritis/Psoriasis. I read comments by people on Instagram who take it and referred to the methotrexate hangover, which is not feeling like doing anything the day after. So I took it on Fridays with the thinking that Saturdays can be spent at home if need be.

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The opportunity to help Ukrainian refugees on Saturdays is something I believe God is calling me to do, but then there is that methotrexate hangover thing. So I made a small change. I injected Sunday afternoon. My thinking is that this small change will allow me to help the Ukrainian refugees on Saturdays with worrying about being out of it due to the medication.

I tried it this past Sunday due to the holiday yesterday to give me a trial at it. My thinking is that Mondays I can teach in the morning, come home to rest, and then teach online Monday evenings.

Chronic fatigue is something I always have to factor into my decisions including the after effects of methotrexate. That is just part of life while living with chronic illnesses. I am so grateful Jesus gives me strength.

I am looking forward to this Saturday and spending time with my new friends from Ukraine.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Groaning But Keep Going

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,  because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

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This passage from 2nd Corinthians 5:1-5 came to mind yesterday after Craig of Poetic Perspectives at brocraigblog.wordpress.com replied to me asking how he was in my comment section, “I am about the same physically, but have lately felt more blessed and closer to the Lord, spiritually, which is the most important thing. He is ever faithful and loving toward His own and we truly cannot even begin to comprehend the extent to which this is true! Thanks for asking!” Craig lives with chronic illness as do I.

Yesterday I groaned a lot. I missed the bus that would have taken me the mile and half distance from the school where I teach to my coffee shop. Problem is the bus system here is terrible. The bus comes only one time each hour. So instead of waiting for one hour, I walked to the coffee shop. As I walked, my left foot and ankle reminded me that psoriatic arthritis has struck there. My right knee spoke up too not wanting to be left out. By the time I made it to the coffee shop, it felt like I had finished a marathon.

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Living with autoimmune issues like psoriatic arthritis and also with fibromyalgia means I feel like groaning all the time. I am looking forward to the day I am in heaven with no more pain. But to be here in this life, even living with chronic pain, means opportunities to share Jesus and his gospel with people from diverse cultures.

One of the first things I will do after I get a different vehicle, thanks to people being generous to donate, will be to join a club again that has an aqua track, It is a walking track of warm water, It is great for people with arthritis.

I will be more mobile again, so visiting refugees/immigrants will be part of my routine again too which is the best part for me. 🙂

So here is to more ministry even though I am groaning.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

D Day- Doctor Day

It is that time again to make a one hour trip to see my rheumatologist. Today my friend Scott, who is now part-time pastor, will give me a ride. He was the first pastor I connected with at my church back in 1994. I am looking forward to the fellowship even though it is for a doctor visit.

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So it is time this afternoon to get poked, prodded, x-rayed, and blood drawn.. In other words, a fun time. I have often thought to myself, “why do doctors want to move things I have already told them is painful?” Example- my left elbow is acting up, so the doctor wants to move my arm and bend my elbow.

Such is part of life for a spoonie, person living with chronic illness, but this clinic I go to once every three months is the best in the state, so I am grateful-once I am done. 🙂

Off the subject. Yesterday afternoon I rode the bus to go teach. A young woman from Saudi Arabia was on the bus. She was obviously a student, so I joked with her about homework and let her know I am a teacher. I felt led to share with her before I got off the bus that Jesus loves her and I will pray for Jesus to visit her in her dreams. Many Muslims have come to know Jesus as their savior after having dreams about Jesus. Please pray for her.

Also off the subject- I have an interview Friday afternoon for a different position with the school district and the program I am part of. If I get the position, I will be able to keep my health insurance.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Doctor Day- Annual Check Up

It is that day. You know the day. The day for an annual check up. The day that makes me feel like a kid being sent to the principal’s office in school.

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I miss the days before chronic illness when the annual check ups were mostly a time of being told everything looks good, see you next year. Now it feels like- you have been a bad boy and here’s why. 🙂

At least my appointment is in the morning and only a 15 minute drive to the coffee shop, aka my office, so after the appointment, I plan to treat myself to time at the coffee shop. I don’t think there will be any cupcakes because I had one when I went there yesterday and there were only two left.

I also plan to bring a book with me to the coffee shop, Anatomy Of The Soul by Curt Thompson. It is a interesting one to read. Of course catching up with fellow bloggers will occur as well.

It is that time of year in August that my daily activities involve going from one place that has air conditioning to another place that has air conditioning. That is basically my agenda today and for the next several days.

What’s on your schedule today?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.