Thursday, December 30, 2010
Here's the deal. Our group health insurance premium, for spouses only, went up $140/month! That's $70+/paycheck for me. While that may not seem like a whole lot, for Chris and I, it's a chunk. I had already been considering finding another, individual, plan for Chris. I called the agent who so graciously handle's Elijah's medical coverage. He helped me locate a couple of plans.
Guess what. Here we are 3:00 on 12/30/10 and I still don't have an answer regarding Chris' new plan. One company wouldn't even underwrite - they just flat refused him. The second company must be underwriting him because they're asking for more information, medical records, etc. Then I got the call from HR saying I had to take Chris off the group plan today or else I was stuck in it until 1/1/12. No changes can be made unless it is a life changing event (marriage/death/childbirth/adoption). I know what Chris' response would be: CANCEL!
I prayed about making the right decision because I had to make it now. This song came to mind:
"My hope is in the Lord
From this time on and forever more
Oh, my hope is in the Lord
I cancelled the group plan. I'm putting my hope and trust in the Lord that the rest will work itself out.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Of course, by 1:18, Elijah had woke up. I tried bringing him to bed with us, but because we're not used to him being in bed with us, I don't sleep well. I finally took him back to his own bed at 3:00. He was awake again before 6:00 AM. Bless his poor heart... I'm sure he's wondering why Mommy didn't come running. He kept calling my name, accompanied by a half hearted cry. I could not make myself wake up. At one point I heard him say "Mommy, I 'wake." In the end, somewhere between 6:15 and 6:30 he fell back to sleep.
The restless feeling could also be due to the cloudy skies and rain...
Or maybe knowing I have family coming in for the weekend and I still have things at home I need to wrap up...
Or just the fact that I want to be at home soooo bad....
Thursday, December 23, 2010
For a few days now I've been thinking of writing about a recent battle I've been through... mostly because I want to move on and get on with my life. At the same time, opening up about it makes me feel weak and vulnerable.
About the same time I made my last blog entry, I began a battle with depression. Looking back, I can't believe it was back in September that this started happening! Had I really been dealing with it this long? When it first started, I thought I was PMS-ing and didn't give it a thought. Who knows? Maybe it started with PMS-ing? One day I woke up and realized I'd been PMS-ing for three weeks. Not normal.
I've heard of others fighting depression and although I didn't judge or criticize them, I always wondered "how can you stay depressed? Don't you know tomorrow is a new day? Can't you just get up and move on?" Now I know the answers to all those questions. Experience is the best teacher. Sure, I've had small battles with depression, but nothing of this magnitude. And I know, there are others who've suffered much longer and much worse than I have.
I had been taking a prescription that lists depression as a side effect. I quit taking the meds and within days started feeling much better. But I know, God is my healer. I cried out to Him when I could barely put one foot in front of the other. Each day was survival mode: just get through the day one minute at a time.
My work suffered. My family suffered. Perhaps not physically, but I know they suffered because I can see the difference in my relationships with them now. Depression is a thief. It steals your joy, your peace, your happiness, and days that could have been precious memories are now gone. There's no way to get those days/weeks/months back. Sure, I had good days. I had days when I could get up, get out of the house, have a good day... maybe even have two good days in a row. But somehow the darkness would always come back.
The only way I know how to describe what I was feeling is this: my heart - you know, right there in the upper left hand corner of your chest? Right there, I had this pull. A feeling that something had a grip on the bottom of my heart and was pulling as hard as it could. It literally felt like I could be pulled into a dark abyss. If I didn't fight, I would be sucked in and suddenly be falling into a bottomless pit. Falling, falling, falling... Not a pleasant feeling in the least. In the meantime, I was not a nice person. I had two or three situations where I completely withdrew my emotions. At one time I told my DH that I'd become what some people would call a female dog. I felt I deserved to be called that. I knew my actions were inexcusable but I didn't know how to change. Oh, I wanted to change, but didn't have a clue how. How can you show compassion when you have no emotions left? How can you give forgiveness when there is none in your heart?
But here's the deal... between my Maker and the lack of meds, I am feeling so much better. Sometimes I can't believe the difference in myself. Then, when I look back and see where I was, I realize how healed I am. To my knowledge, there are only 3-4 people on the face of this earth that have a clue as to how badly I was suffering. Until now.
If you're suffering from depression, please know there is hope. Maybe yours isn't as simple as changing a medication. But that doesn't matter. Your Maker knows you. He knows your heart. He knows exactly what you're going through and how to help you climb out of that bottomless pit. Don't give up hope. You're not alone.
Here is song that spoke to me and encouraged my heart greatly during this time. It gave me hope that He does know me. He does care. And I'm not alone because He is there with me at all times. Holding my heart.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Elijah has stopped breathing 7? 8? times now. I've forgotten how many for sure. The first time happened when he was maybe 10 months old. (I'm to lazy to get his baby book). He was throwing a fit in his crib and I swatted his leg. He inhaled sharply as all children do when beginning to cry. I waited, expecting his full fledged cry. He didn't cry so I patted him on the back... encouraging him to go ahead and cry. As I patted him, he rolled over into a very un-natural position. It was at that point I realized something was very wrong. Keep in mind, he's still not uttered a cry. I picked him up and realized he was stiff, curled in the fetal position. Of course, I went balistic, screaming like a maniac for Chris. I thought Elijah was dead. By the time Chris realized there was something deadly wrong, I was nearly beside myself and could hardly stand up, much less talk. Elijah suddenly began to breath and cry. His complexion was the most horrible color of grey. His lips were blue, and his eyes were rolled back in his head. Any wonder why I thought he was dead?
We got passed that episode and the next one didn't occur for quite some time later. He was at Nanny's playing, fell and hit his head. Nanny immediately told her friend to call 911 and started praying for him. He came to without the assitance of 911. I believe Jesus stepped in on the scene.
I think the third time was one day when he was sitting on the floor, he toppled over and hit his head. Again, he stopped breathing with the same symptoms.
There was at least one other episode, maybe two, but I can't remember all the details. I'd done some research online and found something called a pallid breath holding spell. It is listed as harmless, no treatment, and something the child will have to outgrow. A friend had told us to breathe in Elijah's face to help - it kind of surprises them and causes a reaction that would "kick start" the breathing again. We tried this and had good results. Fast forward to September 4, 2010.
Elijah was walking out the front door and started down the steps. He fell, hit his head a bit, but not very hard. I was right behind him and saw the whole thing happen. Although I expected his face to be scratched up quite a bit, I didn't expect him to stop breathing. But he did... and it seemed quite a while before he breathed again. I tried breathing in his face, but no reaction. I was headed to the phone to call 911 when he started breathing again. This was on Saturday...
The following Friday, we were at a relative's home and Elijah was misbehaving. Daddy swatted his leg as he was picking up Elijah. Elijah again, inhaled as if to cry, but never cried. For the longest 30 seconds of my life Elijah stopped breathing again. We tried breathing in his face, but it didn't work. I finally ran for a wet washcloth and by the time I got back he was coming around.
The following Monday, it happened again at Nanny's house. He hit his head and stopped breathing. Nanny says the episode didn't last as long as it has in the past, but knowing that it had happened for the third time in 9 days was too much for me. Each episode has been pretty much the same... stiffness, grey color, eventually going limp before beginning to breathe. Each time it leaves him wiped out and mellow. His color is terrible for a while afterwards too. Each time it's as he's inhaling, as if to cry, but his breath becomes "stuck". There have been times when he didn't cry after the episode as it seems to wipe out his short term memory.
We had prayer for him at church this past weekend, but decided to let the doctor check into it too. Doctor Self wanted to do an echocardiogram today. I also asked him to check Elijah's iron levels as pallid breathing spells can be tied to anemia (and Elijah has seemed to stay tired recently). The iron test came back fine... and now we have to wait 7-10 days for the echo results. The echocardiogram was quite tramatizing for Elijah, especially since he'd just had his finger pricked (whew, that was awful!!!). I eventually realized holding him down by force wasn't going to work for this 45 minute test and asked if I could try putting him to sleep. The radiologist agreed... and it worked! He slept through the bulk of the test. When he did wake up we were able to distract him enough to finish the test.
The reason I get defensive about this topic is due to the fact there are people who immediatly assume he's throwing a tantrum by holding his breath. Trust me when I say, these are two very different things. I have seen a child cry until they lost their breath. With Elijah, he stops breathing before he ever gets the cry out. It happens in an instant... not in something he's worked up. So when someone suggests it's a fit... I naturally want to correct them.
Tonight, he is sleeping peacefully. Of course, after the day he had, who wouldn't sleep peacefully? Crying and fighting off three adults is hard work!
I appreciate anyone and everyone's prayers for my little man. I believe God has healed him, and am believing the doctor will confirm this for me.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I know. I'm weird.
Just to a quick note about Elijah:
- He talks... a lot! Several people have told me his vocabulary is very advanced (he's not two yet). Tonight, I noticed he repeated nearly every word from his Baby Einstein MacDonald Had a Farm DVD. I really think those DVD's may have something to do with his advanced vocabulary.
- He is really in to cowboys at the moment. Anything with a cowboy hat is a cowboy. (The cowboy says 'howdy' and "yee-haw"!) He likes to watch Toy Story, but can rarely make it through the whole movie.
- He also loves Kidz Church that our church hosts once a month. He loves to watch the puppets and talks to them as if they were very real.
- Elijah loves his Daddy. They are buddies. Forever.
- This week, for the first time, Elijah told me he loved me... unsolicited. In other words, I didn't beg or bribe to hear those words. He had come to bed with us and crawled up on my chest... he laid his little head on my face (yes, on my face!) and said "Mommy? Wuv you." He kissed my cheek and moved on. Talk about melting my heart.
I miss signing... all of our deaf friends have moved to Arizona. I really miss them and the signing. I'm so afraid I'm going to loose it all, but feel hopeless to do anything about it. About the only thing I know to do is to sign to Elijah and to myself. When I am around my signing friends I can sign with them too.
See... blogging is relaxing. Something about the sound of the keys on the keyboard must put me to sleep. I've hardly typed at all and I'm already about to fall asleep. Earlier I was afraid I'd never finish my blog... I kept thinking of so many things I wanted to say...
Oh... by the way... I'm trying to think of a new blog title. This blog will be about Elijah... Chris... and me. I want something catchy, but that speaks of me. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Thus entered stress into my life.
I've been very blessed to have very little stress in my life up to this point. I've had a few stressful situations, but they've passed and I've survived. But this time it was different. As manager, I now had to deal with a person who disliked me, disliked upper management's decision to promote me, and made some days seem like they'd never end. It's really a long story... and of course, due to privacy laws, I can't share details.
Looking back I realize how much this stress had affected my life. I became a person I really didn't know. My confidence in myself was nearly gone. I'd lost a lot of my joy. I became very moody, a stress eater, and only wanted to come home each day and "veg out". I had very little strength or motivation for evenings; most days I didn't care what my house looked like. I realize now how much this situation consumed me. I know we're taught that we're not dealing with the person, but rather the spirit inside that person. I feel like I failed in so many ways. In some ways, I want to go back and have another chance. At the same time, I'm so relieved to be moving past this situation that I don't care to have another chance. I regret that I've missed many of my baby's moments - either at work or after work due to this stress. To be honest, I've never really allowed myself to admit all this until now. Not even to myself.
What I really want is the chance for a new look at life. I want a new beginning. I know I'll never get those moments back, but I want to move forward with a new perspective, a new appreciation, and a new faith. I have an amazing husband and an adorable little boy that needs me. I have a beautiful house that needs some TLC. I want to be a godly P31 woman.
I'm not real sure how to go about accomplishing all this. I already feel better - work is now going much better and that's helped so much. Chris says he can see a difference in me - so I'm encouraged by that. It's a good beginning.
I also know I need to spend some time with my Savior. He's been there all the time, even when I couldn't feel His presence. I know I'll need His grace many times every day.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Last night I added to the busy-ness by going to Springfield with Grace to see our Gran'pa Friel. He's in the hospital for pnuemonia like symptoms... and elevated blood sugar levels. The sad part was Grandma. The stress is really wearing on her and she's confused. I felt so bad for her. Grandpa seemed like his normal ornery self, but Grandma kept saying things that let us know she was a little confused. Amy said it's come and went for her the past couple days. I don't ever want to grow old.
Elijah's got a runny nose again. Sometimes I think I'm not qualified to be a mom... like now when he's sitting in the floor, without any socks on, with his nose running. Even a dummy knows that's not a good idea. Oh, and I fed him donuts for breakfast... he should be eating something that's packed with vitamins. And I gave him chocolate milk. Dairy is bad for congestion. Duh. Poor guy. And then to top it off, I'm sitting on the computer.
Okay, I just talked myself into logging off. I'll have to finish blogging later.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I put him to bed and he went down fairly easy but woke up about 10:30 fussing. I remembered the little bit of a rash he'd had at bath time and decided to check it out. Sure enough, it was still flared up so I treated it and assumed he'd go right back to sleep. No such luck. I ended up putting him in bed with me. Poor guy slept very fitfully until he kicked Daddy in the face about midnight. That's when I decided to get up again and rock him in the recliner... which lasted until nearly 1:00 when he finally calmed down. Not real sure what brought it all on, but the rash was cleared up this morning. Whew!
Chris went to the eye doctor today. I think the good doc finally got through his skull... or maybe it was the fact that his eyes have both gotten progressively worse? Whatever the case may be, Chris has resigned himself to wearing glasses or contacts full time. After him nearly missing our driveway more than once, I'm feeling much better knowing he's going to be wearing corrective lens!
I'm off here... I've GOT to get some sleep tonight.
Monday, March 1, 2010
As much as I love blogging about Elijah and keeping up with his fun antics, I'm missing blogging for me. I used to blog on 360 (Yahoo's flop of a blog) and loved it. I could vent, rant, reminisce, etc. So I've been thinking of going back to that format but also include Bubby's life. Trust me, I love to brag on my boy! Can't imagine a post without talking about him.
Valentines weekend, Daddy decided it was time for Elijah to give up his binky. He was 16 months old. We looked up the moon signs on the Almanac and found it was the right time for weaning... so we gave it a go. The first night wasn't as bad as the second night. The third night was the worst of all. In fact, I ended up crying so hard I thought I was going to pass out, puke, or both. Elijah ended up crying nearly two hours and we caved long enough for him to go to sleep. He went to sleep within seconds. I removed the binky from his bed and haven't looked back since. Elijah did find binky's on two separate occasions, but both times we were able to retrieve the binky's without incident. But boy... that was hard on this Momma's heart - in more than one ways.
Because of this, I had to put up an unseen wall around my heart - otherwise I'd given in to him and his desire for that binky. I don't know if that's what caused the next issue or not... but for days Elijah would act out when around me. As in screaming, crying, fits, etc. At 7:30 each morning, when Chris would leave for work, Elijah would start acting out. He'd act up until we got to Nanna's house. On lunch breaks, he'd do the same thing as the morning... as soon as Chris was gone. Evenings were about the same routine. Chris finally got to see Elijah in action one day and realized what I was talking about. I told Chris I felt like I needed to re-bond with Elijah. We finally got that chance last weekend. I think it helped - as Elijah's behavior has drastically improved... and I was able to let down that wall I'd put up. Man, I sure love that baby!
Elijah has finally cut tooth #7 today. He's been slow at gaining teeth - but that doesn't bother me. I've heard that means they'll be healthy teeth! I think the loosing the binky made teething a bit harder (they were happening at the same time). Had we realized he was teething, I think we would have held off on the binky...? Who knows? What's done is done.
Work is still stressful at times, but seems to have leveled off. There are days that just want to scream! Other days, all is well. Today was very busy - which I like. I like busy... it makes the day go so much faster!
I'm loving having Grace living close by... and now Amy and John have made SWT their home church too! I love seeing my sisters this frequently. After living here 11 years, it's nice to have some family around.
Back to Elijah (again):
- He has his first ball cap. He kept trying to wear Chris' so I bought him one of his own - bright red! He looks so grown up and adorable in it.
- Tooth #7 cut today
- He's really starting to talk and will try to immitate just about everything we say including "Sweetie" & "Chris".
- We're trying to move towards him feeding himself. I bought him some forks this past weekend. Silly boy, won't hardly eat off Mommy's plate until he's had a bite of Daddy's food.
- Can now say church, cracker, cup (bup)
- Knows the difference between uh-huh (yes) and huh-uh (no) and get's them right most of the time
- Knows what a kitty (e-yow), puppy, monkey(eee-eee), frog (bibbit), and cow ('oooo) says
- Loves, loves, loves, his red wagon and swing set
- Is fearless when it comes to climbing (even up 10' ladders!)
- Is doing really well with being quiet in church
- Gives the most heartwarming hugs and kisses
- Still loves bath time and tries to catch water when poured from a cup
We're still living like no one else so later we can LIVE like no one else. It's a good feeling to have our bills caught up, paid on time, and some money in the savings account. God has been good to us. If all goes as we're planning (hoping, and praying too) we should be debt free August 2014! I know that sounds like a long ways away... but it will be here before we know it. Trust me, there are days when I just need someone to look me in the eye and remind me that it will be here soon and I can make it. Most days 2014 seems to be 100 years away... especially when I'm thinking about how fast Elijah is growing up... and how many hours I've missed of his life because of my job...
Friday, January 22, 2010
And now, we must stop and pray mid-meal. Of course, we don't stop him... I want to encourage Elijah to pray any time. It's so sweet to see him bow his head, mutter something in his baby language, and the make a baby noise that some what resembles 'Amen'.
This week Chris was home one day with Elijah. Chris cleaned the house, did the laundry, etc. As I came walking home for lunch, there was Chris at the front window cleaning the window. And at his side was a smiling little boy. As Chris and I stood there talking, Elijah picked up the rag and began to 'clean' the window. After a few swipes, he turned to Chris and indicated he wanted the cleaner sprayed on the window. Chris obliged and then Elijah promptly started cleaning again. We were able to get a few pictures and a bit of video of this sweet moment. Then, just when we thought he was finished... Elijah walked to the front foyer and started cleaning up the mud I'd tracked in!
What a sweetie! The best part? He's learning from a wonderful example.
Friday, January 15, 2010
(Don't get me wrong, I have a very blessed life. I'm happy - just horomonal right now due to that ever reappearing visit.) So as I was reflecting on life in general and this fear, I remembered a little vacation - or a little piece of heaven - I experienced about 15 months ago.
Yes, I'm referring to my hospital stay when Elijah was born.
It wasn't easy - being cut open and recovering. But it was bliss in other ways. For five whole days we didn't turn on the TV for news and didn't get online either. It was five whole days of meeting a beautiful baby boy. Complete focus on Elijah's care, my recovery, and Chris' sanity! Now that hospital room cannot compare to heaven. I'm NOT trying to say that.
What was like heaven about this? Well, for that five whole days - I forgot there was an election about to happen. I completely forgot about the condition of the economy. I didn't think about bills or money (well, maybe once or twice.) I remember coming home and someone mentioning Sarah Palin... it was like a lightning jolt back to reality. WHAT?? The world continued to spin? The election didn't go away? What about the economy? It was like all those 'important' things had been erased from my mind.
Somehow I think heaven will be like THAT. No bills. No elections. No horrific earthquakes. No sick babies. No living in fear that your baby will die. Nothing but pure bliss and WORSHIP! It will be complete focus on Him - the Eternal One. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to be there.
So, for now I've decided to push this fear aside. There isn't a single thing I can do until it's Elijah's time to go. Actually, he is immortal until it is his time to go. If I have to face that day all to soon, I am confident God will give me the strength to survive.
In the meantime, I ask God's blessing on Elijah's life and that he may have long years upon this earth. I pray that he will grow to love the Lord with all his might, soul, and heart. I pray for his safety and God's perfect will in all he does. I pray for Elijah's salvation. And I know, anything I ask, in His name... will come to pass. What a promise.
"How beautiful heaven must be
Sweet home of the happy and free
Fair haven of rest for the weary
How beautiful heaven must be"
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Christmas was just fabulous - in spite of a rough start. On Tuesday, the 21st, Elijah started running a fever. By Wednesday, I stayed home from work and took him to the doctor. Tylenol would only bring the fever down a degree or so, even though he was only dressed in a onesie all day. Also, he threw up for the first time and was quite shocked by it. Poor little guy didn't know what was going on. By Tuesday night the fever kept climbing to 102.8... and I knew we had to do something. I googled home remedies and found on called 'vinegar socks'. I tried it and by God's grace, it worked! We cancelled our Wednesday trip to Mom and Dad's and instead went on Saturday.
We ended up with a White Christmas - thanks to Chris' prayers. He specifically asked for 6" and that is exactly what we got... after we'd got an inch of sleet. That snow is still present as our temps have been in the single digits.... and we've gotten two or three snows since then. It is very beautiful, in spite of the cold temps. I love watching the flakes fall!
Elijah has become quite verbal recently. No, we can't tell what he's saying but he's quite the chatter box. He seems to understand 'No' quite well... at least when HE'S using the word. He also says uh-oh, da (dad), tu (cup), and a host of other words that only Mommy understands. (I love it! Feels like we have our own secret language)
He's growing so fast. I seriously don't know where all the time has gone. He's soooo busy and curious. Makes me think of when I was pregnant. He moved non-stop! He's living up to that same reputation now.
A few memories:
- Tonight he grabbed a roll of clear packing tape and was using it for a steering wheel.
- Dinner isn't over until he's grabbed his utensils and held his own little 'concert'.
- He still loves baths - but now detests laying in the water to have his hair washed.
- Loves cheese curls - the cheesier, the better.
- Is so curious he makes my head spin!
- Repeatedly gets into my CD collection - in spite of all forms of correction
- Loves all the computers (I caught him standing at the desktop with the keyboard tray pulled out - he was furiously pounding away on the keys... not sure what he was typing, but he may have started his own blog!)
- Would rather 'operate' the camera than have his picture taken
- Has Daddy's 'fiddle-fingers'
Ah... I want to memorize it all and keep it all in!
On a more sober note, Andy and Syndi's baby boy, Isaac, is at Children's Mercy. His condition is quite odd... some type of infection in the stomach. His kidneys are only operating at 50%. It's hit quite close to home for me. I very well remember the days of visiting CMH... our visits were short. I can't imagine the Edwards pain.Just before Christmas the fuel pump in my car went out. There's always something, right? Thank God - it wasn't the timing belt as we'd originally thought. Ben was able to help us fix it!
January 17th we'll be starting Financial Peace University. I took it last summer, but this time Chris will be taking it with me. I'm very excited about it!
Grace has moved into the area... I'm loving having her here so close by. She's working very hard to gain the 'favorite Aunt' status with Elijah.
So much more I could write... but my bed is calling my name. G'night and God bless.