Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I Have a Secret to Confess.....

This is David Tennant, born David MacDonald. He is the tenth incarnation of Dr. Who, a show I previously did not know existed.

Now my life is complete. I have become..... A Whovian.

Dr. Who is gearing up for it's 50th Anniversary show. I can't wait.

Curse you, David Tennant. I can't seem to quit you. Em, what I mean to say is, thanks for the lovely distraction you give me from the struggles of day to day life. I tell my children we should get a Tardis. They roll their eyes. It's ok. Not everyone can love a show as much as another person. I think it's good to take a mental vacation sometimes.

David isn't just some fly-by-night actor, oh no. This gem of a man is a critically acclaimed actor, part of the RSC, the Royal Shakespeare Club. His Hamlet will bring you to tears. His bit on the Catherine Tate Show as the ghost of Christmas present, is one of my favorite pieces, and not just because he dances. Ok, that's partly it, but still. He's amazingly versatile. And what a wonderful family man. He adopted the son of his wife and they have had two more children together.

One day I hope to see him perform live in a play. This means I'll have to start saving my pennies for a trip to England.

And here is one of my favorite clips of Mr. David Tennant.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Beach Therapy a Little Too Soon

It's been a busy week here for Spring Break. Ashley had her surgery on Monday at Children's. It went well. They lengthened one tendon and moved two other tendons around in her arm. It's going to help her hand not contract as much and hopefully give her more use of it. It's been a bit difficult to control her pain, but I think we're doing much better now.

I had oral surgery on Tuesday. Glad that pain is over. I'm doing quite well today. Yesterday we decided to brave it and take the ferry to Kingston. We were planning on staying a couple of days. The weather has been gorgeous! However, once there we realized that Ashley wasn't up to staying, so we spent the day and part of the evening. She slept a bit due to the pain meds. We had a campfire and made hobo stew and s'mores. Allison brought her boyfriend, Andy, for his first Kingston Beach Cabin experience. It was lovely.

And here is a photo collage of our day. The moon was incredibly huge... Ah...beach therapy. There's nothing like it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hardening of the Heart

It is Saturday. I suppose I could be excused for not getting dressed until nearly 4 p.m. Again, perhaps not.

My eyes and my head have been throbbing. I felt fine when I woke up, then the pain began. Sometimes I wonder if the act of breathing in and out, thinking and worrying, or simply being conscious can bring me to my knees in pain.

After what has happened to me recently, I have done some reflecting. And although I post a great deal of what is going on in my life---those are tiny snippets of a larger, more complex and painful picture. However, I am told that the pain is my own, to keep or reject. I wonder though...if by rejecting the pain, does this cause your heart harden to a point past all caring?

When my only son was younger, we were constantly warning him about the physical dangers in his world. "Christopher, please don't climb so high in that tree. Critter, please slow down on your bike. Son, please wear your helmet and elbow pads when you are skateboarding. Chris, don't jump so hard on the trampoline, you'll fall off and hurt yourself."

We neglected to tell him not to climb out the second story window of our home and leap into the air, falling onto the trampoline below in his stocking feet. It never occurred to us that he would do such a thing. Upon landing, his feet went in different directions. Crying, he drug himself off the trampoline, into the house, up the stairs and into our bedroom. Stricken by his cries, because he never cried, we rushed to his side, only to have him explain in a hiccuping voice, what he'd done.

Action and instant consequence. Some call it Karma. Most of the time we don't get an instant consequence to our actions. Other times, we do. Touching a hot stove brings instant pain. A lifetime of abusing drugs or alcohol will damage a body. But what happens when we deign to deny our spiritual side? What happens when we knowingly go against what we know to be true and right? What happens when we cross lines we know we ought not to cross?

I could never bring myself to rob a bank. Not right away, of course. Perhaps I could start by taking a piece of candy from a drugstore. If I'm not caught, and my conscience doesn't squawk too awfully much, I might do it again. I might move on to taking a shirt I fancied, or a piece of jewelry. (Apologies for the word, 'fancied'. I have been watching an awful lot of BBC America) After a time, my conscience won't ever bother me again, because I've ceased to listen to it. Guilt is a thing of the past, and some would say that that's a good thing. Why feel guilty for anything? Why indeed.

One of our church leaders this weekend, during General Conference, said, "Guilt is to the spirit, what pain is to the body; a warning."

I'm not sure my son felt guilt when he leaped out that second story window. I do know he was remorseful the moment he hit the stretchy black trampoline and pain struck him. I like to think he learned a lesson that day---I know that I did. Despite all the dangers we warned our children against, no matter how much we taught them right from wrong, taught them to pray and to have faith---some of them simply needed to touch that hot stove for themselves. Some of them, despite loving counsel and repeated warnings, have felt the need to step over lines. Some are reaping consequences that will effect them far into the future. While there is still time to mitigate the damage, some damage is already done. It didn't have to be so.

I sometimes have difficulty separating myself from the actions and the consequences of my four children. I know I should. I know I must. My tears have dampened my pillow on many a night and I although I have placed my heartache and my burdens at the Lord's feet---I still ache inside for them. I hurt. They are, and always will be, a part of me. And while I stand ready to help, I cannot make decisions for them, I cannot save them. There is only One who can. All I can do is try not to harden my heart against the pain---and keep on loving.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


There are lovely buttery daffodils sitting upon a table in my living room. They are from my coworkers. My refrigerator is full of food from these same people, providing dinner for several nights for my family. While I would not suggest spending time in the hospital to receive such perks from your fellow man, it does soften the edges of my worry. I am blessed.

Sunday I experienced something I hope never to experience again. While meeting with my sister Julie at Fircrest to visit our sister Cheri, I was suddenly struck in the head with an axe. Not a real one, to be sure, but the feeling, oh the feeling, was very real. I crumpled and am told that I began screaming. Thankfully my sister called 911. Medics soon arrived and I am told six men were soon working over me. They were unable to find a vein, though that did not stop them from shoving needles into arms, hands, feet and fingers. While the pain of the needles barely pierced through the intense pain I was experiencing, I was aware of it happening on some level.

There ought to be another word for what I experienced---pain and agony do not convey the correct level of distress. I would experience ten natural childbirths at the same time rather than ever have my head explode again in such a manner. I regret using Google to look up images for Axe to the Head. Trust me, do not make that same mistake.

The Medic One unit brought me to the hospital. It was there they finally found a vein. Medication to calm me and relieve some of my pain was pumped into me. I remember being told that they had to do a lumbar puncture on me. I was writhing, eyes squeezed shut and saying no no no. Then it hit me that what was a lumbar puncture to what I was experiencing. Nothing. A mosquito bite. Zero. I didn't care. They worried I was having a stroke, or a brain bleed or one of a number of other terrible no good bad things that can happen to a brain. All I knew was that there was a pulsing axe deep in my head and oh how I begged them to take it out.

Then I was suddenly holding the hand of my 80 year old father, as my sister spoke to me and they continued to work over me. Then my husband was there, speaking to me, wiping my brow. Oh how I wanted him there with me. I begged him to make it stop. Give me a blessing, I begged, eyes screwed shut, clutching the sheet, feet moving on the bed. Please...a blessing. My father anointed me, my sweet husband gave me a blessing.

An MRI, CT scan, Lumbar puncture, ABG, pokes, more pokes, Open your eyes Pam, let me see your eyes, no...please. The light seared. It burned.

Please.....make it stop.

Finally, the horrific pulsing agony subsided into a pulsing migraine. I was admitted for four days. Hooked up to heart monitors, IVs and numerous medications. My electrolytes were out of balance, I was experiencing a prolonged QT heart rhythm at one point so severe that a group of nurses swarmed my room at 2:30 a.m., flipping on lights and working over me.

I kept my drapes closed. Sunglasses on. Minimal movement. Barely ate and what I did eat came back up. I wanted to go home....

Finally the pain become more or less bearable and last night they released me. I am told that I probably experienced a very rare event called a Thunderclap Headache. That, and an abnormal heart rhythm. It's like being struck in the head by a bolt of lightening---but worse. Oh, so very much worse. I am thankful to be better. I am tired, I am exhausted, my eyes are still very much light sensitive and my head aches but it is manageable.

I am to meet with a cardiologist, a neurologist and other 'gists. So many, many 'gists out there, aren't there?

I am so very sorry to have frightened my sister and my family like this.... and I am grateful Julie was there when it happened. Had I been driving I would have crashed. I am thankful for prayers lifted on our behalf. I am grateful for Petra Haderlie, Visiting Teacher Extraordinaire, who has brought dinner and is picking up my girls early each morning to take them to school until I am able to drive again. Thank you.