Nurse and Patient


I am a nurse.  I am a patient.  I have now spent about equal time on either side of the “bedrails” so to speak.

On these pages I would like to share some of those experiences from the perspective of a patient, who is also a nurse.

Topics: Bipolar, ADD, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Narcolepsy, Depression, Navigating the healthcare maze and being your own advocate, survival, dealing with your anger and other emotions.

Note: there is additional content on this topic on the blog! I have converted some of my Topics to tags, so for additional Nurse and Patient related stuff, and medical topics, just search Nurse and Patient in the search box in the right sidebar on the home page for additional posts after perusing to the pages linked below!  Thanks for reading!

Additional Articles

Other good links!

A lot of people invested in my faith and spiritual growth and well-being in life


Not that I didn’t realize this, but this morning in my quiet time, I wrote down as many as I could think of off the top of my head, and that is just a start, because there are people we encounter only once or twice, like Fred and Emma Coll, an elderly couple who looked out for me when I was 17 (1982)and traveled to Pennsylvania by bus by myself. They struck up a conversation, and it was immediately clear that they were believers. When they got off, I only had another hour to go. I got their address and we exchanged letters at least once. I wanted them to know I made it there safely.

I met an older gentleman in the pre-op before a spinal surgery who I truly think was an angel. Click to read it!

Family-wise, I can thank my parents for taking my siblings and me to church. My Grandma Thompson has a lot to do with my interest in prophecy, because I would sit and listen to her and my dad talk about that kind of thing.

In my youth, there was Mrs Arnold in Nursery, Mrs Kernus as my primary Sunday school teacher, Evangelist Terry McMillan was the one preaching the revival meeting when I got saved, while it was Mrs. Good  who led me through the gospel from the verses in scripture. Her husband Mr. Good was the earliest preacher I remember. There were various ones through middle school age, and then God put soooo many great Christians around me who had a true heart for teens, and lots of patience and love:

Pastor Brinkley, then John and Becky Batusic, Ernie and Rose Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Farrar, Donna and George Poulson, Kurt and Terry Hoebler, Bonnie and Bill May, and Gail and Brenda aways made sure we had food for special events. There also was Bo and Liz Cales*, Wendy Lazenby, Jane Brinkerhoff, Doug Falls, Billy Mitchell, and also Coach Galeski for soccer.  (*I have always suspected it may have been Bo and Liz who provided the full scholarship for me to attend a Christian school my Jr. Year.)

Mr. Nichols was our milkman, and he was our neighbor all of my growing-up years, at 2 different addresses, no less. I didn’t have a lot of interaction with him but when I did, He always talked about the Lord. He was a real 24/7/365 servant of the Lord. His personal vehicle was a red VW bus with a painting of Jesus, and Bible verses all over it. He drove it for decades, and either got a new one, with the same paint job, or got the painting done over. He handed out tracts on his milk delivery route, and in his off hours he served others by things like sweeping and cleaning the parking lots of low-income apartments, which was a good way to minister and reach the tenants with the gospel. He loved everybody no matter what, and that was back when racism really was an actual systemic and prevalent problem. Once when I was sunbathing, he spoke briefly from his yard, where he was getting into his delivery truck (Greenleaf Dairy, our towns very own), he gently, from a distance, admonished me like a Christian Grandad might do, and quoted a scripture. I didn’t appreciate it then, but it was the Lord’s message, and it convicted me and exposed a bit of a rebellious spirit I was developing toward the Lord that I would have done well to have taken to heart humbly and heeded. I’d had some disappointments about where I thought God had me headed, and then that plan ran into a dead stop. You can read about what I mean, in my blogged autobiography “Purple Morning Glories and Gold Lady Bugs”

Christian friends from church and youth groups were Ami, Laura, Harvia, Kim K, and Pam-from-Kentucky who is Bonnie and Bill’s niece, Shirl and Debbie, Daniel, Harold, Allen (Bubba), Darryl, Charlie, and Trudy. There were numerous others, my best friend Tammy, Holly, Cindy, David, Jim, Natalie, Steve, Susue, Bill, Johnna, Mack…. too many to count! Friends from school and neighborhood were my other besties Delilah and Gena and there was my best cousins Sheila and Pam near my age (as well as best friends gained in adulthood, Shannon and Barbara!)

There was the mission trip to Scotland. We went to various local churches and gave our testimonies, and description of the type of team, (work, evangelism or both) and location we were to join, and received “love offerings”,  as well as asking friends, teachers, relatives, neighbors, etc, to sponsor us for any amount, but we also babysat, raked yards, and did other things to raise funds to cover our plane tickets, and supplies and required items like boots, mess kit, sleeping bags, and other expenses.

The main/ head team leaders were Bobby and Lyn Carswell, and then Randy, Tim, Marilyn and  Nurse Debbie. Fellow team members, many of whom I kept in touch with for years, Wane, Rob, Patty, Cheryl, Kim, Cassie, June Moon, Karen, Sandy H, Harold, Todd, Janet, Djuana V, Patty D, “Flash” (aka the other Rob), Rick, Peter, Colleen, Scot, California Steve, Kip (it was the 80’s) Sheila Tay, Karen, Kerry, and “Squirrel”, Wanda, Christy, Kerry, Patty C., Qiiet Cathy, whose parents offered to let me stay the night at their home in Connecticut, because my flight got delayed (1981 was the summer of “the” Baseball Strike, and the Air Traffic Controller strike) because they saw me sobbing as I got off the pay phone with Mom, but I declined because I was afraid Mom would get mad, and the pay phone line was too long due to flight cancellations for me to call again. I was all out of change anyway. But God saw fit for a couple of the guys to bump into me again (LaGuardia!) and they were my protectors until the morning, to see me safely onto my later flight. God works things out!

Aside from that, I counted about 350  other people, from  school teachers, and Sunday School teachers, to doctors, to pastors, professors, online preachers, one-time encounters, online Christian friends all over the globe, fellow bloggers, nurses who cared for me, and nurses who worked with me, and at least ten churches, all of whom/which contributed to my well-being and faith and growth and the person  I came to be, by their encouragement, teaching, advising, protecting, prayers, care, wisdom, love, compassion, giving, and service.

On top of that, I got to be alive in this prophetic time, was born in America, and the Lord threw in parents who stayed together, opportunity to know all my grandparents, and two of my great-grandparents, and then gave me a sweet, gentle husband who loves me unconditionally and two sweet and kinda rascally ( now young adult) sons, and they got to know their grandparents and one great grand, plus a “spare set” in our beloved friends and neighbors Johnny and Barbara. Johnny, my Dad, my Father-in-law, and others have graduated to heaven and the best of all is saved for last, in that soon we all will be together again with our blessed Savior Jesus Christ, who gave the most precious gift of all time! He left heaven, took the form of human flesh as a baby, experiencing life from our perspective, personally. He lived a perfectly sinless life, doing only the will of God, then was beaten, mocked, and nailed to a cross to pay in full the price (ransom) for the sins of us all,  to redeem us back to fellowship with our Creator. All who will call upon Him by admitting you are a sinner, guilty before God, and believe He died, shed His blood as atonement to pay for something we could never make right ourselves, then rose from the dead, defeating death itself.  Ask Him to apply that grace to your guilt, setting you free from the eternal condemnation that we all deserve. It is not about keeping rules. The law and 10 commandments are not soap to clean you up. They are a mirror to show you your sin before a righteous, holy God, your need for cleansing. Nothing but the blood, just like Passover, can atone. The life is in the blood. Eternal, redeemed life is only in the blood of Jesus.

The hour is very, very late. The peace treaty between the UAE and Israel is the first step that will be followed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab, Mid East, and North African nations, which will later be made stronger by the coming antichrist. There is no cosmic enlightening, dawning of the age of Aquarius, next phase of “evolution”  coming. Q is not going to save America, and the Corona represents the crown that Satan believes is rightly his. The masks, have occult symbolism, as does the ritual hand-washing, and isolation. We are being forced to participate even now in an occult ritual, and you can see how this is effecting those who have no regard for God. They are literally acting like morons, because God has given them over to the madness that comes from complete rejection of God. The Holy Spirit presence in blood-bought believers is all that stands as a barrier between the full wrath of Satan, and humanity. People have fallen for tragic lies and deception is only just getting warmed up! God is separating His own from those who will soon be completely at the mercy of an angry, furious devil who has no mercy! God has been patient generation after generation. People foolishly think He is aloof, or mean, angry and harsh. But only mercy and grace have been extended in light of all the evil people have done, and “gotten away with”. Don’t you worry, God is keeping track. You best be considering what you yourself are guilty of. A millisecond will flip the switch from ” there’s still time” to “time’s up” That’s less than the time it took for George Floyd to die. Even less than it took for a bullet to shatter a little 5 year old’s brain. You wonder ” what kind of animal” could do those sort of things? The animal of the demonic sort. Those “aliens some think are coming to help humanity” are demons in E.T. costumes. Laugh now, but you will remember reading this when the truth stares you in the face. I will not have your blood on my hands. You will have no smirk, no bravado, no arrogance when you stand at the Great White Throne of judgment. You. Have. Been. Warned!

 

 

On the current governmental landscape


Even though I know the Lord is coming soon, “a hope deferred makes the heart siick” and I follow the political developments as well as the spiritual/prophecy related ones, though I rarely do posts on them any more. The fact remains, we are still here until we are not. Thus, I take an interest in what is going on in our government. I believe American’s political goings-on is a significant piece of end times things, in that America is such a key player in world power and economics. I will be glad when it is all over for the remnant church but meanwhile, my heart hurts for the victims of pure evil present (and rising) in the world. We are all sick of war and suffering and long to see Christ bring peace and order and show His power and authority to the arrogant and defiant people in power. I am thankful for the many believers ( remnant church) who woke up, fell on their knees and repented on behalf of the church, and our nation over the past decade. I believe that Trump is a mercy God has extended for the sake of those who humbled themselves and prayed and took accountability. But as I have stated often before, I don’t trust him any more than the others. So long as it looks like he is looking out for the nation and helping preserve our right to practice our religion, I will give him the benefit of the doubt, but as almost every other modern president has been a tool of the globalist agenda, he could be also, in ways we can’t yet see. He can do well for us now, and still make a move that is deadly for our nation in the future.

That is by no means intended to glorify Trump. Even most of his “spiritual advisors” are badly off in their theology. But if God ever uses anyone if He doesn’t use sinners, because that is all that is available to Him down here in the human race.

There are some professing Christians that think it is not proper for a believer to take any part or notice of politics. But if the charter citizens who came across the pond had adhered to that policy, America would not even exist. God ordained government. There have to be people in authority for any society to succeed.

I quit blogging about political stuff soon after the advent of the Q Anon phenomenon.  For those who don’t know what that is, I will try and explain.

You have no doubt heard the term ” the dark web” by now. The dark web is, to the cyber world,  in many ways, what the mafia is to civilization. It is a world where actors (not the Hollywood kind) can operate covertly and often without consideration for law. The dark web represents a lot of evil, but just as a task force sometines has to infiltrate and work from within the criminal element to defeat it, the dark web can be a means by which law-enforcers can neutralize the power of the lawless that is rampant online. The deep web It is a part of the worldwide web that is invisible to the general world populace of internet users because it is accessible only by special software, configurations and special authorizations. This network of untraceable online activity and websites cannot be found using search engines. This sector of the web is used by lots of different people and organizations to keep their web activity hidden for both good and evil intentions. The dark web is part of the deep web.

The difference between dark web and deep web is this: none of the deep web is accessible via search engines. Much of he deep web itself is not illegal for the average person to access, though it can be quite seedy. On the other hand, much of the dark web is illegal to access, and naturally those who practice crime, go there to facilitate their dirty business, whatever form it may take, under the cover of darkness it provides.

Unless you are trained, you can easily venture onto an illegal site on the deep web by accident. By contrast, almost anyone hanging out on the dark web is up to serious crime and evil, except for the ones on there for purposes of law enforcement.  Picture an iceberg in an ocean. The worldwide web is the portion visible above water, the deep web is the undersea portion of the iceberg, and the dark web is the unfathomable murky depths beneath the iceberg.

Dillan Curran of The Guardian states:

The darknet (or dark web) is one of the most fascinating vestiges of humanity we’ve ever seen. It’s an aggregated swamp of all the darkest aspects of internet activity – child abuse images, drug markets, gun shops, gore smut, stolen merchandise, anarchist guides, terrorist chats, identity theft, hacking services”

Back before Trump ran for office, some major hacking of government cyber intel took place via Bradley/Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, but of course they didn’t invent electronic espionage. Every nation who is anyone on the world stage, has to have their own experts because it is the new battleground.

Hackers obviously can be a major security threat, but some see Manning and Assange as heroes for exposing some if the graft in governnent and military, especially in relation to recent wars.

I have never delved extremely deeply into WikiLeaks and the Manning/Assange thing, but anyone who has a television is familiar with those names.

Well, the character known as “Q” purports to be someone using this same deep web tech to fight that graft we all (who are paying attention) know has been going on . Q is believed to be someone (Anonymous) very close to Trump, ( if not Trump himself) who has been using the deep web to communicate with the pro American- sovereignty/ anti globalist populace. He feeds coded messages to a select group of decoders using the Gematria and “twilight language”, (polysemic language, or double-speak. Words with dual meanings) with respect to “secret knowledge” or enlightenment. I think many of the “Anons” do not know the occult nature of this phenomenon that has so many in it’s thrall.  The messages are about all of this crazy stuff happening in the U.S. government and a supposedly secret plan of how to put an end to it. Many if not all of the Q decoders and Anons that I have watched or read, claim to be Christians, and some seem to zealously believe they and Trump are bringing about a God-ordained righteous salvation of America, of democracy, and thus of the world.

The problem is, the Gematria is pure occult, known primarily as a mystic tool of Kabbalistic Judaism. Some call it numerology. (Which is not the same as Bible numerics which merely notes the connection of certain numbers to actual events  or principles in scripture, but some do take even numerics so far, seeing patterns that are not there, and they  do veer over into numerology). The Genatria uses the Hebrew alphabet (the characters of which also serve as the Hebrew numerals) to get what they call  ” secret knowledge” like that with which Satan tempted Adam and Eve. The people you may see on YouTube who are discussing the messages (referred to as “Q drops” or intel drops) don’t seem to realize the occult nature of this whole setup they are following.

Therefore, I think it is important for people to be aware of the ” Q thing” because I believe it is facilitating the formation of the strong delusion of 2 Thessalonians 2: 11.

We are coming up on the presentation of Trumps peace plan in June. At the same time, Israel is being forced to eliminate threats coming out of Syria around and in Damascus (Isaiah 17), and meanwhile US jets intercepted, I believe, 6 Russian jets at the very edge of Alaskan air space last week, and our Navy has documented the presence of Russian subs off both our East and West coasts in recent months. Simultaneously, Trumps sanctions on Iran (regarding nuclear capabilities) and on China (regarding trade), as well as Turkey, regarding armament purchase agreenents Turkey made with Russia, and the new  Saudi pressure on Palestine to engage in a peace agreement, all of this aligns the world for the Gog-Magog war. With Trumps penchant for bluster, many are afraid he will provoke attack on the U.S.

With U.S. government in stalemate on policy and legislation, and Obama’s stacked courts helping the Dem’s continue their determined effort to take down of Trump, while Trump’s side apparently has a whole lot of irrefutable, soon-to-be-released evidence of treason on the part of Obama, Hillary, and the Dems, and the globalist enablers, right now the entire mechanism of U.S. government is nearly jammed completely to a dead stop. Such chaos, lawlessness, and disorder could easily lead to total collapse of government in the U.S., That would mean we could not help Israel when Russia/China/Iran/Turkey invade Israel to take their abundant oil and gas resources.

The Q phenomenon has conservatives convinced Trump really is draining the swamp, while the Dems in office, and extreme leftists in mainstream media, Hollywood and Music industry, public school and colleges all have convinced  the rest of the citizens that Trump is the criminal and his supporters are haters who deserve to die.

The investigations that have been known about on alternative media,  the rest of America (sleeping ones) is learning about on the mainstream news only now. These developments, were all revealed by code to Anons, and this started during Trumps campaign. Supposedly the patriots (people who want America to stay America) in our military and FBI, DHS and CIA were taking notes and making plans all along for the day Obama left office. Now they claim Obama and Hillary themselves are going to face charges of treason. Well, I don’t doubt treason went on, and no doubt good people did take action. But it will be to no avail in the end.

Some believe that anon/Q is all a hoax. But the info being fed out, seems to very  accurately predict things that do come to pass. Of course, so do some things that psychics predict, right?

Imagine with me, an apostate church practicing “centering prayer”, yoga, impartation by laying-on- of-hands. Disciples of Beth Moore and Joyce Myer and Paula White believing these (Jezabel) “pastors” are prophetesses hearing directly from God, and telling then they can, too! This has created millions of open doorways for individual demons to enter and gain power inside people and churches and society. Can you see how everything around us is getting so hard to make sense of? Does it feel like much of the human race has gone literally mad? Well, they have. You are not imagining things. But for me, it still bears watching what those in power are doing because it gives us cues as to the shortness of time remaining for the church.

Paula White claims she led Trump to the Lord. But seeing as Paula White is a false teacher, she could not have led Trump to our Lord. She led him to her lord, the god of this present world at this present time, which is Satan, who is masquerading as the “enlightened one” and he is that vague “higher power” everyone calls by different names. When they say “we all worship the same god, just different ways and by various names” they are correct. The Bible makes it clear you are either with Christ or against Christ. We are not “all god’s children” (born-again believers) but they actually all are the children of their father the devil.

And many who call themselves Christians are not. And some of them literally do not realize it. If you want to determine if someone who claims to be saved is really saved, witness to them. If they get indignant, they are one of the ones that thinks they are saved, but aren’t. And those kind are pretty impossible to reach because they think they have already done or are doing what is required for salvation, and thus are now inoculated against the true gospel.

Think about it! The ego of Donald Trump? Some emissary of the coming antichrist (Paula White) tells him God Himself has chosen him to save this nation and therefore the world. How would someone with a overblown estimation of their own power and influence react to such a declaration over them? Has Trump broken any laws? If he has, it would be financial, which might be why he refuses to produce his financial records, but good grief, Obama never even proved he was a citizen, so aren’t we beyond that now anyway? Ilhan Omar isn’t even a legal citizen since she falsified her immigration records and married her own brother so he could get citizenship too.

It would be so easy to hope this is the real plan of God. That somehow God has stopped the clock, granted some overtime, so our kids and grandkids get the chance to experience the America we used to be, and to see them have families of their own. But with the state of much of the young adults now, well, it is a very tall order, not that God doesn’t perform miracles, but there is still this little matter of the seventy weeks God ordained for His dealings with Israel, and the fact in scripture that tells us the age of grace is limited to a certain number of those getting save in this particular age or dispensation. That person could be on their knees this very second, and as soon as they call upon the name of the Lord and are saved, out we go!

And many say, “since the church was born, men have believed Jesus’ return was eminent, but all things seem to continue just as they always did before.

Exactly! That is exactly how God said it would be when Christ comes to claim His bride. That, and the comparison to Sodom and Gomorra and Noah’s day, to this time. The floods and tornadoes and fires and earthquakes, the increase in drug use that alters the consciousness of the users and lets the devil come right on in. The pedophilia, which is now in the process of being removed from the DSM as a mental illness, and joining the ranks of the LGBT LMNOP lineup. I see at least a couple of stories in the news each week of someone being arrested for having relations with their dog. And the kicker? They are not so much concerned about the act taking place, as they are about it being cruel to the dog. Dogs have assumed a very bizarre place in society today. And that phrase in itself is insane. But it is true. You cannot go anyplace, even a restaurant, without the possibility of encountering a dog, and I am not referring to real service dogs. The political correctness police are such a threat that people are afraid to kick out a dog. A whole lot of dog lovers will tell you they prefer the company of their dog to that of fellow humans. Every commercial has a dog in it. Or dancing. Or dogs dancing.  Crazy people are screaming about how cruel it is to deprive women of abortions. Their right to have a doctor stab a forceps into the baby’s brain through the soft spot opening babies have, or via the base of the neck where the spinal column connects to the brain. Their right to have that baby dismembered and pulled out in chunks. Our very own Governor here in VA, a former Pediatrician no less, coldly and ludicrously stating that if the baby survives the abortion, they will make it comfortable before they let it die, if that’s what the patient decides. Excuse me, one of the patients. The other one is not given a choice.

If you knew the real statistics about the prevalence of child sex trafficking, pedophilia in those in power, the sheer magnitude of brutality on children, born children in whom the capacity to feel pain is not debatable…the aborted ones suffer, but at least it is usually over in minutes, while many kids are used 30 times a day from as early as 2 years old, until their early death by age 11 sometimes by snuff, and I am not referring to tobacco. Snuff as in life snuffed out, via some sick fetish or even occult sacrifice.

When you know these things, you can hardly bear to even pray about them because even holding the knowledge in your conscious mind for a few minutes can be so horrible and disturbing and upsetting.

Most people are willfully ignorant. Many who know it goes on, refuse to think about it. Seared consciences.

Once you know, you can’t un-know. How many E.R. doctors and nurses, school teachers, police officers must harden their hearts in order to just do their job? God must address the evil because He is a just God. No one will have an excuse, who participated in the atrocities the human race inflicts upon one another. Nor will they be able to say they didn’t know it was wrong. Because they all had a conscience at one time. They did evil by choice.

Every day there are news stories of children dying in locked cars because parents are so busy,  stressed, drugged out, or sonetimes for sheer selfish convenience? How many children (and women) go missing every single day in America. America is the number one producer and exporter of only one thing now. Pornography.

The love of money, makes multi-million dollar business owners take huge salaries while the backbone workers receive a barely subsistable salary? Big business, Big Pharna, Big Banks rob from the middle class, give enough to the poor to secure their vote, and view both as useless eaters they plan to soon be rid of anyway. And just like a movie plot, many of those will find they are not as elite as they thought, when someone richer, more powerful eliminates or enslaves them. And then the next echelon until it reaches the antichrist, Satan himself, believing he has conquered God, and even Satan is going to find out Who is really in charge.

That is a lot of delusion yet to occur.

I am glad I won’t be here. I hope you are ready. I hope the people I have shared the gospel with have truly considered it. I hope those who call themselves Christians but never had any desire to learn more about the Lord, or do anything for others in service to Him, have really examined themselves using the Bible as their reference, because your heart can fool you. And these days, most people have been duped into believing feelings are facts.

I thank God for His mercy, and I am so glad He has a plan because sitting here in this world right now, the knowledge that I will leave this world some day soon is the only thing making it bearable. The atmosphere here, we are not designed to thrive in. We are passing through on our way to our real Home with the Lord.

God help America, God help the unsaved, God help the innocent children, and I would not want to be their abusers come judgment day. There is an unveiling happening even now. Exposing things, but one day all of it will be laid bare, and that is only after God gives Satan his 7 years of complete freedom. You like to watch the Walking Dead? you’re going to experience it. in full living color, if you do not put your faith in the sacrifice of blood shed on Calvary as your Passover. Your deliverance. Your redemption. You need a Redeemer. You know you are lost, but you don’t realize how lost. Your chance to do anything about that is coming to an end very, very soon. You have been warned, and your blood will not be on my hands when I stand before God. The state of our government is bad. But not nearly as bad as it is going to get. Not by a long shot. All the horrors you love to watch and pay money to see in the theatre and on your television or computer, that thing you love to feed  on now, will be your reality then. Wake up, see truth. Surrender and submit to the Grace God is offering today, because that is going to end as well.

________

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/24/darknet-dark-web-hacking-forum-internet-safety

January 2014 has come and nearly gone! How’s it going thus far?


I don’t know about you, but time seems to have taken on a very elastic quality for me these days.  Our oldest son is set to graduate from High School in a mere four months and head off to basic training a couple of weeks after that.  So of course it seems like only a couple of months ago we were bringing that little bundle nervously home from the hospital, wondering how it was that those nurses and doctors were about to allow two completely inexperienced people drive off with that brand new and utterly helpless tiny infant human.

I have shared much with readers about myself and my life in this blog.  The new format is conducive to news but a little stuffy for the more personal stuff, don’t you think?  Yet my “on a personal note” posts seem to draw the most interest.  I think we all enjoy glimpses into the lives and hearts (and minds) of others, if only to know that we aren’t alone in the struggle to make sense of things in this thing we call life.  It’s natural curiosity, and it’s also part and parcel of our humanity.  Despite being a society that is becoming less personally interconnected, we cannot deny our own nature.  People need other people.  In a day and time when fewer people are willing to admit that, it remains an immutable truth.

Well, it’s that time of year!  Tax time!  Another task that automatically forces a person to sort of review the year past.  Do you know what it was about the tax stuff that blew me away this year?  (Well, aside from the headway we have made on the bills for my husband’s surgery and chemo treatments, and our younger son’s surgery-praise the Lord for that!).  The shocker this year was the “year-to-date” cost of the medicine for my narcolepsy.  I have been far and away the person in the family who has generated the most medical expenses in our family for the past decade and a half.  Whereas this year my actual doctor’s visits were limited to one visit to my sleep doc, one to the rheumatologist, and two to my primary.  That’s a pretty darn good health year for me!  Yet my medication alone was in the very high five figures, and getting dangerously close to six.  It’s not  just the cost, but the fact that in the four and a half years that I have been on it, the cost has quadrupled.  Tell me there is not something terribly wrong about that?  But I am not exaggerating  in the least when I say that this medication has not only saved my life, but given me back a quality of life that makes living bearable.  I praise and thank God for this!

Generally a pharmaceutical company retains all of the exclusive rights for manufacture and sale of a medication for a certain number of years in order to recoup their investment in the research, development and testing, before the other Rx companies are allowed to produce a generic which will cut into the profits of the company who holds the patent on the original formula.  But there is a category of pharmaceutical products known as “orphan drugs”.  That’s what my medicine is.

Orphan drugs are a special category of pharmaceuticals that exclusively treat rare disorders.  Treatment for an uncommon disorder which only a relative “handful of people” (in the U.S. it the designation is 200,000 or fewer) suffer from, does not offer the lure of lucrative profit potential, and which no company is willing to take on the cost of research, development  and production of, because they would be unable to recoup their investment.   This designation of “Orphan Drug” is applied to these discoveries which the scientific community and public recognize as inherently valuable in their potential to make a very significant (often life-saving) difference for those relative few, and therefore deem the worthy developing for society’s sake.   Thus other means of financing the research and development have been devised, including tax breaks and extended exclusivity of the patent (seven years) in order to encourage pharmaceutical companies to take on the production of the needed drug.  The Orphan Drug Act was passed in 1983 and since then 7,000 medical conditions have become treatable which had not been  treatable prior to the Act.  It is easy to see why the Orphan Drug Act is a good thing, but the downfall is that since only one company will be given these exclusive rights and privileges, that company,  in effect, creates a monopoly over that period of time, and can drive the price up precipitously, which in effect defeats the purpose, since it is then priced out of reach to most of those patients who stand to benefit.  Of course, charitable agencies often move in and take up the cause on behalf of the needy patients, but in the long run, this still results in what, to me anyway, seems like an unethical gain on the part of the pharmaceutical company.  A company can also stretch the parameters of this law by coming up with new applications for old drugs.  I understand there is a “bottom line” to be considered, but when a company takes advantage of loopholes and special provisions which were intended to benefit the needy patient with a rare condition, and it serves instead to line the pockets of “fat cats” at the top of the food chain in much the same way that has occurred in the banking industry, well, it’s just not right!  It is reprehensible and this is the type of excessive personal gain that has given Capitalism a bad name.  Big Pharma has a huge amount of clout in the political arena, lots of money to throw around after candidates willing to cater to their interests.  There is nothing wrong with a Pharmaceutical company recouping their investment to develop a medication that benefits humanity as a whole, or even making a profit, but not if the purpose of the law is circumvented and defeated thereby.

Don’t get me wrong.  Capitalism in it’s pure and true form, is good and a great part of what once helped make America the most prosperous nation on Earth.  But the bad apple of greed has a way of spoiling the whole bushel basket.  Nothing new under the sun, though, right?

So you’re thinking: “Corruption is rampant, so what else is new?”.  Why write yet another post about it?

I guess that caveat, that principle of there always being someone “out there” manipulating things for their own benefit alone, and to the detriment of others, that struck that  sore spot for me as I was going through our tax stuff. Honest, “good guy” folks do seem to finish last.  We live with inequity and slights and unfairness every day in this world.  Some much more than others.  Because it doesn’t just happen in business.  It happens in many aspects of life.  Sometimes it’s in personal relationships;  A “friend” who is only a friend when it’s convenient; a church leader who seems sincere, but proves to have been manipulative or duplicitous; a trusted city official who pilfered from the coffers to supplement her own lavish lifestyle.

I guess I have a strong sense of justice, and I will admit that for a great deal of my life I naively expected that if I lived by the golden rule, the same would come back to me.  It is a rude awakening to find out that is not the case.  But the thing is, that doesn’t let me off the hook, now does it?  Yeah, that’s the kicker for a Christian.   Our nature is to quickly recognize the wrongs of others, but our God-given mandate is that we are to turn that same scrutiny upon ourselves.  We don’t get to point to our obedience and say that we are doing “a better job” of living an upright sort of life, because our example isn’t Joe Pharmaceutical, CEO.  We have been provided a standard by our Standard-Bearer, and we don’t get to be smug just for doing  what we are supposed to do, not even if we were to find ourselves the only ones left playing by God’s rules.  We also don’t get to say, “well, nobody else is doing it so why should I?”.  We might be very tempted, especially in a world where standards get lower by the second, to go that route, but it is not justified.  And it won’t pass muster on judgment day.

One of my favorite possessions is a copy of Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest” which is in journal format.  It was a gift from my “best cousin” for Christmas in 2004.  I can look back over those years and read what I wrote on a certain date each given year since then, and I can see where my mind was at that time, where understanding was very poor in certain areas ten years ago, and some progress in the intervening years and in new challenges.  At the same time, I also can see patterns where certain areas seem to be harder to grasp.  A step or two forward, followed by a step back.  The Christian life is like that.  We learn lessons, but we so easily lose sight of them and fail to recognize their application in the new set of circumstances we face in the present day, and so it can sometimes seem like we are having to learn the same lessons over and over.  It is such a good thing God is so patient with us.  It is such a good thing, when we get discouraged or frustrated at our own seeming inability to gain mastery in our spiritual understanding, to realize that God is a patient and loving Father who knows we are still learning.  We truly are like sheep who need a shepherd.  Sheep will get themselves into all sorts of ridiculous messes that they aren’t equipped to get themselves out of.  But the shepherd doesn’t hold our weakness against us.  He knows what we are.

So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many are called, but few chosen.

Chosen for what?

Somebody has to be last!  The meek shall inherit the Earth.  There always have been the poor, among us.  There always have been those more materially endowed, those more beautiful, more talented, more charismatic, more adored.  What is God’s purpose in this?  Where does that leave “the rest of us”?

I have to confess that sometimes I get an attitude.  “God, look, I have been killing myself down here, choking back my words when someone has crossed lines, trying to overcome evil with good, giving of my time and money, helping someone in need, being sensitive to others and thoughtful of ways to encourage them or bring a smile to their face.  Why does it seem that the more I try to do this, the more alone and isolated I feel in the endeavor?  Why do I have to always be that one?  Why am I still trying?  Forget it, I’m going to worry about me for a change!”  True confession!  And very telling of my underlying motives.  If I am doing anything in hopes of reaping the same benefits from others in return, then I am doing it for the wrong reasons. There is not some “cosmic bank account” wherein we make deposits against which we can rightfully expect to make later withdrawals as needed.   I should be doing what good I can with regard to God’s own generosity on my behalf. Period!  If not, I’ve gotten myself “above my station”.   I used to know that.  When did I lose sight of it?  It is so easy to allow life’s trials to make us cynical.  Proper perspective is everything.  God doesn’t command us to “bless them that curse you” as an exercise in piety.  God blesses those who curse Him (hate Him, ignore Him, defy Him) on a daily basis;  with health, and food, shelter, sunshine, the breath of their lungs, their life-sustaining heartbeat.  God doesn’t love us because we love Him, He loves us because it is His nature to love.  Love is not our nature, but the new nature of Christ within us should prevail in love through us, if we are rightly aligned with His Word and His Spirit in our hearts.  Something is out of joint if that is not the case.  Jehovah Jirah, my provider.  His GRACE is sufficient.  Unmerited favor is generous enough!  I am sorry, but we are not entitled to “more” as long as we are here on this Earth.  Though there is a great inheritance that awaits us in eternity.

Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

It is really none of my business why God seemingly blesses someone else “more” in monetary terms, in physical terms, in terms of talent or beauty, even in strength and health.   Scripture warns many times that we should not be envious of the wicked, who seem to defy the rules and enjoy all the pleasures life has to offer, with nary a twinge of conscience. But this doesn’t just apply to envying the godless.  It applies to all envy and covetousness.   Is thine eye evil because I am good?  What does that mean?  Do we look at God, who is generous even to those who do not love or honor Him, and grow angry and defensive as if we actually deserve to be blessed ourselves?  Do we envy what God has seen fit to give to others and question His fairness?  Envy is a snare and coveting tells the tale of our sin-nature.

Here is a thought that I have to credit to a song by Christian singer and comedian Mark Lowry.  Christian; whatever you have today is more than you deserve, considering the fact that before your salvation, you were bound for hell itself.  We forget that, don’t we?  After being a Christian for a lot of years, we forget that was our original (default) destination.

We see someone else’s good fortune and even while we are sincerely happy for them, we ask, “God, why haven’t you ever done anything like that for me? Why does my life have to be so hard?” I don’t care who you are, or what challenges you are up against.  There is always someone worse off, and

Mark Lowry had an “eloquent” way of putting it in this tongue-in-cheek “white boy rap” song entitled Sure Beats Hell, released in ’94 on his hilarious “This Is The Life” album.  (I bought it on cassette and just about wore it out!  I still have it, and pull it out from time to time).  Click song title above or photo below to listen!

Sure Beats Hell

 

 

 

 

Rapist-zapping, Police-notifying anti-Rape Underwear (Randomocity Warning)


I wonder if it includes the ultraviolet dye pack?
Arresting Officer: “Sir, I’m going to need you to step in front of the black light and remove your pants”

Underwire bra: Rapist-zapping, police-alerting underwear developed in India

Underwear that can shock a sexual assailant like a Taser and automatically call police is three Indian students’ answer to sex crimes in the country. They were inspired by the infamous gang rape of a medical student in Delhi last year.

The circuit that can deliver a 3,800 kV zap…(Read the Rest)

Interestingly enough, this is not the first “electric underwear” to be invented!

Smart-E-Pants used to prevent bed sores by sending minor electronic jolts to the gluteus maximus to increase circulation to the area.  Won’t the nurse be jealous of granny’s Buns of Steele?  I think they are missing out on a huge un-tapped market sector!  Why limit themselves to patients with bed sores?  How about busy executives and soccer moms who just don’t have time to go to the gym?

And then there is this version that can actually send a text-message for notifying a caregiver of incontinence.

Okay, maybe I’m getting carried away here, but there is even a version of heated underwear that has something to do with prostate care, but let’s not go there.  Wow, the things you can learn on the internet!

Sorry-It’s a chemo day, feeling a little punchy!

 

electric underwear

Source

******************

While I’m at it, here are a few more chucklers:

wheels turning but hamster dead

can't afford a doctor

whats wrong with my brain

 

 

 

My (Blogged) Autobiography “Purple Morning Glories and Gold Lady Bugs”


A purple morning glory

And a gold lady bug

God’s way of sending me

A heavenly hug

The splash of a raindrop

And the roar of the wind

Sitting on my front porch

Watching mighty trees bend

The grace of a dancer

Carried on a melody

A peacock strutting with colors spread

For all the world to see

My Father loves to see me smile

And I can know that He cares

By the lightening bugs twinkling

In the summer evening air

A baby’s funny toothless grin

Fall leaves that whisper in the wind

All of these are love letters

Sent straight to me from Him

Just like those purple morning glories

And gold lady bugs

Copyright STLloyd 9-8-2006

 

Introduction

Everybody has a story.  For what it is worth, this is mine; the story of me, a very strange and unique individual.   It’s the story of a young lady in her late teens and 20s, a mom in her thirties, me, now middle-aged, and my daily triumphs and failures through nearly 30 years of dealing with pain, turmoil, and periods of mental illness.  I will share what it is like to live with debilitating depression, what may have been bipolar or may have been post-traumatic stress disorder, depending which doctor you believe, and the tough lesson of the importance of boundaries.  You will perhaps relate to my horror stories of the years-long struggle to navigate the treacherous waters of health care in an attempt to obtain accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. I’ll take you on an adventure over the brink and back again, and describe what it is like to live life “without a skin”.  At times while reading this, you may get the feeling you are reading the story of someone with multiple personalities.  There were certainly times I wondered about it myself.  It’s a roller-coaster ride, so strap yourself in.  At times you may think I must be making it all up, as it may sound unbelievably relentless.  You may feel camaraderie, or at least empathy, as my story resonates, because at some time, maybe even now, you or someone you love has “been there”.  It may be a relief that finally someone has put the experience into words.  If you have never experienced anything like it, you may be put off, close the book in disinterest, discounting me as a malingering, whining hypochondriac, who should pull herself up by her bootstraps and “get over it”.  And that’s okay.  You may simply be fascinated by the truth you read here, in its candor and honesty, and drawn like a witness at the scene of a horrific accident, from which you can’t seem to turn away even though you want to, and that is okay too, because even ugly truth can set someone free.

Prologue

I had a normal childhood in a lower- middle-class family, two parents who loved their kids and each other and stayed married, 2 brothers and one adopted sister. At the age of 15 I was a bubbly, outgoing and very idealistic teenager.  I wanted to go to a Christian College and become a missionary.  But as these things often go, my life didn’t turn out that way.  This book, more than anything, is about that detour, and how God makes beautiful mosaics out of broken pieces.  But reader, beware!  A glimpse inside this particular mind is not for the faint of heart.  Before it’s over, you will likely have laughed, cried, talked out loud to a book, vowed you wouldn’t finish it, and picked it up again.  But when you turn the final page, you will walk away with a feeling of satiety only otherwise gained from a good home-cooked meal, and for the same reasons.  No artificial ingredients!

Yes, I am the Rachel Ray of words.  I am reclaiming the right to skip therapy and call a spade a spade, to let my mind wander over the battlefield and talk about it, speaking directly to and from the heart, because there really is no better way.  I don’t care much for today’s soundbites, and “status updates”.  I like the old-fashioned way that takes time.  So kick off your shoes, and come wade in with me, into the not-so- still, but very deep waters.

© S.T. Lloyd 2012 Purple Morning Glories and Gold Lady Bugs

So much stuff is in my head.  Wonder if it would be read, if I put it in a book?  Wonder if they’d take a look?

Chapter 1

Hi, My name is Sandee, and I’m an Eclectomaniac!

Eclectomaniac  (iˈklekt’oˈmā-nē-ək): one who has a myriad of interests and aptitudes, moods and personas, who fluctuates between relative extroversion  accompanied by bursts of creativity,  and  periods of  withdrawn solitude and contemplation, and  who seldom hones any specific ability to its maximum potential, by virtue of an over-abundance of options.

I totally made that up!  But it is true, so it should be coming soon to a dictionary near you!

And besides, it describes me.

Favorite song: “What A Wonderful World”-Louis Armstrong

Favorite poem: “Daffodils” -William Wordsworth

Favorite movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life”-Frank Capra

Favorite book: “Gone With The Wind”-Margaret Mitchell

Favorite fictional character: “Junie B. Jones”

Favorite food: All forms of potato, especially where cheese is also involved. I would say M&M’s but I’m told that doesn’t really count.

Favorite Colors: Purple and Aqua, then Yellow, Orange, and Peridot

Favorite music: Reggae, Big Band Swing, Jazz, acapella hymns and negro spirituals, Celtic,

Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving because it’s like Christmas but without all the stress

Favorite Season: Fall, then Spring

Favorite Vacation: Ocean, or mountains.

Favorite Flower: Daffodil

Favorite Weather: Colors of Fall, Snow of Winter (only before Dec.26th), Wind of Summer and Fragrance of Spring.

Favorite Fragrance: Gardenia

Favorite  Leisure: Reading, writing, painting (acrylics), crafting

Favorite Activity: Walking

Longest running friendship besides family: 42 years

Most embarrassing moment: In nursing school physical assessment lab, during live practice of breast exam, I jealously blurted out: “Aw man,  you must work out, you have way better muscle tone than I do!” (My practice patient turned pink, and behind curtains all over the lab,  came a moment of silence and then everyone cracked up).  Well, at least it took the edge off of a very nerve-wracking part of the practicum.

Funny True Story: Once I was gardening in my yard and a gnat flew up my nose. I gasped and of course it became lodge near the back.  I was coughing, sputtering, hacking, flailing and laughing so hard I had to cross my legs so I wouldn’t, you know, leak.  Alone.  In my yard.  With cars driving by.  I finally had to swallow it.

Best Feature: My eyes (I felt that way even when I still had my girlish figure)

Worst Feature: Impulse control, maybe?

Zany things I did just because I wanted to:

Once I stopped my car on the narrow left shoulder of the Downtown Expressway because the whole medium was filled with daffodils.  It was Friday mid-day rush hour and I climbed the embankment and sat among the flowers as the hectic traffic whizzed by.  Then I picked an armload of the daffodils so I could prolong the moment and take some of the beauty with me.

A friend and I kidnapped a pink plastic flamingo from a trailer park late one night during a snowstorm, snapped several pictures of us with it, then brought it back 2 weeks later, also after dark.

Minutes of fame: I have been on the radio 3 times, had articles published in newspapers 4 times, been interviewed on TV once, and appeared in a newspaper photo twice; once as a Junior Volunteer (Candy Striper) when I was 14, and again with my youngest son when a reporter saw me pulling him around town in his little red wagon on a balmy day.  If you add it all up it only comes to about 4.5 minutes of fame.

Most valuable thing I ever lost: Read my book (in progress) and you’ll know.

Most thrilling experience: Parachute drop simulator.  LOVED IT!

Best thing I ever did “just for myself”: My “Happy Party” I threw for myself in February of 2002.  People came from as far away as West Virginia and North Carolina just to show me they loved me, and bring me cheer and laughter.  For entry, all attending were required to bring one thing that would make me laugh.  (By that time, it was rarely happening spontaneously anymore).

Best surprise: Hubby pulled off a surprise party for my 42nd Birthday with the help of my friend Tam.

Best gifts I ever got: Salvation through Jesus, My husband Garrett, my sons Benjamin and Isaac

Jobs I’ve had: Clown, Cashier, Medical Assistant, Fine Jewelry sales, Waitress, Concierge, Muralist, Art Class Teacher’s Aide, Call-center,  R.N. Hospice-Oncology, Home Health-Hospice, Home-Health Supervisor, Outpatient Surgery, G.I. Specialist office, Private Contract Nurse performing in-home assessments for extended-care policies, School Nurse.

Other Licenses: Insurance Sales Agent, Cosmetologist and Cosmetology Instructor

Other: I love rocks, prisms, and stained glass and color and light.  I’d design a house using all these elements  if I could design my dream home.

Where to begin?

From the time the Lord put in my mind the idea of writing down my story and sharing it with others, I have always known that it would happen sort of “all at once”.  That I’d just have to start writing and let it flow, because I have to trust the Holy Spirit within me, to make anything good out of all that is in my head about my life.  The last thing that I want to do is bum people out.  I want to encourage!  I have my own brand of that.  Not the kind that just says positive things that amount to wishful thinking and that have no basis in experience, but encouragement offered from the perspective of someone who has been through some things and is willing to share for the sake of easing the way for someone else.

I will begin my story in 1973.  I was 9 when I went forward in a “revival meeting” at my church.  The preacher’s name was McMillan, and he wore white patent leather shoes.  It was the next-to-last night and he’d spoken about heaven, describing the golden streets and pearly gates. I don’t really remember feeling particularly convicted as a dirty rotten sinner at the age of 9 (that would come later), but I did understand there was something I needed to do if I wanted to be saved and go to heaven when I die, so I went up there to find it out and do it.  The pastor’s wife was the one who “counseled” me and showed me verses in the Bible to help me understand.  She told me that we all are sinners, and when she asked me if I ever did things I knew were wrong, I confessed that I did.  She explained that sinners go to hell, but we don’t have to if we will believe in what Jesus did when He died on the cross and paid for our sin.  She then led me in a prayer to ask Jesus to save me and come live in my heart.

I was very happy about this new relationship and I knew that it was a relationship. I felt the happiness of being on good terms with God, and I felt Him with me, as a friend and companion that I talked to all the time, about everything.  Through my teens, I was very serious about keeping my prayer time, having my devotions, learning scripture, and being involved with my youth groups, church, choir, Vacation Bible School, etc.

By the time I was 14 I pretty much knew I wanted to go to a Christian College and eventually the mission field.  At 15  an unknown benefactor paid a full scholarship on my behalf to attend the Christian school in town, and I loved everything about being in that school that year.  During that time, I also made plans to go on a summer missions trip to Glasgow, Scotland with Teen Missions International.  The Lord provided the money and with the fearlessness that comes with being young and living in a time when pedophilia and serial killers and child-abductions were yet rare occurrences,  off I went for our boot camp in Florida and then over the pond.  Even though my mom had always been very protective, she and Dad apparently believed the Lord wanted me to go and would take care of me.  It was an awesome summer!  I met lots of kids from all over the U. S., flew for the first time, loved Scotland, (it was the year Charles and Dianna married, so their faces where everywhere) and we got to witness and sing and do puppet shows, and even some sight-seeing, (although the day of the “Loch Lomond outing”,  I opted to stay back and write letters, which would have been fine, except the group made a last minute decision to go a little further and see Loch Ness).

Here is Loch Lomond:

 

Loch Lomond image via visitscotland.com

Cameron House commons.wikimedia.com

This would have been the lovely views at Loch Lomond which my team-mates saw, but I did not.

I did enjoy touring the Robert Burns Cottage in Ayrshire.

 

commons.wikimedia.org

I also enjoyed seeing Edinburgh and the Edinburgh castle.

Well, enough of the sight-seeing.

After I got home from Scotland, I went back to public school for my senior year.  As far as I recall,  my parents didn’t even check to see if the scholarship could be extended to my senior year.  I think they felt like that would have been like asking for charity.  I wanted to stay at the Christian School.  As such, I started  my senior year already feeling some disappointment.  It wasn’t like it was all that hard to re-adjust, after all I’d been to school with that group all those prior years, but the closeness I’d had with others in the smaller setting, the teachers I’d gotten attached to, well, I really missed that.

I applied to 3 Christian Colleges and was accepted at all three.  I had decided I really wanted to go to Covenant in Lookout Mountain, TN.   I had no idea how to go about making it happen, though.  There wasn’t anyone among my immediate friends or family who had been to college that could offer me guidance, and our school wasn’t particularly helpful or pro-active in preparing or helping kids with the process back then.  Most of the kids who went to college, had parents before them who went, and they were already in the advanced classes, so the counselors knew them. I think they had a bit of an advantage.  I was only in advanced English, and in fact was lagging in math.

I knew enough about college to understand I had to fill out financial aid forms, but my Dad pretty much felt all that financial info was nobody’s business but his own, and he refused to fill them out or sign them, or let my mom do it.  My parents did not encourage me, in fact, they discouraged me because they said there was no way they could pay and they didn’t see the point.  They were not aware of all the possible scholarships, etc, that might have been available, had I applied for aid. (I remember sitting in an assembly near the end of Sr. Year and hearing the names of all the top-of-the-class being called up and awarded scholarships.  I recall feeling bewildered, wondering how they got them and how they knew how to get them).  So, there went my plans!  It wasn’t my parents fault.  They just didn’t know.  They were clear that they weren’t going to go in debt for it, though, and I don’t blame them for that.  My grades and activities were good enough I could have probably gotten a full scholarship (I did later, for Nursing School) but not having any guidance or support, I just sort of figured (like I did about a lot of things) that there are those who could and those who couldn’t.  I thought those other kids were just smarter than I was.

The kids who went to college were the same kids who did most of the other things that I (and my bunch) didn’t, like have their own car as soon as they got their license, go on senior trips, spend ridiculous amounts of money on their class rings, etc.  A lot of people looked at it as the “haves” vs the “have-nots” but we were a fairly small factory-town, and most of the kids were in the same financial echelon that my family was.  I never felt cheated or envious of those things, I just accepted what was, and didn’t give much thought to how anyone else lived.  I was a happy kid, pretty much content with what we had.

But when graduation rolled around, and I had outgrown the youth groups I attended, and my school friends all scattered, some to college, some who had already secured jobs and gone to work, I had no plan to look forward to.  I had 3 friends that I hung out with mostly.  One of them started working before graduation, leaving school early to work part of the day each day.  Right after graduation she went to work full-time, and soon she had moved into an apartment and was in a pretty serious relationship.  One of the other two left for the Air Force as her only option to escape a bad home life, and the other got engaged and enrolled in community college classes and we fell out of touch.

Since I wasn’t going to Bible College, I had no idea what else I might want to study, so I got a job as a cashier at a local store of a family-owned chain.   It was a great company and the pay was better than most “starter jobs” around.  It started above minimum wage.

I was really floundering at this point.  It seemed like everything had changed and I really felt lost without my usual peer group, routines and activities to count on. People were always asking me what my plans were.  It did not take long for me to feel really down on myself.  There were a good number of other kids near my age, and slightly older who were taking classes locally and working at the store, and they were fairly fun to work with.  After-work  and weekend gatherings would often take place (store was closed on Sundays), and invariably a few here and there would pair off in couples.  I didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, curse, didn’t attend movies with profanity and scantily-clad women, so I didn’t have much in common with most of the young adults I met there.  They did sometimes just throw together an impromptu volleyball game, or pizza outing, but still, I never was very comfortable just plunging in with a group that I was not familiar with, and had no experience in social realms outside of church and youth group.  I had always been somewhat shy, and though I was comfortable, outgoing and “popular enough” among my Christian friends, I had no idea how to fit myself in among this other crowd and found myself always winging it, just striving not to stick out like a sore thumb among these worldly and “sophisticated” young adults.  To counter my social timidity, I learned to project a confidence I didn’t have.  I got so good at it, I sometimes fooled myself, but it was a skill that later would prove valuable on job interviews, scholarship essays, in dealing with intimidating or difficult people, life in general.

There was one guy I had met while in Pennsylvania after my senior year, when I went to visit one of my friends from the mission trip.  We sort of had a long-distance “courtship” briefly, until one day he said to me that God had told him that he was supposed to marry me.  That both scared me, and made me mad, since I had never been the girl who grew up daydreaming about her wedding day, and had not given marriage one moment’s thought yet at that point in my life, and also because if God meant for him to marry me, I’d have thought God might have let me in on it.  That was the end of that.  I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore.

But as the second summer after high school wound down, I felt more lost and aimless than ever.  I had my own car by then, and was visiting some other churches.  But I couldn’t seem to find anywhere that had much “life” to it, and besides that, I was starting to be upset with God.  I couldn’t understand why He hadn’t worked things out for me to go to college.  I kept asking “what now?”.  I mean, there I was, wanting to serve Him, and it really started to feel like He had rejected me.  Without the old moorings, I hung out with the work crowd more and more.  It was fun to just joke around, to be friends with both guys and girls.  I guess I was on the receiving end of some flirtation, but my standards were still pretty high as far as the type of guy I might consider dating, and I frankly did not know a single guy who fit the bill.  Nor did I have a clue where or how I might ever meet someone like that.   As the weeks passed, going into fall, that became something else I was upset with God about.  All my other friends seemed to be in serious relationships, getting engaged, etc.  I hadn’t really even dated anyone seriously yet.  (Have you picked up on my deficiency in the patience department?)

As you can see, I really understood very little really about God’s nature.  I tell my husband now that the Presbyterian church I grew up in was pretty much only a couple of shades “out” from Catholic.  Now that I’ve learned some church history, I understand that. It was all rules and doctrines and even some Catechism and not much emphasis on grace, relationship and love and mercy.  Lots of Calvin.

Though I was often told I was mature for my age, I think in terms of some things, particularly interactions with guys, I was less mature.  There had been one guy I really liked in my church, but he was a little younger and neither of us were driving yet.  By the time he was, we had both “outgrown” youth group and we had fallen out of touch.  He lived in the county, so we weren’t in the same school, and I graduated the year before he did.

As far as the group at work, there was one particular person who did seem to be considered a “stand-out” among this group, at least by everyone else in the store.  I wasn’t interested in him, but several people were trying to bring us together, playing match-maker.  He was friendly enough, and definitely more mature than the other guys who worked there.  He was a pre-med honor student and a hard worker.  Rather than ask me out, he did what a lot of guys do, and just started saying things like “we should get together sometime”, or “we should hang out”.  It got to the point that he was pretty persistent in asking for a date, and wasn’t taking “no, thank you” for an answer.  I still wasn’t interested, but one day he was talking about playing tennis  and he asked me if I played.  I was a runner, and liked to exercise, but had never tried tennis.  He acted like he couldn’t believe I had never played, so he said, “how about if we go play tennis after work one day next week and I’ll teach you”.  A daytime outing seemed harmless enough, and didn’t sound like a date so I figured that maybe if I went along with that, he would stop bugging me.  I guess you could say, too, that being a reader I really had that expectation of fireworks and shooting stars (chemistry) and all that too.

Little did I know that according to some unwritten “guy code” I was branded off-limits to anyone else at that point, and only found out later that when other folks heard I’d finally agreed to the tennis game, he had led them to believe we were an item.  I think the other guys deferred to him in particular because they were all a little in awe of him themselves.  It may have perhaps been my indifference to that aura of “awe” he was accustomed to inspiring in everyone, that sealed his determination to change my mind.

He continued to pursue me, and even as I was growing less self-confident and less sure about my own future, he came on as this confident person who knew exactly where he was going and how to get there.  He was not all that much older than me, but he did seem to navigate through the world with obvious ease.  So he seemed a lot older to me.  He had a lot of freedom,  comfortably conversed with anyone from the owner of the company or store manager, to elderly customers and all stripes of people.  Because he had scholarships, lived at home, and worked every hour he could get and was thrifty  he had money.  He drove an old car that was in good condition, and had no use for labels and brand names.  He was charismatic but definitely not a crowd-following-people-pleaser.  What most people would describe as a guy who was very much “his own man”.

For some background here: my dad was not demonstrative, and didn’t really interact with us kids directly all that much when we were growing up.  He worked hard and faithfully at a crappy job like a lot of men did and still do, for the sake of the family.  He loved his family but he was not really raised up to know the Biblical role of fathers as head of household, so he didn’t take a strong headship role in the home.  Like a lot of couples of that time, he was the breadwinner, the house and kids were Mom’s domain.    He worked shift-work, and whenever he was home (and not sleeping off the night shift), he was always busy maintaining the car some appliance or other repair job around the house.  He never had a lot of tolerance for noise and chaos, and 4 kids can bring on plenty of both.  He was a deacon at church and maybe a trustee, I know he cut the grass and did other stuff out there too. But relationally,  I really had no example to go by, as for how to interact with the opposite sex and had no one looking out for me in that matter.   I didn’t have any males who were my friends, per se.  I was extremely nervous and shy around guys, let alone in a dating situation.

To sum up, at this point in my life when that young man began pursuing me, I was having a crisis of disillusionment about my faith, felt like I had thus far lived my life to the best of my ability in a way that was pleasing to the Lord, and I was feeling a little abandoned.  I was growing more panicked all the time about not having a plan, but  was very much wanting to find my direction and have my independence.  And then there was also that impatience thing!

Don’t think the devil didn’t take notice!

There seems to be an inherent danger of “falling through the cracks” that comes with that stage of life for kids who grew up in church.  I guess it’s not that surprising what transpired next in my life.

I was full of potential,  had a lot going for me, but poor sense of “ownership” over my self or my life, no idea where or how to channel the gifts and abilities I did have.  I was feeling utterly lost and so I guess it was almost inevitable, especially as I stepped out from under the umbrella of walking closely with the Lord, that I was a prime candidate for becoming putty in someone’s hands.

Go to…

Chapter 2   From Potters Clay to Predators Putty

Chapter 3  Out of the Frying Pan Into the Blender

Chapter 4   My Real “Come to Jesus” Moment

Chapter 5  Her Sins, Which are Many, Are Forgiven

Chapter 6  Now For Happily Ever After

Chapter 7  Mirrors

Chapter 8  Fathers and Daughters

Chapter 9  Let’s Get Real

Chapter 10   Morning Glories and Lady Bugs

Chapter 11  It Was the Worst of Times,  It Was the Best of Times

Chapter 12  The Last Word and a Few Parting Shots, Extended Gallery

Chapter 12 with fewer photos (recommended for slower connections)

 

Chapter 1 Hi, my name is Sandee and I’m an eclectomaniac


So much stuff is in my head.  Wonder if it would be read, if I put it in a book?  Wonder if they’d take a look?

Eclectomaniac  (iˈklekt’oˈmā-nē-ək): one who has a myriad of interests and aptitudes, moods and personas, who fluctuates between relative extroversion  accompanied by bursts of creativity,  and  periods of  withdrawn solitude and contemplation, and  who seldom hones any specific ability to its maximum potential, by virtue of an over-abundance of options.

I totally made that up!  But it is true, so it should be coming soon to a dictionary near you!

And besides, it describes me.

Favorite song: “What A Wonderful World”-Louis Armstrong

Favorite poem: “Daffodils” -William Wordsworth

Favorite movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life”-Frank Capra

Favorite book: “Gone With The Wind”-Margaret Mitchell

Favorite fictional character: “Junie B. Jones”

Favorite food: All forms of potato, especially where cheese is also involved. I would say M&M’s but I’m told that doesn’t really count.

Favorite Colors: Purple and Aqua, then Yellow, Orange, and Peridot

Favorite music: Reggae, Big Band Swing, Jazz, acapella hymns and negro spirituals, Celtic,

Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving because it’s like Christmas but without all the stress

Favorite Season: Fall, then Spring

Favorite Vacation: Ocean, or mountains.

Favorite Flower: Daffodil

Favorite Weather: Colors of Fall, Snow of Winter (only before Dec.26th), Wind of Summer and Fragrance of Spring.

Favorite Fragrance: Gardenia

Favorite  Leisure: Reading, writing, painting (acrylics), crafting

Favorite Activity: Walking

Longest running friendship besides family: 42 years

Most embarrassing moment: In nursing school physical assessment lab, during live practice of breast exam, I jealously blurted out: “Aw man,  you must work out, you have way better muscle tone than I do!” (My practice patient turned pink, and behind curtains all over the lab,  came a moment of silence and then everyone cracked up).  Well, at least it took the edge off of a very nerve-wracking part of the practicum.

Funny True Story: Once I was gardening in my yard and a gnat flew up my nose. I gasped and of course it became lodge near the back.  I was coughing, sputtering, hacking, flailing and laughing so hard I had to cross my legs so I wouldn’t, you know, leak.  Alone.  In my yard.  With cars driving by.  I finally had to swallow it.

Best Feature: My eyes (I felt that way even when I still had my girlish figure)

Worst Feature: Impulse control, maybe?

Zany things I did just because I wanted to:

Once I stopped my car on the narrow left shoulder of the Downtown Expressway because the whole medium was filled with daffodils.  It was Friday mid-day rush hour and I climbed the embankment and sat among the flowers as the hectic traffic whizzed by.  Then I picked an armload of the daffodils so I could prolong the moment and take some of the beauty with me.

A friend and I kidnapped a pink plastic flamingo from a trailer park late one night during a snowstorm, snapped several pictures of us with it, then brought it back 2 weeks later, also after dark.

Minutes of fame: I have been on the radio 3 times, had articles published in newspapers 4 times, been interviewed on TV once, and appeared in a newspaper photo twice; once as a Junior Volunteer (Candy Striper) when I was 14, and again with my youngest son when a reporter saw me pulling him around town in his little red wagon on a balmy day.  If you add it all up it only comes to about 4.5 minutes of fame.

Most valuable thing I ever lost: Read my book (in progress) and you’ll know.

Most thrilling experience: Parachute drop simulator.  LOVED IT!

Best thing I ever did “just for myself”: My “Happy Party” I threw for myself in February of 2002.  People came from as far away as West Virginia and North Carolina just to show me they loved me, and bring me cheer and laughter.  For entry, all attending were required to bring one thing that would make me laugh.  (By that time, it was rarely happening spontaneously anymore).

Best surprise: Hubby pulled off a surprise party for my 42nd Birthday with the help of my friend Tam.

Best gifts I ever got: Salvation through Jesus, My husband Garrett, my sons Benjamin and Isaac

Jobs I’ve had: Clown, Cashier, Medical Assistant, Fine Jewelry sales, Waitress, Concierge, Muralist, Art Class Teacher’s Aide, Call-center,  R.N. Hospice-Oncology, Home Health-Hospice, Home-Health Supervisor, Outpatient Surgery, G.I. Specialist office, Private Contract Nurse performing in-home assessments for extended-care policies, School Nurse.

Other Licenses: Insurance Sales Agent, Cosmetologist and Cosmetology Instructor

Other: I love rocks, prisms, and stained glass and color and light.  I’d design a house using all these elements  if I could design my dream home.

Where to begin?

From the time the Lord put in my mind the idea of writing down my story and sharing it with others, I have always known that it would happen sort of “all at once”.  That I’d just have to start writing and let it flow, because I have to trust the Holy Spirit within me, to make anything good out of all that is in my head about my life.  The last thing that I want to do is bum people out.  I want to encourage!  I have my own brand of that.  Not the kind that just says positive things that amount to wishful thinking and that have no basis in experience, but encouragement offered from the perspective of someone who has been through some things and is willing to share for the sake of easing the way for someone else.

I will begin my story in 1973.  I was 9 when I went forward in a “revival meeting” at my church.  The preacher’s name was McMillan, and he wore white patent leather shoes.  It was the next-to-last night and he’d spoken about heaven, describing the golden streets and pearly gates. I don’t really remember feeling particularly convicted as a dirty rotten sinner at the age of 9 (that would come later), but I did understand there was something I needed to do if I wanted to be saved and go to heaven when I die, so I went up there to find it out and do it.  The pastor’s wife was the one who “counseled” me and showed me verses in the Bible to help me understand.  She told me that we all are sinners, and when she asked me if I ever did things I knew were wrong, I confessed that I did.  She explained that sinners go to hell, but we don’t have to if we will believe in what Jesus did when He died on the cross and paid for our sin.  She then led me in a prayer to ask Jesus to save me and come live in my heart.

I was very happy about this new relationship and I knew that it was a relationship. I felt the happiness of being on good terms with God, and I felt Him with me, as a friend and companion that I talked to all the time, about everything.  Through my teens, I was very serious about keeping my prayer time, having my devotions, learning scripture, and being involved with my youth groups, church, choir, Vacation Bible School, etc.

By the time I was 14 I pretty much knew I wanted to go to a Christian College and eventually the mission field.  At 15  an unknown benefactor paid a full scholarship on my behalf to attend the Christian school in town, and I loved everything about being in that school that year.  During that time, I also made plans to go on a summer missions trip to Glasgow, Scotland with Teen Missions International.  The Lord provided the money and with the fearlessness that comes with being young and living in a time when pedophilia and serial killers and child-abductions were yet rare occurrences,  off I went for our boot camp in Florida and then over the pond.  Even though my mom had always been very protective, she and Dad apparently believed the Lord wanted me to go and would take care of me.  It was an awesome summer!  I met lots of kids from all over the U. S., flew for the first time, loved Scotland, (it was the year Charles and Dianna married, so their faces where everywhere) and we got to witness and sing and do puppet shows, and even some sight-seeing, (although the day of the “Loch Lomond outing”,  I opted to stay back and write letters, which would have been fine, except the group made a last minute decision to go a little further and see Loch Ness).

Here is Loch Lomond:

Loch Lomond image via travel.nationalgeographic.com

Cameron House commons.wikimedia.com

This would have been the lovely views at Loch Lomond which my team-mates saw, but I did not.

I did enjoy touring the Robert Burns Cottage in Ayrshire.

commons.wikimedia.org

I also enjoyed seeing Edinburgh and the Edinburgh castle.

Well, enough of the sight-seeing.

After I got home from Scotland, I went back to public school for my senior year.  As far as I recall,  my parents didn’t even check to see if the scholarship could be extended to my senior year.  I think they felt like that would have been like asking for charity.  I wanted to stay at the Christian School.  As such, I started  my senior year already feeling some disappointment.  It wasn’t like it was all that hard to re-adjust, after all I’d been to school with that group all those prior years, but the closeness I’d had with others in the smaller setting, the teachers I’d gotten attached to, well, I really missed that.

I applied to 3 Christian Colleges and was accepted at all three.  I had decided I really wanted to go to Covenant in Lookout Mountain, TN.   I had no idea how to go about making it happen, though.  There wasn’t anyone among my immediate friends or family who had been to college that could offer me guidance, and our school wasn’t particularly helpful or pro-active in preparing or helping kids with the process back then.  Most of the kids who went to college, had parents before them who went, and they were already in the advanced classes, so the counselors knew them. I think they had a bit of an advantage.  I was only in advanced English, and in fact was lagging in math.

I knew enough about college to understand I had to fill out financial aid forms, but my Dad pretty much felt all that financial info was nobody’s business but his own, and he refused to fill them out or sign them, or let my mom do it.  My parents did not encourage me, in fact, they discouraged me because they said there was no way they could pay and they didn’t see the point.  They were not aware of all the possible scholarships, etc, that might have been available, had I applied for aid. (I remember sitting in an assembly near the end of Sr. Year and hearing the names of all the top-of-the-class being called up and awarded scholarships.  I recall feeling bewildered, wondering how they got them).  So, there went my plans!  It wasn’t my parents fault.  They just didn’t know.  They were clear that they weren’t going to go in debt for it, though, and I don’t blame them for that.  My grades and activities were good enough I could have probably gotten a full scholarship (I did later, for Nursing School) but not having any guidance or support, I just sort of figured (like I did about a lot of things) that there are those who could and those who couldn’t.  I thought those other kids were just smarter than I was.

The kids who went to college were the same kids who did most of the other things that I (and my bunch) didn’t, like have their own car as soon as they got their license, go on senior trips, spend ridiculous amounts of money on their class rings, etc.  A lot of people looked at it as the “haves” vs the “have-nots” but we were a fairly small factory-town, and most of the kids were in the same financial echelon that my family was.  I never felt cheated or envious of those things, I just accepted what was, and didn’t give much thought to how anyone else lived.  I was a happy kid, pretty much content with what we had.

But when graduation rolled around, and I had outgrown the youth groups I attended, and my school friends all scattered, some to college, some who had already secured jobs and gone to work, I had no plan to look forward to.  I had 3 friends that I hung out with mostly.  One of them started working before graduation, leaving school early to work part of the day each day.  Right after graduation she went to work full-time, and soon she had moved into an apartment and was in a pretty serious relationship.  One of the other two left for the Air Force as her only option to escape a bad home life, and the other got engaged and enrolled in community college classes and we fell out of touch.

Since I wasn’t going to Bible College, I had no idea what else I might want to study, so I got a job as a cashier at a local store of a family-owned chain.   It was a great company and the pay was better than most “starter jobs” around.  It started above minimum wage.

I was really floundering at this point.  It seemed like everything had changed and I really felt lost without my usual peer group, routines and activities to count on. People were always asking me what my plans were.  It did not take long for me to feel really down on myself.  There were a good number of other kids near my age, and slightly older who were taking classes locally and working at the store, and they were fairly fun to work with.  After-work  and weekend gatherings would often take place (store was closed on Sundays), and invariably a few here and there would pair off in couples.  I didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, curse, didn’t attend movies with profanity and scantily-clad women, so I didn’t have much in common with most of the young adults I met there.  They did sometimes just throw together an impromptu volleyball game, or pizza outing, but still, I never was very comfortable just plunging in with a group that I was not familiar with, and had no experience in social realms outside of church and youth group.  I had always been somewhat shy, and though I was comfortable, outgoing and “popular enough” among my Christian friends, I had no idea how to fit myself in among this other crowd and found myself always winging it, just striving not to stick out like a sore thumb among these worldly and “sophisticated” young adults.  To counter my social timidity, I learned to project a confidence I didn’t have.  I got so good at it, I sometimes fooled myself, but it was a skill that later would prove valuable on job interviews, scholarship essays, in dealing with intimidating or difficult people, life in general.

There was one guy I had met while in Pennsylvania after my senior year, when I went to visit one of my friends from the mission trip.  We sort of had a long-distance “courtship” briefly, until one day he said to me that God had told him that he was supposed to marry me.  That both scared me, and made me mad, since I had never been the girl who grew up daydreaming about her wedding day, and had not given marriage one moment’s thought yet at that point in my life, and also because if God meant for him to marry me, I’d have thought God might have let me in on it.  That was the end of that.  I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore.

But as the second summer after high school wound down, I felt more lost and aimless than ever.  I had my own car by then, and was visiting some other churches.  But I couldn’t seem to find anywhere that had much “life” to it, and besides that, I was starting to be upset with God.  I couldn’t understand why He hadn’t worked things out for me to go to college.  I kept asking “what now?”.  I mean, there I was, wanting to serve Him, and it really started to feel like He had rejected me.  Without the old moorings, I hung out with the work crowd more and more.  It was fun to just joke around, to be friends with both guys and girls.  I guess I was on the receiving end of some flirtation, but my standards were still pretty high as far as the type of guy I might consider dating, and I frankly did not know a single guy who fit the bill.  Nor did I have a clue where or how I might ever meet someone like that.   As the weeks passed, going into fall, that became something else I was upset with God about.  All my other friends seemed to be in serious relationships, getting engaged, etc.  I hadn’t really even dated anyone seriously yet.  (Have you picked up on my deficiency in the patience department?)

As you can see, I really understood very little really about God’s nature.  I tell my husband now that the Presbyterian church I grew up in was pretty much only a couple of shades “out” from Catholic.  Now that I’ve learned some church history, I understand that. It was all rules and doctrines and even some Catechism and not much emphasis on grace, relationship and love and mercy.  Lots of Calvin.

Though I was often told I was mature for my age, I think in terms of some things, particularly interactions with guys, I was less mature.  There had been one guy I really liked in my church, but he was a little younger and neither of us were driving yet.  By the time he was, we had both “outgrown” youth group and we had fallen out of touch.  He lived in the county, so we weren’t in the same school, and I graduated the year before he did.

As far as the group at work, there was one particular person who did seem to be considered a “stand-out” among this group, at least by everyone else in the store.  I wasn’t interested in him, but several people were trying to bring us together, playing match-maker.  He was friendly enough, and definitely more mature than the other guys who worked there.  He was a pre-med honor student and a hard worker.  Rather than ask me out, he did what a lot of guys do, and just started saying things like “we should get together sometime”, or “we should hang out”.  It got to the point that he was pretty persistent in asking for a date, and wasn’t taking “no, thank you” for an answer.  I still wasn’t interested, but one day he was talking about playing tennis  and he asked me if I played.  I was a runner, and liked to exercise, but had never tried tennis.  He acted like he couldn’t believe I had never played, so he said, “how about if we go play tennis after work one day next week and I’ll teach you”.  A daytime outing seemed harmless enough, and didn’t sound like a date so I figured that maybe if I went along with that, he would stop bugging me.  I guess you could say, too, that being a reader I really had that expectation of fireworks and shooting stars (chemistry) and all that too.

Little did I know that according to some unwritten “guy code” I was branded off-limits to anyone else at that point, and only found out later that when other folks heard I’d finally agreed to the tennis game, he had led them to believe we were an item.  I think the other guys deferred to him in particular because they were all a little in awe of him themselves.  It may have perhaps been my indifference to that aura of “awe” he was accustomed to inspiring in everyone, that sealed his determination to change my mind.

He continued to pursue me, and even as I was growing less self-confident and less sure about my own future, he came on as this confident person who knew exactly where he was going and how to get there.  He was not all that much older than me, but he did seem to navigate through the world with obvious ease.  So he seemed a lot older to me.  He had a lot of freedom,  comfortably conversed with anyone from the owner of the company or store manager, to elderly customers and all stripes of people.  Because he had scholarships, lived at home, and worked every hour he could get and was thrifty  he had money.  He drove an old car that was in good condition, and had no use for labels and brand names.  He was charismatic but definitely not a crowd-following-people-pleaser.  What most people would describe as a guy who was very much “his own man”.

For some background here: my dad was not demonstrative, and didn’t really interact with us kids directly all that much when we were growing up.  He worked hard and faithfully at a crappy job like a lot of men did and still do, for the sake of the family.  He loved his family but he was not really raised up to know the Biblical role of fathers as head of household, so he didn’t take a strong headship role in the home.  Like a lot of couples of that time, he was the breadwinner, the house and kids were Mom’s domain.    He worked shift-work, and whenever he was home (and not sleeping off the night shift), he was always busy maintaining the car some appliance or other repair job around the house.  He never had a lot of tolerance for noise and chaos, and 4 kids can bring on plenty of both.  He was a deacon at church and maybe a trustee, I know he cut the grass and did other stuff out there too. But relationally,  I really had no example to go by, as for how to interact with the opposite sex and had no one looking out for me in that matter.   I didn’t have any males who were my friends, per se.  I was extremely nervous and shy around guys, let alone in a dating situation.

To sum up, at this point in my life when that young man began pursuing me, I was having a crisis of disillusionment about my faith, felt like I had thus far lived my life to the best of my ability in a way that was pleasing to the Lord, and I was feeling a little abandoned.  I was growing more panicked all the time about not having a plan, but  was very much wanting to find my direction and have my independence.  And then there was also that impatience thing!

Don’t think the devil didn’t take notice!

There seems to be an inherent danger of “falling through the cracks” that comes with that stage of life for kids who grew up in church.  I guess it’s not that surprising what transpired next in my life.

I was full of potential,  had a lot going for me, but poor sense of “ownership” over my self or my life, no idea where or how to channel the gifts and abilities I did have.  I was feeling utterly lost and so I guess it was almost inevitable, especially as I stepped out from under the umbrella of walking closely with the Lord, that I was a prime candidate for becoming putty in someone’s hands.

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What if it’s not actually the overuse of antibiotics which has led to the drug-resistant strains of diseases, but rather, gene transfer and genetic engineering?


Such a consideration sort of makes the whole thing a little more dark and ominous, no? When man tampers with the building blocks of God’s creation, excuse me, I meant when man practices genetic engineering, there arises the necessity to specifically design carriers that can survive the cross over between various species.

The Olivet Discourse warns that there will be a rise in plagues in the period of birth pangs before the end of the age.  Here is where scripture meets hard scientific fact!

New Diseases 1978-1998 (source)

1977:    Legionella pneumophila, potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease
1977:    Ebola virus, hemorrhagic fever – fatal in up to 80% of cases.
1977:    Hantaan virus, potentially fatal hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.
1977:    Campylobacter jejuni, diarrhea.
1980:    Human T-lymphotropic virus I (HTLV-1), T-cell lymphoma-leukemia
1981:    Staphylococcus aureus, bacteria, toxic shock syndrome
1982:    Escherichia coli O157:H7, bacteria, bloody diarrh0ea
1982:    HTLV-2 virus, hairy cell leukemia
1983:    Helicobacter pylori, bacteria, peptic ulcer disease and stomach cancer.
1983:    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), AIDS.
1985:    Enterocytozoon bieneusi, parasite, persistent diarrhea
1986:    Cyclospora cayetanensis, parasite, persistent diarrhea
1988:    Hepatitis E virus, epidemics of jaundice in hot climates
1988:    Human herpesvirus 6, fever and rash
1988:    Salmonella typimurium, bacteria, diarrhea
1989:    Hepatitis C virus, which causes liver cancer as well as liver disease.
1989:    Ehrlichia chafeensis, bacteria, infection
1991:    Guanarito virus, Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever.
1991:    Encephalitozoon hellem, parasite, conjunctivitis
1991:    New species of Babesia, parasite, infection
1992:    New strain Vibrio cholerae O139, epidemic cholera.
1992:    Bartonella henselae, bacteria, cat-scratch disease, bacillus angiomatosis
1993:    Sin Nombre virus, adult respiratory distress syndrome
1993:    Encephalitozoon cuniculi, parasite, disseminated disease
1994:    Sabia virus, which causes Brazilian hemorrhagic fever
1994:    Equine morbilivirus, respiratory illness
1995:    Human herpesvirus 8, Kaposiþs sarcoma in AIDS patients.
1995:    New monkey pox virus, human-to-human transmission, potentially fatal
1996:    New rabies in Australia 1996: New hantavirus, human-to-human transmission

Gene Ecology, or the way that genes function, move, recombine and interact with the organism, is an area of research that is still in relative infancy, but it has determined that RNA and DNA can sometimes transfer “horizontally” and externally, as opposed to only through reproduction.  Of course, this horizontal transfer is a manipulation of nature by man, but still, it is a revolutionary discovery.  Scientists have created all sorts of these “vectors” or means of transfer, whose sole purpose is to break down the protective mechanisms and barriers of the genes, in order to create inter-species combinations or genetic chimeras.  Thus the natural and God-designed “ecology” of the gene world has been seriously disturbed in the name of genetic “research” (i.e. engineering).

Natural “horizontal transfer” of genetic material takes place via replication as in viruses, plasmids and transposons.

Genetic engineering biotechnology breaks down species barriers (source)

ONE main contributing factor to the recent increase in the scope and frequency of horizontal gene transfer may be the deliberate acts of genetic engineers to break down species barriers. They do so by constructing a range of chimeric vectors for cloning and transferring genes. These artificial vectors have the following important characteristics that enhance horizontal gene transfer.

  • They are already derived from elements that mediate horizontal gene transfer most effectively.
  • Their chimeric nature means that they possess sequence homologies to DNA from widely different species and their viral pathogens, plasmids and trans-posons, thus facilitating successful horizontal transfer and recombination.
  • They routinely contain antibiotic resistance marker genes enhancing their successful transfer in the presence of antibiotics, either intentionally applied or as xenobiotics in the environment.
  • They often have origins of replication and transfer sequences, all of which facilitate horizontal gene transfer and recombination. In this context, the fact that they are ‘crippled’, so that genes for mobility and/or virulence are removed, is irrelevant, as helper functions can be supplied by other viruses, plasmids and mobile genetic elements present in the donor, recipient or a third strain of bacteria. And virulence genes can be regained by recombination.
  • It is well-known that chimaeric plasmids and viral vectors are subject to structural instabilities which make them more prone to recombine. Vector instability is a continuing problem for genetic engineers and the biotech industry as far as the stability of the transferred genes is concerned. It also increases the probability and scope for unintended, secondary horizontal gene transfer.
  • The now routine incorporation of strong promoters and enhancers in vectors to boost expression of transgenes is one main cause of structural instability, which is in addition to the instability arising from the attendant metabolic stress to the organism that, again, may increase unintended horizontal gene transfer.
  • Finally, vectors are designed to escape restriction thereby also enhancing the probability of successful horizontal gene transfer.

The construction of artificial vectors is fundamental to genetic engineering. All classes of genetic elements that mediate horizontal gene transfer have been used in constructing vectors: plasmids, phages, transposons, plus a range of pathogenic plant and animal viruses. As stated in a standard textbook on genetic manipulation, ‘Many animal viruses have been subjugated as vectors. Virtually every virus that has been studied in any detail and that has a DNA genome or a DNA stage in its replication cycle has been manipulated in this way.’

Although different classes of vectors are distinguishable on the basis of the main framework sequence, practically every one of them is chimeric. Important chimeric vectors are the shuttle vectors which enable genes to be cloned (multiplied) in E. coli and transferred (transfected) into unrelated species in every Kingdom. Similarly, vectors used in manipulating plants and animals typically contain sequences from a range of plant and animal viral pathogens, as well as antibiotic resistance genes, often originating from promiscuous resistance plasmids and transposons. Phage vectors and phasmid vectors (hybrid of phage and plasmid) are also extensively used, and may have special relevance for the evolution of pathogenicity islands in bacterial pathogens.

Thus, genetic engineering biotechnology has effectively opened up highways for horizontal gene transfer and recombination, where previously, there was only restricted access through narrow, tortuous footpaths. These gene transfer highways connect species in every Domain and Kingdom with the microbial populations via the universal mixing vessel, E. coli. We review further circumstantial evidence that artificial gene transfer vectors increase the scope and frequency of horizontal gene transfer. -End

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Shekinah commentary:

That’s a lot of scientific gobbety-gook which, as a former nurse, I know is appealing and understandable to some, and a total bore to others.  The gist of it is this: When man monkeys around with God’s design, chaos and disorder ensues.  It is not the patient’s insistence on antibiotics, nor the doctor’s over-prescribing of antibiotics, but the scientists manipulation of the biology of genes, which has resulted in not only the microbes resistance to antibiotics, but a resurgence of formerly nearly- eradicated strains to these “epidemic” proportions.  It is mankind, reaping the fruit of their doings.

Thoughts of spring, of time and hope, of good and evil.


I don’t know what season it is where you live, but as the cold of winter begins to lose its hold, and green tips of crocus and daffodil begin to poke up between the dry brown winter brush, the coming of spring, like the changing of all seasons, is bittersweet.  As a way-marker, another season passes away, and yet a new one begins. How many more will there be?

I fixed my family a hot breakfast this morning.  There are many days that doesn’t happen because my boys are teens, they sometimes want to eat before school, and sometimes they don’t.  And hubby isn’t picky, cereal, oatmeal, a bagel, it’s all fine with him.  Me, I don’t even get hungry til eleven or noon.  Standing over a hot stove for 20 minutes or more,  then having to deal with a plumbing issue, I got a little too warm, so I went out and sat on our front porch swing for a while to cool off.

We have a nice porch.  Not fancy.  But inviting.  Screened in.  A work crew is putting up a new house across the street, so I rocked in the swing, watching them for a bit, before coming back inside.   I love the seasons we have in Virginia.  I would go so far as to say that I don’t think I could happily live anyplace that didn’t have those distinct seasons.

The years of my husbands and my life together have not been easy.  I came into the marriage with a great deal of woundedness.  I really and truly had not dared to hope that the love he and I share, would ever be available to me, much less that I’d be blessed with motherhood, with 2 such great sons.  This world can be a cruel place, and I think that people are tired.  I’d been through so much by the time my husband and I met.  I know he got cheated.  The first years of our marriage where fraught by devastating interference on the part of my mother-in-law, at the same time that I was still healing from prior abuse.  It took the unconditional love of both my Lord, and my precious husband, for me to feel safe enough to work though all that.  I do have several medical conditions which, in combination are impairing.  But I have no doubt that the years of stress that I endured in my 20’s are the very thing that set the stage for the later physical mal-functions.  Being so depleted, I did suffer depression for a long time.  And yet I fought it tooth and nail because by God’s grace and wisdom, He gave me a stubborn streak a mile wide.  The cyclic nature of my depression and mood issues was really almost like an echo of the instability of my life in general for so long. It was like when my mind got so weary it could no longer manage the burden, it was handed off to my body.  So the body compensated for a while, as the mind de-compensated.  Mental illness, depression, call it what you will. There is no darkness darker, and I’ll take physical pain any day of the week over the excruciation of deep depression.

I was sick in mind, body and spirit.  Exhausted and depleted.  I was that way as a newlywed, as a full-time RN with a new baby, and then two.  All through my 3os.  I was a good nurse.  I loved the job.  I loved my patients.  But when I got to the point that I was internally empty, to where even the “needs” of my patients caused me to feel resentment because I was so needy myself, when I could no longer keep a running “task manager” in my brain, and keep up with the demands of nursing, I knew I had to step back because my integrity would not allow me to give less to my patients.  The job of a nurse is much too serious a business to do any part of it “halfway”.  I expected it to be temporary.  Little did I know that although I would work in the capacity of an RN intermittently again, that this was the beginning of the end of my hard-earned nursing career.

I mourned that for a long time.  But I had my babies.  And I was grateful that the trade-off was the gift of being mostly a stay-at-home mom.  Few moms have that luxury anymore.  But it is a sacrifice.   We have lived in a house which was built in the 40’s, and maintenance, (much less improvements) has been minimal.  Thank goodness houses built in the forties were built to last.  Good, good bones!  So, it’s been a homey home.  Not a showcase, but lived-in and inviting, and not taking itself too seriously.  I have never been a frou-frou kind of gal anyway.  Neat and tidy is my standard, but I like things with some age and experience and history.  I learned from my Mama how to see the good in pre-loved furniture and decor, and how to spiff things like that up, way before “shabby chic” became a household word.

Winter has always been hard.  When my kids started school, I stayed involved as a room mom and volunteering frequently, and after some years of working on boundary issues, being on medication and ever striving to maintain an exercise program whether it entailed some gym time, swimming or walking, I saw some improvement in my over-all well-being.  Yet could never quite get over the hump in regard to fatigue and body pain.  With diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, and at first Sleep apnea and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and then only a few years ago finally discovering that I have Narcolepsy, a certain degree of permanent damage had already taken place in my body, not the least of which in my spine and joints.   Depression continued to be a problem and winter months, with short days, and cooped up indoors, I literally had to turn on all the lights in the house some days.  I would light candles and play instrumental music, all of which helped me overcome the inertia and get moving.  I learned to spend at least 15 minutes outside getting sunlight no matter how cold it was, and even invested in one of those lamps with the whole spectrum of light.  Those things all helped, but it was a constant vigilance.  I would hold on and wait for those daffodil green tops to poke out.  When I saw that, it was my sign that I had survived another dark season, and could soon look forward to working in my flowerbeds and being outdoors more.  So, as a survivor, Spring has a special place in my heart.  Counting as the seasons pass, moving from youth into middle age, watching my kids grow, losing my Dad, I’m in a different season now, but my awareness of the world and history and scripture, also tells me that the advance of seasons and years is moving forward for the world itself.  Times they are a-changin’, and not just in the way they always do from one generation to the next, but in ways the Good Book told us they would when the end was near.

Like most struggling families today, there were dreams of trips and vacations that never quite came to be.  Plans for home improvements, the financing and budgeting of which never quite came to fruition, due to some setback or other.  There were times we were disillusioned.  But we learned to concentrate on the blessings.  And we had so many.  As a couple my husband and I have always been able to laugh.  There were times we could be in the middle of an argument and we’d both be so weary from the struggle that one or the other would just decide to get over it and do something silly to make us both laugh, and that would be that.  Arguing is just not worth the energy.  But these were things we learned IN the struggles and wouldn’t have learned otherwise.  As a family we have always been able to laugh together.  The antics of our boys provided plenty of material.  And as a family we have always prayed together, discussed things, expressed our love, and been straightforward and honest.  My kids have never had to guess whether we loved or approved of them.  But they also have never been allowed to take that love and approval for granted.  Dad is the softer one.  Mama don’t give an inch.  They knew if they misbehaved, their teachers had my phone number and permission to call me right then and there.  Heck one year I was their school nurse during the elementary years.  (My last full-time position).  They are in high school now and their friends STILL come up to them and say, “man, why did your mom quit being our nurse?”.  I guess because I treated all of them the exact same way I did my own.  Tough love.

Yeah, it’s a time for counting blessings, as I am daily aware that both in the natural course of raising a family, the times we share together are finite and we are nearing that time when the little eaglets will leave the nest, but also “time” universal is winding down.

Life is beautiful but if you do it right, it isn’t easy, and even if you can manage to put a little aside along the way, the best it can provide is a false sense of security.  Treasures on earth are eaten by moths, corrupted by rust.  The honest guy doesn’t always come out on top.  People are tired of war, and crime, and struggle, and violence and hatred.  We all long for peace, but it seems there’s precious little peace to be found.  Everyone is looking for somewhere to place the blame.  Government.  Those dad-blamed Republicans.  Those dang Democrats.  Those corrupt Congressfolk.  The Muslims, the Jews, The church.  Many hate a God they don’t even believe in.  The homosexuals hold in contempt those who believe the Bible and it’s indictment of such.  Some professing Christians act as if they themselves are less of a vile sinner than the gay person, which is not true.  God’s law is one law.  Like the chain that holds up my porch swing, if we have broken one “link” the chain no longer upholds the swing, so if we break any commandment, we are in violation of God’s law.  I do not doubt that the feelings and attraction two gay men or women have for one another are real and powerful.  I just am aware that feelings can be deceptive, and most of all, they can be manipulated.  Homosexuality is no more wrong than any other deviation from God’s design for sexuality, though it does reside on a continuum of sorts.  We have so gotten the cart before the horse in the area of mates and “mating”.  There is no restraint and whatever causes the most sparks to fly, has become the acceptable indicator of what we choose to pursue.  Animals are ruled by their drives.  Humans are capable of more. Yet risky or risqué, trumps most things anymore.  The “pleasure button” has been so over-stimulated that people have ceased to be able to feel.

A people who are only guided by impulse and urges, will invariably seek the “greater thrill” to the basest nature.  When “straight sex” and self-gratification without cost, effort, or commitment are so freely attainable that they become boring and no longer titillating, the greater risk will be sought to maintain the “high”.  Each advance in degradation serves to only heighten the drive, but never satisfy.  As those who participate in these things ignore their conscience, the conscience dies within them, because they despise the truth, (that what they do is wrong) they begin to believe the falsehood that what they are doing is okay.   The current generation can hardly help being much more vulnerable to the temptations of “same-sex sexuality” because preceding generations insisted on throwing off the taboo.  For those who indulge the flesh, the “need” of their flesh consumes them and becomes their master, and in search of satisfaction, their “passions” seek that which is even lower, the violation of children.  This produces children who are damaged and who grow up confused.  Girls used by men, become women who can’t trust men, who seek solace in other women.  In their hurt they justify the aversion to the opposite sex, and the sin of the “fathers” are visited on the next generation in the form of same-sex attraction.  Because the female child looks to the father figure to cherish and affirm her, being sorely disappointed as she seeks a life mate, she has already ruled out the male half of the species, feels safer bestowing her love and affection upon a female, or in determination to never be victimized, may reject her femaleness and aspire to the relative safety of exhibiting masculinity within herself.  Because the male child looks to the father figure to set the example of how to be a man, yet the abusing male uses his power to dominate and violate, the male child rejects the notion of masculinity and waxes effeminate, or may go on to be a predator because he thinks doing what the dominant male did to him, constitutes “being a man”.  In each instance, it was the abandonment of God’s order that led to the alternate concept of what it means to be a male or female, and the abandonment of the “natural use of the opposite sex” for that of same-sex.  Sex and sexuality were meant to be powerful, to bind together two mates for life, and powerful they are. Much “potential energy” is contained within the essence of sex and sexuality.  But just like atomic energy, such potency is volatile, and very dangerous, and fraught with potential for damage and harm on a massive scale if mishandled or misappropriated.

But regardless of whether we are dealing with the issue of homosexuality, or human rights or politics, or religion, we are all deceived regarding who is our true enemy.   Some folks have no idea at all.  While even those who know that satan is the enemy of our souls, still fall prey to his efforts to rob, destroy, and kill.  He pursues us relentlessly, and though some seem to walk willingly into his arms, most of us never come to understand that it was satan and sinfulness that manipulated your abuser, it is satan and sinful human nature, that culminate in the loss of “rights and privileges endowed by our creator” at the hands of corrupt leaders. The only safety or hope of redemption is to turn the opposite direction and run back toward God.  That, in a nutshell, is what it means to repent of sin.  At one time, Humanity knew their God.  It is the sin nature that rebels, and evil waxes worse and worse until subsequent generations never even heard of their creator.  They think they came from nothing.  So they abort their babies and euthanize their elderly and handicapped, and then either shake their fist at God because breaking laws has consequences, or thumb their nose at God because they’ve convinced themselves that they’ve managed to throw Him off.

You know, I don’t know many “radical, militant” gay people.  Most gay people I personally know, are regular folk.  I have no desire to hurt them or to even dissuade them from their preference. That’s not my job.  I am happy to accept the things I cannot change (and the will of another person definitely falls into that category)  but I reserve the right to maintain my own convictions on the subject.  I don’t think that a man should “marry” a man and call it the same thing as a woman marrying a man.  Civil unions instead? I guess, but the purpose of marriage is procreation. Many gay people want to have a family but it’s not physically possible so there must be artificial intervention of some kind.  No matter what you call your arrangement,(nor the method you use), the “ingredients” for making a baby, remains God’s original “recipe”.

I went to nursing school with a gal whose grandmother was Mrs. Fearnow.  Of “Mrs. Fearnow’s Brunswick Stew” fame.  I don’t know if that is merely regionally known, or if it’s a hit across the nation.  But my point is, the stew is now made in a factory, by “The Fearnow Brothers” who may or may not be actually named Fearnow or related to Mrs. Fearnow in any way.  The recipe may be the same, but I bet you Amy would beg to differ with you if you said “I have eaten your grandma’s stew”.  Now, there’s a chance Amy Fearnow has actually eaten her grandma’s stew.  And what comes out of that can, though delicious, will never be the stew made for Amy by Grandma Fearnow’s own hand.

We can call a union between two men or women a “marriage” and the state can artificially “bestow” upon that “couple” the same privileges as a man/woman union, but a union between a man and another man will never be a marriage.  But most marriages between a man and a woman today don’t meet the Biblical definition of marriage either.  Compromise is a slippery slope.  Absolutes are considered evil by most of the world today, but if there are no absolutes, there are no reference points, all order breaks down, and what we are left with is the chaos before us today.

Gay people say “I was born this way”.  Yeah.  You were.  You were born a sinner.  That’s the point.  I was born a sinner too.  That doesn’t make my sin acceptable to God.  That’s why Jesus had to die.  But his dying would mean nothing if He had not also risen up to life again.

No matter what mankind tells himself, the unchanging facts are; in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  He created you, He designed your body.  “Male and female He created them” and charged them to be fruitful and multiply.  It’s His call.  Don’t think of His laws like civil law.  They aren’t like that.  They are more like the “law of gravity”, “the law of diminishing returns”, the laws of physics.  Who set those?  Do you have a choice in obeying the law of gravity? Can any Supreme Court judge or United Nations counsel overturn the law of gravity?  Is it “all relative” really?  Jump off your roof and see.  I’ll sit here and wait.

God will not tolerate sin.  Sin is a violation of law.  The wages of sin is death. Wages are not a penalty, they are simply the natural  outcome.  God’s not threatening you when He says that, He’s WARNING you.  We all age, we all deteriorate, and we all die.  After death comes judgment, and you and I have no advocate, no counsel, no scapegoat, but Jesus.  He is the Way.  He is Truth.  He is Life.  And no man comes unto the Father but by Him.

Man thinks he will  transcend his own humanity within a few years.  The capability is, in fact, within mankind’s power.  But God will not allow it.

This old world is winding down.  The Bible tells us that a period of tribulation is coming.  God will place your life on the scales.  It will not have “all the good you did” on one side, and “all the bad” on the other.  It will have His righteousness on one side, and on the other side there will be placed one of two things which will attempt to measure up to His righteousness and balance the scale.

It will either be the sum total of your doings in this life, or it will be the righteousness of Christ placed on your side of the scales.  Fair? Not to Jesus, yet that’s the offer.  He did not forfeit His perfection, but God accredits it to those who are willing to humble themselves to receive it.

God, knowing we are incapable of overcoming our own sinful state, arranged for His own sinless son to endure the “wages of sin” for all sinners.  A substitutionary death on the cross, dying so we didn’t have to.  The wages of sin is death, the loophole is God willingly accepts the death of One who is infinite and sinless, to atone for the infinite sinfulness of the sinner.  Then He credits to the sinners account, the righteousness of Christ.  Which will sit in opposition to the righteousness of the Father on judgment day and balance that scale, deeming you acceptable to enter into God’s eternal presence.  That is, if you are willing to accept it.  There is a catch, though.  It is free. You can’t earn it or pay for it.  You have to accept God at His word, that He is willing to extend this deal to you.  It means you have to nail your sin to that cross with Jesus.  You can’t have your sin nullified while still clinging to your “right” to remain oriented to your sin-nature.  Be your sin adultery (sex with someone you are not married to, whether male or female), lying, taking the Lord’s name in vain, stealing, coveting, failing to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy, murder, or having some other god.  Anything that you refuse to relinquish is your god.

Think about these things because you know, and I know, something is up in this world.  You may not be ready to accept the things I’m saying, but that doesn’t change facts and laws and principles.  You know as well as I do that we as humans are capable of being wrong.  The world is not flat.  The appendix actually does have a purpose, blacks, Jews, and the disabled are not a subhuman species, yet these are all “beliefs” that were once embraced as fact.  Optical illusions fool our brains all the time, we even enjoy it when done by a talented magician.  There is good and there is evil.  We may not agree on what constitutes each one, but Someone must be the arbiter if truth and the very fact that “good and evil” are universal principles, is an indicator that there are absolutes so moving the visible boundary markers doesn’t actually altar which territory is which.  We merely fool ourselves.  It takes a heck of a lot more faith than I have, to believe everything came from nothing, than to believe there is a sovereign Creator who designed everything with purpose.

Think about it.

And then it hit me!


When you are a nurse, working around a medical environment, you develop a shield that sort of enables you to tolerate the sights, smells, and circumstances of various states of injury and illness.  You start developing it while in training, and over time, while working in the atmosphere of these things, you slip on this shield without any consciousness of it, or, in fact wear it all the time like some prosthetic device you have become so accustomed to that it seems a part of you.

Conversely, when you are a nurse who has retired from the field and have not been around all of that for a while, you may be surprised to discover that you start to lose (or maybe just put away) that de-sensitization.  Today when we went to hubby’s follow-up appointment to remove the staples (from where he had his laproscopic bowel anastamosis and removal of that tumor), we discovered that part of one of the incisisions (the largest of the 3) had not been healing up quite on schedule.  It wasn’t so much the serosanguinous discharge that got me, (that’s good, no pus) but when the doctor dipped the cotton-swab stick a good 2 and a half to 3 inches into the wound,  I just about passed out!  The thing is, I still have that shield, I just didn’t come in there wearing it (as a nurse).  I came in there as the “other half” of the patient, and I’m telling you I felt every inch of that q-tip going into that abdominal wound.  I pulled myself together but I could not have stood up for several minutes had the doctor asked me to.  When you have narcolepsy with cataplexy, it is good to avoid “shock” as it induces cataplexy and compounds the problem.  So there I was, a former nurse with plenty of experience with cleaning and debriding much nastier wounds than this, fighting to remain conscious while the doctor prattled on in that bantering way they do, describing what he was doing and what I’d need to do twice a day when he went home.  He even looked at me and said “well, you seem fine with all this” (little did he know, lol), and I managed to say “yep, I’ve done it before”.  Ah, good times!

I think that the reality of all that has happened just pierced my armor in that instant.  This is my husband.  His body is broken, it’s open, he is ill, it’s cancer!  It wasn’t just the wound.  Everything has gone so smoothly and I think just the glitch of realizing he wasn’t healing as expected, sort of combined with the graphic demonstration of just how “not healed” it was, just sort of became the teensie dart that found the chink and penetrated my defenses.  It is funny how God designed us to absorb things gradually, even when they happen rather suddenly, you know?  Two weeks ago we were going along, status quo, and then one trip to the doctor for an assumed tummy bug, and now this whole other scenario has over-shadowed our life.

I am 49 and have dealt with illness since I was 30 so I have felt “old before my time” for quite some time.  Only in recent years was my husband showing signs of slowing down.  Then this.  I said as we got on the elvator at the doctor’s office, “well, babe, I guess we have reached that age”. Doctors appointments, prescriptions, insurance, medical bills.  Yipee.  Lol.  We were looking forward to growing old together, but not so soon.  I guess there is never a convenient time for that, though, is there?

But it’s all good.  I had to drive over to the next town to find a pharmacy that still carries some of the things we needed for his wound care.  In the end I was glad of it, though.  The drive was nice, and the pharmacy was like a visit back to the 40s or 50’s.  They had all these old linaments and potions and things my grandma used to use, that I didn’t know anyone still carried. Corn huskers lotion?  Prid?  Grandma’s Lye Soap?  Wow.  Not only did they carry these items for sale, but they had a display case of actual vintage stuff. Lots of things in tins.  I just wanted to linger there.  The fellow who helped me was an older guy.  The pharmacy name is Kirkpatricks and I got the feeling this older guy was probably the second generation who took over from his father, and that the pharmacist behind the counter, late 30’s was probably the current owner and 3rd generation.  The older fellow seemed pleased that I recognized the old brands and appreciated that they were still available.  He spoke with pride as he presented each one of the items I had come seeking.  Iodoform gauze, gloves, long cotton-tip swabs.   Personable, friendly, passing the time of day in conversation, back like it was in the days when everyone wasn’t in such an “all-fired-hurry”.  It’s official.  I’m an old fuddy-duddy.

As a nurse, and even as a kid when I was a candy-striper, I always liked old folks.  I didn’t aspire to be one, mind you, but there always seemed to be a certain patience and straight-forward nature to elderly people.  When you have lived a good “fifty to a hunnerd” years, I guess you have learned a thing or two about what is worth getting worked up over and what isn’t.  I am learning that a little earlier than most people, but then again, the good Lord knows when He handed out patience, I didn’t get a full serving the first go-round.  Patience has never been my strong suit.

Well, anyway, there is your “candid shot” for today:  We’ll call it Part 1  “Nurse wimps out”, and Part 2   a “Mayberry moment at an old-time mom and pop pharmacy”.    Hows that?

I even remember Woolworths.  Now, here in VA the Woolworths I remember was much like the dollar stores of today.  But the one back in the mountains of West Virginia where my family is from, was the real deal with the lunch counter and everything.  Actually I think I recall one in Richmond that had the lunch counter too.  Don’t you miss those days?  Even the Roses Department store in our town used to have a lunch counter.  And lay-away.  Does it make me wierd that I’m not even 50 yet and I love things like Reminisce Magazine?  I was like that even as a kid, though.  I had an appreciation for what was good and an awareness of what was fading and going by the wayside.

It is a good day when you venture out and have new things to write about.  There are stories everywhere, if you look for them.  Got a digital camera for Christmas, so I hope to incorporate some photography in here at some point.  Don’t worry, though, I’ll leave off wound pictures.  Althought he doctor gave us some great shots of my husband’s liver and colon…..