Saturday, July 23, 2011

Are you a positive woman?

By that I mean, do you want to move in a positive direction and make a lasting, positive impact in the lives of the people around you? Often we that that a positive woman is a perky woman with a perfect life. But I've got a little secret: I'm not always perky, and my life circumstances are far from perfect. The good news is we don't have to be perfect, because we have a perfect God who can use even our imperfections in an eternal, powerful, and positive way. We can be positive women simply by choosing to allow God's power and strength to pour through us. We can choose to see God's hand at work in out lives and in the circumstances around us.

Earlier I came across something called "The Ten Commandments for an Unhappy Life." It serves as a humorous reminder of the choices we face every single day.

The Ten Commandments for an Unhappy Life

  1. Thou shalt hold onto bitterness and anger
  2. Thou shalt never get to close to anybody. Keepeth all of thy relationships at surface level.
  3. Thou shalt wear a glum expression on thy face at all times.
  4. Thou shalt put aside play and shalt inflict upon others that which was once inflicted upon thyself.
  5. Thou shalt grumble about the small stuff, forgetting the bigger picture.
  6. Thou shalt forget about others' needs, thinking only of your own.
  7. Thou shalt hold regular pity parties, inviting others to joinest thou.
  8. Thou shalt not take a vacation.
  9. Thou shalt expect worst in all situations, blame and shame everyone around thyself for everything, and dwell on the feebleness, faults, and fears of others.
  10. Thou shalt be in control at all times, no matter what!

I don't know about you, but in the great adventure of life, I want to experience joy in the journey.... not misery in the muck! I want my life to move in a positive direction. You are probably wondering "can any woman be a positive woman? Can someone who tends to be a negative, fearful, or unhappy change her attitude and her perspective of time?" Yes... every woman has the potential to be a positive woman, because each of us has the opportunity to invite God in to work in our lives.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just two weeks ago

Raegan was in the same place she is in tonight, just a few doors down. This darn shunt of her isn't working how it should. I got up yesterday morning at 5am after not sleeping well the night before to get up and get ready for Raegans 8:30 MRI down at OHSU. Raegan and I were out the door by 7a, and after a little over an hours drive made it to the hospital about 8:20a. We parked the car and took the elevator up to the 3rd floor, checked in and waited over an hour for her MRI. The MRI took about 10 minutes. After the MRI we took the Tram up to the main hospital to see Audiology. I was trying to kill 3 birds in one stone.

Audiology appointment didn't go as I had hoped. Raegan still can't pass a hearing test, and her right tube was blocked. I was hoping after this last set of tubes she had put in beginning of October would have helped. She will go back in 6 months and they will check her hearing again. In the mean time I had the surgeon clean out her right ear while she was in surgery. He still isn't sure if the tube is in or not so the ENT will be by tomorrow to check it out and make sure Raegan doesn't have an ear infection.

After the audiology appointment, we rushed across the hospital and back down the tram to see the neurosurgeon. We walked in and they asked how things had been, and I told them we went down for an MRI. Lori went out to look at the images and talking with the surgeon. When they both came back into the room their faces told it all. The MRI had shown Raegans shunt wasn't working, and that they were admitting her up to the hospital again. :(

Man... to think back that having Raegans tonsils, adenoids taken out and tubes put back in her ears started this downward spiral of surgery's. I know that in the long run things will be ok, but all these surgery's are starting to take a toll. Raegan has already spent 9 days here, and it's only the 25th day of the year. Maybe only a day or two more and we should be home. Big picture is that she has spent 24 days in the last 3 months up here on the hill. Good thing I like the staff up here at OHSU, and they like us. It makes being up here bearable.

So today's surgery seemed to go well. The doctor repositioned Raegans shunt in her ventricle and they said it looked like the spinal fluid is now flowing. The shunt had been flowing at all the last week. After asking some questions after surgery the doctors said some kids rarely have to have their shunts revised, and other kids have their shunts revised all the time. Raegan has fell into the all the time category. I hope this is the last surgery she has to have for a while, but that's what I said 2 weeks ago. I'm going to look on the bright side, and continue to stay positive.

Here's to maxing out the out of pocket on our insurance in the first 25 days of the year!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gratitude means thankfulness

If the only prayer you say in your life is
‘thank you,’ that would suffice. – Meister Eckhart

Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.

People tend to take for granted the good that is already present in their lives. There’s a gratitude exercise that instructs that you should imagine losing some of the things that you take for granted, such as your home, your ability to see or hear, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you comfort. Then imagine getting each of these things back, one by one, and consider how grateful you would be for each and every one. In addition, you need to start finding joy in the small things instead of holding out for big achievements—such as getting the promotion, having a comfortable nest egg saved up, getting married, having the baby, and so on–before allowing yourself to feel gratitude and joy.

Another way to use giving thanks to appreciate life more fully is to use gratitude to help you put things in their proper perspective. When things don’t go your way, remember that every difficulty carries within it the seeds of an equal or greater benefit. In the face of adversity ask yourself: “What’s good about this?”, “What can I learn from this?”, and “How can I benefit from this?”

January's Hospital Stay

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I wish

I knew why Raegan was sick. Back when I was pregnant with Raegan I had to accept that I may never know why things turned out the way they did, and why things happen. This is one of those times where its hard to accept not knowing. I don't know why Raegan is sick, and neither do the doctors. Usually when there is something wrong with her I know, or have a good guess, but not this time.

On Monday January 10th I took Raegan to her 3 month post-op appointment after she had her last surgery in October to replace her shunt. I thought it would be a quick appointment, boy was I wrong. Raegan had an MRI before her appointment to check on her shunt. When we went to clinic the doctor said Raegans ventricles had doubled in size and he was admitting her to the hospital for surgery the following day.

Tuesday January 11th Raegan under went surgery to check and replace the parts of her shunt that were blocked. She did great after surgery, and went home late Wednesday night. She did great Wednesday and Thursday and by Thursday night she stopped eating, and had thrown up once before she went to bed around 7pm. Friday morning she got up and was sick about every two hours, and hadn't eaten or had much to drink. I finally made the call to take her to the ER down here at OHSU to make sure everything was ok.

Last night we spent the night in the ER, were we both got little sleep. She has been sick about 3 or 4 times since last night, but refuses to eat or drink. The other issue that has now come up is she can't keep her heart rate up. Its hanging out in the 70's and frequently drops into the 60's. The doctor came in a little while ago and has ordered a shunt-o-gram and is going to have a cardiologist come in and see Raegan.

In a nut shell that is whats going on, and if things change I will post and let everyone know. So if everyone will keep Raegan in their prayers, and keep your fingers crossed that this is just a flu bug.

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