Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just Droppin In......

Hello! I just wanted to drop in long enough to say a personal 'thank you' to each of you who have prayed for me during this time. Your love, support and prayers continue to life me up and help to restore my strength.

I am extremely tired and weak and understandably very sore. I can already tell a difference and the stimulator is only at it's very lowest settings. It will take a few months of adjustments to get it to it's optimal performance for my bodies' needs. The nausea is still present, but much decreased and, Praise the Lord, no vomiting AT ALL since surgery!!!! WooHoooooooo!!! Such a great relief!

I will continue to be at my sister's for the remainder of this week and possibly next. My doctor has instructed me not to lift anything over 5 lbs. for at least the first two weeks. So, we'll see how it goes!

I'm not visiting and reading for the time being; just concentrating on healing and feeling better. I go back for the post op visit in three weeks and will get the results from the liver biopsy and some other tests he did while I was in surgery. Please continue to pray that everything will be good and that I can return to better health. I don't want to be sickly and a burden to my family. However, I have placed all of those fears and anxiety with Lord and I refuse to take them back now! GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!

I pray each of you are having a wonderful week. God bless you all!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Update on Surgery

Hi all-
This is Katie, Diane's niece again. Just letting you all know that she came out of surgery and may even get to come home tonight, according to my mom. If there are any further updates, I will let you know. Thank you all so much for your love and support and especially your prayers. I appreciate them and I know Aunt Di does as well. God Bless!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Friday is the BIG DAY!

Just a short post to let you all know that I won't be very active for a few days, possibly a week or more. I am finally having my surgery on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. CDT at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. Please pray for me and for the doctors and nurses who will be taking care of me. I don't expect any complications, I know the Lord in control of all of that. I only ask for His will to be done.

I have an update post scheduled and have made arrangements with my niece to post in case there should be anything out of the ordinary to come up. Again, I totally do not expect complications of any sort.

If all goes well, I will be back at my sister's house by Saturday evening and will be there for about a week. I will try to get online sometime on Sunday to update everyone. Thank you all so much for your prayers and concern. I am so truly blessed to have so many wonderful, caring friends who love me enough to pray for me! May the Lord bless each of you!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Take Me Back Tuesday

I am so excited to be participating in Take Me Back Tuesday again this week! I love sharing my old family photos and I love seeing other's as well. Drop in on Kari at A Giveaway Addicted Mommy and check out others who are sharing their photographic memories!

I am posting a series of photos today of me from when I was about 16-17 years old. It was about this time that I really began to have issues with my digestive system. I have always carried a few extra pounds. During this time frame, I began to notice that I was having huge fluctuations in my size. My weight didn't change that much, but my size changed dramatically almost from day to day and sometimes from hour to hour. Little did I know what those symptoms would finally lead to.

The surgery coming up on this Friday will replace a gastric stimulator for which the battery pack has died. The stimulator works somewhat like a cardiac pacemaker in that it provides electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve in my stomach muscle to encourage my stomach to empty it's contents. When the stimulator isn't working, I am constantly nauseated and throw up numerous (15-20) times daily and suffer from malnutrition, although I continue to carry extra weight. The bloating continues to be a constant problem.

This is me on August 4, 1974. It's not a great picture, but maybe you can get the idea anyway! This pictures was taken by Terry when we were at the lake one Saturday afternoon. I was 16 and was actually at a pretty good weight and size at this time.

This picture was taken in my front yard on the same afternoon. I'm not really sure why I included this one, other than I just like to look at pictures of us when we were so young and in love!!!!

Here I am at 17. Momma took this picture in our back yard on May 10, 1975 when we were taking pictures to publish with our wedding announcement. You can see that my waist is a relatively good size, but above my waist is bloated on this day.
This is May 18, 1975 following my high school Baccalaureate ceremony. This is me and my best friend from high school, Marcia. Note how bloated I am in this picture. This is only a week later that the picture above. I might note I had also just discovered on this morning that I had scarlet fever, which some doctors say contributes to my disorder.

This is my high school graduation night, May 19, 1975, only one night later. Notice that I am now my normal size again. Even when looking at my body shape in this gown, you can see my size is smaller than the night before.

This is us on our wedding night, June 14, 1975. I was just a bit bloated that night. Stress seems to exacerbate the problem at times.

So, there are you are. I think these pictures pretty well document the problem AND serve as a good TMBT post as well! I hope you enjoyed my pictures. I guess I'm just vain, but I sure enjoy sharing them with you all!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Veteran's Memorial
Middleton, TN
God Bless The U.S.A.!

As I sit here this morning, my heart aches as much, if not more, than it did on that early Monday morning in January when I had just watched my precious Terry step into eternity. Grieving is such an odd journey. Just when I think I'm better, I'm again back where I started.

I went for a drive earlier tonight. The moon shone brightly from a clear sky, with millions of stars twinkling above me. I stopped at an old country road where Terry and I used to take evening walks. I got out of my car and stood alone in the dark, listening to sounds of the night and watching the stars. I remembered those walks of yesteryear.

In my mind's eye I was once again in my thirties with so many dreams for a future with Terry. We walked, laughed, talked, dreamed.....just happy to be with each other and so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who had brought us together when neither was looking for love or commitment. I, too young to think seriously about such things; and he, too young and having too much fun playing the field! Yet, my lifelong friend was dating his friend, she told Terry about me and the rest, as they say, is history!

Tonight I miss him so much. It's the 4th of July weekend, one of Terry's favorite holidays. He loved grilling and he loved eating! Every year, he wanted my family to get together and grill and eat and shoot fireworks in Momma and Daddy's yard. Sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't. When we did, he absolutely loved watching the kids with the fireworks. When we didn't, he and I spent the day and evening alone together, often off on a brief trip somewhere.

It's odd how, when we're busy living our lives, we rarely take the time to stop and appreciate what we have. Then, we lose it and we're left with half-memories and too many regrets. So many of our years together are now just glimpses of memories captured in a picture or snippets of conversation caught on a video tape. Oh, how I wish I had taken more care to treasure each moment and hold it in my heart!

But, I have what I have and there's now nothing that can be done to change it. I am thankful I've always snapped pictures at alarming rates! For all the times Terry fussed at me for always having that camera in my hands, I am so thankful now that I did! I only wish I had been better at it. And, I wish he had been better at standing still so I could snap him! But, like everything else, the time for changing any of that has passed.

So much has passed. When Terry went home to be with Jesus, so much changed in my life. I'm now 'me' and no longer 'we'. I'm a widow, not a wife. If I want to decide what to watch on T.V., there's no one to offer a differing opinion. When it's time to eat, there seems no point in preparing a meal for only one. The plants are all droopy because Terry's not here to remind me to water them. When I come home, the house is so silent and empty, no one to hear me say "I'm home". Yet, I continue to say it because it just doesn't seem right to come home without greeting someone.

I'm way beyond middle-aged and I'm starting all over again. I'm not sure I have the energy to do that. Yet, do that I must; I have no choice in the matter. So, I press on. I have some really good days; days when I almost feel happy again. I laugh and actually enjoy myself. And, I have some sad days; days when all I can do is cry, and that's okay too. I used to feel that the nights were the worst but I'm not sure about that anymore. The time of day doesn't seem to matter much anymore. Perhaps that's just part of the moving forward in the process.

Whatever is or is not, this is my life now. As sad as I am to be without Terry, I also realize just how blessed I am to have had him in my life for the nearly 36 years we were together. He was human and certainly had faults, many and various. He was, however, a wonderful man and a loving husband. We had our troubles as any married couple will have. Our marriage faced struggles, times when we each sometimes wanted to throw up our hands and just walk away. However, we didn't. We stayed because love is not just a snugly emotion, it is a commitment.

Part of our commitment was to love each other until death parted us. We honored that and now I have to figure out where my life goes from here. One thing is certain, our love didn't end with Terry's death; it will never end. When he crossed the threshold into eternity, so did our love; it will never die. Will I love again? I honestly don't know. At this point, I cannot conceive ever being in love again. However, I have learned never to say never. I don't know what God has in store for me in the future, but I know He has a plan and I know I want to be in the center of His plan.

So, as difficult as it is, life goes on; and so must I. I will always love Terry and I will always miss him. After this upcoming surgery and the healing that must occur afterwards, I just want to be able to begin to move forward; to begin to see what God has in store for me. I don't want to box God in and have expectations. I want to be completely open to whatever He has for me.

I pray each of you has a wonderful holiday weekend! May we never cease to be thankful for all the blessings we have in our lives. God bless the U.S.A. and all those brave men and women who have sacrificed to procure and preserve our freedom and all will do so in the future.