Monday, February 23, 2009

This side of glory

This past weekend, I made a quick trip to Kentucky to see my Grandpa New and the family and spend a girls night with my best friend Christina. Christina and I were going to meet in Bowling Green for Friday night and Saturday but those plans changed. While talking to my mom on the phone last Thursday night, she finally remembered to tell me Hospice was caring for my grandpa. What? How long? What's going on? Her answer...I really don't know, they've been helping for over a week or so, maybe two.

Change of plans and I'm on my way to visit my grandpa on Saturday. Short story: He has a bed sore that is very deep, and infection has set up deep down. The doctors can't completely cure the bed sore. The infection will spread through his body, eventually taking his life. He could pass away tomorrow or a year from now. It's a waiting game at this time.

I'm glad I was afforded this possible last time to see my grandpa alive and able to converse. He definitely appeared weaker, not as keen of mind. The man used to blow your mind with information about everybody and everything. I teared up as I kissed him and hugged him goodbye. I don't know if that will be the last time I see him on this side of glory. But that's where the story is different for me and those who belong to God. I have a hope that goes beyond this earth.

I'll leave you with a lyric from my grandpa's favorite song: "What I day that will be when my Jesus I shall see!"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another one bites the dust

This year is not proving to be my year in the technology arena. About two or three months ago, my laptop lcd screen met a tragic end called the floor. The screen was replaced and everything is good to go, thanks Brandon!

Now it seems my camera has turned its back on me and the batteries. Sunday night was a first at my church, a dodgeball tourney. Yep...a dodgeball tourney. Balls were flying everywhere, Mandy got hit in the eye by one. While taking pictures of this hilarious event, my camera stopped. No warning of impending doom, just stopped. The lens is still out and open. I can't get it to close. I've tried placing it on the charger, no luck. So, what does this mean for you? You get no pictures with posts...unless friends send me pictures.

Maybe I'll be able to afford a new camera later on this year. Technology is out to get me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Itch, scratch, itch, scratch...

Here is a picture of me on Saturday and Sunday. The laser zaps have faded to a red shade, many of them are the same shade as the birthmark. A few of the dots have scabbed over, but that is normal. I'm still itchy but I can now rub the area without decreasing effectiveness. You cannot even begin to imagine how much these little dots itch! Last time I did a treatment on the whole birthmark, I thought I was going to go insane with the itching. Doing just the chin has been so easy.

By the end of this week, the dots will be gone, then fading begins. Let's hope the laser worked!

Friday, February 13, 2009

As promised

Here is a picture from yesterday. You can see how the bruising has subsided and I'm left with just the laser zaps. I'm into the itchy stage. Imagine chicken pox and not scratching...yeah.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feel the burn

Today was my first laser treatment since 2001. I was delighted to see one improvement to the procedure above all, a tube of ice cold air for me to blow on my birthmark as they zapped me with the laser. I put a cream on an hour before the treatment, a topical anesthetic. It numbs the skin some but I still feel the laser hit the skin. Being able to blow that cold air on the skin made such a difference.

It was weird zapping only the chin area. All my previous treatments involved the whole birthmark, which includes the chin, right cheek, right side throat, right ear lobe and the upper part of the chest. Honestly, it was a piece of cake doing only the chin. And the treatment was over in five minutes. That's a lot faster than before.

Here are the pictures from today. The first one is after I put on the numbing cream, looks like shaving cream. The next one is after I apply some plastic wrap and tape. I have to cover the cream and tape it up, otherwise the cream dries up and it is way less effective. Don't I look great? Just to pamper myself, I stopped at Sonic for a Route 44 vanilla Dr. Pepper. I nursed it all day. The last picture is right after the treatment. Right now it looks like my birthmark is really dark. I'll post a picture every couple of days to show how the treatment works beyond today.

I took some Advil and slept the afternoon away. My cats loved having an extra "pillow" today. Now I look forward to days of itchy skin that I can't rub or scratch. Yeah, not fun.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Sushi time

I met a friend for sushi tonight. I love sushi! This place has great seaweed salad. You must try it. I want to share what the sushi dude made us for dessert. The little orange man was so cute in person! One of the fun parts of eating sushi is enjoying the art aspect of the food prep.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Long time coming

Let me share a little about my past so you can fully appreciate the reason for this post. I have two older brothers. Steve is six years older than me, Bryan eight years older. I grew up with Steve, we have some history. Bryan moved out when he was sixteen or seventeen, me around eight or nine. I don't remember much about living with Bryan before he moved out. We don't share history like most siblings do. We simply haven't been around each other and we don't get along all that well (read between the lines - we are a lot alike and clash). Needless to say, we don't call each other and stay in touch.

Fast forward some years, like up to 2007 or 2008...I don't remember exactly when, Bryan calls me at work and says he is in Nashville. What?! He was on vacation and decided to visit me. He what?! That had never happened before. We ate supper together and talked. I saw Bryan in a new light. He left town and I was left in awe that there might be a relationship developing with my brother. Isn't it strange to hear from a 30-something woman that she doesn't know her brother? Well, I didn't.

Fast forward to the present, as of Wednesday of this week. Bryan calls me and says he wants to come down for the weekend, or at least a day. Every time he calls, I have to remind myself that it may not be an emergency. That's the only reason he would be called me in the past...or to ask what to get mom for Christmas.

This time he is bringing mom with him. I see growth in Bryan, him wanting to reach out and socialize. Bryan is definitely not a socialite by any stretch of the word. I'm excited and happy for any communication and growth between us. I remember praying a long time ago that God would draw my family closer. I longed for a deeper relationship with each of them. And He has fulfilled and continuing to answer those prayers. Esty, if you are reading this, do you remember praying with me about that? You said one day I would walk into my parents house and realize it had happened. Well, it has.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Where's that hymnal?

I am taking from my friend Crystal's blog for this post. Even though I enjoy many of the new songs, I love singing through some old hymns. Many of them are packed with good, solid doctrine. I want to share some of my favorite hymns and the part I like most.

It is well
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

How firm a foundation
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell shall endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no, never, no, never forsake

God leads us along
Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along;
Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
God leads His dear children along.

Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

And can it be?
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

So many ideas...plenty of time

So why do you not see more posts on here if that is the case? being lazy is the answer.

My coworker gave me a calla lily tuber and pot for Christmas. I won't say I'm bad at gardening and such but I'm definitely not proficient in the area. The plant is almost two feet tall and growing. Yay! There is one area about to bud open, can't wait to see it! Hopefully the plant stay around for a while. Testing my green thumb here. :)

The first laser treatment on the birthmark is next Tuesday, February 10. I'm fine with having the treatment but not fine with the recovery time. Up until now, any treatment covered the whole birthmark. This time only the chin will be worked on. Hopefully that makes a huge difference in the level of discomfort. Advice from someone who has been there: don't let a dermatologist office convince you that a laser session will give a mild irritation to your skin. Don't believe it! IT HURTS! And it continues to hurt and burn for days. Then comes the itchy stage. I'm stopping now...I'm starting to itch just thinking about it. I'll post a picture of my chin after the treatment. You can take the journey of recovery with me. I'll post a picture every couple of days.

My workplace has to be one of the most random and crazy work areas out there. If you could only have been at the table during lunch to hear the conversations. It started out fine with discussion on running. I mentioned how my roommate is training for a half marathon. She is up the a good six or seven miles without stopping. Way to go, Wendi! Anyway...leave it to a girl named Melody to take an innocent discussion of running and exercise and lead us into a crazy discussion about medical conditions and things I won't mention here. My day is never boring or dull.

My daddy celebrated my 62 birthday yesterday. I sang Happy Birthday over the phone and told him I was bad for not putting his gift in the mail soon enough. He said, "Guess if I get it before next year's birthday, we're good." Sounds just like my dad.

I have many-an idea for posts. I'll get to them soon.