Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Warning" Might be TMI

So I've been doing Spring cleaning (I know it's a bit late) and I discovered something I thought was long gone. I've recently been busy doing DIY projects & trying to better organize our dreaded food pantry in hopes that at the end of the day we will all be better organized. Okay, I'll admit it I'm also feeding my minor OCD tendencies. Never less, in my cleaning & organizing, I opened the pedestals under my washer & dryer. I've never used them before and expected them to be empty & a great place to store extra sheets & blankets. To my enjoyment the first one was empty and I crammed in several blankets. I opened the second and my mouth dropped open. Stuffed inside was the bag that held all my spit rags. I know that sounds gross especially that I was excited to find them, but I was. Anyone that was around me for any time after my operation knew I had swallow issues and with the inability to swallow, my saliva had to go somewhere. I used a suction machine religiously during those first few weeks in the hospital and was even discharged with one to use in the weeks & months following. Man that thing was a pain, cumbersome, loud, gross & smelly. Sorry to those who had to witness it. Darren thanks for loving me enough to clean it when I still wasn't strong enough, you're incredible! Back to my spit rags... As I began to swallow more & gain better control of my saliva & function in my mouth, I was able to back further & further away from the suction machine (yeah!). The spit rags allowed me to be more discrete with my seemingly constant saliva. Mind you, I still drew attention as I practiced walking & other therapy moves with my spit rag tucked ever so carefully in my gait belt. Oh, I wish I had a picture! Yikes!!!!!

Those towels, spit rags, were brought to me by my sister Jaime while I was still in the hospital. I don't remember ever talking about a plan for my saliva & how I'd manage it once I was discharged, she just saw the need & filled it. She even picked out colorful washcloths for me. These rags saved me countless times from extreme embarrassment & I'm so very thankful for her forethought in that matter. I remember saying shortly after I was home that I couldn't wait to get rid of these rags and I thought we had up until yesterday. I kept one as a reminder of how far I've come. Let me be clear - it's ONLY by God's incredible grace, love & Power I am here & able to celebrate such in fathomable milestones. Thank you God.

Psalms 106.1: Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.


Monday, July 08, 2013


WOW! When I look back at the past few years of Kasilof camping during the 4th of July, I am reminded of God's incredible restoring power.  He is truly making things new!

I looked back to my first visit after leaving the hospital and I remember the anxiety I had about that trip.  I was traveling 3 1/2 hours from the hospital that had cared for me for 6 weeks. I was filled with hundreds of what if's, but God provided those answers and I was able to enjoy the get away as much as possible.  Because I was not even out of the hospital three months, I had to rely on those with me for much.  Caring for myself was a full time job, but I still had two children to think of.  Darren, Jaime and Kyle were incredible and stepped up and filled the void.  They entertained the boys, changed clothes & diapers, fed them all the good camping food (or a bottle in Kadin's case), and kept them loved and safe.  The trip went well and despite still being on a feeding tube and having the balance of a drunken sailor, I too survived.  Although it was tough to not partake in all the camping fun especially the smores.

2010 - Zachary -2 years old almost 3 & Kadin - 5 months old

2011 -  Zachary 3 years old almost 4 & Kadin almost 1 1/2 years old

2012 - Zachary 4 years old almost 5 & Kadin almost 2 1/2 years old

2013 - Zachary 5 years old almost 6 & Kadin almost 3 1/2 years old



2013 - Kasilof trip was awesome.  I felt like I could finally participate fully in all the activities.  We had lots of fun with a ton of firsts. Zachary brought his four wheeler and did beach riding with his Daddy.  Zachary caught a frog. Kadin did his first 4 wheeler ride without fear and now LOVES it!  Darren and I shot our first handgun's.  We watched our first movie huddled in the back of a Tahoe.

So many memories to be thankful for!  Thank you to Bonnie & Gerald Kragt for letting us use their cabin each year.  Custom made with love! Thank you to Jaime & Kyle Kragt for inviting us and always making it a great time. Not only family but awesome friends. Much love to you and Miss Lily.