Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Adversity and Gratitude...

I was going to start this blog post by apologizing for what I may say, but I changed my mind.  This blog post will contain a little of what life is for me...  and although, this post may not contain any fashion tips, glitter or razzle dazzle, it will contain a couple of the raw ingredients I have to face daily.

Every day of my life, I face great physical adversity and the painful reminder that I went into the hospital to have a baby and left with with empty arms and a broken body.

The injuries I have are too many to list and the battles I have fought over the years are draining and numerous, both physically and emotionally.  

Every day, a challenge.  

Let me 'landscape' a little background for you, in doing so, I am sure you may hear a hint of aggravation in my 'tone...' once again, why I thought I would apologize at the beginning.

For some time now I have been dealing with insurance company and the fact that they do not want to pay for more than 200 catheters a month!  Ugh!  Can you hear me screaming that?  It seems to me that as if the loss of my son wasn't enough to bare, the insurance companies have added a little salt in the wounds... month after month... year after year... it is a battle.  Us verses the insurance companies and medical supply companies.  It seems the 'average' person should never use more than 200 catheters a month according to them!  Ugh again!  Really folks... can you just walk a day in someone's shoes before you can 'assume' such! I guess the 'average' person also gets to bring her baby home from the hospital!  Ugh!  

As much as I hate it, I am dependent upon catheters to live.  This is not a choice.  This is not an option... this is just the way it is.  Period.  My injuries have led me down a very painful, long road, and one without the baby I went into the hospital to have... 

Surgeries, tests, procedures, prescriptions, injections... doctors, specialists, hospitals, need  say more?  Ronnie and I have had our fair share of all of the above over the past 7 1/2 years... and it stinks! But I am so grateful for the doctors, the surgeries, and all of the above... and I am even grateful for the insurance companies and the supply companies!  Truly, I am.  My doctors are incredible and have helped me so much.  They are brilliant and it continues to show through the years of treatment with them and we wouldn't have a house or a dog if we didn't have insurance!  Yes, it would probably be correct to assume I am aggravated at the same time, very grateful! ;)

After several months of complications it is obvious that the 'manifestation' of my injuries and nerve damage are becoming more prominent and rearing their ugly heads.  Today was a painful reminder just how 'bleak' the future looks through the medical lens.  It seems the interstim device and the botox are no longer actively working for my bladder and  so far the medications used to treat it have not altered the complications I am experiencing.  My doctor has asked me to start to consider a bladder augmentation. 

He will do another eurodynamics test on me very soon, and we will go from there.  I will tell you that I cannot believe the word augmentation was used and I didn't start planning my shopping trip for a new bra!  I never thought if I had an 'augmentation' of anything that no one would be able to tell!  ;)  PS- for the record, I have had 2 rounds of botox in my bladder too!  

At the hospital cafeteria today, I asked Ronnie how was I going to grow old... My bones are frail and my bladder, well... no words there and couple that with the multiple injuries that I have and I could get a strong case of the freak outs if I let myself.  Been there, done that.

Ronnie's response to my question was simple and beautiful... he said "you will grow old with me."   Talk about a soothing salve for my soul.  We have been through so much together and it is amazing that every day God builds our relationship even stronger than the day before to face the adversities in our lives and to also experience the great joy in overcoming them, together.

Every adversity, every single one, makes me, makes us stronger!  And at the end of the day it is critical for me to be grateful in the midst of it all, even on the very worst day.  Grateful.

The heartbreak of losing Matthew, the struggle of physical injuries and pain are pretty relentless in the hard category and some days I want to scream I have had enough!  Yet, there is such a grounding place that I have in my faith that says God is here, God isn't going to give us more than we can bare and then I start seeking others to help, to encourage and to uplift.  This is how I refresh my soul.  

I learn so much on days like this... Every tear or fear I have isn't unnoticed by God and He is going to give me the strength and the grace to continue every moment I am here on earth.

I could take the loss of Matthew and the loss of my health and let my heart be hardened by it all... and by all counts, I believe somewhere I would believe I had that right to do so... But my heart and soul would not be content or at peace living that way.  

God spared my life and has blessed our family with Will in the most beautiful way... and I have these big blobs of mama tears when I think of the gift, the absolute joy he is to us... I cannot imagine life without Will.  We are a family... all 5 of us!  We need each other and are blessed every day that we get to spend together.

I am painfully aware that choosing joy is sometimes the most difficult to do, especially on days like today.  Yet in my heart, when I make that 'choice' it is then I have the most peace.

It is then I can give to others what I know that 5 minutes ago I needed!  HOPE, LOVE, ENCOURAGEMENT!  

I share my struggle and adversity today because I know someone reading this is struggling too and I want them to know that it is so possible to have complete joy in that adversity with God at  your side and in your heart!

Listen y'all... I am a textbook medical mess and I have no idea what will happen to me tomorrow or in 5 years or in 2 months, but God does!  He's got this and He's got me!  I cannot even pee for free!  (quit laughing!)  ;)  And my insurance companies would like to tell me how many times I can pee!  How would you like that?  It is awful... but it is my situation... my circumstance... and I have to live with it the best I can.  Period.

I always take a few days to 'digest' any discussions with my doctors, but today, I really don't feel the need to do so. I am determined to use this energy to find purpose and to help others.

My entire attitude shifted after I 'vented' in the top portion of this post and as I chose to be grateful my heart began to open to the wonderful blessings of JOY! 

I wish you all JOY today!  And I hope you will be inspired to share that joy with others!  Take your situation or your circumstance and turn it around to help someone else!  It is amazing that in doing so your heart will be uplifted! 


Friday, October 19, 2012

still GONE...

Today while doing errands, I passed the empty lot that Riemann Funeral Home was located on. I frequently travel this road but this afternoon, the moment my eyes went to the abandoned lot that once housed this place and held my son, I was crushed all over again.

Pierced.  My eyes filled with tears as I circled around to take a closer look... as I did, I realized it was still GONE.  All GONE!

I know it has been over 7 years since Hurricane Katrina washed it all away... but to me, today, it was as if it was yesterday that this place was demolished by the angry flood waters and the wind.

I was devastated.  I was overwhelmed that the place that held my baby for 3 weeks was gone too.  It was the only place I ever held my baby outside of the womb.  It was the place that I would see him for the very first time.  The memory of that day flooded my heart... the sadness, the tears, the rawness of seeing him in his little white 'bed' surrounded by blue flowers, hugging him hello and 2 hours later kissing him goodbye... it all came back... today.

I pulled my car up to take a picture and I just sat in disbelief that my son was gone... I believe this moment had nothing to do with the building at all but rather what the building once held and who I held while I was in there.  I wondered how I would feel if the building was still there, would I ever be able to walk in there again?  Was it easier to see nothing than something?

I even began to wonder when people look at me do they see what 'once was' or the remains of 'what is?'

As I stared at the emptiness of the lot, I saw the concrete that once was lined with hearses and police cars... and mamas like me... and babies gone away...

I saw my family grieving over the loss of my nephew when he was born still when I was 15  years old... I saw our family 16 years later grieving over my son in the very same place... The 'place' that was GONE... leaving behind nothing but an empty and abandoned lot....

I saw pain and I felt pain...

With my next breath I made a conscious choice to look beyond what used to be there and I saw life~!  I saw life and beauty  in the wildflowers growing in the cracked concrete, I saw big strong trees that withstood the waves and wind, I saw the blue sky... and suddenly I couldn't see anything but God's beauty and His creation surrounding the very place that moments before inundated me with sadness and tears.

I am so grateful God allowed me to see the beauty among the emptiness today. It filled my heart with peace and joy, even in the midst of my circumstances of really, really, really missing my baby boy...

Places or things that are GONE from my reach or sight will never be able to take away the memory of my little one or the most sacred moments that are held so deeply within my heart!

Whatever your circumstance is today, I hope you can choose at this moment to see the beauty that surrounds you... it may be in the cracked concrete that you find it, but it's there!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I sat down to write today feeling like I would have much to share... I got here... and I am BLANK!  Completely blank!

There are so many thoughts flying in and out of my head and I am inundated with so many emotions that I am really ready to get them out... well, BLANK BLANK BLANK BLANK BLANK...

Even looking at that I am shaking my head.  Why do I have so much to say, yet cannot speak it?

I have been spending lots of time outdoors, inspired by wildflowers and butterflies, the beach, the fall air... it is simply beautiful.

I am spending this time being grateful... grateful for everything, everyday, good or bad, I am grateful.

So I am grateful and inspired... and full of things to say... but simply just feel the need to be quiet.

I will be quiet and take in the lessons life is obviously teaching me, I will be quiet and listen to my children more, I will be quiet and learn to be a better listener to my friends and to strangers, I will be quiet and more attentive to my husband and family, I will be quiet so I can hear the melody playing in my heart...

I will be quiet and I will be still and know that HE IS GOD!