Saturday, May 30, 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
So much has happened since I last posted. May is almost over, I never go this long without blogging. This has been such a great way for me to release some of my frustrations, express my appreciation from my heart and share the humor in my life.
I have a surgeon. I love, love, love. Dr. Sal Lettieri. I was referred to him by Heather a year ago, but since he was out of the country at the time we decided to go to Cleveland Clinic (huge mistake) I haven't heard from Cleveland Clinic since I had my surgery in July of last year. I realize I should have waited and seen Dr. Lettieri. He is employed by Mayo Clinic, works at the Maricopa Burn Center in Phoenix and does 2 days a week at Mayo.....whew that was a mouth full. How do I explain Dr. Lettieri, and why I love him......? He is compassionate with a little bit of sassy in his attitude. I just really feel comfortable with him. Dr. Lettieri did my last surgery at Mayo Clinic. He is very confident in what he does. There is a huge difference in doctors who are confident and those that are cocky. My doctor at Cleveland was very cocky and arrogant, I never felt comfortable with him or felt he had my best interest at heart. I was so impressed with Dr. Lettieri one day at one of my appointments. He was telling me what he thought would be the best surgery for me, then instead of making the decision he said "I know some really smart surgeons, I'm going to call one of them and get their opinion" he pulled out his 'flip phone' (seriously who still has those?) called a colleague gave him my diagnosis and asked him what he would do.... the other surgeon agreed with his decision, he hung up and said "In my job I know some really, really smart people, so I'm going to get one more opinion" and he did, he called another surgeon he knew just to make sure they all thought it was the proper procedure.....I loved him at that moment, not too many doctors do that in fact no doctor I know has ever done that for me.....confident vs. cocky......he's confident. Last week I got a text from him saying "call me when you can" I was at work on a break so I called him. This is what he said "I've been thinking about your surgery and......." he proceeds to tell me about a change in the procedure of my surgery, ...... I interrupted him and said "I trust you, I don't really understand any of what your telling me anyway so just do what you know is best for me" It finally feels really great to have a surgeon I can trust. I have thought about him so many times since then, what it said to me was he was thinking about me. He has many patients, and I guarantee he has their best interest at heart. I found out that he is Nie Nie's Dr. L, on her blog.
My last appointment with Dr. Lettieri was good news. The nerve replacement he did from my leg to my face is supposed to grow an inch a month. February was my last surgery, so it should have grown 3 inches. He checks this by tapping on the left side of my face to see where I feel it on my face. When he did that, I instantly felt it on the upper right side of my lip....HOORAY....stand up and do a jiggle dance.....it's working. I cried on the way home, I'm so happy. So, what does that mean? It means in 3 more months if it continues to grow I will have another big surgery to connect it to a viable muscle, or was it a nerve....? I don't know, it gets connected to one of those on the right side. It doesn't really change the look of my face, but it gives me some feeling back. Right now my face is still so numb. The entire right side of my upper lip feels like when you go to the dentist and get novocaine..... Dr. Lettieri, was really happy with the results.
My eye continues to be an issue, it constantly drips. Basically the surgery Dr. Cockyman did at the Cleveland Clinic was a waste of time. I have a hard time seeing out of my right eye. By the time I leave work at UsAirways it is a constant drip and never goes away. Dr. Lettieri and Heather had me do some exercises with my eyes to see what the issues were. I will be having surgery at the Mayo Clinic on June 24th, hopefully to put an end to the eye dripping and redness.
Friday, May 1, 2015
I was recently at a training in Canada, as I religiously took notes I suddenly was struck with shock when I heard Mark (the trainer) tell a story about how much women pay for their beauty products. I heard laughing from the audience, but I was in another world. I was having an outer body experience. What is the price we pay for beauty? I'm not talking about a monetary price, as Mark was humorously entertaining us with.
I had an ah ha moment, I wrote: Mark said "believe me guys, there is a price for beauty...."
I immediately wrote down "For me, what I have learned about beauty from Nerium this past year is Priceless" My face is disfigured, it will never be the same. I want that so badly, I want to look at someone and smile, smile BIG. I want to show my teeth. I can't believe I took my smile for granted. Just like I took my hair for granted, the feeling in breasts for granted, being able to run and train for granted, I could go on and on..... I simply took everything in life for granted.
I cannot honestly say any of this is understandable, nor has it been easy. I may not always please people with my honesty and truthfulness, however I know the Lord has gotten me through these past few years. I have been refined, not defined by Him who loves me just as I am. In my quiet time, when I spend thinking and pondering over why so much in my life has been hard there have been times I've truly wanted to crawl in a hole and die--I've wondered if anyone would even miss me, lost sometimes in despair.
Then suddenly my heart is filled with more love and an overwhelming feeling of His arms around me, pulling me up through that dark and empty hole into the light again.
I lived for so long not caring about others, not caring even about where I was going or where I should be. I now know my life was intentionally and most humbly prepared for me before I even came to earth. His grace has gotten me through enormously unbelievable circumstances. Because I know He has made promises to me if I am righteous and obedient I will continue trying to live as He wants me to. I will share Hope and Faith with others, I know the Lord will use me, he will lead and guide me to people who are in need. This life for me is no longer about beauty on the outside, I ask Him to help me not turn from pain and to give me strength and compassion to help others who are climbing an uphill battle.
We all want to feel beautiful, external beauty, I know this because I have been that person. There are still glimpses I take in the mirror that horrify me. When I am weak, I know I have to move forward, never go back, never give up. I am putting all my faith in unseen strong hands that I have felt comfort me and pull me to a higher ground. I love that feeling, knowing He is watching over me, He knows me, He feels my pain and He understands my journey on this earth is not quite over.
Physically I am tired, my body aches my heart is full and yet I want to fight because I know there are so many more miracles to come to others from Him through me. I don't feel comfortable sharing those sacred moments the Lord has so gracefully revealed to me I have more work to do before it is my time to go live with Him again. He has lifted my burdens on so many occasions when I have wanted to give up. When Sheldon died, one of those special moments came. I truly miss him, and visit his graveside often. I'm not sure why, I haven't visited anyone's grave as much as his but I feel a peace there. I will never forget him telling me I looked beautiful when I was bald. Eric tells me I'm beautiful everyday, he is so kind in that way and I appreciate it so much, but the day Sheldon said those words to me, it meant something different. He stood there pale faced and bald himself and yet for some reason those words penetrated my heart like no one else ever has. Maybe because I trusted he knew how I was feeling, not just using "words" to succor the needy.
Every bit of the worlds definition of physical beauty has been taken from me. So yes, there is a price to pay for physical beauty, but for me what I have learned about pure unconditional love and beauty in His eyes is priceless.