Friday, January 31, 2014

Religious Hijacking

It seems religion has been hijacked....ha ha.  But seriously, I was thinking about this a lot today.  So many people claim to be religious. To have compassion and love for everyone, no matter what their beliefs are, is what Jesus taught. He admonished all of us to care for one another in sickness, loneliness and grief.
I don't every remember it being said Jesus will only Atone for the sins of those who are Mormon, Catholic or whatever religion others may fit into.  He Atoned for ALL our sins, ALL the sins of he human race, not those who belong or have been baptized into a certain religious group of people. I can truly say, I love most everyone I meet, it does not matter what their background or religious belief.  A few weeks ago a friend asked if she could give me a healing blessing for my ear and cancer issues, I was thrilled to have her anoint my face with her Turkish oil and put her hands on my head to bless me with healing.  We spoke for awhile after and she and I agreed all prayers or blessings are according to not only our faith, but also to what the Lord's will is.  We both agree on this.

 I find that so many people hide behind their religious beliefs, but forget to live what they believe.  If we are all trying to live a little more like Jesus and gain attributes of Christ in our lives, I believe we should be supporting and loving one another as He did.  There is this misconception about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in my opinion and from what I have seen those people who have a pure heart and want to achieve the attributes of Christ, do not worry about other religious believes they LIVE WHAT THEY BELIEVE and it shows in their everyday lives, it is simply a part of who they are, it is sincere and pure.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, no one will ever walk into an LDS church service from here to the other side of the world and hear them speak evil or badly of what other churches believe in, or to stay away from them--it is quite the opposite.  An invitation is given to ALL who want to know what we truly believe and LIVE, with no pressure to get baptized, we just want people to understand why we believe like we do.  We understand that not all are going to understand, or choose to believe the books or the sermon they hear at Sunday worship.  The bottom line for me is, how you treat people, how you show your attributes of Christ in your everyday life, those are the people I want to surround myself with, no matter if you are a member of the LDS church or any other,  just stand behind what you believe and LIVE it daily.

Giving service and showing compassion towards others means taking yourself down off your throne and putting the other person on the throne, forget yourself and fall into the arms of others.  I tried an experiment some time ago, where I  decided no matter what the circumstances I was going to try and put myself in the other shoes, try to understand why they were acting out, upset or angry.  In every instance it was something that was controllable and I never saw a reason for them taking it out on others, however, we are all made up of different ways of communication and need to be taught, slowly, compassionately, and in a non judgemental way we are all Heavenly Father's children and He loves us all the same.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Never take hearing for granted

To the person who wanted to know how my phone got in the toilet?  It was in my back pocket, just so you know I retrieved it before I sat down--no body fluids got on the phone, but it was still kinda gross to put my hand in the water and may I also say I did it swiftly and without thinking--I guess this goes to show us how much we all care about our phones.

Dr. Barr's

I saw Dr. Barr's today at the Mayo Clinic, the more I visit with him the more I admire and love him.  I'm not sure how or why I am so blessed to have the team of doctors I have, but I really do have a great relationship with all of them.

Today he vacuumed out my ear, there was a lot of drainage.  When I told him about the pain I was feeling down the back side of my ear and down my neck, he took a look and said he could not see that far into my ear, he would have to take off the ear again to see why it is causing this pain.  However, he did reassure me that the surgery I went through will probably take 6 months to completely heal from. I had only 2 questions for him.....

Me:  "OK I know this may seem weird to you, but I'm going to ask anyway OK?"
Dr.:  with a huge smile, I love his smile. "yes, go ahead and ask"
Me:   lifting my hair back as if I was putting it in a ponytail "Do you see any difference in my two ears?"
Dr.:  again with that smile "Umm, yes one sticks out more than the other"
Me:  "will it always be this way, because I like to workout with my hair up, and it is really obvious"
Dr.:  "your ear is still healing and is still swollen, however I don't think there is enough bone to support your right ear the way you had it before surgery." (smile) "let me ask you, would you rather have a tumor in your ear and a normal looking ear? or would you rather have a chance to live and hear better out of your left ear? besides you have a screw hanging out of the bone that is visible too, who cares what your ear looks like when your hair is up, no one will even notice"
Me:  "now wait just a darn minute, that's not fair" he smiles bigger this time with his eyes "what can I say to that?" we both laugh and I say "you are absolutely right"
Dr.:  "what is your other question?"
Me:  "did you know I have bald spots on my head?"
Dr.:  no smile--more concerned "where are they let me see them"
Me:  pulling back my hair on the left side I show him the complete baldness in a 2 inch by 2 inch round
with very little hair covering it--then another one in the back of my head
Dr.:  "I am so sorry, I wish I had a magic potion we could put on that to make it grow back"
Me:  "It's OK, I've been bald before this is nothing"
Dr.:  "good attitude it will grow back before you know it"

Now thinking back about this conversation I'm kind of embarrassed that I asked him about my ear sticking out, I'm sure he wishes he could speak louder, but is glad to be alive and enjoying life with his family.

One of the reason's I love Dr. Barr's so much and we have connected easily, he has had problems with his Trakia and Larynx, so he talks very quietly almost a whisper--when we first met, he read my charts and said jokingly "you and I are a great team, I can't talk, and you can't hear" he is so great to talk directly to my face so I can read his lips.  He was very tender with me when I cried in his office about what I was feeling during those weeks of not being able to hear, his residents where in the room and he asked them to make sure if they talked to me they were looking straight at my face so I could try to read their lips.  I think I respond better to doctors who can be serious when they need to, give it to me straight, and then joke and make light of things when it's necessary to just get my thick head to understand, hair grows back--"who cares, at least I'm Alive"

I will not be returning to work next week, Dr. Barr's decided I need one more week to try to get this infection under control.  I am feeling much better, and am ready to go back to work, Eric wants me to take it easy and do what the doc tells me to do.  Tonight  I can't help but be overwhelmed with all the blessings I have received throughout my life.  I'm looking forward to 2014 with a strengthened heart, and greater empathy for the deaf.  I would love to learn sign language--maybe I will add that to my list of things to do.

Through this experience I'm not sure what I was supposed to learn and maybe my school of learning on this topic is not quite over yet, but I know what I have learned so far:

Never take hearing for granted
Listen to uplifting music-music that brings a smile to your face or a tear to your eye.
He sees the heart inside me, and is the only one who knows the strength I have
Even if I can't hear, I can feel Him with me--every time I kneel down he always answers

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Toilet Phone

Tonight I cannot sleep, it's 12:15 the house is quiet as all are asleep and I am lost in thought.  Last week I lost my phone to the toilet--I tried all the tricks--I heard putting it in rice would help, but not for me I left it there for 4 days and still no good. I missed a Mayo appointment, but other than that I don't think I missed much.   It was nice not being responsible, but I admit I realized how much I have come to rely on that device.  I think Eric was more worried about it than I was, because he likes to call me throughout the day and check to see how I am, we do not have a land line here at our home so unless I was with one of my children he had no way of getting in touch with me.  So with that being said I now am the owner of a new phone, thank you Eric.

I will be visiting Mayo Clinic with Dr. Barr's on Wednesday morning. Hoping and praying all is going well with the healing, I am supposed to go back to work on February 4th.  I can't believe I'm saying this but I am looking forward to it. With the merger between USAirways and American it is important I am there to keep up with the latest and get the training I need.

My right ear is draining quite a bit, I've been leaving the cotton ball out so it can dry out, this was Dr. Barr's suggestion, but I'm pretty sure it's getting infected, I can feel it in my right jaw, behind the ear and down into my neck.  It aches constantly but I refuse to take the pain pills, I've tried some herbal remedies but nothing will work like a good ole narcotic, and I really don't want to go through what I went through to get off of them while I was dealing with my chemo and radiation.

I've gotten some energy the past couple of weeks, I've been juicing all my veggies and fruits in the morning and it has helped me not only get the nutrition I need but given me some energy to get out of the house.  I went to church on Sunday, and did not wear my mask--I have a hard time breathing in it, but I understand the risk also.   I'm ready to get on with life, no mask, no medicine, no blogging about my broken heart every time another trial comes our way.  I don't think I can cry any more, it's time for me to dry my eyes, wipe off all the tears, stand up, let the sunlight in and start living again.

I will never take my ears or hearing for granted again--3 weeks of literally not being able to hear was overwhelming to me, the only thing that helped me through it was reading, I read the entire book of Preach my Gospel, with special attention to reading chapter 6 on the attributes of Christ.  What I learned from this experience, is that I was lifted up and helped through those agonizing weeks.  I have nothing to complain about, when I see the Lord someday, I want to be able to say to him "Thank you, thank you for being my friend during those 3 weeks, for you were the only one I KNEW understood what I was feeling and all the fears I had" I will glory in his name all the days of my life, but also I am thankful he allowed my hearing to return in that left ear, the day it popped and I could hear again was amazing--the birds seemed to chirp louder than I had ever heard, the phone rang more than I wanted, but the thing I loved the most was hearing music again, Sunday I could hardly get through the music, and continually  watched Stephen Phelps play his testimony through his music, magically this man can calm my heart with his incredible way of putting my life in perspective, music is my way of communicating to my own heart what I am feeling.  Thank you Eric for bringing a sense of humor to the situation.  I forget sometimes to just laugh at myself, if my story was written I really think it would be hard for some to believe, and maybe even I would laugh--but with that being said It's time for me to try and sleep and to leave with this final thought for my children and family:

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle,accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is life, fight for it.”
~ Mother Teresa

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cowboy Recker at Angel Acres

I will forever be grateful to this pretty lady Heidi.  I met her Saturday, she is the reason Recker is attending Angel Acres Horse Therapy in Queen Creek.  I love her for responding to one of the blog's I posted about Recker.  I love her for her sweet smile and encouraging words.

To Heidi I want to say this, I was moved in several different ways when I met you Saturday. My heart was pounding when you approached me, I was not sure what to expect as lately  I have been criticized for MY WAY of blogging. There have been many times I have wondered if keeping my blog open to the public is what I want to do, and considered going private so that only my family would have access to it.  If Heidi had not read my blog I doubt Recker would be having the time of his life riding horses every Saturday.  From Kayla and Jeremy they say  thank you also.  We will be keeping Recker at Angel Acres for as long as Marty is continuing to amaze us with her  love and generosity to these children. 

 Heidi has been following my blog for several years, and the things she shared with me on Saturday about my blog and the inspiration she has gotten, filled my heart and was exactly what I needed to hear--I know the Lord intervened --as I have said many times, and I know many of you do not agree with my way of doing things, and that's OK, but this is MY JOURNEY, whether I write about the good times or the bad, I will not be going private anytime soon.  I respectfully ask you not to read my blog or send me your negative and hurtful emails.  I am certainly not a  professional writer, this is just my life and I want my children and grandchildren to know my world, my life,  my understanding and perspective and all the wonderful things it can offer, and the people who they can touch with words of encouragement.  Life is always going to have ups and downs, mountains and boulders to climb, for EVERYONE, we were meant to come to this earth and experience those, whether they be health issues, family struggles, financial etc.....they can and do touch lives, none of us are perfect and I am the 1st to say this about myself. 5 Years ago I would of never shared any part of my past life, now I choose to share, you may not and that is perfectly OK, but please do not hurt me while you are experiencing YOUR JOURNEY. 

 While I am talking about this subject, and I hope this is the last time I have to before I start blocking people-- I have kept so much to myself for so many years this blog has allowed me to heal, to find some peace in my life.  Three years ago I received  emails from 3 different women who were struggling with Breast Cancer, searching the web and found my blog,  the question they each asked me was "how do you have so much faith?" they all wanted to know more about how I choose to worship.  I was able to send the missionaries from the LDS church to these women's homes so they could learn more about what I believe and know to be true.  

One woman was from Oklahoma, one from South Carolina, and the other from New Jersey.  I contacted the missionaries from the LDS church in their areas, all of them allowed the missionaries into their homes to answer questions they had about the LDS religion.  I still am in contact with 2 of the women.  The woman from New Jersey was baptized along with her entire family, a year later went to the Temp;e to be sealed together for time and eternity. I recently received an email from her saying she was called to be the Relief Society President in her ward and her husband is serving in the bishopric, her daughter is active in Seminary and will be graduating and going on a mission at the end of the year. her son is on his mission now.  So the other women didn't get baptized, I love them for allowing me the opportunity to open up my circle of friendships and learn more about what they believe in--I love hearing from people.  I can't even count the many times I have had wonderful people of other religious beliefs ask if they can pray for me, or have even given me blessings, I LOVE IT--we all believe in the same God and have faith in the same God-He hears and answers prayers according to our faith in Him, no matter what or how you choose to worship.
This is the beautiful Heidi-I met her for the 1st time
Saturday--the little guy is Ezra my 2nd grandson
About a year ago I was contacted through my blog by Heidi, she asked me if Kayla and Jeremy would be interested in getting Recker into Horse therapy.  I talked it over with them, and Kayla of course already knew quite a bit about it.  I knew only one friend who has a niece with Autism who had done the horse therapy and she said it was great.  Heidi said there would be a waiting list and she wanted permission to put Recker's name on the list. Quite honestly, I had forgotten about it, until I got a phone call from Marty the woman in Queen Creek who runs this beautiful Angel Acres ranch.  We spoke for quite awhile on the phone discussing some of Recker's sensory issues, and the fact that he is 4 and non-verbal.  Marty assured me she had seen it all, and that Recker was not going to particularly like the helmet but that it is a requirement for all children who ride at Angel Acres.  Here we are a year later and at his 1st lesson, you can see by the pictures he was not a happy camper, he screamed, oh how he screamed.  Jeremy was so patient, with a smile on his face the entire time, so happy and proud of Recker.  I am glad Jeremy was there I think Recker is just about as strong as Jeremy, and did not mount this horse or ride quietly, Jeremy is the ONLY  one who could of kept him from jumping off and running.
Recker was so upset about that helmet
We Love Floyd--so nice and calm with Recker
Recker meeting Floyd--and learning
to brush the hair

Daddy and Recker mounting Floyd 1st time

Angel Acres has a little party every 6 weeks
for the children. Today happened to be
the 2nd (graduation 6th week party) for him.
They have a camera person taking pictures
every week and give the parents this
book filled with the 6 week progression of
Today Recker, rides the horse with no one having to ride with him.  He does not cry, he does well with the helmet, in fact has come out of his bedroom with a hat on, so the sensory issues are getting better...well I guess I should say they come and go, but he is loving riding and loving the horses.  He even got to gallop a little this week.  I am so grateful to Heidi for contacting me.
when it's all said and done
Recker and Daddy walk off
holding hands--♥

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Gilbert Temple

Saturday January 18th, 2014

We were able to have the whole family, with the exception of
Kayla, Jeremy, Recker and Ezra.

We had the privilege to tour the new Gilbert Temple on the evening of the 1st day of public viewing before the Temple is closed to the public.  The LDS community as well as those of other faiths have been patiently waiting for almost 4 years for this Temple to be finished and ready for viewing.
I thought every room was beautiful and loved how they themed it around the Agave plant. This is more than a beautiful building it is a sacred and Holy place for worthy LDS members to pray and get answers.  I have always told my children, there is no place more beautiful than the Temple to be married.  We have been blessed to have all of our children make the choice to be sealed to their husbands and Blake to Chloe.  Those weddings, each one of them will always be in my heart, I will never forget seeing these cute couples enter the sealing rooms together as friends, and leave as not only  friends, but now as husband and wife.  When Haleigh and Scott were married we were fortunate to have the entire family there to witness their beautiful eternal promises to each other.

Tears filled my eyes when we visited the baptismal font, oh so many memories I have as a youth baptizing in proxy, with my ear issues I was only ever allowed to do one or two names, fortunate for me I have those names written in my journal, and I hope to meet those people one day when I leave this life--if they chose to except the Gospel I know I will see them and search for them.

I personally have never visited another building that has brought more spiritual joy to my heart than the Temple of the Lord.  Many of my answers to prayers have been in the Temples of the Lord.  I'm grateful to have Gospel in my life, and I am living proof that miracles happen when we stay close to the Lord and do our best to  live as he did.  I have so much to learn, and am looking forward to volunteering at this Temple.  I wish I could have time stand still so everyone of my friends LDS or not could come and feel of the spirit in this beautiful Temple.  Eric and I have many opportunities to visit Temples around the world, but something special is happening here in Gilbert, this is the most beautiful of all the Temples I have ever had the opportunity to visit.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Results from Cultures

Today is Friday January 17th--

As I said before, during surgery they were able to take the tumor out in tact--no problems YAY--that is good news.  However, yesterday as I met with Dr. Barr's I was more concerned about the lack of hearing in my good ear than the right ear--he did examine the right ear and  Eric and I were able to see it on the screen as he vacuumed it out.  He said the healing looks as expected and to cut back on some of the cleaning regimen and antibiotics--doing the antibiotic too often can cause fungus which is not an easy thing to rid your body from. I was surprised how infected it still looked.

They found several strands of bacteria and were sent to the infectious disease department at Mayo.

PEPTOSTREPTOCOCCUS :  infections can occur in all body sites, including the CNS, head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, skin, bone, joint, and soft tissues. Inadequate therapy against these anaerobic bacteria may lead to clinical failures. Because of their fastidiousness, peptostreptococci are difficult to isolate and are often overlooked. Isolating them requires appropriate methods of specimen collection, transportation, and cultivation. Their slow growth and increasing resistance to antimicrobials, in addition to the polymicrobial nature of the infection, complicate treatment.


family of bacteria living usually in the alimentary canal or on mucous surfaces of warm-blooded animals; sometimes associated with acute infective processes

VEILLONELLA: it has been isolated in pure culture from various sites and implicated as a pathogen in the sinuses, lungs, liver, central nervous system, heart, and bone. Bactere- mia in the absence of an underlying source, however, is ex- tremely rare; to our knowledge.

I will be closely monitored by Mayo, but for now it looks like everything else is healing as expected.  I told him I was more worried about the loss of hearing in the left ear, I even got a little teary eyed trying to explain how it feels.  I am able to speak one on one with someone by reading lips and hearing slightly what is being said, but in groups of people I do not do not do well, it's hard for me to understand where the sounds are coming from.  His RN Kathleen, explained to me that this is totally normal for people going through these symptoms.

I then turned and asked Dr. Barr's why or where the fluid is coming from in my left ear his response with a smile on his face was " You as a person, we love and you are great, but you have terrible ears, this is just something that is part of your anatomy and we will deal with it as we go"  I have to ask people to speak directly at my face and raise their voice.  We are also praying this is a  temporary loss of hearing, if not he will poke a hole in my left ear to release the fluid, but he prefers to wait a couple of weeks to see if it clears out before doing this, because it is my only ear that I have hearing from it is a risk to make a hole in the eardrum.

I asked him about the tubes he had mentioned before and he said no to the tubes--no explanation.  So basically for now, I will be monitored closely go to my appointments and be rechecked and rechecked. If I would like the hole put in the eardrum to release the fluid now I can, he said it is my option, but I decided to go with his suggestion and wait it out.
As far as the right ear recovery Dr. Barr's said it really will take 3-4 months to fully recover.   So to me this sounds like good news. The only problem is, I would like to go back to work on schedule February 4th but since my job relys completely on the ability to hear, Dr. Barr's will either extend my medical leave or drain the left ear with a hole being placed in the eardrum.

The BAHA looks good, and I should be able to get the BAHA in March or April.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Today is January 14, 2014 (my birthday)

I'm 51 years old's been a great year.  We started 2013 with a new grandson joining our family, Ezra Ray Roussel was born on February 23.  Not only did Ezra join this crazy family, Scott Bigelow joined us by marrying our youngest daughter Haleigh.

It's funny when you're 12, you can't wait to be 16 so you can drive and go on dates, then when you're 16, 18 can't come fast enough.  When I was 18 I thought anyone over 30 was old, and when I turned 30 I cried like a baby. Now in my 50's I am feeling like 80 years old is just around the corner--What the heck happens to our bodies as we age?

Today was a good day with my family.


Monday, January 13, 2014

All I have is yours

Today is Sunday Jan 12, 2013

Well I did it, I went to church today, and was able to sit through all three hours, yay, pat on the back for me.  I was not feeling well yesterday and stayed in bed all day, except to get sick.  I also spent a very quiet Saturday, literally.  The kids all went to Disneyland, Jeremy Kayla Ezra and Recker spent the day together, and Eric was at work, honestly I was relieved to be allowed to just do nothing, but rest and pray I can go to church.  I made a goal to at least try to get through Sacrament, but I was able to make it through Sunday School and Relief Society.

I wish I could truthfully say it was easy, I can't.   This was a huge eye opener for me today, and I caught myself several times in tears.  I walked in a little late, Eric saved me a seat.  Just before I left the house I went back and forth to my room twice to pray....."please help me to understand what they are saying" that was my 1st prayer and not feeling quite happy with it, I walked back upstairs knelt next to that all familiar place next to my bed and poured out my heart, "I know you are teaching me something, or trying to, am I so hard headed that I am not getting it? please Heavenly Father, help me to listen with my heart today, even if I can't understand what is being said"  I waited a few minutes with my head low and eyes closed, expecting something, but it never came.

I was met at the chapel doors by President Packard, (one of my favorite people of all time) he had his head down with folded arms, so by this I knew the prayer was going on, I waited watching him, I could not hear one thing being said so watching him gave me the indication when the prayer was over. He shook my hand and we greeted with a sweet hello. I'm wearing a mask, so our eyes smiled.  I have never been frightened to enter the chapel, but today I was, until I saw Eric stand and help me get seated.  Marian tapped my shoulder and smiled, what a comfort if she only knew what I was feeling.  How will I communicate with these people I love so much, I can talk--that's never been my problem--I wonder why not? why didn't my mouth get reconstructed?  It's usually  the one thing that gets me in the most trouble, if you've followed my blog or know me well you know I don't keep much to myself. This has always been one of my downfalls, and hardships in life......just say nothing.....maybe this is what the Lord trying to teach me....for so many years as a child and youth I kept quiet through the rough times, after all we were the All American Family, I think once I gave myself the permission to speak I never shut up....ha ha.

I sat through Sacrament, having to constantly ask Eric what the speakers were talking about.  Mary Greer Spoke today and props to her, I could read her lips for most all of her talk, she is amazing and has been through so many trials this past year.  Just an amazing family the Greers, Julie is wonderful I love her, and I can see the growth and comfort she and President Greer are giving to Mary and her very small children after the death of Mary's husband last year.  Sunday School I caught very little of what was being said, it's so hard to explain I have about 25% hearing in one ear, and it happened over night, I have a very difficult time hearing when there is a group of people, I had no idea who was reading, quoting or commenting (one of those tearful moments)  When I only had hearing in one ear, I thought I was a pretty good lip reader--come to find out--I'm not--If I am talking to someone one on one I do really good, but when noise is coming from all around me I have no idea where it is or who it is.  I'm so glad Haleigh was with me in Relief Society today--I've always been a believer that nothing happens in life as a coincidence, I know if Haleigh was not there I could of easily asked any woman in that room to sit on my left side and help me to follow along with the lesson, but I loved having my sweet baby girl there, she whispered in my ear when she thought I didn't understand and she was right every time.

Today I have been thinking about a dear friend of mine who was killed by a drunk driver years ago, she and I worked together.  She taught me so many words in sign, it was something I enjoyed and always wished I had taken more interest in a class or two--I know I wouldn't be able to communicate in this way with my family or with anyone else who didn't know sign. But Blake didn't know how to communicate Spanish when he went on his mission, he came home and knows the language. Is this what I am supposed to learn?  Could I go on a sign language mission?  Remember these are just my wonderings--my mind goes places sometimes--like today.

And now here I am tonight, I can't sleep, worried about too many things.  I took a bath, listened to uplifting music with my ear phones on, so as not to wake the family with the speakers full blast. I went into Haleigh's bedroom read some of the Preach my Gospel, and finally decided to pray.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Silence is Golden

Today is Tuesday January 7th, 2013
Have you ever heard "Silence is Golden?" I remember being a young mom, a sister gave a lesson in Relief Society and she used this phrase, I do not remember to what context she was talking about, all I remember was thinking, "How would it be to have complete silence, my house has 3 young children running every which way, noise everywhere"

Right now that phrase means something completely different to me.  In joking my family has through the years made light of me not be able to hear out of one ear, not in a mean way or anything, but an example would be, at night when I go to bed I put a earplug in one ear, so I can have complete silence when I sleep.  My family has always thought it was funny to walk in when they knew I had he ear plug in and start signing to me, or talk really quiet so I have to pull the earplug out to hear what they were saying, for a long time I didn't realize they were playing around with me.  I just pulled the ear plug out and without fail, they would say "never mind" and I'd put the plug back in, again they begin to talk, I pull the plug out and again "never mind"  it didn't take long for me to catch on they were all in on this joke--and I have always been able to laugh with them, after all it's true I'm completely deaf in one ear.
I have, for years told my family I hope I never lose hearing in my left ear, they'll have a hay day with that.

I am hoping this loss of hearing in my left ear is temporary.  Right now I have 25% hearing in only one ear.  It is the most frustrating thing I think I've faced so far.  When I think of not being able to hear the beautiful music of the church that I listen to daily and love so much it makes me anxious and scared.  Today I went to pick up a prescription at Walgreens and I could not hear what the lady was saying through the speaker--when I was speaking to my sister on the phone through my car audio I had it turned up to the maximum of 30 and I could barely hear her.  This is a reality for me, when I am one on  one with someone or in a small area I do ok, but when I am in a restaurant or a place with a lot of sound going on, it is difficult to balance out where the sound is coming from.  I get anxiety and a fear that is hard to explain, right now I could careless about my right ear, I just don't want to lose the hearing in my left ear--oh please don't let that happen--but if for some reason it is thy will I can survive right?  It'll just take some getting used to.  I have to remember the other side of the mountain--do what I can and not worry about what I can't.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Other Side of The Mountain

Based on a true story:  
I remember when this movie came out--The Other Side of The Mountain-is an inspirational movie I watched it yesterday--It gave me a new perspective and I wanted to blog about it.  If you do not know about this movie, the basic story is Jill loves snow, she loves skiing her ultimate goal is to be an Olympic down hill skier, she's very good at what she does and puts much effort into practicing, and finally achieving an Olympic trainer to help her make the finals into her most ultimate goal.

Her best friend during the movie gets a diagnosis of Polio, and is told she will not walk again in her life. Jill is devastated, but so reassuring and loving showing compassion every step of her friends journey.

Skip to Alta Utah, the final race for her to be on the Olympic team.  Jill is the favor to win, her coach, mom & dad and all of America are hoping, cheering, waiting to see her time as she crosses the finish line.  With words of encouragement from her coach she takes off down the hill, she loses her balance and spinning out of control, she falls to the other side of the mountain.  Ultimately Jill broke her neck, as the doctor tells her parents, they were expecting him to tell them she would need some therapy but would be up and going soon, when actually the doctor said it would be a miracle if she lives.

 Months and months of therapy, she is still alive, in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down.  Still Jill continues to tell her family and the media she will ski again, she's has the most beautiful smile and is so optimistic.  Her friend with polio comes to the hospital to visit, Jill is ecstatic to see her come into her room on crutches--she squeals with delight-- "Look at you, you're walking" they laugh and visit for awhile, all Jill can talk about is when she skis again, her friend looks at her and says "Be real, you are never going to walk again, your paralyzed, you need to start finding a new way to live, a way to accept what you've been given, your journey is not to ski again" then she continues on to tell her she would love for her to get out of that hospital, go see the bald children battling cancer, see the soldiers coming home with no legs or arms, their lives have blown away--be grateful for what you do have, and what you can do--then make the best of it.

This was not the most emotional part of the movie, but for me it was tears ran down my cheeks, and I know I didn't get the quotes exactly correct, but this is how I understood it.  There is always someone going through something worse, the life you are living should be lived being  grateful, make a difference to someone else, we all can find some strength, even if it's baby steps, right now, this is the right time and you are the only one who can decide how you will amaze not only others but yourself with what YOU CAN DO.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Haleigh-Washing the blood out of my hair

On my way home from the Mayo Clinic,  I was thinking about the day after I came home from the Hospital.  I called Haleigh and asked her if she would mind coming over to my house and washing my hair for me, she said "I'd love to do that for you mom" as she washed the blood out of my hair in the kitchen sink I could smell the blood.  Haleigh was careful not to get water in my ear, it's a difficult task. I reached up to help move my hair over and out of the way of the water and a chunk of hair fell into my fingers.  Tears immediately filled my eyes,  I wrapped my hair in a towel went upstairs and tried to comb through it, clumps were falling out.  Two days later still a huge chunk, I asked about it and I was told because of the amount of anesthesia I was given during such a long surgery it sometimes effects patients by their hair falling out.

 I have thought about Haleigh washing my hair that day so many times --it was such a small act of service, and knowing my daughter she has probably not thought about it since.  Sometimes those small acts of kindness are the ones that mean the most to me, and probably to others, those are times when I think of the Savior teaching us.

Matthew 22:36-39 A man asked Jesus, "Which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus replied:  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  And the second is like unto it, Thou Shalt love they neighbor as thyself"  Charity and service are the pure love of Christ, when we are able to serve others even in little ways, it shows our desire to be more like HIM.  Sometimes those acts of service are hard and can stretch us to places where we may not feel comfortable.  But I believe in all of us there is Charity and it is a gift from God. He has given it to us and expects us to act upon it. When we are able to do it with a willing heart it shows we are trying to be more like HIM and have true Christlike Attributes.

I don't think it was necessarily an easy task for Haleigh to come to my home and clean blood out of her mothers hair, but I was grateful she did it.  Showing these Christlike Attributes helps us to gain potential to become more like HIM. When we do it with a pure heart, avoiding negative feelings, or judgement and criticism, it is easier to understand what another persons point of view is, and gives an opportunity to strengthen our faith and develop a life of service and charity.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Could of been worse

Today is Friday January 3rd

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my surgeon.  I stayed off of any pain medicine except for Advil so that I could drive myself to the Mayo Clinic.

black all gone--with my hair down it covers the bald spot
you cannot even tell except that my hair is a bit thinner
I feel more comfortable having the ear covered so
I usually wear a beanie.
I checked in on time 2:50 pm for a 3:00 pm appointment, I did not wait long at all I was in the doctors office by 3:00, and seeing the resident by 3:05.  This was a resident I had never seen before, in fact none of the residents in this department have made a 2nd appearance.  She did her usual questions, how are you feeling, how is your pain, anything new we need to know about?  Before I answered her questions I asked her if I would be able to see Dr. Barr's, she said he would be in shortly.  She then proceeded to poke around in my ear, she then said "I'll be right back, I need to get Dr. Barr's"  soon he came in, took a quick look and asked the resident to leave and start on the next patient, before she left the room he wanted to show her somethings in my ear, he told her the black area in my ear was dead skin, and in his 31 years of practicing he has never seen skin die like that before surgery, he excused her and I didn't see her again.

He took a scalpel cut off all the black dead skin,  except for a small area he could not get to without hurting me, so I think he will deaden the area around it next time and take it out.  Cutting out that dead skin did not hurt at all, it was weird.  Then he layed me back, told me to hold tight and that things were going to get dizzy.  Immediately when he began to vacuum my inner ear, I couldn't keep my eyes open, I was so dizzy.  He asked me to keep my eyes closed and it would help.  It did help, but when he was done and I opened my eyes it was really hard to keep them open and took several minutes to regain some type of normal visual. The vacuuming is extremely painful, especially since all I had was Advil. Dr. Barr's gave me a new regimen  for cleaning my ear to see if it will help the healing move along faster--swish out the big hole with vinegar and water--OUCH--was my 1st thought, he then looked at me and said "this will sting a little, make sure the water is at room temperature" also that I need to keep germs at a minimum, stay out of public places as much as possible or wear a mask--I seriously cannot stand wearing that mask.

Once he was done, I asked him to look in my left ear, because I have been having a hard time hearing.  He seemed surprised but did the usual exam of the ear and showed me on the movie screen there is fluid behind the eardrum. I asked him how to fix it, because I am so worried about losing my hearing.  He said he will see me on a more regular basis now, if the liquid does not go away on its own he will 1st put tubes in that ear to try to drain it, if that does not work then, well then I guess it's time for me to start learning sign language.

1st he took the cap off of the implant, so it can heal. We will not be able to connect the BAHA until March or April depending on the healing.  Now I have a screw that is visual going through the bone in the back of my head behind my right ear. This BAHA is healing very well and as expected--good news.

Then he helped me out of the chair and assisted me to a place to sit down so we could talk.  What he told me is this--he cannot get the ear cleaned out for a long enough period of time without it filling up with blood, so he cannot tell me if the healing is happening or not--he said it is unusual--I asked him if the grafting took--he said, "again I cannot get a clear view of the grafting or the area I need to in order to see if it is healing correctly, normally I would not be seeing you again until March or April to finish up with your implant, but I feel it necessary for me to see you every week until I can see an improvement"  I asked him if he  can give me a little more, some HOPE that this is  just taking longer to heal than usual.  He then looked at me and said "I have to be honest with you I have never seen anything like this before, so I don't feel comfortable giving a prognosis quite yet" I waited for about an hour until the dizziness went away and left his office.