Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The swoooooon dive.....

On the advice of my physical therapist, I saw a vascular surgeon on Monday. No problems, no vein issues, just another ally as I continue to manage the lymphedema. As part of the checkup, they did an ultrasound of my veins. And during the procedure, they mash on your leg to check the blood flow.

Yeah, you can guess what happened. From the description they gave me later, it surely wasn't graceful and it wasn't a swooooon, but a good ol' headlong WHACK onto the .... well, I don't know if it was the floor, the ultrasound machine, the doctor.......

The doctor doing the ultrasound said I took a step forward, he grabbed my shirt to break my fall but came down to the floor with me. All I remember is standing up one second and being on the floor and having a team asking me, "Hello? Are you with us? Can you hear me?" The doctor I was supposed to consult with was helping too, and he was telling me about another fainting incident he was party to .... in Kansas City and involving one of the KC Chiefs players! YOW.

The only problem was that I couldn't stop upchucking, so they sent me for a CT scan. Luckily it was normal -- no bleeding in the brain, but they still sent me home with orders to not return to work until Wednesday. I apparently have a mild concussion, or else they are treating it as such, just to be safe. I also have a gorgeous cut at my eye and a beautiful bruise/goose egg on my left cheek. Not sure if that's from the floor or the ultrasound machine or what. It is a beaut.

I always say that when you wear yourself down to a nub, God has a way of making you rest whether you like it or not. Well, I wasn't quite to nub status (or at least I didn't think so), but wow, God.... this? :D

So I am heading into work today. There are things I absolutely have to do and cannot be done from here at home, so......... A good thought or two or a prayer or several are appreciated!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Low-key and high-enjoyment

For way too many years, I got caught in the Christmas Crazies...... you know, working hard to make sure everyone has THE perfect gift, that the tree looks JUST right, that everything falls into perfect place. When I worked for the church, trying to make Advent & Christmas nice for all the parishioners AND to make my own holidays good too..... well, it made me a total Grinch. The pre-ghosts Scrooge would have told me to lighten up. For the longest, I just couldn't stand Christmas. An old friend opined (and I heartily agreed) that if she could go to sleep -- a loooong winter's nap -- from December 16 to around January 4 or so, then it would be great.

This year, things are different. I don't know if the November "gratitude adjustment" helped shift my perspective or what happened. I don't know if it was some long-dormant fervent prayer of my heart that finally went silently from my lips to God's ear and stirred His heart. I don't even know if I consciously set out to do it. But at any rate and for whatever reason, I downsized my expectations this year.

And I have enjoyed preparing for Christmas for the first time in a long time.

Did I do shopping? Some. At least 8 years running now without buying any gift from the mall itself. WAHOO!!! The gifts are more practical this year for everyone, less fanciful. That's fine. This is a time for practicality, of determining what is really important. (Ironically, as I type this, my father is discussing buying a new HDTV for the living room and giving me the current non-HD that's there. I'm not sure whether to be grateful or talk them into a more practical plan....).

I've done more cooking and baking -- not that I have a houseful of stuff, just that I've been more of a homebody. Also, we had a homemade/handmade gift exchange at work, so I was trying out some ideas.

Am I over-the-moon, super-hyped? Oh no. You, dear readers, know me better than that. But I am happy and content and calm this holiday season. It's been a year with lots of ups and downs in my family: Mom diagnosed with a manageable condition with no cure; my brother lost his job and is now looking at a new career path; I took on new responsibilities and have often wondered if I can handle it all. Somehow in the midst of all that, there's a calm and peace -- knowing that all is well, all will be well and all will continue to be exceedingly well. Even in an uncertain economy, a contentious culture, a polarized society, with violence and despair and discontent coming out of every news story...... there is peace.

I think of a place in the past where there was war, an occupying army, religious and cultural clashes, an economy that makes our bad one look like a windfall, and a defeated people bereft of hope. And how just at that moment, "eternity stepped into time" and changed everything. Oh, there was still an occupying army. There was still war and poverty and discontent ...... but there was also hope, peace, and light. It was and remains a light that both shines as a beacon and glows in the heart like an ember. It brightens a path and warms a heart.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it..... And the word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us; and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth." (John 1:4, 14)

And from one of my favorite Michael Card songs............
"Celebrate the Child who is the Light, now the darkness is over
No more wandering in the night, celebrate the Child who is the Light

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I am still around and kicking

I have just had a very busy December. It's always busy, but it has seemed that there's always more to do than time in which to do it ...... so I'm trying to determine what's truly important and what is more expendable. I've had to adjust some things to fit all the important things in, and yet it seems like I'm doing everything I really want to do.

I still have shopping to do -- and had planned to do that this afternoon. I tried to do some during lunch hour this week ...... BAD idea; very bad idea. Lots of honking, unseen obscene gestures (seen by me and God, not by the other drivers), and swearing. It's not worth that sort of hassle to try to save some time. As I said, I planned to shop this afternoon, but my parents decided to drive into NC to see the snow and take the dog. I realized that I didn't want to miss that -- especially since I will still have time to shop tomorrow afternoon, Monday after work, and even into Wednesday if needed.

I've done some baking as well -- we had a homemade gift exchange at work. That was the only requirement: the gift had to be handmade/homemade. I used to cross-stitch years ago, and I even bought material over the Thanksgiving break. But I just didn't have time for that, unfortunately. However, I do bake and enjoy it. I've always enjoyed baking, and now I enjoy the challenge of making food both tasty and healthy. So I made some of the Hungry Girl caramel pumpkin pudding cupcakes for my gift. Yum. Mo. For the gift exchange, nearly everyone made food gifts. Even my coworkers were like, "Oh dear. None of our stuff is something A can enjoy....." As luck, fate, God, the universe, whatever would have it, I happened to get THE ONE GIFT that wasn't food --- one of my coworkers makes those beautiful glass light boxes (you buy a glass box, drill a hole for feeding a strand of mini-lights through and leaves the plug out). OH MY!!! I was over the moon to get that gift -- I can use it all year long (just change out the bow that's on top).

I've been involved with choir -- we had a concert last Sunday and we're getting ready for Midnight Mass. What's so strange is that on the weeks when I think to myself, "I cannot do this. I'm tired, I'm cranky, and I just want to go home right from work...." and I go anyway, I always enjoy it. And we sound good -- not bragging or boasting, just stating a fact. :-)

And in News of the Unexplainable, I've also been waking up early at least 2 mornings a week to go to the gym. Yeah, the girl who's never been a morning person at all is waking at 5:00 and getting over to the gym by 5:20 or so to get in a quickie workout.

With all that, I've had to limit some of my 'Net time. Otherwise, I'd be up half the night and not a happy girl at all. While I love my time online, I haven't really missed too much either. I keep up with my friends on a few mb's and on Facebook and that's all I'm needing right now.

Yep...... right now, things are good, I'm not stressing over the holidays, and I'm looking forward to really celebrating Christmas with a happy heart. Hoorah!!!