Sunday, December 26, 2010
I have such mixed emotions about this portion of my life coming to an end. There is no way to properly repay... I know I've said this before, but I am profoundly grateful and my simple thanks seem so lacking, but it's all I've got. I know they get paid for their work but there is no price for a person's quality of life being restored to them. Thank you Joy, and Michelle and everyone at Pro PT!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Take decorating, for example. I did a pretty skimpy job there, leaving many traditional items in their box. I didn't get all of my baking done or my house sparkling clean, or watch Christmas movies with the fireplace crackling and a warm cup of cider. But I did get presents bought, wrapped, delivered and/or mailed. We went to Utah and visited friends and family, which was very important, too.
So today, I treated myself to wearing purple snowflake pajama pants and a nice, loose-fitting pink top, and cozy socks all day long. I stayed at home, made my Jewish dinner and allowed for some less important things to go undone rather than push myself into a panic attack. It was lovely, even rather restful.
After dinner we talked about the significance of some of the foods served, and then we watched the church DVD "Joy To The World".
Now, with all the loose ends tied and the gifts and food ready, I am about to head off for a not-long-enough-but-typical-Christmas-Eve Winter's nap, wishing every one of my friends and family the Merriest Christmas EVER!!!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Well, I may not be into really spicy food but the spices of the holidays are true favorites of mine, so much so that they aren't limited by season at our house. My Grandma Shipp traditionally made my Grandpa his favorite spice cake for his birthday in February, and I share his passion!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I am excited at the chance to involve our young ones in giving and doing for others. And as a reminder of the importance of service and kindness we are ending with a poem written by Kelly Reagan, attached to a hand made white felt stocking for each child to take home:
"Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care
In hopes of the presents Santa will bear.
But let's not forget it's the Savior's birthday
And we, too, have gifts for Him on this day!
'This stocking of white, let it hang next to mine
To remind me to give at this Christmas time.
For the Savior taught this truth plainly,
'If you do it for these, you do it for me.'
'So let me write down the gift I can give
To help another, or even forgive.
As I follow His steps, and do as He does
My gift will be accepted by the Savior above."
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock.
When the frost is on the punkin' and the fodder's in the shock.
'They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here -
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock -
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
'The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries - kindo lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they grow to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below - the clover overhead! -
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the stock.
'Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it - but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they's call around on me -
I'd want to 'commodate "em - all the whole-indurin' flock -
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock."
James Whitcomb Riley pegged just how I feel today!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Today was different, though, and we felt like we needed to reconsider the time of our exercise ritual. We weren't driven home by wind or rain or sleet or hail, but it was the cold!
Right now, it's still Autumn, and soon Winter will appear as barren and sleeping trees and other foliage, sprinkled with evergreen, but no snow. Even so, our walks are destined to be scheduled for later in the day in order to keep us going. Not only will this help us to be warmer, but we may actually get some things done at home before we venture out!
Anyone want to come?
Monday, November 29, 2010
We have 6 children and 11 grandchildren and now another beautiful baby on the way. We are very excited, but Shannon's new little one will be born in Japan! I hope to be able to go to Japan when the time comes, but a little visit is never the same as living close and being able to share Family Home Evenings, Sunday dinners, holidays, and caring for grandchildren while parents are out. Don't get me wrong, I truly do enjoy and appreciate those visits but the "good-bye's" are very hard to do and the "hello's" are too far apart.
Celeste doesn't live very far away, only a 2 1/2 hr. drive, but we still don't get to spend enough time with her and her family. Then there's Dawn and Mark and Sam, who live in Utah. I love Utah, but once again, it's not conducive to having a day-to-day relationship.
Our daughter, Suzanne, has moved here with her children while Jared is deployed to Iraq for a year. I wish he didn't have to be separated from them but then I'd want him to be here, too, but without this deployment they'd all still be on Oahu; all the way across the ocean and might as well be a million miles away! And now, I am so thankful to be able to have a real, tangible place in their lives on a daily basis. It means the world to grandparents everywhere to be able to spend time almost whenever they want, with their children and grandchildren.
I suppose that children should be able to have a life of their own, and that they deserve the opportunity to "do their own thing", but please, do it a bit closer!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I remember back, a long time ago, when my Grandma and Grandpa Shipp stepped up and let us live in their house; my Dad and Richard, and me. Those bittersweet years were made so much brighter by the warmth of caring grandparents.
Today, our traditional Thanksgiving dinner looks very much like the ones that were prepared every year at Grandma's.
When I grew up and moved away from San Francisco, I took notice of how my childhood memories seemed so dark. It wasn't because they were bad memories but it was because of the fog! I still to this day find comfort in quiet lights and overcast weather.
At the approach of Christmas, as we deck the halls and trim the tree, I am taken back to the shimmering, silver streaming icecicles individually placed on the tree, that Grandma called, "rain" in honor of where we lived and what would have meaning for us.
Now it's time for us to trim our own tree again. This year the tree is small. With no little ones of our own here and with our limited space, downsizing seems in order, but this year, I think I'll bring home a sprinkle of "rain" to put on our tree in honor of my family and how my early years were blessed by my Grandma and Grandpa.
Bob Hope lived an entire century, bringing fun and laughter to thousands, helping them lift their spirits and see the good and the humor and the "hope" in life and I want to be more like him. I believe that much of our happiness in life comes from gratitude, and so I, like Bob, sing again, "Thanks for the memories".
Friday, November 26, 2010
Final Report ~ As of December 4th, I have been 4 days and nights without Tylenol or Valerian Root and have now become symptom free!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Usually I am told that I will know what to do to bring about the desired result, and I've wondered, "Why can't I just have my wish?" (as though Heavenly Father was in the Genie business!) I am thinking that I just want to be healed like other people seem to be. But after many years and many blessings I have come to realize that in my blessings I am promised a greater gift if I will do a bit of research, along with prayer and follow through ~ the gift of Knowledge through practical experience.
In tonight's blessing again I'd hoped simply to be healed. I'm wanting to be free of pain pills. I don't like the anxious pains of withdrawal and I just want it to go away! I've worked hard for this blessing and I've been constantly aware of withdrawal for about 6 weeks as I've decreased dosage amounts and frequency of use.
In my blessing I was told that my plan would succeed and I would, by the end of this bottle of pills, be free of addiction; it was not taken away. No free gift. So I feared the pain of the path and I wished I could somehow escape. I wondered what else I could do.
I thought I might find some answers in church tomorrow, or in the scriptures, but instead I found the answer in various talks from last April's General Conference we began to listen to on our drive home.
After a little pondering and prayer I have begun to see that the Lord has something else in mind. He wants to spend more time with me. He wants to walk and talk with me and give me gifts along the way, as I place my hand in His.
It also makes me wonder why. What would He have to gain by keeping company with someone like me? My understanding deepens as the words "intrinsic value" are brought to mind. It's even more than love. The word "intrinsic" is defined as "belonging to (someone) by (their) very nature; as the very essence of (Himself/His Family); innate, inherent, inseparable from the (person Himself); comprising, being part of a whole (Eternal Family)." And He values me because of it, just because I am His. This is very humbling and at the same time, uplifting. It gives greater faith and hope.
So, once again, I did not receive the answer I thought I wanted. I am getting something much better.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I guess to explain a bit about the "getting", I would have to say that healing and 100% recovery aren't the same things. A wound can heal completely, even almost all by itself, but without the Physical Therapy that sometimes needs to go with it, there may be residual long term (perhaps life-long) consequences.
I never knew this before!
But it's a happy thing, indeed, to finally be able to make this list of almosts!!
- It almost doesn't hurt very much to do those PT exercises! Yes, I will be doing them for a while still, but it's becoming much easier.
- I can almost reach up my back with my left arm.
- The "road rash" is almost gone.
- I can almost sleep on my left side again.
- I can almost reach straight up whereas before, I couldn't even place my hand on my hip.
- And speaking of my hip, the site where they took the bone for the graft is almost gone; practically healed both outside and in.
- I can almost look side to side without too much pain and the range of motion increases every time it's measured.
- The scars above my eyes are fading.
- The shower doesn't hurt anymore when the water hits my head and the sensitivity to touch is almost gone.
- The numbness in my face is also almost gone. Most of the time I don't even realize it's still there.
- I can almost feel no stress on my neck when I sleep on my pillow.
- The long cut I had on the back of my head almost doesn't hurt anymore when I rest my head back in the car.
- I am almost able to drive myself wherever I want to go! I stick to driving around town but I'm happy with it. :)
- This "almost" is all about balance. So how does a person decide what good posture is anyway? I don't wish to walk around like there's a board under the back of my shirt, after all! But at least I don't feel so stiff anymore! haha!
- But here's the final "almost". Last but not least is the gradual "getting" off those addicting little pills for pain. I am down to just one dose a day instead of every 4 hours. I had t0 learn that the only way to tell if I actually needed them for pain was to NOT take them to see if the pain would come back. These are things I never have had to think of before, but now I am decreasing my doses and should be completely free of them by the middle of November. I never would have thought that I would come to know anything at all about drug withdrawal! But as my doses are decreased I can tell. All the nerve endings in my whole body seem to be standing on end, like a huge case of the flu when you can's stand for anyone to touch you because your skin is so sensitive. But with the withdrawal, the nerve endings feel like they are everywhere, both inside and out. It's a terrible feeling, but isn't that bad as long as I don't try to go "cold turkey"! (And there's nothing wrong with a bit of Tylenol to help ease it in between).
- This isn't an "almost", but I want to include that my hair is no longer falling out due to stress!! LOL!
- There is one thing, however, that will never become an almost, and that is the huge gratitude I feel to Heavenly Father, and my family and friends. My life is forever changed as I have also learned that prayer is not "the least" one person can do for another, it ranks pretty high! And that all those "little things" we do for others are exalting.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
I also wish to thank all who visited, sent cards and letters, flowers, and balloons, and who made phone calls. And to all who prayed for my healing. The halo came off in 6 weeks instead of 8. And I set the goal to go to church in my own ward on July 11th, 2010 and we made it! I love you all and thank you so very much.
- I feel disconnected from my body because I can't look down and see myself. Since I have to keep my head in this upward position, I have to look in a mirror.
- I'm grateful for hospital gowns and cut T-shirts that come between me and the lambs wool lining on the vest portion of my halo. At first I developed a terrible allergic rash. A couple of weeks before I got the halo off, someone I never saw dropped off 2 thin foam liners to replace the fur. That also greatly helped me endure the Summer temperature.
- I miss familiar food. And pain pills are nauseating. It's so hard to eat, even when hungry. Capsules of herbs also add to the nausea, but I'm making myself take the 25 BF&C, 2X a day with meals. I want to do my part to facilitate a quicker recovery.
- My room mates have been wonderful! 1. Rusty Snow; We laughed and cried together as we shared our stories. She was also in a car accident. She flew home to Seattle after I was there only 3 days. 2. Kathy Herrera was here almost 2 weeks and we got along so well. When she went home to her mother's in Winemucca I was happy she got to go but sad because I knew I'd miss her. We became sisters as we looked out for each other. 3. Peggy was my last room mate. Her husband spent much of the day with her and we didn't get to know each other quite as well, but I enjoyed her company.
- They come and change the dressing on my hip (the bone graft site) almost daily. I sure hope it doesn't delay my ability to go home, but I also don't want to have to run to the doctor for it either.
- On looking back at the time I was trapped under the car, I know that I could feel the effects of people's prayers___prayers that hadn't even been said yet. Prayers are retro-active.
- Being trapped under the car was the most terrifying experience of my life. One of our Gospel Doctrine teachers in Turlock, Brother Morris, said that he asked in his prayers how Jesus could truly understand everything we go through. He was taught that in Gethsemane Jesus experienced each of our lives as though it was himself. I now have a profoundly different appreciation for the Savior! Taking the Sacrament will never be the same.
- When you hear a siren, pray for them.
- It is a sweet privelege to help another person to take care of themselves; a great act of charity. I used to think I would resent serving in this way, but I have felt such love and tender appreciation towards those who have helped me.
- The last 2 weeks of Seminary
- The Seminary Bowl
- The final Seminary Breakfast and Movie
- The Seminary Auction
- The Seminary Graduation
- Garrett Yentes' and Michael Bell's Eagle Court of Honor
- Garret Nickell's birthday party and family zoo trip
- Multiple visits with Sam
- Our wedding anniversary
- David's and Dawn's birthdays
- Father's Day
I wrote all of these journal entries on June 23rd.
My Physical Therapists - Laura and Shasta (a student),
and my Occupational Therapist was Charlene.
Charlene has been wanting me to go outside. I envisioned myself walking down a busy street with cars piling higher and higher as people turned to stare at me wondering what was up with the headgear. But, in actuality, we walked on a very quiet street to a little coffee shop where we ordered smoothies and sat outside enjoying our hillside view of the Oquirrh Mountains. It turned out to be delightful and I was able to explain just a bit to a little girl about this halo. It was not the fiasco I anticipated at all.
It was a sweet experience to get to know these therapists and to spend time with them every day. We were able to develop very nice friendships.
- On one occasion they wheeled me downstairs for some tests. I could smell open bottles of rubbing alcohol and they had country music playing in the background and I gave them a hard time about their "wild parties"!
- I guess at one point I had so many tubes in and around me that it reminded the nurses of Christmas lights, so we decided I should be decorated like a Christmas tree. They arranged my "lights" and then they used my catheter bag for one ornament and my IV bag for another! Yuck!
- Over at Healthsouth Rehab Hospital one of the Physical Therapists reminded me to lean just a little more to the left or right for better radio reception!
- On June 30th my halo was taken off and replaced by a hard collar. There were some who supposed I was a fallen angel because of stiff-neckedness! Even Dr. Mark Johnson said so! (haha!) He sent me home 3 days later!!
My Nigerian nurse's name was Ebby. She was the first one to help me brush my teeth. It was 3 days after the accident and it was so refreshing! Several hours later that day, 2 young ladies helped me bathe for the first time. It was so nice to be clean and I slept so well afterward.
My emotions have been so close to the surface and I am so full of gratitude for the goodness of God. Everywhere and with everyone I have wanted them to know how much I appreciate what they are doing for me. One person responded with how they are paid to do these things but I told her that it's the attitude that makes all the difference.
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need:
The sun and the moon and the appleseed,
The Lord is good to me."
~From the Johnny Appleseed song
Job has become a newfound hero.
This last May 16th we had a car accident. I was the driver. My first and greatest gratitude is that no other cars were involved, that David's injuries weren't worse than they were - a fractured rib and a cut on his hand that required stitches, and that Mark walked away with minor cuts and bruises. Thankfully my own were the worst. I don't know that I could calm the guilt otherwise.
I have a broken neck, a broken back, my shoulder blade was broken in 2 places, a broken arm up at the ball and socket, a fractured bone above my eye with a cut that required stitches, a 3 1/2" gash on the back of my head where they put 12 staples, and some pretty serious "road rash" on the broken arm. In addition, after looking at the x-rays they determined that a bone graft was needed in order to fuse on of the breaks in my neck in order for it to heal properly, so they surgically removed bone from my hip.
What I remember about the accident itself -
I was tired. I passed up 2 off ramps because I was looking for a rest area where I could walk around and wake up, but I fell asleep instead. I woke up to the tires rumbling over the grid at the left of the lane. I remember David reaching over to try to help me correct the stearing but it was too late and the car rolled 4 1/2 times.
When the car stopped rolling it was upside down and I was pinned between the frame of the car and the ground where the windshield had beenand I could feel the ground under me with my hands. My head was lodged and I couldn't move it. There was a lady there who encouraged me to just keep breathing and I remember being frustrated and thinking that I was trying to but air was hard to find. At the same time I realized that she was saying exactly what I would have had I been in her place. I also got a bit of a laugh because only once at the first did she say I was going to be alright, as though she might have had second thoughts about that!I must have looked rather doubtful. It was hard to breathe. I had to keep looking for pockets of air as I was lying in a pool of blood and vomit and my denture was in the way.
After about 45 minutes I couldn't find any more air. I knew it was gone and that I had done all I could do. It was at this point that I stopped fighting. The only thing left was to "let go and let God". So I breathed my last breath. I felt calm and peaceful and I knew all would be well whether I lived or died and I was okay with that. And things went dark.
After a short time, I heard those big clamps cut the car and someone pulled me out into the sunlight. Ordinarily I'd have been annoyed at having the sun in my face, but not this time! I was limp as a rag and I could hardly open my eyes, but the man said, "We need you to breathe!" and, realizing that this was now possible, I started breathing again. I was placed on a hard, smooth board and I was glad not to be on the ground in the dirt anymore.
We were taken to the emergency room at the hospital in Cedar City, Utah, where they cleaned me up, picked glass out of my head and stapled it and took all the first steps. I was then air lifted by plane to Salt Lake City and checked into the Intermountain Medical Center Trauma Unit in Murray. Because of swelling I couldn't open my eyes for 3 days, but when they put me into that hospital bed I saw the softest, whitest blankets and it felt luxurious and so comfortable...
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Two years ago my Seminary students found this to be startling, that others could see their doings even without being present. But I find that in the knowing, I have greater resolve to choose the right. Our works will ever be known. Therefore, may we rise up and live up to our heritage, that befitting sons and daughters of diety.