20 November 2009

Wow....

You know, I'm not sure if you remember (you, like whomever reads this, and then backreads it to "catch up" lol)...but Wax (& Aaron) prayed for me the Sunday before my surgery, and Wax specifically prayed that I would have the peace of God (Phil 4:4-7) as I went into surgery and wouldn't be anxious. And that everyone around me (medical/anesthesiologist) would notice.

I was talking to hubs this evening. During the closing part of worship, I was thinking about what he said to me one night, "did God give you confirmation about your healing..." and of course I was upset. But it got me thinking....this whole time, of course I've asked God for healing, and all that jazz, but I haven't had any confirmation that my healing would come in a "miracle" sort of thing. Again, I was reminded about asking the cup to pass from me, but not my will but His be done (Luke 22:42), and that yes I was scared about the possibility of my second surgery, but regardless, God said he will carry me, he will sustain me (Isa 46:4). I cried. I cried all over again because I was scared of the healing. And a small part of me... (either Satan pushing in doubt, or really God) saying, I needed to go through with the second surgery. Because I needed to show them how powerful my God was. Not because he healed me miraculously, but because he SUSTAINED me through it all.

Of course this revelation during worship is not exciting, I mean, exciting to think of being used by God in a powerful way, but not exciting when you think of the pain. Back to conversation in the car with hubs...I told him about what I thought God was telling me, and I started to tear up when I mentioned how much I knew it would hurt-because it was the second time around--because I'd already been through it twice. But then I also told him that at least I knew what to expect. I could prepare for it. I tell everyone that first week is hard. Fighting off depression, trying to still believe in God and his love when you're in so much pain...

And then, for some reason--I brought up the anesthesia. I told him I don't remember going to sleep. [I mean... I remember beforehand, me in the bed, waiting for them to come. I had such butterflies. At first I was ok, and then you're just waiting there... for them to come... and my back was hurting (lower back), and I was tired from working on my test earlier that morning, and I wanted to sleep already... I just wanted to be "under" already. I remember telling Marcus that I really needed to hold on to God's peace because I was feeling so anxious.] Right, back to the story line. The hubs told me... that everyone was around me and they said, "Say goodbye" and I just kinda mumbled then passed out--you know all attractive with your eyes rolled back. LOL. Then he said that everyone around me was so amazed how calm I was. PRAISE GOD!

Wax's prayer came true. God gave me peace (even when I felt restless), and HIS glory was made evident. Only because of HIM was I able to give off this "calm" feeling, because I had to fight for it. I fought for the peace, but it worked. Amen!!

....we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corin 10:5b

18 November 2009

Hubbies are great...

"Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom." (ps145:3)

Even though he kinda made me mad last night (see earlier post)...we went to Tripler this morning for a walk in. The Oral Surgery department has kind of like, walk in hours for surgery patients between 7 and 9 most mornings, so we didn't want to chance it and tried to get there as soon as possible (even tho I slept at like midnight last night...so obviously not TOO early --I think the vicodin wakes me up... Anyway.

I saw Dr. Closmann this morning, and because he was sick Monday, he didn't have a baseline, but he wasn't happy with the swelling either (good job hubster!). Then he started poking and prodding. And I had to keep repeating, "Consider him who endured such opposition..." (Heb 12:3) through the whole thing. He told me that his gut feeling was telling him he needed to go back in. I fought back the tears. Thankfully, he said if they had to go back in they'd put me under and they wouldn't do it in the clinic (no local anesthesia). He did want me to get a CT scan so they could get a better idea, and then I'd be back tomorrow morning so they could go over a game plan. I told him this is the third morning in a row I've been nauseas and nothing has changed with me taking my meds and what I'm eating...his first question (as always being a woman) is- "Are you pregnant?" I responded.. NOPE. He said, "I've seen it happen before." I wanted to be like... uh-- no one feels like making love after jaw surgery. But I didn't say anything and just told him I wasn't pregnant. So he opted to change my antibiotics since it's probably making me nauseas. I also asked him if this was my fault (the infection)...he laughed and said I had a victim complex (it's all my fault--hmm wonder where that came from). Anyway. He said this wasn't me. In fact, I was an "ideal" patient. He just said it's one of those things, a drunk person falls off a bridge and lives, a perfectly healthy person falls off and dies. He said I'd had a great attitude this whole time...and it made me grateful that God gave me the strength to hold back tears. To uphold that attitude, and really, God is on my side-what do I have to fear? (Ps 27:1)

Marcus and I headed up to check in for the CT scan, and then he took my ID to get my new antibiotics. I wasn't excited about the CT scan in case I needed to have contrast again (remember last time, burning skin all over?). So I started trying to memorize Hebrews 12:1-3 because that's all I could hold on to. Really. When I was thinking about recovering from another surgery (as minor as it might have been, I'd still be under *thankgoodness* and still have a recovery). I was also thinking about the CT scan and the burning...

I got a little snippy with the technician putting my IV in (I told her I was sorry later), because last time I had a contrast they really didn't need it (or it would appear that way, since I had to go back and get another one and they didn't do the contrast). I kept reading it over and over...and then it was time for the scan. Thankfully, it didn't burn as much as I remembered. I kept thinking, "Consider him... who endured such opposition... so that you might not grow weary..."

Got home and started resting. I was on the phone with someone when I missed a call, which ended up being Dr. Closmann. He told me there's another antibiotic they want me on (after considering my cultures from the infection earlier), and at this time there was no need to go back in to get rid of anything. He asked if someone could get to Tripler to get the antibiotics today...and so my mom took the baby after lunch today. Praise God right? Not another surgery. I was relieved.

Anyway, wanted to share that with ya'll.
Back to resting...and nap time!

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Heb 12:1-3

17 November 2009

Funny thing about being human...

We really suck. :/

Haha.

I was very upset. Marcus came home today from work, and said that my face looked swollen. He wanted me to call the physician's line (which wasn't much help anyway). I'm scared to go in tomorrow. What if they try to cut me open again, what if something is wrong. I cannot handle any more pain.

This made me upset. A lot. I got cranky at everyone (Marcus and mom). And then I got cranky at God. I didn't understand. I have great faith. I am supposed to be healed. I was upset. I was scared. Satan had me in his grips...

Michelle tried to pick me up, but I told her to go on without me. I wasn't ready. I needed to eat and take my meds. I was upset. I didn't want to go...

But Marcus drove me me to prayer. I didn't want to go. But I was glad he was taking me. I was glad he was going with me. We got inside, enough to hear Mackey talk about a chapter in Exodus... all I remember is that we should always be in his presence.

Then we broke into groups for prayer, Marcus said he'd take the baby while I went with the girls. We sat down, and Mack said we should start with praise and thanksgiving. I started bawling. I knew. I knew that God was good. That He is faithful even when I'm faithless (2 Tim 2:13). I was reminded of how GOOD He is (Ps 136:1). I was so broken.

Throughout worship, I was reminded- I asked God to use me. And no matter what, He will sustain me. He will carry me. (Isa 46:4). A month before my surgery I broke down during prayer/worship night. I was scared to death of the surgery. I was scared to death of the pain from recovery. I didn't think I could do it. I begged God to let the cup pass from me, but ultimately I prayed, "Not MY will, but YOURS be done." And here I was...2 months later, backing out of my deal.

So here I was, broken at his feet, again...singing:

Casting Crowns-Praise You in This Storm
I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

Along with "It is well..." and I was reminded... it is well, with my soul. Because God is in control.

Amen!

16 November 2009

I was going to bed... discouraged in my pit

But then... I did my journaling. And there were scriptures from last night that I wanted to look up. So I started looking them up (they were additional scriptures from the passage in Daniel when the three men were going to be thrown in the furnace and they said,"we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Dan 3:16b-18). This passage is so encouraging to me because they know God has the power to save them, but then they say, "BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT..." meaning... they trusted in God's plan and knew that sometimes God doesn't do what we think he should...

Anyway, that's not why I got back online to share with you. I wanted to say this.

My doc appt didn't go as I thought it would. First, Dr. Closmann is super sick, so he wasn't in this morning. No biggie, still sad to not see him. Then Dr. Elyassi tells me that I'm still swollen, and that is not a good thing. It could be an infection, or something about an infection. I don't quite remember, I was still thinking, "what, this isn't normal? dangit." So they extended my antibiotics another 10 days. He also said that we're likely to extend my convalescent leave. Another stresser. Why? because I care too much about what other people think. Isn't that horrible? I care more about being at work with undermanning and everything than I do about me getting better. Hmmph. I needed a good talking to this afternoon, thankfully someone straightened me out a little with a humorous email.

There was also talk about not working night shift for the next few months. Why, I have no idea. My next appointment is Monday 30 Nov at 0930, and we had discussed that my convalescent leave is over 26 Nov (thanksgiving day), but because of shift work and all, I was due to return to work on 30 Nov. He said that I needed to let my boss know that I had an appt and we'd be reevaluating it at that time. I mentioned something like, "Hmm appt at 0930 and I work night shift that night, so I gotta be at work at 1545...." and he was like, "No. No night shift.... how long do you work nights for?" UGH. I tried to tell him about our work schedule, panama 12hrs. 60hrs one week, 24hrs the next, and we change from nights to days appx every 2months. Needless to say I was not looking forward to writing that email to my boss.

Honestly, do I feel 100%? Nope not at all. Do I think I can work 5-12hr shifts? Nope, not at all. The pain, the talking, the focusing, no napping, the driving to and from work. Not a likely story, at least right now. Could I be 100times better in 2 weeks when the time comes, quite possibly. I'd like to think so.

Needless to say, I wasn't very encouraged walking out of my appointment. I stressed all day about what work would be doing (if I have to work day shift instead of nights with my team, then they have to "trade" someone for me to cover my position on my team while I'm added to another team. Or, weirder yet, if I work 5 days/week 8hr days... that'll really mess up people so I have no idea what the doc is thinking about doing. I took a nap this afternoon, and I'm amazed how much that helps me. I need to learn the power of healing in sleep.

That's why I wasn't feeling very encouraged tonight going to bed. Until I started reading...

First I read, "Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Ps 124:8
-This reminded me how powerful the name of our God is. Just the name of Jesus.

Then, "...blessed is he who trusts in the Lord." Prov 16:28
-To be blessed, all I have to do, is TRUST in HIM.

Then, "Listen to ME, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried you since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you, AND I will carry you; I willsustain you and I will rescue you." Isa 46:3-4
-I couldn't help but chuckle a little. Because He really got my attention- "Listen to me..." stop letting all this worry and doubt and anxiety pile over you... LISTEN TO ME. Then he goes on to say that ever since the beginning, He has upheld me. He has carried me since my birth. And even when I am old, He will STILL sustain me. He will STILL carry me, and He will RESCUE me.

Then, "...what I have said, that will I bring about..." Isa 46:11b
-The Bible is God's Word. It is what He has said. And what He has said, He will bring about. His promises are true.

Then, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, SO THAT you will not grow weary and lose heart." Heb 12:1-3
-These are very powerful and are super loaded. But I will try to focus on what encouraged me the most tonight--first I needed to throw off everything that was hindering me-this worry, and anxiety, and frustration...it needed to go. Then I needed to run (requires energy) and persevere- outlast this suffering. How am I going to do that, by FIXING my eyes on JESUS (not looking around at everything else). He alone is the author (writer) and perfecter of MY faith. Because He knew the joy of being seated at the right hand of the Father (the joy set before him), be endured the cross (how excruciating that was!) and I too must endure this pain...I must consider HIM (think about what he went through) in order for me to NOT grow weary...that is the only way to not grow weary and lose heart-by focusing on HIM.

And I looked up my favorite verse, "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph 3:17
-This one gets me everything. The Lord-MY God is WITH ME...He is mighty to save... just saying that phrase is reassuring. He can save me from anything. He is mighty. His arms...are safe. He delights in me. In my pain and suffering, in my cries and tears, he quiets me with his love. He rejoices over me...

Be encouraged. Take heart. Our God is big and mighty. He is alive. He has never changed and will always remain the same. The Maker of heaven and earth. Alpha and Omega. Beginning and End. Provider. Sustainer. Savior. Redeemer. Friend. Abba Daddy. Discipliner. Lover of my soul. Shepherd...

Do you know Him?

15 November 2009

I will remember...

Why are you downcast, o my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore, I will remember YOU. Ps 42:5-6

Sherri texted me Psalm 42 a while ago, I think when I was going through that first rough week after surgery, and I read it last night. I feel like it is important right now, because I'm at a stage in recovery where there is no real leaps and bounds. My scar is still there and sensitive and doesn't really look that great. I still have loss of feeling in bottom right lip and right side of chin, so I dribble food all the time (altho I'm starting to learn to keep whatever I'm eating right under me to catch it-sometimes I still hit the ground, or my shirt--now I need to remember to wipe after every bite). One of the hardest things to accept right now is the fact that I slur my words, and it's especially noticable when I'm smiling and trying to talk (with or without rubber bands).

I didn't realize I was so vain. I'm self-conscious about smiling with my "braces" and the fact that my smile looks funny, open or closed mouth.

So I have to remember. Remember how far God has brought me to this point. This Tuesday will have been 3 weeks. The swelling is practically gone, I can eat pureed soups without it being super liquidy (something I was looking forward to when wired shut, being able to eat pureed foods without having to worry about it "clogging up" my teeth and all). Three whole weeks. And here I am living on ibprofuen and tylenol, only taking oxycodon in the evenings, because there is something about nighttime pain. I still have pain and weird sensations but I try to remind myself that pain is good. It means feeling is returning, and feeling, is good.

So I remember that God is good regardless of my situation. That he refines me (Ps 66:10) and desires to build my character (Rom 5:3-5). I need to make sure I'm listening, and learning. Because I don't want to go through this again. It's true, the doctors say I'll need another surgery in 3-4 months in order to do a bone graft (from my hip) for the bone to grow, connecting the top and bottom part of my jaw while incorporating the titanium bar into my body FOR.....EV....ER (lol-Sandlot, couldn't help it!). However, I know that the God that brought back Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43-44) is the same God that I worship today. I know that he can heal me, and my jawbone can grow back on its own (something the docs have already said is "impossible" and they'd "like to see it happen"). I believe that there will be no second surgery. However, I do know that sometimes we go through trials and we do not learn what we're supposed to, and we will go through another trial in order to learn what we were meant to learn the first time... so if I do not learn what I'm meant to now... then there is no choice but to go through it again. I'm praying that I learn what I need now. In the end, it doesn't matter one way or another. It is not my will that matters, but His. I've asked for this cup to pass from me, and it didn't (Luke 22:42). I surrendered to Him to be used for His will, and so far... I have seen the work he has done through me to bless others. That is far better than not being able to see anything at all.

Do I want the second surgery? Nope not at all. The "vacation" from work isn't worth the pain and emotional lows that happen during recovery. But if it brings me closer to God-then it's worth it. If someone is encouraged by it, then it's worth it. If someone acknowledges the fact that we all have sinned
(Rom 3:23) but God wants to save us from an eternity of death (John 3:16)...then it's soo worth it. All I'm here to do is to love Jesus and love others-that means you. And how could I love you and not tell you that if you do not know Jesus... then you're heading to a very very unhappy place. I could not wish hell even on my enemy, let alone people I love.

So I remember. That I am a servant of the most high God (Dan 3:26) and my God is worthy of praise (Ps 145:3).

09 November 2009

Some pics, don't worry they're not scary...

9 Nov
My last supper. Pureed Healthy Choice
"Turkey Medallions in mashed potatoes and gravy with sweet potatoes/apples/cranberries"
Tastes delicious without being pureed, not too bad pureed :) Hard with the syringes tho.
Also drinking carnation instant breakfast
(it's like my liquid vitamins, while drinking chocolate milk)
**Take note of the syringes**
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From Monday, after my wires were removed.

These "braces" are different than regular orthodontic kind. I think they just push these in between your teeth, so they're not really glued on. I have no idea, but they don't cover your teeth like the orthodontic kind. I'm not sure if I have a preference.


10 Nov
Check out my bands!
Ok, really I took these pics because I wanted to make sure
I put the bands back on (after eating) correctly. I really don't want to screw this up man.
Good thing God is bigger than my mistakes.

Delicious lunch thanks to Leila! She bought beef stew from Yama's fish market. I blended it with some beef broth, (think texture like mashed potatoes). Also mixed in some quinoa and tried to stay away from the white rice.

Open wide... or at least as much as I can go...



Mommy baby time. Although he's distracted by JAG. Hmmph.
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Let's see. Today I drove the Matrix to base and Sams Club. I needed to get some stuff, and amazingly I did all my errands really fast. Compared to how I normally am. I dunno how that worked, maybe cause I was in pain? Maybe cause I had a list and it was all written down? I dunno. I got away with driving because I didn't take any oxycodon this morning. However, I cannot use my neck like normal (turning to check blind spots)... so that was not fun. I think I'm gonna lay off the driving for a while. As much as I can. Cause it definitely stressed me out. Although thankfully (and I'm sure Hubby is very happy with this ) I didn't scratch the car. I tend to "help him learn not to value worldly things" lol. AKA I damage things :P

Speaking of neck, my nerves are trying to return, I can feel pain in places I couldn't feel before. I think it's a good sign, it's coming back. Still missing the ability to control my lower right lip half, and the lack of feeling makes me dribble without realizing it. Guess I need to learn to wipe no matter what. It's ok, they'll come back.

Eating regular food has been helpful. Or you know what I mean. It feels weird taking the bands off, I feel like I'm gonna screw up putting them back on. I also cannot open the mouth all the way, so I have to shove as much as I can, and then keep going with it. I feel like I'm feeding my son, except I'm feeding me. I should probably have a bib though. lol. I am thankful for food though. Today I made instant mashed potatoes (betty crocker with red skin potatoes...mmm) and some cooked salmon from sams club, I mushed it together. It was delicious. Made me grateful I don't mind mixing my foods. I do need to keep track of what I'm eating (I guess I should restart SP), but I don't want to eat unhealthy stuff and prevent weight loss. I need to be eating healthy stuff. :) so one treat every other day. Yesterday it was the beef stew, I dunno what tomorrow will be. It's interesting, I have to fight the mentality, "I deserve to eat this chocolate cake, or ice cream or..." you get the point. I almost bought Dinte Moore beef stew, but I knew it wasn't a good idea. So I bought some healthy choice soups.

I'm amazed at how people are blessed by this whoel thing. I guess it's encouraging seeing me at church or at events. Today, someone told me after our prayer/worship night, that they knew I was worshipping even though I couldn't really sing with my voice, I was still worshipping God, and when I rose my hands, it broke them. I mean, that's cool. People keep telling me that it's soo cool that I come to stuff, but I feel like telling them, "You don't understand, I have to come here. I have to draw close to God. I can't be home and let Satan fill my head with lies. I don't come here to see you, or to encourage you, I come here for me!" I feel like they think I'm trying to be encouraging, no I'm just being selfish. BUT thankfully my God is bigger than me, and He uses my selfishness for greater things. And that to me, is so amazing.

People teach that we go through trials because we have to learn something. And we'll keep going through them until we learn what we needed to learn. I told Sherri that I don't know what to think about that, because I know that I'll have another surgery. I know the recovery will be about the same, just as hard, just as painful. So what does that mean? Is God is preparing me ahead of time that I'm not gonna learn what I need to learn? It was hard to grasp at first, and I don't know the answer.

But I do know that I've started to believe that my bone will grow back on its own (thus not needing the second surgery). And I started to really dig into this healing stuff--"Divine Healing" by Norvel Hayes has really changed my persepective on God and who He is. I'm not sure I've learned what I've need to learn or if I have to go through this trial again. But I'll do whatever He needs me to do in order to bring Him glory.

What have people said about this? They're encouraged by my positive attitude. That I don't complain about the food I have to eat, or the pain, or the limitations. They're encouraged by my faith in God. They're encouraged when I continue to seek Him, through this all. They're glad it's not them going through this, and that I'm the only one strong enough to go through this kind of thing. I'm glad. Not for me, but for them. I'm glad they are encouraged. Nah, I'm stoked. In fact, I'm humbled. That God would use me for this.

I dunno if any of this makes sense. I just know that God has become very real to me through this. I know that my perspective on God has changed drastically. It's exciting.

It's late, I didn't nap today. I went to bed at 2am, woke up around 0645 cause of baby, then slept again, and woke up at 10. It's midnight thirty...and time for sleep. G'night.

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness NO ONE can fathom.

Psalm 145:3

08 November 2009

God's work today...

I want to share the things I've seen God do today...

The first cool thing/God-incident was my pen, I have this sweet pen from Shirokya. It has 5 different colors and you get to choose the colors inside (the refills). They have a lot of choices. It's an expensive pen, I threaten my coworkers if they take it, I'll hurt them. Bad. Well in the hospital it was the only pen I had so I used all the ink out of 4 cartridges and I have some green left. This is my Bible study/Journalling pen (I like colors for different scriptures and stuff)...and this morning, I was thinking that maybe I could ask Misty "to go an extra mile" and take me to Shirokya so I could buy the cartridges (which I was debating about buying anyway, cause I don't have any allowance left, and I was questioning if I *really* needed this pen, I could use the money to bless someone else instead) but I grabbed my pen anyway so I could buy the right colors and stuff and headed to church. Before service started I went to go ask Misty my favor, and before I could say anything she said, "Oh, is it ok if we leave right after church? I need to meet someone today at 1230, so we kinda need to leave right afterwards," of course I was like, O sadness, ok. That's fine, I was gonna ask if we could drop by Shirokya cause I wanted to buy ink refills for my pen. She laughed and said, "Oh no it's ok, I'll get them for you, I'm meeting my mom at Ala Moana (the mall where Shirokya is at)." I was like, oh ok (thinking, I'll just pay her back later. But then she told me she had wanted to buy my refills for me! And the reason that this is a God thing is because I'm very picky about things and I would have been slightly sad if she got the wrong colors... AND because of GOD I brought my pen to church (who brings an empty pen to church, I wouldn't have grabbed it if it wasn't for him) and Misty was able to go and get the right colors and everything. Isn't that cool? And I don't have to feel guilty about spending that money on me, I can bless someone else with it! (like all these stinkin people having babies... haha just kidding).

Second thing (more like a miracle) was in church during the worship time. I was blessed today by Michelle Tom and Misty's offer to pick me up and drive me home (respectively) since Marcus worked today, and I'm not allowed to drive. Ever since the surgery, my neck (incision site) has been draining, especially when they added the drain, even after they took it out. So I've always had to put gauze over my neck to soak up the ooze.

I took a shower this morning and changed my gauze before heading out to church, During worship time, I heard "Take it off" (in reference to my gauze). I wasn't sure if that was my wishful thinking (I always feel like the tape interferes with my neck movement, like it hinders me from straightening out my neck-you know how I always kink it to the right) or God. So I kept worshipping. Again I heard it, "take it off." Then I was like, "But God, what it if it leaks. Even if it doesn't leak, I don't want to gross people out with my incision and stuff, I should just keep it on. Again, "Do you believe you are healed or not? Take it off! You need to show people that I have healed you." I finally was like, "Okay, sorry you don't have to say it again, I'll take it off after worship." So after worship I went into the women's bathroom and I took off my gauze and there was absolutely nothing on it! It was completely clean! God has healed me and I got to experience his healing touch! I mean, I could have waited until the docs told me to stop wearing gauze, or until I didn't have to change it because it stopped oozing, but God blessed it and allowed me to experience HIM and his healing! Praise God!

Well I wanted to share these two things with you before I went to bed. I'm excited to get these staples out of my neck tomorrow, they're irritating my skin and probably should have taken them out on Saturday (Friday might have been too early-the doc said, "it'd be against my better judgement" and I told him we shouldn't chance it. I should have listened to God when he told me to have them take it out... argh. so my counter argument was,"well you can have the staples fall out before my appt. :D I kept praying they would fall out during the second set of worship. They didn't... but I did get to worship without any hindrance, so that was a blessing). And even though the wires come out tomorrow, I'll still have those "very tight" rubber bands that will only allow me to open my mouth "slightly more." It's ok.

God is good. I will rejoice. Amen!
night night!

07 November 2009

Surgery Pics & Experience

For now, I'm not uploading any pics to the blogger for surgery. Gives you some freedom to not have to deal with it (I don't think they are that bad, but you know...I don't want anyone to get messed up). So if you want to see them, you should be able to look at them via facebook with an "open album." Even if you do not have a facebook, you should be able to look at them here. If you cannot, lemme know and we'll work something out.

I didn't get to mention the whole surgery/hospital stay aspect of my story. I guess my surgery was a lot longer than they were planning. They told us 5-6hrs I believe. They mentioned (seemingly jokingly) if they did the rib implant the surgery would take much longer. They would evaluate once they got in. The rib implant would be needed because the tumor was bigger than originally thought and had eaten the bone so much they wouldn't have anything to attach the titanium bar to near my ear, so they would use a rib bone to go along the bar. I believe this would also prevent doing the hip bone graft at a later day. Either way, you get some sweet titanium in your jaw. Well, I kind of expected them to do this when I went into it, because when i woke up, I asked if they took my rib. They didn't. He (Col Closmann) just spent 9+ hrs trying to save the other side of my jaw bone. When I asked him about it, he said he "had my face wide open" lol. Ah, gotta love those older army officers.

Needless to say everytime I ask them about a sore part of my body, they remind me "this was an extensive surgery" and I should expect to be sore. They're just glad that my muscles aren't spasming from having my jaw wired shut. That brings up a point about being cut free on Monday, but I'll wait.

I kind of remember waking up that evening, not really like, "Oh I'm waking up from anesthesia" but more "they're putting something in my mouth, geez can I have some water?" Sadly I didn't dream while under. I really wanted to. Actually, I wanted to see heaven. I asked to see heaven. But I was also scared if I saw heaven, he'd give me a thorn like Paul to prevent me from getting arrogant. So perhaps for the better...one less thorn in my side. Throughout the night I remember my angel *ICU nurse, Laura* coming in, giving me beds, trying to give me some water by using a straw as a dropper. Finally asked fora syringe, it worked much better. She was super gentle. Very nice such an angel. And, she said I was her only patient, so she cared about me a lot. :) I started to realize I couldn't really talk very well-between being wired shut, feeling not completely returned in my face so lip control made talking difficult, and it just plain hurt trying to talk. Therefore, I started writing down questions/conversations. I asked her, what happened if I had to go to the bathroom, I was dreading getting up. I asked her if I had a catheter in (I've never had one), she smiled and said I did.

The next morning there was talk of getting me out of ICU becuase "it's more comfortable" without all the wires and stuff. I was excited about being more comfortable. They were taking my blood pressure every 30min and then they changed it to every hour. Dude that things squeezed my arm like no other. Then they were monitoring my oxygen intake, had an O2 mask kind of propped up to my face. She said mostly because I needed to have humid hair to prevent drying out in my airways. But she'd come in and have me cough to clear out lungs, and she'd come in because my O2 levels were low. I guess the pain meds would slow down my breathing so much at one point, I only breathed 8times in a minute. Plus checking my heart beat and all that stuff. Being more comfortable sounded exciting. My new nurse came in, he was a male, and an officer. 1Lt (Laura was a civlian). Anyway, I asked Laura if he was nice, she said he was. She also said it was time for my catheter to come out, I asked if she could take it out before she left for the shift instead of him doing, sligthly awkward. Especially since I knew we were so close in age. She saved me the embarrassment. Then it scared me cause I realized if I peed, I had to get out of bed. What if I couldn't hold it? What if my body forgot I didn't have a little tube taking care of business. Fortunately I didn't wet the bed. But it was a little difficult using the little potty next to the bed. At least the nurse was nice, supportive, and helped me a lot *guess that's his job. He also had to go hunt down for a toilet thingy, cause someone came in and took mine. Guess they thought I didn't need it. The docs (Capt Elyassi and all) wanted to take Xrays. So I had to get wheeled down to dental clinic. Thankfully the Lt knew how to get there...cause I couldn't have made it on my own. Plus this was right about the time my mom came to visit. Not the greatest timing cause it was right in the transition time. I felt like she wanted to talk to me, but I really wasn't ready for anything.

The worse part is coming up. The dental clinic has this old man working in Xrays. You know he's the "good old boy" who's been there for ages. Needless to say, he failed to really care that I wasn't feeling good, fighting off nausea and I just had freakin surgery the day before. He also, failed to really think about the kind of pain I was in. I felt like I was being man handled. In fact, he was trying to position my face for my second xray (he also didn't really seem to care that this was the first time I'd been standing for longer than 2 seconds getting out of bed getting onto the little toilet thingy) so he puts his hands on my cheeks. That's right ladies and gentlemen, the little jerk grabbed my jaw. I screamed. Dr Hsu comes running in and asks what's wrong (of course I can barely talk but I finally get out) HE GRABBED MY JAW. The man had the audacity to tell me AND the docs that "he didn't grab my jaw he grabbed my shoulder." I was in disbelief. I wanted to punch this old man, not only did you hurt me, but you lied about it. You lied. I started crying. Tears were streaming down my face. I felt so violated. It was weird. I was outraged. When the ordeal was over, I finally got back to my wheelchair and my nurse, I started to write "he grabbed my...." and the nurse was like, "I know." He made me feel better. I don't know if he really knows, or what. But I felt better. I still think I need to make a complaint. Obviously I haven't let it go. :/

Finally we get all done there and the Lt takes me to the surgery ward. Gets me into a room and some new nurses come in. They say they'll put a note by the nurses station, since obviously if I push the call button and they try to ask me what's wrong, I won't be able to talk... but it still failed a few times. And some nurses were real jerks about it, like "HELLO..." with a little attitude. I dunno. It made me mad.

Well, I'll have to finish updating this at a later time. I'm mucho tired. I need sleep.

But first, on Monday when my wires come off, I'll be replacing them with some rubber bands. Rubber bands that will be pretty tight. Not as bad as wired shut, but still not the freedom I was expecting. Dr Elyassi says I :should be able to open my mouth slightly." I should have asked for a definition slightly. *sigh* at least they can be taken off, open my mouth enough to drink stuff without little particles getting stuck in my teeth, cause I'll put it right in my mouth. Slightly sad abou this... but at least I asked. So I'm mentally prepared. I was expecting complete freedom....not so much.

ok. night night.

05 November 2009

God is Good.

I feel like I have so much to say. I always want to write a blog and I don't get to. I always get distracted doing something else. But I've discovered a new happy place. I can watch JAG while I'm on the computer if I go into the living room and sit on Marcus' happy chair.

Anyway. Went to the doc today, like I have been every day since Monday. Today he told me that maybe Monday my staples can come out (instead of Friday) and my wires will get cut (instead of Tuesday).

Oh geez, I just realized, ya'll don't know anything! I haven't updated anything since the surgery! I'm sorry.

OK. I hope I get can the days right. It's hard for me to try and keep track. Since the surgery I've stopped wearing my watch and haven't put it back on.

Got home from the hospital Thursday and I am pretty sure I didn't go back to the hospital for an appointment until Monday. That's when they were concerned about an infection. Over the weekend, I think it was on Saturday, maybe Sunday. I started to drip gunk out of my incision.
Monday they were like, "Oh crap, here's an infection." So they gave me some local anesthesia because here they go. Open me up some (and amazingly Marcus watched it all, but he said it was kind of clean). Anyway. They cleaned me out, lots of suction and saline I dunno. I do a lot of humming when they do these procedures on me because I cannot handle listening to all that stuff and ugh. So they cleaned me out. Then they put a little drain in me so the whatevers gunk flows out of me. And they changed my antibiotics.

I went back on Tuesday. Things were clearing up, I wasn't as swollen since the draining, and they were happy with the changes, even though the antibiotics hadn't taken an effect (it takes up to 72hrs) and... that's all I remember. Oh, I do remember asking him (Col Closmann) if it was possible for my bone to grow on its own instead of having to do the hip bone graft surgery in four months. He said, it's impossible, if I was 14yrs old then I'd have a 50% chance of the bone growing back on its own, but because I'm older it would take a miracle. Then he went on to tell me how like when a kid breaks his arm it takes like a moth to heal, but when an older person breaks it takes like 6-8 weeks, and then a 50yr old breaks their arm and it takes like 3 months. Actually the Colonel said, "If I broke my arm it'd take forever to heal." I like my doc, he's pretty cool. I think he's Catholic. Anyway. so I ask the question about his arm and he tells me that it's impossible. But I said, "Well it could happen, it would be a miracle." He laughed, and said, "Well if the first miracle is a virgin giving birth to a baby, I guess this could be the second miracle."

This was also the day they told me that I should be brushing my teeth and that a water pick is a good investment with all the wires getting the stuff caught in it. The holes between your teeth are not that big, and the whole in the back of my mouth like when your molars are closed, so when you're drinking stuff other clear liquids, even pureed, it gets caught up. I was surprised about brushing my teeth. No one told me! Anyway, I have this baby toothbrush I use to "brush my metal" like how Col Closmann says.

This is a funny comment, because today I told him (I don't always get to see him, there's three docs, Dr/Capt Elyassi, Dr/?rank Hsu, Dr/Col Closmann) that I was going to be his miracle patient. He told me that I'm doing a very good job since I'm the one person that is supposed to behaving a good recovery and I'm the one with the complications. There's another girl, we're very similar. Her tumor is a little bigger, on the opposite side, and she is a smoker. I guess she's not having any complications at all, and they expected her to. Well, okay instead of doing a hip bone graft later, because hers was bigger she ended up losing the whole other section of her jaw so they did a rib bone transplant with the titanium bar. *sigh* It's ok. God is bigger than me and my complications. I know Col Closmann would really be moved by this miracle, I am excited for it. I'm excited for God to work through this. I know there is something bigger going on in the clinic. Everyone knows me (when you come every day, they tend to). Everyone knows the baby, they ask about him. God is gonna work in amazing ways in that clinic. I know it.

So...Wednesday. I dunno.

At one point we tried to get our meds refilled at Hickam, but apparently I cannot get liquid oxycoton from Hickam because they don't carry liquid narcotics. LOL. Well, not funny at the time. But you know. O I know this was on Monday, because that's when I got my new antibiotics! So yeah, Monday, that's when we had that Hickam fiasco. That sucked.

Wednesday. That was yesterday right? Yeah... Docs still impressed with swelling going down. I'm doing better with feeling on my right side. Fortunately during the surgery, they didn't have to cut my nerves that deal with feeling, they're just a little damaged and worked from surgery.

So I had some drippage with my drain today (I think) and I made exclaimed noises. Col Closmann asked what was wrong, and I said I was dripping, he said he was surprised I could feel that, and then he cleaned it up. Today was also the day that they took my drain out. He said it wasn't really what he wanted to do, but he wants the incision to heal. He also told me that he doesn't need to see me tomorrow (hooray!) and that Monday could be the big day. Like I said earlier--staples out and wires off. You'd be amazed how amazingly good blended soups taste. The thought of opening my mouth to put blended in soup without having to worry about my teeth getting clogged up and cannot take in anymore...is super exciting. Seriously.

Through everything Marcus has been amazing. He's been eating blended foods with me (and helping me know what is good and not good). He bought me my water pick which helps my mouth cleaning a billion times easier. He bought me my heating pad to help me recover from my neck muscles and everything being sore from surgery and stuff. He just takes care of me. Bought my battery for my ipod player remote, so I can be more comfortable. He's a good man. I am so blessed (I have to remember this when he does something small and stupid that makes me mad). :D

My church family has blessed me immensely. Between praying for me, texting me, visiting me, reading my healing book to me, writing scripture on index cards so I can put them on my wall, taking me to Whole Foods and Aloha Salads to buy delicious juices and soups...it's been *mostly* encouraging. I've had some downs, but overall I have been very blessed. Especially when I consider that I deserve nothing but death (Rom 6:23).

Ok. It's super super late. I have so much more to say, but I'm sure this is enough to keep ya'll occupied for awhile. I took a later afternoon nap thanks to Natasha today, so I woke up around 1930 to take meds and hungry and then was fairly well rested by the time I ate.

Anyway. God is good everyone. He is a big God. I can't exaggerate him. He is so real. He was the same God in the old testament, in the new testament and forever. He did miracles then, he does them now, and he will continue to do them. Worship him!

01 November 2009

1 Pet 5:6-11

6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
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shared with me by 2 people today. :) thanks for the encouraging words, i appreciate all the prayers... please keep them coming.