Prayers for Dad

Dad has to have the pacemaker removed, because the area is infected. He's having that done this morning, and then he'll be on antibiotics to clear up the infection for a few weeks to clear up the infection before they can put a pacemaker back in. Having an infection so close to -- and with a direct pathway to -- your heart seems like not such a good thing, and I'm sure 3 surgeries in ~9 weeks isn't easy on your body either. I'm trying not to be, but the whole thing makes me pretty nervous. :-/ Please keep him in your prayers over the next several months. Without the pacemaker, his heart rate was only in the 30s, so I know we'll be worried about him the whole time he has it out, and having surgery to put it in and out repeatedly is a little nerve-wracking too.
  • marmee
    How is your Dad? Has the pacemaker been put back in?
    by marmee at 07/16/12 12:50PM

05/29/12 3:27PM

Tease has been home and acting normally since Friday, so that's good news. Dad is having a pace-maker put in tomorrow morning, and I'm glad that they're doing it quickly, rather than messing around. The doctor said that his heart rate all weekend was averaging in the low 40s, sometimes down into the 30s, so they're thinking that's what caused his semi-blackout in traffic. The pace-maker should control both that and the irregular heartbeat he gets occasionally, and the doctor thinks it will help him feel significantly better in general pretty quickly. Please keep him in your prayers as he has surgery...I know it's a minor surgery, but all surgery kinda freaks me out!

  • marmee
    I will keep him in my prayers! Please greet him for us.
    by marmee at 05/29/12 6:12PM
  • DecemberGrace2
    Thanks for keeping us updated! You and your family continue to be in my prayers
    by DecemberGrace2 at 05/29/12 8:00PM
  • keepingheart
    Thanks for updating - we'll see what we can do to help!
    by keepingheart at 05/30/12 9:57AM
  • dragonmyst
    The pace maker is in, and last I heard he was in recovery and doing ok. If a couple of the guys have time (doesn't have to be immediate, maybe some weekend in the near future), my storm door got pretty much ripped off in the storm on Sunday and I could use some help figuring out if it's salvageable and getting it (or a new door) back up. We also might need some help getting hay when the time comes, because Dad won't be able to do any lifting for 4-6 weeks. I hate asking for help, but those are a couple things that Dad would normally do and won't be able to. I also have a light fixture that needs replacing in the bathroom that Dad had bought but not gotten around to putting it up -- since it requires actual wires being de-and-re attached, I thought maybe I'd bug Jaron to help with that one. Again, none is urgent at this exact moment, but they're things that we may need help with in the relatively near future. I appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers....hopefully the stressful, trying stuff is easing up now!
    by dragonmyst at 05/30/12 12:08PM

Rough Week

It seems like we keep thinking the other shoe has already dropped, only to find that a whole 'nother pair fell out of the sky to be added to the pile this week. Tuesday afternoon, my horse colicked badly and had to be taken to Michigan State to have round the clock care. It didn't look promising that he'd make it, and he was down to his last "one more time" before having to make the decision to let him go, but he finally perked up. The same night, while driving home in the middle of the night, we got a call that my sister was on her way to the hospital and might be having a stroke. It turned out not to have been a stroke, and is likely a back problem that may need surgery, but it's all still a little up in the air, since the hospital is being super slow at getting the test results to her regular doctor. Dad and I went to pick Tease up from the vet today, and on the way home, Dad suddenly swerved and almost hit a car, then swerved a bit off the road before straightening back out. He said he kind of blacked out for a second, but that he was feeling better and wouldn't let me take over driving. I was terrified the rest of the drive home, but we made it back all right and he went to the emergency room. He's being kept overnight, and they did a bunch of tests. We think that it's this irregular heartbeat problem he has from time to time, but the problem has never made him black out before, so it was (and is) pretty scary. Our entire family is exhausted, stressed, and just plain worn out, and it seems like as soon as one emergency is easing, another takes over. There have been a lot of things that could have gone terribly wrong, but stopped just shy of the worst, and I'm very grateful for that....I'm also very ready for a break, and for this streak of stressful almost tragic events to be done. Please keep me, my family, and my horse in your prayers. It's been a really tough several days, and while it could have been worse, it would be nice for some of the pressure to ease soon!
  • marmee
    Tammy had made me aware of Kelly's situation, but I did not know of these other things that have been happening in your family. I will certainly be prayerful for your Dad and your horse, too. Keep trusting in the Lord!
    by marmee at 05/25/12 10:05PM

The Trip is On!

I decided to sign up for the trip to Italy and Greece next summer. It may not have been *the* best financial move I’ve ever made, but it’s doable, and I may not have this opportunity again. I’m excited for the trip, but nervous as well. I have never gone anywhere outside the US, other than a brief trip to Canada when I was a kid, so it’s all a little intimidating. I love that the tour is already set up, and that I won’t have to stress over where to go next or what I should go see – I also won’t have to debate it with fellow travelers, since there is already a plan in place. Pictures will be a must. I suppose that means I should start actually USING my camera so that I’m more in the habit by the time the trip rolls around! I have a tendency to bring my camera, leave it in my bag and forget all about it, then wish I’d gotten pictures after the fact. I’m sure it will be an experience to remember, camera or no camera! :-)

I would like to get some plants, trees, bushes….something….around my house this summer. Does anyone have suggestions of things that are easy to care for (meaning very little to no effort on my part), pretty, and/or fragrant? I don’t want to spend a ton of time taking care of landscaping, but it would be nice if the area surrounding my house didn’t look quite so, well, bare. :-P
  • marmee
    Happy travels! And I wouldn't dare advise about the shrubs and trees ... cause what grows here in Texas sure won't survive there in Michigan!! I bet your Dad would know. :)
    by marmee at 04/11/12 11:17AM
  • keepingheart
    Enjoy that trip! Some easy things that grow here - need a bit of shade though - hostas - they flower for a large part of summer and can grow big leaves when they thrive (plants) and also hydrangea bushes. You can start them pretty small and they really do get to be the size of a bush! (They also flower in the summer). Both of these like partial shade though. (No full sun.) See if you can find a lilac bush or a start of one. Those can get really big on their own - but it will take several years before you get flowers. Yukka plants thrive in hot, dry spots, and after a few years they will flower white flowers all over on a white stalk - every other year. Sometime when you visit here I can show you and we can talk more ideas (including trees - but those would be cheapest near fall) - maybe I can see about some starts for you. :)
    by keepingheart at 04/12/12 4:09PM
  • keepingheart
    Thank you for your thoughts on a singing spirit. I found them to be helpful and gave me some more things to consider - especially because I know you really enjoy singing! :)
    by keepingheart at 05/04/12 2:15PM

Ah spring...

What a time for....ear infections? Apparently this is the case, since my mom has been struggling with one for over a month now, and I'm going on two weeks. Hopefully it clears up soon for both of us, because Mom is being more affected by the dizzy factor, and I'm going to have to be on a plane again soon and I'm thinking that does not sound pleasant with the way my ear feels at the moment.

Quita is doing well. His weight has held steady since he started the heart meds almost two months ago, and I'm hoping that the Lasix is doing its job and clearing the fluid out of his lungs. He still hates getting pills, but so far we've only missed one dose because of avoidance, so I guess I'm doing an ok job of corralling him when necessary. I'm very glad that my "puppy" is holding steady, since he's definitely my favorite cat ever, and I just lost Molly as well as the stress of starting a new job. I love my little buddy who anxiously precedes me throughout the house, waiting for me to sit down so that he can climb on up for cuddles. :-)

I am enjoying the nice weather (it's usually still snowing this time of year!!!) and have started lunging Tease (aka "chasing him around at the end of a rope to give him exercise") so that he can get in shape a bit before I start riding and making him carry me around. He's 20 this spring, so I'm trying to ease him into it slowly, especially since my knee injury last summer kept me from doing much with him or myself for the past year. Saturday he was wonderful until I asked him to canter, upon which he bucked ferociously, and then attempted to run away hysterically backward as if I was trying to kill him. That was a bit irritating. Tuesday went much better -- there was no bucking and no running backward. Not perfect, but better.

My knee is still kind of a mess, honestly, but I'm doing my best to just continue to do my PT exercises and ignore it. I'm still paying off the bills from the MRI and PT last fall, and the ortho surgeon seems convinced that it's just the Baker's cyst causing me pain. A steroid shot didn't help, so it looks like my best bet is to work on getting in better shape and be as careful as possible with my knee in the meantime -- and if that doesn't work, I want another MRI!!!

I'm having a tough time deciding whether or not to commit to a trip to Italy and Greece next summer...the price goes up April 1st, so I have to make a decision soon. I have made up my mind both ways several times, but I keep questioning it. Part of me really really wants to go -- it would be a great experience, and how often is this type of opportunity going to come up? I'm single, and who knows when or whether I will end up married and thus have someone to travel with, so a trip that's pre-planned and is with a group of 15 or so people is pretty hard to pass up. Otherwise, I may end up either stuck at home indefinitely, or always only traveling in order to sit in someone elses' living room far from home. I'd really like to go be a tourist at some point. My holdup is mostly money. I can afford the payments for the trip, but it will make the budget fairly tight. Since I've been livig on a really tight budget for the past two years, a part of me would just really like to relax a bit and not have to be so stressed about where every single dollar is going -- it would be nice to be able to go to a concert if one came up, or go get a massage here and there, or actually be able to afford to go visit a friend. But on the other hand, I have one $100 payment that will be going away in 3 months, another $50 payment that will be gone in 9 months, and a $300 payment that will be gone in a year. So it seems a little silly to stress that I have to live on more of a budget for just a few more months. After all, how often is an opportunity like this going to come up? But then I also don't want to have to borrow money from my parents *again* if anything out of the ordinary pops up! Urg! I don't know what to do!!!!