Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hospital Tid-Bits

It was pointed out to me that it has been quite a while since my last post.  I'm all confused about dates...but i know that about three weeks ago I was in the hospital for 8 days with a bad case of asthma.  Then I was home for around a week, doing the steroid taper...but when I got almost to the end of the taper, my asthma came back full force and I was admitted back into the hospital.  So I have been here, struggling with lung crackles, rhonchi, wheezes and whistles.  My pulmonologist  is back on duty after being away and he has told me to hang out until next week , which I would have anyway because I'll be danged if I'm going to come back a third time.  I kind of knew last time that I wasn't fully recovered but the doctors all said my  lungs were clear.  I knew they were not. I never got rid of that crappy cough in between these two visits.

I do not have any deep thought to share with you and not even any funny hospital happenings.  I'm just sitting here waiting from one meal to another....steroids this time are making me hungry....During my last stay I lost 5 lb and then another 3.  But this time I don't think I will be so fortunate.  I had already started to regain two pounds before even coming back.

I have a great App on my kindle (also available ios ) called "Spiritual Typer" and it is a Bible memory method to help a person to retain Bible passages.  For a while I kept the free version --not really knowing much about what the pro-version offers.   So the other day I invested   $10 into the "Pro"version,  I had some trouble loading it and had to delete my whole program, get refunded by Amazon and then reload the whole thing.  It took me working on it all last night to get both accounts merged so that I did not lose any of my data. It is also supposed to have an audio player and recorder so that you might make audio files of your verses and that function was working yesterday....however sometime, it stopped working and  now I only get an error message which is disappointing.  It has a gadget that lets you draw pictures to illustrate your verses as well.  pretty cool.  And best of all it lets you have limitless verses on it to memorize ...the freebie only allowed storage of 50 verses so I was already over my limit.  OK that is my TV commercial for the day.

Thanks to the friends who have entertained me ("spammed me") and kept me in touch with their lives, across the country and across the world.  Thanks to those who offer sympathy and prayers and to those who make me guffaw into my pillow.  Yes, it "sucks to be me" but there are those who help to make that whole prescription more fun.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

All of it



I just this week finished my antibiotic and got down to the lowest level in my steroid taper.....only to wake up one night (Monday night) unable to breathe.  My lungs are full of congestion and my airways are inflamed and closing due to my severe asthma.  I went  to the doctor yesterday and he confirmed that my lungs sound like crap.  He decided : no more antibiotics, and to take me once more to the highest dose of steroids and to do another slow taper.  I know...and I think he knows, that this is unlikely to help me.  My question is: how many rounds of 60 mg of Solule Medrol QID will it take to get me back to breathing and functioning again....and really--most importantly--how many doses like that can a body tolerate before breaking down completely?

So I'm home.  Each breath a struggle.  And to top it all off, I have hurt my back--probably from coughing.  Now  I cannot stand without  crying in pain.  I feel completely helpless.  I don't know what God is doing here.  I wish I had some help.  I wish I had some frozen dinners so that I need only to microwave them.  I wish I could breathe without coughing....I wish my back didn't have a red-hot dagger in it.  Wishes.

I do have some praise/thanks to report.  A week or two ago I received several bills totaling several thousand dollars.  I decided --when I saw them--that I would NOT panic. I would NOT worry. I would NOT do anything but to  pray about them.  So I prayed for a week....finally, when I felt ready, I called both offices involved in these bills....and do  you know what I ended up owing?  $25!!  God is so good---and when we make a deliberate decision to trust him, he comes through and we feel chagrined.  "What was I even worried about?"

So I will do the same thing now.  I will take it one breath at a time and I will ask God to work his will.  When I was in the hospital...the first night there...I went through at least 3 IV sites that continually were failing.  I have horrible veins...destroyed by years of IV antibiotics and steroids.  They brought an ICU nurse in....who tried 4 times and finally got a line....which collapsed shortly thereafter.  Through a series of events, a nurse named "Betsy" came to my room and she got a line.  A good line.  So I put out a call to the prayer chain in my church and I asked them to pray  that this IV would last for the remaining week.  Yes.  HIGHLY unlikely....Even on healthy veins, a week is a long time for an IV to last.  But you know what?  Yes,  you know.  That IV stayed in for the remainder of the week...it didn't bother me, it wasn't in an annoying spot...It just worked for the whole time that I needed it to work.  Coincidence?

No.  GOD...
....a God who loves me and cares for all that concerns me.  A God who is slowly and surely chiseling me and my faith to create something beautiful.  He has shown me so much this year that I do NOT need to worry...but in everything , by prayer and thanksgiving to present my requests to God...And my God is faithful, who will supply all my needs in Glory by Christ Jesus. 

“But as for you, O My servant, do not fear, Nor be dismayed...! For, see, I am going to save you from afar,  Jeremiah 46:27

A God, close at hand, who is able to save from afar.  Now what does he require of us?  That we trust him implicitly.  He will take care of all that concerns me. (Yes, I meant to repeat that).  Whether it be a bill, poor health, putting food on the table, difficult relationships...your child's future.  All of it.  Fear not nor be dismayed.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Christian Veganism: Accountability before God for dietary choice

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow man."---St Francis of Assisi.

This morning I got up early....and I watched the movie "Veganated" on Netflix.  It broke my heart.  I have been mocked for my vegan philosophy ---and in fact, just this week, ate two meat dishes because I was so hungry I felt that I "needed " that to adequately fill me.  Watching this movie has made it clear to me that veganism is  more than a personal choice.   It is our responsibility.  God gave the creation to our care.  HOW can a  person watch video or look at pictures of what goes on in a slaughter house and claim that that is an acceptable way to treat God's Creation?  it is brutal.  It is painful.  It is unacceptable.

Veganism is more than a person choice for food.  It is our responsibility both to the care of our bodies and to the shelter of God's creation.  I believe God weeps for the defenseless animals and the way they are heartlessly destroyed.

What can I do?  Other than in making alternative food choices and possibly sharing my views to friends....how can I make a change that will solidly benefit this horrific problem?

My parents think that veganism is a religion....that it is part and parcel with Eastern Philosophies. In fact, Adam and Eve were vegan....it was God's choice for them to be so.  It was only after the flood that God allowed mankind to eat animals.  How did it come about that the priests fed on the food of sacrifice?  This is a disturbing question.  In Scripture you read of thousands of cattle being sacrificed.
There is more to be seen in the sacrificial  system than is easily grasped.

All I know is that I want nothing to do with the suffering of farm animals who are killed for their meat or trapped for their milk and eggs.  I do not believe that even cheese will tempt me.  I do not want to cause anyone or anything suffering just so that I might eat it. There are plenty of other options to eat...it is not necessary to maim or slaughter my food.

There are several Christian Vegan/vegetarian agencies.  Of all people groups, Christians should be the most conscious stricken about their food choices.  God gave his Creation into our hands....to protect, care for and sustain....not to maim and kill.  I know I will take heat because of these views.....and that is ok.  If you have anything to say about it, watch the movie "Veganated" on Netflix and then come back and tell me once again that your favorite meal is a Big Mac..

Dr Fuhrman of Eat to Live fame was in this movie also.  He is not in it because he has a bleeding heart.  He is in it because it is the way to prevent so much diet related suffering and death.  He is in it because it is a path of superior nutrition.  The Standard American Diet (SAD) will kill you....and it is a pointless, preventable death.  So you don't have to care about animals.  You DO however have to face the consequences of your dietary choices and also their impact on your family.

I am renewed in my resolve. ETL is the path I must take.  Hunger is  no excuse because vegan food fills just as adequately as does meat. It takes forethought and planning...but it is worth it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hospital Thoughts

Today is day 7 of my hospital stay. Now the docs say I can (maybe) go home this coming Tuesday. My lungs are improved ...but my BP has been through the sky. The doctors want to try yet one more pill for Hypertension to try to get a grip on it. Today I finally got an order for a shower. My plan is to get one after lunch today.

I have been uninspired to write. However a friend from online and I have been chatting up a storm via email and it is almost as good and cozy as a visit from her. She has made me smile when smiles have been hard to find.

As far as my diet here? do you believe I've been eating bacon? Salmon? Chicken? Honestly there are few vegan options. I decided rather than whining about it, I would instead take a break and revisit some favorites. Then by the time I return home I will be ready to once more eschew meats and pursue health via food. Although I have been eating quite a lot, I do not think I have gained all that much weight. I do not have the "no-neck" look i usually get...and my tummy, while bloated is not cutting off my breath and filling with gas pains like it normally would.

I have pretty much made up my mind to purchase an "Instant Pot" - a 7 function cooker that will eliminate some items in my kitchen like the slow cooker and the pressure cooker...and the steamers. It is not all that cheap but if it can once more make it possible for me to cook meals with very little effort and minimal clean up it should be worth its weight in gold.

I have been trying to keep up with my reading in Scripture. I'm attempting to read the entire Bible in 90 days. It's not a race but it is providing me with the panorama of events that make up God's Word. Right now I'm up to the book of Esther. I've never before really grasped the panorama of the Babylonian Captivity and how the city of Jerusalem was rebuilt. And the idiocy of the people who--with JOY---celebrate a godly king and eagerly worship Yahweh....only to once again, pitch that aside and the blessings that come with it and follow one corrupt king after another. Are we that two-faced? Am I? Do I pursue and then fritter away my faith lured by the "gods" of this corrupt society? What is acceptable worship.?

Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Micah 6:8
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

These two verses --as much as any in Scripture show us what God wants of us and for us. These verses need some meditation. I want to integrate them into my life and heart. I want to see how living by these prescriptions will allow me to walk step by step with my Father and to honor him with my heart, life and mouth. How God wants us to value the things that are important to him and how it is only by doing this that He will bring us Peace and Joy in our worship and in our lives.

Lord keep me from the prostitution of faith that marked the Children of Israel. Help me to value my body and to willingly sacrifice it to you Does that mean to care for it in a way that speaks of worship...to OVER care for it? Or are we to respect it, to treat it with respect and then to offer it to God for his use and benefit.? Take it where he wants to take it. Feed it what he wants to feed it. To trust him with our health and sickness. TO keep it clean and respectable....yet not to worship it by lavishing expensive treatments , perfumes etc. There is a line we must walk ..A line of respect and gratitude for our body yet to hold it loosely and to take it where God wills it to go and to use it how he wants to use it.

And the verse in Micah shows us that we are to honor and respect kindness, honor justice and walk humbly with out God. Humility is of great value to our Lord....and in a society where Hubris is rampant it may feel hard to come by. And a humble lifestyle...What does that mean? Does it mean to go and join the Amish and be rid o f technology? While that may be of some benefit, I don't think it is what God was aiming for. I think to live humbly means to live within your means...Not to covet things the Lord has not seen fit with which to grace you. to hold loosely your possessions and to meet the needs of others when it is possible for you to do so. To live humbly means we do not believe that we are ENTITLED to have the latest, greatest toys. WE live with in our means with the things that God has graced us.

And we are to value justice...I believe that means not to join every manhunt seething with righteous indignation at the wrongs we believe have been perpetrated. I believe it means to work hard to bring to justice those who slaughter, martyr and maim the children of the King. It is to TREASURE these qualities because they are also treasures by our FATHER.