Thursday, April 30, 2009

Documenting for future reference...

Full Hypokalemic attack around 3am that lasted all night and most of the day. No sleep, severe pain head to toe, disorientation, trembling muscles, fluctuating body temperature, usual breathing issues. 6:00pm now, hydrated with a berry banana smoothie and fluids. Had Kashi microwave meal for dinner at 5:00pm. Walking a little better but very weak and in terrible pain.

Triggers: cleaning the kitchen at midnight + no sleep + chronic pain.


Will be documenting more thoroughly from now own.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Orange For Stellan




Stellan is currently in surgery. He is having an ablation in an attempt to eliminate his Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. Last I heard, they found a lot of fluid in his lungs and tissues. Please say a prayer for this sweet baby.

Hundreds, possibly thousands of Stellan's blog readers are wearing orange today for Stellan. I don't have an orange shirt that fits (ha), so I improvised. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

What's going on this week...

First of all, please pray for baby Stellan who is now at Boston Children's Hospital and will be undergoing very risky heart surgery in the morning.

Please also pray for Phillip who is having complications in preparation for brain surgery. This is a very tough time for him, and I know that he and his mom Amy would greatly appreciate your prayers.

I'm about the same right now, but hope to be feeling much better in a few days. I'm resting as much as I can, but things are getting increasingly busy for me so I've got to get well and get some things done. I have several art-related meetings that I must attend tomorrow, so somehow I am going to have to stay unmedicated and out of bed.

In other news, I took the plunge and applied to college today. This is nothing but an act of faith at the moment, because I have no idea what my future holds health-wise. This will be my 4th attempt in going to school, so I look forward to trying again this fall. I've already chosen my classes (assuming that those classes will still be available when it's time to register) and I plan to knock out an entire semester via CLEP exams as well. I'm excited about it, and hope and pray that this will somehow be a successful adventure. I know it won't be easy, but I refuse to give up. I will meet with an academic adviser as well as Disabled Student Services in the near future.

When my itty bitty tax return comes in, I will be shipping out stuff that I owe people...paintings, cards for the troops, thank yous, and the stuff that I'll be giving away right here on the blog soon. Thank you for your patience! :)

My brothers birthdays are this week, and I want to send them cool/funny online cards. Anyone know where I can find the best free funny birthday cards on the net? Shoot me a comment! My brother Layton will be 35 and my brother John will be 21.

I'm also working on my sister's wedding invitations, and they're almost done. When they are finished, I'll post a pic of them. I think they're very nice...love the stationery that she chose, and the location of her wedding is pretty darn cool. I can't say where in case I have relatives reading the blog...it's currently a secret! Once the invitations go out to everyone, I'll post about it and include photos. :)

This Saturday is day 2 of Seascape Month at Hobby Lobby's Bob Ross Painting Workshop. My students and I are having a blast, and I look forward to scheduling more classes with them. I'm hoping to be feeling significantly better by then, so it won't be so difficult to handle. I am also going to talk with the class coordinator about scheduling summer kids classes. I need to get the word out by the end of April if possible. June is sneaking up on me...it will be here before I know it.

Thank you friends for your prayers and well wishes. I truly appreciate it and don't have a clue what I'd do without ya. I think of you all every day and wish you many, many blessings always.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Slowly but surely...

I am going to get the hang of this new format. My website has existed for years, but crashed and I decided to move it away from its former server for financial reasons. Switching to a google blogger site was a brilliant move, but I'm still trying to get the hang of it.

Anyway, I'm slowly getting caught up on blogs. If you are reading my blog and would like me to read yours, let me know that you're here! If you have a button that I can put in my sidebar...feel free to send it to me! I'm still trying to figure all of this out, but at least I know how to put stuff in my sidebar now!

And I will be giving away something very soon. I promise! All I gotta do is get it ready, take pics, upload pics, and voila. Hopefully sometime this week...bear with me! I'm working on a couple of awesome blog carnivals as well...so excited!

Tomorrow (well, technically TODAY) I have a meeting in Mobile that I must attend, so I am going to do my best to get out of bed at a reasonable hour and head that direction. If I can swing it, I'll go early and visit a church in the area. I'm in LOADS of pain still but I absolutely, positively cannot miss this so I am going to be there with bells on. Everyone is aware that I'm not well and I believe that they will do what they can to make me comfortable.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my Bob Ross students? I couldn't ask for a better group. I wouldn't have made it through the last class if they had not helped me unload my car, set up, clean up, and load up my car. I didn't ask for help but they could see that I was not well and did whatever they could to make things easier for me. That's loyalty, folks. These people are becoming family to me, and I am so blessed to have this job...albeit, a very very low paying one...it's still the greatest job in the world. I did talk to my students for a while concerning my health and they were all very understanding.

My students at Art With Heart are also great. I have a little kindergartener who is an absolute JOY to be around! She is so smart, loves art, and talks non-stop. I did some watercolor with her last Tuesday and she had me cracking up. I wasn't feeling well and she followed me to the table and said "Here, let me get that for you!" and pulled out my chair so I could sit down. Then she shared her crayons with me. :) It was so sweet. At one point, I sighed and said "Lord have mercy..." That child didn't skip a beat. She finished my sentence with "ON MY SOUL!" Hahahaaaaa! Oh man, I laughed so hard. She finished my line! I love that girl. :)

The high schooler that I'm mentoring couldn't be a nicer guy. I've been talking to him about keeping up the good work in school and going to college someday. He lives in a bad home situation and I'm trying hard to encourage him. I feel that he is receiving it well, and it has done us both a lot of good to be there every week.

So some good things are happening. I don't want to seem like a downer all the time, because I really don't mean to be. I'm really struggling with my health and financial situation right now, and throwing it out into the blog world is my way of dealing with it. Writing and prayer are my outlets. If you've been reading my blog long enough, I'm sure that is obvious.

This week, I'll do my best to catch up with all things Art With Heart, as well as prepare for my Seascape workshop on Saturday the 25th. I also have to get my sister's wedding invitations done pronto. It's going to be another busy week...gotta get well and get to work!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Post-Doc Update

I saw my regular OBGYN today, thanks to a couple of friends who paid part of the bill so that the office would reschedule me. I shuffled in and Dr. V was clearly concerned since the first words out of his mouth were "OMG what's wrong???" I've gotten to the point where my illness(es) are showing. There are times when I don't really "look sick", but my recent decline has become painfully obvious.

I brought him up to date, and he wants to run tests. Considering that I have no money, the tests are probably not happening. We'll see.

I received a much needed hormone injection, and will be sick for three or four days until my body adjusts to it. It's miserable but certainly worth it. The only other option is a total hysterectomy, and again, my finances prevent that from being considered at the moment. So I just have to figure out how to pay for these injections every 11 weeks until I am to a place where my doc and I are both willing to do surgery. He asked me again about having kids, in the minute chance that it were even possible, and I reminded him that my body is too disabled to even consider it. And I refuse to pass my horrendous genes on to a child. That is, if I could conceive, and if a child actually survived in my womb...both of which are highly unlikely. Completely unlikely, since I've been happily celibate for 6 years and have no intention of ever, EVER changing that. EVER. The end.

So there is your TMI for the day, kids. :)

So now I'm in bed again but should be feeling significantly better in a week. Not counting the pulled muscles, migraines, and Periodic Paralysis, of course. Those need attention all their own, and I'm still waiting for a response from the Muscular Dystrophy Association about a referral. I will call them again Monday morning.

I know that there are people praying for me, and I appreciate it so much. I am blessed in spite of my circumstances, and I won't forget that.

Happier blog posts coming soon. :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

The sky is the limit...

I've become so much more observant of nature since becoming a Bob Ross Instructor. I notice every little tree, every ripple in a lake, and most of all...skies. I love skyscapes, and these are just a few skies that I've seen lately.

They almost look like paintings, but they are photographs. No editing either...this is the real deal. Isn't God a great artist? :)
















































I'm still working on my project for Art With Heart. It has been delayed due to my current health situation. But here is another peek at what I'm doing:


The Sky Is The Limit
Reach For The Stars...

Ceramic, Acrylic, Paper Mache

Part of the Art With Heart Helping Hands Project

















More to come!

Three things that I never do:











1. Go barefoot.
2. Paint my toenails.
3. Take a photo of my ugly feet for the world to see.

But I did it yesterday for a good cause. Go to http://www.tomsshoes.com/OneDay to see how you can help kids around the world who are in need of shoes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Turned away again...

How many times am I going to be refused medical care in my life? I seriously must hold the record for this. I need to call Guinness.

So the clinic that is affiliated with United Way is not as charitable as expected. Turns out that they have a required MINIMUM income of $7000 a year.

I don't even come close to that.

The lady was very nice, and couldn't apologize enough.

I told her that I understood, and that she didn't make the rules.

I also told her that when I was working, I made donations to their clinic.

All she could say was "wow". She did not want to turn me away, but had to.

She suggested the Health Department, so I went there and the clinic was closed. I will call them tomorrow morning. I also called the Muscular Dystrophy Association and left them a message. I'm hoping to hear back from them tomorrow. The nearest office is in Montgomery, 3.5 hours away, but I'll go if they will do something.

Somebody has to do something. I can't live like this. I am trying not to be angry, but it's hard. I have always slipped through the cracks where medical help is concerned. I have lost count of how many times I've been refused care due to not qualifying or not having enough money or having no insurance...and right now, I feel like I am going to die young because I'm poor.

That is honestly how I feel right now.

I am chronically ill and disabled because I don't have any money. This has been happening since I was a teen.

Something has got to change.

Doc Appointment - Prayers Needed!

I just received a returned call from a Christian medical clinic in Mobile. They scheduled me in today at 3PM! Thank you Lord. Please pray that I will get the help that I need...several conditions going on right now that I need immediate relief from and will need continuous treatment for down the road.

Thank you friends...will write with an update after the appointment.

One Day Without Shoes - Join Me!



Join me today, April 16th, in bringing awareness of those in need of something that many of us take for granted - shoes.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THE MISSION







I wish I could put shoes on every kid in the world.

Can you help?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cards for Operation Gratitude

My current project for Homespun Helpers...

















Cards for overseas troops.














More to come!

School Plans

Ok it's official. I am eligible to receive the full pell grant for 09-10, and after comparing the costs, it makes the most sense to return to MGCCC. Even though I am ticked off at their major screw up 10 years ago that has temporarily killed my GPA, it is still worth returning to take that class again (even though I don't need it), which will cancel out the F they mistakenly gave me and my GPA will be restored to whatever it is supposed to be after receiving the new grade for this class. Which is, btw, Music Appreciation. Pfffttth. Whatever. I'll do it.

Seriously. USA's tuition ALONE is more than DOUBLE MGCCC's, and NOW they have tacked on FOOTBALL FEES of $253 per semester on top of their building fees, application fees, health fees, transportation fees, and all other fees that they are making people pay per semester whether they use them or not. At MGCCC I can take that unnecessary MA class as well as others, all online, and still come out WAY WAY ahead and even get a check in the end. So it's settled. I'm applying at MGCCC.

There. It's done. I'm not changing my mind again. It will be worth it.

Three semesters at MGCCC, then transfer to USA for Art Therapy.

God willing, I will somehow find the health and physical ability to do this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Smile Through The Pain














I gotta tell ya, this photo almost didn't happen. I was so, so sick and just a few hours earlier in the day I couldn't even get out of bed. I was very disappointed as I sent a message to Brad to let him know that I was probably not going to be able to make the trip. So disappointed, that the stubborn Celtic-Cajun-Native American came out in me and I said to myself "Self, get your butt out of this bed and go meet your friends. You may never have the opportunity again. Just get up and do it."

So I did. And it was rough. I couldn't eat anything without being sick, and was in so much pain that I was in tears. But I sucked it up and met Gina, Paula, and Brad at the beautiful Beau Rivage resort. All great people, and I really enjoyed meeting them. The whole night was a blessing, and I'm so thankful that I could be there.

Thank you, friends, for your time, your smiles, and your prayers. I am a lucky girl.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Feeling better in some ways, not in others...

Despite my rant, I'm not having a horrible day. Challenging, yes. Frustrating, most definitely. But I have managed to stay out of bed and get some things done. Mainly...TAXES! Yes! What a relief to get that out of the way, and an even bigger relief is that I don't OWE! I ended up being too far in the red to have to pay in. Ha! Blessing in disguise? Sure is, considering that I don't have a dime to spare.

So getting that done and knowing that I will get a few dollars (and I do mean a few) back from the IRS eventually put me in a better mood. Next on the agenda is to fill out my FAFSA and pray for a full pell grant for the fall. If I can get into school somewhere and finish my freshman year, that will be quite an accomplishment. I'm in terrible health and I don't know how I'll handle it, but I'm gonna try my best. I'm still debating on my major, but I'll eventually figure it out.

Still sick and in a ton of pain, but I think I will feel better if I can just get some REAL SLEEP. I took meds a few hours ago, added Tylenol PM to the mix as suggested by one of my former physicians, and I'm finally very drowsy. I'm hoping and praying that I'll actually get a decent night's rest. We'll see.

Tomorrow and Friday, I will focus on my class plans. I am supposed to teach Saturday, and I have seven students confirmed so far...waiting on a couple more RSVPs. It's gonna be a great class if I can just get through it, physically speaking. God, please give me strength. I can't do this without you.

My friend Suzy from NY sent me a news video of a Bob Ross Tribute party that happened in NY recently. What a HOOT! Dancers and all...haaaa! Wish I could have attended this Bob-fest...looks like a blast:




Just sent the video to my pals at the official Bob Ross Art Workshop in Florida. I wonder if any of them actually attended this event? Now that would be funny!

I want to return to NSB so badly. The place...the people...I miss so much!

Denied medical care for the 123456789th time...

I was turned away today due to not being able to pay in full.

They don't do monthly payments anymore. It's all or nothing.

I was $70 short.

My circumstances were ignored.

They canceled my appointment.

I came home and filed taxes.

My earned income credit is none other than $71.

But I won't get it for 4 to 6 weeks.

By then, I'll need it for gas and groceries.

So once again, I'm screwed over by our great American medical system.

Welcome to the story of my freaking life.

Monday, April 6, 2009

This weekend...

2 am, up drinking fluids and dealing with my newly-acquired sunburn. Ouch.

Yesterday was exhausting, but fun. We had an incredible crowd, and the wait in line was up to an hour and a half before the Sheriff's office finally had to shut it down and tell people to go home. I have no idea how many faces I painted...it was just chaos. We had a good time, though. Pics and video coming soon.

Today was horrendous. Due to being ill, I arrived late to Pass Christian, and had to leave early. I was nearly in tears the whole time, and completely useless. Didn't paint one face. Just sat, took up donations, handed out fliers, and got sunburned. I almost fell asleep at the wheel for the second day in a row. I actually had to stop at a rest area because I was sick and started dozing off. Never again am I gonna let myself make a commute like that in such misery.

Later this morning, I will call the local charity clinic and see if they can treat my condition. If not, I will call my doc and ask for an emergency appointment. If that doesn't work out, I will have to consider the emergency room.

Off to put aloe on my neck, face, and arms. Then back to bed. I appreciate your prayers and comments here and elsewhere. Will reply asap.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I am outta my mind...

It's four in the morning, I have to be in Pass Christian, Mississippi at 10:30, and I haven't even gone to bed yet. I do believe I'm a few fries short of a happy meal, folks.

The migraine is easing up, but the rest of me is still in bad shape. I've blown up like a balloon from the swelling, to the point that I feel like I'm gonna explode. A lovely mental picture, ya think?

But I am off of the heavy stuff and back on over the counter meds, so that is a huge plus. I am going to make the trip to Pass Christian (1.75 hours away, approximately) to Art In The Pass to paint faces. Should be fun, and if you're local, I hope you'll come by and see me. But don't get too close or I'll slap some paint on ya...like this!



















And you might end up looking like a giant sunflower........like this!



















If you're second guessing...yes, it's me. All sunny-sunflowered-up. My 11th grade student painted me, and I painted him. Then we took turns walking around the recreation center scaring people. Ok not really. Or maybe we did. That's debatable. All I know is that the very minute I walked out of the classroom looking like a flowerly freak, a group of manly men came strolling out of the racquetball room and appeared quite startled...haaaaaaa! Twas funny! :D


So anyway...sick or not, fun shall be had in lovely Pass Christian. I will talk more about this special place when I get home...with thoughts and photos.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A turn for the worse. This is TMI, boys. Fair warning.

I'm up this morning for the third time, attempting to function a little. Last night after my meeting with Art With Heart, I was struck with a sudden migraine. Not a gradual one at all. It was like a switch was turned on, and I became instantly debilitated. I was trying to figure out what triggered it, but now I know and I would appreciate your prayers concerning a relapse in this specific condition.

I've been putting off major surgery for as long as possible with the help of progestin suspension therapy. I no longer have the money to pay for it, so I had to get off of it and now...this. I have to figure out what in the world to do. My only options, medically speaking, are to get back on the therapy somehow (I'm a couple hundred short of this so financially speaking, it's not an option), or go to the emergency room, beg for mercy, and let them do whatever they say needs to be done even if that means major surgery.

Strangely enough, at the prayer service I attended Sunday night, a man approached me and prayed for me specifically for this condition, even though he had no idea that I had it and we had never met before. Bold of him to even bring up a female medical condition, right? But that tells you that God spoke to him because there really is no other explanation whatsoever. He is a complete stranger and I don't even know his name. Anyway, he prayed and within seconds, a group of people were praying around me as well, specifically for my healing. I came home, and began having symptoms that I have not had in over two years. I couldn't help but say to myself that this was ridiculous, since people had just prayed for my healing so why in the world was I suddenly having these symptoms. If it was a headache or something, people would be tempted to tell me that it's all in my head (ahaha...ok that was a lowsy pun). But folks, you can't fake uterine hemorrhaging. It's safe to say at this point that not only am I under physical attack, but spiritual as well. Not everyone believes that the two intertwine, but it's pretty darn obvious to me. I've been here and done this before, many many times, and frankly, I'm mad as heck that it is happening again. Not mad at anyone or anything, just mad in general.

I don't really know what to do, besides pray of course. I have zero dollars. I'm actually in the red, if I want to get technical about it. Very much in the red. So while I am praying for God's intervention and believe wholeheartedly that he can fix this, I am absolutely debilitated and have to figure out what to do, medically speaking. A couple hundred dollars will put me back on therapy, thus temporarily correcting the issue again, but I don't have a dime. And I'm not exaggerating when I say that.

I took a flexeril, tramadol, and 1/4 phenergan last night when it hit. I laid down for a couple hours, then got back up to drink fluids. Back to bed, then back up a few hours later. I've been up ever since, making every effort to function, but it's not going well. I just brought out the demerol and phenergan, and while it has taken the edge off, I'm still in pain and can barely sit up. I'm going to miss my meeting today unless something drastically changes.

Please pray that God will intervene, because I know he can. If it continues, please pray that I will find a solution asap.

Thanks so much.