6 months!?!

I had surgery on May 31st. I guess because November 31st doesn’t exist, that makes today 6 months post op. How is that even possible?!?!

Just yesterday, I finally looked at the couple of pictures JJ took of me when I was in the ICU, still asleep. It was a little emotional. Kind of made me sick to my stomach to see all the tubes and buttons and wires and things. However, I’m glad he took them and I was finally able to see them. (I won’t be sharing them here. Sorry – too personal.)

I will share one story from the ICU. When I started waking up, they wanted to know if I was awake enough to have the breathing tube removed. Of course, it was impossible to talk (since I had a tube down  my throat), so I motioned with my hand for a pen. Also – not easy to do because I was tied to the bed. Some patients start ripping out wires and stuff because they aren’t thinking straight on all the medicine. At first JJ handed me a pen – which was so frustrating because he stuck it in my left hand. I could not simply just move and set it in my right hand, as I’m right handed. When they finally got it all figured out, I wrote them a note. To Paraphrase:

“On one hand, I would really like this tube out so I can speak. On the other hand, I do feel really sleepy still.” [Insert them asking me if they can untie me or if I was going to start pulling out the IVs] “My brother had an aneurysm. He did that. I will not.”

So there you go. Drugged up Debra still thinks fairly clear – however – the nurses, then the anesthesiologist, and later my surgeon thought it was hilarious. The anesthesiologist and the surgeon both asked to take a photo of my note. Apparently, in 30 years of work, no one had written one before. Which I found shocking. But then again, I was at a children’s hospital. Many of their patients can hardly read, let alone write.

Here, six months later, things continue to go really well. I feel great. I have much more energy.

Other than my hypothesis that my heart is smaller, therefore more efficient, therefore better circulation, therefore my wisdom tooth came in, everything is dandy. But seriously, my tooth (which I didn’t even know I had until my pre-op dental clearance appointment in the spring) came in and it came in quick. In the spring I was told “It may come in, in a year, in several, maybe never.”  When I went to the oral surgeon at the end of October, one little edge had cut through the gum. They said “Oh – At your age? It will probably be a very slow eruption. It could sit right there for years and make hardly any progress at all.” UHM!!! 4 weeks later the entire tooth has come in. It does make my face hurt a bit but – hey – it’s not heart surgery so I can’t complain too much. I’m having it pulled on December 8th. Can’t wait. I’m tired of trying to brush it way back there.

Beyond health stuff are enjoying the Advent season. We decorated and turned on the music the day after Thanksgiving. I have a few fun things planned for the boys, baking and such.

I’ll leave you with a picture of our Christmas tree and nativity.

christmas

 

 

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The Long Game

On February 23rd, I wrote up why I cannot support either main party candidate for President. On February 26th, the hashtag #NeverTrump was born. It gave me encouragement and strengthened my resolve.

Many months have passed since then. I stand by it. I voted this week and yes, I voted Third Party.

Why? Well – I am challenged by the story of Daniel and what we know happened with many early church discipleship. They all made spiritual decisions that had physical and sometimes political ramifications. In some cases, God decided to save them from the lions den. In others – they died. The fact remains that they made righteous choices, full of sacrifice. God was, and continues to be, honored by the decisions they made and followed through on.

They were playing the Long Game.

How many times have you heard in church, or maybe as a teenager sitting around a fire at church came, something along the lines of “We are temporal. Our lives are as long as that spark that just left the fire.” There is truth in that. Our lives on earth are the short game. Eternity is the Long Game.

For anyone that (in regards to this election says) “But the Supreme Court…” – you’ve lost me. That’s the Short Game.

Why would I sacrifice the Short Game for the Long? Especially when I already know Who wins the Long Game.

Each of us is free to make whatever political choice we think is honors God the best. I hope that it can be said I’ve been kind and gracious in all my political discussions. This is just the simplified version of why I (and I hope many others) vote as I do.

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A quick pic

I have lots to share (like the fact that 4 months after my heart surgery my last wisdom tooth decided to come in?!?) but for now I’ll just share this picture of our new playroom.

 The room is about 18ft x 13ft. It’s “supposed” to be the formal living room but we don’t need a formal living room. And with young kids, we do need a playroom. So here it is in all it’s “middle of the day messy” glory.

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We moved!

It’s why I haven’t posted in a while. (Packing stuff, moving stuff, painting, and unpacking stuff takes a lot of time.)

Sadly, it’s late so I don’t have time to write much now – just wanted to let you know we actually moved to our new house.

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Our Fake Disneyworld vacation

A quick follow up to my previous post. To this day, I’ve never been to Disneyland.

I have, however, been to Disneyworld 3 times. My grandparents lived in Florida so we would visit on occasion when we were little. The most recent time we went was when I was in 6th grade (about 23 years ago).

We were in Orlando two years ago for a family reunion, however, Disneyworld was not on the schedule. 

We did have a free day to do whatever we wanted so my husband and I took our 13 month old and visited the Disney properties. We toured hotels and jumped on the tram. We never went in any of the parks, but we took a couple pictures of our “fake Disneyworld vacation.” I hope my son doesn’t grow up having “Disneyworld experiences” for the rest of his life.

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Disneyland Experiences

***I’ve intended to blog about this for years. If I ever write a book, you can bet some items I am about to touch on will play a significant part of my story. ***

When I was a little girl I had a reoccurring dream. Actually, I had a few. One involved camping in pueblos with my family when a buffalo stampede headed in our direction. Even though I could never get packed up and in the car on time, no one was ever injured or killed because I woke myself up before the buffalo arrived.

But I digress. This particular reoccurring dream was really more of a reoccurring motif. The specific details always varied, but the setting and outcome were completely consistent. In one fashion or another I was about to go to Disneyland. Tickets in hand, or perhaps in line purchasing tickets. It always ended the same. I woke up right before entering the park. Perhaps I woke up because I had to use the bathroom, or maybe my alarm went off.

But every. single. time.

I woke up. No Disneyland.

I’m in no way superstitious, except for maybe with sports. (Don’t call it a perfect game. It’s x number up, x number down until it’s 27 up, 27 down. Then feel free to call it what it is, perfect.)

I don’t think my dreams carry prophetic power. Expect for maybe that one time I dreamed an airplane was falling out of the sky, toward me, because it’s engines fell off. While the dream was intense and extremely scary, it didn’t strike me as unsual because it was only a few days after 9/11. But then this happened the day after my birthday that year : “The plane’s two engines also separated from the aircraft before it hit the ground.” (I DON’T think my dreams are prophetic. This was just a terrifying coincidence.)

Anyway – back to my Disneyland dreams.  The fact that I almost got to Disneyland but never got through the gates, that gut check of disappointment has stayed with me. When it comes to real life, I’ve had some major disappointments hit me pretty hard. A few of them, if I’m honest, rung up in my mind as “Disneyland experiences” when I was in the middle of them.

What I mean by that is as I was walking forward into a hopeful experience, something settled into my gut and my mind as “I don’t think this is really going to happen. I think this is surreal. I think this is a Disneyland experience.” and then sure enough, whatever it was fell through and didn’t happen.

A few of my more memorable Disneyland experiences are as follows:

*The time I expected to be in concert choir in 12th grade. It was something I worked for since 7th grade and I was hopeful, but something rang a little sour in my mind. It was something I wanted so bad, I thought it would not really happen. Sadly – my audition was not my best and I didn’t make it.

*I applied to Moody Bible Institute (twice).  Both times, my grades, my life experiences, my ability to write and communicate – all pointed to me be accepted no questions asked. And yet, in my mind, I had a hard time actually picturing myself in Chicago, going to college. Shocking everyone – except maybe me? – I was not accepted (twice).

*Going to China to teach English. I was on a team in college that was headed to China to teach English. We prepared all year. I was skeptical that little Debra would actually get to travel to over an ocean to China. When we had our printed tickets in had, I started to give into the idea that it was really happening. Then five days before we were to leave, the trip was cancelled (thanks SARS).

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been wrong. I’ve had the “Disneyland experience” gut feeling and the expected experience came to pass. I didn’t really believe I was going to Wheaton for graduate school until we were in the car driving there. I’m thankful to have been wrong. (Although, I was partly right – Mark Noll, the professor I wanted to learn from the most and the reason I applied to Wheaton, left Wheaton after 27 years. He took a position at Notre Dame. This took placy during the one year between my acceptance and attendance when I deferred so I could pay off my car before school. No Mark Noll. “Disneyland Experience” strikes again.)

And as odd as it may sound to say, I’m thankful I was right sometimes too.

Maybe this is why some think I’m pessimistic. I considered myself a realist. I don’t want to get my emotions involved on the front end of things too early. If something seems to good to be true, it often is. It’s ok that these “Disneyland experiences” fell through.

Some of my biggest disappointments are paramount in shaping me into the person I am today. If I went to Moody, I missed out on Edmonton & NABC/Taylor. And come on, who doesn’t want to have a school in their past that had two names, was so small it’s now closed, and played sports in the city league. 😉  I kid! I wouldn’t trade the friendships and growth as an intellectual Christian for the world. I LOVED my time in the True North. And as a bonus, I attended school in Chicago later anyway.

Honestly, because I know things can go terrible wrong, not as hoped and dreamed, but still be ok – if not better – in the long run, it helps me continue to have a concrete trust that God is good. That God loves me. That God loves my family. That his plans are better than I could imagine. Better than I can dream.

My son’s memory verse right now for church is Psalms 18:30. God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.

Even if that means my ticket to Disneyland just got sucked up into a tornado. Who knows, it could. I do live in Tornado Alley after all.

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12 Weeks Post Op

There’s that.

Recovery update: 

Still hurts to cough and sneeze, but not as much. Laughing and singing also still hurt, but it’s greatly improved. Yesterday, I became aware of the fact that bumps in the road, when I’m not driving, no longer hurt! Hooray!

House update:

Selling side. We closed yesterday, so we are now officially renters. We are allowed to be here until September 26th.

Buying side. We saw around 20 houses (I probably lost track of the exact count).  House #19 looked really promising, but the night we went to see it, a rain storm knocked out power. Even seeing it in without electricity, we thought it was a strong possibility.

We set up another viewing for the next day along with house #20, that popped up as a new listing. Honestly, house 20 looked just ok online, so we figured might as well take a quick look at it in person before we go back to 19. We recruited my husband’s brother to join us because we wanted his opinion on 19 (and as the carpooling worked out, he saw 20 as well).

To our surprise, 20 was so much better in person than in pictures. It had a great layout and was more move in ready than 19. House 20 was also located in our preferred side town. By the middle of the day, house 20 became our new favorite.

We wasted little time and put together an offer on 20 by the end of the day.

Because of this market, we knew it they would probably get multiple offers. We were told they would be deciding at 7pm on Monday.

We didn’t hear anything yesterday so went to bed thinking “I bet they chose someone else’s offer and we are the ‘break up’ call they are putting off until the morning.”  To our surprise and delight, they accepted our offer!

So here we go… we are in the option period and if all goes well, we hope to close at the end of September, just in time for when we need to be out of our “Rental”.

2016 – the year that God continued to surprise us over and over and over again.

*Bonus Info* it’s a 4 bed, 2.5 bath! Just like I mentioned in my previous post, it’s what we really preferred. A little higher than our goal price, but we stayed in our reasonable range, just shy of our maximum.  And for what it’s worth, our maximum was determined by us, based on how much a month we want to pay/can afford per month for a monthly mortgage, NOT based on how much the banks would let us borrow.

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