Saturday, November 19, 2011

Quotes from a Calendar

I got one of those quote a day calendars for Christmas one year and hung up some of my favorites around our computer area.  We are getting ready to move, so I figured I would just type them on my blog.

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”  -Morrie Schwartz from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

"My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage!"  Stockard Channing as Frances Owens in Practical Magic

“Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart” ~Myla Kabat-Zinn

“I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside of you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It's hollow.” 
― E.L. KonigsburgFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler

“To waken interest and kindle enthusiasm is the sure way to teach easily and successfully.” - Tyron Edwards

Thursday, April 14, 2011

BAHA Surgery

It's been about a month since my bone-anchored hearing aid surgery, so I thought I would finally post my pictures and information about the surgery.

When I was first called back in the office, they did a  hearing test.  From there, a nurse practitioner described the surgery, showed us pictures, and described the aftercare.  After that I went over to the surgery center.

At the surgery center, I got into the hospital gown and got ready for the surgery.  I had to smile, when they had to take my blood pressure manually - the machine didn't work since my blood pressure is/was so low.  The IV came next.  Ugh!  I hate IVs.

The surgery was done under local anesthetic and sedation.  I don't remember much of anything once they started the drugs.  Towards the end I remember the doctor asking if I could hear them and telling me that the the surgery was almost done.  They lifted my head to wrap the bandages around.

So, here's what happened while I was sedated.  They shaved an area of my head behind my left ear.  (The nurse practitioner marked a big black X on my ear earlier.  It's always good to operate on the body parts that need the help!)  They cut a flap of skin and then took out the fat and tissue between my skin and skull.  They drilled the titanium piece into my skull about 3-4mm.  They used a scalpel to remove hair follicles from the flap of skin.  They used a skin punch to make a hole, so the titanium piece would show through.  Next the skin flap was sewed back down.  Of course, I was sedated, so I think this is how they did it!

Now for the good part... the gross pictures.

This is how it was covered right after surgery. 
This dressing was taken off 24 hours later.

The brown piece is the healing cap.  Underneath it is gauze soaked in medication. 
This was taken off a week after surgery.

At my one week post-op visit, the nurse practitioner took off the gauze and healing cap.
It was healing well.

This picture was taken 2 weeks after surgery.
This one shows Neosporin on the wound.

Next week I go back for my 1 month post-op appointment.  I am hoping that it has healed well enough that I will be able to submerse my head under water.  Hair washing has been a chore since the surgery.  In another month or two, I will get the sound processor that attaches.  I'm quite excited for that day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bone Anchored Hearing Device

I have now been living with single-sided deafness for over 10 months.  With spring coming and our schedule getting busier, I decided it was time to check on the possibility of getting a Bone Anchored Hearing Device.  It is a titanium piece that is drilled in to the skull bone.  When it heals, about 2-4 months later, a sound processor is snapped on to it.  The sound travels through the skull, so it can be heard.

I called and left a message on the answering machine of the Lippy Group, explaining that I was ready for them to check my insurance to see if it was a covered procedure.  They quickly got back to me that it is a covered procedure.  From there, the insurance had to approve the prodedure.  They deemed that it was "medically necessary."

Scheduling came next.  I was surprised that they had a time available on March 17th.  So that's when it is.  I am very excited.  They called today to ask me what color a want my processor to be.  I will also be getting a packet of papers to fill out, including some papers for my regular doctor to fill out to make sure I'm in good health for the surgery.

This will be a busy two weeks.  I am tired, rather complacent, and have an underlying anxiousness all at the same time.  There's a lot I should do before surgery.  Now I just have to convince myself to do at least some of it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Strength Will Rise

There are times that we can anticipate when life may get a little hairy.

I think being able to anticipate possible difficulties benefits us.  It gives us time to prepare and be strengthened... to put on the full armor of God.  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

Yesterday, I was anticipating one of these hairy times.  I don't know what to expect from the situation, but I know that whatever happens it will work out.  Thinking about the situation, one of our praise choruses came to my mind as I left for work in the morning.  "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord."  Of course, my memory for songs is not a good one, so the only other lines I remembered were the next two which say, "We will wait upon the Lord.  We will wait upon the Lord."

Coming home from work, still thinking about the hairiness that may come, I started to hum the song again.  Since I couldn't remember the rest of the song, I thought, "I would love to hear this song on the radio."  The radio was already tuned to my favorite station, 95.5 The Fish, so I pushed the button to turn it on.  This is what I heard...

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord (repeat)

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint You won't grow weary

You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

God is absolutely amazing!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Making Room

When we started out married, we would talk about how many kids we wanted.  I believe 4 was the magic number.  As Mikayla was growing in my tummy, (although we didn't know if she was a she or a he), I would lay on the couch feeling her punch and kick and roll and the words that came to my mouth were, "We've got to do this again!"  Every moment since then my thoughts and feelings have been the same.

Except it hasn't happened again.  We now have heaps of clothing from birth to size 10 at our house, in one particular room.  I've watched the show "Hoarders" and can see how hoarding can happen to nice normal people.  I'm not saying that we are to that extent, but how a circumstance or something that doesn't happen can shape the mind to save.

We are getting ready to sell some of the baby furniture to someone who wants it.  To get it out of the room, we need to get rid of some of the stuff we have.  That's not the only reason though.  We can no longer use the clothing, but could use the room if it were empty of things we don't use.  If we decide to move in the future, we're not going to want to go through all of that either.

This morning, going through the clothes and getting them ready to go to Goodwill became a bit difficult.  Thinking about how we wanted to use the clothes again, the room again... 

Making room.  That's what it's all about.  We need to get rid of the old stuff to make room for the new stuff.  I think that getting that space empty is harder when you don't know what the new "stuff" is.  As followers of God, that new "stuff" could be anything and the empty space and waiting time is important.  One of my life theme verses is Ephesians 3:20.  "God, by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of, infinately beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes."  Now is the time to make room for that to happen.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Potter's Hand

I like to write an end of the year post, summing up the year gone by, especially if I am inspired.  Thinking back over the songs from church today I thought that using one of them to help me sum up my year would be a good idea.  We sang many of my favorites today, but "Potter's Hand" is the one I decided to use.

2010 was a good, solid year.  In the summer/fall of 2009 in knew that my incoming second grade class was going to be a challenge.  In October 2009, I broke down and prayed for something I've always been afraid to ask for... patience.  (They say that if you pray for patience, God will give you circumstances where you will have to practice patience.  I was already smack dab in the middle of those circumstances, so I had faith it would all work out!)

God answered those prayers.  I was able to deal with my class with patience and love.  They taught me lots about God, not even knowing that they did.  I hope I did the same for them.  The winter and spring of 2010 was a time of strengthening.  I knew God put me here for a purpose and I knew I was doing what he wanted done.

In April, I lost my hearing in my left ear.  What I thought was seasonal allergies, turned out to be sudden deafness.  Losing my hearing was scary, but the questions that came along with it were scary too - the main question being, "What if I pray for God to heal me and he doesn't?"

I went to one of our ministers to discuss the matter.  I told him I didn't know if I should pray for it to come back or not. I told him that maybe God had something else for me, involving the hearing loss. He asked if I wanted my hearing back and of course I said yes. He told me to pray for it.  Of course that's when I needed to know, "What if?"
That's when he reminded me of the story about the three in the firey furnace.
Daniel 3:17" If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

That was my answer.  God will give me back my hearing, BUT IF NOT, he will still be my God.  He will give me what I need to serve Him.

That's my 2010.  I feel stronger and so grateful to God for all that he has given me.  My hearing has not returned, but God has showed me the strength He can give.  I did not throw my hands up and say, "I can't do my job."  "I can't go out in public because I misunderstand people or can't hear with background noise."  I returned for the 2010 school year and have made appropriate adaptations for my hearing loss.  I have continued to live, hopefully with the zeal and spiritual fervor mentioned in Romans 12:11.

Here are the words to "Potter's Hand."  I hope you can see how this song applies to my 2010 and how it applies to your life as well.
Beautiful Lord, Wonderful savior
I know for sure all of my days are held in your hands
Crafted into your perfect plans

You gently called me into your presence
Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit
Teach me dear Lord to live all of my life
Through your eyes

I'm captured by your holy calling
Set me apart. I know you're drawing me to yourself
lead me, Lord. I pray

Oh Take me, mold me, use me, fill me
I give my life to the potter's hand

Oh Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
I give my life to the potter's hand

Sunday, January 2, 2011

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie... (The Lost Hamster Version)

I had one of those "sure to happen at least once in a lifetime" adventures the other day and decided to share it on my facebook status.  I enjoyed writing it and I could tell that my friends enjoyed reading it.  Thought I'd share it here too!

If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll drop it under your oven, so when your hamster gets loose, the hamster will go under the oven to eat it.

Then the kids will start crying because the hamster is under the oven. So you move the oven.

When you move the oven you realize how nasty it is under there and so you sweep it.

After you sweep it you realize you also need to mop. And clean the sides of the oven. And the counter that you never see.

Moral of the story: Don't give the mouse a cookie and don't let the kids take the hamster out of its cage unless you feel like cleaning your entire kitchen!