Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Transformation Tuesday!

Here is my truth-The pictures were taken 1) Dec. 26,  2014 2) July 17, 2015. Yep, that’s just 7 months. Thanks to a high dosage of daily steroids my face is swollen, I'm retaining water, and gained a whopping 40lbs. I'm ready to evict the fat chick! Neurosarcoidosis and brain tumors suck! My daughter said my picture looks like it has been altered and widened! That was a nice way of saying "Dang momma, you are big!" LOL! I'm just THICKALICIOUS!
Why am I smiling in the most recent picture? Although the weight gain is upsetting and unsettling, it could be worse. I still trust God. This is for His glory, therefore it is well with my soul.

I am grateful to know that I’m happy in the skin I am in. The fat girl has emerged and I still love me!

Monday, July 27, 2015


I may have aches and pains in my body, but TODAY is the first day I've gone the entire day without a headache in almost TWO YEARS!!! ‪#‎GRATEFUL‬ Even the "little things" are great!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

So You Want To Shoot Me in My Pinky Toe?

I love the scene in the movie “Harlem Nights” when the characters of Eddie Murphy and Della Reese fight.  In desperation and because he was getting whipped harder than a runaway slave, with his gun Eddie shoots Della in the pinky toe. I also love the scene in the sitcom “Good Times” after Florida Evans husband’s funeral where she drops the punch bowl and screamed out in grief.

What do these scenes have to do with my life? Well, either I broke my pinky toe or I have a really
bad sprain! When it happened, I screamed in my Florida Evans Voice, “DANG, DANG, DANG.” I’m walking with a cane, my foot is in a boot, my toes splinted and my daughter Catherine says, “I don’t mean to laugh at you but you look like that lady who got her toe shot off in Harlem Knights.”  She was right! We both had a good laugh.

After all I’ve been through over the past 6 months, I had to ask God what’s up? Who do I need to rid from my life? Who is it that I haven’t forgiven? What changes must I make in my life? Guess what God said to me-----not a mumbling word! I have a hard time dealing with his silence. However, during the silence I managed to encourage myself and tell myself to STAY FOCUSED! Okay, now I see what God was doing.

How did I manage to injure myself? What had happened was------ I’m going to my grave with that information. When I hurt myself, I do it big and in an unusual manner. LOL!  Earnest said I just want every part of my body injured. LOL!

I was determined come hell or high water, I was going to visit my mom today. I managed to make it to the nursing home, but I was a little nervous. As slow as I am moving with the cane, I didn’t want them to mistaken me for one of the residents and lock me in. LOL! I cut out the other optional activities that I was going to participate in on this day. I’m icing my toe, keeping it elevated, and laughing at myself.

Friday, July 3, 2015

What’s next? ............. What else is going on?

The shots I had 3 weeks ago has not improved the pain or muscle spasms in my upper back. 2 weeks ago, I began having additional pain in my lower back. I had thoracic and lumbar x-rays done this week. They turned out okay. With all of the X-rays, MRIs, and Cat Scans I have had, I should be glowing in the dark real soon. I’m not jumping up and down cheering about the x-ray results because I’m still in a lot of pain and x-rays doesn’t always show a problem. Sometimes it takes a MRI. What’s next? Additional shots in my back!

My weekly dosage of methotrexate (MTX) pills has been increased. MTX is used to treat various illnesses including cancer. The pill is one bad boy.  MTX has me feeling nauseated with stomach pains since taking them on Wednesday evening. Funny, the medicine I need to make me better makes me sick! The Grill Master, Big Daddy grilled his award winning (he won the Thomas Grillology Award) chicken wings, Earl Campbell sausages, and spare ribs. Uuuggggghhhh!! I can’t partake the feast! Hmmmphf!

Ahoy Mate!
What else is going on? Yep, I have another issue. Nothing that will slow me down, however, it is serious enough to be addressed very soon. I can’t believe this is happening. I’m not quite ready to share with the world yet.

My left eye still does not close, so to prevent dryness and eye damage I must tape it shut at night. I look like a knock-off pirate! LOL! The tape aggravates me, but I do what I have to do.

Several people have asked about my parents. There’s not much talking going on between my dad and I. He is who he is. He doesn’t call to check on me or my mom and I don’t call to give him a report of her condition. I’m pretty ill yet I take care of mom’s needs, visit her as much as possible, buy her clothing, attend her care plan meetings, etc. To add the responsibility of calling family with a report of her status is unreasonable when the only thing her loved ones have to do is call me or the facility.

My mom is the same-----a feisty elderly lady who has dementia. She has recovered since her recent hospital stay. She looks so much better.

My 38 year old brother, who I met for the first time in December, is doing well. We talk regularly and we are not as guarded as we were originally. In May, Catherine spent time with her new uncle when she was in New Orleans.
Have a Happy Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Look Where He Brought Me From!

It all started with a headache. I was having them daily for almost a year. It was determined that I 
Taken Dec. 12, 2014 while hospitalized
needed new glasses/contacts for my eyes and the headaches would go away. They didn’t! I shelved the idea of returning to the doctor because I had other health issues (that at the time I didn’t know was related to the headaches), my mother’s diagnosis of dementia, and her transition from my home to a nursing facility to deal with (which was not going well), so I suffered in silence for another year. Everything came to a head Dec. 10, 2014 when I was hospitalized after having I had a grand mal seizure. The next day I would be diagnosed with a Brain Tumor and then suffer from Facial Palsy, paralysis to the left side of my face. From this day forward, life for me has drastically changed.

Although I don’t have full function of my face, I have come a long way. It’s not as difficult to talk as it was at the onset of the palsy. My face is not as crooked anymore and I can once again smile. However, I still have to tape my eye shut at night to prevent dryness while I sleep. I continue to use a straw when drinking beverages. I still have difficulty chewing.

As I look at this picture of me from December, I thank God for bringing me thus far. I may not be where I want to be, but I’m grateful I’m not where I use to be --- with my face and with my life!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Not feeling good

This has been a pretty rough few weeks. Costochondritis is a beast. The pain is unbelievable. After
Last Sunday's Photo Shoot. I don't look like what I'm going through!
finally getting the treatment meds needed, my pain level has decreased from BEYOND MISERABLE to MISERABLE to currently REALLY BAD!  It may take a few weeks for the rib pain to stop, and then it may return. UGGGGHH!!! Neurosarcoidosis attacks the body, joints, and vital organs.

With all of the pain, I did muster up the strength to attend Sunday School and visit my mom last Sunday. Being able to minister is very important to me. It is helping to keep me sane! By the time I got to my mom I was so fatigued and in pain that I couldn’t stay long. I am, however, glad I pressed on to visit her. She was in a good mood.
The shots I had last week doesn’t seem to be working. Oh, boy! This is not what I had been praying for. I have a doctor’s appointment this coming Friday with my neurologist who hopefully can give some insight on what may be the next step.
I did manage to wash dishes today. It took two days (stacked them one day, washed the next), but I was determined to finish up the task myself.
I’ve pretty much been in bed the last few weeks. My addiction to Court television shows is getting really bad. I was  watching “The Hot Bench” and found myself so drawn in that I actually said out loud, “I’ve heard enough. I’m ready to rule.“  LOL!  I have got to get a life!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

It's me, it's me, it's me O Lord! I got something else for you to handle.

So much has happened since my last entry. This illness is trying to get the best of me!
Feeling Blah but still have something to smile about!

Monday I had injections to help with the pain from my bulging disc and muscle spasms. I haven’t had spasms since, however I am still sore and stiff from the injections. This pain should be leaving soon.
Last Thursday, I started having severe pains in my left ribs just below my breast. This is the fourth time I’ve experienced pain in this area, however never has it been this excruciating! The pain mimicked that of a heart attack. I didn’t panic, and pretty much took it like a big girl! By Saturday I was contemplating going to the hospital because it became too difficult and painful to get out of the bed. Sunday, I went to Sunday School but not worship services. That was about all I could do. I noticed Sunday afternoon that I had excessive swelling in the area of the pain.
A good friend who happens to be a physician told me what to do to help with the inflammation. Because she is a cardiologist and asked several rule out questions, I was relieved that she too didn’t believe my heart was the problem.  After some research, I pretty much knew what the problem was, but was going to wait until my Monday doctor’s visit. After an examination, the doctor diagnosed me with having Coostochondritis. A description from the Mayo Clinic:
  • Costochondritis (kos-toe-kon-DRY-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). Costochondritis is sometimes known as chest wall pain, costosternal syndrome or costosternal chondrodynia. Sometimes, swelling accompanies the pain (Tietze syndrome).
  • Costochondritis usually has no apparent cause. Treatment focuses on easing your pain while you wait for the condition to improve on its own, which can take several weeks or longer. Costochondritis usually goes away on its own, although it might last for several weeks or longer. Treatment focuses on pain relief.
Although there is no real cause for Costochondritis, it can be brought on by a tumor or sarcoidosis, both of which I have. Neurosarcoidosis is no joke! Just another thing to give to the Lord. I’ve pretty much have been in the bed since Thursday. Today I am attempting to cook my family a home cooked meal.

It is well with my soul! God be glorified!