Thursday, December 31, 2015

Oh, Brother! The Secret is Out!

I have to applaud my mom’s dementia for giving her the inability to keep things she remembers
The Acox siblings; Roline, Ryan, & Rhonda
Nephew Thai
from the past to herself. The fact that my dad has a son who had been kept secret for 37 years was told to me during a visit with mom. I remember laughing and telling mom, "so you wait until I'm 50 something to scar me!" LOL! Actually, I wasn't surprised.

My dad was uncooperative and refused to give information regarding his son, BUT, God has a way of bringing things to the light.  Last June, through a series of divinely orchestrated events comparable to a Tyler Perry Madea play, I was given the name and cell phone number of my brother. I did not look for my brother. His information found me. Just when a date was set for us to meet, I ended up in the hospital with a brain tumor needing immediate attention. For real God! Now? I asked my doctor if the surgery could be put off until after Christmas. I wanted to meet my brother before I went under the knife.

It’s been a year of learning about this blood relative, my brother, my children’s uncle, my husband’s brother-in-law, who also has a son, Thai, who too wanted to know more about us. A year ago during the Christmas holidays I thanked God for allowing me to see my brother and nephew face to face. It was an instant bond. We don’t need Maury Povich. My dad’s DNA is all over Ryan’s face. When it comes to 37 year old Ryan Rose, Roland Acox, YOU ARE the father! (This is the part where Roland runs back stage not wanting to confront what he has done). To add, Ryan has what we call “The Acox lip!” We've been blessed with big lips and the lower one likes to "hang out." LOL! Acox men are tall. Ryan is 6’ 5”! There’s no denying Ryan---he’s an Acox! Look at the picture below. What do you think?

Over the year, we have talked several times, and text much. His name was on the list of immediate family members that I would receive calls from after my surgery. He has spent time with Catherine in March, and spent Thanksgiving with us at my niece’s home. 

It has been hinted to me by Christians that I should keep silent about Ryan nor should I post pictures of him on social media. I am not ashamed of my brother and I refuse to keep him a secret.  To do this would be to deny my brother. I am in no way perfect. However, I don’t apologize for loving the Lord, my brother, and myself way too much to willingly be ungodly. Now, run and tell that! LOL!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Once again, I almost let go....and then I came to myself!

Dec. 23rd I began having excruciating pain on the entire right side of my body. Most of the pain was in my hip and joints. The left leg and foot was hurting as well. Walking was almost impossible. The next day, Christmas Eve, I was running on adrenaline. I was excited about my mom coming to my home for her birthday which is Christmas. While cooking the gumbo the pain got worse. I could not complete the meal I had planned. Thank you Lord for sending an angel who provided my family with an entire Christmas meal.

Christmas day through Sunday, things got worse, so much so that I was contemplating going to the emergency room. I was in so much pain that I told my husband I was ready to leave this earth. Umm, no, I was not suicidal nor was I giving up. It’s hard to explain, but I was tired and hurting-physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Sarcoidosis is just that---- really bad, unimaginable daily pain. Most days I can handle the pain. Sunday evening I thought about what may be causing this episode because it was really different. I had an AHA moment....I came to myself.

A few months ago, my doctor began the process of tapering me off my steroids. This would determine if the sarcoidosis was in remission. Staying positive, I made up my mind that everything was going to be okay that I NEVER considered I would need the steroids again. A week and a half ago, I was completely off the steroids. Long story short, I’m back on the steroids. During this time my short term memory got really bad.  It’s going to take a few days for my body to readjust to the meds, however, I am feeling some relief. 

The sad conclusion for me is the fact that I am not in remission. And so the saga continues……however, It is well with my soul.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

I year Anniversay of Seizure

As I reflect over the last 365, I can’t help but say thank you Lord. I had been having severe
Last pic of me before onset of illness, 12/7/2014
headaches and severe pain in my hip for over a year. Only my household was aware of this. Doctors found nothing but “minor” issues. I KNEW SOMETHING WASN’T RIGHT.

My left leg started twitching last Thanksgiving. The earliest a neurologist could see me was February. A good friend, who is a doctor, made unsuccessful attempts to find a neurologist that could help me. Her words to me were—“If the twitching get worse you’ll have to go to the emergency room. This will force a doctor to see you.” That’s exactly what happened. It got worse, resulting in a Grand Mal seizure which landed me in the ER, followed by a hospital stay and diagnosis of a brain tumor on the right and left frontal lobe. Left side facial paralysis set in while I was in the hospital. Surgery to remove the tumor was projected. I believed everything would be okay.

I really must have looked horrible back then, because I get tickled when folks say to me, “You look better.” Unfortunately as of today, so many people assume because I look better, I am feeling better. The real truth of the matter is, I am feeling worse than I did before having the surgery. The tumor was the catalyst for the manifestation of other things happening in my body. I trust God for my healing because He is bigger than:

·         The daily headaches.
·         The excruciating pain of the incision site. I literally have a hole in my head. (My skull is still healing. It hurts to wash my hair.)
·         The painful disease Sarcoidosis – my brain, joints, hip, and spine has been affected.
·         Chemo Pills – I dread taking them.
·         Back pain – Surgery on my spine has been suggested.
·         The right side of my body (hand, legs, arms) – It’s still weak, making it difficult to do daily household chores. I still can’t cook often.
·         Steroids – what’s necessary to treat the disease causes side affects. I’m dealing with those affects.
·         Eye pain – the paralysis in my face is taking a toll on my left eye.
·         Short Term Memory loss

The biggest challenge for my family is getting me from place to place. By law in Arkansas, a person who has had a seizure can’t drive for a year. Even my surgeon said that is too long and would impose a hardship on me. Even though I am blessed with so many that assisted me and offered help to me in this area, it is still a hardship. My family, friends, and church family are the best and have done a great job caring for me, but always having someone with me at times feels suffocating.
My weight has been a challenge too. I have a high dose of steroids to thank. This extra 50 lbs I’m carrying is horrible. It’s very uncomfortable, and I don’t like how it looks on me.
In spite of it all, God’s grace is sufficient for me. His grace empowers me to continue serving in ministry. I have returned to preaching, teaching, and traveling across the USA for ministry purpose. I am also back to counseling---I can’t believe I took the whole year off.
I stopped blogging because I went through a period season of discouragement and depression.  Family drama, caring for mom, significant emotional hurt, unrealistic expectation, and so much more had me feeling overwhelmed. I had to remind myself that God called me to this assignment.
Also, I ONCE AGAIN CAN DRIVE!!!! Too bad I no longer own a vehicle.
Thank you for praying for me, encouraging me, and laughing with me. You have blessed me greatly and played an intricate role in my healing process. I love you all!