Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Becky Crocker

The past couple days have been great. I have been in a big "baking frenzy". No one in the house, especially Sam, Seth and Sam's friends, seem to mind tho. It keeps my mind busy and I feel it is good for the soul. Not as good as Jesus, nothing can come close to that, but it still does me good. I find myself very comfortable in the kitchen now. Don't enjoy cooking as much as baking, but I will take either one. I found a ton of great recipes to try on Pinterest. Looking forward to being able to bring some goodies into work when I return. But for now, I will show you the two that I have made and were a great succes.

Jello Cookies
I made what jello flavors we had, which were orange and strawberry banana. They were also sugar-free jello's. Everyone seemed to like them without the extra sweetness. The orange was compared to a starburst and the strawberry banana was compared to a pop tart. Just so you get an idea.
 

 
Pistachio Cupcakes
These were just SO pretty and appealing in the picture that I HAD to try them. Not only do we all love pistachios, but that cool lime green color was just calling my name saying "Bake me! You know you are going to love me!" So I did. And they were devoured before I ever got to make the icing to go on them. I still would like to make the icing and have the "whole" cupcake one day, but they are delicious by themselves. Very moist and exactly what you would want a cupcake to taste like.
 
 
 
 
 
Yesterday was a big day for me. I got to leave the house for a little while!! First time in a month and a half, other then going to the doctor. I went to work and stood outside as healthy people came out to give me hugs and to catch up. It was great to see everyone. Mom ran some more errands and I stayed in the car for most of it. Then we had Sonic for lunch. I love that place! Blue coconut slush, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. By the time we got home I was exhausted. It was definitely worth it tho.
 
Been doing my daily devotionals through theYouVersion app on my phone. I tell you, it feels like the Lord is speaking directly to me each day. Like each one was written just for me. If I feel myself start to lose patience or getting irritated, I can just read the devotional again. God is good.
 
Well, for today I'm hoping I can do some sewing. I'm absolutely horrible at it, but the only way to get better is to practice, right?? Sooo, I'm going to work on the Secret Santa gifts for the girls. Hopefully they turn out alright. If not, we have some new cleaning rags :) Hope everyone has a blessed day! Keep God first!
 
 
 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Born again

Well, where to start? I can't believe it has been a year and a half since my last blog. And oh how things have changed in that time. The months and years flew by, but the days and weeks dragged on. I figured today was as good a day as any to start blogging again. You see it's my one month anniversary of waking up. Having a fresh new start to life. Getting that second chance that I never really deserved but am so thankful for. Well, at least it was my anniversary 1 hour and 25 minutes ago. The steroids keep me awake a lot. And I can't stop my mind from just running and running. So I'm going to try to write my thoughts down and just tell my story of the last month. Hopefully it will help. I pray it does. If not, God has a purpose for me to be awake.

It all  started on October 12. I woke up in the middle of the night with chest pain. Thought nothing of it. I woke up Saturday morning, October 13, at 4:30am to get ready for work. My chest still hurt, but I just figured it was like a normal fall morning. Your throat is a little scratchy, chest is sore, no biggie....right?? I proceeded to work all day. My chest started hurting worse toward the end of my shift and I started having a little trouble breathing. I just felt cruddy. Like I could be getting a fever. I left work at 1:30pm and by the time I got home, 1:45pm, it was like I was hit by a plague. I was throwing up, freezing, sweating, just had no strength. That's when I heard it. That ever-haunting chest crackle. That's when it clicked in my head, "I have walking pneumonia". Pssh, easy fix. I had that once when I was like 10 or 13. No biggie. Boy was I ever wrong. Mom and Dad came home from helping the church all day with Second Saturday Serve, to find me in the bathroom floor hunched over the trashcan. I had to say the words I never wanted to say. "I need a doctor NOW".

In the car I went with Dad and my trashcan. We headed to Express Care. There was nobody else there, Thank God (first answer to MANY prayers that went up to him),and the doctor decided she wanted a chest x-ray. Obviously. So the tech took the x-ray and her response was not what I was hoping to hear. It was a gasp, followed by an "Oh my goodness, you definitely have pneumonia!! You need to see this." She proceeded to tell me it was a "pretty impressive" x-ray and showed me that I only had 1/3 of my right lung functioning. That's it!! How?? When did that happen? How could I feel so fine and all of a sudden I only have 1/3 of one lung operating? So the doctor came in and said she was unable to treat me there. That I needed to go to the ER. I guess the look on my face showed her exactly what I was thinking and she decided to re-iterate her last statement, "You need to go to the ER NOW!!" Ok then lady, I will go. But I'm going to give one last look to let you know how un-thrilled I am. Out I walked to the waiting room and Mom had come up to meet us there. I informed them of the "fabulous" news I just received and with my x-ray and papers from Express Care, we were out the door.

There is something about walking into an emergency room and instantly getting that feeling that you are being judged. Like everyone is trying to figure out what is wrong with you because you look perfectly normal. I felt normal minus the fact I couldn't breathe and I knew I had a fever. I go back to triage and they do the usual stuff. Temp was at 103, they drew blood, did EKG, all that jazz. I thought that since I had paperwork from Express Care that I would be taken back at a reasonable time. Three hours later, the nurse from triage came out, asked me to come back, that they wanted to re-evaluate me. My fever had gone up a little. My breathing was horrible. She apologized up and down and said I looked miserable. I told her I understood and that there were a lot of sick people there. I would wait my turn. She sent me back out to the waiting area. She then came out with some aspririn, said she wasn't supposed to do this but she felt that she needed to get my fever down (yet another answered prayer). Finally after being in the waiting room for 4 hours, I got called back.

Bloodwork, more poking, fluids, oxygen mask. The nurses were great. Very sweet. Very concerned. My oxygen level without the mask was in the mid to lower 80's, its supposed to be 95 or higher. After a while the doctor came in, said he wasn't impressed with the x-ray from Express Care and that he didn't think it was pneumonia. Ummm what??? Did you not hear my chest? Can you not see that I'm breathing with my stomach and not my lungs? Do you not see that I'm taking 75-80 breaths a minute?? Something is very wrong!! The doctor ordered another x-ray. The nurses had done some breathing treatments, still couldn't get my oxygen level up and were convinced that I would be admitted. Once the results from the x-ray came back, the doctor informed me that it was indeed pneumonia. Well DUH! He then gave me a choice. I could be admitted or I could go home. Well anyone who knows me, knows that I would much rather be home (or anywhere for that matter) then be in a hospital. The doctor said I was young enough to be able to overcome this with the antibiotics he prescribed and that if there were any issues to come back. The nurses were shocked. So there I was, getting my IV removed, with an oxygen level at 83, at 1:37am, being sent home.

Laying in bed was horrible. All I could do was try to rock myself and tell myself that "The prescriptions will be filled tomorrow, don't concentrate on not being able to breathe or the pain. Stop thinking about the fact that you are so hot it feels like you could melt into the sheets". Less then 5 hours later, I was being told that we were going back to the ER. And that's when I knew something was wrong. I was really sick. Because I found myself saying "ok" and getting my shoes on without changing clothes. I brushed my teeth and brushed my hair and we were back in the car heading to UCMC.

We arrived and I was so scared that we would have to wait again. Nope. They rushed me right back to a room. Had a bunch of nurses in there, taking blood, putting oxygen on, getting the story about what happened the night before. There was no question now, I was being admitted. It was just a matter of when they could get a room. And that's when my life changed, October 14, 2012.

I got a double room in IMC and immediately was not impressed with the nurse and tech that I was assigned to. The tech had almost ripped my IV out because she had an attitude, dropped a piece to the oxygen mask on the floor and put it on my face and was arguing with the nurses from the ER that had brought me up to the floor. Of course that didn't sit well with me and I was NOT going to be in the care of her with her acting like that. I kept telling them that I wanted the other oxygen mask back because I could breathe better with it. They wouldn't listen to me!! Finally I broke down and was crying. I was in so much pain, I couldn't breathe and they weren't listening. The male nurse finally gave me the mask back and got me my own room.It was a rush of doctors, 4 different ones to be exact. They were all watching me and my case. I was "too young" for this. And for it to be "this severe". Those key words never belong in the same sentence. I know I was in IMC for 2 days. I remember John, my nurse, and the guy that would give my breathing treatments, standing on either side of me, and beating my back trying to get me to cough something up. It hurt to cough. It felt like something should be coming out but nothing would. John would stress it over and over how badly they needed a sample and soon!! I kept telling him I was trying and I honestly was. I didn't want to be in there forever. I later found out why that sample was so important. If they had started treating me for the wrong kind of pneumonia, then found out the correct kind and had to use steroids after starting another treatment, it could potentially make it worse and even kill me. They got a little sample. Not much, but I coughed up what I could.

On October 16, I got the worst news. They were going to intubate me. I started crying and begging the doctor. I would do whatever it took to cough up more. I remember pleading with Matt, Mom, Dad and the doctors, "Please!! I don't want that tube in my throat!" There was no other way. Of course, in my head, I thought I would be awake the whole time. Not the case. While the doctors and nurses got ready for the procedure, I learned that in the last 2 days the x-rays had shown nothing but bad news. My lungs had gotten worse. To the point where you couldn't even see my ribcage. It was all white. This is where things get blurry. I remember hugging Mom and Dad, crying. They were trying to hold back their tears and re-assure me that everything would be fine and they loved me. That's the last thing I remember.

I wake up, groggy, I'm sitting up in the hospital bed.
 
 Dad is next to me in a chair. He has a hat on and the hood of his jacket over his head. He is staring into his lap and won't look at me. I'm reaching for his hand and he won't even turn his head. "Dad, I'm sorry. Please. Dad, I love you". Still, he sits pefectly still. Never once moving or turning to me. I start to cry. What have I done?
 
There are 2 women at the end of my bed. And Mama Grace was also in the room. The one woman said she was the doctor and the other said she was an intern. They told me they were taking the tube out. That I needed to sit straight up. So I did. Out comes the tube. I think to myself "Ha, no problem. Why was I so worried about that?" Then they tell me that they are going to remove the tube. "Ummm you just did". They must have seen the confusion on my face. They began to explain that they removed the feeding tube first. That was a piece of cake. That they were going to remove the breathing tube. I was told to sit very still, not to pull my head back or yank my head away, to stay calm and that it would be very uncomfortable. The intern started to pull the tube out and hesitated, the gag reflex and panic kicked in. I yanked away, she pulled fast and I'm screaming a blood curdling scream. At least, in my head it's a blood curdling, top of my lungs scream. But nothing was coming out. I'm crying. In a flash, Mama Grace is by my side rocking me in her arms, Dad is gone, the nurses are trying to suction my mouth out, they are putting oxygen on me. Mama Grace is telling me to calm down and asking me what hurts. "My face!! My face!" as I pointed to my cheeks. They felt like they were bleeding, like I had been cut deeply somehow (later found out it was from the tape on my cheeks holding the tubes down). Mama Grace said " Your face is fine. What else hurts you??". "My throat!!! Oh God, my throat! It's excruciating" as I point to my throat. Mama Grace replies again "Your throat is very sore right now. I need you to stop crying and calm down. Crying will only hurt it more". I calmed myself down. Or God calmed me down.
 
Little did I know, that I never once spoke through that whole ordeal. And my Dad..... was never there. Or that the date was October 24 at 9am. I had no idea I missed 8 days. All I knew were the crazy dreams I had. Things that I honestly thought were happening. These were caused by all the medicines I was on to keep me asleep. I do know, that I don't wish ANYONE to have to get a breathing tube removed. It's horrible! I still wake up at night and hear myself letting that scream out and seeing people walk by my room like I wasn't saying anything. That's because nothing was coming out!! I had no voice.
 
I remember Mom and Dad coming to see me that day. They immediately commented on the tube being out. Then I was out. I'm awake again. Mama Grace is asking me where I am, what's the date, how long have I been here. I answer the questions whole-heartedly "I am in the hospital, it is November and I have been here 3 days". Mama Grace smiles so sweetly and asks me "What month comes before November"? I look at her as if she is playing a joke and reply matter-of-factly "April". she smiled sweetly again and said "No. It's ok. We will get you up to speed". Wait, what's going on?? I don't know the order of the months? I don't know the date? Boy oh boy, if that was the least of my worries.
 
It seems Mama Grace was the only one who could read lips. I tried so hard to talk to my family. With much frustration, from both sides, we decided to go to writing. This would be much easier....or would it?? I finally get the pen in my hand and it looks like Anthony hijacked my hand and scribbled on the paper. This can't be!!! No! I'm 26 years old, I did NOT forget how to write! Reality sunk in quick, fast and in a hurry. I was pretty much the same as a stroke patient. Each day you are asleep in the ICU, you lose 8% of your body muscle. That meant I lost 64%. CRAZY!! I couldn't stand up. My feet gave out. I definitely couldn't walk. I could barely feed myself. I never thought that I would have to learn all of that over again. Very, VERY humbling. Definitely do NOT take it all for granted now. Especially being able to go to the bathroom by myself.

I still do not know a lot of what happened while I was asleep. I do know that I was diagnosed with ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and eosynophilic pneumonia. I had apparently inhaled something I was allergic to. Scary thing is, we don't know what. So it could happen again. I was moved out of the ICU on the afternoon of the 24th.

On October 26, I was transported to Good Sam for my therapy. It was scheduled for a week stay. I could leave at any time and I could go home if improvement was quicker then expected. I had already been in the hospital for 12 days, I wanted to be HOME, in my bed, with my family. I didn't want to be woke up all hours of the night for blood work and finger pricks and needles in the belly. I had 3 hours of therapy a day. Physical and occupational. I learned to walk, climb stairs, get my balance back, do the laundry, make brownies all over again. In 3 days, I was released. Yes, 3 days!!! That's a miracle! Another answered prayer!!

October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy was rearing her ugly head, but thank you God, I was going home!!! After 15 days in the hosiptal! The house wasn't put back together yet but it smelled like home. We made it through the storm. Everything was going just peachy. Then, it wasn't. We had a scare and I was back in the hospital on November 6th. I was admitted just so they could monitor me and make sure it wasn't coming back. I had 9 different antibiotics through the IV. They wanted to be on the safe side and treat me for any hospital type pmeumonias. I was released from the hosital on November 8th.

Since then, I have continued to get stronger each day. There have been no more scares. I have had my follow-up and my lungs are almost completely clear. I still need to be on the steroids for another month. I am so ready to be done with them!! I have gained back all 13 pounds I lost in the hospital and then some. But I constantly find myself saying "You have no right to complain. You are a lucky one. God has a purpose for you. He MEANT for you to be here!!" Not a day goes by that I don't thank Him for allowing me to wake up in the morning. It has been very humbling for me. I realized how much of a hypocrite I was before. And I promised myself that I wasn't going to be like that with this fresh start. I got saved a long time ago when I was 5. But I tell you, I feel closer to God now, then I ever had before. And whoever reads this blog, please don't be like me! Please don't let it take you almost dying, to open your eyes and realize what you are missing out on. God is so good! The power of prayer is amazing!

I know it killed my family to see me like that. And I wish with everything I have, that I could rewind it and they wouldn't have to go through all that. But it made us stronger!! We are so much stronger. I am truly blessed and SO very thankful for everything God has given me and done for me. If you don't take anything else from my story, take this. It's so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day lives that we forget to take the time out to talk to the one that gave us that very day. To thank Him for it. Nothing is guaranteed. Tomorrow is not promised. Give it to God and I promise, your burdens will be A LOT lighter. Don't sweat the small things, He has it all. God Bless!!



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Patience

So it has been a little while since my last post. I have been a busy lady. Working the usual 40 hours a week and on my days off I have my little man. He wears me out more than the 40 hour work-week, but none-the-less, I love every second of it.

This post is basically to all my Aunts, cousins, friends, etc.....that I have played with or watched their kids or grandkids at some time. I never knew how such small things could test us. I have always loved kids, always wanted to be around them and most definitely can't wait to have my own. However, Anthony has been a perfect "trial run" to the future....

I always remember doing whatever I could to get the little ones to laugh. Never thinking about the time that I was trying to do this in. Example: making a funny face or playing hide-and-seek while they are trying to eat, or tickling them while they are getting their diaper changed. To everyone, especially Jenny, I'M SORRY!!! It has come to my attention that this makes the task at hand EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. How did I find this out? My mother, that's right, Mom. You see, I am solely responsible for Anthony when I have him. This doesn't stop the whole family from loving and spoiling him, but feeding, changing, bathing, dressing, etc.....are all my job. Everyone plays with and entertains him. So one day, I was feeding Anthony his lunch. He, out of nowhere, starts laughing and moving all around while I had a spoonful of whatever. I tell him to settle down and open his mouth. He finally eats that bite. Then guess what? He does it AGAIN! What is going on? Turns out it was Mom. She was playing with him. He thought it was just great. Mom thought it was just great. I, on the other hand, wasn't too thrilled. I had nap time in mind. That comes after lunch time. This "game" was slowing down the process. So now, every time he is ready to eat, Mom and him look at each other and give this grin. Then Mom turns away and says "Alright! I'm getting you in trouble".

It's funny to me now that I can look back and see how he has grown to be so close with all of us. He is an extension of our family. But he does try your patience at times. All you can do is love him. He is a hand-full but still my little love bug. I don't know how Mom had 5 of us!! Forget doing anything on your own, you have a shadow. Bathroom, kitchen, laundry room....yea he is everywhere. Try to cook or do dishes, he is going between your legs, yelling into your legs, then trying to climb up your legs. Laundry, oh he helps alright. Takes every piece out of the basket and then puts them back in. One. At. A. Time. Vacuuming, yea he pushes the canister around. Heaven forbid it gets stuck on something! You would think somebody pinched him! He helps with everything. But patience, is what he helps me with. If you don't have any.....don't have kids. That simple.

Friday, January 28, 2011

ChAnGeS

So it has been a while since I last blogged. The computer decided to never work and crash on us. A lot has happened since then. So I will attempt to fill you in.

Christmas came and went. It was a great time spent with family. New Years followed. It was also a great time spent with family. I can't believe January is almost over already. Time sure does fly. Most of my time has consisted of working and having my little boy Anthony. He has gotten so big and very smart. He is practically a part of this family. He has learned "buh bye" and waves both hands as he says it, "thank you", high five and "shut". It is to the point if we are in the cabinet or fridge getting something out, he comes along and shuts it saying "thank you", while we are still in it. It is pretty funny to see. February 3rd, he will be 15 months old. Grow up way too fast.

Work on the other hand, is a little different story. We were informed of some "changes" being made this past Tuesday. They eliminated 3 senior manager positions, meaning 2 people were fired out of the blue. It was a big wake-up call. They say there are more changes to be made this coming week, but they won't tell us what kind of "changes". Until then, I am thankful to be employed. McDonalds is always hiring if push comes to shove.

I'm sure I am forgetting some things, but they will come up in another blog. I have to work early in th morning. Hope all is well with everyone. Until next time....

LoVe <3

Friday, December 10, 2010

Couple Days

So the past few days have been interesting. I had off on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday I went over to a firends house and played some pool. After that, the plan was to make some Christmas cookies. So over to the house we went. Exactly 7 hours and 31 dozen cookies later....we were exhausted. It was a lot of fun. Lots of laughs.

Wednesday consisted of going to the dreaded stores to even TRY to do some Christmas shopping. Then we sat around, ate dinner and wrote out 60 Christmas cards. All while watching "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Oh my goodness! Who thought of that movie?!? Yes....I did think I would have a permanent indentation of the pen on the end of my finger. Needless to say, it went away.

I worked from 6-3 today. It was a long day. Very dragged out. I seem to be taken from one end of the store to the other. At least I know I get my exercise in. I get to work 7-4 tomorrow and then its 2 overnights in a row! I can tell you know, I may be a tad grouchy on Tuesday if I don't get at least 6 hours of sleep. Consider this fair warning :) Nah, it should be all good.

I don't know what else to say for now so "Peace, Love and Grits" Until next time...

LoVe <3

Monday, December 6, 2010

Whispers

Yesterday morning I woke up to "Bekah...Bekah", I opened my eyes, "it snowed last night!" My response, "no it didn't Sam".  Sam- "Yes it did. Look outside." I rolled out of bed as Sam came into my room. I opened my blind, and sure enough, the ground was dusted with snow. Sam- "See, I told you. Alright, I gotta go to my CPR class". This whole conversation, was done through whispering. You could tell the excitement in his voice. Like he just couldn't wait to tell someone.

So he woke me up just to tell me. Then memories flashed through my head. The times that we would listen to those superstitions about wearing your pj's inside-out. The whole time crossing our fingers that school would be cancelled. Sam, Seth & I all piling into one bed and sleeping sideways so all 3 of us would fit, on Christmas eve, and non-stop talking until we passed out. Just to wake up at 6:30 and know that we still had to wait for Mom & Dad to get up.

Or even farther back, when we were at the old house on Hickory Mill Rd. Oh how I loved that place! When we had nothing but each other, our cousins, our FAMILY! On Christmas morning, Matt or Dan, would sneak downstairs and take a peak around. Then come up and talk about the presents they saw. Sometimes even giving hints when the presents were too big to be wrapped. I will never forget the morning that Dan went down and came back up, his eyes as big as could be and said "Bekah, you are going to LOVE it!" He sat down on the floor and started "air pedaling". Instantly I knew I had gotten a bike. I remember jumping up and giving him a big hug, as if he had gotten me the present. Or the Christmas I got the big dollhouse. I was so upset when Sam started playing with it before me! I can laugh at it now. Then there was the Christmas that I got the leash and dog bowl. I remember ALL the excitement from every one of us! We sat there in the living room floor, building legos and thinking of what names we would pick for the dog. Never knowing that we would get Frosty. He was a pain, but very much a part of our lives that we will never forget. That dog was loyal and a little snappy, but he was a part of our family.

As we get older, the tables turn. We could care less about what we get. We even say we don't want anything and can literally mean it. Just spending that time with family is the best. Talking about those old days and sharing those memories, makes my heart all warm and fuzzy. It's irritating to me that people make it about worldly possesions. You can't take it with you! If thats all your life has mound up to, it's going to be lonely. So just to set it straight, its CHRISTmas, not x-mas. Don't take the reason out of the season! He gave us all another chance at life. Whenever you want it, just ask for forgiveness. He is why we are all here! Just a thought. Until next time...

LoVe <3

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Home

Thursday night was a blue night...literally. Mom & I decided to paint the brown accent wall in my bedroom blue. We did this successfully and laughing at each other having our blonde moments. Friday was moving day. I can't even tell you the number of times I went up & down stairs. Mom, Dad & I got everything moved, completely unpacked and situated within 10 hours. Not too shabby huh?

I can't tell you the relief I feel. I don't think reality has even set in yet. It feels SO good to be HOME! I have passed out every night since I have been here. Sleeping like a baby. As I sat in my room last night, I was almost in tears. As we finished the final touches, I heard "welcome home Bekah Boo". Moms words ran through my head until I fell asleep.

I am so fortunate to have my family. Without them, I would be nothing. I can't believe it takes such stupid mistakes to make people finally realize what they have. I love these people with my whole being. I am truly blessed. Here are a few pics of the final product...



After we got everything cleaned up, we ordered some chinese for Sams birthday dinner. He didn't feel too well so we all just chilled. Work went crazy as usual. Mom & I went to the mall and did some Christmas shopping for Sam and Seth. I realized, I don't really have a tolerance for teeny-boppers. Sorry, but I have just outgrown that phase. Tomorrow I get to work yet again. But I will be home in time for the football game. Ravens vs. Steelers.....it's going to be crazy.

I'm going to help Mom with laundry, then jump in the shower. Who knows, maybe I will dream tonight. Until tomorrow....

LoVe <3

* Life isn't about the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away *