Happy 4th of July!

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This is the Day of Independence, the day our founding fathers sought our freedom and liberty for all. Our nation celebrates its 243rd birthday. A birthday that didn’t come easy for American colonists at the time. Our ancestors fought for what they believed in, what they felt was their rights as an American.

Much of what our ancestors believed in was based on a principle. The colonies felt Great Britain had too much control in taxation levies against them to provide help in paying for military defense. The colonies retaliated and won their independence on July 4, 1776.

Life was difficult then. Facing challenges of the war itself, civilians were shattered by the shortage of military supplies and equipment, a decrease in food production and blockages of seaports. Both Americans and British lost their lives while fighting and due to disease.

The American Revolutionary War lasted a total of eight years, 1775 – 1783. Let us celebrate this day in remembrance of our forefathers. We are blessed to be born in a country that fought so long for its freedom. More so, we are blessed to be Americans.

America, Happy Birthday! May freedom ring always!

was based on a principle. The colonies felt Great Britain had too much control in taxation levies against them to provide help in paying for military defense. The colonists 

was based on a principle. The colonies felt Great Britain had too much control in taxation levies against them to provide help in paying for military defense. The colonists on their independence on July 4, 1776. 

Life Can Be Beautiful

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Life is difficult sometimes. It can even be ugly at times. These last few weeks have been tumultuous, trying to get my van fixed to pass emissions and to get ready for surgery in two weeks. In addition, I want to finish corrections and revisions on my newest book before publication. Trying to get all the loose ends tied together before the 18th of this month. There are other things to consider, but I really don’t want to deal with them right now.

Today, I’m stressed and my anxiety is high, yet, I want this surgery. Maybe the realization that the doctor didn’t want to do it at first. He said it was too risky, but the major predicament of being in pain led me to decide on surgery. It hurts to walk on my left foot because of the severe turning inward now. Same thing on my right foot, but doesn’t hurt nearly as bad to walk on it. Hopefully, I aim to have surgery on the other foot in three to four months.

A few years ago, I was “spiritually” weak and had no inner strength. I realize that I can’t make it without help. I have often wondered about the purpose of my life and why I encountered the challenges I have over the years. Maybe my journey has been all about getting closer to God and forming a stronger relationship with Him. That is why prayer helps in daily devotion to God. It is significant and more importantly, it helps one to grow spiritually.

I find that life can be beautiful, not constrained as we often make it. When we do pass, I believe our souls unite “in spirit” with our Heavenly Father, our maker. If it is my time, I trust that God will take me from this earth. It is interesting that I have a peace within. I take each day on a daily basis and don’t take anything for granted, especially my life.

There seems to be an overly sensitivity to daily living, where it becomes a task and not living. I believe it is those people that need to stop and enjoy their surroundings. Some people seek problems where there are none. What is wrong in just being happy? Live day by day, as if your last day on earth. Enjoy the time with family, loved ones and friends.

My philosophy of life is listen to oneself; the external self is a mirror to the soul. Stay attuned to your needs and enjoy what you have. These seem to be important aspects to fulfillment in life. Live to the fullest and stay positive. Keep prayer as part of your daily routine. No matter what one says, always strive to be happy. Remember, you can’t make someone else happy. He or she has to make himself/herself happy.

Surgery Date Finally Set

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My surgery date has finally been scheduled – July 18th. I was getting a little discouraged, thinking the doctor’s office would never call. It only took four months (being sarcastic), but as long as it’s scheduled, that is fine. I will be having a lesser surgery. No ankle surgery, but splicing the tendon to release tension in the foot. I hope it helps to alleviate the pain I’ve been having in my left foot and left knee. I will be hospitalized and then going into rehab afterward. I will be having a pre-surgery consultation at the surgeon’s office and the hospital on July 1st. I have awaited this surgery for a long time. Please remember me in your prayers.

Has God Given His Final Word?

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I was all set to have foot surgery on June 5th. This has been coming for a long time. Hindsight told me that I should of had this several years ago, but didn’t. When I went into see the surgeon last Friday for a pre-surgical consultation, I was hit with a surprise. He said he had bad news for me. He explained that major surgery would be too risky for me. He wasn’t going to do the surgery at all. After a disappointing answer, I felt like I was going to cry. When I told him that my left foot continues in pain when I stand or walk on it, he reluctantly seemed genial to do a lesser procedure. He would not touch the ankle or the toes, but transport the tight tendon putting pressure on my foot. I’m literally walking on the side of my left foot because its too painful to walk on it.

Why would the surgeon have a tentative surgery date scheduled and then cancel it? Only God knows the correct answer to this question. I’m as baffled as you are. When I asked the surgery scheduler, she said that the doctor was worried about recovery time. The surgeon must have talked to my neurologist at Emory. He brought up that major surgery could make my condition worse and cause problems. Plus, the time under general anesthesia was questionable. It is advisable not to use certain drugs with LEMS. Surely, I’m not the first person with an autoimmune condition to come through his office. On the last visit before last Friday, the doctor said he had other complicated cases. Last Friday, he said I was very complicated and very high risk for that type surgery.

I’m stumped, but I know my sisters have been praying that if it isn’t God’s will, surgery would be stopped. I guess this is God’s way of say “no, not this time.” Hopefully, my condition will improve overtime. I’ve been dealing with this almost nine years. It gets old and one loses hope as time goes on. The constant infusions I wish would go away, but it’s understandable that keeps one healthy. I feel the infusions deplete me. Is it possible to find an alternative treatment? I keep praying that God will show His glory, His mercy and fill me with His Holy Spirit. I accept my fate, but I feel I need to concentrate on what I can do, not what I can’t do. Everyone handicaps me. They mean well and are just helping, but I feel I’m enabled physically. I want to say to others, “Please don’t help me unless I ask for help. I was born with a brain; I can use it.”

Other than that, I’m praying for my niece on Tuesday, who will give birth to her baby daughter. Let her get through delivery safely for her and the baby. We need more girls in the family. So far, boys have dominated in my parents’ great-grandchildren’s department. I pray for my parents. I pray for peace and contentment with family members and close friends. God Bless You as each and everyone of you go through another week. May God shed His grace on thee.

Tentative Surgery Date Set: June 5th

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I’m scheduled tentatively for foot surgery on June 5th. This might change due to hospitalization and rehab afterward. This has been a long time coming. I’m hoping this will help me walk a little better and with mobility issues. A lot to work out with insurance before surgery date: plans for rehab, infusions, etc. I feel like there is hope though. The discomfort in my feet has been chronic, especially in the left foot this year.

I will be having surgery one foot at a time, the left foot first. I’m hoping to have surgery on my right foot three to four months afterward. The surgeon feels bilateral surgery is too much. Not sure what will be completely done during surgery. I know the surgeon will stretch the tendon to release pressure. I doubt he will break anything in the foot due to the autoimmune condition. My tissue doesn’t heal as normal healthy tissue. It will take sometime to heal though. Six to eight weeks in a cast, then a boot. I will probably have to wear braces thereafter the rest of my life.

I’m standing on God’s word that He does heal. May this surgery be successful on both feet. I see myself happy, healthy and healed. I’m asking for prayer, but unspoken prayers (quietly).

I Never Said I Didn’t like God

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The other day, I was having a discussion with my sister. Somehow the conversation turned that I was mad at God. I didn’t say that nor meant to imply that. I do like God. In fact, I love Him. I believe I am a very intelligent person, but I put my foot in my mouth at times. On the other hand, I am also a very talented person, but seem to have problems with explaining myself. This is especially true with family members. This seems to be an emotional and stressful week for us.

I feel when there is nothing else to say, that is the time to be silent. Silence is “golden” is the rule here. After all is said and done, no one comes out the winner. How do you win a losing battle? But I do love my family. Their opinions are just that – their opinions. I respect their opinions; they need to respect mine.

This disagreement started last year with some family problems at home. The discussion led to a book I had written in the past. One family member thought the book represented an anti-God image. What it represented was the culture of Egypt and their customs. I wrote on their history, their food and their culture. There was a story too, but fictious. There was a dream denoting some dark feelings, but that was conducive to the story. The main character finds herself in a state of uncertainty until the truth is revealed in the story. It is discovered that she suffers from Lupus, an autoimmune disease. I write about the similarities with my medical condition.

However, what family members don’t realize is that I sell books that way. My books contain action, suspense and mystery. I write historical novels, fictious and created to inspire the imagination of others. That is what I write on. I like to motivate and inspire people. I am not a spiritual writer. I feel if family members want a book written on Christian “pure” ethics, they need to write a book themselves. I feel their narrowmindedness lacks the understanding to open their minds to creativity and artistic values.

While I do believe in Christ, I feel He is all around us. I feel His love and His power. I do worship Christ. I am not a fanatic; I don’t read the Bible 24 hours a day. But I do express my Christian beliefs and values through love and understanding. I feel He has brought me to write for many reasons, all good reasons. I won’t apologize for writing what I enjoy.  I will continue to write as it brings me happiness and purpose in life.

 

Update

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My neurologist wrote me through the Emory patient portal tonight. I contacted his office yesterday. I do not have Charcot Marie Tooth Disease. I can believe my neurologist I’ve seen for 9 years other than an orthopedic surgeon I’ve seen only twice in my life. Dr. Esper said the disease is a completely and totally different thing. I’m glad to be reassured and Dr. Esper has always answered my questions.

It is good to ask and be sure. That is a big relief. I’m still considering DNA testing for the rare autoimmune condition. I’ve wasted so much time before in other areas. I believe my concentration should be on finishing this newest book and also sending Saga of the Ages away to a script writer. I want the book to be looked at as a potential movie script one day. I told my physical therapist of my dream today. She said why not. Even if I don’t succeed this time, I can try again in the future. What do I have to lose?

On the lighter side, information you might also be interested in. If someone is contacting you through social media and you don’t feel comfortable, you can do something about it. You don’t have to tolerate it or take it. Ignoring it sometimes doesn’t solve the problem either. If you tell this person you wish not to be contacted and they persist, there are steps to take. I contacted an attorney yesterday about rights.

Someone can give an opinion on your social media (blog, twitter, facebook, etc). It is going beyond that to actual defamation of character that warrants action. I did what the attorney told me. Hopefully, I won’t hear back. I’m not impressed with persistence, especially if that person doesn’t get it the first time. In other words, it can also be classified as harassment if it persists.

We Called Him John

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Fighting off travel on an Atlanta highway, a couple was anxious to get to the hospital.   It was mid-afternoon and soon the Atlanta people would be getting off work. Traffic would be worse. Earlier that day, there was a call that a young woman had gone into labor. Heavy into labor by the time the couple had arrived at the hospital, the young woman was attended by her mother, standing by her bedside. In addition, the brother of the young woman in labor had also come into the room. Where was the biological father?

The anxious couple entered the hospital room. The baby still had awhile to be born. After a couple of hours, we were told it was time. Time for the delivery and time for the young woman to push. The gentleman wanted to go call others, while the lady waited in the room.

That couple was my husband Tony and me. We had been trying to conceive a child for over ten years, actually twelve years. Several sperm artificial insemination and fertility procedures led to our decision to adopt a child. Within 20 minutes, the doctor was in the room. The baby’s head was crowning and boy, did he have hair.

It must have been a strong push and the baby was out. I counted his fingers. Yes, he had 10 fingers. I counted his toes. Yes, he had all 10 of them. He was perfect and perfectly made. I cried out to God and gave thanks after a successful delivery without complications. But mostly, I gave thanks that God gave me and my husband a beautiful child. The first time I held him, I cried. I didn’t want to let him go. I held him for ten whole days. We called him John. He was beautiful – blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin.

We got to keep the baby until the tenth day. The very last day the birth mother could come back to reclaim her child. It was torture giving back a child you nurtured for ten days. It ripped me and my husband’s hearts out. We did not try to adopt again. It was too painful an ordeal. There are happy endings for some couples and families. We were not one of those people. John

 

Speaker at Cobb County/Metro Atlanta Teachers’ Retirement Program

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As a retired teacher, I spoke to other retired teachers today. After the luncheon, there was a presentation of authors and then some book signing by authors. I was one of four authors to speak in the area. I went first. Good to do that. People generally remember the first and last speaker. You usually lose your nerve if you have to sit there and think about it.

I thought it went well. I got through the speech. There were some sober moments. An emotional flow of words, mixed in with highs and lows. But the most tortuous part was telling my story of how I got here, how I was inspired and who inspired me through life. My words spoke truth through my tears, my heart and my inner soul. I wear my emotions on my sleeves.

I just got a call from a traditional publisher about radio interviewing. True, I want to get radio interviews scheduled. I do need a way for a publisher to sponsor me. My dilemma is my medical condition, but I would like to start scheduling in the area if I could. If there are any sponsors in the metro-Atlanta area, please contact me. My trouble would be transportation outside the Atlanta area.

I’m starting to feel a little better this week. Going to Augusta to see my neurologist there on April 16. This is my last visit in the study and then every six months thereafter, if I wish to continue seeing Dr. Rivner. I prefer to keep seeing him. He has been a very helpful and knowledgeable source of information when I had no where else to turn.

Back to real life, my home physical therapist is coming tomorrow morning. I delayed occupational therapy this week due to my rigid schedule. Maybe a way to extend my physical therapy. The work over these last few weeks seemed to have help limber me up a little. I’m still stiff, but at least, I can walk across the floor now.

…And Where Is God?

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I feel this is an appropriate title for this post. I keep hearing “Where are the Clouds?” in my head. All I can come up with is “Don’t bother, they are here.” But actually, I am feeling much better than last week. Besides IVG Gammagard infusions, I had a viral stomach bug last week. My mother came down with nausea and dizziness today. The medication seems to be helping her.

My weight has dramatically dropped since last week, I weight 112 lbs. now in shoes and clothes. The head nurse of the home infusions services said I would get pre-meds next time to reduce the after effects of infusions. My question is why wouldn’t that had been done this time?

I have silent challenges and unspoken prayers. In fact, I would rather you no longer “say” that you will pray for me. I want to see action instead. I’m mad, which is good for me. I work best when I’m mad or enlightened about something. I’m right at that point of seeking life-changing answers.

This all started when I saw another orthopedic surgeon at St. Joseph’s Medical Center about two weeks ago. A long story short, there seemed to be some indication that this condition (even my neuro-muscular structure) was genetic. It was not verified or confirmed, but mentioned,

The reason why this is so important to me is because I would like some DNA testing to be done. I did speak to another doctor (OB/GYN) today about it. I can have medicare pay for it, due to the rarity of my medical condition.  I need to do some research before seeking DNA testing. What would it entail? Blood tests or DNA strands tested. My sisters asked me that today, but I have no medical knowledge or awareness yet.

On the subject of DNA testing, I did speak to my parents today about it. I am their child and they should be consulted about it. My mother seemed more agreeable than I originally thought she would be. She said she didn’t feel guilt, although I never put blame on my parents for anything. I want to know if my medical condition of a rare autoimmune disorder is heredity through a recessive gene or is it structured in my DNA as a carrier?

I don’t want my relatives, especially my sisters, mad at me or the family embarrassed in anytway. It is not to offend or hurt anyone. It is within my God-given rights and I have that right to know. If you can’t acccept this, don’t read this blog. But please don’t preach to me or tell me that I’m hurting my parents.

As far as God, He has always been here. He is just been talking strongly to me recently. These are things that I should have done years ago. I just wasn’t as pushed as I am not.