Sunday, April 17, 2011


Whew, what a week.  It’s when a family is going through a trial that the true colors come out!  This past week the Thurmon/Wiley/Norris crew has been through the ringer it feels.  Nana was in the hospital and to put it mildly had a few ups and downs.  At one point her blood pressure got so low her kidneys and liver were not perfused so they started to fail.  After a few days, lots of fluid and diuretics she came through!!   Nana is a tough ole boot!!!  (I mean that with the most love possible and she would agree).  It is tough being on the other side of the ICU door!  Waiting on the doctors to give us one sliver of information that we all hang on to until the next visitation 4 hours later.
On a high point my family has become up to date on all the kidney lingo!  Since I’m interested in nephrology this makes me quite happy that they were interested in urine output, creatinine and BUN.  (all labs that measure kidney function, just ask my mom or dad for an explanation, they are experts now!)

Through the ups and down we stuck together.  We pulled each other up when times looked grim and celebrated the smallest victories.  We celebrated when nana was awake, we celebrated the fact that she tried to get out of bed 4 times last night because that showed us she was gaining strength, we celebrated when she drank a juice cup, we celebrated when she was sitting up in bed,  and we celebrated when the doctors or nurse spent time with us explaining what was going on behind the big locked ICU door.
 Granted there were frustrations that accompanied each visit, yet we always tried to focus on the positive.  We would laugh and talk to get our minds off what was going on and only had positive things to say to nana.  We would tell her how good she looked.  Yet, she didn’t believe us.  Her response was always to look down at herself draped in wires and drab hospital covers and say, “ if you say so”.  

 This situation has made me slow down (once again) and appreciate all the small things in life.  I can further appreciate my family, the time we spent together these past days and the support we received from friends and other family members. 

Nana has always been tough.  I remember calling her after my first 30 hour call at the hospital.  I was just knew she was going to say something to make me feel better and show me pity.  Boy was I wrong!  The conversation went like this:

L:  Hi, Nana
N:  Hi, how are you doing?
L:  I’m tired, I just worked 30 hours without sleeping.
N:  Well, you will get used to it, this is what you went to school to do!
Ha, ha, ha!!!  Not what I wanted to hear but exactly what I needed to hear.

Alas, nana is back in a regular room today and things are looking up for now.  My mom is manning the fort tonight at the hospital and we are all waiting to hear where we go from this point.   She has a long way to go but she has come miles from where she was just a few days ago. 

Brad and I arrived back in Madison this afternoon late and I check the mail.  There is a huge package from UMC Radiologic tech. program addressed to Brad!  Brad opens it and finds out he will be starting rad. tech school in the fall!!!!!!!!  We had our own little party in the front yard!

I feel as if we have been through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows these past few days.  Such a roller coaster that is mentally and physically exhausting, yet it brings us all closer to each other.  And of course the only constant in each of these situations was God.  He was right there if I called on him or not just waiting for a high five, waiting to comfort and waiting to celebrate the big and little things, even drinking a juice cup.

Now off to get a cool beverage...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

steak or sausages?

I’m on vacation this week!!!  I’ve had some time to go to my favorite store, Barnes and Noble and get lost in as many books as I choose. 
I was meandering in the self-help section.  Let me post a disclaimer, I normally despise the self help section.  First of all, self help books use the word “I” too much.  It is my belief that we need to look away from us and to someone greater than us to get “help”.  Not look at what I can do, but look at what I can do for others or what God can do.  Alas. I was looking through the section and found Andy Andrews book titled, “The Noticer”.  (should I underline a book’s title, use italics or just parenthesis.. or none of the above??)

I didn’t read the entire book, I love turning to random pages and looking for good quotes.  Good sentences that are taken out of context that I can apply to something not related to the book.  I found a great quote in Mr. Andrews book

“Whatever you focus upon, increases”.  He then went to say that if you focus on what you need, your needs increase.   I would also venture to say if I focus on my wants, my wants will increase.  What if I focus on other peoples needs??  I doubt those needs will increase, I bet it will be the opposite.  My needs will decrease as well as other people because more than likely I will act on those needs of other people. 
Maybe I shouldn’t avoid all books of the self-help flavor.  If we all focus on understanding, love, patience, kindness and compromise think what we can accomplish.  Should we send this quote to Washington??

The next page I turned to had the following interaction between 2 people:  I have to paraphrase it because I didn’t buy the book.  So this is how I remember the conversation.

Two people are sitting on the beach.  Both are eating tuna fish from a can and vienna sausages while sitting in the sand at the waters edge.  Guy #1 ask Guy #2 what he is eating, #2 looks at him and states tuna fish from a can and cold sausages with sand in my shorts.  Guy #1 replies, I’m eating surf and turf on the beach while watching a beautiful sunset.  Perspective is something isn’t it?  How can 2 people in the exact situation have such different opinions? 

Apparently #1 was focusing on the positive and enjoying his surf and turf while the other guy was forcing tuna and Vienna sausages down.  I think I can apply that to my life as well.  Regardless of the situation at hand I should there is a different perspective than what I perceive.  Hopefully I’m eating surf and turf more than Vienna!

Totally off the subject, but when I think about it not really.  Nana, my grandmother, has been in the hospital.  She had a pacemaker placed a few days ago and we thought she would be discharged today from the hospital.  A few setbacks and she is now in CCU with blood surrounding the space around her heart.  She is stable for now.  But this leads me to perspective.  My mom was in nana’s room this morning and nana ask where her Cadillac was?  Her Cadillac??  She has never owned a cadillac and furthermore is no longer driving.  Maybe this is her way of focusing on something positive. Maybe she wanted a Cadillac back in the day.  Hopefully she’s imagining her hospital food beef tips and rice as filet mignon too!  When I ask Nana how she felt yesterday she replied, "I'm going to make it, I don't know about the rest of ya'll".  Ahh perspective, the spice of life!

Have a spicy day!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Intrude please

Last Sunday I was sitting in “big” church.  Yes, I still call it big church, yes I am 29 years old, but I love the term big church!!    Rewind prior to big church and I am in the hospital trying to round on patients and get out so I can make it to church.  Good news, I made it!  Bad news, I was not ready for church. 
I sit down by Brad (my wonderful husband) and wait for church to start.  All the time thinking about the lab I ordered that will be back at 11:30, yet I won’t get out of church until 12:00.  So I ponder on that and the next thing I know the pastor is already praying.   I didn’t hear the first part of the prayer but one phrase really socked me in the gut.  He said, “intrude on our lives God”.  I really don’t know what he said next (sorry Bruce!) but I thought, “How odd to use intrude in a prayer and then to ask God to intrude”.  I mean really, does God intrude??  That word has such negative implications.  I then went to Merriam Webster to see what he thought of the word intrude.

Intrude:  to thrust oneself in without invitation; to cause to enter as if by force.

Wow, that’s intense.  I really didn’t pay much attention the rest of the service because I was stuck on the word intrude.  I was stuck at how appropriate that word was to me that Sunday morning.

Rewind to about a year ago.  We were living in Houma, LA and we were in Sunday School.  We were discussing how to get out of the valley’s of our Christian walk.  Long discussion, but what I came out of the conversation with was, “ we pray to God to help us love God more”.  That was a foreign idea to me at that time.  Pray to God… to ask him… to help me… love Him more???  That doesn’t make sense either, it doesn’t seem logical.  Nobody has ever come up to me and ask me to help them love me more.  Ha ha ha, what a thought!  But to pray to God asking for help to love Him more makes sense.  He wants me to love Him and strive for a real relationship with Him.  In my mind I imagine God smiling when I pray for help to grow my love for Him and grow in my relationship with Him.  Because let’s face it, it’s my side of the relationship that needs growth, not God’s.

Anyway, I apply my thinking to asking God to love Him more to the intrusion prayer I heard in church.  I needed God to intrude on my life that morning.  Am I proud of that? No, but if I had not been so distracted that morning I would not have had a second thought about using “intrude” in a prayer.  It was an epiphany of sorts that I keep in my brain right next to asking God to help me love Him more.  When I feel distracted, not ready for the day at hand or just not feeling patient, loving and kind, I’ll ask God to intrude.  I’ll ask God to open my heart and eyes so I cannot just see but have sight to see the world around me.  To intrude in my life when I am not prepared.  To intrude and take control when I don’t ask.  To intrude and take me down the path I need to go on, not necessarily want to go on. 

Now intrude doesn’t seem so malignant, more of a reassurance that even when I don’t ask, God will be there to intrude and guide me. 

Have a good and intrusion filled day!