Sunday, January 22, 2017

One Face of Obamacare

If you're like most of us, you can't wrap your mind or heart around really big problems. Here's an example. Remember the earthquake in Haiti in 2010? It killed about 200,000 people and left 2 million homeless. At the time, I sent money to help deliver clean water to the earthquake victims, but honestly I wasn't terribly moved by the suffering of all of those faceless people. It was too overwhelming to shoulder all of that grief, and even though their lives would never be the same, my own life went on just as it always had.

I see something similar happening in America right now. In the coming months, 20 million Americans may soon be without health coverage, if efforts to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare) succeed.

Can you picture that? Twenty million men, women, and children with no health coverage?

Neither can I. How do you put a face on that many people?

Let me help you. Here is one person who will lose her healthcare if this legislation passes. Meet my sister Amy, who suffered a massive stroke in March of 2016. The stroke left her virtually paralyzed on her left side.

Amy four months after her stroke

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Cooking Fail That Wasn't

I had a great, productive day today. I woke up in good spirits and made excellent progress on my current e-Learning project. I was so engrossed in my work that I worked an extra hour without thinking about it.

And then, without warning, I abruptly crashed into a very foul mood. I was hungry and tired and very blue for no good reason. I wanted very much to go to bed, but it was only six and I was hungry.

I drug myself away from my desk and out to the garage to check the deep freeze for something edible. I've been way too busy lately with driving for Lyft (more on that later, but no promises) and studying up on the latest teaching technologies, so I haven't made time to go to the grocery store very often. Thus, I find myself eating whatever I can scrounge up, such as peanut butter and jelly (if I've had time to grind my sprouted wheat and make bread, as well as soak, dehydrate, roast, and grind the peanuts).

So you can imagine my triumph when I spotted a package of salmon I'd bought on sale and then forgotten all about. I literally raised a fist and said, "Yes!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thank You, and I Love You

When I posted an entry the other day about an upcoming breast biopsy, I prefaced it with a comment about possibly breaching the rules of etiquette. Some of you asked me why I thought that.

No, it wasn't because the story was about my breast. I was concerned that some people would think I should keep my "minor health worry" private because it would be inconsiderate to cause you worry when I didn't know yet whether there was a major health problem.

An Early Christmas Present for Me

After only one day, I got my biopsy results. When I realized it was the nurse from the radiology center and not my doctor, I knew it was good news.

There were no cancer cells. It is fibrocystic tissue, which is typical with my type of dense, lumpy breast tissue. The calcification (hardening) has increased over time, so they will do close monitoring. I go back in six months for another diagnostic mammogram.

But there is no cancer.

To quote the nurse, "Merry Christmas!"

Oh, thank you Jesus. Thank you to everyone for your love and prayers.

Monday, December 19, 2016

More Like a Screw Driver

I appreciate everyone's prayers and support in regards to my needle biopsy today. I had a bit of nerves in the morning, but by the time I got there I felt remarkably calm--and oddly detached as I took in all the details of this most bizarre experience.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A One Hundred Percent Chance

So I'm going to tell you something that I think might go against the rules of etiquette, though I don't know why that should be the case. If this is in poor taste or inconsiderate, please forgive me. I don't want to cause you concern, but I do need to share my heart with you. Here goes...

Tomorrow I go for a needle biopsy of an abnormality in my breast. When I was called back after a recent screening mammogram, I was only a little concerned. I'd been called back after my first one six years previously, and all had been well. Like many of the women on my mom's side of the family, I have very dense, lumpy breast tissue, so it's not uncommon to have problems with mammography.

Still, I was pretty nervous when I went on December 8 for my diagnostic bilateral (two-sided) mammogram. Everyone at the center was exceptionally kind, which gave me great comfort. After a very thorough, somewhat uncomfortable exam, the technician told me I needed to wait for the radiologist to review my images in case he might want more views.

As I waited, I sort of prayed with my whole being, not with my thoughts, but rather with a leaning in toward my Father. When I felt my palms getting sweaty, I thought, "Quiet me with your love. I trust you. I trust you."

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Hope Not Seen

Remember how afraid I was a few weeks ago about starting to substitute teach? I'm not even sure when it happened, but recently I realized that subbing has become a delight. Once or twice a week, I step into the unknown with that familiar flip of nerves that I felt in my belly every morning as a 7th-grade Reading teacher: What challenges will I face today? But the unease is tempered by an exhilarating sense of possibility: What children and teachers will I connect with today?

Probably the best thing to come out of subbing is the opportunity to observe other teachers when I have a planning period free. When it first occurred to me to use my free time this way, I hesitated to request it, but not one teacher has turned me down. They've graciously welcomed me into the most mundane of daily routines and even into their most challenging classes, either when nothing exciting was happening, or when too much excitement was happening.

What I've learned is that other teachers struggle. Other teachers are ordinary just like me. And despite all the stress and the challenges, they love their jobs! Better still, all their hard work is making a difference, because they are loving and being loved.

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