Friday, November 30, 2007

Now at the bottom

Well, after passing out at work, you wouldn't think things could get much worse. But then this week happened!!! I have learned in a HUGE way that in order to care for my family, I have to first take care of myself. It took over nine months to catch up to me, but the burning the candle at both ends (and maybe in the middle too!) finally took its toll, and I crashed. At work Sun. night I noticed a sore developing on my upper leg. It began to really throb, so I put peroxide on it and covered it with ointment and a band aide. I repeated this on Mon several times, but by Tues. morning it was very obviously infected. Knowing that I work constantly with MRSA (the "super bug" highly resistive to antibiotics), I knew it was nothing to mess with. So off to the dr. I went. He cultured it, marked the infection line with a pen and sent me home with two antibiotics that he thought would work. I was to call if the infection spread more than an inch outside the lines. When I woke Wed. morning, the infection had spread all the way to my knee and I had a fever. My dr. saw me and sent me right to the hospital. The culture had not come back yet, but at the rate that the infection was spreading it had to be the MRSA. I was started on IV meds. Once I got to the hospital and allowed myself to just fully let someone care for me (and try to forget that I just dumped the kids on several people!), I realized I felt AWFUL! I spent a full day in the hospital and am doing much better now. The sore is still very nasty looking, but the infection is way down. My dr. had a very fatherly chat with me when all my labs and cultures came back. No, I did not have a MRSA infection. I have virtually no immune system. My white blood cells were through the roof and I am "dangerously anemic." He told me almost everything with my blood counts was off. I need to rest. This was also most likely the reason I passed out last week. Any little bug that comes along is going to knock me flat.

Oh, so easy to say and not so easy to do!! But God is so faithful! I had another gift of money waiting for me when I got home from the hospital, so I have taken tonight off work. The kids are with him for the weekend, so I have until Sat night to rest up. His parents also told me that they had a very long talk with him about his actions of late. I saw an abuse counselor this week and she gave me my options about a restraining order. I will think long before I take that drastic of a step, because it gets very complicated. He is not hurting me or the kids physically- just constantly harassing. But words hurt just as much as a fist sometimes.

I am only beginning to realize the depth of support I have here, though. Not only do I have my church, but my medical team and the law is on my side!! He has threatened to take the kids away. We say, "bring it on. You have an army waiting." My prayer is that he will see that I am serious and that he has no foundation to stand on when saying I am an unfit mother. Even his own family will testify to this. Every one of them has told me they will testify against him if he even tries to bring that to court.

I realize I just gave a lot of info without many details, but just pray for this situation. You can understand why the stress level is off the charts right now. He really was not this monster when we were married. He never questioned me. He left all parenting up to me. We rarely ever disagreed on childcare issues. This is not the man I used to know- it is the influence of his new life and the girlfriend.

Thank you all for the comments left- it helps sooooo much! I am still amazed at how this has touched so many people. Yes, I have learned valuable lessons this week. I need to remember myself. I get stuck on how people can be so selfish that I have swung the total opposite way and that is not good either!! I do feel like a pharmacy right now! I am taking 5 pills in the AM and 3 at night to get me back on track with the infection and get my immune system back online!

My dr. so lovingly told me that a year from now I will look back on this time and remember that it was hell but that it will probably be over. Yes, it is awful, and yet I also know that I can rest in my Lord's arms as well and know that I am loved far more than I really understand.

So fitting

My long- time friend Charity sent me this poem and I just had to post it. This is not just for me, but all of you moms out there!

The house is a mess, the dishes are dirty.
I'm too old for this stuff, I'm well over thirty!
The car is not clean, my hair is a wreck,
And I've already spent next Friday's paycheck.
The laundry needs washing, the children too rowdy,
And I never have time for a leisurely "Howdy."
With all that I do, it's never enough,
It's never quite finished, it always looks rough.
I looked in my mirror and what did I see?
A harried old stranger, where I used to be.
The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.
Today is tomorrow, and I'm not caught up yet.
My children are growing at such a fast pace,
That I'm missing their childhood for the sake of this race.
I work and clean and I cook, and I say,
"Hit the books, clean your room!" there's no time for play.
The Lord, for some reason, chose ME with the care
Of five of His children, but I'm rarely there!
I've GOT to slow down lest there's nothing to show
For my role as their mom when they pack up and go!
I'm only one person, but look through the door,
What appears to be one, divides into more!
I'm chauffeur, a cook, a planter of trees,
A teacher, an umpire, a mender of knees.
Sometimes I forget that deep down inside,
There's a lady with feelings, and last night she cried.
She gets tried and lonely, feels taken for granted.
She wants to see blooms from the seeds that she's planted.
Then, amidst all the turmoil in this mind-bending pace,
My little ones look at me square in the face....
And just when I need it, they all in one day
Say, "Momma, I love you" and then....I'm OKAY!

Monday, November 26, 2007


I ended my last post with "the Lord must be shaking his head at our unbelief. If only we could see what lies ahead..."

Oh, if only!!!! Last week was horrible and wonderful. Horrible because of the ex's relentless harassment. There are so many accusations flying at me, but God's protection is amazing! Rodney is all talk. We just stand in wait for if he decides to ever try to take things to court. He has no idea the army that awaits him. I had no idea just how many people I have to back up my character. My pastor told me of a quote once told to him. "You take care of your character, and God will take care of your reputation." I am seeing this sooooo much right now!

My biggest praise and most humbling part of this post will be that of my finances. You will remember how I was bemoaning the loss of my "plan." I ended up missing a week and a half of church (the kids all got the stomach bug- yuck!!!) During this time it got around that I had passed out at work from exhaustion and that I was picking up extra shifts to make some extra Christmas money. Last night Pastor called me up to the stage and stated that the church body wanted me and the kids to know how much we are loved and cared for. He handed me a check for over a thousand dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think..." Oh, the deep love of my Savior that he would bless so much in spite of my unbelief. And this is beyond the fact that I did have 13 hours of sick time available and the Thanksgiving holiday pay that would just about break even the hours that I lost being sick.

I am so overwhelmed at the generosity of God's people. The church body is barely 100 people- at most. What a great God we serve!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The darkness of night

Warning: I am sick and feeling very low emotionally right now. I have no idea what is going to come out in this post!

Last night began my "work week." In case I have never explained what I work it is three 7PM to 7AM shifts, Fri., Sat., and Sun. It doesn't give much time for sleep, but it allows me to be with the kids through the week. The first four hours last night went fine. Then during the changeover, I began to feel dizzy. By 12:15, I was on the third round of almost passing out. They took my blood sugar level and that was fine. They took my blood pressure and it was 80 over 40. For those not in health care- a normal BP should be about 120 /80. My sick time does not kick in for two more weeks, being stupidly pigheaded, I refused to let the send me by ambulance. I wanted to just take my lunch break and rest- then I would be fine. My nurse said, "at the risk of sounding insensitive, you are laying on the floor with a BP in the toilet. I don't think you belong here!" Well, when you put it like that... So, I let them call my (former) mother in law and she came right up and took me to the ER. After doing a cardiac workup and all sorts of stuff, I was discharged with the diagnosis of exhaustion and dehydration. They beefed me up with fluids and sent me home with instructions not to go in to work until Sun.

So much for my Christmas money plans. Why does it seem just when you have it "all figured out" God knocks you flat. I wanted so desperately to be able to buy the kids special stuff this year. I know how shallow that sounds. You can't buy love. But I am a gift giver- my joy comes from seeing their faces light up in getting that toy they want sooooo bad!

Oh, back to my sickness. The near fainting was probably just a virus hitting me, because within an hour of getting home from the ER, I was puking my guts out. I slept most of the day, and am now just weak.

The kids are with him until tomorrow morning, so I have nothing to do but rest. I know I need that, but I do miss my babies! Never has my loneliness been more real than now. I should have been having a loving husband rushing to my side last night. I didn't ask for this life. I did nothing to deserve it, and yet here I sit- alone at my computer, working myself ragged to the point of extreme exhaustion. There are four of them and only one of me. I love them all beyond words, but I am tired. I am so tired of fighting to keep my chin up and be brave. I have praise music playing in the background, but all my heart is crying is "God, haven't I suffered enough?"

Talk about divine. I stopped to listen to the song playing right now. It was saying, "I will lift my eyes to the maker of the mountains I can't climb... lift my eyes to the healer if the hurt I hold inside... Oh, God, my God, your beloved needs you now."

Everyone keeps telling me I will get through this. The night will not last forever. I have only been a single parent for nine months, but it seems a lifetime. Yes, I will make it. Thanks for "listening" to my little pity party. I will echo Ann-Marie. The Lord must be shaking His head at our unbelief. If only we could see what lies ahead....

Friday, November 16, 2007

What was I thinking?!!

Yesterday I did something that shocked even me. The kids had dental check ups in Concord- that is about a half hour away from our house. In Concord is the one and only Taco Bell within a hour's drive of us. Oh, how I love their Gordida!! It has been since before.... you know... that I have been to Taco Bell. I have taken the kids to places with play lands by myself, but never a "sit- down" place. So after every one's teeth were all sparkling white, I unloaded all of them into Taco Bell. The place never knew what hit them. I didn't know what hit me! After ordering all our tacos while frantically trying to keep order to kids who were so excited to be having the cinn. sticks (yes, they really did eat the tacos too!), I realized that the drinks were the serve yourself kind. All wanted to pour their own. How does a mom with only two hands help four kids bouncing up and down excited all at once? I took a deep breath and secretly berated myself for dreaming this could work. I found a booth close to the drink counter. Put the baby in a high chair, unloaded the massive amount of coats, and began barking out orders to the three older kids. I was pretty proud of myself by the end of it! Except that Bryce kept running up to each and every person there and shouting at them, "You know what my name is? Me Bwyce- and this is Ma, and Tens, and Ty, and Juns." (That is my attempt at writing "Bryce talk" for mom, Kristen, Tyer, and Judson. I love that he calls me "ma"- it is so cute!)

The cool thing was when we were about done a man came up and started talking to the kids. They really tried not to talk to the "Stranger"!! But then he told me he was the station manager for the Seacoast Christian radio station and wanted to commend me on a job well done. He heard the kids pray before we ate and said how rare that was now days. My charming Bryce piped up about how Jesus is in heaven and in his heart, and the man laughed about what deep theology such a young one was learning!

I left Taco Bell last night with more than a full and satisfied belly. I left with a new level of confidence- I am doing a good job! Look out fine dining-- or maybe in ten years!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Getting into the spirit

I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!!! I love everything about the entire season. I began planning for this year months ago. I have been stashing away some money and now I have picked up three extra shifts at work over the next two weeks. Not enough to kill me physically, but enough to bring in some good dough. I really want to make this year special. I know, presents is not the real meaning of Christmas- and there will be plenty of teaching about that- but it is sooooo special to see their faces light up with pure joy! The beauty of working the night shift is the kids just stay with my room mate and barely know that I am gone. Of course, I am struggling to stay awake the next day, but it is only three times, so I can handle it!!

I bought some lights for the outside trees and decorated them yesterday. When it was dark, the kids just stood in awe thinking it was the prettiest sight ever. This morning, I went shopping for the weekly stuff at a local closeout store and found the greatest thing for Tyler- a hermit crab habitat. I contemplated getting it because he was with me. But knowing how this store works- it may not be there tomorrow. Ty can really be very clueless sometimes (no, not MY son!) and that worked to my advantage today! I slid the box under the cart while he was looking somewhere else. When it came time to checkout, I casually put it on the belt face down. He never even asked about it!!

I know this year will be different, but I am determined not to let the tragedies of this year ruin our spirit. I am starting fresh. I have bought all new ornaments except for the kids' stuff. He did not like real trees, so we rarely had them. I LOVE real trees. That is a smell that will be in heaven!!! We are planning to go the day after Thanksgiving with another family in the church to cut down our own!! I really am becoming "de-big-city-ized" (love my word creations?)!! I will let myself grieve when things hit. But I am determined to cry for just a moment. "Joy comes in the morning." God truly has better in store for me, and I am already seeing that!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The change in me

I figured I would try to post a pic of my "transformation" as people are calling it here. When the separation/divorce first happened and I couldn't see the light of day, my pastor told me that it would get better. I would heal, and then someday I would show up at church with a new hairdo and new clothes. I thought he was crazy. I have had the same hairstyle for years. Then, thanks to a great friend of mine, I inherited an entire "new" wardrobe. She is an insurance rep. and has TONS of clothes that she decided to get rid of. They are all great and so much more modern and figure-flattering than I ever wore before. I am a petite girl- nothing wrong with embracing that! Sorry, for all of you that struggle with weight- shutting up now! I also cut my hair about a month ago. Actually it was the week before the ex tried to come back. The pic does not give the style justice- it really is fluffier. I have also begun to wear eye makeup- just a tad! It really does brighten up the eyes and it only bothers the allergies a little. I am amazed at how right Pastor was! (Hate that, don't ya?!) The inward changes came outward and I didn't even realize it until it was there for all to see!

Now, a month has gone by since he tried to come back. He has been horrible. I am convinced there really is nothing good left in him. Every possible chance he can, he "zings" me verbally. He has hurt the kids just to "get back" at me. In the face of it, I falter, sometimes fail, but am prevailing strong with God's guiding hand on me. Each time I am at church, at least one person tells me what a testimony I have been to them. I do not feel worthy. I make so many mistakes. But praise the Lord, His mercy never fails. I am changing- growing stronger!!

I just had to include this pic of Judson. I found him yesterday chomping on Pringles! The other kids had left the snack cupboard open and he found his way to the chips. Of course, at 8 months, he was struggling and I had to clean him up quick, but oh, soooo cute!!

Here's the "new" me. Like I said, the hair is really much fluffier and is highlighted.